Howdy! Kimberly ended up reading a whole bunch of Melissa Marr books recently, so we present an impromptu Wicked Lovely Week. Shortlink to the main post: http://bit.ly/w1ck3dwk
Tuesday 5/24 - Wicked Lovely - review by Kimberly
Thursday 5/26 - Ink Exchange - review by Kimberly
Friday 5/27 - Fragile Eternity - review by Kimberly
Saturday 5/28 - Radiant Shadows - review by Alethea
Sunday 5/29 - Darkest Mercy - podcast with special guest Kate G.
Tuesday 5/31 - last chance to enter to win Radiant Shadows - giveaway
Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr
Publication date: 20 April 2010
ISBN 10/13: 0061659223 | 9780061659225
Category: Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy
Format: Hardcover (also available in paperback, audiobook, and eBook formats)
Be warned! If you haven't read the previous books, this can be a bit spoilery.
I'll be honest--I bought them for the covers. That's right, I read Wicked Lovely, liked it but didn't love it... and when the next books came out I bought those too... and didn't read them. I still haven't read Ink Exchange or Fragile Eternity. I just love the cover art.
I kind of expected to put Radiant Shadows down after about 60 pages, but I kept going. Though I'm not a huge fan of fey stories I really like the base motif of faeries: nature in balance, opposites and duality. The main characters in the fourth book of the Wicked Lovely series personify this: Devlin, the High Queen's Bloodied Hands, was born of order and discord; Ani is a halfling daughter of Gabriel, the Hunter and a human woman.
Most halflings exhibit a little bit of one side or the other--fae or human--or sometimes the human side dilutes faery blood so much that the child is practically mortal. Ani is... different. She is also at the heart of Devlin's betrayal of High Queen Sorcha. The thin thread binding their lives together starts to stretch and strain as Sorcha and her twin/nemesis Bananach start changing their age-old struggle for balance, with Devlin, Ani, and new-made faery Seth as their knights and pawns.
I wasn't as thrilled with the main characters as I was with the tragic characters of Rae, a dreamwalker who exists half in and half out of Faerie, and Sorcha, who pines for her lost "son" Seth--he's chosen the mortal realm over hers. As one of the first two faeries, her depression and neglect soon threaten the destruction of her realm. It also allows her sister Bananach to start tipping the balance towards chaos...
Fans of romance and faerie politics will enjoy this. Call me bloodthirsty, but I expected more action; fights, especially where Devlin and Ani are concerned, tend to be brief and one-sided. There's little humor as well: everything's so very grim. For a novel that is so much about balance, the novel itself is a bit lopsided and tends to take itself too seriously for me to suspend all disbelief. If I'm that far outside of a story, I'm not in love.
Will I read the rest? I don't know. I'll have to sleep on it.
Check the previous post for the Splash into Summer Blog Hop, co-hosted by I am a Reader, not a Writer and Page Turners. You could win a copy of Radiant Shadows (from us) or any of another 200+ prizes (from the other blog hoppers!)