WARNING!!! This review has a lot of sexual content in it.
No, the title doesn’t mean that Anita Blake is in Chains. Narcissus in Chains is a bondage club that Anita goes to in order to save her were-leopard, Nathaniel. If you follow my blog and my reviews, you know that I don’t think too highly of the lead character, Anita Blake and I think she is narcissistic among other things.
Now, I think she is a slut. I’ve been thinking that for a while now but this book just confirms my suspicions.
Gregory calls Anita to tell her that Nathaniel, one of her adopted were-leopards, is in trouble. Nathaniel likes to frequent bondage clubs as a submissive. Anita sends Elizabeth, a dominant were-panther, with Nathaniel to protect him but Gregory told her that Elizabeth left. Elizabeth doesn’t like Anita and defies her at every turn. A man gets on the phone and tells them that his name is Marcus and tells her that he has Nathaniel and Gregory and suggests that they are being tortured. He tells her to come to Narcissus in Chains if she wants to rescue them.
She calls Jean-Claude to help her rescue Nathaniel even though she hasn’t spoken to him in over six months. She has a habit of treating Jean-Claude like crap but expecting him to come to her rescue when she needs him and he always does come to her rescue. He tells her that he thinks that he needs to give her the fourth mark to become his human servant if they want to be powerful enough to rescue the leopards. Anita has three marks already and is Jean-Claude’s human servant but she is not subservient to him. She, along with her were-wolf boyfriend, Richard who she hasn’t seen in six months either, are part of a tri-umverate…not to be confused with a menage a trois (she was sleeping with both Jean-Claude and Richard but not both at the same time or in the same bed) . A tri-umverate is when a master vampire, a were-animal and a necromancer join forces and become super powerful.
When they get to the club, her weapons are taken from her. The owner, Narcissus, explains to her that his club is neutral territory for were-creatures and that nobody is allowed weapons. He sent his men in to the room where Nathaniel and Gregory are to stop any abuse until Anita can go in to save them.
It gets kind of strange from there. The author sometimes goes a little wild with her descriptions of power and how the power affects Anita Blake and everyone around her. It gets tedious and I have to read about it about a thousand times in each book so I find myself skipping paragraphs and pages hoping that I don’t miss anything vital to the plot. Jean-Claude has to give Anita the final mark. Richard arrives and they somehow end up being on center stage while she gets her mark. I wasn’t sure exactly how Jean-Claude gave it to her because I was skipping a lot. I know there was a lot of writhing bodies, a lot of sexual tension and a lot of power involved. It seemed to take a long time. Meanwhile, Nathaniel and Gregory are most likely in agony from being tortured. Narcissus sent his men in to stop it but not save them. I’m thinking as I read it, that Anita is getting her jollies off while her leopards are suffering. I think, “Finally, she has her mark. Now, she can go up and save them.” But no…she decides that she is going to finally have sex with both Jean-Claude and Richard at the same time. Narcissus takes them into a bedroom and I thought they were going to all have sex but then they didn’t. Narcissus plays a bunch of mind games and then Anita finally goes without Jean-Claude and Richard to save her were-leopards.
Anita ends up getting hurt. A snake shifter almost kills her so Gregory shifts into leopard form and dives between Anita and the snake. He accidently claws her while saving her. She blacks out and remembers bits and pieces of people trying to save her.
She wakes up in between two men that she does not recognize. She learns they are were-leopards. One is the Nimir-Raj or the king of another leopard pard. Anita is the Nimir-Ra of her leopards. She is human and doesn’t think she can handle being their queen so she has been interviewing prospective leaders. The Nimir-Raj, Micah, who she woke up with invited into her territory by Elizabeth without Anita’s permission. He apologized. He tells her that she was dying so the leopards were taking turns keeping her warm to save her. When Gregory scratched her, they believe he may have infected her with the lycanthrope virus and she may turn into a pooty tat on the next full moon.
She finds out that Richard took Gregory and the wolves are voting on his punishment for killing their lupa. A lupa is the the mate of the were-wolf leader who is Richard. Anita is the lupa or was. I guess since Anita might turn into a were-leopard, she is considered dead to the were-wolves. Richard thinks Gregory scratched her on purpose.
What does Anita do? She has sex with Micah. I guess the fourth mark that Jean-Claude gave her makes her super horny where she needs to have sex to feed herself or she could go crazy. Jean-Claude did warn her that this could happen. His line of vampires are basically incubus and not only feed off blood but need sex also to live. The horniness comes on shortly after waking and is called ardeur and if Anita doesn’t have sex or something close to it, it will just get stronger and she could end up humping strangers. Wow! Just when I think Laurell K. Hamilton can’t make any more excuses for Anita Blake to hump on everyone, she comes up with something new. First, it was the munin, the spirit of a crazed rapist and nymphomaniac, who possessed Anita and made her want to have sex with everyone and now it is the ardeur.
She leaves and goes to Jean-Claude’s place and goes to sleep. She wakes up and starts molesting Nathaniel. Nathaniel is kind of pathetic. He is a victim and adores Anita. He likes bondage sex with lots of pain and is the submissive. The ardeur takes over so instead of having sex with Nathaniel, she bites him all over his back and butt and she enjoys it. I didn’t have too much respect for her before this scene but molesting a helpless, child-like person made me lose any remaining respect I had for Anita Blake’s character. The author tried to make it seem like it was a good thing and that Nathaniel loved it but rape is rape. When it comes to certain people who are child-like and submissive, they can’t and won’t say no and if you take advantage of them, it is rape even if they say yes. It’s like sleeping with a mentally handicapped person. Later, she lets Jason who is a were-wolf and Nathaniel suck on her breasts with Jason’s hand in her pants while Jean-Claude and Asher (another vampire who is in love with Jean-Claude) feed on Jason and Nathaniel….so she has four men and herself in a bed. I notice the author likes man on man action but not female on female. Almost all of the men in this series are bisexual.
Anita meets up with the were-rats and Micah and his leopard pard at her home because they agreed to stand with her against the were-wolves to save Gregory. The were-wolves had voted that if Anita meets up with them at their sacred grounds in the woods and if she passes their test, she can have Gregory back. Oh, and Richard has to choose a new lupa to replace her. When she arrives at her house, Elizabeth comes up to Anita and is super disrespectful. Anita shoots her a bunch of times to teach her a lesson in respect. Nice!
Anita wins back Gregory and Richard doesn’t choose a new lupa….and guess what?? Anita has sex with Richard. In the morning, she uses her newfound ardeur powers on him and feeds off him even though she knows he hates anyone feeding off him in any way. He breaks up with her permanently. I think she deserved it but she cries and cries.
There is a bunch of other stuff that happens in this book but most of it was about her ardeur and her powers and how Anita always saves the day with her powers. She always has these super powers but always only realizes to use them after people are tortured and raped (because the author always has to include rape) and then she saves everyone because she is supposedly so awesome.
I think if I had a rating system, I would want to rate this as two out of five stars but then when I think about it…if an author can get me all riled up about a book like this and still keep me reading the series, then the book deserves at least three stars.