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Hands Of Flame (Negotiator Trilogy/Old Races Universe #3)

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,883 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
War has erupted among the five Old Races, and Margrit is responsible for the death that caused it. Now New York City's most unusual lawyer finds herself facing her toughest negotiation yet. And with her gargoyle lover, Alban, taken prisoner, Margrit's only allies—a dragon bitter about his fall, a vampire determined to hold his standing at any cost and a mortal de ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Luna (first published September 1st 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jacob Proffitt
Jan 23, 2012 Jacob Proffitt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
While I'm finished with the book, I didn't actually "finish" it. I'm afraid the unnecessary melodrama just got to be too much for me. I just can't square Alban's passive aggressive refusal to defend himself (for defending Margrit) with his profession of love for her. I'm sorry, but if a) you'd do it again if the circumstances re-occurred and b) you don't actually believe the cultural baggage that humans are an inferior, lesser race undeserving of defense, then agreeing with (and being prepared t ...more

“Hands of Flame” is the third and final installment in the Negotiator Series. It wraps up Margrit’s transition from the human world to her total involvement in the world of the Old Races. In this book, Margrit is called upon to negotiate an agreement between two of the Old Races as their war threatens to spill over to the human world and jeopardize the secrecy of the races.

Frankly, I had a hard time getting through this book. It lacked something and I’m just not sure what it was. There
Feb 02, 2010 Barbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 Stars...I loved it!

I have to start off by saying I am/was very surprised at how good and addicting this Trilogy became...I'll be honest and also say that I didn't see it coming.

The first started slow, but them BAM! I was hooked before I new it. I broke one of my main personal rules with this one. I read all 3 back to back to back, and I never got bored. Murphy answered (almost) every question she put out there...BUT I'm still wondering about Chelsea though (for anybody that's read this...did
This is definitely the best book in the series. Margrit gets caught up in all kinds of double crossing with the Old Races and almost dies a couple of times. The Djinn and Selkies are fighting over who gets Janx's territories. The Negotiator has to step in and propose a deal that will keep people from dying. Even Tony gets in the middle of everything. The truth about Grace is revealed and Janx and Daisani discover if they have heirs. A really good end to an interesting series of books. This book ...more
Actual Rating: 3.5 (Solid book, well written, but I probably won't reread)

Overall I loved this series. I give it a solid 4/5. I was introduced to C.E. Murphy through her Walker Papers books. And I love her Walker Papers books. This series was good as well, but honestly I find it lacks the polish and appeal that made WP such an amazing series. It's a little rough around the edges, but the heart is genuinely enjoyable.

The Series as a Whole

The series as a whole I'd give a 4 star rating. It's well
Lynsey   • The Demon Librarian
Nice conclusion to the trilogy.

Notice I used the word 'nice'? Not 'amazing' or 'explosive', or 'epic', just 'nice'. I was hoping that this would be the book that tipped this trilogy over the precipice from good to great, but sadly not. It all boils down to the meh-ness of the main character, Margrit, unfortunately. She's a human fighting for survival among the strongest of the supernatural races, who all allow her to stick her nose into their business just because she's good with the words. Th
Nov 17, 2008 Dana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, sad. This is the last book in the trilogy. I grant you, the ending has enough closure to make it seem tied up while allowing room for further stories later, but the author says at the beginning that she's going back to her other series for a while, so we probably won't hear more about Margrit, Alban, et al for years.

And I do want to hear more. This book takes up right where the second one left off, but now that the main political machinations seem done amongst the Old Races as groups, we get
May 01, 2010 Vanessa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murphy-c-e
The last book in the series was not fascinating nor extremely entertaining. Margrit, the main character seemed to have lost some of her tenacity and I was doubting her feelings toward Alban. The overall series is good but its not action packed nor thought provoking. It is a detour from the typical supernatural characters. Several myths or fictional characters (like vampires, djins, dragons) that have been written about to exhaustion come together under a code that governs them maintaining their ...more
Jami Leigh
Jan 27, 2012 Jami Leigh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, 5-stars, 2012, trad-pub
Utterly adored this series. Went in a bit skeptical, because even though I adore her Walker Papers series, I am hard on Urban Fantasy, as a genre.

Only thing? THE END. Oh. My. Effing. Deities!!

