Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins, 2010
Another chapter in the Wicked Lovely Saga, Radiant Shadows focuses once again on the darker side of Faerie with the Ani, whom we met briefly in Ink Exchange and a half-mortal, half-faery, being in more danger than she realizes. There is something quite special about her, something that the High Queen, Sorcha foresaw when Ani was but a child. Sorcha saw Ani as a threat and sent her assassin, Devlin to kill her. But one of the few times in his long life he ever disobeyed his queen, Devlin chose to save Ani instead and hid her from Sorcha. Now Ani has come into her own and growing more faery every day. She is used by Irial to find a solution to the Dark Court faeries feeding problems, hunted by Bananach because she refused to do what the mad War faery wanted her to do and Devlin is falling madly in love with her. Meanwhile, Faerie is disappearing because Sorcha is unwell. Devlin must protect Ani and heal Sorcha. He can’t do both, or can he? Ah, the turmoil!
Main characters –
- Ani, a Halfling, half-mortal and half-faery, a rare combination of both, so rare that she is a threat to Sorcha and a weapon for Bananach to use against her sister
- Devlin, the Queen’s Bloody Hands, created by both Sorcha and Bananach, “a thing of extreme cruelty and extreme beauty.”
- Irial, former Dark Court King, still trying to find a way to keep his former court fed
- Sorcha, Queen of the High Court, “she was order and life…reason personified, sure of her place, certain of her righteousness.”
- Bananach, twin sister to Sorcha and her extreme opposite, also known as War and Chaos
Secondary characters –
- Niall, Dark Court King, central to the survival of Faerie
- Rabbit, brother to Ani, a Halfling, and tattoo artist who helped Irial with Leslie in Ink Exchange
- Tish, sister to Ani and Rabbit, another Halfling, but more mortal than faery
- Seth, mortal-made-faery by Sorcha who considers him her son and falls ill for want of him
- Gabriel, leader of the Hunt, father to Ani and her siblings, Niall’s assassin
New characters –
- Rae, a dreamwalker and spectral young woman in Faerie who knows the future but is bound to keep it a secret from her only friend, Devlin
- Barry, Ani’s steed – a creature who can take any form it wishes for the purpose of transporting the Hounds
I enjoyed this book very much. Devlin, in spite of his violent nature, is very likeable as in Ani and it was good to get to know more about the Dark Court’s Hounds that feature in every book. I also didn’t feel like slapping Ani upside the head like I have felt with other female characters in this series. Her inner struggle with her mortal and faery sides was written so that I empathized with her and hoped fervently she wouldn’t die (she didn’t). Devlin, too, struggled with his chaotic and reason inner selves and in a twist I didn’t see coming – at all – he was able to resolve them without his death either. As a couple I really liked these two and hope in the final book, Darkest Mercy, they survive.
My rating 4 paws for Ani not succumbing to the emotional wishy-washyness that drives me crazy!
Wolves feature heavily in the book
Barry’s favorite form