Thursday, March 10, 2011

Review: Darkest Mercy

Synopsis: 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.
My Review: Amazing, fantastic, beyond epic.  You can be sure that I will be raving about how utterly fantastic this book was.  What’s going to kill me is not giving away any spoilers!!! This is going to be highly difficult but I’ll do my best to share my joy without ruining this for ya.  

Darkest Mercy picks up right where Radiant Shadows began.  Bananach is on the loose and growing increasingly stronger.  Ani and Devlin closed the gates to Faerie, and now Sorcha is completely cut off from the mortal world.  Keenan has up and disappeared and Ash and Donia are left to rule their respective courts alone.  Irial is dying from the poisoned wound from Bananach, and Nial is close to cracking.  Shit storm doesn’t even begin to cover it.  War is on the horizon and the separate courts will have to work together before they are all destroyed.  

It’s amazing to think that the past four books have been all build up to this big showdown.  Marr’s pure literary genius truly shines in the finale to one of YA’s most amazing series.  Everything is falling apart, yet at the same time everything is beginning to make sense.  So many are lost in the battle with War, and you are literally holding your breath waiting for the outcome.  

Since Ink Exchange Aislinn has really been thrown to the back burner for me.  I loved her in Wicked Lovely, but ever since she just pales in comparison to all the other characters.  Everyone else is just so much deeper and complex than Aislinn that I can’t help but dismiss her.  That isn’t to say however, that she is unimportant or that I don’t like her.  Aislinn is still struggling to do right by her court and her heart.  With Keenan’s absence she is finally able to make sense of her conflicting feelings and at the same time she has to rule her court alone.  She is incredibly strong and determined and completely kicks ass and takes names in the final conflict.  I’m all for girl power, and Aislinn definitely pulled through on that front.  I was glad she just didn’t sit idle.  She took action and finally became the regent she needed to be.  

I’ve always had a grudge against Keenan.  I know he did what he did for his court.  That didn’t excuse his behavior in my opinion.  However, I finally comprehend all the sacrifices he has given up in the name of his court.  He kept his court strong when he was a shadow of what he should be.  Spent decades upon decades having his hope crushed again and again of ever finding his queen and being free of Beira’s curse.  And when he finally found her, she is in love with someone else, and the woman he truly loves is out of his reach.  It just finally sunk in how much Keenan’s life sucks.  He has given up so much, and not once ever thought of shirking his duties.  He really gained a lot of respect in my eyes in this book, and I actually admire his character now.  The sacrifices he makes are truly inspiring, and he turned out to be one of my favorite parts of this book.  

Okay, so yes I’m basically going through the main characters, but what else can I do?!  So yes now onto Irial and Nial.  Please tell me I’m not the only one who thinks that they should just stop bitching at each other and be together?  I love Iri to death.  Out of every single character in these novels he is my absolute favorite.  There’s just something about him that I absolutely adore.  I can’t even put my finger on it, but he is just epic.  Leslie, Iri, and Nial’s love triangle is probably the most messed up thing ever, yet it makes complete sense.  I know I’m completely contradicting myself, but you’ll understand what I mean.   Iri and Nial both love Leslie, yet they both love each other.  I can’t even begin to comprehend this complete oddness, but hey I accept it.  I like Leslie and Nial, and adore Iri so it all works out okay.  Personally though Iri/Nial just NEEDS to happen.   I about bawled when it was clear that Iri was not going to heal from his stab wound.  Nial’s grief was just torturing to read through.  His heart shattered and I felt like mine was too.  It was just emotionally exhausting.  

Donia used to be one of my favorites, but like Ash, just doesn’t shine as much anymore.  Seth, of course, is hot adorably pierced Seth.  Bananach is pure evil and a twisted psychopath, and Sorcha of course only cares about Seth.  I really loved two particular character additions.  Far Dorcha and Ankou were just plain awesome in my opinion.  The addition of the death-fey really added to the story, and I found both their characters fascinating.  

Despite the impending doom and destruction things ended on a good note.  I got my happy endings on a lot of fronts, and even though some of the more enjoyable minor characters died, I was still very satisfied with the ending.  It kills me a bit inside to think that I’ll never read about these characters again.  I’ve grown incredibly emotionally attached to a lot of them, and it’s sad to think that they’re stories are at a close.  It was a perfect ending to this amazing series.  Wicked Lovely rocked the YA world when it first came out, and Marr left us with a lasting impression with Darkest Mercy.  This has been one of my all time favorite series, and will remain so for many years.