Saturday, April 17, 2010

Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr - Review

I'll start by thanking the lovely Nancy, the Ravenous Reader, for lending this book to me. I am a huge fan of the series and she kindly loaned me her copy and I just want to say many many thank yous.

Do you remember Seth leaving Faerie for the mortal world at the end of Fragile Eternity? Well, Radiant Shadows opens with Sorcha, the High Queen, mourning Seth’s absence, while Faerie starts to fall apart around her. She is so worried about Seth’s safety that she sends Devlin, her brother and High Court assassin, to check on him and keep him safe.

Devlin has been loyal to Sorcha for an eternity, disobeying her orders only once. Years ago Sorcha ordered him to kill Ani, Gabriel’s daughter, and he was persuaded to keep her alive. But this time when Devlin comes face to face with Ani, he feels connected, drawn to her, and ultimately knows he’ll do anything to keep her alive, despite his Queen’s wishes.

Ani is complicated – she’s strong and dangerous, wild yet overprotected by her father. She feels trapped and is desperate to know how she fits into the Hunt. And as she can feed from both mortals and faeries, on emotions and touch, that makes her very different. Thus when Bananach notices her differences she wants Ani's blood and commands her to kill both Seth and Niall, hoping to cause as much destruction as possible. So what can Ani do but run? Can she outrun and outmaneuver War? And while Devlin and Ani try to save themselves, their friends and family, and Faerie, of course, they run the risk of losing each other.

I love this world, love the Dark Court especially, and so was swept up into this book, surfacing only to gasp at some of the twists in the plot. Again, nothing is straightforward, no plot predictable, no choice easy. And there is always a price to pay. It’s dark, dangerous, sinister, and troubling. We see people walk away from relationships we think them tied to and betray trusts we believe sacrosanct, leaving a world on the brink of collapse. Full of secrets, heartbreak, and betrayal, this is probably the best in a very good series. I hardly slept, let alone breathed, while I read and wish I didn’t have to wait to find out where Melissa Marr is leading these characters. (It's so much better than Fragile Eternity! Trust me.)

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