by: Melissa Marr
I briefly mentioned Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series of books in a previous post nearly a year ago. I want to revisit them for a number of reasons.
1. That's what happens when you read really good books....you want to tell everyone about them!
2. The fourth book was recently published.
3. I follow Melissa Marr on Twitter (@melissa_marr) and she seems like a really fabulous person as well as writer so, ya know, I want good things for her and for people to read her books so she can live her life AND write more.
4. She does this really cool thing where librarians and/or bloggers can get on a list and a traveling ARC will be sent to them to read. I just got it in the mail today so it was a handy reminder to blog about it. I read it when it came out but my students have been passing my copy around so I haven't had a chance to sit down with it and blog. I like to have the book handy in case I need to reference it :)
So now, on with the review... I think you already get the picture that I like this series. Like, really, REALLY like it! Marr's faeries are actually interesting! So often in tales of faerie the actual faeries are fairly one sided. They tend to be ruled only by whim. While there is some of that here there is more depth and well, character to her characters!
We were first introduced to this world of Fae in Wicked Lovely. Since then we've visited the characters in Ink Exchange and Fragile Eternity. Each book focuses on a different character and the choices they make. This isn't a series where you follow one person through...more like companion books. We see some of the same characters but they may play a supporting role rather than starring.
In Radiant Shadows we follow Ani and Devlin. Ani wants to lead the Wild Hunt like her father does. However, she is part mortal and entirely different than any other faerie, even her part mortal siblings. Devlin too is different. He was not born but created out of the earth as the first male faerie. Marr writes of him, "Order and Discord made him as if carved of stone, a sculpture crafted by two who would never work together again."
The aspects that make Ani and Devlin so different from all others, alienate them from other fae, actually draw them together. When they meet properly for the first time each knows that something has changed.
As with in previous Wicked Lovely books the influences between the faerie world and the mortal world are ever-shifting. The balance between Order and Discord is out of sync. There is not necessarily a cut and dried "good" and "evil." I like this. Characters make their choices and the consequences occur. It's real (well, in a faerie sort of way!) Relationships change. Characters actually make choices and struggle with decisions. I feel like this is so important in novels!! I feel like the books that I read when I was younger were full of characters who always did the right or wrong thing. There was no depth, no thought process. That is certainly not the case here.
Marr's books are truly darkly delightful. Readers enter a realistically fantastical world where things can be wicked yet lovely, fragile yet eternal. Radiant Shadows is not only a beautiful name, it is fitting. Read it. The only thing you'll regret is the wait for the fifth book!