You Read What? Book Reviews: Darkest Mercy

MELISSA MARR is a New York Times Bestselling Author and is mostly known for her popular YA series, Wicked Lovely. There are five books in the series: Wicked Lovely, Ink Exchange, Fragile Eternity, Radiant Shadows and Darkest Mercy.

(Picture of Author: MELISSA MARR)

Before I start reviewing, I just want to say how sad it was to read the last page of the final book in this series. I read it when I was in high school when it first came out and it was one of the first Faery/Fairy books I read along with Holly Black’s Tithe series. It’s like Harry Potter all over again *sighs*. Now let’s get this review started.


It’s an okay cover. It’s not as great as the other covers but it is consistent with the series. The girl in the picture is most likely the Winter Queen, Donia, and I have no clue what the flower could mean. Maybe it’s the cruelty in a beautiful world like Faerie? I’m not sure I’d pick this up if I saw it on the shelf…maybe I would. It’s hard to tell when reading the four books previously will influence me. I can only say that the flower is beautiful and that it’s not something that would stand out to me.


The Summer King is missing; the Dark Court is bleeding; and a stranger walks the streets of Huntsdale, his presence signifying the deaths of powerful fey.

Aislinn tends to the Summer Court, searching for her absent king and yearning for Seth. Torn between his new queen and his old love, Keenan works from afar to strengthen his court against the coming war. Donia longs for fiery passion even as she coolly readies the Winter Court for battle. And Seth, sworn brother of the Dark King and heir to the High Queen, is about to make a mistake that could cost his life.

Love, despair, and betrayal ignite the Faery Courts, and in the final conflict, some will win . . . and some will lose everything.

The thrilling conclusion to Melissa Marr’s New York Times bestselling Wicked Lovely series will leave readers breathless.

[WARNING: Spoilers are featured in this review…]


The plot is pretty simple actually which is great because it leaves room for the complex relationships that have been going on throughout the series. What’s really great about Faeries, as a race in the supernatural world, is that they’re so flawed. They’re beautiful creatures with such a huge capacity for cruelty that would make even the most heinous human being flinch. They have issues like us – love, duty, protecting those we care about – but they’re willing to do the things most of us can’t for it. Essentially, they’re a very extreme version of us. Marr does this very well and ensures that readers can hate and love the same characters as easily and fluidly as the characters hating/loving each other. I honestly think the plot is just a device for character development which is often difficult to do in traditional genre/popular fiction.


The writing is great. Faeries speak differently than we do in modern times because 1) they’ve lived for centuries and 2) the modern language has become so simple that using it will make it difficult for the Faeries to get around the whole “can’t lie” issue. You notice how characters who’ve started out mortal – Aislinn and Seth – have shifted they’re style of speaking from modern to formal in order to survive in a world where how you phrase a sentence can determine if you live, die or owe a debt. I like how there are moments where they’re mortal pasts peek out through their dialogue (more so Seth than Aislinn).

I also have to give Ms. Marr some props on how she shifts the Point of View between characters so flawlessly. Bravo.


The characters in this book are amazing. The layers are unbelievable and I haven’t switched sides as quickly in a given book – never mind series – as much as I have for this one. The love (…square?) between Aislinn, Keenan, Donia and Seth is enough to give any one an ulcer and yet the love triangle for Naill, Leslie and Irial feels so natural (all three are together…polygamy style). Most importantly, they’ve all grown since the first book which is what every writer (and reader) wants.

Memorable or Forgettable

This book (and series) is most definitely memorable. I probably won’t remember the plot but I won’t ever forget the characters that have wiggled their way into my head since high school. I felt like this was a satisfying end to a wonderful series and I’m really happy that it didn’t go on longer than necessary as some series seem to be doing these days. It wasn’t the gut wrenching, emotional roller coaster I’d like but great nonetheless.

I give this 4 ½ Summer Girls out of 5.

Keep on reading,

A. A. Omer

The opinions expressed here are mine and readers are welcome to disagree. In fact, I encourage it! I never believed in putting particular books or authors on some sort of universal pedestal but you’re free to put it on your individualized pedestal because I most certainly will.

6 thoughts on “You Read What? Book Reviews: Darkest Mercy

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