Salome Montgomery may have escaped the trenches of The Winter People, but that was nothing compared to what’s waiting for her. The Summer King’s curse has been lifted, she’s gained kind of rockstar status among the Fae Folk, and she is looking forward to settling down with Gareth (le swoon) in the world of Faerie. But the land of Winter is stirring. Winter’s Queen is on the loose and wants to claim all four lands. Can Salome’s new status and her mysterious new abilities be a match for the evil queen, or will Salome be crushed under the hand of treachery?
Boy, do I ever love a good contemporary fantasy. Something about mixing a very modern teen feel of character into a fantastical world makes my heart happy. The characters are uber relatable and you get to see these worlds from their point of view. And Salome is perfect for this. She may have pulled a supergirl move and freed Summer from its curse, but she’s just a human girl. The world of Faerie is still very new to her. The customs, the rules, and the people are still something she’s trying to figure out. Salome is also one of the nicest people you can ever read. She doesn’t just have a heart of gold, it oozes it. This is her true power. Salome also has a quiet strength that we get to see in The Summer Marked. Tough choices are ahead of her and she will really need to woman up for them.
We also get to know Kadie, Salome’s BFF from forever. Kadie went off to Texas and college, but that ended up as well as sand on a fresh sunburn. Now she’s back in town and needs some BFF time, STAT. But Salome has vanished, the parents are on the “you disappoint me” train, and she has nowhere to go. Kadie’s last hope is to track down Salome at Gareth’s old hang out after getting a weird text. That doesn’t turn out so well either. Can Kadie bury her own demons, or will she succumb to the easy road?
Kadie’s spunk is the perfect ying to Salome’s super-sweet yang. Their alternating points of view are wicked fun. Kadie has always been the strong one in their relationship. Always the first one to step up and defend Salome because she was too nice, too naïve. But those roles have begun to crumble. I love how Purdy flips their character so they can fully grow as people.
Let’s talk swoon for a moment, too. The Summer Marked has the perfect amount of romance. It’s not so overdone you feel the ache in your bicuspids. There are sweet moments, but there are hot moments, “awe” moments, and moments that are downright funny. The love between Gareth and Salome will often leave you breathless. And Kadie has some moments where you really, r-e-a-l-l-y want her get herself together for the could-be-right-guy…finally.
To say I flew through this book is an understatement. The pacing is right on the mark for a guilty pleasure. The writing style is on the mark with witty banter and scenic backdrops that burst with beauty and the macabre, as only the Fae can do. Purdy brings together an equally stunning and cruel world of Faerie. It’s tough to figure out who is truly on the good guy side, who to put your trust in. Salome and Kadie are in for the biggest fight of their too-human lives. Summer may have been freed from its curse, but does it deserve to be saved?