Because I've been reading so many great books this month, I decided I needed to blog about them individually instead of just summing them up as a whole at the end of the month. First up?
Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr (6 stars)
Yes, you read that right. 6 stars! And I'll tell you why....This book is the culmination of the Wicked Lovely series of books and I thought it was brilliant.
In Wicked Lovely, we learn the story of Ash, Seth and Keenan. It introduces us to the dark emotionally charged world of the fae. The second book, Ink Exchange, deals with Leslie (Ash's friend), Niall and Irial (my favorite character in the entire series - which says something about me, I'm sure). Fragile Eternity is once again about Ash and Seth, and the consequences of her becoming the Summer Queen. Radiant Shadows introduces Ani, while pulling in characters from the other books as unrest comes to the fae world because of all the changes. Mixed in this are two short stories - Stopping Time and Old Habits (Leslie, Niall and Irial). Each book builds on the world Melissa Marr has created. Each book leaves you despairing of a happily ever after for any of the characters. And finally comes Darkest Mercy, which brings back most of the characters from the books as they all finally have to deal with the choices they've made and the ramifications of those choices.
The book is fast paced, and from multiple viewpoints. Niall is scary as hell in his grief. Seth is resolute and steadfast in his love for not just Aislinn (Ash), but for all the fae he's come to care about. Ash, Leslie, Irial, Donia, Keenan, Gabriel -- each and every one of them plays in important part in bringing the story to it's conclusion.
I talked to this book, I might have scolded it, too. I could not read it without setting it down multiple times to digest what I'd read. That doesn't happen often for me. At points, I wanted to weep for the characters (especially Irial). There are deaths in this book - and its all the richer for them. There is no guarantee of a happily ever after. Unless the characters can put aside their hurt and anger, none of them will survive the war that is coming. Now, there are some people who will say that more of the characters should have died, or that not enough of the characters paid a heavy price for their happiness, but I say it ended perfectly.
I'd give each and every book in this series a 5 star rating - and like I said, Darkest Mercy gets 6 stars (which means it surpassed my expectations). An amazing end to a thoroughly enjoyable series.
(Then again, maybe there should be more stories about Irial??!.....)