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Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Review: Fragile Eternity
Title: Fragile Eternity
Author: Melissa Marr
Page Count: 400 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy
50 words or less: All is not well in Faery-World. Ash is trying to be a good queen, Seth is trying to fit in, Niall and Donia are trying to move on, and Keenan is trying to grow a conscience. After all that, war between the courts looms on the horizon! The plot thickens...
Fragile Eternity brought to fruition all the hopes that I had after reading Wicked Lovely. I've heard from a lot of people that this is truly the second book in the series, instead of Ink Exchange, and for the most part I agree. However, I appreciate Melissa Marr's way of telling the story, through bits and pieces and from different peoples' perspectives. I like that we as readers get to see the same world and same events from a number of different perspectives.
If the monster theme of A Great and Terrible Beauty was the need for choice, Fragile Eternity's was a cautionary tale about the danger and unexpected effect of inaction. There are several huge decisions that have to be made by various characters: Ash has to choose between Keenan and Seth, Seth has to choose whether to go the distance to pursue a relationship with Ash, Donia has to decide whether to protect her heart from Keenan, Niall has to decide where his loyalties lie and whether or not to articulate them, and Sorcha has to decide whether or not to become involved in the politics and goings-on at the other courts. Some of the characters rise to the occasion and make their own decisions; some of them refuse to act and have the decision made for them. The lesson of the story is definitely that choosing not to act is still a choice, and if you don't make decisions then someone else will definitely make them for you.
One of my favorite things about Melissa Marr's characters in these novels is that they are richly drawn, struggling, and definitely not perfect. I spent a sizeable amount of time while reading Fragile Eternity wanting to smack the stupid out of Ash and Keenan. I understand completely that Ash has had a lot thrust on her in a short amount of time and that Keenan has been around for centuries and views people as disposable for a reason, but their apparent surprise at the outcomes of their treatment of other people was frustrating to the extreme. I will admit, too, that the constant "I love you Seth but I'm attracted to you Keenan, I don't love you Keenan!" business did get tiresome after awhile, and it was difficult to be sympathetic to Ash. She relegated the supposed love of her life to basically being a combination therapist/pool boy, and then was surprised and brokenhearted when he took his fate into his own hands! Keenan treated Niall and Donia like crap with a capital C, whether it was on purpose or not, and then he's shocked and heartbroken when they are looking out for themselves and their courts. These aren't necessarily flaws in the writing, though, just illustrations that everyone had their own imperfections that had to be dealt with and overcome.
I'm definitly interested to see what direction the series will go in next, and will definitely be reading Radiant Shadows (the next book in the series) when it comes out in April 2010. I would advise, though, that if you're interested in Fragile Eternity that you start at the beginning of the series with Wicked Lovely and go from there.
I've been really fortunate- lots of good books in a row! I'll be heading in a different direction for my next book and reading The Good Humor Man by Andrew Fox. Hopefully my streak of good books can continue!
Overall Grade: A
Posted by Emily at 10:04 AM