There needs to be more of this world. Seriously. The last, oh, 5 pages or so, left these threads spread out so wide that I ache to find out What Happens Next. And really, I rarely want to know what happens after the book/series ends. This one? Need more. *grumbles at being only a trilogy* Maybe someday sec
Not as enamoured of this third installment in the trilogy. Only touched on the relationships between the characters superficially instead of deepening and enriching them as you should expect as the series progresses. This book was all about the various plot points and tying them up so the author could take a break from the series. Still a worthwhile read, but disappointing.
Red Lace
Sep 27, 2015 Red Lace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: urban fantasy fans
The alliance between the Old Races is becoming increasingly unstable and once again Margrit Knight finds herself thrust into the middle. Trying her best to stop all-out war, please those whom she owes, as well as deal with new issues that arise, she realises priorities in her life have changed, and she may never fit back into her old way of living.

(Please be aware that this review may contain spoilers before reading further.)

Upon reading through this book, I couldn't help but think finally, fin
Mindy Mymudes
Jun 09, 2011 Mindy Mymudes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this series. There were many characters that I wish had been expounded on, but I discovered that C.E. Murphy has short stories with Janx, Biali and Malik. I bought them.

In C.E. Murphy's world, gargoyles, selkies, djinn, dragons, and vampires, make up the old races, the last remaining on Earth. Humans have been crowding them out and the Old Races are both hidden and going extinct.

Times have changed, however the immortal Old Races have not. Alban, a gargoyle, watches over Margrit, a human
Dec 22, 2011 Manda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 30, 2011 Deva rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book, just like book 2, made me tired. Margrit wheeled and dealed until death knocked on her door again multiple times. Overall, the entire trilogy was phenomenal. I've said in the past that I hate when the writer does a cop out and we find out that our heroine has some kind of already paranormal ability. Margrit had none. She was so human that she got her ass kicked several times, yet still lived to tell about it. We also solve the mystery of Grace O Malley in this book. It was underwhelim ...more
Mar 29, 2011 Daffodil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Great wrap up for the trilogy. There were a few questions I would have liked answers to, but the major story arc came to a satisfactory conclusion. Margrit's attempts to negotiate between the Old Races leads her farther away from her old life and deeper into danger, endangering her life on more than one occasion. I loved the sly Buffy reference when Margrit said she wanted her future tombstone to read She changed the world. A lot. One of Margrit's most admirable traits is her drive to make the w ...more
Martina the Book Fairy
The series is a UF trilogy - the trilogy part being somewhat rare these days as series often last a minimum of 6 books and as many as 20+ (hello, LKH!).

They take place in NYC and are about a lawyer named Margrit Knight who stumbles across paranormal creatures existing right among all the humans - djinn, Selkies, dragons, vampires, and gargoyles. She quickly finds herself embroiled in the politics of these "old races" and not much more than her brain, a touch of bravery and a ton of "grit" will g
Tracy Riva
Hands Of Flame by C.E. Murphy was in interesting, but not engrossing read. The story is well populated with mythological creatures and conflict abouunds. There is a different kind of paranormal romance - yes happily no vampires or werewolves as part of the romance - a diverting change, but the book simply seems to be missing a vital spark. I found it hard to stay interested in and it took me over a week to read the 441 page book.

Hands Of Flame has almost too much going on at once. The book is so
Beth Cato
Apr 10, 2012 Beth Cato rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in, urban, fantasy, 2009
The final book of The Negotiator trilogy picks up not long after the second book. Margrit Knight, a New York City lawyer, has fallen in deep with the Old Races hidden within the city. So deep that one of their deaths is on her hands - and civil war is about to break out because of it. If that's not enough, Grit's gargoyle lover, Alban, has been chained and is subject to a gargoyle tribunal. The dragon Janx and vampire Daisani also have their place in events, calling in favors owed by Margrit - f ...more
Jul 08, 2011 Tracy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Thrilling Trilogy Conclusion
They may have graced her with the title of Negotiator, they may have acknowledged her as a representative of her race, but they are and forever will be other.

