Category

Faeries

Category

Before I read One Blood Ruby I will review the first book in the series by Melissa Marr — Seven Black Diamonds.

Synopsis

Lilywhite Abernathy is a criminal. Her father’s “unconventional” business has meant a life of tightly held secrets, concealed weaponry, and a strict code. But Lily’s crime isn’t being the daughter of a powerful mob boss. Her guilt lies in the other half of her DNA—the part that can coax ancient rumors from stones and summon fire with a thought. Lily is part fae, which is a crime in her world.

From the time before she was born, a war has been raging between humanity and fae. The Queen of Blood and Rage, ruler of both the Seelie and Unseelie courts, wants to avenge the tragic death of her heir—a death that was the fault of reckless humans.

Lily’s father has shielded her from the repercussions of her ancestry…until she is sent to the prestigious St. Columba’s school, straight into the arms of the Black Diamonds.

Mysterious, glamorous, and bound together in their mission but constantly at odds, Zephyr, Creed, Will, Roan, Violet, and Alkamy are a Sleeper cell of fae, planted in the human world to help destroy it from within. With covers as rock stars and celebrity children, the Black Diamonds carry out the queen’s war against humanity. And unbeknownst to Lilywhite, she’s been chosen to join them.

Now more than ever, Lily’s heritage puts her in peril, and even the romantic attention of the fae singer Creed Morrison isn’t enough to keep Lily from wanting to run back to the safer world of organized crime.

Melissa Marr returns to faery in a dramatic story of the precarious space between two worlds and the people who must thrive there

— Courtesy of GoodReads.com

Plot

Can we first please address the elephant in the room? A group of fey sleeper agents, hmm? Wow. It’s so strange how Melissa Marr and I have the exact same ideas. Now before you roll your eyes, hear me out. When I was 14 I wrote a story about a mermaid who attends human high school and her best friend who is admitted into a school for secret agents who hunt fey.  So not quite the same but very similar. But it doesn’t end there. Three of four years ago I wrote a story about half fey sleeper agents who protect the fey from the Paladins, a group of anti-fey secret agents.  Now leave a message below and let me know if any of you want to read THAT story.

Now back to the review at hand.

Marr promises us a story about fey sleeper agents but instead we get a lot of sitting around, a lot of talking and not very much action. For a bunch of eco-terrorists I thought they would, you know, be doing some terrorising. Instead we get some ridiculous insta-love story and another story about a fey girl getting married against her will. Which you know, I shouldn’t be so judgy about since I do a similar thing in my own book I’m writing, but the point is we’re promised one thing and given another. At least I’m honest from the beginning about my princess getting married against her will.

For a book about the daughter of a MOB boss there isn’t a lot of MOB activity happening here. Besides some kind of ball at the beginning with lots of sons and daughters of crime lords there really isn’t anything at all to do with actual criminal activity in this book.

Overall, added with the surprise ending, I have to say that if you want a book with tonnes of action, or you know just a book with fey eco-terrorists as promised in the synopsis then you should stay away from this book. But if you love romance and friendship this book just might be for you.

Point of View – POV/Characters

From the synopsis above you could easily mistake Lilywhite Abernathy as our only main character. But this book has EIGHT point of views. This includes our sleeper agents: Lilywhite, Creed, Violet, Alkamy, Zephyr and Roan, Will – as well as Elidh, the Crown Princess.

Personally I don’t like having more than 4 POVs, but perhaps I’m a bit biased because the book I’m writing has 4 POVs. But honestly I’ve tried reading both Game of Thrones, which has 7 POVs, and Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, which of course has 6 Povs. The problem with having more than 2 POVs is that it becomes that much harder to remember who everyone is, and to grow a connection with them because the story becomes so thinned out.

I really wanted to love Mellisa Marr’s characters but I just couldn’t. Most of these POVs just weren’t necessary and many of them felt like filler chapters. If I had to be honest the only necesarry POV characters were Lilywhite, Elidh and MAYBE Zephyr since he was the leader of the Seven Black Diamonds.

Lilywhite: This character irks me. I like her, I do. But the part about her spouting the Abernathy rules really reminds me of Aisilnn from Marr’s other series, Wicked Lovely. You see Aislinn can see fae so to stay alive she reminds herself of these three rules to stay under the radar of the fae, which is exactly what Lilywhite seems to be doing. Another gripe I have with Lilywhite is how much of a Mary Sue she is. Her two major faults are that people love her almost instantly and she is overpowered. Most fey blood have at least one “affinity”, that is, a power over one of the four elements. But Lilywhite has power over ALL FOUR elements/affinities.

