Release date: March 1, 2016
Lilywhite Abernathy is a criminal—she’s half human, half fae, and since the time before she was born, a war has been raging between humans and faeries. The Queen of Blood and Rage, ruler of the fae courts, wants to avenge the tragic death of her heir due to the actions of reckless humans.
Lily’s father has always shielded her, but when she’s sent to the prestigious St. Columba’s school, she’s delivered straight into the arms of a fae sleeper cell—the Black Diamonds. The Diamonds are planted in the human world as the sons and daughters of the most influential families and tasked with destroying it from within. Against her will, Lilywhite’s been chosen to join them…and even the romantic attention of the fae rock singer Creed Morrison isn’t enough to keep Lily from wanting to run back to the familiar world she knows.
I think, just the fact that Melissa Marr returned with a fae-themed book was enough to get me into it. The world of Seven Black Diamonds is a world in which faeries are known to exist, so it goes more urban part of the urban fantasy than Wicked Lovely did. I won’t go much into the story as the blurb provides plenty, but I loved delving into a world similar and different from WL. There are similar court politics driving the conflict, but here there’s only the Seelie and the Unseelie united as one, and held together by an heir of both courts. The protection of that heir and the existence of one, is the focus of the book, which makes it slightly easy to guess the fates of our main characters. The kingdom is ruled primarily by the Queen and her wrath, which makes for some very disgruntled subjects, including our elite sleeper cell. I loved that the book included people of color, and the racial profiling that is prevalent used in conjunction with the hatred against fae-bloods.
The book is told from a multiple POV, but it is mostly devoted to Lily, who is a fae-blood daughter of a mob boss. She is slightly bad-A in that she doesn’t five a single flying F about fae politics, and she would rather have her freedom than be under someone’s thumb, even if that thumb belongs to a ruthless ancient queen. Zephyr is the other significant character in that he is her opposite, and her intended – a fate neither of them likes – and is sort of like the mother hen of the group. Eilidh and Torquil have that forbidden romance thing going on, but it does make for an interesting subplot. Like WL, there are many simultaneous subplots going on, like Zephyr and Alkamy’s feelings for each other, Will (whose single chapter POV was not enough!) and Roan romance. The faery queen first reminded me a bit of Sorcha, with a sprinkling of Bananach, and I’m very interested in what all she orchestrated in this book. The ending seemed to fall in place too easily, which makes me worried what will be in store in the next book, and how the humans are going to be involved in it.
Received a free galley from HarperCollins, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.