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Swallowing Darkness: A Novel [Anglais] [Poche]

Laurell K. Hamilton
3.7 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
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Description de l'ouvrage

24 novembre 2009 Merry Gentry
I am Meredith, princess of faerie, and at long last, I am with child–twins, fathered by my royal guard. Now I must stay alive to see my children born, as conspirators from every court plot against me and mine. They seek to strip my guards, my lovers, from me by poisoned word or cold steel. But I still have supporters, and even friends, among the goblins and the sluagh who will stand by me. Those who would defy and destroy me are destined to pay a terrible price. To protect what is mine, I will sacrifice anything–even if it means waging a battle against my darkest enemies and making the most momentous decision ever made as princess of faerie.

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Swallowing Darkness: A Novel + Divine Misdemeanors: A Novel + A Lick of Frost: A Novel
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Descriptions du produit

Extrait

Chapter One


Hospitals are where people go to be saved, but the doctors can only patch you up, put you back together. They can’t undo the damage. They can’t make it so you didn’t wake up in the bad place, or change the truth to lies. The nice doctor and the nice woman from the SART, Sexual Assault Response Team, couldn’t change that I had indeed been raped. The fact that I couldn’t remember it, because my uncle had used a spell for his date-rape drug, didn’t change the evidence—the evidence that they’d found in my body when they did the exam and took samples.

You would think being a real live faerie princess would make your life fairy-tale-like, but fairy tales only end well. While the story is going on, horrible things happen. Remember Rapunzel? Her prince got his eyes scratched out by the witch, which blinded him. At the end of the story, Rapunzel’s tears magically restored his sight, but that was at the end of the story. Cinderella was little better than a slave. Snow White was actually nearly killed four different times by the evil queen. All anyone remembers is the poisoned apple, but don’t forget the huntsman, or the enchanted girdle and the poisoned comb. Pick any fairy tale that’s based on older stories, and the heroine of the piece has a miserable, dangerous, nightmarish time of it.

I am Princess Meredith NicEssus, next in line to a high throne of faerie, and I’m in the middle of my story. The happy-ever-after ending, if it’s coming at all, seems a very long way away tonight.

I was in a hospital bed, in a nice private room, in a very nice hospital. I was in the maternity ward, because I was pregnant, but not with my crazy uncle’s baby. I had been pregnant before he stole me away. Pregnant with the children of men I loved. They’d risked everything to rescue me from Taranis. Now, I was safe. I had one of the greatest warriors that faerie had ever seen at my side: Doyle, once the Queen’s Darkness, and now mine. He stood at the window, staring off into the night that was so ruined by the lights from the hospital parking lot that the blackness of his skin and hair was much darker than the night outside. He’d removed the wraparound sunglasses that he almost always wore outside. But his eyes were as black as the glasses that hid them. The only color in the dim light of the room was the glints from the silver rings that climbed the graceful line of one ear to the point that marked him as not pure blood, not truly high court, but mixed blood, like me. The diamonds in his earlobe sparkled in the light as he turned his head, as if he’d felt me staring at him. He probably had. He had been the queen’s assassin a thousand years before I was born.

His ankle-length hair moved like a black cloak as he came toward me. He was wearing green hospital scrubs that he’d been loaned. They had replaced the blanket from the ambulance that had brought us here. He’d entered the golden court, to rescue me, in the form of a large black dog. When he shape-shifted he lost everything, clothes, weapons, but strangely never the piercings. The many earrings and the nipple piercing survived his return to human form, maybe because they were part of him.

He came to stand beside the bed, and take my hand—the one that didn’t have the intravenous drip in it, which was helping hydrate me, and get me over the shock I’d been in when I had arrived. If I hadn’t been with child, they’d have probably given me more medicine. For once I wouldn’t have minded stronger drugs, something to make me forget. Not just what my uncle, Taranis, had done, but also the loss of Frost.

