Monday, April 12, 2010

Review : Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr

Radiant Shadows (Wicked Lovely, #4)
Hunger for nourishment.  

Hunger for touch.

Hunger to belong.

Half-human and half-faery, Ani is driven by her hungers.
Those same appetites also attract powerful enemies and uncertain allies, including Devlin. He was created as an assassin and is brother to the faeries’ coolly logical High Queen and to her chaotic twin, the embodiment of War. Devlin wants to keep Ani safe from his sisters, knowing that if he fails, he will be the instrument of Ani’s death.
Ani isn’t one to be guarded while others fight battles for her, though. She has the courage to protect herself and the ability to alter Devlin’s plans—and his life. The two are drawn together, each with reason to fear the other and to fear for one another. But as they grow closer, a larger threat imperils the whole of Faerie. Will saving the faery realm mean losing each other?
--book summary via goodreads.com

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (April 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061659223
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061659225

 Review:
     Though I was caught off guard at the fact that none of the Summer or Winter Court characters appear in this book, I was not disappointed. I like learning about the lives of other characters and seeing the other side of the story, which is why I personally loved Ink Exchange so much. The story in this book centers around Devlin, Ani, and their roles in the possible futures of Faerie. 

     Since I only vaguely recalled Ani and Dev from Fragile Eternity, it was strange at first to focus on them as main characters. But I found myself quickly loving Ani! She's spirited, honest, and strong as a female character and I'm sure fans will like her. 

     Ani is the halfling "pup" of Gabriel from the Dark Court so two of my favorite fey, Irial & Niall, are intregal to the story as well. Anyone out there who loves these dark boys will be happy to see them again :) 

     Devlin is the High Court assassin, and the High Court's heavy involvement in the plot also brings the sexy Seth back as well. However, there is also Rae. I hate spoilers so I won't elaborate on this character except to say she was the one part of the book that totally confused me. I don't know if she is important in a later story or if I just really missed something, but her existence and infuence in the book just didn't make sense to me.
     
     But together with the other books, Radiant Shadows (book 5) works as another piece of the Wicked Lovely series as a whole, with its countless moving parts of vast faerie courts and countless faerie lives, which is what I love most about Melissa Marr's stories! It's this intricacy, vivid detail, and being able to see how specific people in both mortal and faery worlds are affected as they clash that makes it all come alive.

     This book is definitely not a stand-alone because these characters and others require the readers to have prior knowledge of them and their stories (like Iri & Niall's in Ink Exchange) so they know what is going on and who is who in the complex court politics. But it also gives readers of the series a chance to meet and love new characters as they enter that other world. Overall, I love it; it's the beauty of all these crazy components coming together in one unfathomable story arc that make the Wicked Lovely series amazing!

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