Archive for February, 2012

Wicked Lovely

25 February 2012

Wicked Lovely (Wicked Lovely, #1)Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Okay-ish in some ways. Faery in this tale evokes no sense wonder. In most ways it is like a stage set, a few fold-out screens, behind the drama of teen romance. The only authentically fay element is in the tensions set up between possibility and the need to follow rules, mapped simultaneously onto fairyland and adolescence, and here some interesting situations emerge.

The world teems with fairies invisible to mortals, except for those few with the Sight. Power is held by the sinister Winter Queen Beira, who mocks victims with a thin motherly persona. She is rather like Dolores Umbridge in a bad mood. She will not surrender power to her son Keenan, Summer King. That will only happen with the emergence of a Summer Queen – a girl who is willing to risk clasping Beira’s staff, and who is deemed suitable by hidden higher powers. So Keenan keeps seducing mortal girls seeking the right one. If a girl is tough enough to have a go but fails the test she becomes Winter Girl, a semi-powerful ice lady but no match for Beira. The incumbent Winter Girl only escapes her role when another girl has a go at the task – but the rules insist that Donia tries to dissuade the girl from doing so. Young women who fall in love with Keenan but funk out from even trying for the role of Summer Queen become mere Summer Girls, ditzy good-time followers of the weak King.

Aislinn is the latest mortal girl to be swept into this scenario, dealing with Winter Girl Donia. But Aislinn is busy forming a relationship with mortal boy Seth. Covered in face-rings, Seth is nevertheless squarely within the romance tradition: assertive with other males, but ever-sensitive and attentive to the heroine.

Strength of character can often leave a girl isolated and sad, while insipid creatures who go with the flow are rewarded, up to a point. Other strong females make the best of friends and the worst of enemies. Yet for the strong female happiness is there to be had, and not necessarily within an endless chain of nuclear families.

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