Monday, 5 March 2012

Review: Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr

Darkest Mercy (Wicked Lovely #5) by Melissa Marr
Publisher: HarperCollins
Released: 22nd February 2011
Challenge: TBR reading challenge
Rating: 4/5

  **Note this is the FINAL book in the Wicked Lovely series therefore this review will have unavoidable spoilers for the previous books**

Goodreads description:

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.
My thoughts:
When I finished Radiant Shadows when it came out TWO YEARS AGO my face was like this:

6 months later, my face was like this:

And when I finally picked up Darkest Mercy, having owned it FOR A WHOLE YEAR, my face was like this:

Why? Oh Iri. Iri, Iri, Iri. My darling Iri. Irial, one of my all-time favourite book boyfriends...WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO YOU *wails inconsolably* 

However, upon *finally* finishing Darkest Mercy, my face is no longer like that. Because wow, Melissa Marr, you really know how to finish a series off in style. When Radiant Shadows finished, I remember thinking, how the FRICK will this be solved? War seemed unstoppable, everyone was dead, dying, missing or new to their role and not in their full powers. 

I was slightly confused about some details because of the 2 year break, but I couldn't bring myself to read Radiant Shadows again, so I soldiered on. I sorta felt like not much happened for the majority of the book, because it had to follow so many people, all of which had chapters from their POVs, there was a lot of buildup. When we did get to the climax I was speeding through, frantically reading to find out what would happen. 

I love the characters in this series, I think there's only really Keenan that I'm not a fan of, but does anyone like Keenan really? Donia was as strong as ever, Aislinn really came into her own and Niall...well. We'll not talk about Niall. I was intrigued about Seth, by how much he actually knew in advance, the idea of seeing threads of the future really intrigued me and I loved the clever little move he did towards the end, though it was never explained whether it worked or not...I assume it must've. If you've read it, you (hopefully) know what I'm talking about. I really liked the introduction of Far Dorcha and Ankou. Their role was...kinda creepy yet cool. I didn't really get all the bargains he struck though, some of them never seemed to come to fruition and I just wondered what the point of some of them was....? With any war, there will be deaths. I think the characters that did lose their lives were cleverly chosen. It's such a balancing act; you can't kill off the main, main characters yet if you kill off people no one cares about, where's the emotional impact? Where's the realism? I think Melissa Marr did strike a good balance on this aspect. 

On one level, I really enjoyed the mixed POVs. Like I said, I love all these characters. It's funny, because none of them are human, and yet they all feel so, so human. Their emotions, their actions, their quirks, they're all so human. I loved that about them and I loved seeing them all. Yet it did lead to the story feeling a little disjointed and a little stunted. 

The ending was so, so clever. I loved how the Irial thing was resolved. I ADORE Irial and his relationship with Niall and how everything worked out in this area was really clever. I'd LOVE a spin-off novel following these two *sigh*. Everything else was tied up pretty neatly it seems...usually this is something I'd object to but I just LOVE all these characters SO much that I wanted a good ending for them. 

Overall, I think this lacked a little of the impact and action of the previous books, but it was a fantastic finale to what has long been one of my favourite series. I just want to say a quick thank you to Jess from Gone With the Words for pushing me to FINALLY read this. Thank you, were right, it wasn't as bad as I expected ;) 


  1. I've not heard of this, but I'm glad you enjoyed it? LOL, great review, though. I'm not sure I'll be reading it- not my prefered genre-, but your review did make me smile!

  2. Nice review! I loved the first 4 books but I think I may have given this one 3 stars. With so much going on this last book felt a little rush for me. I have been thinking about rereading the series at some point. I love Seth and Niall!!

  3. Great in-depth review! There is just something about Melissa Marr's faefolk stories that give me the shivers. The lady knows darkness well. I have this last book in my pile but I've yet to read it. Hopefully soon. Thanks for sharing :)

  4. Well, someone had to do the pushing!! :) Great review, Cait!!

    I agree that I did not mind one tiny bit how neatly all this wrapped up. I love all the characters a lot too. And I should mention that I actually don't hate Keenan, I may be the only one. I felt sorry for him and his bad, bad decisions...I could only shake my head at him, but could never bring myself to dislike him. *sigh* I actually disliked Donia more than anyone else in this series.

    I would DIE for a Niall and Irial spin-off!! It would be amazinggggg!

    1. Nuuu Donia is awesome!! I dislike Keenan, but he redeemed himself slightly in this.

  5. I left off right at Fragile Eternity, I'm thinking. Is that book three? Yes, well, I STILL HAVE TO READ RADIANT SHADOWS. I'm almost scared now, from the way you're making it out. But, I'm dying to know how this all ends so I'm really begging to get my hands on that fourth book. Hopefully, sometime soon in the future.

    *fist-bumps* We Irial lovers have to stick together ;)

  6. I had to skim as I haven't read this series yet and plan on it someday. I've heard good things about it and that's changed my bias opinions. I was looking at the covers before and rolling my eyes. Now I'll have to read them.


    I really really loved reading the Wicked Lovely series! It was such a beautifully written series and Marr's writing makes faery seems so beautiful, pretty and alive!

    I LOVE HOW THE SERIES ENDS TOO!! I actually liked Keenan but my favourite character in the series would be Irial or Niall I guess! I've forgotten how the whole series goes since I read it almost a year ago now but I still remember loving it so much!

    ABSOLUTELY AMAZING REVIEW, Cait! So glad you enjoyed it! ♥

  8. Some things mentioned above, I'm a little fuzzy on because *I* actually read this when it was released *wipes smug look from face* Seriously though, fabulous review! YES. SPIN OFF. IRIAL/NIALL! I wonder... is there a short story featuring them in Faery Tales & Nightmares? I know some WL characters have one.... ooooh I must check later!

    Anyway, this was a fantastic finale to what has been a thoroughly captivating series. You're making me want to go back and reread it all over again!

    1. LOL I couldn't bring myself to do it....

  9. I need to pick this series up again! Only read Wicked Lovely, but I did enjoy it, so I'll have to read the rest. I'm curious about Irial/Niall - you sound very passionate about them :P.


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