A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Narcissus in Chains’ chapter thirteen

LKH has said some truly brainless and offensive things regarding the Rodger’s killings, so I’m pretty pissed at her. I am not in the mood to be nice about her work considering how much hatred she piles onto women.

What, did a woman piss in your cornflakes or something? WHAT DID WE DO TO DESERVE SUCH HATRED?


I’d started to shake and couldn’t seem to stop. It was as if I’d been waiting for him so I could finally fall apart. I didn’t cry, just let him hold me while I shook.

You are doing nothing to convince me that shower scene was consensual. How can a professional author be so oblivious to what they’re fucking writing? How do you so completely fail at your job and yet still keep doing it?

It turns out that Anita is shaking and near crying because she’s afraid JC is angry at her. Oh, that’s healthy. That’s a healthy reaction. Surely, if you are cringing in fear from the man you love your relationship is the greatest love that ever loved. How do you fail at writing a loving relationship?

JC is not angry. He expects Anita to be angry for him giving her the ardeur. I’d be pissed. The ‘ardeur’ (gaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh) is ‘the fire, the burning hunger’. It’s a need to ‘feed’ off sexual energy otherwise you die. Or something. Why did he give it to her? How is it passed on? Why isn’t she angry about it? I’d be fucking angry if I suddenly lost my entire life because my abusive boyfriend suddenly thought I should enjoy being raped. Instead, Anita asks when she can control it and admits to being scared. Those are both sensible responses to such a fucked up situation.

He held my face between his hands.


“Ma petite, it has been over four hundred years since I first woke with the ardeur raging in me, but I remember. All those years, and I still remember that the cry for flesh was almost worse than the cry for blood.”

And you thought giving it to your girlfriend was a good idea because….

Nathanvile drives them to the Circus and JC goes ‘Eh, I’ll ditch you now. I’m not interested in comforting you, my OBVIOUSLY SACRED AND TRAUMATISED GIRLFRIEND, or helping you with this metaphysical magic I gave you that will tear you apart from the inside’.



Jason opens the door for them, because this shit sundae needs a pea on top.

The rest of us walked more sedately down the stairs, able to walk three abreast, because none of us were large people.

Why did you say that. Why did you think that was fucking necessary?

Jason tries to nag Anita into explaining what happened, but she’s not interested in talking. Jason offers Nathaniel to share his bed for the night because he ‘doesn’t see many visitors’. What the frick? Jason is sad because the female ‘vampire freaks’ are interested in ‘Jean-Claude’s pet werewolf’ and not him. Anita is surprised that Jason wants a deep and meaningful relationship over casual sex. Way to kick your friend. Jason is sad that the people who come to gawp at vampires think he’s one of the freaks. I’d be sorry but this is Jason so I can’t be.

Anita hugs him and says he’s just as worthy as everyone else – he’s not a freak! Jason disagrees.

“You hate the monsters. You hate being different. You accept that you’re different, but you don’t like it.”

… that’s a fucking Mobius strip of logical reasoning there. Anita says that this is right, and Jason teases her about admitting she’s wrong. Hey, look, genuine character interaction that doesn’t feel forced or unnatural! How unusual! Jason asks Anita whether she’s really going to be a wereleopard, then raises his hackles at Nathanvile for being glad that Anita might stay as Nimir-Ra.

As if there was ever any debate that she wouldn’t.

Anita and Jason bicker about the fate of Gregory. Anita tells Jason how awful Richard is for wanting the pack to be democratic instead of a murderous dictatorship and how Richard is a meanie. Jason tells her how much better it’d be if she was in charge as lupa which makes Anita start on a shitfit. How dare someone question her judgement! How dare someone try to argue that fascism is awful! She then gets so angry she wants to lunge at him.

Why are you a fucking awful human being Anita?

“Richard may be a bleeding-heart, flag waving right-winger, but he’s also fair, and he really does try to put the best interests of the pack before his own.”