I gripped Doyle’s hand, my hand so small and pale in his large, dark one. But there should have been another beside him, beside me. Frost, our Killing Frost, was gone. Not dead, not exactly, but lost to us. Doyle could shape-shift to several forms at will and come back to his true form. Frost had had no ability to shape-shift, but when wild magic had filled the estate where we’d been living in Los Angeles, it had changed him. He had become a white stag, and run out the doors that had appeared into a piece of faerie that had never existed before the magic came.

The lands of faerie were growing, instead of shrinking, for the first time in centuries. I, a noble of the high courts, was with child, twins. I was the last child of faerie nobility to be born. We were dying as a people, but maybe not. Maybe we were going to regain our power, but what use to me was power? What use to me was the return of faerie, and wild magic? What use was any of it, if Frost was an animal with an animal’s mind?

The thought that I would bear his child and he would neither know nor understand made my chest tight. I gripped Doyle’s hand, but couldn’t meet his eyes. I wasn’t sure what he would see there. I wasn’t sure what I was feeling anymore. I loved Doyle, I did, but I loved Frost, too. The thought that they would both be fathers had been a joyous one.

He spoke in his deep, deep voice, as if molasses, and other, thick, sweet things, could be words, but what he said wasn’t sweet. “I will kill Taranis for you.”

I shook my head. “No, you will not.” I had thought about it, because I had known that Doyle would do just what he’d said. If I asked, he would try to kill Taranis, and he might succeed. But I could not allow my lover and future king to assassinate the King of Light and Illusion, the king of our enemy court. We were not at war, and even those among the Seelie Court who thought Taranis was mad or even evil would not be able to overlook an assassination. A duel, maybe, but not an assassination. Doyle was within his rights to challenge the king to a duel. I’d thought about that, too. I’d half liked that idea, but I’d seen what Taranis could do with his hand of power. His hand of light could char flesh, and had nearly killed Doyle once before.

I had let go of any thought of vengeance at Doyle’s hand when I weighed it against the thought of losing him too.

“I am the captain of your guard, and I could avenge my honor and yours for that reason alone.”

“You mean a duel,” I said.

“Yes. He does not deserve a chance to defend himself, but if I assassinate him, it will be war between the courts, and we cannot afford that.”

“No,” I said, “we can’t.” I looked up at him then.

He touched my face with his free hand. “Your eyes glow in the dark with a light of their own, Meredith. Green and gold circles of light in your face. Your emotions betray you.”

“I want him dead, yes, but I won’t destroy all of faerie for it. I won’t get us all kicked out of the United States for my honor. The treaty that let our people come here three hundred years ago stated only two things that would get us kicked out. The courts can’t make war on American soil, and we can’t allow humans to worship us as deities.”

“I was at the signing of the treaty, Meredith. I know what it said.”

I smiled at him, and it seemed strange that I could still smile. The thought made the smile wilt a little around the edges, but I guess it was a good sign. “You remember the Magna Carta.”

“That was a human thing, and had little to do with us.”

I squeezed his hand. “I was making a point, Doyle.”

He smiled, and nodded. “My emotions make me slow.”

“Me, too,” I said.

The door behind him opened. There were two men in the doorway, one tall and one short. Sholto, King of the sluagh, Lord of that Which Passes Between, was as tall as Doyle, and had long, straight hair that fell toward his ankles, but the color was white-blond, and his skin was like mine, moonlight pale. Sholto’s eyes were three colors of yellow and gold, as if autumn leaves from three different trees had been melted down to color his eyes, then everything had been edged in gold. The sidhe always have the prettiest eyes. He was as fair of face as any at the courts, except for my lost Frost. The body that showed under the t-shirt and jeans he’d worn as part of his disguise when he came to save me seemed to cling to a body as lovely as the face, but I knew that at least part of it was illusion. Starting at his upper ribs, Sholto had extra bits, tentacles, because, though his mother had been high-court nobility, his father had been one of the nightflyers, part of the sluagh, and the last wild hunt of faerie. Well, the last wild hunt until the wild magic had returned. Now, things of legend were returning, and Goddess alone knew what was real again, and what was still to return.

