Radiant Shadows – Melissa Marr



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

Half-human and half-faery, Ani is driven by her hungers.

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.

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 whole of Faerie. Will saving the faery realm mean losing each other?

My Thoughts

Radiant Shadows definitely redeemed the Wicked Lovely series for me. I have not been quiet about how disgusting I find the behaviour of most faeries in this series, and how those behaviours affect those around them. (Yes, I am aware this is a common faerie thing, doesn’t mean I have to like it, and it doesn’t mean all fey have to be such assholes.) Radiant Shadows shows very little of this behaviour – rather than all out disgust, I feel something more akin to annoyance and irritation, most of which stemming from how self-important and arrogant Sorcha is as High Queen. But, that I can handle, no problem.

Things are starting to fall apart, both in the world of Faerie, and in the mortal world. Bananach is out for blood – specifically a certain type of blood. There is a disaster coming – both beautiful and devastating. Radiant Shadows dives into more of the politics, scheming, conniving, and planning involved in winning this war that Bananach is hell-bent on having. It was a very intriguing twist. Diving into the politics of the fey added layers to what otherwise sometimes felt like a shallow plot.

Something I’d forgotten when I’d been critical of fey behaviour is that, first and foremost, the fey will, and do, manipulate and deceive each other. Though incapable of lying, they can carefully choose words, and twist meanings. Radiant Shadows reminded me that while faeries are inherently unkind to mortals, they are absolutely cruel to each other.

In the middle of all this is Devlin – the Sorcha’s assassin. Devlin is unlike most of the male fey I’ve read so far, and that’s a good thing. There are parts of him that feel more human than faerie, which is both unusual and refreshing. Devlin is careful – he chooses his words carefully, he is careful to nourish his relationships and friendships, and (most importantly, in my opinion) he is careful about consent. This was a major game changer for me!

Devlin and Ani prove to be big influences in what seems to be a major disaster coming. With the help of Rae, a dreamwalker whom I can’t help but adore to bits and pieces, they accomplish what others once thought impossible.

Considering how wary I’ve been about the other books in this series, I am really looking forward to seeing how this all wraps up in the fifth and final installment.


~ by Aubrey Smith on May 23, 2017.

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