I thought ‘bleeding-heart’ was a term thrown at liberals. And how come wanting democracy makes you politically right wing? What the fuck is the logic in these books?

Anyway, Jason is worried about Jacob becoming packmaster – why don’t you just fucking kill him yourself, or vote to oust him from the pack? – and wants Anita to do something. She yells at him for getting in her face. Um, no, YOU got in his face because he dared to disagree with you, when you started going on about the pack structure that you know nothing about because you’ve never bothered to be interested in the politics of the werewolf pack.

I hate Anita.

Jason has to apologise to her for daring to speak out of term and then asks her again to deal with Jacob. Why? Because she wants to kill Jacob. Which he knows because… um… Anita wants to kill everyone. Anita sniffily replies that pack matters are nothing to do with her any more, EVEN THOUGH SHE KEEPS TELLING PEOPLE IN THE PACK WHAT THEY SHOULD AND SHOULD NOT TO.

“They don’t know you like I do,” he said.

I pulled away from him gently. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means that once you’ve given your friendship – your protection – to someone, you take care of them, even if they don’t want you to.”

  • Anita is hostile at normal, cliché sentences.
  • Anita cannot understand normal cliché sentences.
  • I don’t think that Anita has one single friend. She doesn’t behave like a friend. You never see her having fun, or spending time with them, or even thinking of others. She doesn’t understand friendship.
  • HA! Like when she just wanted to kill you for disagreeing with her?
  • I wouldn’t want Anita looking after me. It’d probably end with my dog butchered and my budgie vivisected.
  • Here is a video of my budgie singing along to songs from The Simpsons. BECAUSE HE IS TOO CUTE.

Anita proclaims she is sick and tired of doing dirty work but Jason says there’s no one better at it. Anita feels sad that she has killed and tortured countless people. But only for a little bit, because god forbid there be any consequences to anything in this book.

I am going to eat chocolate cake and think of pretty things.

What pretty things for you, my readers? What pretty things ease the shackles of misogyny?


19 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Narcissus in Chains’ chapter thirteen

  1. Oh G-d. The ardeur. The reason why a lot of people seem to rate Obsidian Butterfly as a highpoint in the series. Just thinking about it makes me nauseous. On the plus side I’ve just thought of a new fan fic idea to cheer me up. Lara Raith vs Anita Blake cage match. Lara may be f…k..g evil but at least she’s honest about it.

  2. here’s mine https://eternaleve.wordpress.com/2014/05/25/a-review-of-laurell-k-hamiltons-narcissus-in-chains-chapter-thirteen/#respond

    to be fair to J.C. he didn’t know it would happen like that (the ardeur). Though really, I’m not sure why he wouldn’t know. He’s only had like four hundred years to figure himself out, and he’s been around other master vampires who surely might have explained it a bit.

    Also…how come LKH can just say whatever she wants on twitter and never get taken to task? Every time say, Amanda Palmer says something even the tiniest bit clueless people dog pile her, yet LKH remains in a protective bubble. I hate it.

  3. She did? Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck I was hoping she would NOT comment on the killings. I was hoping that for fucking ONCE she would not think that the world needed the opinions of LKH on absolutely everything. Fuck.

    You know, I could be really into reading about someone trapped in this dark relationship via magic with a vampire that wants her for her power and trying to cope with it by convincing herself they’re lovers and all this stuff, but as usual, LKH is only un-intentionally writing that, and that makes it shitting instead of fascinating.

    The ardeur is so, so stupid. It seems like so much more hassle than it’s worth as a power, I don’t know why vampires would bother with it when they can just mind-control people without all this nonsense and pain.

    …I’m very confused on why they should think Jason is anything else? Actually, isn’t a “freak” someone who enjoys getting bitten and gets off on it? Isn’t that what he is?

    Yeah, “right wing” and “bleeding heart” are mutually exclusive terms in America, definitely. I have never, ever heard them used to describe the same person or idea. I don’t understand at all.