Elidh: I love Elidh. She is perhaps a bit too scared of her mother to question her, but she does genuinley want to change things. She wants to rule in a different manner to The Queen of Blood and Rage. Unlike Lilywhite not everyone loves her because of course being the heir apparant she has taken her brother’s rightful place as future King of the Seelie Court since the Seelie and Unseelie merged when Endellion, The Queen of Blood and Rage took over.

Zephyr: I feel kind of bad for this guy. As leader of the Seven Black Diamonds he has had to shoulder the burden all on his own. Lilywhite is supposed to be his partner in all things related to their terrorism, but she isn’t exactly willing. Perhaps it something to do with her introduction to the team.

Will and Roan: All I know about them is that they are in love with each other and one of them can’t tell his parents about their dating because they don’t like gay people. That, and the fact that Endellion chooses who marries whom so they’ll probably never be together forever.

Violet: She is an actress. That is all I remember about her.

Creed: The insta-love interest. Part time rock star, part time terrorist, part time student.

Final Thoughts

As much as there are many cliches I have to be honest that I loved reading this book. Melissa Marr’s writing style had me hooked and constantly wanting to know more. Of course I came out very frustrated and annoyed for all the reasons above but it’s important to note that for whatever reason I never at any point wanted to put this book down. It was so intriguing and I constantly wanted to know what would happen next.

I give Seven Black Diamonds THREE stars

I’ve kindly asked a friend to review a book for me. This book has been reviewed by Deborah Osborne:


I found the Iron Kingby accident while browsing books on my Kindle.  The cover was the first thing that attracted me because it was mysterious and gorgeous.  The second thing was the idea of a race of iron faeries and how they would fit into the story.  It did take me a while to get stuck into the book as in the first instance it seemed to be a premise that had been done quite a lot before (she was just an average American high school student when suddenly…) Having said that I liked the books so much that I read the first three in the series in a few weeks, and have the fourth downloaded.

 

Story

The plot begins with Meghan going to save her brother from the Iron King, a race of fae who are toxic to other faeries. The pace was brisk and the tension kept coming, especially towards the end of the book.  There was a steady stream of obstacles to block Meghan’s way too.  My favourite of these was King Oberon, whose aloofness and certainness in his own opinion made it very clear that being related to him wouldn’t get Meghan anywhere fast.  Plus it gave her a whole other barrel of obstacles to deal with as she is soon drawn into the politics between Oberon’s Court and their long-time adversaries at Queen Mab’s court.
There are the flickerings of a love triangle between Meghan, Ash and Goodfellow, but it doesn’t take over the main story.  Plus it’s quite clear that Meghan’s heart belongs to the boy she can’t have, which only adds to the fun.

Character

I liked Meghan Chase, the heroine of these books.  She was good natured and brave.  Sometimes with books in this genre I find the main female protagonists too similar.  Meghan Chase is definitely of the same type as other YA fantasy romance heroines, but I still enjoyed her company and could connect to her journey. Although she does have a talent for forgetting deals she’s made with other faeries that are quite important. For me though this book was all about the boys. 
The ancient feud between Ash and Robin Goodfellow added an extra layer of tension to the story as they are forced to work together to help Meghan save her brother.  They are contrasted well and are satisfying foils for each other. Grimalkin the Cait Sith is sophisticated and crafty. It’s nice never being entirely sure what he is up to, or what side he is on. His dialogue is brilliantly distinctive too and oozing with sarcasm in some places.

World Building

I love faeries, especially bad scary faeries, and the world created was sinister mostly due to the system of deals and favours between the fair folk. You never get something for nothing which means that the characters are constantly in a state of assessing what they are prepared to lose in order to get what they want. 
We learn right from the start that this land is dangerous as within a few minutes of arriving Meghan is being hunted by numerous beasties. Most of these beasties also exist in the ‘real’ world too so even on the occasions Meghan travels back to America she isn’t safe from horny satyrs and scheming oracles.
The description of Oberon’s court with the magical moving hedges is one that stays in the memory. I loved that and was disappointed that more of the action didn’t take place there. The second one that stayed with me most were the tunnels that lead Meghan to the Iron King’s Castle.  They were sinister and filled with peril, especially for the more traditional faery characters.
 Overall, I would have to give The Iron King 4/5!

