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The Harlequin (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series #15)
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The Harlequin (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series #15)

4.3 758
by Laurell K. Hamilton

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Into Anita Blake's world-a world already overflowing with power-come creatures so feared that centuries-old vampires refuse to mention their names.


Into Anita Blake's world-a world already overflowing with power-come creatures so feared that centuries-old vampires refuse to mention their names.

Editorial Reviews

For most of us, harlequins are mischievous, mythic figures, nimble tricksters who entertain us with cartwheels and other acrobatics. For vampire hunter Anita Blake, the word carries a drastically different connotation. No one speaks of The Harlequin; the word is forbidden unless you have been contacted and to be contacted marks you for death. To save herself from this seemingly irrevocable sentence, Anita Blake must enlist the help of Jean-Claude, the Master Vampire of the City; alpha-werewolf Richard; Shapeshifters Nathaniel and Micah; and Edward. Dark, erotic action.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Hamilton just keeps getting better and better.
Library Journal

Vampire executioner Anita Blake is back in her 15th appearance, still spending most of her time dealing with her lycanthropy as she tries to avoid shifting into any of at least four animals. Belle Morte, the oldest vampire and the queen of darkness, is even more interested in Anita and invades her dreams, soliciting her as a potential human servant. As if that weren't enough, the St. Louis "Kiss" has aroused the attention of the Harlequin, a group of vampire enforcers who work in secret to discipline and execute those who run afoul of the Vampire Council. Hamilton uses a stream-of-consciousness style that would have benefited from tightening, but there is more plot and character development than in the last several installments. About halfway through, she drops the vampire politics, sex, and shapeshifting problems to tackle the renegade Harlequins and their animal and human servants. A huge cast of characters, both new and those returning from earlier books, could be confusing for listeners new to the series. The production quality is good, and Cynthia Holloway is a first-rate reader. Note, however, that there is graphic sex and violence. Recommended only for libraries that collect erotica and have significant Hamilton fans.
—Janet Martin

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series , #15
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Sales rank:
File size:
608 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Laurell K. Hamilton is a full-time writer and mother. Her bestselling Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novels include Narcissus in Chains, Obsidian Butterfly, Blue Moon, Burnt Offerings, The Killing Dance, Bloody Bones, The Lunatic Café, Circus of the Damned, The Laughing Corpse, and Guilty Pleasures. She is also the author of A Kiss of Shadows and A Caress of Twilight. She lives in a suburb of St. Louis with her family.

Brief Biography

St. Louis, Missouri
Date of Birth:
February 19, 1963
Place of Birth:
Heber Springs, Arkansas
B.A., Marion College

