Monday 17 May 2010

Radiant Shadows - Melissa Marr

Radiant Shadows - Melissa Marr

Pages: 340
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: 29th April 2010

Other Titles in this Series: Wicked Lovely, Ink Exchange, Fragile Eternity

He was sculpture-perfect but had a tangled feel. Shadow and radiance. He didn’t look much older than her, until she saw the arrogance in his posture. Then, he reminded her of the faeries who walked through the courts and crowds confident that they could slaughter everyone in the room. Like chaos in a glass cage.
“Come dance.”
Ani turned her back and let herself be swept into the crowd.

Alluring romance, heart-stopping danger and sinister intrigue combine in the penultimate volume of Melissa Marr’s best-selling Wicked Lovely series.

Radiant Shadows is Melissa Marr’s fourth intoxicating foray into Faery. I want this series to never end!

These books are utterly magical. The mortal danger, tenuous balance of order and transient beauty of Faery make Melissa Marr’s world completely seductive. For me, this has become stronger and stronger throughout the series and by Radiant Shadows, the stakes have been seriously raised. Plot threads from the previous books are weaved together with infinite skill and create a world filled with wavering dominoes. Character’s decisions in Fragile Eternity have unthinkable consequences for those central to Radiant Shadows.

The continual shifts in power between the courts and steady increase in discord really show off the dynamics of Faery’s ruling courts. The balance of Faery is maintained by opposites and a changing queen has potentially devastating repercussions. With previously minor characters being brought in to focus, the High and Dark Courts rule Radiant Shadows and it took four books for me to really acknowledge their subtle dynamics. One of my favourite things is the differences in nourishment. The Summer Court feeds on happiness and joy; the Dark Court the discord, anger and fear; the High Court feed on blood (not unlike my other favourite mythical creature) and the Dark Hunt feed on physical contact. Melissa Marr really does amaze me with her incredibly detailed world-building.

As I mentioned earlier, Sorcha changes drastically in Radiant Shadows. worry, fear and carelessness fill the High Queen to such a degree that she loses her grip on logic and reality, with terrifying effects on Faery. I loved this glimpse in to Sorcha’s mind, it really proved her belief of emotions as destructive. And then there’s Devlin who changed the most. The High Queen’s Bloody Hands (or assassin to us mortals) fell in love! The recipient of his affections: Ani. A deadly, balsy halfling with a very scary dad who we first met in Ink Exchange. it was very touching how High Court faery Devlin dealt with this and I think he summed up his realisations perfectly: “Love makes you foolish. It makes you throw every bit of logic away, do stupid things, dangerous things.” The characters in Radiant Shadows really took that to heart!

I adored every page of Radiant Shadows and I’m waiting for the final book in the Wicked Lovely series, Darkest Mercy, with bated breath.

For my 2010 100+ Reading Challenge



  1. I need to read Fragile Eternity before I get to this one, but wow does it sound good. Amazing review, Sophie - love what you said about dominoes!

  2. Sounds good, but I've only read Wicked Lovely so far, so I need to get into the others!
    It was a wonderful review! Thank you!!

  3. Blimey! What an outstandingly written review Sophie. Loved this phrase: "tenuous balance of order and transient beauty". You'v blown me away with this review. I want to say "bravo" and clap. Honestly, such a great review.

  4. Wow--Fantastic review!! I loved the phrase 'wavering dominoes'. I read Wicked Lovely and liked it but have yet to read the rest. As Fragile Eternity is the sequel to Wicked Lovely, is this the sequel to Ink Exchange? Can't wait to read it now :)

  5. Thanks for such lovely comments guys!

    Sasha - No, it's not, it's another standalone within the series. Though you probably need to read them in order because of the changes in Faery that affect the characters.

  6. Awesome review, Sophie! As I mentioned at the meet up, I was a little bit disappointed with Fragile Eternity, so I'm a little bit weary of Radiant Shaadows. But my worries have abated because of your review! I really can't wait to read it now! Thanks for the beautifully written review! :)

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