Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr

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(Wicked Lovely Bk. 5). HarperCollins, 2011. ISBN 9780007346158.
(Age: 13+) Highly recommended. This is the final installment in the best-selling Wicked Lovely series. Within the faery courts, the evil fairy Bananach is thirsty for war, killing and provoking the other faery courts to start what she is hungry for: a colossal fight to the death. Within the Summer faery court, the queen Aislinn is preparing to fight, while worrying for her Summer king, Keenan, and her lover, Seth. Within the Winter faery court, the icy queen Donia is worried for her people, and also preparing to fight. But as Bananach grows ever more violent, will they ever survive this ordeal?
As this is the fifth book in a lengthy series (that I have not read), it was a little hard to understand at first. But this book does manage to stand on its own, and it does manage to be very good. The author has woven an intricate and fascinating world that is refreshingly original, and filled with intriguing characters. This book had several quite violent scenes, and the concept of the summer queen and court is that it is a place for passion and loving. These various scenes may not be suitable for younger readers.
This is book is easy to read, but not so easy that it becomes condescending. The best part of this book is easily the characters. Hardly is there such a wealth of differing personalities, actions and dialogue in a teenage fantasy novel.
What Melissa Marr has done for faeries is reinvent them into something new and exciting, much like Stephanie Meyer did for Twilight (although this book is much better in terms of plot, literature and characters).
I highly recommend this book/series.
Rebecca Adams (Student)