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Wicked Lovely #4

Radiant Shadows

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Alluring romance, heart-stopping danger, and sinister intrigue combine in the penultimate volume of Melissa Marr's #1 New York Times bestselling Wicked Lovely series.

Half-human and half-faery, Ani is driven by her hungers.

Those same appetites also attract powerful enemies and uncertain allies, including Devlin. He was created as an assassin and is brother to the faeries' coolly logical High Queen and to her chaotic twin, the embodiment of War. Devlin wants to keep Ani safe from his sisters, knowing that if he fails, he will be the instrument of Ani's death.

Ani isn't one to be guarded while others fight battles for her, though. She has the courage to protect herself and the ability to alter Devlin's plans—and his life. The two are drawn together, each with reason to fear the other and to fear for one another. But as they grow closer, a larger threat imperils the whole of Faerie. Will saving the faery realm mean losing each other?

340 pages, Hardcover

First published April 24, 2010

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About the author

Melissa Marr

110 books12.6k followers

Melissa Marr is a former university literature instructor who writes fiction for adults, teens, and children. She is best known for the Wicked Lovely series for teens, the Graveminder for adults, and her debut picturebook Bunny Roo, I Love You.

Her books have been translated into twenty-eight languages and been bestsellers internationally as well as domestically (NY Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal).Accolades include starred reviews on numerous books, YALSA Popular Paperbacks, IRA Notable Book Pick, Book Sense Pick (YA and adult), Good Morning America Summer Pick for Teens, Scottish Book Trust, Red Maple finalist (in both Ontario and Manitoba), and Goodreads Good Choice Award (Horror), RWA RITA award (YA).

She also write romance for adults as Ronnie Douglas.

She co-authored (with Kelley Armstrong) a MG trilogy as M.A. Marr.

In addition to novels, Melissa has co-edited several anthologies, as well as published short fiction, manga, and prose non-fiction.

She currently lives with her family in Arizona.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,442 reviews
Profile Image for Arlene.
1,155 reviews642 followers
May 27, 2011
Rating Clarification: 2.5 Stars

Radiant Shadows is my least favorite book of the series, and I'm sorry to say I've been feeling a decline in its allure since Fragile Eternity. I plowed through FE in the hopes that it was the catalyst that would shift the storyline and bring the major players to an endgame of explosive proportions, but I felt I was back to square one with Radiant Shadows.

The first 100 pages or so were a HUGE borefest. I kept nodding off as I trudged through a few pages at a time. It wasn't until page 275, that I felt the storyline was finally moving along at a decent pace.

This book included characters I cared nothing about when all I wanted was a glimpse of my fave of all the fae Keenan, Seth, Aislinn and Donia. Seth was the only one that appeared for a few scenes here and there hanging around in the hallway, putting a blanket over a sleeping Devlin, standing behind Devlin in a fight, resting his hand on Sorcha’s throne etc. And all I got on Keenan was that the Summer King was missing. WT??!! I plowed through the entire book searching frantically for some answers on Keenan’s disappearance and nothing else was mentioned. Very frustrating.

For those Wicked Lovely fans that are reading these books for Seth fixes and squee moments, save your money and time. The only Seth, lip ring, tongue roll action you get is in the last 15 pages. For those wanting Keenan lurves, don't bother with this book, because you won’t get it. I'll give you the rundown so you don't have to labor through this chore of a book. One more thing Spoiler Alert Okay, here goes...

Devlin is introduced into the storyline. We got a glimpse of him in Fragile Eternity as he was the fairie that almost killed Seth before Sorcha decided to make Seth her plaything. Devlin was created by Sorcha (order) and Bananach (discord), as they are his mother-sisters and he requires their blood to survive… quite bizarre, but that's how it's described. He is bound by loyalty to Sorcha where he is her High Court Assassin. Fourteen years prior, Sorcha ordered Devlin to kill Ani, who is a hound (halfling) and part of the Dark Court, but he secretly defied Sorcha's orders and kept her alive. About 50 pages summed up for you there.

A little more about Ani. She is a Hound that's part of the Dark Court. Hounds are born of the Wild Hunt and are creatures that ride the earth drawing out terror, exacting vengeance and unrestrained order and are bound by the Dark Court and their leader Gabriel. The Hounds need touch and not emotion to sustain. The Dark Court fairies are nourished by swallowing dark emotions caused by the Hunt, as they require emotions and not touch to sustain. A little hidden secret though is that Ani, a halfling Hound, needs physical touch and dark emotion as nourishment, which is supposedly not possible, but ultimately can be useful. Therefore, Irial begins to experiment on her blood to find a way to sustain the Dark Court fairies in order to replace his Ink Exchange experiment. So basically... Ani was targeted by Sorcha, but Devlin secretly kept her alive, she's a hound and her blood holds some power and works in mysterious ways. That took about half the book to reveal BTW, and there you have it in a short paragraph.

