Google+ Reading Teen: Review: Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Review: Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely)

Radiant Shadows (Wicked Lovely)Wow!  For those of you who are Wicked Lovely Fans, this book does NOT disappoint!  Radiant Shadows is considered a stand-alone in the Wicked Lovely series, but I don't feel like you will understand or appreciate this book if you haven't read the others.  Many loved characters from the other books show up in this one:  Irial and Seth play pretty big parts.  Sorcha, Bananach, and Niall are present, and Aislinn even makes a brief cameo.  I'm not sure how much sense the storyline would make if you hadn't read the others, so, if you haven't read them, start with Wicked Lovely, Ink Exchange, and Fragile Eternity.

Hunger for nourishment.
Hunger for touch.
Hunger to belong.

Ani is the half-human, half-fey sister of Rabbit, the tatoo-artist from Ink Exchange, and daughter of Gabrielle, the Dark King's protector and right hand....hound.  Although she has not been able to be part of the pack because of her mortality, Ani is becoming increasingly more powerful, and increasingly more Faery.  Every day her need for nourishment from the emotions and touch of other people and Fae becomes stronger.  Her search to sate that hunger leads her to Devlin.

Devlin is the brother-son of the two creators of Faerie, Sorcha the embodiment of Reason, the High Queen of Faerie, and Bananach the embodiment of War, her twin sister.  Devlin is The Queen's Bloodied Hand, her assassin, and he has always done whatever his Queen has asked of him.  Until the day she ordered him to kill a young half-mortal.  Devlin didn't understand why his friend, Rae, asked him to spare Ani's life, but he granted her request and has lived with the secret and shame ever since.  

But when Devlin meets Ani again, she is not a child anymore, and he feels a pull toward her that he has never felt before, and it's a pull that he cannot explain.  As Ani and Devlin discover their mutual need for each other, they also discover that they are all in danger.  Bananach has her own plans for Ani, and Sorcha is so consumed with the absence of her son that the Faerie Realm is left unguarded.  Ani and Devlin have to make a choice, but will saving Faery mean losing each other?

I really loved this book!  It may be my favorite so far, but I can't decide.  I loved the strength of Ani.  She wasn't afraid of anything, and she was ready to fight her own battles at any moment.  But that didn't mean that she couldn't accept help and love from someone who wanted to protect her.  So often in books, female characters are either damsels in distress, or they're so independent that they can't ever rely on anyone else to help them, or open up to anyone.  I felt like Ani was the perfect balance, and Devlin was exactly the man she fit with.  He admires her strength and ability without being threatened by her, all the while still feeling a desire to protect her.  

Melissa Marr's writing is exceptional!  The plots twist and turn and are interwoven between the books in the series, creating a world that is so extraordinary, yet somehow completely believable.  Although there is no feeling of a cliffhanger, Radiant Shadows beautifully sets the stage for the final book in the Wicked Lovely series, Darkest Mercy.


You may want to know:  This book has some sexual content and mature language, and also some violence.  


  1. I like your analysis of Ani, and female characters in general. Finding that balance between independence and dependence is one of those great universal themes!

    I blogged about you today! :)

  2. Great review! I am excited to read this book! :)


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