Saturday, 6 November 2010

Radiant Shadows By Melissa Marr

Hunger for nourishment.
Hunger for touch.
Hunger to belong.
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Half-human and half-faery, Ani is driven by her hungers.
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Those same appetites also attract powerful enemies and uncertain allies, including Devlin. He was created as an assassin and is brother to the faeries' coolly logical High Queen and to her chaotic twin, the embodiment of war. Devlin wants to keep Ani safe from his sisters, knowing that if he fails, he will be the instrument of Ani's death.
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Ani isn't one to be guarded while others fight battles for her, though. She has the courage to protect herself and the ability to alter Devlin's plans - and his life. The two are drawn together, each with reason to fear the other and to fear for one another. But as they grow closer, a larger threat imperils the world of Faerie. Will saving the faery realm mean losing each other?
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Alluring romance, heart-stopping danger, and sinister intrigue combine in the penultimate volume of Melissa Marr's New York Times bestselling Wicked Lovely series.
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The first book (Wicked Lovely) I really enjoyed. I thought it was a great twist on the whole idea of faeries. The second and third books (Ink Exchange and Fragile Eternity) I did't enjoy as much but still quite liked. Finally the fourth book (Radiant Shadows) I wasn't as keen on. I thought it was okay but didn't grab me as much as the others. I almost gave it up to start with because I felt it was such a slow start, but the end really picked up and redeemed itself. There was alot of new and interesting ideas but at times it was very confusing with the large amount of new characters.
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I didn't care for the characters first until about half way through when I finally started to like Ani and Devlin. Ani is a halfling that belongs to the Dark Court. She likes to to put up a fight and is not afraid to confront anyone. In the end, I quite liked her because she was brave and got over being whiny and sulky. By the end she had less hard edges and was more likable and I think that was down to her falling for Devlin. Ani is also unique when it comes to being a faery becasue she has these special or enhanced powers. However, they were never really explained and I never really understood why they were so imporatant to the High Queen and her twin and how they could change the shape of the faery world.
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Devlin was the antihero of the book. The product of logic and war, he starts of being quite a selfish and driven character; he doesn't think about or care about other people and Ani is the flaw in that plan. For some reason he becomes drawn to her and feels the need to protect her. I like how he became more human in terms of feelings instead of the controlled robot he was at the start. He became more vulnerable and was willing to sacrifice himself if Ani was ever in trouble.
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One character I didn't understand at all was Rae the 'dreamwalker'. There was no explanation for where she came from or what happened to her in the end. She doesn't really have a back story and seems to just appear out of thin air. I didn't understand her character at all and it was never made clear how she even managed to be in Faerie at all. I didn't see the purpose of her in the story. Also there was no trace of Keenan or Aishlinn and Seth was only really present near the end. We learn that apparently Keenan has disappeared but that's all that's said on the matter. Maybe that will be built upon in the next novel. Two characters I still liked from the previous books were Irial and Bananach. Bananach is a truly malevolent person and is a fantastic villian. Whereas Irial is a complex character with many different sides.
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Towards the end of the book, the pace did pick up and I actually liked the ending. I liked how Marr explained the Faerie realm being about balance between order and disorder, shadows and radiance. Showing how it has a good side and a bad side but how both are needed for it to work. Basically Bananch and Sorcha represent the two sides to the Fairie realm and the plot in the end was about the possibilities of what might happen if the scales were to tip in the favour of one over the other.
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Whilst,eventually I did start to like Radiant Shadows, it came a bit late. In the end, I did like the two main characters and would like to see them more developed in further sequels but there still felt like there was something missing in this installment. However, I would recommend it to people that have already read the first three in the series as it's still a nice way to get immersed in Marr's unique Faerie realm.
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Random Passage: Like many faeries she knew, he was sculpture-perfect, but instead of being wrought of shadows like those in her court, this faery had a tangled feel to him. Shadow and radiance. He didn't look much older than her, until she saw the arrogance in his posture. Then, he reminded her of Irial, of Bananach, of Keenan, of the fearies who walked through courts and crowds confident that they could slaughter everyone in the room. Like chaos in a glass cage.

1 comment:

mummazappa said...

I feel very similar to you about this series, I loved the first book, quite liked the second and then it's all been downhill from there. I keep reading them because I love the characters, but I miss the feeling of Wicked Lovely.