Shift in storyline... Seth returns to the mortal world as part of his deal with Sorcha and in his absence, she wants him back... in a bad way. She goes into a depression-like state sending Devlin to watch over him and she obsesses over Seth's every move. I find Sorcha's obsession with Seth twisted to tell you the truth, but that's neither here nor there. Anywho... during a dream, she comes across Rae, who is a ghost-like incorporeal being hidden in Sorcha's Fairie world by Devlin, another secret he kept from Sorcha. Using Rae, Sorcha finds she can see Seth in the mortal world through a dreamscape and decides to sleep and dream about Seth until his return, which ultimately begins the decline of the High Court Fairie world. Are you shaking your head in disbelief? Funny thing that, so was I.

When Devlin is sent to the mortal world by Sorcha to watch over Seth, he comes across Ani and in their encounter, he gets a taste of Ani's blood and finds it has a sustaining power and hold over him. So basically, Sorcha is distracted and sleepy, thus allowing Bananach to make her move, all the while Devlin is keyed into Ani's blood power. Saved you another 100 pages of bore.

Bananach encounters Ani and commissions her to kill Seth and Niall and when she's done with that, Ani must return to Bananach to give her powerful and mysterious blood so she can control the Fairie world. Devlin wants to protect Ani, so they take off on a 6-day road trip, where they finally come to a motel, both fall asleep and have a dream invaded by Rae telling Dev they need to head back to Huntsdale and bring Seth back to the Fairie world so Sleeping Beauty Sorcha can wake up. The most exciting thing they accomplished on that road trip was that Ani named her steed Barry. Woo hoo!

Here's when the story becomes mildly interesting... about page 275... Back at Huntsdale, they find out Bananch killed Ani's sister Tish and now Ani wants Bananach dead, but unfortunately if Bananach dies, BIG REVEALso does Sorcha because they balance each other and as a result, all of the fairie world dies along with. So, Devlin vows to protect Ani at the risk of going against his mother-sisters. Huge spoiler coming Bananch raids Irial's house for Ani, Devlin declares his allegiance and willingness to sacrifice his life to save Ani and Irial is attacked in the crossfire all in a short span of a few pages. *head spin* At the end of this madness, Ani and Devlin form another court to oppose Sorcha’s High Court and they have a three-way with Rae. So now we’ve got that Shadow Court, a possible love triangle, and I’m still wondering what the HALE happened to Keenan, why is he missing and is Seth's snake being fed while Seth is away.

Overall, I found most of Radiant Shadows boring and drawn out and I'm ready for this series to shift back to the Wicked Lovely storyline. I hope Marr is done tinkering with the different courts and causing contrived strife. She's overdeveloped the fairie lore, as well as introduced lackluster twists that are suppose to serve as intriguing events. I've got enough information that could have actually been chopped in half, so hopefully she'll bring the storyline back to what originally captivated me.... Keenan, Aislinn, Donia and Seth. I'm just glad there is only one more book, anymore than that, and I'd be throwing in the towel. *yawn*
Profile Image for Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller.
720 reviews1,172 followers
January 30, 2018
So, Radiant Shadows was better than Fragile Eternity. Just when I thought all the new elements of this faery world had been revealed, Marr presents a bunch of additional characters with new and interesting abilities. It really reinvigorated the story and pulled together some pieces I think are going to be important in the final book.

Take my conservative rating with a grain of salt. The fact that I'm still even reading this series when I abandoned 20+ YA recently because of a mood change says something about the merit I think it has. Compared to other YA, the Wicked Lovely series is strong. Compared to my personal tastes atm and the broad array of robust fantasy novels I'm reading, it's a little too angsty. I'm looking forward to seeing how the series ends and imagine it will continue with good quality writing, interesting world, and broody characters.

Recommendations: Since I said what I meant in the last review, here's a repeat: this highly character-driven YA Paranormal Romance is something I wish I'd continued shortly after reading (and loving) the first two books. Wicked Lovely is one of the strongest in the genre and I still recommend it with gusto to older teens (and up). If you're in the mood for a YA story as lovely as it is unique, this is the series for you.

Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.NikiHawkes.com

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Profile Image for Katerina  Kondrenko.
498 reviews826 followers
December 31, 2020
3 out of 10

ревью на русском/review in russian

Devlin was out of his character. I didn't like Ani. I liked Rae, though. But all this trio thing (and we saw it before in this series) makes me sick. Also, I think Sorcha is a crazy banana. And Bananac (see the irony?) is the only person who acts due to her nature. The idea of Keenan's disappearance is ridiculous. I can imagine how angry I would be while reading the last book.