Debbie has her own blog that you can check out. Go over to www.thewickedqueensmirror.wordpress.com !!!

There are several reasons why I enjoyed The Iron Traitor more than The Lost Prince. It’s darker, more suspenseful, and has better characterisations than TLP.
My biggest concern however was that the title was a dead giveaway and I suspect that Kagawa (or her publishers) did that on purpose to tease us. Either way, I think that the journey was more important than the ending.


Plot:
What is interesting about this sequel is that for once, it’s not really bad things happening to even. Of course that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect him, we wouldn’t have a book.
Kierran, the Iron Prince, has disappeared and many people are in search of him — especially his parents, that iron Queen, and the once winter Prince, “touch me and I’ll kill you,” now iron Prince consort, “if you even think of moving from the spot are freeze is will feet to the floor of your room.” Okay, so he’s still sort of an ice-boy 😉

Annwyl is dying and Kierran seeks to find a way to stop her from Fading.As Kierran’s best friend and uncle, Ethan finds himself getting sucked into the world of fey once more to help a family member in stop all the while, Kenzie, his girlfriend, is dying from leukaemia. But with an eerie prophecy hanging over his head, Ethan fears the worst of Kierran.

Overall, I enjoyed the balance of action, romance, and even a bit of mystery. And when Ethan uses his brain, he is very badass!


Characters:
Ethan — a.k.a. “tough guy”; “Iron Prince” (by relation to Meghan). I like him — nay — I LOVE him 🙂 Ethan has a firm sense of loyalty. Whilst he isn’t the cleverest character, he isn’t as impulsive as Kierran. Having encountered the Good Neighbours as a child (he was kidnapped by Machina, iron King) he is very cautious around the fey.
As a boyfriend, Ethan can often be overbearing and overprotective, as he himself points out. This can be infuriating at times when he attempts to protect Kenzie when she claims she does not need protection, and he does do one or two things that are a bit stupid and may potentially ruin their relationship. This of course was a brilliantly thought out idea because in reality a lot of the problems are actually internal as opposed to external. This means of course that aside from the potential threat that the faeries could be, Ethan also has to worry about his relationships which are founded on trust, reliability, and of course love.
On the whole, Kagawa has represented the mind of a teenage boy quite well. In this book, Ethan comes out of that broodish/thugish/mystery boy shell. The walls of his placed around him come crumbling down and it’s all thanks to Kenzie. We get to see more of the person, as he is represented in multifaceted way. 

Kenzie– For some time in the first book I did wonder why Ethan was interested in her but of course it became quite apparent. Kenzie is one of the few people who isn’t afraid of Ethan. She strives to find the truth about him, to break him out of his shell so that he can actually try and interact with other human beings. Of course, she gets more than she bargained with when she discovers the world of the fey in the process, but through it all, she remained strong and defiant. She continues to do the same throughout The Iron Traitor, despite other people constantly trying to protect her due to her illness. She was definitely one of my favourite characters, strangely reminding me of Annabeth Chase from the Percy Jackson series because she is smart and resourceful. I also occasionally felt sorry for her when the boys were being stupid.

Kierran– I don’t even know where to start with this guy. Oh, I know. Desperate. Kierran is desperate to save the love of his life, Annwyl, from Fading. As a summer fey exile, her destiny is to Fade away into nothingness, and her encounter with the Forgotten in the previous book has speeded up the process. In a race against time, the Iron Prince seeks to find a cure, but it will come at great cost. How far is he willing to go save the one he loves?
Now if you know about the Iron Prophecy already, you’ll know what’s to come and it’s all a matter of how and when. 
Kierran didn’t seem to have much of a personality to me in the previous book but Kagawa has given him more depth in this sequel. He comes across as generally loyal, and very intense. Though usually slow to anger, desperation has made him quick tempered and impulsive. In other words, he does stupid shit that will make you want to slap him, but you can still sort of sympathise. Sort of. Most of the time, I find myself asking “What the hell, Kierran?”

Cameo appearances– Characters from the original series do appear, and are generally more prominent than the previous book, which made me very happy 🙂 Seriously, seeing these characters again made me this happy:

As to be expected from a Julie Kagawa book, she hit me right where it hurts at the end. So I warn you, there will be pain. But really you’ll love it. And hate it. At the same time.