Until he had a coat or jacket thick enough to hide the extra bits, he would use magic, glamour, to hide the extras. No reason to scare the nurses. It was his lifetime of having to hide his differences that had made him good enough at illusion to risk coming to my rescue. You do not go lightly against the King of Light and Illusion with illusion as your only shield.

He smiled at me, and it was a smile I had never seen on Sholto’s face until the moment at the ambulance when he had held my hand, and told me he knew he would be a father. The news seemed to have softened some harshness that had always been there in his handsome body. He seemed the proverbial new man, as he walked toward us.

Rhys was not smiling. At 5'6", he was the shortest full-blooded sidhe I’d ever met. His skin was moonlight pale, like Sholto’s, like mine, like Frost’s. Rhys had removed the fake beard and mustache he’d worn inside the faerie mound. He’d worked at the detective agency in L.A. with me, and he’d loved disguises. He was good at them, too, better than at illusion. But he’d had enough illusion ...

Revue de presse

“An emotionally charged and suspense-filled tale . . . with enough surprises, twists and turns to keep you guessing.”—Romance Reviews Today

“Wild magic and wilder sex.”—Publishers Weekly

“Nearly nonstop action.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Détails sur le produit

  • Poche: 416 pages
  • Editeur : Ballantine Books; Édition : Reprint (24 novembre 2009)
  • Collection : Merry Gentry
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0345495942
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345495945
  • Dimensions du produit: 2,7 x 19,6 x 16,8 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 3.7 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 83.237 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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En savoir plus sur l'auteur

Laurell K. Hamilton est née le 19 février 1963 dans une petite ville de l'Arkansas (Etats-Unis). Après des études d'anglais et de biologie, elle se tourne vers l'écriture. Elle est devenue la reine incontestée de l'urban fantasy. Ses deux séries phares, Anita Blake chez Bragelonne et Merry Gentry chez J'ai lu, mélange de sensualité et de fantastique, sont des best-sellers mondiaux.

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5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Par Helene
Format:Relié
La princesse Meredith Gentry est donc enfin enceinte, et grâce à elle le pouvoir revient peu à peu à tous les anciens Dieux et Déesses vivant dans le monde des faeries. Si les amants/gardes du corps de Merry lui sont d'une fidélité sans faille, on ne peut pas en dire autant des nobles Sidhes. Tous complotent contre elle, et menacent sa vie et son accession au trône. L'enfer se déchaîne dans 'Swallowing Darkness', notre princesse doit combattre contre les Seelies et les Unseelies, tous jusqu'à sa propre famille la trahissent. Elle doit utiliser tous les pouvoirs à sa disposition et s'allier avec humains et inhumains pour vaincre ses ennemis. On pourrait croire après avoir fermé le livre que c'est le tome final des aventures de Merry Gentry, tant la fin est heureuse, mais il n'en n'est rien. L'auteur a formellement démenti cette rumeur sur son site.
Honnêtement, ce livre palpitant et guerrier - avec beaucoup moins de scènes érotiques- que les autres m'a réconciliée avec le talent de LK Hamilton dont les dernières aventures d'Anita Blake m'ont beaucoup déçu. Je le recommande à ceux qui ont aimé le caractère spécial de Merry Gentry dans ses précédentes aventures.
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1.0 étoiles sur 5 à éviter 30 octobre 2011
Format:Relié
Encore une fois, une déception... Quel gâchis d'avoir initié une histoire, finalement, assez solide et de constater à quel point on s'en éloigne... Rien n'est crédible ; le style est pauvre (mais ça, on l'avait vu auparavant sur les deux séries), l'action poussive. J'ai acheté ce livre en me disant que c'était peut-être plus cohérent... hélas... déçue... je n'y reviendrai plus...
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0 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 magique! 17 janvier 2010
Par A. Vanessa VOIX VINE
Format:Poche|Achat vérifié
Pour les mordus de la saga Merry Gentry qui, comme moi, désespérés de ne pouvoir trouver la suite des premiers tomes en français se sont mis à les acheter en V.O. et les traduire, que dire de plus? Des livres qui se dévorent les uns à la suite des autres tant ils sont magiques : action, fantastique, romance, sexe, suspens... tout y est et plus encore.
Perosnnellement, c'est en lisant le premier tome de cette saga que j'ai découvert cet auteur et que par curiosité je suis allée voir ses autres oeuvres. C'est comme ça que j'ai découvert la sage des Anita Blake tout aussi passionnante et que je vais certainement devoir acheter en anglais également ( traduits que jusqu'au tome 10).
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 étoiles sur 5  247 commentaires
447 internautes sur 508 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Disappointed and furious. 5 novembre 2008
Par Professor J - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I'm not sure where to begin on this.

