Release Date: February 22nd 2011
Publisher: Harper Collins Australia
Thanks to: Harper Collins Aus for providing me with an ARC to review!
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.
Aislinn tends to the Summer Court, searching for her absent king and yearning for Seth. Torn between his new queen and his old love, Keenan works from afar to strengthen his court against the coming war. Donia longs for fiery passion even as she coolly readies the Winter Court for battle. 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.
Love, despair, and betrayal ignite the Faery Courts, and in the final conflict, some will win . . . and some will lose everything.
The thrilling conclusion to Melissa Marr's New York Times bestselling Wicked Lovely series will leave readers breathless.
There may be some spoilers if you haven't read the other novels in the Wicked Lovely series. That being said - go do so now! Melissa Marr has created a thoroughly engaging world of faerie that sucks the reader into a fantastical world of darkness, frivolity, passion, order and cool calm. I love what each Court has to offer and the way Marr brings the emotions and characteristics of these faeries to life. You can't help but fall in love with them all even if some can be insanely annoying (*cough*Keenan-just-leave-the-Aislinn-issue-alone-already-and-find-a-way-to-be-with-Donia!*cough*) - okay, so that situation is a little more complicated that a 'Okay, I'm over you, moving onto the real love of my life', but still.
In the final conclusion to this captivating series, every thread of fey life weaved throughout the previous novels is cut, tied or given a perfect twist to end their story. Bananach wants War. She is a ruthless villain and has no redeeming qualities. She just wants War for the sake of having war. For the bloodshed, to revel in the horror and discord and death. She is determined to make one of the Courts officially proclaim war amongst each other and will stop at nothing to achieve her means. Far Dorcha - Death - is walking freely among them and ready to collect. Lives will be changed. Some will lose friends, others will lose everything they know. Some may even lose their sanity.
Decisions must be made. Aislinn must decide who she will spend her eternity with - Keenan or Seth? Niall is not acting himself, his story definitely surprised me because there's a twist I didn't see coming! Actually, so many of the characters surprised me! Keenan was a big shock, because something he does, I never expected him to do. There were many times where I was left wishing that like Seth, I too, could see the future threads of each character. I thought the epilogue was a perfect send off, as it mirrors a major part of one of the previous books and... aww. It was really nice.
I think Donia is one of my favourite characters in the series (well, apart from Niall and Irial!). She is so strong - she has gone through so much, she freely chose to risk Winters Chill to be with the love of her life and then had to endure all those centuries watching as Keenan wooed countless girls and finally having to deal with the heartache of seeing him rule alongside Aislinn, yet she yet she's not a drippy, whining, moping character. She's strong and regal and is befitting of the reign of Winter Queen. She knows how to handle her Court. She lived up to all that and then some in Darkest Mercy. All throughout the book I felt that she was the strongest of the regents.
I love that these characters are not divided into 'good' and 'bad'. Every character has different sides - they make mistakes, they misjudge, they are each capable of both making cruel decisions and sometimes that is exactly what is needed of a regent to run their Court. But they are also each capable of forgiveness and love and the bonds they forge between others is a joy to read... even at times when you just want to shake the life out of them to stop being an idiot about things! They are flawed and that is what makes them so real. Kudos to Melissa for creating a cast of such multi-dimensional fey.
The conclusion was beautifully written and I can't think of a better way to complete each characters journey. Darkest Mercy is just as wonderfully weaved as the previous novels, except with more shocks! If you're a fan of the Wicked Lovely series this is definitely a must read for you. If you haven't started the series yet, I highly recommend you start now!