Radiant Shadows (Wicked Lovely Series #4)

Radiant Shadows - Melissa Marr I have this rather annoying habit of completely forgetting the plotlines of all of Melissa Marr’s books. I always remember that I simply adore them, however. So, I admit when I started this one there were a few characters that I knew were significant in the past few books, but for the life of me I couldn’t recall them. It got better as I went further along and by the end I basically recalled everything that happened in the last books. I also remembered Fragile Eternity to basically be a lot of whinging and nothing ever being resolved even at the end… I do remember that. That said, this is easily my favourite of the series thus far. Then again, the ones that deal with the Dark Court tend to be more my style anyway. As much as I love Keenan and Aislenn and the Summer Court, the Dark Court is my favourite. This story follows two characters, Devlen and Ani. Devlen is the brother to Sorcha and Bananach - the deity like faeries. Sorcha is the Unchanging Queen, the ruler of Faerie, and all that is logic and reason. Bananach is War and chaos. She has no court but is aligned more so with the Dark Court than anything else. Devlen is Sorcha’s Bloodied Hands. Her personal assassin and the one that is sent out to take care of anything that is not of order. Something like a half-fey girl. Ani is half mortal and half fey. Her father is Gabriel to the Hounds, the group of fey of the Dark Court that ride steeds that can camouflage themselves as any kind of ride. Devlen is sent out by Sorcha to kill Ani when she is just a little girl but something stops him, and thus begins the secrets that he keeps from his sister, the one who he is pledged to serve. Something that I have always loved about these books was how willing they were to be very dark. Now, the vampire thing is very easy to do and do dark, but Marr takes the faeries and their courts and turns them into a world that is deadly, bloody, and dangerous. The characters in this one were more solid than in previous books. Two of the previous books have been about Summer Court fey, flighty and emotional. Perhaps that is why I tend to prefer this books and Ink Exchange (Though, Wicked Lovely remains as one of my favourites…) The faeries of the Dark Court feed off of faeries’ emotions. Because of that the Dark Court faeries are very controlled and keep their emotions in check. It gives me a cast of characters that I simply adore. Even Devlen, who is High Court, must keep emotions in check because he serves the Queen of reason. Emotions have no place in reason. Another things I adore about these books are the strong cast of characters. There’s always a level of difficulty when dealing with characters that are not human, and I think this is the first of the books that deals with an all fey group of characters. This pulls it all off perfectly though. Ani is a strong willed female lead who would do anything to be included in the Hunt with her father. She knows that she is strong and can fight and would do anything to prove it. She is fiercely loyal to her family as well, especially her halfling siblings. Even when she is approached by Devlen she keeps a level head. I do love level headed characters, even when they are overcome with unfamiliar emotions. This book was fast paced and exciting. It was dark and gritty and I loved every moment of it. Devlen and Ani are probably two of my favourite characters in this world. I was pleased to see the return of Iriall and Niall, the former and current Dark Court kings, respectively. As well as mentions to the tattooing Ink Exchange that was a main plot point for one of the previous books. I love how all these books connect even thought they usually have different main characters each time. I just truly adore that this dealt with the dark, gritty world of Dark Court fey. In which death is a usual occurrence and darkness is preferable. Even the title of this book is lovely. I’m really hoping for more Dark Court books as they seem to me to be the most exciting, and this one was definitely exciting. Although the climax was not as dramatic as previous books, it got the point across and was resolved beautifully. 9/10 stars. Easily my favourite yet. It was perfectly beautiful and I sincerely hope that these characters return for more books, especially with the turn out in the end. The end was definitely a brilliant twist that I truly adored. It was a fitting end to the seemingly unfixable problem that Ani and Devlen were faced with. I can’t wait for the next book, hopefully it will come soon enough that I don’t totally forget what happens in this one!