Saturday, November 6, 2010

Review: Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr

Radiant Shadows (Wicked Lovely)Book Details:
Radiant Shadows (Wicked Lovely)
By Melissa Marr
Genre: Young Adult
Published 2010, Harper Teen
Hardback, 340 pages
ISBN: 9780061659225


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?
This book continued with the theme of each book focusing on different pivotal characters in the world of Faerie by focusing on Devlin and Ani and their respective roles and impact. I loved how different these two were and yet had such a strong connection right from their first meeting. As usual with this series, I could not predict the ending, which makes it all that much more satisfying.
The spectral girl Rae was a very interesting character in that she seems to be an orchestrator of much of Devlin and Ani's relationship, even though she behaves as if she is in love with Devlin. Only once is jealousy even mentioned on her part in the entire book, and it is so brief I almost missed it. This reminds me of the triangle of Niall, Irial, and Leslie, as well as the two triangles that Keenan seems to be a member of. The fact that Marr pulls all of these off so seamlessly marks her as an excellent writer, in my opinion.
The High Queen Sorcha becomes quite a sorry excuse for a queen through most of the book because of her inability to handle all of the new emotions she possesses for her "son" Seth. I find it quite ironic that though she is the creator and controller of Faerie and one of the first two faeries to exist, she is still dependent upon things she can not control in order to continue to exist.
I was very disappointed in the near absence of Aislinn and any information regarding her relationship with Seth. In addition, Keenan seems to have disappeared with no explanation, and apparently very little concern on anyone's part throughout the book. While I never liked the guy, he is kind of important in the world of Faerie.
Another loose thread that really bugged me was the outcome of Irial's injury - one minute he is dying and the next everyone is behaving as if nothing is wrong and he's not going anywhere. So which is it??
The outcome of Devlin and Ani's budding relationship was thoroughly satisfying and exactly what the world of Faerie needed, but now I am wondering what will happen with an odd number of courts. The logical response is that yet another court will be created to restore balance, but Marr rarely sticks to the easy solutions with this series. I can not wait for Darkest Mercy (Wicked Lovely).

The Cover: Just looking at the cover and the title, I knew right away that this book centered on Ani, based on the previous books. I love it when the cover is right on target with the plot.

First Line: "Devlin stood immobile as the spectral girl approached."
Ooooh curious - who is this spectral girl? Of course I must keep reading to know more!
Favorite Quote: "Love makes you foolish. It makes you throw every bit of logic away, do stupid things, dangerous things."

Read For: Speculative Fiction Challenge, Pages Read Challenge, Support Your Local Library Challenge


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