Wicked Lovely (Коварная Красота):
Wicked Lovely (Коварная Красота) #1/5
Ink Exchange (Роковая татуировка) #2/5
Stopping Time (Останавливая время) #2.5/5
Old Habits (Старые привычки) #2.6/5
Fragile Eternity (Темное предсказание) #3/5
Radiant Shadows (Смертные тени) #4/5
— Darkest Mercy (Жестокое милосердие) #5/5
— Faery Tales & Nightmares (Сказки и кошмары)
— Desert Tales (Рассказы о пустыне)
Profile Image for Jenny.
Author 9 books142 followers
September 12, 2009
AWESOME book; excerpt from fangirl e-mail I sent to the author while reading her book:

Melissa, I must tell you. I'm REALLY REALLY enjoying RADIANT SHADOWS. I'm in the middle of it . . . this one -- and you must know how I loved the others -- but this one is my favorite. It's psychologically fascinating, intellectually interesting, the prose is rich and beautiful and spare, and it's such a layered world that is deep and involved because of the reader's knowledge of this world you created & *set forth* in the first three books. I'm fascinated by Ani, and I'm in awe of your AuthorSkill in creating such three dimensional characters & showing the reader their PsOV.
Profile Image for Aly.
2,527 reviews
January 16, 2019
This book centers around Ani, the head Hound Gabriel's daughter and Devlin, Sorcha and Bananach's brother. There is almost no mention of Keenan, Aislinn, or Doniya. I don't mind getting to know more of the characters and the courts, but it is a bit hard for me to keep it all straight. I think they said in the book that Keenan was missing, but I have no idea when that happened. I did like seeing more about the Hounds and Gabriel's children. The idea of the Hound's "steeds" is pretty interesting. They look like motorcycles or cars, but they are alive and can change shape. I wish I had a car like that.
I don't really like the Sorcha/Bananach storyline. I think Sorcha is weak, especially when she gets so upset that Seth isn't there that she puts the faeries to sleep. Like, he just left you, chill out. And Bananach is unnecessarily cruel and why can't they just kill her already? There's all these rules that make everything harder than it needs to be and nothing is straightforward. I also had a hard time understanding Rae's character. Is she dead? Why does she share bodies with Devlin all the time?

Overall, it wasn't a bad story and it went by quickly. I'll read the last one because I want to know what happens, but I may need to spend some time on the Wiki page to get things straightened out.
Profile Image for hasfia.
166 reviews49 followers
December 14, 2022
There’s so muchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh potential w the characters and the character dynamics IF ONLY THIS WASNT YA AND NA INSTEAD BUT WRITTEN BY AN AUTHOR WHO COULD DO THEM JUSTICE 😤😤😤😤😤😤

I swear the plot is so bland and predictable at times and plot twists added just for the sake of plot twists but im going to finish this series because i spent cold hard cash on it but I’m glad it’s finishing in the next book

Niall, Irial, Seth and Devlin need to be NA characters do you know how SICK that would be??!??? 😭😭😭😭😭
Profile Image for Lorena Lopez.
10 reviews
January 14, 2010

One of the biggest things I noticed about Radiant Shadows, if not the first, was that it was lighter than Ink Exchange. You wouldn't think anything surrounding the Dark Court could be taken in such a manner. But as I closed the cover of the book, I found myself feeling...well...happy. This isn't a feeling I normally associate with the Wicked Lovely stand-alones, but it just felt so right. There's such a feeling of triumph and completion to be had when this book is finished, it's just blissful. I couldn't think of a better novel to start the year off with.

I'll take this time to admit it, I'm a sucker for the antihero, and who could be a better candidate for such a character than a man who is the pure embodiment of logic and war. Devlin is such a well crafted character, that throughout the entire novel I wanted nothing more than to understand his point of view. A need to follow his court, his queen, while at the same time controlling his desires and his heart. Following him was an intense ride to say the least.

There is a point I'd like to make out before I go on a rant about how everyone should read Radiant Shadows. While it can be read as a stand-alone, I would strongly recommend reading the first three books (Wicked Lovely, Ink Exchange, and Fragile Eternity) before picking it up. There are many parts of the story that, while irrelevant to the plot, would just make a lot more sense with the knowledge of the previous novels.

Now to the wicked ones and the lovelies, to the fans of fantasy, to those hopeless romantics, and anyone who is willing. I say to you, read this book. Melissa's intricate fusion of strong characters and amazing storytelling will transport you to a place that's not too far from home, and still feel out of this world.
Profile Image for  ♥ Rebecca ♥.
1,349 reviews371 followers
August 4, 2018
This was the best one since Wicked Lovely. Also the first one since Wicked Lovely to have a decent ending. I actually considered not reading it because after reading Fragile Eternity I was pretty upset with the series and just wanted to skip to Darkest Mercy and be done with it. I am glad I didnt.

