Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr

radiant shadows coverAni is half-mortal, half-Hound. Her father is Gabriel, leader of the Wild Hunt and assassin for the Dark King. Her mortal mother was murdered when she was just a young girl. Now that she is a teenager, she has discovered that she lusts for both touch and emotion to satisfy her faery hunger. Ani is becoming more faery by the minute, and many high-power faeries believe her uniqueness is dangerous. In fact, High Queen Sorcha ordered Ani’s murder when she was born, but Sorcha’s assassin Devlin couldn’t carry out the order. Now, Ani is back in Devlin’s life, and going against every instinct he has ever had, Devlin chooses to protect Ani and try to keep her alive rather than kill her. Devlin is sure this is the right choice for him and Ani, but is it the right choice for Faerie? Or has keeping Ani alive doomed them all?

This book was great. I liked both Ani and Devlin as main characters. They were both strong-willed and tough faeries who liked to take care of themselves. Watching them build a relationship when they were both convinced it was impossible–especially Devlin, since he was supposed to be a heartless killing machine–was entertaining and just cute enough to not be vomit-inducing. We met another new and interesting character in this book as well, the specter Rae. Rae is a ghost living in Faerie while her body sleeps in the mortal world, and she can walk in dreams. Devlin found her when she first wandered into Faerie and rather than report her to the queen and likely have to kill her, Devlin lets her live and becomes her friend. This is Devlin’s first act against his queen’s wishes, and paves the way for his saving Ani’s life and eventually falling in love with her. Rae learns the future from the Eolas and helps guide Devlin on the path that will lead him to Ani and his happily ever after. Rae sneaks into Ani’s dreams as well, although Ani does not realize she is real.

Some familiar characters from the previous books make appearances in this one as well. Aislinn and Keenan, stars of the first three books are mentioned, and Seth, mortal-turned faerie (and one of my favorites) was a fairly major player in this book. The mix of old and new characters was a fun group and that made for a fun read.

It took me awhile to pick up this book because I wasn’t thrilled with the third book in the Wicked Lovely series, Fragile Eternity. Nothing from that book stands out in my memory, I just know I wasn’t excited for the next book so I took a lengthy break from the series.  These are not my favorite stories about faeries, and it’s not the best world-building I’ve ever read, but they are interesting, and I like Melissa Marr so I’m glad I have this series another chance.

Not much more to say about this book. Quick read, cute love story, faeries. That’s all you need to know.

Happy reading,

-Branwen

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