|Book 1 in the Wicked Lovely series|
Wicked Lovely (#1) by Melissa Marr
This is one of the books that is on my favorites list. I often go back and reread it. Melissa Marr has done a wonderful job at creating her world while also including many of the lore that involve faeries. The fey can't lie, they are invisible to humans unless using their glamour, they're cruel, they're allergic to iron, etc. There are two courts that involved in this book; the Summer court and Winter court.
Keenan is the king of the Summer court. He is the son of the current Winter Queen and the former Summer
King. Beira, the Winter Queen, killed Keenan's father and then worked with the Dark Court to bind Keenan's powers. He does not have the full power of the Summer Court and cannot be a good king to his people. Keenan has to find mortal women, hoping they are the lost Summer Queen. They have the choice of picking up the Winter Staff and risk getting the cold stuck inside them or turn into Summer Girls. Summer Girls are forever attached to Keenan basically remind me of clueless girls. Donia is the current Winter Girl because she picked up the staff, hoping that she was Keenan's lost Queen. Unforuntately she wasn't and she took in Beira's ice. Unlike Beira, Donia is in constant pain because she was mortal and turned fey. The ice hurts because it's not her power and she doesn't have much control over it. It's a curse that can only be lifted until the next girl Keenan woos risks the staff. If the Queen is found, Donia is free. If not then the girl who picked up the staff will become the next Winter Girl and Donia becomes fey and is free of the ice as well.
Aislinn, the protagonist, is a mortal who can See the faeries. She's seen them all her life, just like her mother and her grandmother. She follows the rules that her grandmother laid down since she was a child. Don't look, don't get their attention, don't run, don't let them know that you can see them. Sighted mortals are often killed or blinded. Aislinn has lived her entire life seeing the fey and pretending she can't.
One day Aislinn notices that faeries are following her. These aren't just ordinary fey either. She knows that Keenan is a monarch and she does everything she can to stay away from him. Unfortunately, once Keenan chooses a girl, there is no going back. Aislinn begins to change.This scares her and once she confronts Keenan, she realizes that she has no choice any longer. She either takes the Winter Staff or become a Summer Girl.
Usually when Keenan tries to find his queen, he gets the girls to fall in love with him. Donia still loves him even though she knows she won't ever be with him. Aislinn does not fall in love with him though she does have some pull towards him. There is a reason for this. But Aislinn is in love with Seth. Seth is her friend and she's been too scared to lose him if she tried to take the relationship further. Seth has waited patiently. Aislinn confides everything to Seth and tells him how scared she is. Donia gives Seth the recipe for Seeing the faeries as a way of protecting him. Seth lives in train cars that he has converted into his home. This keeps her safe from faeries though royal fey can withstand steel and iron with no difficulty.
I really enjoy this book and it's why I reread it often. The characters are well developed as is the world building. I like that we see different types of fey within the two courts. I like that Aislinn is strong despite being scared. She doesn't want to become Queen and she doesn't want to lose Seth even though she is drawn to Keenan. There really isn't much of a love triangle in this one. Seth and Aislinn love each other and Keenan's true heart belongs to Donia. Keenan wants to be with Aislinn because that is best for the Summer Court.
I highly recommend this book. It's great writing and it's highly enjoyable.