This is the second book in the series not to focus on Ash, Seth, and Keenan, although Seth was in it quite a bit. Books 1, 3, and 5 focus on that aspect of the story, while books 2 and 4 take a bit of a break and focus on other characters. Book 2 was easily my least favourite of the series so far. And I am reading this series pretty much just for Seth and Ash, so I wasnt sure if I wanted to bother with this one. But this is so much better than book 2! I love Devlin. He was pretty amazing. Sooo much better than Keenan or Irial. I hate them. Irial was still in this one but not as much and he was portrayed in a better light. But I still dont like him. But Seth is the best. He is delish. Great ending and setup for the last book. I really hope it has a good ending!
Profile Image for Julie Zantopoulos.
Author 3 books2,245 followers
October 9, 2017
Seriously, it’s ridiculous how much I’m enjoying the reread of this series. This book in particular I really loved. Ani and Devlin are amazing characters and I loved seeing more of the world and drama unfold without a focus on Ash and Keenan who were, honestly, starting to annoy me. I am obsessed with The Hounds and their Steeds and with Iri Niall and the dark court. Give me more! I don’t want to read the next book and have the series be over.
Profile Image for Ellz Readz.
140 reviews7 followers
February 4, 2010
My thoughts...Once again Melissa Marr whisks readers off to a magical world where the veil between Moral and Faerie worlds is thin. She uses her writing talents to manipulate readers into falling for, even rooting for, the characters in the story, even when its the villain. Radiant Shadows shifts focus from Aislinn and Seth to Ani, daughter of Gabriel and Devlin, the high Queen's Bloody Hands. The characters were brilliantly written. I felt sympathy for Devlin; felt his indecision as he is torn between sisters and his own will. Ani proves to be a very strong heroine. She struggles to find her place within the hunt and to control the way she feeds. Ani's strengths are growing as she becomes less Mortal and more Faerie. We also meet several new characters who help build the story and keep it interesting.

The plot of the series continues to develop strongly in Radiant Shadows. A large chunk of the story takes place within the Dark Court. Readers get to ride along on a hunt, listen in on conversations with the old King and the new one, and live through Ani and Tish. There is a fair share of violence in the form of fairy fighting, romance, and new mysteries. One of my favorite parts of Radiant Shadows is the introduction of a steed. I found myself concerned for its welfare and whereabouts.

I stumbled a bit through the beginning of the book. I would recommend readers to go back and reread the last few chapters of Fragile Eternity before jumping in to Radiant Shadows. I had to get re-acclimated with the characters, their roles, and relationships to each other. If you are new to the series, you need to start at the beginning. Their world is too complex to enjoy without having the background from the previous books. Fans of this series will not be disappointed with this installment of the series. Radiant Shadows held a satisfying ending, but it did leave many questions unanswered. I will be anxiously awaiting the next installment.
Profile Image for Thomas Edmund.
896 reviews50 followers
September 10, 2010
By now Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series has reached a tipping point where readers either get hooked, or start to forget exactly who all the characters are, what they’re doing and why they care about it.

I don’t want to come across too harsh, Radiant Shadows begins much stronger than probably any other of her books, the prose is tighter, the scenes are (slightly) more vivid and we see the beginnings of some intricate, interesting plotlines.

Unfortunately Radiant Shadows quickly descends into the same mire that plagues her other books. The lack of scene-setting gives us the impression of disembodied voices, jabbering on about fairy politics which is impossible to follow, and even more difficult to enjoy hearing about. The number of characters has met critical mass, and I found myself struggling to recall who everyone is and what their backstory/point of being there was.

There are some major plot developments, however Marr shows a reluctance to get her hands dirty and rev the tension up. Instead we are greeting with scenes where “we would defeat them but might sustain some injuries”

Maybe I’m bloodthirsty but I prefer my action scenes with at least a possibility of death, or even just take out the part about the good guys knowing they would win?

I will wait and see how the next book in the series looks, however I’m making the prediction now that the Wicked Lovely series has begin its fizzling out process.
Profile Image for DarkHeart "Vehngeance".
148 reviews45 followers
May 9, 2010
As big of a fan as I am of the other books in this series, I didn't immediately jump on this book when I got it. I wasn't particularly intrigued about Ani and I didn't know Devlin - so the draw to read their story wasn't there initially. However, when I picked up the book yesterday and immersed myself back in Marr's world of Faerie, I was completely entranced.

The book was made all that more special by featuring my favorite faeries of books past - Niall, Seth and Irial - their inclusion and that of the Dark Court made the story much more interesting for me. Devlin quickly proved himself a character befitting his status as one of my favorites in the series with his strength and loyalty and his ability to question his beliefs when faced with his destiny. Ani developed into a wonderful character full of spunk and strength and a unending desire to test her boundaries and restrictions - I think she was a brilliant match for Devlin.

Beyond the main story line there were hints of developments in the story lines of the other courts including a continuing improvement of relations in Niall and Irial's complex relationship, Keenan's role in the Summer Court and Seth's role amongst all of the courts. I can't wait to see where it will and lead and what Marr has in store for us next.
Profile Image for Johanna.
481 reviews35 followers
January 26, 2023
I was a bit annoyed how this started: new main characters without telling who they were. It took me some time to remember who Ani was. I don't understand why it couldn't have been told - it would have made it easier to remember them.

The world and atmosphere were again well created & amazing.

