It's no secret that I love the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr. I've been eagerly awaiting Darkest Mercy but also dreading it a tiny bit because it marks the end of the annual tradition of a new Wicked Lovely book each spring....this is the final book that will wrap up all the storylines of the series. Marr does many things well, not least of which is romantic tension. I become utterly consumed and transported in these books and I'm sorry to see them end.
Marr has written two short stories that fill in events between books. While I do not think they are necessary to read to enjoy the series, I decided to spend my holiday Monday reading them to prepare myself for Darkest Mercy. If like me you love these characters, if you particularly love Irial and Niall even a fraction as much as I do, you'll want to make sure to read these. At the moment they are available in electronic format only, but Marr has said on her website they'll be available in print sometime in 2012.
Stopping Time is a Leslie-Irial-Niall short and as Ink Exchange remains my favorite of the series, I devoured every word. Even though Leslie is off living normal human life, Irial and Niall both keep an eye on her. As a new threat emerges to her, they must figure out what to do about their complicated relationships to keep her safe.
The threat against Leslie, is of course, not what's interesting about this story, it's this relationship between the three of them, romantic in every way, that's so delicious. I was practically drowning in all of the emotions as I read, the longing, the heartache, the desire, the fragile hope. This is a decadent treat for those of you who love this little threesome like I do...oh how I love Irial. Trust me it's beautiful and the ending is pitch perfect--sweet and painful all at once.
While "Stopping Time" felt more like a rich treat back into the worlds of my favorite characters from the books, Old Habits feels much more functional in that it seems to strengthen understanding of court ties and relationships and the way things work. It's also heavy on Irial and Niall but also Sorcha and Devlin. (and a tiny bit of Seth) It works to fill in some of the missing gaps between Ink Exchange and Darkest Mercy. If like me, you love this world and can't get enough, you won't want to miss this one either. I also think it helps and serves as a good reminder of some of the tensions going on heading into this final book. Heavily explored is the relationship between Irial and Niall now that Niall is king.
Both shorts are available in e-format, I got mine for 1.99 each from the Sony Reader Store.
Having opened up the floodgates to this world, I've already begun reading Darkest Mercy. I'm only taking a short break to write up these reviews and then I plan to dive back in! Melissa Marr is a master of addictive fiction and I can't wait to see how it all ends.
Check out this awesome trailer for Darkest Mercy! Please note that it contains spoilers for the first four books so if you haven't read them, you might want to wait until you do!
Also, HarperTeen kindly sent me an extra ARC of Darkest Mercy and I'd love to give it away to someone who loves these books like I do and has been eagerly awaiting the conclusion. To enter just fill out the form below. I'll send this one anywhere in the world and the contest will close next Monday January 24th. Winners will be notified by email.
Please note I'm an Amazon affiliate. If you click on a link and make a purchase at Amazon, I may receive a small commission.