Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr

Diving right into the third installment of Melissa Marr's lushly written Wicked Lovely series, I was immediately bombarded with the sense of barely controlled tension. After some tricky maneuvering in Wicked Lovely and Ink Exchange, Aislinn, Keenan, Seth, Donia and even Niall have all reached a somewhat tenuous balance but everyone knows the least little provocation could set off a war none of them can afford. Aislinn is thankfully settling into her role as co-Queen of the Summer Court but finding it daily harder and harder to hold Keenan at arms length when every instinct tells her she should get closer as summer draws nearer. And Keenan, well, he's never been a faery to miss a golden opportunity and he's not gonna budge an inch where Aislinn is concerned. He knows the stronger their bond is, the stronger the Summer Court will be and he's not going to let anything, let alone a mere mortal, get in the way of his goals. The mere mortal in question happens to be Seth - Aislinn's human boyfriend who is becoming increasingly frustrated with his mortality. Knowing he's too fragile and weak to truly protect Aislinn against any faery wishing her harm, he's stuck waiting on the sidelines, watching as Keenan draws her ever closer. This little love triangle is further complicated by Donia, who is slowly turning into the Ice Queen she truly is as she watches Keenan woo Aislinn while professing he truly loves only her. I'd be a little bitter too. And Niall? Well, we can all just sit back and appreciate the Dark Lord in action, because frankly, if I was the betting type, my money would be on him.

Melissa Marr has such a way with words, sending her readers into this convoluted world full of court politics and murky relationships. Each individual Marr introduces is more alive and solid than the previous with each adding their own spin to events. Often while reading this series, I've found Ms. Marr's faeries to be remarkably human. That could be due to the fact that the boundaries between faery and mortal are so thin in her world - they go to the same night clubs, the same parks - and not surprisingly, they often seem to have more human than faerie qualities. That said, when Seth travels to meet Sorcha of the High Court of Faeries, I was so entranced with her complete 'otherness' as a quintessential faery. I should have fully expected that someone embodying Faerie would be a little bit different but I was surprised by how imperial everything about Sorcha and her court appeared. Just loved the contrast.

There are so many characters to love in Fragile Eternity but I found myself constantly irritated with Aislinn. How did she stray so far from being one of my favorites? The girl makes some seriously deluded choices that made me want to strangle her. Out of every single character that has set foot in a Melissa Marr book, Niall has to be the winner - hands down. Who else could have began as a bodyguard and adviser and in one decisive step taken up the role of the King of the Dark Court and no one doubts for a minute that's where he belongs? That's right, NOBODY. I love his friendship with Seth and I love even more his barely controlled violence. He's freaking awesome.

series reading order:
~ Wicked Lovely
~ Ink Exchange
~ Fragile Eternity
~ Radiant Shadows (April 2010)

Because Everyone Likes a Second Opinion:
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Au Courant review
The Book Smugglers review
Darque Reviews review
Em's Bookshelf review

book source: my local library

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