This felt a bit too detailed, hard to follow and slow. It took too long before things started to happen - I had already almost lost my interest at that point. There were good twists and I love stories that are unpredictable.
Profile Image for Anthi.
97 reviews42 followers
November 4, 2010
Not bad, but "not bad" is definetely not what I expect from mrs Marr, I thought I was reading another writer. Throughout the Wicked Lovely series we saw strong heroes and heroines that take matters into theis own hands, make tough desicions, challenge fate ( if there is really one ) wove their own paths, and be brave when it's time to pay the price for the choices they made. All these things are the ones that made this series extaordinary.
So I don't understand mrs' Marr choise to make the 4th book of this series ordinary by taking the cliche trope of the starcrossed lovers that are destined to be together not just because their love is so great but because it will help the well-being of the world (eye-rolling!!!!). I could accept it if it actually worked on paper, but it doesn't. Devlin's and Ani's attraction feel's forced, their characteres 2-dimensional, specially Ani and I'm feeling dissapointed. I'm still though anxiously waiting for the fifth and final instalment of this series and I hope that mrs Marr will be back in shape because Seth and Niall deserve only the best!!
Profile Image for Angie.
645 reviews994 followers
March 31, 2010
So I've been fairly itching to know where this series would go after the third book--Fragile Eternity--came out last year and utterly realigned my loyalties as far as the faery courts go. Well, that's perhaps not entirely accurate. They were already leaning heavily in that direction after Ink Exchange. But the developments in Fragile Eternity cemented the shift so firmly, I wondered if I would ever recover my early fondness for some characters or if, alternately, anything on God's green earth would be able to uproot my newly acquired devotion to others. Where Fragile Eternity was a more direct sequel to Wicked Lovely, RADIANT SHADOWS is a sequel to Ink Exchange. Given the way I loved Ink Exchange, I, for one, was definitely looking forward to a couple of fresh, new characters, a possible mention of how Leslie was doing, and being back in the Dark Court with less tiresome Keenan and Ash and more magnetic Irial and Niall.

Ani is a halfling. Daughter of the Dark King's chief enforcer and a mortal woman, she sits astride the precarious line between several worlds. Raised among the Hounds, along with her two halfling siblings Rabbit and Tish, Ani comes into her own when she makes a rather unsettling discovery. Like the Dark Court she feeds off emotions, but she is also able to feed from actual contact with both humans and faeries. And it's not just a desire, it's a compulsion. Restricting her impulses, following her father's innumerable rules, Ani is on the brink of wasting away. Only the form Dark King Irial truly understands what she is. He helps her when he can, occasionally allowing her to feed off his own emotions, as he searches for a way to use her powers to benefit their people and keep her alive in the process. Devlin is the High Queen Sorcha's brother and assassin. Known as the Queen's Bloody Hands, it has been his eternal task to negotiate a path betwixt his two sisters--Order and Chaos--and maintain the balance between their opposing powers and purposes. And Devlin has never shirked his duty or fallen short in any way. Except one. When he inexplicably spared a life he was ordered to take. Since then he's stayed away, shoved any treacherous instincts he's had aside, and worked tirelessly on behalf of the High Court. Until one day he encounters the mortal who's life he spared. And all hell breaks loose as a result.

This series is wreaking havoc with my emotions and that is all there is to it. The thing is, I thought Wicked Lovely was wicked fun. I thought Ink Exchange was impossibly dark and achingly good, despite leaving me feeling a little bruised. I found Fragile Eternity problematic in many ways, but was glued to the page for the last third of the book and emerged in deep smit with a couple of Dark Kings who shall so not remain nameless. And I do mean deep smit. My love for Irial and Niall is deep and wide and full of shadows. And, as far as I'm concerned, this book (and any other she writes in this world) is worth the hardcover purchase price just for the few scenes they are in together. I am dead serious, people. I don't know how she did it but Melissa Marr has me wrapped around her little finger when it comes to the former and the current King of Nightmares. Just tell me one or (preferably) both are going to make an appearance and I am there. Their tortuous, touching relationship slays me. And such was the case here. I never really connected with Ani or Devlin, despite the fact that I thought he had some crazy good potential after his role in Fragile Eternity. I mean I love the Gabriel Hounds and their awesome steeds and pack culture. And Bananach--the War faery--is deliciously heinous and I simply love it when she tromps through a scene, bloody feathers and all. But, for some reason, I didn't care that much what happened to Ani. Not like I cared what happened to Ash or Leslie or Seth in the previous three books. And the dream subplot just did not hold my attention at all. Now, I will freely admit the possibility exists that I am actually so far gone on my two Dark Court boys that I have become insensible to the charms of lesser fae. But I'm pretty sure I'm fine with that. As long as I get more Irial and Niall in the next book. Which, as it is also the final book in the series, is going to have to be enough to last for me a very long time indeed.

