Darkest Mercy (Wicked Lovely #5)
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.
Wicked Lovely was a beautifully written introduction into this world hidden among mortals. Ink Exchange veered from the main characters, Aislinn and Keenan, focusing on another character and important avenue, broadening this amazing world. Fragile Eternity turned back to Aislinn and Keenan, and their internal struggles to be who they are meant to be. And of course, love and all its balance, sacrifice, and effort plays a huge roll in those decisions.
Radiant Shadows was another drift from the main characters, but, in my opinion, it did the story justice. As a reader, I was able to see more of the world-building Marr is so gifted at creating. Focusing on two different characters, allowed me to watch others at a distance and how they reacted to being background characters.
The climactic ending to the Wicked Lovely saga is strong, enticing, and yes--fulfilling. Darkest Mercy threads together the first four books and their diversity. The main plot, which remained intact throughout the series, grows in strength and angst with the flip of each page. Despite personal gripes or past misgivings between characters of each Court, the fact remains that their beloved Faerie and their futures are in trouble. Will they rise above their differences to have a future?
The voices are as bold as ever, even with a few twists that could have made reading complicated. But Marr does a marvelous and clear job in communicating the character's needs and desires. I also found some of their self-examinations to be deeper - two in particular, but I won't name them not wanting to give any of the story away. The action scenes are poetically descriptive and plausible. I really enjoyed watching certain characters dig deep within themselves, while others sadly faded. As one would say, "It's all in the script, for the love of the story."
The threat War creates builds consistently throughout the story until the climatic ending moves every character--those we've grown to love, be annoyed with, or hate--beyond his/her self to invest in something more. Something real. True internal growth. It was a thing of beauty to watch characters sacrifice more than they thought they were capable of. And it was an enchanting contradiction to menace that had been lurking through each book.
In the end, the story is a journey of love. Whether it be love of another faery, love of home and a place to belong, or love of honor and dedication to one's responsibility, love and what it takes is the ultimate message. It's at the forefront of every character thread and motivation.
It’s a bittersweet feeling certainly and its one I’m happy to feel because it means that a series I have grown attached to didn’t go on forever and grow tiresome. And it means that all those loose ends that were left unraveled in all the previous books have now been resolved.
At the end of Radiant Shadows a new court had been formed, the world of Faerie had been sealed off, Keenan, was still missing and the Dark Court had been attacked and their former King mortally wounded. Now Keenan is making dangerous deals with faeries of the sea, Bananach is bulldozing everyone towards war and the faerie equivalent of the Grim Reaper has arrived in Huntsdale and is paying visits to our favourite faery monarchs.
My nerves were so on edge as I read the pages of this final book because I knew main characters were going to die, characters that I had quickly grown to love and just didn’t know whom it was going to be or when it was going to happen. What made it worst was that many characters that I had disliked before reading Darkest Mercy had changed and grown over the course of the series. And the different POVs I were viewing them from had now shed them in a new light that allowed me to understand them and even like them so now I was worried about them dieing as well.
This would also be the book that would finally reveal if Ash would end up with Seth or Keenan, if Donia would ever have a true happy ending, and if we would ever see Leslie again or if we would just get a snippet of her in a short story.
This book will certainly tug and pull at your emotions but at the end of it, despite all that has happened, all who were lost, all who end up and don’t end up together, and everything that was changed you can’t deny that the ending is a perfect fit. Not a perfect bow-tie ending but an ending that really completes this brilliant series perfectly.