And once you are finished you can say “Julie Kagawa broke my heart… and it was awesome!”
I rate this book… 4/5 stars!

This review has been a long time coming. I think the book came out maybe 4 years ago? I only read it in July though, but I was too lazy to actually review it. Now I’m at university, scrounging for the time to do anything I actually want to, haha.

This book has layer upon layer of mystery.

 Kaylee Cavanaugh is a normal girl whose life comes crumbling down when she becomes possessed the urge to scream. when  we start the book, it isn’t her first time to scream. she had these episodes before but they get progressively worse.
Beautiful girls are dying around her, and Kaylee seeks to discover why.  Of course this could have dangerous consequences. No one will tell her what is happening , why it’s happening, and how it is happening.

 
 
Trailer:
 


Rachel Vincent brings something new to the myth of faeries.  There is intrigue, romance, and action. this novel mostly deals with Reapers and the Banshees, (mostly referred to as bean sidhe in this novel) but I do believe that there were mentions of demons and other creatures that live on another astral plane.

Now, let’s talk about the fun part : The Love Interest.

 From what I recall, Nash is the kind of guy who isn’t supposed to know of the existence of the main character.  So when he does notices Kaylee at a party, she is very smitten.  Nash turns out to know more about Kaylee’s secret than she does, but I won’t spoil about how he knows!
 I found myself comparing Nash to my ideal boyfriend, who is Seth from Melissa Marr’s “Wicked Lovely” series. Honestly, I could have a whole conversation about why Seth is the perfect boyfriend — but this is a review about “My Soul to Take” !  Nash isn’t quite Seth perfect but he is still rather understanding of a lot of things. He is kind and considerate but  I have to take a few brownie points because of the whole secret thing. And he’s almost a little too perfect. When will his skeletons come out of the closet?

 As far as the secret goes ,  Kaylee’s family should not have kept it from her. but I understand their logic — as infuriating as it was! Her father, was the worst culprit.  He made me so angry!
Another very good mystery, was the whole business of the reapers.  It reminded me  of Victoria Scott’s  “Dante Walker” series but without the idea of God and the devil. As the name suggests, Reapers take souls to the next place: be that heaven, hell or wherever. I’m sure Vincent will explain all that stuff later in the series.

Let’s talk about Kaylee as a person. She’s actually  a rather likeable character. I felt something, rather than being indifferent or wanting to kill her. She was an angsty teenager without being completely overwhelming about how suckish her life is. She had a mental breakdown prior to the beginning of this novel, leading her to being put on medication. I think Vincent handled her problem rather delicately. She wasn’t all depressed and sick of the world. Instead she found good friends to talk to, and admittedly, she did try to speak to her family, and I think she come across as a strong, independent character without being an asshole. She wasn’t full on Female Warrior, but she wasn’t a damsel in distress. I’d say she falls somewhere in the middle, if I have to make comparisons.

My major concern was the love interest, Nash. Although he is a lovely guy, I did find the relationship rather convenient and quite honestly, not particularly believable. Kaylee is one of those infuriating YA characters who doesn’t think she’s beautiful —a trend that MUST be bucked at some point, people!

I mean, look at this!:

“If Eastlake High School were the universe, I would be one of the moons circling Planet Emma, constantly hidden by her shadow, and glad to be there. Nash Hudson would be one of the stars: too bright to look at, too hot to touch and at the center of his own solar system.”


 So of course when the hot guy Nash seeks her attention, she has no idea why! This in itself isn’t my main concern, but the fact that their relationship started so quickly worries me. I am going to have completely unrealistic ideals in a relationship, haha!

I give the book 4/5 stars!


Please take a moment to enjoy the quotes below. I hope they don’t spoil things for you.

Good Quotes:    

“He was an arrogant little demon.”
“So what happened?” I asked.
“I punched him.”
For a moment, we stared at him in silence. “You punched the reaper?” I asked, and my hand fell from the strainer onto the edge of the sink.
“Yeah.” He chuckled at the memory, and his grin brought out one of my own.


“My aunt and overprivileged cousin only recognize two states of being: glitter and grunge. And if you weren’t glitter, well, that only left one other option.”

“…the dead have a way of becoming saints in the eyes of their survivors…”  

“…Weirdest. Tuesday. Ever”

“Why do you hang out with him?”
“We’re teammates.”
Ahhh. And if blood was thicker than water, then football, evidently, would congeal in one’s veins.”
  

