A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{May 10, 2010}   Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr

Plot: Devlin, the High Court’s assassin, has always struggled to suppress his emotions and obey his mother-sister-queen. But one day, he disobeyed a direct order from his queen and let a halfling child live and that decision may change his life forever.  That child, Ani, is now grown and her fairy half has become dominant. She is strong, fast and temperamental like all other members of her father’s Hunt but more importantly, she is hungry. Like the Hunt, she feeds on skin contact and like other Dark Court fairies, she feeds on feelings, and because of her unique blood, she can feed on humans and fairies. She is never sated until she meets the gorgeous and deadly Devlin. But their romance is no simple matter because some of the most powerful fairies want Ani or her death because of her unique powers, including both of Devlin’s sisters.

I fell in love with Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series last summer. It’s a favorite with the staff at the Cote-St-Luc Public Library where I was working at the time. So I was thrilled at the release of a new volume. Marr has brought a fresh, urban perspective to fairy stories. She wasn’t the first to do it or even the first to do it well; it is impossible to ignore Charles de Lint or Holly Black’s work. But her deep, nuanced characters and her effective use of urban culture (clubbing, ink, cars, etc.) make her stories stand out. Each of her characters, human and fairy, has a unique perspective and unique motivations. Ani is very different from Aislinn, the heroine of Wicked Lovely, more wild, violent and sexual, but as strong and compelling in her own way.

Marr also has a gift for complex and interesting romances that do not fall into cliches. The relationship between Ani, Devlin and the dreamwalker Rae is unlike any I have ever encountered, full of longing, need and affection. And the hints of a growing relationship between the former and current Dark King’s, Irial and Niall, has me eager for more. I’m already looking forward to the final book of the series, which I suspect will concern the disappearance of the Summer King, Keenan which was often hinted at in this book.

Read a preview here.


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[…] would have thought that I would be tired of fairy romances by now (just this year I’ve read Radiant Shadows, Tithe, Little (Grrl) Lost and that’s not counting last year’s reading or the ones […]

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