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Fragile Eternity, 9 CDs [Complete & Unabridged Audio Work] CD-ROM – January 1, 2010
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Top reviews from the United States
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Marr has written a series so lovely and intricate. There are characters from the other two books and the point-of-view changes within the book. Everything is connected and intertwined and all of it is leading to something. The world is built in so many different sages and there are so many different characters.
Since the characters are Fae, you love them one minute and can't stand them the next. Ash is has changed, of course, however Seth is changing too. Niall and Donia has also change, taking on more of the role of their court leaders, as King of the Dark and the Winter Queen. Everything is in turmoil and thing are not settled, if anything they seem to be getting worse.
Fragile Eternity had me on pins and needles. I was so twisted reading this book, trying to figure out what was going to happen and when the s*** was going to hit the fan. This book, like the others, is really good. With the events that happen and all the emotions and the waiting will have itching to read the next book to find out what happens next.
I felt this third installment in the Wicked Lovely series was interesting and engaging though it does tend to get mired in tedious prose and drags in certain parts. In this story, Aislinn the Summer Queen is coming to terms with her responsibilities to her fae court and is trying to maintain an awkward balance between the demands of her job and her relationship with the mortal Seth who is her lover. Things are quite tenuous especially given Donia's (the Winter Queen's) feelings for Keenan, the Summer King and also the animosity between Niall, King of the Dark Court and Keenan. When Seth decides to take matters into his own hands and is taken to meet Sorcha, Queen of the High Court, events spiral out of control and have major repercussions on all of Faerie.
I felt that the Aislinn-Keenan storyline meandered and got really tedious and boring in this installment. Keenan appears to be too sweet towards Aislinn and duplicitous at the same time - it's hard to like this characters (for me at least). Though I felt Seth's characterization was too one-dimensional in the first book, he seems to have evolved into a complex character here whose actions are not predictable and his decisions undertaken here have significant ramifications for Aislinn, Keenan, Niall, Donia, and himself.
The other character that interested me was Bananach, the Dark fairy of war and bloodshed who agitates for violence. The sneak peeks into the madness of this character is riveting yet ultimately not fulfilling because her character is never truly explored in depth. Sorcha, Bananach's sister and High Queen of Faerie is the total opposite and I loved how her character is shown to be multi-faceted.
In all, Fragile Eternity is still interesting and I will continue to follow the series, but I felt the story could have been more tautly woven and focused on central characters.
How they live now includes:
1. Aislinn working really hard not to touch Keenan with a ten-foot pole. Bad things happen in the castle when she does. Mostly for Seth.
2. Keenan working even harder to do a lot more than touch Aislinn. All in the name of his court, of course, but still. You are starting to really piss me off, Summer King.
3. Seth alternating between the Pit of Despair and fighting the good fight to save his lady from a fate worse than death, a.k.a., Keenan. He's worked so hard to be good, but he's still so freaking mortal.
4. Donia growing more and more like Beira with every falling snowflake. It's hard to blame her. After all, she's in love with an insufferably arrogant faery who seems bent on destroying her court and trampling her heart. Not necessarily in that order. You'd be cold, too.
The interesting thing about FRAGILE ETERNITY is that the most compelling characters are not those four. Everyone's fate seems to hang on them, yes, but it's the peripheral characters who steal the show. First of all, Niall. I have no words for how awesome the Dark Lord is. With the flapping coat and the brotherhood with Seth and the freedom he inhabits as the leader of the dark fey. Is it me or does it take embracing evil to see clearly in this world? Irial felt the same way to me and, though I have loved Niall in all his forms and allegiances, I think this incarnation may be my favorite. Second, Sorcha. The queen of the High Court and the most remote of faeries, I thought I would find her tedious and cruel. Instead, she stepped right off the page and the scenes with her and Seth tugged at my heart and made me look forward to more from her in the fourth (or fifth) book. I'm actually a little worried for her, which just goes to show how Marr was able to lend a certain humanity to a faery who goes out of her way to avoid conversing with humans. And third, Sorcha's younger brother Devlin. Devlin is Sorcha's enforcer and all around scary guard. He has a weird and potentially extremely problematic bond with both his sisters, Order and Chaos, and I feel absolutely certain he will play a larger and more important role in books to come. So while all four of the main characters annoyed me at times (I now officially repudiate Keenan), these three peripherals delighted me to no end and from the moment Seth meets Sorcha I hit the point of no return and had to read it straight through to the finish. The awful, exciting, invigorating finish. Can't wait for the next one, Ms. Marr.
