By Melissa Marr
Available April 20 from HarperCollins
Review copy for Traveling to Teens Blog Tours
RADIANT SHADOWS is my favorite book in the Wicked Lovely series, right after WICKED LOVELY itself. It goes down as smoothly as my roommate's strawberry cream pie, unlike FRAGILE ETERNITY, which didn't pick up until the second half. It begins with a couple of teasing scenes from Devlin's past - two times he disobeyed his sister Sorcha, the High Queen. Of course, his simple acts could change everything since Sorcha is constantly worried he'll betray her to side with Bananach, his other sister-mother.
Ani is one of his instances of disobedience. When he spared the half-mortal, he spared the only faery to feed through touch and emotion. If the Dark Court could gain her abilities, they wouldn't be dependent on strife. But others either don't want the Dark Court or want her power for themselves. Devlin just wants Ani.
That's what makes RADIANT SHADOWS succeed. Amidst the sweeping backdrop of faery politics, there's a hot and believable romance. FRAGILE ETERNITY let the political imbalance overtake the emotion.
Fans of Melissa Marr's previous Wicked Lovely novels should love RADIANT SHADOWS. Newcomers to the series might suffer from Continuity Lock Out. While Keenan is missing and Aislinn only has a cameo, Seth and Sorcha (and their relationship) play a large role in the plot of RADIANT SHADOWS. Devlin figures out what Sorcha did to Seth, but it is never explained explicitly for new readers. Aside from Devlin and Ani's relationship, most of the plots are a furtherance of conflicts already introduced. Marr provides context, but as I am familiar with the series I'm not sure if it's enough for newbies.
I love that I'm familiar with the series and can fully revel in the awesome. RADIANT SHADOWS ends with an interesting development and I cannot wait to read how everything plays out in DARKEST MERCY. Marr knows how to end a book on a high note.