Title: Wicked Lovely
Author: Melissa Marr
Genre: YA fantasy, urban faery
Publisher: Harper Teen
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy borrowed from my sister
First line: The Summer King knelt before her.
My sister Debra loves this urban faery series by Melissa Marr. She brought her copies of the first three books when she came to visit this past summer, and has kept asking if I’ve had a chance to start them yet. The read-a-thon was the perfect time to pick up the first book, Wicked Lovely. It held my attention and kept me awake until almost 4 a.m. so that I could finish it.
Ash can see faeries. She has “the sight,” just like her mother and her grandmother before her. Only these aren’t little flowery fairies who sprinkle pixie dust. These are beautiful but wicked creatures that love to torment humans, and will often blind any human who can see them. So Ash follows her grandmother’s three rules: don’t stare at invisible faeries; don’t speak to invisible faeries; don’t ever attract their attention. Only problem is, two faeries have started to focus all of their attention on Ash, and one of them is the irresistible Summer King, Keenan.
Ash trusts her secret to her friend Seth, and together they try to unravel the mystery of why all of a sudden, no matter how much she tries to ignore them, Keenan and his cold lady friend, Donia, are pursuing her. The truth will turn her life upside-down, and threaten her new-found romance with Seth.
Marr has created a love triangle for the ages – although after reading only book one, I have no doubt who Ash should be with. I loved the rich characterization of Ash and Seth, Keenan and Donia, and Keenan’s mother, the Winter Queen. This is a much darker, creepier book than I was expecting. The author creates an atmosphere of menace, a world in which Ash isn’t safe no matter where she goes. As she discovers what having the sight will cost her, and what it cost her mother and grandmother, her world begins to close in on her, and she’s faced with a decision that doesn’t leave her much choice.
Since Wicked Lovely is the first book in a series, I was expecting a cliff-hanger along the lines of The Hunger Games, but was pleasantly surprised. While there is plenty of story left to tell in the rest of the series, I liked that the story came to a bit of a resolution. I have questions, though – and my sister assures me they’ll be answered, though I may have to wait until book three. I’m not sure when I’ll get to book two, but I hope to find time soon.