Reading Order: Wicked Lovely, Ink Exchange, Fragile Eternity, and RADIANT SHADOWS
Profile Image for Alicia.
58 reviews24 followers
October 28, 2010
With Radiant Shadows, the fourth installment of Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series, readers were introduced to a vast number of fast-paced plot developments as well as new, or previously unexplored, characters. The numerous changes that took place in the fairy world with Radiant, including deaths, injuries, new kings, new queens and a sealing of the portal to the mortal world (it rhymes!), stood in sharp contrast to the third book Fragile Eternity, which contained little plot other than minor relationship squabbles.

I still don't feel anything beyond a general "meh" for this series, so I'm not too sure why I've continued with it other than the fact that it gives me something easy and sleep-inducing (ie boring) to read when I'm up with insomnia. This book was pretty much par for the course - some interesting ideas, but some very slow sections and some confusion due to lack of proper explanation of how things work in Marr's fantasy world. The plot seemed a bit jerky in Radiant, with an entire 100 pages where nothing much happened, and then major conflicts and character deaths just being sprung out of nowhere without proper buildup and tension.

Radiant centered around Ani, a halfling Dark Court hound who I found to be very oddly characterized. Ani seemed to be written as a very childish character, even though she would be around the same age as Aislinn and Leslie. In comparison to Leslie and Aislinn, Ani read about 10 years younger. Whether it's a question of them being very mature for their age or Ani being childish for her age I do not know, but since Ani had her own share of hardship and loss it just didn't make sense for her to be such a baby. I felt like Ani was a very inconsistent character - she didn't seem to have a lot personality traits that stuck with her throughout the book, aside from her love of fighting and running which were innate traits due to her being a Hound. I suppose it makes sense that she didn't have consistent character traits, since throughout the book she was in the process of going through changes as she became less mortal and more fully Hound, but it was hard to empathize because there was nothing for the reader to really anchor themselves to about her. Also, Ani was constantly whining about all the things she wasn't allowed to do, and if there's one thing I can't stand, it's a whiny character!

I really liked the "dreamwalker" Rae, although I would have loved to hear more about where she came from (I assume she was Irish?) and who she used to be. When she was first introduced, it was mentioned that she had been arguing with her guardian and an aunt was mentioned, yet she never once talked about missing her family. I would have liked to hear more about her life before she came to faerie so that I could better understand her as a character. It also would have been interesting to hear if her body in the cave was ever discovered by anyone, and if not, what her family believed happened to her or what excuses they made up to explain her disappearance. It would have been nice to learn a bit more about dreamwalkers, too, and how they get their abilities, if the abilities run in families like Aislinn's sight did and if they can live forever as a spectre.

The whole thing with Sorcha going crazy because of Seth being away was just weird and kind of creepy. I mean, I get why she wanted a son - she wanted a family connection. I get that she became more vulnerable and less rational because she was made partly mortal, but it's not like Seth died or anything. He was just away for a limited amount of time, she could send him messages, and she knew he would be coming back, so I don't really get why she went insane without him. It just seemed like some really creepy, obsessive, almost incestuous thing. Being a mother doesn't mean being THAT obsessed with your son. I mean, she was acting like she couldn't live or go on without him, which seems more of a reaction one has to a lover leaving, not a son. She was acting as though she was in love WITH him, rather than loving him as a son. Maybe it's just me, but I found that whole plot line really bizarre.

I liked that a romantic relationship between Irial and Niall was hinted at, as I've been itching for some non-straight characters, but I don't know why it had to be hinted at so vaguely. It felt like Marr was trying to shy away from coming out and directly saying that they are bi or gay (I assume bi, because they were both in love with Leslie at one point) or that they've been together. It was left purposefully ambiguous, with them talking about loving each other, but in a way that could be interpreted as just friendship or go right over the head of a less perceptive reader. I guess you take whatever scraps you can get, though.

When I finally got through the book, I cringed massively when I saw that Marr's Ani had supposedly been named after one of my absolute musical (and personal) idols - Ani DiFranco. I'm not sure why the real Ani never popped into my head when I was reading about the Fragile Ani. I suppose I just didn't pay a lot of attention to the name and make the connection because I assumed it was just another trendy, fantastical sounding name like Irial, Niall, Aislinn, Sorcha, etc. Anyways, I just don't get how Fragile Ani was supposed to be real Ani's namesake. Ani DiFranco's politics and music are strongly anti-violence, and Ani the book character is an innately violent creature who feeds off of creating fear, hunting and insecurity. I guess maybe she was just borrowing the name and not actually making the character a tribute to Ani DiFranco, but either way I kind of wish that I hadn't known that information at all because now I feel like some of my favourite music has been soiled by trite urban fantasy.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Bex.
385 reviews58 followers
May 17, 2010
Radiant Shadows book 4 of Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series is my favorite. It is the story of Devlin, keeper of order in Faerie and Ani, halfling daughter of Gabriel, Hound keeper of order of the Dark Court. As a young child Ani, Tish and Rabbit were hidden safely as their mother was killed in the mortal world. They were taken in and protected by the previous Dark Court King, Irial. Ani is now beginning to change, but she needs both the emotions of the Dark Court and skin touch like the Hounds for nourishment, so she is a danger to mortals and faerie.