New year, new targets. This year, I aim to read at least 40 books. Last year it was 30. I’d aim for 50 but what with exams coming up, I have too much at stake to get side tracked. The next 5 months will determine where I end up for the next FOUR years. University here I come!

So far I’ve read 6 books. Here’s the list:

#1 The Goddess Hunt by Aimee Carter

Unlike my other reads, this one is a novella. This one was multi narrative. It wasn’t always necessary though. What I don’t understand about Kate is how she can just go off on a holiday with James just like that after everything that has occurred. He was going to replace Henry! The Castor and Pollux story was cool but I think it needed a bit more but seemed to me that Zeus was overreacting, even for him. What a dysfunctional family!

#2 Endure, by Carrie Jones

And so the countdown to Ragnarok begins.

Zara is now a pixie, and is also Astley’s queen. But she still loves Nick. It’s hard to believe that this character is the same one who used to whisper phobias to herself all the time. Little Miss Peace is now she is fighter trying to save her town, and potentially the world, from a pixie invasion. I know a similar transformation that occurred in a favourite book series of mine. It was the Iron Fey series’ Meghan Chase. By the Iron Queen, she was there with the rest of them, fighting it out, much like Zara does. I liked how Jones resolved the love triangle in this book, although I think she took a bit of a risk. Still, I liked it and I found it believable. I also really like Hel. She was pretty nice and I like how Jones incorporated Norse Mythology. If I had made as many transformation as Zara had, I think I’d be even more messed up than she was if I’m honest.
#3 Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

This one was a strange book. The origins behind it, The Arcana cards, was unfamiliar to me, which excited me. Yet at the sane time I was a big unnerved. But that might have been my reaction to the whole post-apocalyptic thing, and if course the romance which had me cringing from time to time.
Jack was a strange fellow but I loved how Cole used his background to shape him. The MC (what was her name? Evie? I’ve read too many books this month.) got in my nerves from time to time. Jack wasn’t all bad and sometimes she treated him like dirt and I didn’t like that. But then again, he had faults if his own, especially his lustful nature. I’m convinced that the only reasons Cole went for the post-apocalyptic thing is because they’re really trending, it gives the characters a reason to be travelling extensively, and it somehow justifies all the male character’s REALLY uncontrollable lust. Like seriously, can’t they control themselves!
I didn’t like the post-apocalyptic thing because Cole didn’t really explain how it had gotten that way. I mean I guess neither did Evie but at the moment I don’t think that even the author has that part figured out either.
#4 Intertwined by Gena Showalter

I’ve already written an extensive review about this book so you should go over there to check it out. I don’t want to reiterate myself but basically it’s a story about a guy with four different voices in his head, who he believes are different souls. And one of them predicts is death. He seeks to set them free so that he can live a normal life… And falls in love with a vampire along the way.

#5 The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

Ethan Chase has grown up now. He isn’t the same helpless boy who kidnaped by faeries anymore. He’s 17 now, but the fey are still a part of his life because he has the Sight. The fey are constantly making his life miserable which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t hurt the ones he loved too. When a mysterious new species of fey emerge and kidnap a halfling, Ethan embarks on a quest to get him back.
Mmm… Does this plot seem familiar? Yes I thought so too. But do not fear, there are enough twists and turns to keep this story interesting, with appearances from out fave characters from the previous series as well.

#6 Gates of Paradise by Melissa de la Cruz

So the final book in the Blue Bloods series has finally come out. After reading Wolf Pact I was definitely ready to see Bliss again. GoP finally tied up all the loose ends in the series. I really enjoyed it, with the exception if the very last chapter which I thought was very odd. I’m happy for all the characters and Cruz did a good job portraying Lucifer, which I had been wary about before. There is enough suspense, action, and of course romance to keep you going. My only problem was thy the characters would occasionally get distracted. I mean, this is an end I the world situation and you’re busy doing what? (I will not be spoil sport and tell you what Sky gets up to). It’s a shame that it’s the end, but what a great ending it was!

#7 Supernaturally by Kiersten White

After yearning for a normal life for so long, Evie finally gets her wish. She’s left a little bit disappointed by high school, but she loves her locker. Although she may have escaped IPCA, they are in need if her again. And of course there’s the relationship problem. She’s worried about how Lend is immortal and whether she should tell him. In this department, I think she gets on my nerves a little. Why can’t she decide? Still, I sympathise.

