From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 9 Up—This urban fairy tale, a sequel to Wicked Lovely
(HarperTeen, 2007), is impossible to put down. Leslie lives with a father who has given up on life, a drug-abusing brother who allowed his dealer to rape Leslie in lieu of payment, and a burning desire to banish pain and fear from her life. Unable to confide in her best friend, Aislinn, she devotes herself to working to pay the family bills and to get the tattoo she believes will help her reclaim her body. What she doesn't know is that the art she has selected will bind her to Irial, the king of the Dark Court of Fairy. He removes her emotions like fear, panic, or anger, and uses them to nourish the fairies of his court. What Irial doesn't expect is his growing love for Leslie and her desire to make her own choices. In Leslie, Marr has created a damaged, wounded character who still comes across as being incredibly strong. Irial needs to care for his court, knowing them too weak to win a war, but his feelings for Leslie make him unwilling to do what needs to be done. The lesser characters are also well drawn: Rabbit the tattoo artist, his father, Gabriel, and also Aislinn, Keenan, and Seth from Wicked Lovely
. While reading that book first would give more shades to some of the characters, it isn't necessary to appreciate the intricate world that Marr creates.—Lisa Prolman, Greenfield Public Library, MA
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Newcomers and returning readers alike will devour this companion novel to Marr's ragingly popular Wicked Lovely (2007). The new peace between the Summer King and the Winter Queen isn’t good for everyone: those of the Dark Court, who feed on faeries’ destructive emotions, are dangerously weakened. Irial, King of the Dark Court, needs a solution, and he finds one in the Summer Queen’s mortal friend Leslie. Tormented by memories of abuse, Leslie wants nothing more than to reclaim her body by getting a tattoo, but the enchanted design she selects provides Irial with a direct link to mortals’ emotions. The tattoo binds Leslie and Irial together even as a third faerie works to prevent their destructive yet seductive connection. All of Marr’s characters are complex, defying easy description and evoking sympathy and horror in equal measures, and all cast a thrall that will leave readers willing to forgive plotting that can be difficult to follow. This dark fantasy about survival and transformation is as mesmerizing as its urban faery subjects. Grades 10-12. --Krista Hutley
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