Devlin follows the wishes of his High Court Queen Sorcha, except when she asked him to kill Ani as a young child he spared her life. Now Sorcha is concerned only with Seth, her mortal son, and is becoming as unbalanced as her twin Bananach. Bananach wants Ani to kill Seth and Niall, present King of the Dark Court. All Devlin wants to do is protect Ani from everyone.

Marr has enlarged and enveloped us in her faerie world again. These are familiar characters if you have read her previous Wicked Lovely books, however it is not necessary to have read the previous books to enjoy this one. I was lost in the book from the first page. There is the familiar bad boy, but this time there is a bad girl too, both of course with the complex desire to protect family or friends from the coming dangers so the characters are likeable. The characters are complex and personable with human needs, wants, and problems.

I believe Radiant Shadows is the best of the four Wicked Lovely books. The writing is often from Devlin's point of view and Ani is from the Wild Hunt, so there is plenty of action for boys who want to read in this genre. I could write more about the book, but that would spoil the reading and you must get lost in this faerie world on your own.
Profile Image for iosonocecilia.
138 reviews18 followers
March 7, 2022
Ani per niente ma la storia di Devilin era interessante... peccato che questo quarto libro non mi abbia lasciato nulla!

Pensavo che dopo il terzo romanzo, questo quarto avrebbe fatto scintille. Invece niente di che.
Penso che se l'autrice avesse accorpato il terzo e questo quarto volume insieme, togliendo tutte le parti inutili sarebbe venuto fuori un gran bel volume.. invece così, da soli, sono due storie che ti lasciano poco o niente... peccato

Detto questo a inizio capitolo dicono che Keenaan se n'è andato!
aspettate... Keenaan se n'è andato??? Questa è la parte più importante e non ne parla nessuno????
A questo punto aspetto il quinto e ultimo volume... :(
Profile Image for Sara (Freadom Library).
443 reviews242 followers
February 6, 2017
Actual rating 4.5 stars

Plot - 4 out of 5 stars
The plot of this book is full of intrigue, drama, betrayal and death. The books in this series have a slow pace in general but they're still easy to read and addictive. I specially liked the new kinds of magic introduced in this one.

Writing Style - 4 out of 5 stars
I really like Marr's writing style. It feels very deliberate as you read and it's incredibly detailed. The POV of these books are always changing and the voices all sound distinct, yet the world feels cohesive and familiar. This one in particular wasn't as dark as some of the other books have been which was a bit of a let down though it was incredibly suspenseful and there's a new aspect to the writing that was interesting.

Characters - 4 out of 5 stars
All these books highlight different main characters that pop up throughout the series and this book centers around some more new points of views. This particular dynamic is one of the more interesting ones that I've seen in this series. There are technically two main characters in this book but I want to talk about Ani first. She's the one that caught my attention the most. She's really mischievous and reckless. She throws herself into crazy situations even though everyone is telling her to be careful and to protect herself. However, she cares deeply for her family and she's a very passionate and powerful character. I really liked reading from her point of view. There is also Devlin, who comes from an even more complicated situation than Ani does which is insane to think about. I guess you can say he's kind of an antihero. He works hard to restrain himself and his baser impulses. He's really smart and powerful but also unforgiving and logical in a way that is almost harsh. Yet he has a soft caring side that comes out once in a blue moon that blew me away. Their dynamic is really intense and really interesting. There's also some emphasis on characters from previous books which I loved!

Profile Image for Kathy - Books & Munches.
447 reviews156 followers
December 17, 2019
> I really did not care about this installment all that much. More new characters, barely any appearances by the characters I love and cherish and.. well.. I simply read it to get it over and done with, hoping the final installment would make it okay again.

> New characters are basically Devlin - someone we haven't met before as far as I recall - and Ani. The latter made some appearances in other books but nothing very mention-worthy. I liked her character back then and did some now, but.. I simply wasn't invested.
Profile Image for kari.
848 reviews
May 16, 2010
I am awfully sick of reading the phrase 'what's best for my court' which seems to be repeated ad nauseum throughout this series and I GET IT! Everyone does what is best for their court. Can we NOW move on?
While I still don't enjoy the way Marr throws the reader into the story and gives all kinds of exposition without actually telling anything, I did like this book a bit more because we had a break from Aislinn and her Seth/Keenan seesawing which I'm quite tired of reading.
Having read the whole book, I still don't understand why Ani is so important to everyone nor do I get why she has all these special faerie powers that her brother and sister didn't get. I'm always irked when any character in a book is just so super special without any explanation of why this should be so. She can feed off of anyone and needs both touch and emotions, etc. Why? Explain at least some of the reason for this or it simply doesn't work for me.
I don't understand why Bananach wants to destroy her sister/twin if doing so would end both of them. Huh? I know she thrives on chaos and destruction, but she's not going to thrive if she no longer exists. Is she just that stupid?
Also, why was it never explained how Rae ended up in Faerie? I read the whole book waiting for that explanation and all we get is she's a dream walker. Oookaaaaay.
I hope by the time I read the end of this series that I'll actually understand the world Marr has tried to create because, after four books, I'm still confused, but I doubt that's going to happen.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Andy.
2,360 reviews185 followers
December 30, 2019
Every time a new character is added in this series, I fall even more in love.

