Radiant Shadows, Melissa Marr

This is the fourth book in the Faerie courts trilogy, and it mainly deals with the shrapnel that’s still falling from the actions of Keenan, Irial, Seth and Ash. The Summer Court is weak because Keenan and Ash both have mixed focus due to Ash not being seduceable for Keenan, since she’s still in love with Seth, who’s left her. Seth is hanging out as a solitary Fae, and dealing mostly with the Dark Court. The Dark Court, on the other hand, is reeling because of the whole almost-starvation thing they just lived through, and change in leadership. The Winter court is probably building armies, they’re not talking to anyone that much, which leaves the High Court. Where Sorcha, the Unchangeable, is obsessed with her new son to the point that her realm is turning to fog. Oh, and Bannach, Chaos Personified, is loving it. She’s prowling around starting wars. Which, y’know, is always a GREAT sign. So that’s the setting.

And the characters? Ani is the half-human daughter of Gabriel, leader of the wild hunt. Too faerie to survive in the mortal world, and too human to be allowed to run with the hunt, it’s not a great position. Her father Gabe, brother Rabbit, friend Irial and sister Tish are trying to take care of her, but that’s difficult when the person you’re caring for is a.) fed by touch, but b.) not allowed to ravish the members of the wild hunt, because she’s c.) Ani. Because being the kind of girl she is, it’s more to protect the hunt than her that she’s not allowed to get freaky in the stables. (Did I just write that? Oh my word. Imma go laugh with shame now.)

Devlin is the brother of both Bannach and Sorcha, and the liason between both. He’s chosen to be as logical and Sorcha-like as possible, and she reacts by using him as her assassin.

Neither one is really loving life right now.

And then they meet, and the plot unreels in an entirely inevitable way.

I’m in the weird position now of really loving the characters, but not caring what happens to them. I especially love Rabbit. And Tish, and Irial, and Ani, and Devlin, and oh man do I love Gabriel. But the plot, I’m really not sure about. I liked the plot in Wicked Lovely, and LOVED it in Ink Exchange. Both times it seemed inexorable, but in a good way. I liked what happened for aesthetic reasons, if not liking the actual things that happened. But for two books now, I’ve just seen things happen to people I like, and I don’t like what’s happening on any level. It’s because of the characters that I give it three stars, and because of the plot that it’s not four or higher.

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