Unbeknownst to mortals, a power struggle is unfolding in a world of shadows and danger. After centuries of stability, the balance among the Faery Courts has altered, and Irial, ruler of the Dark Court, is battling to hold his rebellious and newly vulnerable fey together. If he fails, bloodshed and brutality will follow.My Thoughts: Honestly, this series pretty much blows me away. The world of faery that's been created here is not pretty. It's brutal, dark, and the rulers of the different Faery Courts often have to make hard choices to keep their subjects safe.
Seventeen-year-old Leslie knows nothing of faeries or their intrigues. When she is attracted to an eerily beautiful tattoo of eyes and wings, all she knows is that she has to have it, convinced it is a tangible symbol of changes she desperately craves for her own life.
The tattoo does bring changes—not the kind Leslie has dreamed of, but sinister, compelling changes that are more than symbolic. Those changes will bind Leslie and Irial together, drawing Leslie deeper and deeper into the faery world, unable to resist its allures, and helpless to withstand its perils. . . .
Irial is doing what he has to do to keep his subjects from starving. When Leslie slips into his life she throws everything off kilter. He goes from needing her to give his people strength to caring about her as a person. It was sweet and the fact that he's the King of the Dark Court, a court that doesn't dabble in the nicer emotions, made his concern for her all the more touching.
Leslie's journey was one that impressed me. She had survived a betrayal at her brother's hands and managed to keep on her feet. She made the decision to change herself and she went for it. Was the change she initiated a good one? Not really, but she wasn't content to sit on the sidelines and wallow in her own misery. In the end, she had to make another hard decision about the actions she was comfortable allowing those around her to dabble in.
I loved Irial and Niall's almost-relationship. I'm desperately hoping that it gets touched upon in later books. I loved Gabriel and his viciousness. Come to think of it, I loved so many of the secondary characters that it's ridiculous.
This book doesn't have a clear cut happy ending. Leslie got her changes, Irial lost so much, Niall gained something that he never expected to gain but all this came with a price. If the changes you seek turn you into someone you can't stand, is it worth it?
Other reviews in this series:
Book 1: Wicked Lovely
More books by Melissa Marr
Reading challenges: The Horror & Urban Fantasy Challenge, The Morbid Romantica Challenge, The YA Reading Challenge