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The Harlequin (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series #15) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 739 reviews.
Havensbabe More than 1 year ago
Started out with excellent outline of the current timeline and situation that the characters are in. The build up was appropriate for the length of the book. With the European vampire council questioning Jean Claude and Anita Blake's combined powers in the previoius book, this is an excellent follow-on to Danse Macbre. This book finally exhibited that Jean Claude is the Master of the Triumvirate as well as the Master of St. Louis. Two thumbs up.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I adored everything in this series through Blue Moon, and could even appreciate Obsidian Butterfly, since I love Edward, but starting with 'Narcissus in Chains', and pretty much the whole ardeur thing, I became more torn. It isn't the sex scenes, which I find well-written, but the S and M scenes do disturb me, and Anita Blake is not somebody I would have expected to be such a willing victim, whether or not her life depended on it...Nathaniel frankly creeps me out, and I hate what Laurell K. has done to Richard...many of his faults are ALSO Anita's, ((maybe that's why he annoys her so much?)) and I could not believe the typos, such as Sylvie becoming unexpectedly straight and Hannah's name changing to Candy. They're in a desperate situation and Anita makes a frankly superior, smarmy speech re: 'doing the best for the people you love every day...'...to me this was the worst book of the series, but I'll always love Anita and the books from Guilty Pleasures to Blue Moon are almost a completely separate series than what follows, and I'll hope the characters start acting more like their old selves now that Anita has some measure of control over the ardeur...p.s. I understood the reasoning, but HATED that she slept with Rafael.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have all the books but have become disenchanted with the books after Blue Moon. They were enjoyable when Anita really was a necromancer and vampire slayer and the sex was just imagined between her,Jean-Claude and Richard. It was enjoyable even when they began having sex. Now the book is nothing about her jobs and all about sex. There's hardling any story any more. Just about how many more shifter and vampires she can have sex with and still have time to sleep. I miss the early stories.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Once I start reading I can't put the books down, I carry it with me everywere.Best series. I'll be sad when I get to the last one and have to wait months for the next one.anita blake is such fun, she doesn't take anyones bull and all the men in her life, wow
edowney1972 More than 1 year ago
I was hooked on Anita Blake's world with Narcissus In Chains which I picked up from a Sea-Tac bookstore out of a desperate need for something to read. After I devoured the book, I bought the rest of the books so I could read them in order from the beginning. I loved loved loved them. The descriptions of Anita raising bodies and why, the legalities of conferring rights on to Vampires, the difficulties with having a police force overseeing the "monsters" with a splash of sex and "monster" politics. Now the books are all sex and "monster" politics. I am so tired of will she/won't she sleep with the next guy. Will they/won't they be killed by the next big scary thing to come to town. That's all the books are since Narcissus in Chains. I only bought this one because a friend told me that she had heard a plot line had returned to the books and the sex had been toned down. She wanted me to be the guinea pig to see if she'd be interested in returning to the books. I told her not to bother. This one was better but not by much. Anita will be interesting again when humans go to her office to get their dead resurrected due to some complex emotion or legal reasons, when the preternatural investigation team needs her for a complicated crime scene, when Richard stops whining about not being human and when the development of the book doesn't hinge on Anita having sex or not having sex. There are a lot of terrific characters in these books and an amazing and fascinating world that Laurell K Hamilton developed and has almost abandoned.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Finally! The old Anita is back. Well, not exactly the old Anita but close enough. There is page after page of plot, not sex. Monsters abound with Anita and the gang fighting their way through super bad vampires. There are a few sex scenes and discussions about sex, which is OK, but maybe LKH learned you can have sex and the old elements of the series at the same time. She could probably win all of her old fans back and sell even more books now if she pleased everybody. This book is a step in that direction.
The first half of the book is mostly dialogue but the old Anitas were
like that, too. I was more than ready for Edward to make his appearance. It felt like old home week. Other reviewers have outlined the book so I won't do that. I just want to tell the old fans that they may want to give this book a try. If we show LKH how much we appreciate the old elements of the books, maybe she will include them in the next books, too. Heck, maybe we will even see a few zombines raised. Truly, a good read to check out.
HurricaneBridgette More than 1 year ago
I loved LKH writing style, this series and the Merry Gentry series, were fresh, full of wonderful powers, people, creatures, rules, old and new etc.... So I got into both of them, I stuck out the Merry Gentry series because there was only the 7 or 8, and I loved the first books of Anita Blake series. Anita, was tough, relgious yet had these "unnatural powers", her love affairs with Richard and Jeane-Claude was fun to read, but then came the aredur and her turning into just a big slut. I hate to say it, but even that happened in Merry Gentry series, LKH just move on to Erotica. This book does show how powerful Anita is or can be, if for not needing to have sex constantly and having chapter upon chapter of " I can't add another guy, maybe I love him, okay I will add another guy"...crap. I have read some more of the books after #15 one too. But I have to say unless things change in the writing style, It will be no more LKH books for me. Sad. So I would try to get this from the library before buying it. If you are sick of all the sex ....don't even check it out. Sorry Laura you have lost a fan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was much better than the last couple of books...granted the sex is very intense, it gets boring when thats all there is. I'm glad that this book kept me going for the anita blake series, it gave her a meaning more than just the ardeur and who was around her when it flared. This book really makes the reader continue on with the series...it was surely worth it!
grace_arlene More than 1 year ago
I am a huge Anita Blake Series fan. After Blue Moon, (which was my absolute favorite) the series took a downward spiral turn. It was agony to read but since I vested so much time reading the series I did not stop. As I read the Harlequin, it became intriguing towards the end with Olaf, Edward and Peter emerging from the Obsidian Butterfly, (one of the LKH greatest book yet). I have hopes for the next few books that are left.
DComfort More than 1 year ago
Ahhhhhh, finally the series is back on track. THANK YOU Ms. Hamillton!!! I truly enjoyed this series as found that it didn't contain too much sex, although the sex scenes that were involved were very very nice, and contained just the right amount of suspense and action, along with all the characters being brought back together. I also found that Jake's role in this book was surprising and very well placed. The Harlequin brought Olaf and Edward back into Anita's life based on a threat from what the Mother of Darkness created, called, surprisingly The Harlequin. It is composed of very old and powerful vampires who are capable of not just manipulating the behaviors and emotions of humans or younger vampires and lycanthropes, but of Jean-Claude, Anita, and Richard. Under this influence, Richard and Jean-Claude nearly kill each other, and Anita; however, Anita saves the day by almost eating, yet having sex, thus feeding off of energy, with Donovan, the Swan King and Belle Morte. Anita was able to determine the Harlequin was not following their own rules and so they were able to strike back and kill the two/three attempting to kill them. Anita also leaves her former allies, the were lions, to potential death. At a point where Anita and many of her other allies are injured, sex is demanded from the were lion Rex Joseph so that Anita could gain the power to heal. The Rex refuses because he is married and values being faithful to his wife. Oh, and Haven comes back to town to take over. Yum yum. I'm looking forward to Blood Noir. =)
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
THE HARLEQUIN, for me, redeems the Anita Blake series. Although there's still sex (which in itself has never been a problem for me), the ratio of sex to story has finally turned. There's an actual plot in THE HARLEQUIN, and it's a pretty dang good one.

