A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{February 25, 2011}   Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr

Plot: The Summer King is missing, torn between his new queen and his old love. The Winter Queen he loves is preparing for war. Meanwhile his Summer Queen tries to hold their court together in his absence. But her lover Seth, adoptive son of the High Queen, sworn brother to the Dark King, is about to make a mistake that may cost him his life. The faerie world is on the brink of war and disaster and lives and loves may be lost before it is all done.

I started reading the Wicked Lovely series nearly two years ago and since I’ve been awaiting every new installment with impatience. So I greet this final volume with a mixture of excitement and sadness. Still it was a satisfying close to the saga. The first four books dealt with the different faerie courts: Summer and Winter, Dark, High and finally Shadow. In this last volume it is War and Discord that dominate. As a result the narrative is a bit chaotic, which is destabilizing at first. The courts and the characters are unstable (Niall’s rapid spiral into insanity is quite poignant, actually), the plot twists every which way and in the end nothing is the same anymore. The ending was very fitting but completely unexpected so I won’t give anything away.

As with her previous books, Marr shows a great mastery of faerie lore and she does a good job of making these inhuman creatures real without making them completely human. And of course there is the romance. I think what I appreciate the most about her romances is that they are not easy, they are not all fated or love at first sight and her world allows place for all kinds of love: monogamous, polygamous, heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, casual, serious, familial and… I don’t think there’s a word for loving a ghost… In some ways it’s a celebration of love in all its forms and I find it quite beautiful.

The series is over but there are still two stories about the Dark court: Old Habits and Stopping Time available in ebook format which I will probably purchase soon. I admit it: I’m hoping for some Irial and Niall loving.

For more information, check out Melissa Marr’s website.

HarperCollins made a lovely trailer for the book.

Challenges: None


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