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Desert Tales (Wicked Lovely) Paperback – October 8, 2013
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Ever since Rika was removed as a Winter Girl, she has lived in the Mojave Desert, trying to forget the bitter cold life she was forced to endure when she gave up her mortality to be the Summer Queen. When Keenan, the Summer King, sweet-talked her into becoming his queen, he did not disclose her fate, a life of icy, bitter winter deep inside her body and her surroundings. Only when he convinces another mortal, Donia, to be the queen, is Rika free to shed her winter persona and flee to the desert. Here she hides in a cave, until Sionnach, the fox fairy and Alpha fey, befriends her. In a manipulative plan to bring Rika out of her cave and eventually into a co-Alpha status with him, Sionnach creates an encounter between Rika and Jayce, an 18-year-old mortal. Marr has expanded her Wicked Lovely world to tell the story of the Winter Girls and the fate of Keenan, their selfish, duplicitous Summer King. It’s a fantasy of violence, power, and romance—a tale in which a mortal’s love can influence the trajectory of the fairy underworld. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A return to the world of Marr’s best-selling Wicked Lovely series means legions of happy fans. Grades 7-12. --Frances Bradburn
From the Back Cover
Return to the world of Melissa Marr's bestselling series and discover how the events of Wicked Lovely set a different faery tale in motion. . . .
The Mojave Desert was a million miles away from the plots and schemes of the faery courts—and that's exactly why Rika chose it as her home. The once-mortal faery retreated to the desert's isolation after decades of carrying winter's curse inside her body. But her seclusion—and the freedom of the desert fey—are threatened by the Summer King's newfound strength. And when the manipulations of her trickster friend, Sionnach, thrust Rika into a new romance, she finds new power within herself—and a new desire to help Sionnach protect the desert fey and mortals alike. The time for hiding is over.
Originally presented as a manga series and now available for the first time as a stand-alone novel, Desert Tales combines tentative romance, outward strength, and inner resolve in a faery story of desert and destiny.
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Top Customer Reviews
Desert Tales is about a human girl who becomes a Faery because of her love for another Faery, known as the "summer king" who has spent most of his existence looking for his bride to break his curse. Unfortunately, because she wasn't 'the one', she was cursed to hold ice in her body becoming 'the winter queen' until she was set free by the next girl who claimed the curse by repeating the same cycle.
I find this book to be intriguing and a great way to pass the time. However, I don't think I can see myself reading the rest of the series. I happened to stumble upon it in the library catalog when I was looking up Kawaii (isn't that funny?).
The book in a nutshell: Sad girl sees boy. Sad girl stalks boy and falls in love. Boy is in trouble so sad girl saves him. Boy falls in love with sad girl. Sad girl magically saves the day from imagined threat that doesn't really exist based on anger and distrust. The end. Oh and sad girl is a fey (previous Winter Girl) and boy is a mortal. Queue the QQ!
3 things bummed me out on this book. 1 - It was extremely short! 2 - kinda pricey for being so short! $8.06 for 275 pages?? 3 - The ending was kind of rushed.
But overall an excellent novella to add to the series. I would really love to see a few more come out as well. Are you reading this Melissa? (Or one of your helpers?) :-)
I do recommend this read. Even though this says it's a stand alone book, I truly believe that it's not. There are too many things that come up and characters that you will wonder about. Reasons for why things are the way they are and so on. These things can get you confused if you haven't read the other books in the series. However, I really don't think you'd mind doing that. Because, now I actually have to go back and re-read the whole series again. Why? Because this story brought back so many memories of what the series was like and reminded me of how much I loved it! So I am going to go back and get lost in Wicked Lovely "land" again. LOL Happy Reading whether you decide to read it as a Stand Alone or as part of the series!
Quick & Dirty: With cute romance, great drama, and an intriguing plot this is sure to be a hit for both fans of the Wicked Lovely series and those that are new to the series like me.
