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Melissa Marr – Fragile Eternity

September 28, 2009

114. Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr (2009)
Wicked Lovely, Book 3

Read my review of:
- Book 1: Wicked Lovely
- Book 2: Ink Exchange

Length: 389 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Started: 16 September 2009
Finished: 19 September 2009

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? I don’t stop reading series, especially when they’re this good.

A love quadrangle
is so much more complex when
faeries are involved.

Summary: Seth exists in a position unlike any other mortal; he walks in the world of the fairies, and is friendly with three of the faerie Courts. Niall, King of the Dark Court, is like a brother to Seth; Donia, Queen of the Winter Court, treats him with respect if not close friendship; and Aislinn, formerly-mortal Queen of the Summer Court… Seth and Aislinn love each other, and Seth wants nothing more than to be with her forever – a word that has taken on terrifying new meaning since she became one of the Fae. Seth no that he doesn’t really belong in her world – he’s a mortal, and thus weaker than even the weakest fairy. But then there’s Keenan, Aislinn’s King, who knows that the Summer Court will be strongest if Aislinn and him are truly together – and not just as co-regents. Aislinn’s torn between her love for Seth, and a growing, inescapable attraction to Keenan, and when Seth disappears in search of a means to make forever a reality, loyalties will be tested. And with fledgling rulers of three of the four faerie courts still testing the limits of their powers, shifting loyalties can easily spell disaster… not just for the faeries, but for the entire world.

Review: While I enjoyed this book more than I did Ink Exchange, neither of them has recaptured the magic of Wicked Lovely. Perhaps it’s a case of shifting expectations – I expected Wicked Lovely to be rather silly and probably annoying, and so when it turned out to be really, really good, I was substantially more impressed. And then, when I expected the sequels to recapture that same feeling, they never *quite* made it. Don’t get me wrong: I really enjoyed this book, and will absolutely be reading any more of the series that Marr writes. I just thought that Fragile Eternity didn’t quite have the same spark that Wicked Lovely had.

One thing that may be contributing to the (slightly) reduced enjoyment is that Marr has a habit of taking characters who were completely sympathetic in previous books, and turning them into jerks. In Wicked Lovely, Keenan was intensely sympathetic… doing some unpleasant things, sure, but he was pretty torn up about it. But in Ink Exchange, he just seemed to turn into a pissy jerk, and that downhill slide continued through Fragile Eternity. Same thing with Niall – he’s the “hero” of Ink Exchange, but by Fragile Eternity, he turned into kind of a nasty bully. But what really broke my heart was Donia… she was my favorite character in Wicked Lovely, so it kills me to see her acting so frostily (heh) bitchy here. Does this mean that Seth’s next? (Say it ain’t so!)

The thing is, though, that as busy as everyone is turning into jerks, it’s hard to really blame them for it. Everyone is doing what they think best with the responsibilities they have, and Marr has done an admirable job of creating complex characters we care about, and putting them – with completely understandable motivations – into impossible situations. The power balance between the Courts, the love quadrangle… I don’t see how these things can possibly work out to everyone’s satisfaction… but I’ve got faith that Marr does see it, and that’s the kind of complicated, intricate, character-driven plot that makes me guaranteed to keep reading. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Don’t start here! (But do read the series! It’s a very good teen paranormal romance, but it’s also just very good.) Marr gives only very, very minimal background information, and the plot of this book is so based in the relationships between the characters that the books need to be read in order. (Also, ignore the fact that the cover says “Sequel to Wicked Lovely.” It’s true that Ink Exchange focuses on different main characters than books 1 and 3, but there’s enough overlap that they really need to be read in order.)

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: Angieville, Another Page is Used, Au Courant, Bloody Bookaholic, Book Nut, Books By Their Cover, Bookshelves of Doom, Boy With Books, Darque Reviews, Devourer of Books, Em’s Bookshelf, In Bed With Books, Juiciliciousss Reviews, Karin’s Book Nook, Killin’ Time Reading, Literary Escapism, Melissa’s Bookshelf, My Friend Amy, Nineseveneight, Reading Rocks, Reverie Book Reviews, The Story Siren, Teen Book Review, Unmainstream Mom Reads, YA Reads
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: Seth knew the moment Aislinn slipped into the house; the slight rise in temperature would’ve told him even if he hadn’t seen the glimmer of sunlight in the middle of the night.

Cover Thoughts: Half. Headed. Girls! GAH! (Also, hellllloooo, cheekbones!) Anyways, I like the summer butterfly perched on a winter hand, but the frost on the hand is way too subtle to be noticeable except on close inspection (if it’s even supposed to be frost… it mostly just looks like the model has really dry skin.) And it conveys the sense of the book pretty well. It’s just… well, okay, I’ll admit, I don’t like the title. I like what the title means… but the words themselves just don’t roll off the tongue in the same way that Wicked Lovely did.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. September 28, 2009 1:48 am

    Oh, 4 stars! I didn’t read the review because I haven’t read this one yet. I have to. I am going to go dig it off the TBR pile and finally get to it in October, I think!

    • September 28, 2009 1:00 pm

      Kailana – Despite all of their summer/winter stuff going on, these books actually seem more like really good fall reads to me anyways. Hope you like it!

  2. September 28, 2009 4:48 am

    I definitely think that the characters’ behavior in this one somewhat lessened my enjoyment of it. It’s still a fascinating world and story, but there is so much angst. I hope some of it gets resolved in the next book.

    • September 28, 2009 1:01 pm

      Meghan – It is pretty angsty, isn’t it? I didn’t really notice that, since it’s not quite the typical YA fantasy romance angst, but now that I look at it, you’re totally right.

  3. September 28, 2009 2:30 pm

    I have this book and appreciate knowing I shouldn’t read it without reading the others in the series.

  4. September 28, 2009 5:37 pm

    ha, I loved the direction the story took. I guess I like angst…what does this mean about me???

  5. September 28, 2009 11:26 pm

    Enjoyed your review of this book! I think I’m pretty pleased with Fragile Eternity, but I do share your feelings about the sympathetic characters turning into jerks thing.

  6. November 15, 2009 12:21 am

    I read it at the bookstore!!! But, I was pretty bad by reading this book first(it looked to most appealing) and I couldn’t even stand to pick up to second one beacuse of the cover.

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