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

Two hours later I’d had a shower and Gregory had had a bath, although I’d showered by myself, and Gregory had had company.

That sentence causes me pain. It’s so bad. Gregory got in the tub with all the other leopards.

Besides, it never became sexual.

If you have to keep telling me that it’s not sexual, then you’re just making it sound sexual. Anita sits at her kitchen table, holding court. I mean that in an extremely literal sense.

There was more than one reason that feudal lords had had great big castles – you needed the room to feed and care for all your people.

Wow. For a start, that’s some truly great horseshit. Lords did not open up the doors and have a great big pot luck for all their peasants routinely. And, um, how wonderful that Anita sees everyone as being her serfs. That’s not awful or essentially a form of slavery. Dr Lillian is sat with Anita, and it’s revealed that Anita injured Elizabeth so badly that Elizabeth is in hospital. Gregory is being cared for at the home even though bits of his skin came off. Micah and his lot are walking around. Dr Lillian starts talking about how Gregory is for serious injured and is full of all the drugs and – DUN DUN DUN – he may never hear again.

Dr Lillian is not an expert in ears. Perforated eardrums can heal themselves, you know. And if one of them has burst, truly, then that’s not too bad. My mum has a burst eardrum and she can hear perfectly fine.

Anita makes a face and snaps ‘That’s not acceptable’. Yeah, well, it’s your fault Gregory is so injured. You sat around having sex for three days instead of finding him. Dr Lillian says that if Anita was a true Nimir-Ra she could heal Gregory.


Anita starts woe-ing about how she’s totally for real going to become a leopard. Lillian reveals that Micah tried to heal Gregory but he couldn’t. For reasons, you know. I thought Anita’s injuries were soooooo serious that everyone thought she’d died? Anyway, Gregory has to shift but he can’t because of the druuuuugs and Lillian could give him druuuuugs but his heart might explode or something. Huh. That’s a pretty shitty natural healing ability. Lillian wants to do it anyway, and Gregory has given permission, but that’s not good enough so she’s asking Anita.

“So you’re coming to me like you’d go to a parent for a child,” I said.

Or like someone needing to refer to the person in charge of their medical decisions. What’s with using the imagery of children all the time? They talk about whether to get Stephen, Gregory’s brother and his next of kin involved, but Gregory belongs to Anita, so she’s not going to share her toys. She bitches about Richard and his democracy.

“Ideals are worth sacrifice, Anita.”

“Maybe, but I’m not a hundred percent sure I’ve ever held an ideal close enough to trade the people I love for. Ideals can die, but they don’t breathe, they don’t bleed, they don’t cry.”


You’ve all got it, folks. Never believe in anything, it’s just not worth it.

This fabulous lady is called Emily Davidson. She was a prominent suffragette. She died in 1913 when she ran out into the Epsom Derby to pin a banner for women’s rights on the King’s horse. This woman died so that all women who came after her could live in a world where they were the political equals of men. Not only that, but she went to prison nine times and had to suffer the torture of force-feeding forty nine times.

She gave her life so that I can vote. She suffered so that her fellow women could be free. I cannot begin to express how much respect I have for her.

Anita Blake is the most selfish and vapid creature I have ever had the displeasure to read about. She cannot conceive of anything that is worth fighting for. Not only that, but look at her words. She never talks of her sacrifice, only the sacrifice of other people. She would never put herself forwards, never risk her own skin for something as important and vital as an ideal. This is supposed to be a woman of faith and love, but she cannot even be bothered to fight for them on a personal level.

Because who needs ideals, anyway. Not all those women suffering without rights and under violence in the world. Not those who are still seen as being ‘less’ because they’re not what our society sees as being worthwhile. Who the fuck wants to vote or to be equal anyway?

I hate this book. I hate the fucking toxicity of the message.

Lillian brings up that Anita is religious.

“My religion isn’t an ideal. Ideals are abstract things that you can’t touch or see. My religion isn’t abstract, it’s very ‘stract’, very real.”

fuck you

Yeah, because Christianity doesn’t have any ideals at all. It’s not like it’s based on ten commandments, detailing an ideal of behaviour for humanity, or that the main prophet of Christianity gave all his followers an ideal to follow, to love thy neighbour.



Anita says that religion is more real than the ideals of, say, democracy because, well, she’s seen vampires react badly to religious artefacts. That stupid thing called democracy never plays any part in the day to day working of everyday life. You never get to see it in action, ever!

Anita, do you think that the President is just the guy who managed to fight off everyone else in the country in a big wrestling match? HOW DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND DEMOCRACY? I CAN’T GET OVER THIS.

Anita then talks about how amazing Wicca is even though she thinks all other gods except Christian God are make believe. She sees the fact that Wicca isn’t Christian is a failing of the church, not because Wicca is a completely separate religion. Lillian points out that there are Christian witches but Anita makes a face.

“They all seem to be zealots, as if they have to be more Christian than anyone else to prove that they’re good enough to be Christian at all. I don’t like zealots.”


May I remind you that Anita has said how all other gods are just make believe and that she has been directly blessed by God to go forth and behave as she wants. I don’t think she’s got any right to throw around the word ‘zealot’.

After this pointless detour, Anita gives permission for Lillian to pump drugs into Gregory that might make his heart explode. Because he’d be worthless if he isn’t pretty any more! Lillian goes off and Anita starts praying. This is the first time in ten books I can remember her actually doing this. Micah comes in, confirms that he does not pray and is surprised Anita does, and announces that he has to go.

God, I hope so.

Anyway, Micah has to go help Violet, who is part of his pack. She’s the ‘Nathaniel’, which makes me think she’s the last woman Micah raped and abused. He has to go help her and Anita pouts about all these secrets. You don’t know him! You have no right over what he does! They POWER at each other. Merle and Gina show up to hustle Micah outta here. Anita POWERS and sees his aura. Gina is bitchy for no reason. They leave and Lillian comes back in, presumably to make other organs explode in other people.

She has Wisdom to dispense.

“First, it’s nice to see you letting yourself follow your heart with someone new.”

Shut up Lillian. SHUT UP.

“Second, you don’t know this man very well. Be careful who you give your heart to, Anita.”

Those two statements don’t contradict each other at all. ‘Oh, fall in love with him, but don’t’. Shut up Lillian. Anita points this out and Lillian says she should follow both pieces of advice. Because that makes sense. Anyway, they go off to torture Gregory some more.

We’re almost half over! And… the plot hasn’t shown up yet. Sigh.

6 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Narcissus in Chains’ chapter twenty eight

  1. Laurell herself reminds me exactly of the zealots she just described. That’s….sad. Hilarious, but sad.

    Also, I get the feeling Elizabeth got to go to the human hospital because they’re literally unconcerned if bigots, say, sneak into her room and hurt her even worse while she’s helpless. They just don’t care.

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