I wish Reth appeared more often, but I kind of liked Jack. He was an interesting addition. Some say the villain was obvious, but it wasn’t obvious to me. Overall, with the lack of Reth and Lend, there was quite a lot to be desired in this sequel by I have hope for the final book of the trilogy.

I haven’t posted any artwork in a long time so I thought I’d post a few Iron Fey stuff in celebration of Julie Kagawa’s latest book, The Lost Prince. And because they aren’t many, I’ve added some of my favourite character quotes.

Puck, by mseregon

Quotes:
“Oh, so we’re playing nice now? Shall we have tea first? Brew up a nice pot of kiss-my-ass?” (The Iron King)

“Me? Die? Didn’t they tell you, princess? I’m Robin Goodfellow.” (The Iron King)

“Crazy Ash doesn’t have the same ring as Don’t-bother-me-or-I’ll-kill-you Ash.” (The Iron Knight”

Grimalkin, by RottonNymph

Quotes:
“I am a cat”

“The Winter prince and Oberon’s jester agreeing on something. The world must be ending.” (The Iron King)

“Do try and stay out of trouble, human. I will be terribly annoyed if you manage to get yourself killed.” (The Iron Queen)

Meghan Chase, by AllicynLeiaAllen

Quotes:
“Good God, the Ice Prince was making jokes now; the world must be ending.” (The Iron King)

“Right, cause I’m bleeding all over the place for shits and giggles” (The Iron King)

“I could handle goblins and bogeymen and evil, flesh-eating horses, but giant freaking spiders? That’s where I drew the line. (The Iron Daughter)

Prince Ash, by lilgrimmapple

Quotes:
“Touch her, and I’ll freeze your testicles off and put them in a jar. Understand?” (The Iron King)

“Insult her again and I’ll cut your ***** into so many pieces they’ll never find then again.” (The Iron Queen)

“You made me feel alive again” (The Iron King)

       

It has been quite some time since I’ve read the previous book, Lament! Knowing that this book would be from James’ Point Of View, however, I didn’t let that worry me. So is Ballad worth the bother? I mean, let’s face it, you could quite as easily treat Lament as. a standalone. My answer? It’s worth it, yet it’s not…

UK Cover

Narrating

Well, this is sequel is quite different as it does not have the same narrator as its predecessor. This is a trait that I became accustomed to with Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series, and even Julie Kagawa had a go at an alternative POV with her last Iron Fey book, The Iron Knight. Many authors have tried using alternate point of views in their novels, but not all have succeeded.

Characters


The MC: James. What can I say about James? He was… interesting. If I’m honest, I think I enjoyed reading about him from Dee’s perspective. There is something just a little bit odd about reading a funny character from their own point of view. It’s not always bad, mind you. Riordan’s Leo Valdez (Heroes of Olympus series) and Kagawa’s Puck (Iron Fey series) were both very amusing even when they narrated. At about page 90, I remember getting sick of James’ humour. I remember because I took a note of it using my Goodreads App. Here’s my update statement:

“I loved how funny James was in Lament but now that half the novel is from his POV, I just don’t understand why he’s still trying so hard to be funny, even internally. I wish he’d be a bit more serious. I know he’s not that immature.”

After some time, I got used to it and began to appreciate his rather wry sense of humour. I’d like to think that if I ever met him in real life, we’d get along. So long as he didn’t play his bagpipes, that is. Oh well, maybe he’s as good as they say he is.

James is arrogant, loud spoken and outgoing. He’s somehow cool and geeky. I can’t help thinking what someone like him sees in someone like Dee. I get the whole BFF thing, but she’s not interested! She’s pining after some ex-assassin faery. Move on! Am I being unreasonable? Maybe. You can’t help who you fall for, after all.

The Other MC: Nuala, the leanansidhe. Now it struck me that she was a leananshide. I couldn’t help but compare her to Kagawa’s leananside, the Exile Queen. It quickly became apparent that they were nothing alike however. It’s sad to say, but Kagawa’s lenansidhe would eat Nuala for breakfast. Nuala isn’t as badass as she appears to be, but that’s what I like about her. She has a vulnerability that makes her relatable. So, okay, I don’t have to burn myself alive every sixteen years in order to survive, and go all Phoenix, and rise from the ashes. But like many teenagers, I understand what it is like to feel isolated and alone.

