Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Not my favorite book of the Wicked Lovely series yet I did enjoy it and was happy to enter Melissa Marr's faerie world again. Radiant Shadows, in my opinion, is not as dark as Ink Exchange. If you are looking for more Keenan, Aislinn and Donia, don't bother with this book. We get a little Seth but he plays a secondary role and there isn't any of Aislinn and Seth love story. This is a great companion book but left me kind of empty and with more questions than answers.
If you are a Wicked Lovely fan but want to skip it and go to book #5 here goes my little summary... (SPOILER ALERT)
The story begins with introducing Devlin and Rae. Devlin was created by Bananach (Embodiment of War) and Sorcha (High Court Queen). He considers them mothers but they think of him as a brother. Devlin requires their blood to survive, this is a little weird if you ask me . Devlin has been Sorcha's assassin and is loyal to the High Court. Rae is a non-corporal being that lives in a cave with Devlin to stay hidden from Sorcha. Devlin is a lonely creature that is forced to suppress his dark emotions. He first disobeys the High Queen by bringing Rae to Faerie. He disobeys her again when Sorcha orders Ani's death as a child but due to Rae begging Devlin disobeys and leaves Ani alive.
Then we get to learn more about Ani. As we learned in the previous books she is the (half-human, half faery) daughter of the Gabriel, the leader of The Hounds. She mysteriously needs both touch (like the Hounds) and emotions(like Dark Court faeries) to survive.Her dual needs are supposed to be impossible. Irial, her protector and crush experiments with her blood to find a way to nourish the Dark Court.
Now that I introduced the characters lets dig in the plot.
Devlin goes to the mortal world by request of Sorcha to look after Seth. Devlin sees Ani and they attract each other, end up kissing she randomly gives him a taste of her blood. Ani realizes that he is strong enough to sustain her hunger and he realizes that her blood can nourish him. Bananach becomes interested in Ani's blood and orders her to kill Seth and Niall. She runs away with Devlin's help to try and keep her family safe. She gets a steed and names it Barry.
Alongside, Sorcha finds Rae and uses her to show Seth in her dreams, she goes to sleep and orders only to be awakened when Devlin brings Seth. Sorcha is the creater of Faerie and when she looses interest in it to watch only Seth, it begins to disappear.Devlin and Ani are planing to stay hidden until Rae enters his dreams and tells him that he needs to take Seth to Sorcha to save Faerie. Devlin and Ani return to Huntsdale to find out that Tish, Ani's twin sister was killed by Bananach. That is when we find out that one cannot kill Bananach without killing Sorcha and if they die all faeries die. This ruined my fast fix of just killing her and ending the story. Bananach comes with her a group of Ly Ergs an attempt to kill Ani. Irial takes the strike for her and is injured. Devlin swears allegiance to Ani and is willing to die for her to appease his sister. Yet, she refuses and almost kills him.To end this story, Devlin and Ani and Seth escape to Faerie while the others fight. Sorcha awakens and Faerie is saved. Ani gives her magical blood to Devlin and heals him. Ani tells Sorcha that she will sustain Devlin with her blood from now on. Devlin confronts her about being irrational. She is supposed to be the queen of reason. He tries to convince Niall to bring the Dark Court into Faierie to restore balance but Niall refuses. In order to save Faerie and restore balance he and Ani create the Shadow Court.
There are a few unanswered questions at the end of the story. We find out that Keenan has disappeared, yet no additional information is given. I hope the next book tells us more. Since there are 5 courts instead of 4 wouldn't one of them be out of balance. Does that mean that another court has to be established? I also don't really understand the relationship between Niall and Irial, were they lovers? Is irial going to die from the wound Bananach gave him? After reading this book I really feel in love with the Dark Court and the tight family interactions. I am not sure what I think about Ani, Devlin and Rae's relationship. I guess Aislinn, Keenan and Seth was not enough we needed another love triangle. I really hope that Aislinn stops playing with Keenan and Seth and their triangle is resolved. I also want to know more about Leslie and Niall.
I guess we just have to wait for the next book.