Fragile Eternity is the third book in Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely YA fairy series. While it follows Ink Exchange, it returns to the unresolved threads of the first book in the series and revisits Wicked Lovely’s heroine (Aislinn) who was made into a Summer Queen at the end of the first installment.
After discovering that she is the true Summer Queen, Aislinn struggles to come to terms with her new fey existence, as well as with the fact that she has been thrown into a relationship with the seductive Summer King, Keenan. However, unlike Wicked Lovely, this book is not strictly Ash’s story. Fragile Eternity, in fact, follows the story of Seth, Aislinn’s mortal boyfriend. Though he does love her, Seth finds it hard to understand the new pressures on his girlfriend, and both find it difficult to deal with the fact that, while she is immortal, he will one day grow old and die. Seth is also troubled by the close relationship Ash has to share with Keenan, and becomes jealous of the powerful (and physical) bond between the Summer King and Queen.
As a central character, Seth is likable and sympathetic. However, for me, the ‘star’ of Fragile Eternity is, without doubt, Sorcha, the Queen of the High Court. The eternal and ‘unchanging’ queen, who is responsible for the entire creation of Faerie, is at once an imperious and threatening figure and a vulnerable and lonely woman. The choices Sorcha makes defy all human logic, but Marr’s writing skillfully draws us into the world of this frightening fairy, so we are able to have some level of understanding and sympathy. Fragile Eternity also develops the fairy world of the first two books, and explores the tricky relationship between the fey and mortal realms – as well as the dangers to be faced when the balance between these realms is disturbed.
Unlike Wicked Lovely and Ink Exchange, this book takes place mostly within the fairy world. The once mortal characters of the first two books are now embracing their fey identities. This shift in focus is interesting, and promises to take the series in a new direction. Fragile Eternity also ends with several storylines unresolved, pointing ahead to the final two books in the series.
This book is recommended for fans of YA urban fantasy, particularly the fairy novels of Holly Black, Aprilynne Pike and Carrie Need. It is highly recommended for fans of Wicked Lovely and Ink Exchange.
Contains: some references to sexuality, death and violence (not explicit)
Reviewed by: Hannah Kate