Monday, April 11, 2011

House of Cards by C.E. Murphy

House of Cards
I reviewed the first book in this series, Heart of Stone a while back, and I said at the end that I wasn't all that motivated to rush right out and buy the rest of the series. I ran across the next two books at the library bookstore, though, and at $1.50 each, I just couldn't pass up adding them to the library. So, here's my thoughts on the second book.

Margrit "Grit" continues to get herself more deeply involved in the affairs of the Old Races, and actually accepts a job with the leader of the vampires, Eliseo Daisani, as his personal assistant, even though this move is strongly opposed by her family and friends. Her relationship with Alban Korund, the gargoyle, begins to get more serious, as well, though her human boyfriend, Tony, really wants to make things work out between them despite their stormy past.

The central story line here is about the Selkies. It was presumed by all of the rest of the races that the Selkies had died out centuries ago, when the last of their kind swam off into the ocean, never to be heard from again. It was a surprise to most of them when a Selkie and her infant daughter turned up in HoS, and they are truly shocked when a new leader of the Selkies, Kaimana Kaiiai, appears on the scene to reveal that the Selkies have merely been in hiding in the tropical isles, interbreeding with humans until their race once again has enough numbers to be a valid force.

He has come to petition the Quorum (council of the races) that the half-Selkies and above be considered as full members now. Margrit, as The Negotiator, is to have a place at the table when the races meet. There also appears to be some conflict between Janx, the Dragon Lord, and Daisani, who may be having one another's minions killed off one at a time. Margrit's former boss at Legal Aid becomes a casualty in the conflict. The next suspected target is Malik, a Djinn who has been one of Janx's lieutenants for a long time, and Alban is blackmailed into watching over him to keep him safe.

So, if you're already involved in the series, and really just have to know all of their secrets, this book will reveal some, and leave others hidden for the third book, I assume. The only other revelation in this book is the veil being removed (actually it's an evening gown) on the mechanics of making love to a flying gargoyle. Given that Margrit mentions at one point that his kisses taste of stone, one begins to wonder other things...well, "Grit" is her nickname, after all.

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