Radiant Shadows introduces two new POVs: Devlin, the brother to Sorcha and Bananach; and Ani, a half fey-half human of the Dark Court that has unusual abilities. These two are tied together by their mutual friend Rae, but also because years ago Devlin was commanded to kill Ani by Sorcha and he refused to kill a child.

As Bananach continues to pursue war, and the Dark Court becomes increasingly unstable. Ani must flee in order to stay safe and Devlin is just the fey for the job. Things in the High Court aren't going well either. With Seth back in the mortal world, Sorcha doesn't know how to cope with missing her son.

I loved Ani as a character. She was so much fun and I liked getting to know the Hunt better. We also get to see Niall deal with some more of the politics in the Dark Court. Of course Iri is lurking around. The bits of Niall & Iri's relationship we get to see is murder to my heart. I love these two so much. These boys and Leslie have become my OTP of this series next to Keenan & Donia.

This is such a great series and I can't believe I only have one more book left!
Profile Image for Rita.
290 reviews26 followers
April 12, 2016
Ora, apesar de não estar 100% virada para esta série a leitura deste livro surpreendeu-me pela positiva, pois não esperava gostar da forma que gostei. Para mim revelou-se, sem qualquer dúvida, o melhor até agora, apesar de manter a característica aura de melancolia, esta esteve muito mais esbatida, dando lugar a uma obra mais interessante e com mais acção.

A autora dá-nos a conhecer o lado mais belo da Corte das Trevas bem como o lado mais insensato e emotivo da Corte Suprema.

Gostei muito da Ani, da Rae e de toda aquela coisa dos sonhos, de Devlin um personagem que achava desinteressante e que acabou por se revelar dos melhores que a série nos oferece, e claro de um certo corcel que surge por aqui :p
Quanto aos já nossos conhecidos, destaco Irial, que esteve mais uma vez no seu melhor, grande personagem!

Espero com algum anseio que seja publicado por cá o último livro da série, para saber como tudo vai terminar e o que é que o futuro reserva para aquelas detestáveis Sorcha e Bananach...
Profile Image for valee.
644 reviews358 followers
June 5, 2010
Radiant Shadows is the last installment published in the Wicked Lovely series and I loved it. It was amazing. Couldn't put it down, I must say my fav in the series so far.

Many things happen in this book, a lot of changes and surprises. What was great about this book was that you get to see a lot more characters like Niall, Seth and Irial. And Ani's evolution through the book was great, loved to see her become stronger and stronger with every page. The chemistry between Ani and Dev was great. I loved Dev because he was so dark and mysterious, all those secrets and his seductive personality totally did it for me.

And the best thing was how Marr got to make everything make sense at the end. It was a great ending. I love this series. I would have wanted more romance between Dev and Ani, that's my only complaint. But the rest of the story was so good that I mostly didn't notice it. Great read.
Profile Image for Cheryl.
5,070 reviews183 followers
April 6, 2010
I have wanted to read the next book in this series, since I finished Wicked Lovely. Radiant Shadows was like a brand new books, that has nothing to do with the series, other then it was written by the same other as the other three books and it shared a themed book cover. I had no clue what was taking place in this book. The characters were all new to me and the story line did not connect to the prior book. There might have been one of two mentions of Seth, Ash and Queen Mab but that was it. All of my favorite characters from Wicked Lovely did not make appearances in this book, which left me disappointed. There was no connection between me and the characters. I just went through the motion of reading this book but did not retain much of anything. I am hoping that the next book is just like Wicked Lovely or I may have to be done with this series.
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,156 reviews97.9k followers
February 10, 2016
First off, I will say this is probably my favorite fairy series to date. I love the whole Wicked Lovely series, including this book. I just wish she would have ventured out a little more to the other characters I like to much! But overall, it was a great book that hooked me from the start and kept my immersed throughout.
Profile Image for ☆Joycedale☆.
894 reviews38 followers
July 27, 2015
This one was pretty interesting although I wouldv'e liked to know what's going on with Ash, Keenan, and Donia. I guess Keenan is missing?
I'm glad that Ani and Devlin was able to find a way to be together and at first I was worried about how Seth would get back but it seems I didn't need to.
I'm curious how all this will affect the courts in mortal world though.
Profile Image for Sarah.
3 reviews3 followers
September 13, 2011
I'm soo excited, been loving wicked lovely since the beginning
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