Monday, February 1, 2016

Book Review: Seven Black Diamonds


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Seven Black Diamonds
By: Melissa Marr
Published by: HarperCollins
Release date: March 1, 2016
Genre: YA fantasy
400 pages
Buy it at Amazon, IndieBound, Book Depository, or Barnes & Noble
Source: galley kindly provided by publisher

I've read some of Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series, and remember having enjoyed them a lot. It had been a while since I read a fae book, so this seemed like a good choice for my next read.

This 400 page volume is obviously only the beginning of a large set of books that Marr must have brewing, because in terms of comparing what actually happens in this book to potential future events, we've only scratched the surface. The Queen of Blood and Rage is at war with the humans, who she blames for the death of her daughter, the intended heir of the united Seelie and Unseelie courts. The Seven Black Diamonds, children who the Queen planted to have raised in the human world, have come of age and have finally been brought together. The Queen's plans for revenge are coming to fruition. Only some very interesting unforeseen complications keep the Queen from destroying humans altogether.


The cast of characters is vast for YA, another reason I believe that Marr has many more adventures in mind. Even the title characters are not fully explored; we really only come to know well four of the seven, and two of the others are nearly completely absent from this book, clearly deserving a book of their own. The fae court is represented in this book by about seven characters, and there are clearly more key players to whom we haven't yet been introduced. At some point we will need to learn more about many of the humans, and thus far we really only know a couple of them.

Marr plays with some classic fae lore. An early scene demonstrates what happens to those who dare disappoint the Queen. We hear a lot of conversation that revolves around faeries' inability to lie without causing themselves extreme pain. We see scenes where indulging in human toxins causes these characters bodily harm, which they can counteract with prolonged exposure to natural elements. And the fae are, of course, ridiculously beautiful.

What's new here, for me at least, is the idea that being of fae blood is literally illegal and can lead to imprisonment. Humans are aware of faeries, consider them dangerous, and will attack them if they are exposed. The Queen's war has caused humans to consider faeries mortal enemies, so the need to keep their identities secret is paramount.

I sometimes get a little lazy with keeping track of such a large cast of characters. I didn't with this book. Figuring out in what way each is important to the other made the reading even more fun. Guessing at the connections that haven't yet been revealed has me excited to read the next volume.



This riveting fantasy marks Melissa Marr’s return to the world of faery courts that made her Wicked Lovely series an international phenomenon.


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.


Melissa Marr returns to faery in a dramatic story of the precarious space between two worlds and the people who must thrive there. The combination of ethereal fae powers, tumultuous romance, and a bloodthirsty faery queen will have longtime fans and new readers at the edge of their seats.


4 comments:

  1. OOoh nice! I too enjoyed Marr's Wicked Lovely series! It was far different from what I initially expected so I am eager for her next fae book! Sounds like it will be another one of epic proportions! Great review!

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  2. Wow, I'm so intrigued by all this. Good world building can be the best thing, and I don't have anything against big casts and epic stories that take a while to unfold. "The Queen of Blood and Rage" is officially the most ominous title I've ever heard in a YA fantasy, lol! That tells you a lot about the character, if that's the name she goes by. I can only imagine the diversity and characterizations of the seven black diamonds themselves...

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  3. I'm excited to see that others are eager to dig into this new series as well. I really think you will enjoy it.

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