Friday, August 24, 2007

Another riveting faerie tale

Coincidentally I took this book on vacation with me and read it after I finished Tithe. It is also a young adult novel about faerie, and the heroine is also a strong, compassionate teenage girl - but the similarities between the two end there.

The book opens with a scene in which Keenan, the Summer King, is offering a wooden staff to a mortal girl who is in love with him. If she is the chosen Summer Queen, the staff will have no power over her. If she is not, she (like the many girls before her who have tried and failed) will take the cold and frost from the Winter Queen's staff, living apart from the rest of faerie, in pain and alone, until another mortal girl either succeeds in becoming the Summer Queen or fails (and takes the girl's place). Because this scene is in the prologue of the book, I will tell you that the girl does not succeed.

Enter Aislinn. She has the Sight: she can see faeries, while everyone around her cannot. And these are not, for the most part, sweet Tinkerbell-like pixies that glitter and frolic; they are strange, often grotesque, violent and cruel. Aislinn's grandmother has the Sight, too, and Aislinn has lived by Grams' rules her entire life: Rule #1- Don't stare at invisible faeries. Rule #2 - Don't speak to invisible faeries. And rule #3 - Don't ever attract their attention. But what is she to do when, even though she has assiduously followed rules 1 and 2, she has definitely, irrevocably attracted their attention?

Aislinn is being stalked by them, and she's not sure what to do about it. If she confides in Grams, she knows her freedom will be abruptly curtailed - she will be homeschooled, kept in the house, and - worst of all - she won't be able to visit her best friend, Seth, who lives in a refurbished railroad car home (a very safe place when it comes to faeries, because it is made of iron). She'd like to confide in Seth, but he'll probably think she is crazy, talking about things no one but she can see.

Keenan, after centuries of searching for - and tragically failing to find - his queen, the only one who will be able to restore his full powers and help him stand up against the cruel Winter Queen - is convinced that Aislinn is the one. But Aislinn, whose relationship with the very attractive Seth is finally moving beyond friendship, is not at all interested. Evan so, how can a mortal boy hope to compare with the allure of a powerful, handsome faerie, especially when Keenan reveals himself in all his faerie glory?

There is romance, suspense, adventure, and a dash of mystery in this gripping novel. The only thing I didn't much care for was the title, which I felt didn't do the story justice.

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (HarperTeen, 2007)

9 comments:

  1. Really? I like the title. I think it's cool-sounding.

    If you liked this and Tithe, you might also want to try The Hunter's Moon by O.R. Melling. It's another faerie series and I really enjoy them. :-)

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  2. Oh, I think the title sounds fine - I don't mind it as a title. But just not for this book. If you read it, maybe you'll see what I mean - it just doesn't seem to have anything to do with the book. In fact, I was telling someone about the book and I couldn't even remember the title!

    I've heard of The Hunter's Moon - I will definitely have to check it out. Urban faerie is a fun sub-genre, isn't it!?

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  3. Actually, I have read Wicked Lovely, and really enjoyed it. And I think there was a sentence in the story referring back to the title; like the main character said something (maybe the faeries or the power of the faeries?) was both wickedly and lovely. Something like that.

    I love urban fantasy, especially faerie tales. It's definitely a fun genre to explore. ;-)

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  4. Another book that sounds just like my kind of thing, and I had never heard of it before. Thank you for the great review!

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  5. That comment must have completely flown over my head, dance chica! I will have to retract my criticism. :-)

    You are welcome, nymeth! The only problem with all these great reviews I read on your and other wonderful book-blogging sites is that my TBR list has doubled in length (and it was already huge before I started doing this!). But that is, of course, a good problem to have!

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  6. Aii me! You keep adding books to my wish list! *falls over from exhaustion and peers into an empty wallet*

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  7. Cool sounds like just my kind of book, I will add it to my list. If you enjoyed this and Tithe check out The Blue Girl by Charles de Lint. It's another tale of faeries with a teenage female "hero" and is well worth reading.

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  8. Oh, rhinoa - I LOVE Charles de Lint, and The Blue Girl was great. Have you read any of his other books? I also enjoyed The Dreaming Place, another YA novel he wrote. Oh, and I just thought of another one you might like - have you read Patricia McKillip's Solstice Wood? Same kind of theme, if I remember correctly.

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