Nuala first appears to be an antagonist, but it becomes apparent that she is so much more. I felt detached from her to begin with, and could not understand why I would want to see things from her point of view. A little while passed and I realised that despite how the novel had started, this was her story too. She is a faery, yet she is not. Too human to be respected by those of her species, and too feared to be considered human, she is forced to live her life solitary. With dreams and aspirations of her own, I began to believe that she was a well thought out character. I love her sense of humour, which compliments James’ very well, without upstaging him.

US Cover

Supportive Characters: Paul. Sullivan. Dee. The Antler King (who’s name I just can’t spell). These are some of the more prominent supportive characters. I don’t want to ruin it by detailing who they are or what their roles are, but I can say that I liked having most of them around. A certain alcohol scene comes to mind with Paul, who Nuala has dubbed ‘Roundface’. Don’t worry, it’s nothing irresponsible, after all this is one of James’ mischievous acts. No, I am not being sarcastic here. Sullivan was loveable, and really did seem a lot like James.

Dee was boring, as far as I’m concerned. She didn’t do a lot in this book. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, mind you, considering that she and James have become more distant since the events of Lament. Somehow, she still seems to have a voice, however, as we are shown a number of text messages that she had intended for James, but purposely did not send. You might wonder what the point of that is. Really, it’s like writing out an angry letter to vent out your feelings, but never mailing it. I found it quite effective, yet infuriating, as we did not get to follow up on what she wrote.

My biggest complaint about this book, however, is the lack of one of my favourite characters, Luke Dillon. I mean, why?! I miss him!

Plot

In this mesmerizing sequel to “Lament”, music prodigy James Morgan has joined his best friend, Deirdre, at a private conservatory for musicians. James’ almost unearthly gift for music has attracted the dangerous attentions of Nuala, a soul-snatching faerie muse who fosters and feeds on the creative energies of exceptional humans until they die. Composing beautiful music together leads James and Nuala down an unexpected road of mutual admiration …and love. Haunted by a vision of raging fire and death, James realizes that Deirdre and Nuala are being hunted by the Fey and plunges into a soulscorching battle with the Queen of the Fey to save their lives.
– Goodreads Synopsis

Like lament, this is a tale of unexpected (expected) romance. How is it expected and yet unexpected?, you may ask. Well, because Nuala and James seem like a rather unlikely couple, and yet you can sort of see it coming because it’s a YA book, and that’s what happens in YA.

The stuff that goes on with the Antlered King was creepy and amazing. In the end, I was strangely satisfied with what happened. I mean, sure, one of my favourite characters becomes… oh I can’t tell you. All I can say is that Their plans are foiled, for the most part.

Man, I cannot wait for the third book, Requim. It’s coming out in 2013. 
In the end, I think this novel deserved 4 stars

* I did indeed find these GIFs on Tumblr

Now I know I must have told you how awesome this series is. So if you haven’t already read it, what are you waiting for. This is a trailer for the last book. You probably don’t want to watch it if you haven’t read the previous books as the Wicked Lovely series have five in the series. For those of you who don’t care about spoiler (like me!), or have actually read the series, please enjoy!

I give this last book in the series 5/5! 

I hadn’t initially intended on reading this book. I was satisfied with the ending of The Iron Queen. What can I say? I like a good tragedy from time to time. If I can’t have Ash, no one can! But honestly, it took until the end of this book until I was satisfied with Meg’s decision. In the first book, I won’t say that I didn’t like Ash. The whole ‘I’m going to kill you’ thing was actually kind of amusing. But I was Team Puck for the majority of the time, and by the third book I still hadn’t truly made up my mind. The Iron Knight erased all doubts. And this is why….

But first, let’s take a while to look over at the synopsis and awesome trailer.

Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, gave up everything. His title, his home, even his vow of loyalty. All for a girl… and all for nothing.

Unless he can earn a soul.

To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side.

To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale.

And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.


Book Cover

Beautiful, as usual. It was nice to have Ash at the front and Puck at the back, with that slight rueful smile. Once again the theme is blue for Winter, as it was in The Iron Daughter. I used to have a thing against seeing faces on covers as it doesn’t give me much room to imagine what the characters look like for myself. Unfortunately, many YA books still have photographs of characters on the front cover. For the most part, however, Kagawa’s books have been handled with care and the characters look more or less how I would imagine them. But on to the important things that the author actually has something to do with.