The Harlequin, what is akin to the vampire police, has come to town -- presumably just to observe. It soon becomes apparent, however, that at least some members of this elite and uber-scary group have harsher things on their mind.

The usual characters are all here, as well as reapperances by Edward (aka Tod Forrester) and the serial killer, Olaf. Peter, the teen who was rescued several stories back, is also there.

Some typical things happen -- Richard (once again) has serious problems with Anita and the ardeur. Some new plot lines develop -- the local lion king refuses to help in a moment of need, and the swan leader comes to the rescue.

Overall, THE HARLEQUIN was a quick, satisfying read that I totally enjoyed. I have renewed faith in the Anita Blake series, and hope that the next book doesn't take away that feeling.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This series has reached the depth of bad taste and desperation. They are great fun to read, because they are so bad. No one should take it seriously. There is no longer a coherent plot, but who really cares! If you don¿t want to think and just need a touch of tedious, repetitive sex, this is a great series for you. Things likely to happen. The Harlequin is yet another magical organization. They want Blake. Why? Who cares? Everybody wants Blake, and she lets them have her over and over again. Blake will have more lovers (nothing new there, except for the almost lesbian sex). She will fight with Richard (nothing new there). She will try to control the ardeur, but not quite succeed. Edward comes in, not to kill anybody, but to be Blake¿s panderer. Someone dies. Not a main character. There is no plot. Who cares! Nothing is done. Who cares! More dangling plotlines are left dangling. All is right with AB & her harem after they chew the scenery and each other. There is no ending in sight for this highly unimaginative series, which is now simply awesomely bad garbage. Those of you who like NIC, CS, ID, Micah, DM, will love this book. Everyone who loved the first 9 books, you¿re going to hate it.
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I enjoyed reading the book! Laurell hamilton did again another great book.
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This was a good addition to the series. I enjoyed the book.
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