I've been reading the Meredith Gentry series for several years now, and when I realized book 7 was out I eagerly went to get it. I hadn't minded the series' decline from an intriguing urban fantasy into all! sex! all! the time!, mostly because the sex was hot and there was still enough political intrigue to keep me interested. Like other fans I was horrified by the cliffhanger ending of book 6, in which Frost got turned into a stag, and Merry was kidnapped and possibly raped by the Seelie King. I'd heard rumors that book 7 was to be the end of the series, so I was really expecting something big.

And I got... dreck. Utter dreck. Did somebody ghostwrite this for Hamilton? I hope so. Because she's a better writer than this -- I wouldn't have followed the series this far if I didn't think so -- and if this dreck is her work then that means she needs to take a break from writing for awhile. She's clearly burned out or bored.

It's hard to pinpoint what pissed me off most. I wasn't happy about the plot, which pretty much consisted of "the characters run here to do something, then they run there, then they run somewhere else." The last few books have been like that, so I'm used to it, but I really had hoped for more in this book, given that we had so many dangling plot threads to resolve. And while this book acknowledges these plot threads, it doesn't resolve them so much as handwave them out of existence. For example, Merry was assaulted by her uncle at the end of the previous book. But since she conveniently doesn't remember it, and apparently doesn't care that something horrible was done to her while she was unconscious, it has no psychological effect on her. She doesn't even think about it past the first ten pages or so of the book, and she never gets around to using the clever media manipulation strategy that she mentioned at the end of book 6 (scratch that -- we're *told* she uses it, but we don't get to see it). The rape, if it occurred, becomes irrelevant. I found this actively offensive; if a story includes a rape as a plot element, it really shouldn't be trivialized the way it is here.

On top of that, the book contains sudden, inexplicable personality changes in a number of characters. Cel, the series' primary villain, suddenly abandons all his intricate plots and plans and just walks in front of Merry's car with a sword to challenge her. Later, he just decides for no reason to tell her what a bad thing he's done, in a classic Villain Monologue. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Merry herself, who's spent the whole series using clever, nuanced diplomacy to solve problems (something I admired greatly about her) suddenly stops bothering and instead just whacks things with magic or a sword. Queen Andais, who I have to admit has been one of my favorite characters because she's so complex and messed-up -- she barely appears here, but when she does, she suddenly becomes one-dimensional and contradicts everything she's said and done for seven books. Seriously. It's as if she was secretly replaced with Taster's Choice. It's shameful.

I wasn't happy with the pace of the book, either, which was breakneck -- for no reason. The characters were running all over the place, but they weren't running *to* anyplace. They had no goal; they just reacted. It feels as though Hamilton just decided to toss as many plot threads at them as she could think of, just so she could hurry and wash her hands of the series and move on to something more interesting.

But by far the most infuriating thing to me was how Hamilton chose to resolve the biggest and most important plot threads of the series. I won't spoil the ending, but I'll just say this: it pretty much negates everything Merry has endured. All the deaths, all the blood and suffering, her rape (for whatever that mattered), her being forced to bear children on command, her father's death... the ending makes *the entire series* pointless.