Top reviews from other countries
Aislinn and Keenan although Summer King and Summer Queen, have still not consummated their relationship because of Aislinns love for Seth her mortal lover. This in turn has caused Donia, the Winter Queen, suffering because although she knows that Keenan loves her, he will never come to whilst there is a chance that Aislinn will falter and give in to him.
Meanwhile, in Faerie, the true heart of all the Courts, whether the Seelie or the Unseelie Courts, Sorcha the true Queen is visited by her sister Bananach who is the embodiment of cruelty and war and constantly machinates on how to bring about destruction and devastation to both the Sidhe and mortals alike. Sidhe if you didn't know is the correct term for Faery. It is an old Celtic word pronounced as 'Shee'. Sorcha is her polar opposite and likes nothing more than for order to reign within her Court and also outside of it.
Seth is becoming more and more dissatisfied with the way that Keenan is toying with Aislinn and decides maybe rashly to do something about it. He approaches Niall, the now King of the Dark Court and asks him to 'curse' him but Niall refuses. Bananach being also of Niall's court hears of this and thinking that it will cause chaos and then outright war, takes things into her own hands and leads Seth to Faerie and to Sorcha. He disappears for nearly 6 months (only a month in Faerie) having been 'cursed' by Sorcha. I don't want to put a spoiler in here but this curse is not the kind of curse you may think it would be not to Seth anyway.
He eventually returns to the Summer Court where Aislinn is alternately deliriously happy to see him but furious that he went away without saying anything. She is even more cross when she discovers what he has done and that Keenan, Donia and Niall all knew but didn't tell her. This of course is Bananachs doing as she would have all out war between all of the courts.
The ending of the book is truly brilliant and Seth has changed in more ways than one!
Very cleverly written with superbly rounded characters and also the way that the author has woven this story is in essence, part Sidhe itself. I can't wait for the next book.
The series has always been big on world building, character development and faerie politics, especially when compared to the amount of action present. And that, for the most part, is fine as long as the characters are well written and the politics and world building interesting. That's where this sort of fell flat for me.
The four main characters which this story focuses on are Aislinn (recently a mortal, now a faery and the Summer Queen), Seth (Aislinn's love and still very much mortal), Keenan (Summer King and egotistical *bleep* who constantly tries to steal Aislinn from Seth) and, finally, Donia (Winter Queen who's in love with Keenan). But, with the exception of Seth, I care not a jot about these characters. Keenan is utterly loathsome and both Aislinn and Donia a bit wet and bland. Although, to be fair to Donia, she at least appeared to have a mind of her own, unlike Aislinn who spent what felt like most of the book crying and whining. What kept me reading were the glimpses we got of Niall, leader of the Dark Court. Niall is by far the most interesting character in the series and I cannot wait to read his book, if we get one. The other three main characters were just filler to me.
The plot itself sadly just plodded along, rather tediously at times. I felt like I had been reading this over months rather than a week. Writing this review weeks after reading, I'm hard pushed to remember details rather than just a general overview. It did pick up towards the end, giving the plot some much needed oomph and focus but, unfortunately, no resolution, which means at least another book with these characters.
Will I continue with the series? Yes. Book four is Radiant Shadows, which picks up the Ink Exchange storyline, which I really enjoyed. Plus, the whole series has a definite end point in the fifth book, Darkest Mercy, which is released next year.