Friday, February 25, 2011

New Review...Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr


The Summer King is missing; the Dark King is bleeding; and a stranger walks the streets of Huntsdale his presence signifying the deaths of powerful fey.
Aislinn tends the Summer Court, searching for her absent king and yearning for Seth. Torn between his new queen and his old love, Keenan works from afar to strengthen his court against the coming war. Donia longs for fiery passion even as she coolly readies the Winter Court for battle. And Seth, sworn brother of the Dark king and heir to the High Queen, is about to make a mistake that could cost his life.
Love, despair, and betrayal ignite the Faery Courts, and the final conflict, some will win...some will lose everything.

My love for the Wicked Lovely Series has sadly reached its end. Not in a bad way, mind you...and it most definitely does not mean that old memories can't be revisited at any time that the itch needs to be scratched. With Darkest Mercy, once again, Melissa Marr had me riding the emotional roller coaster that began all those books ago (that have been lent out and well loved many a time).

Here's a link to an Amazon vid with Melissa Marr discussing the series here...

First off, the admiration I have for an author who knows and respects her reader by not dumbing down or pulling punches is reinforced whenever I discover someone who resides on the opposite end of the spectrum. (Case in point, you don't need to necessarily remind me with specific terms what genre your work is...especially in the midst of the action. It makes me sad.) This, however, doesn't preclude the fact that I will make inarticulate sounds, gasp, sob, or even (yes) yell as I read. Which, I seem to do far more with this series (and Carolyn Crane's Mind Games, etc.) than any other. Exhausting...

Side note: I would love to send some love to my local Borders...with all the craziness surrounding my fave big box bookstore (there aren't many indie shops in my neck of the woods), I have been just a little skeered about my book browsing future. And so, I headed in on Tuesday on my second stop to search for Darkest Mercy. I am one of those browsers who feels like the finding is the best part of the journey. However, tears threatened (I had just come from physical therapy, and was feeling it) as I searched fruitlessly... it was nowhere to be found. So, I ferreted out a headset clad Borders employee, who headed for the handy dandy terminal. Where it wasn't listed as in the store. So, off he went to the back, and came out brandishing a cold, never opened treasure. Sigh...

Okay, enough blabbering...

SPOILER ALERT! I try not to put too much on here, but, if you're reading this, you may just infer a few things. Just warning you!

Keenan, the Summer King, has left Aislinn (the girl's whose life he sent into utter upheaval to strengthen his court), Seth is missing in Faerie, the Dark Court is entrenched in chaos (whoa!), the new Winter Queen is struggling admirably with her own feelings towards Keenan and his new queen (that's a whole new ball of yarn that lil kittens will love to play with). Added to the fact that War has gained her feathers and is becoming more powerful while taking out one of the Gabriel's pups and the gravely injure the former Dark King - and we have the storm of the century. Because, according to Faerie Law, to destroy War would in fact, destroy Faerie.

And that is just the beginning...

Faerie is based, partially, on the concept of balance. Dark has Light (or, in this case, the High Court), Summer has Winter, Order has Discord. But when Discord becomes War, a Shadow Court emerges to balance the High Court, and Faerie itself is sealed, everything comes to a head.

Destroy War and possibly Faerie, or perish in the battle...

Each time I read one of the Wicked Lovely books, I fall a little more in love with each character. Donia for her strength and vulnerability as she protects those she considers hers (even if they are of her court). Seth, whose ability to love no matter what and protect those he cares for even as it puts him between a rock and a hard place. Irial (sigh..) the Dark King, er, Former Dark King whose heart makes him fierce and frightening as well as the guy willing to do the things no one else is. I love him beyond. Niall...the reluctant yet fitting Dark King who once was Summer's advisor whose passions and emotions come to the forefront even as he tries to do what he believes is right to strengthen his Court. The Summer King, whose ways aren't always clear to everyone around him, even as he struggles with the cards he's been dealt. We all try to do the right things the way we think they should be done.

Sometimes, it just takes longer to see the bigger picture.

A fitting end *sobs* to a masterful and emotionally crazy roller coaster of a series.

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