Unless you feel that the point of the series was to get Merry laid, pregnant, and married off. And you know what? The sex scenes in this book are dreck too. For that alone, I want my $20 back.

I'm going to stop here, lest I lapse into incoherent raging profanity and make this review unpublishable. Suffice it to say that I do not recommend this book at all.
158 internautes sur 183 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Really awful. 17 novembre 2008
Par Kimberly Rieck - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
This novel is incoherent. It has no recognizable plot line. Merry and crew jump from scene to scene with no flow or transition. Certain members of her harem disappear from the book altogather and others pop up out of nowhere. Merry has new relatives that we have heard nothing of before. The defining characteristics of Doyle, Sholto, and many others have been completely separated from the way the characters have been depicted from the previous books. This is all extremely sloppy writing.

Speaking of sloppy, this book has another problem that many of LKH's books have. The proofreading is atrocious. I don't know what the problem is at the publishing house but they need to get a handle on this issue. When I pay over $20.00 for a book, I expect it to be relatively error-free. Just a personal issue but one I know many people have an issue with.

Many of the plotlines that have been connecting the books are ignored or concluded abruptly and unsatisfactorily. As mentioned in other books, the media storyline for Taranis is not followed up. LKH mentions that it happens, we are told it happens, but we never actually see it. The most basic premise of writing is to show the reader, don't tell them it happens.

Overall an unsatisfactory read. The only good thing about the book is that it ends numerous plotlines. Many dangling plotlines are resolved and few new ones are developed. If you are looking to get out of this series, this book is a good place.
167 internautes sur 196 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Do authors read this? 25 novembre 2008
Par Neker - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I read in another reviewer's comments that this was the last in the series. Huh...well...you wouldn't know it by reading the book. Since Hamilton left characters and situations hanging all over. When I started this book I was pleasantly surprised on two accounts. First Hamilton managed a catchy beginning by bringing up the rape cliffhanger from the previous book. Then she somehow dug really deep and did not bring up sex for a whole 150 pages....aaaannnnd that's about the only two nice things I can say.

On the down side, the rape situation was dropped and never came to a closure. Apparently it was way more important to laminate over Frost turning into a stag because, you know, even though he is alive and will probably get his life back in another 100 years that wasn't good enough for the character. Hamilton (in her like and continous fashion of not being able to separate Anita from Merry) turned Merry into a selfish puck. If Merry was truly the giving, loving soul, Hamilton tries to paint her as, she would love him enough ('cause, you know, the character "says" she loves him) to be happy that he is okay, not hurting, and will be fine. Her character is the only one hurting and apparently (again, Anita like selfishness) that is all that matters.

The reader is then treated to the condescending VOICE normally found in the Anita Blake series. Now we have the character, Merry, "explaining" things to the reader. (You know, cause we be two stupid to figure it out so we needs Hamilton to spell it out four us.) Near the end of the book I wished I made tally marks for every time the character thought in her head these words: "some people may think . . . but." Another sore spot for me was that for several books now, it was pointed out that once Merry got pregnant she would "marry" the father of her child and become monogamous. Well, ho!ho! Apparently, Hamilton decided to pull another Anita switchero and decided..."What? Monogamous? Who said anything about monogamous? Phewy! Everyone knows only the men are monogamous in Hamilton books!" Then, Hamilton noticed there were two men Merry hadn't done the nasty with so she threw those two in for kicks and giggles.

I think I'm at the point where I read Hamilton's books just so I review them. I'm enjoying trashing her novels more than I enjoy reading them. But, hey, you got to get your kicks somewhere;-)
23 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Good book with a few irking points 26 juin 2009
Par Niki D - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Man, there are a lot of harsh reviews out there on this book. I found it a bit fast paced. Poor Merry barely had time to sit down between battles and Doyle getting the stuffing kicked out of him. Seems like he was hurt for most of this book. It was not a bad book, and those of you that are following the series absolutely must take time to read it. It barely had any sex in it. I was hoping for a meaningful scene bt her and Sholto with his actual form to put him in firmer place in the series but I'm sure she'll cover that at some point. Not just the warm up to it as she did in this latest installment.