New York City hasn't seemed the same to Legal Aid lawyer Margrit Knight in the months since she was pulled into the world of Old Races. She hasn't seemed the same, even to herself, especially in the two weeks since the actions she took against the djinn Malik to protect dragon crime lord Janx directly led to Mali
Feb 09, 2013 Nunya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ok, let me just make this clear....I refuse to believe that this is then end! I REFUSE! (SPOILERS)

I'm rating the entire series btw. This was sooooo intense. I loved the characters, their personalities, their divisiveness, everything just made it seem so real. How they interacted, their quirks, how they went about their business and negotiations. Every situation was looked at from all angles and point of views and how they may not just impact the main character but all those involved. I liked ho
Aug 30, 2011 Joni rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hands of Flame by C. E. Murphy

Margrit is a lawyer caught up in the world of the Old Races, creatures humans think to be from myth and fairytale: dragons, gargoyles, selkie, djinn. She was inadvertently thrust into the world of the Old Races, and no matter how often she tried to walk away, she's been drawn deeper into their midst. She's been given the honorific title “the Negotiator” because she uses her lawyer's skills to help settle disputes amongst the races. In Hands of Flame, she's called up
Aug 06, 2009 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I'm long on record as getting a lot of enjoyment out of C.E. Murphy's work, and Hands of Flame is no exception. It's a fine conclusion to the Negotiator Trilogy, bringing some resolution not only to heroine Margrit's relationship with the gargoyle Alban, but also to the humans close to her. Played off against the more personal relationship is the development of her station among the Old Races, with whom she has gained enough status that they've given her a new name: The Negotiator.

There's some g
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 15, 2008 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: supernatural, fantasy
Ooh, this was a good one, though it felt slightly rushed. There seemed to be a lot more story to tell than fit into the page volume, so the action was pretty much nonstop and it felt like a really wild roller coaster.

In this book (third in the Negotiator series), all secrets are revealed with a vengeance, and the accumulated debts and promises from the first two books are all collected and distributed appropriately. (It felt a bit like the Mahabharata, when everything comes due.) Very satisfying
Barbara ★
Jul 16, 2015 Barbara ★ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the negotiator between the five old races - vampires, dragons, djinns, selkies and gargoyles - Margrit gets herself in serious trouble...time after time. This time Alban, her gargoyle lover is held captive in gargoyle form and Margrit will do whatever is necessary to save him. She gets in many you do for me and I'll do for you situations with the dragon lord and the vampire king. Her life is in danger as is her friends. The action is exciting and the battle scenes between the five races are u ...more
Although I didn't enjoy this novel as much as Heart of Stone, it was still very well written. This novel is given over mostly to plot and structure and that's not usually what piques my interest in a book. I read more for setting and character.

It's almost as procedural as a courtroom drama. However, I think it's a build-up for future works in the series.

There are many interesting stories to be pursued and that's what Murphy's laid the groundwork for here in "Hands".

I will read on in the series
Feb 02, 2013 Nikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was fantastic! There was so much I enjoyed! The only reason it doesn't get a full five stars is (view spoiler) ...more
Jean Tatro
Sep 03, 2008 Jean Tatro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those that read the first two
Shelves: urban-fantasy
It took me awhile to get into this book, by I soon got caught up in the action. Unfortunately the book slows down in the last section, which I blame partly on the tying up of loose ends and partly on the high energy middle section. This book doesn't have a plot to itself so much as it continues with the conflicts and unresolved problems from the first two books. Although there are definitely new twists.

I'm pleased to say that it answers all the major questions and plot lines that have come up in
Esther Byrt
Feb 23, 2014 Esther Byrt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable urban fantasy with dragons, gargoyle's and other Old races who live among us. Our heroine is smart, although stubborn and sometimes foolhardy, and a character that can be respected and rooted for. I will be buying the next in the series.
Aug 11, 2014 Veevee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this series to death! The characters and plot were amazing... even though I can't help but draw similarities the The Morganville Vampires series for some reason *shrugs* I would definitely recommend this series.
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C.E. Murphy is a writer of fantasy novels and short stories. She also writes "action-adventure romance" novels under the pseudonym Cate Dermody, which was her grandmother's maiden name.
More about C.E. Murphy...

Other Books in the Series

Negotiator Trilogy/Old Races Universe (4 books)
  • Heart of Stone (Negotiator Trilogy/Old Races Universe #1)
  • House of Cards (Negotiator Trilogy/Old Races Universe #2)
  • Baba Yaga's Daughter & Other Tales of the Old Races

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“All thinking things fear. Sentience, perhaps, is facing that fear and conquering it rather than succumbing. A tiger will drown in a tar pit, but a man who can clear his thoughts may survive.” 1 likes
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