Saturday, 26 February 2011

Review: Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr

Spoilers contained within if you haven't yet read the book.

The Summer King is missing; the Dark Court is bleeding; and a stranger walks the streets of Huntsdale, his presence signifying the deaths of powerful fey.
Torn between his new queen and his old love, Keenan left Huntsdale to wander aimlessly but after centuries of leading his court it was not long before the reality of being Summer King became too pressing. Violence seemed more inevitable by the day and the Summer Court was not yet strong enough to face conflict, so Keenan made a dangerous deal with the water fey. It is a desperate bargain he makes to strengthen his court against the coming war. Aislinn tends the Summer Court, searching for her absent king and yearning for Seth. She knows she must be a powerful queen to hold her court together, while Bananach becomes more and more dangerous, and she is losing faeries to her. Donia longs for fiery passion even as she coolly readies the Winter Court for battle. Her court is still powerful, but she must remain focused on keeping them that way and not get distracted by Keenan when he shows up at her door again. The Dark Court is thrown into chaos when they are rocked by tragedy. And Seth, sworn brother of the Dark King and heir to the High Queen, is about to make a mistake that could cost his life.
They all know what Bananach seeks – the raven-faery is the embodiment of war and discord. She and her growing number of allies want mutiny and murder. Love, despair and betrayal ignite the Faeries Courts, and in the final conflict, some will win… and some will lose everything. The thrilling conclusion to Melissa Marr’s bestselling Wicked Lovely series will leave readers breathless.

Oh my god you guys, this book was so worth the wait. I mean, just. Wow. Now let me clarify this wow, because there are several different types of wow for me. This was the wow I love this story because it’s fantasy and it’s epic and it’s about love but so much more than just love between two people. I said this in my last review of the fourth book in the series ‘Radiant Shadows’ – this series is like a game of chess, watching as all the pieces are slotted into place for the grand showdown at the end. And it’s mesmerizing to watch/read.

For some reason the summer court peeve me. I still love them, so it’s not a big peeve, I think it’s simply that Keenan and I have never quite seen eye to eye. He’s a bit too duplicitous for my liking, and I’m not fussed on guys like that. However he really sorts himself out this book, but I’ll come to that later. Anyway, because of him I’ve never been as taken with the Summer Court as I have with the Dark Court. So Books two and four were always my favourites because of how much they focus on the Darker aspects. Actually scrap that, two ‘Ink Exchange’ is just freaking amazing. Fact.

I’m rambling. Sorry. It’s just I really love these books and I tend to gush when I love things.

So whilst I wasn’t so fussed on going back to the Summer Court, I’m glad the narrative did, because it was the final hurrah where all the threads were tied up. It’s impressive on Marr’s part that she keeps so many courts/people/threads together and coherent. There is a lot going on in this book.

I did miss Ani and Dev. I grew attached to them from the last book, and they were the only people missing – everyone came out to play in this instalment.
All the tangled love lives and triangles were finally resolved, and the big battle that’s been building since the first book finally happened.
And it was awesome.

I hate when battles are built up into this thing of epic proportions and then they happen and it’s just like a balloon deflating *cough* Breaking Dawn *cough*. So things kicked off, and things got bloody, and you know what, I had goosebumps. Everyone came together and were fighting for their lives and their loves, and it was just epic.

And everyone finally sorts themselves out! Although a few things, for example what Keenan does to be with Donia, I did wonder why he didn’t do them sooner, but I guess everyone was growing up to get to this point, so whilst I wonder, it also makes complete sense. But I was so excited that he finally got to be happy. I mean I’m not fussed on him, but I love Donia. She’s so cool, and she’s been through so much and is so strong.

Actually that’s another point I love – Marr creates strong female characters. They are not weak or rely on their men to do the dirty work – they get stuck in, they get their hands dirty, and quite often, they do a better job than the guys might have done. But they are still likeable and human, and I think in that lies their greatness.

My final gushing point is the endings. Now I’m a sucker for happy endings, I love them. But I also love sad endings and people dying, because if you go attack a bunch of people, the laws of logic say you won’t all be in tact at the end.

But, AND PLEASE STOP READING IF YOU HAVEN’T YET READ THE BOOK, the bad things happen and it’s all heart in mouth high terror stuff, yet everyone gets their happy endings and all the right people end up with the right people, and it’s all good.

It’s summed up pretty brilliantly towards the end of the book Far Dorcha:
“The winter court could be his if Donia died. It was a natural order. The child of winter would take his mother’s court. He would grieve, grow bitter, and eventually his mourning would warp into something malicious. Which would be tedious.

It just makes you think that maybe all this has happened, or something like it, before. And the cycle keeps repeating, and with all this fresh blood, all these new regents, they had a chance to change it, and to make things right.
All in all, it was the perfect ending to the series. And I’m sad it’s over, but I couldn’t have wished for a better finale. 

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