Her description of the wild hunt scenes really had me impressed I have to say. This author has a very fertile mind and I would absolutely hate to have her nightmares. There are many reviews on here disappointed with the ending. But honestly, how much do you expect Merry to give up and risk for a people that neither deserve nor support her? Should they be rewarded for their predjudices? While Merry loses everything. More than she has already lost? Watch her children be slaughtered? Come on now. I know this is fiction but the point is...all good fiction has to have some basis in real emotion and reality. It's the earmarkings of a truely wonderful writer. Live vicariously if you must, punch your fist in the air with every victory, but don't complain when realism rears its head. Are you mad she gave up so much and still ended up in LA? Good. I'm sure that was the point, so kudos to Mrs Hamilton.

There are however, a few things that I noticed. And if I'm mistaken, someone please correct me. Is not kitto supposed to be 4'11 and not 4'? And did Onliwyn not die when the sithern in LA was born? The dog chose not to lick him back to life...then how was he a part of the assasination attempt on Mistral? I even went back to Lick of Frost to make sure I didn't have one of the men mixed up.

I also noticed there are two unknown dna samples in the rape kit. I wonder what will come of that.

Whatever it may be, I will still continue to read the series. I hope that people don't bother reading the reviews before they pick up a book. At the end of the day, you read it for you. You cannot please everyone. If you are not happy with the way the author chose to tell the story I suggest you put your fingers to the keyboard and do a better job at weaving your own tale for the rest of us.

read the book, don't expect it to be a typical merryverse book. But not every day in your life is the same either. The same ol' same ol' is trite and this story made room for many characters to grow.
47 internautes sur 57 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Scary Fairy. 6 novembre 2008
Par Bloomsbury - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Apparently in answer to her critics who regularly cite the lack of plots as a major problem with her books, Laurell K. Hamilton has attempted to address the issue in her latest release.

The unspeakably named "Swallowing Darkness" has LOTS of plots. They don't make much sense, they're not connected to what has already happened in the series, & several are very silly, but it's a start. Unfortunately the author's technique means the plots are little more than an array of undeveloped ideas. Such resolution that occurs is as a quick afterthought, & many of the characters behave, well, uncharacteristically, as has already been pointed out in a previous review.

Merry herself is developing, seemingly into the author's favourite character. Now we have a cranky psycho that kills people when she's not having sex with weird looking men, & has serious family issues. Remind you of anyone?

Mercifully there's less sex than in the last Anita Blake novel,but its still earnestly written as if the author were taking notes for a 1970's sex researcher. Clinical descriptions of bad sex aren't erotic, but perhaps that's just me.

Along with the mysterious changes in characters' motivations & personalities, we're expected to swallow (sorry) that there aren't any problems associated with Merry being raped by her uncle. Yes, she can't remember it, but for heaven's sake! To have such a strong ending to the last Merry book followed by this cop out is ridiculous.

If the author wishes to engage with challenging subject matter such as rape, incest & paedophilia (see "Kitto" in the Merry series & "Nathaniel" in the Anita Blake books) it's essential that the issues be treated seriously. To flirt with such important socially unacceptable & criminal practices without depth or full exploration of the consequences is trivializing the behaviour & must be offensive to victims of these crimes in real life. We're left with the unavoidable conclusion that it's in there for titillation, & surely the author doesn't mean this.

Laurell K. Hamilton needs to spend more time on some basics - developing the plot in a consistent & believable way for one. Many of the problems with this book come across as simple shoddy workmanship. Rigorous rewriting, some strong editing & time spent planning would have made for a much better book.
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