Okay, Here is my first review for the Once Upon A Time III challenge. Wicked Lovely doesn’t actually count for the challenge, but it only made sense to talk about them together.
As usual, I was drawn to these books for their beautiful covers. But, as the main character of Wicked Lovely knows beauty can be cruel. Aislinn has been able to see faeries her entire life and she knows what they are capable of. Her grandmother has raised her to keep her Sight a secret and to never attract the attention of fairies. What is she to do then, when a particularly handsome faerie and his corpse-like girlfriend start following her? This book was a treat and I devoured it. Aislinn was a strong character who didn’t give in to the temptations of faeries without a fight. Her friend Seth was equal parts supportive friend, sexy, dark and intriguing. That being said, the fact that Keenan, the Summer King, could make you think of all the best parts of summer just by looking at him was also very compelling.
I almost didn’t read Ink Exchange, because it didn’t continue the story of Aislinn, Seth and Keenan. But, I’m glad I did. This one was much darker than Wicked Lovely. Aislinn’s mortal friend Leslie decides to get a tattoo. Leslie’s life has been spinning out of control – her mother left her family, her father has become an alcoholic and her brother is lost in a world of drugs. Leslie was raped by one of her brother’s friends and getting a tattoo is an attempt to take back her body. But the tattoo that she chooses binds her to the Dark King Irial. Melissa Marr often blurs the lines between good and bad in her characters. Of course, there are some wretched faeries and mortals alike in Ink Exchange, but others like Irial and Niall are not always as good or as bad as they seem. Individual acts are just threads in an unfolding tapestry that is the faerie world. And Marr, does her best to remind us that Faerie Kings and Queens are always trying to do what is best for their court whatever the consequence.
I enjoyed both of these books. They remind me of Holly Black’s Tithe and Ironside. Here’s hoping there will be another book in that series. Marr’s characters are compelling and always developing. Of course, naive reader that I am, which characters I liked and why kept changing. I think this is a series with some staying power, although some Wicked Lovely fans might not like the darker elements of this evolving story. I just finished Fragile Eternity and I’ll be posting about that one soon.