Opening Sentence: Trusting Keenan had been the mistake that informed Rika’s entire life, a mistake that had cost her both her humanity and her happiness.
Rika was a lovely, sweet mortal girl that fell in love with the wrong person and it cost her everything. The Summer King tricked her and made her believe that he loved her, but in all reality he was just looking to break a terrible curse that was laid upon him by the winter queen. Rika took a test to see if she was the mortal girl that could break the curse, but she failed and was left as the snow queen for years until someone else took her burden. Eventually she was released from being the snow queen, but she was still a fey. To get away from all the politics of the two courts and finally feel warmth again she takes off to live a solitary life in the desert.
The desert fae mostly stick to themselves and Rika has had no problem staying away from most of her kind. The only fae she would consider to be a friend is the sly fox faerie named Sionnach, He is currently the Alpha of the desert faeries and one of the only faeries Rika has learned to trust. For years Rika has been content with her life, but she has recently taken an interest in a mortal boy named Jayce. He is an artist and Rika finds herself falling in love with him, even though she has never even talked to him. Then she gets a visit from the dreaded Summer King demanding she swear fealty to him and to get all of the desert faeries to do so as well. Soon Rika is thrown into a world she thought she left behind. But if she wants to protect the mortal boy she has come to care for she will have to come out of her shell and fight to protect not only him but the desert faeries as well.
Rika is a very interesting character and her story was pretty heart breaking. She has spent years trying to recover from the life she lived, and the heart break she felt when the Summer King rejected her. She is a shy, reserved person, and opening herself up to others is really hard for her. For the most part she has completely avoided all relationships because she is so afraid of getting hurt again. It was interesting to watch her story unfold and to see her finally become the person she was always meant to be. I loved watching her grow as a character and learn that there is a lot more to life then she originally thought. She was a very easy character to connect with and I enjoyed reading her story.
Jayce is a cute guy that was a little too easy going for my tastes. He is the artistry type and when I imagine him in my head he kind of looks like a hippy. He loves to draw, rock climb, and spend time with his friends. Upon meeting Rika he fell for her way faster then I liked, but their relationship was still sweet. He treats Rika well and in many ways he forces her to break out of her shell, but I just didn’t really feel the chemistry between them. Jayce was a nice enough guy, I just thought he was a little boring.
Sionnach was a much more interesting character. He is a fox faerie so being sly is a big part of his nature. Like most faeries he is very good looking and at first you think he is kind of a jerk, but as the story developed I completely fell in love with him. He has spent years caring about Rika, but he knew she was in no way ready to be with someone like him. So in many ways he tricked her into starting a relationship with Jayce because he knew that would make her happy. The fact that he was willing to let her be with someone else even though he cared about her was very swoon worthy to me. Of course he isn’t perfect and the way he does things isn’t always the best. But deep down he is a good guy and I loved him!
Desert Tales was a cute, quick story with romance, faerie politics and adventure. This is a companion novel to the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr and I personally have not read that series yet. But I in no way felt lost or confused while reading Desert Tales, it stood on its own perfectly fine. Since I haven’t read the series I can’t really tell you if it spoils anything from the previous books, but nothing stood out to me as a spoiler. I can tell you that after reading this I am very interested in reading the Wicked Lovely series, but it is five books so we will see if I ever get a chance to read it since my TBR pile is huge. I thought that the world Marr created was very captivating and the whole political drama between the faeries was fascinating. The romance was sweet, but certain relationships felt a little rushed to me. The plot was very intriguing and there were a few twists that I wasn’t expecting. Overall, I found this book to be really enjoyable, and I would highly recommend it to both fans of the series and those that are new to the series like me.
Jayce reached out and traced her cheek with his fingertips. “I’m alone with the girl I like who happens to be even cooler than I already thought. It’s very okay.” He leaned closer and kissed her. He’d known she was different, but he couldn’t have guessed she was this unusual. He was kissing a faery. The thought made him pull back and grin at her. “This is awesome.”
FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Desert Tales. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.