Settings

I have this thing about descriptions. I like them. They’re very important as its what lets you truly imagine. But I have this awful tendency of skipping them when they get too much. I think that Kagawa handles them with care though. It’s not over the top but it’s enough, and very well done. This is especially important in fantasy books because impossible settings are brought to life. I particularly liked her description of The End of the World and the river that they followed. 

Characters

Grimalkin & the Wolf: What can I say? Their banter was the next best thing since Puck and Ash. The cait sith is  forever calling the Wolf a dog, and he takes great offence to this, of course. I hadn’t expected to like the Wolf, though I never got to read Winter’s Passage, which is a shame. Still, it was very clear that the Wolf was bad news as soon as he appeared, and I was terrified he’d kill someone I loved, like Puck! I mean, pffh, of course Ash was going to live. Grimalkin was the same old, same old. Infuriating, cryptic, and wise. Kagawa even slipped in his famous line: I am a cat! Love it. 

Ash: This is his story and it was a pleasure to finally get into his mind. I was mad that he was only doing this whole quest to keep his stupid oath so that he wouldn’t unravel and die, or worse. In the end, I was satisfied because he made up his mind on his own, with no oath to dictate his decision. Throughout the tests, he finally found out what it meant to be mortal, and he came to finally face all the horrors he had committed in the past. Ash really grew in this novel and I loved seeing him finally discover who he is really was. Not Ash, the Winter Prince- the cold and ruthless faery he had come to despise. He is the Iron Knight. 


Puck: This book wasn’t about him, of course and as usual, we didn’t get to delve too deep into his character. On the other hand, I think that he was vital in this novel. Puck was Ash’s best friend before Ariella died and he swore to kill him to avenge her. He provided the comic relief, as usual, which was good because this quest was very important and death defying. The two of them finally resolved the feud between them and I just wanted to cry from the bromance 😀


I know that there is another vital character that I’ve missed out but mentioning them would be a spoiler!


The Tests

Having recently read The Goddess Test, I wasn’t expecting much. Having finished the book, I was just overwhelmed with the AWESOMENESS it radiated! It was… awesome! I was surprised that they all had to have these almost tests (running the gauntlet) to get to The End of the World. They were tests of strength and knowledge. Trust the sphinx’s to give an impossible riddle. Ash had three tests on his own, given to him by the Guardian so he could understand what it meant to be mortal. I don’t want to give too much away about them but I can’t believe that these tests were this hard. How is it that in YA books, the tests for mortality (the soul) is harder than the tests for immortality (The Goddess Test)? Very strange. 

Ending- Tying up the loose ends

The ending was incredibly romantic and although their were no church bells, there really didn’t need to be! I’m honestly going to have to say that I’m glad that they didn’t leave the Wolf behind, despite what Grimalkin had to say. Puck will have to get over Meg at some point, and I hope that he appears in the sequel series, The Call of the Forgotten: The Lost Prince being the first book.  So now I am finally, truly and utterly, Team Ash!

My Rating:
Five Stars

So I see that fan art work is very popular! Well, I guess I’ll have to give you what you want then. Please feel free to request what books you would like to see art work from. If you want me to display your own art work, feel free to contact me through my blog or directly through my email address: wadzi21061336185@aol.com Yes, I know. It’s a mouth full and I still don’t know how I remember it. Darn AOL! They did it for ‘security’ purposes. As if I’d more secure by no one emailing me. Anyway, please enjoy the art and ignore my rant:

Matched by Ally Condie

Cassia By muzicrain
This awesome artist insists that this is only step 3 of her master pice and she isn’t yet finished but it’s stunning even the way it is now.

Cassia by Sispal

The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa

Puck by mseregon

Ash and Meghan by Kyoumei & kouhii-usagi 

Alex Rider Series by Anthony Horowitz


Alex Pettyfer as Alex Rider by amie689

Alex Rider as imagined and digitally created by senyan

Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson by Phoenix67 
Hazel Levesque by kataangsupporter

The Blue Blood series by Melissa de la Cruz

Gabrielle, the Uncorrupted by Myoubichan
Mimi Force by arabelle-shiroke

Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr

Donia and Keenan by bluestheword

Left to Right: Beira, Keenan, Donia. At front: Aisilinn and Seth by Pukalince

I hope you love these artworks as much as I do and these artists over on DeviantArt! Let me and the artists know what you think please! Their accounts are hyperlinked.