    Pretty things…well, rats, obviously. And beautiful fashion, both mainstream but also things like Gothic, Lolita, etc. My personal escapist X-Men Sue fic in my head I’ll never write but that I enjoy as an indulgent daydream. And I’m probably going to watch The Last Unicorn, my favorite movie since I was teeny tiny, tonight.

    I can’t watch your budgie right now because I’m next to other people who are watcing a movie and don’t want to disturb them but I must later he sounds so adorbs!

    • I wouldn’t be surprised if LKH came up with the ardeur solely as an excuse to write more sex, while keeping Anita “pure” i.e. “not a slut”, because any woman who actively peruses sex without some kind of committed relationship must be a slut.

      I’m just totally baffled by connecting the phrase “bleeding heart” with “right wing”. Plus, Richard doesn’t really strike me as the hard-line Conservative type. I mean, wasn’t he studying endangered trolls in Appalachia a few books ago? I know that not all Conservatives are heartless monsters, but that sort of behavior seems more in line with more Left-leaning politics.

      • Count me as totally confused, too. She’s in freaking Arkansas, she should definitely know “right wing” and “bleeding heart” are polar opposites. I think I’m going to chalk it up to a lack of editor.

        …and holy shit, her Twitter. That retweet of the so-called joke reminds me of the people I saw commenting on an article that mentioned the shooter had stabbed people (but neglected to mention he had also SHOT AND KILLED AS WELL) and it was all a bur of people mocking gun rights and “well, we should outlaw knives now hurr hurr.”

      • For me, it was the whole ‘women shouldn’t be so shallow’ that made me froth at the mouth. Because god forbid the man who wanted women to starve to death in camps get the blame.

      • Regarding the ardeur – that’s it in a nutshell. Anita can’t want sex because she’s a good girl. She must be forced into it. GAH.

        Richard does not seem conservative at all. Logic took a flying jump out of the window and doesn’t seem to be coming back.


      Dark, edgy vampire romance is something I would love to read – it’s something I’m planning on writing myself, but I haven’t found the time yet. (Essentially, in my vampire universe, vampires are completely unable to refuse the commands of their maker and are unable to not love them. The main vampire character is trapped in an abusive cycle with her maker, who enjoys torturing her physically and emotionally. And she can never say no to him.)

      LKH forgot what the word ‘freak’ means in her universe, I think.

      The ardeur only exists to make Anita have sex. Because she can’t have sex with men without being a ‘slut’. SIGH.

      I will join you in indulgent X-Men sue fics.

  4. Can someone fill me in on the killings and what LKH said? I have been off the grid for the entire weekend so I completely missed this news.

    • A young man in America after being ‘rejected’ by women went on a shooting spree. He had posted an extremely hateful manifesto against all the world’s women, outlining his desires to put women in extermination camps to starve to death. Why? Because women did not instantly flock to him when he was so clearly entitled to have sex with them. (I have omitted his name because I think repeating the names of people like this makes them into martyrs)

      LKH made a lot of posts about how the ‘shallowness’ of women made him react like this. And retweeted jokes about it. Because a man killing women is so funny.

      • Wow. That is absolutely disgusting. I mean, she’s posted some things before in bad taste, but that was often due to her narcissism.

      • I know. It’s hard to deal with people who think posting such vile things are acceptable. But I’m just a ‘jealous hater’, so what do I know?

      • … … Oh God, really? I need to see this, just to feel the rage and know it is justified. I don’t suppose anyone knows where it’s posted? I know it’s a month old at this point, so I understand it if it’s not available.

        (And sorry I’ve been gone so long. Real life has been kicking my ass, and I needed a break from this horrible woman and her horrible books. Dottie’s amazing snark can only make them tolerable for so long. XD)

      • It was on her twitter feed, so it’d be long buried by now.

        I understand taking a break from these books. You can only tolerate the intolerance for so long, but it’s good to see you back on the comments!

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