One Blood Ruby
Harper, an imprint HarperCollinsPublishers, 2017
From the dust jacket: “Now that Lilywhite Abernathy is the heir to the Hidden Lands, everything is about to change. The Queen of Blood and Rage wants Lily to help broker peace with the human world, but Lily knows that harmony won’t come easily. After decades of waging war on the humans, who cost the queen her firstborn daughter, the fae are struggling to accept Lily, a half-human monarch. And the humans, while no match against faery affinities, will hardly agree to the queen’s détente without resistance.
“Lily wants to be a fair ruler but fears having to abandon the life she’s known to do so. Now that she and Creed are more than just fellow Black Diamonds—operatives for the queen—her priorities have shifted. But her worries about assuming the throne are derailed when it becomes clear that someone—or some fae—is masterminding violent attacks to discourage peace.
“In this gripping follow-up to Melissa Marr’s Seven Black Diamonds, Lily and her friends are forced to reckon with the truth of their own parentage and to protect one of their own, no matter what—or who—comes between them.”
I was looking forward to reading the follow-up to Seven Black Diamonds and was (mostly) not disappointed. Melissa Marr is very skillful at crafting a believable world where humans and fae (faery) coexist. These two books aren’t on the same level as her Wicked Lovely series, which I hope to reread sometime this summer, but they are very well done. As a book for young adults there is some (mostly) non-graphic violence, allusions to sexual encounters and a curse word here and there – nothing that youth of today’s world would even think twice about.
At first I was a little lost since it had been several months since I read the first book but I caught up quickly and enjoyed the story. My only constructive criticism is the book ended too quickly. After the dramatic (and somewhat violent) climax, everybody said their last words and it was done. I have read so many books and watched lots TV shows/movies that ended with the surviving characters recovering in the hospital with all their well-wishers surrounding them that the book’s ending (which ends in a hospital room) was really rather cliché.
I feel the author should have taken another chapter to wind things down – not a long chapter, just more than a couple of pages. It’s always bothersome when an author wraps the story up too fast – you know how when humans get in their car too fast and either the belt of their coat or some other piece of clothing they’re wearing gets caught in the door and when they drive off it’s like a tail just-a-flappin’-in-the-wind. I don’t know if that’s a good metaphor or not but that’s what I feel like – like the author said, “I’m done!”, jumped in a car, raced off to start something else, and the I’m left there, just-a-flappin’-in-the-wind wondering what happened. The characters deserve more respect as do the readers.
Rating: 4 out of 5 paws because despite the severed ending, I still liked both books a lot.