Here’s the thing, there are good and bad elements to this series. I picked up this series because fairies and elemental magic. Unfortunately, I am only a little excited to share my honest thoughts about this series.
Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr
Series: Seven Black Diamonds #1
Published by HarperCollins on March 1st 2016
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, General, Romance, Fairy Tales & Folklore
eBook provided by My Wallet (purchased)
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 alike at the edge of their seats.
Lilywhite Abernathy is a criminal—she's half human, half fae, and since the time before she was born her very blood has been illegal. A war has been raging between humans and faeries, and 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 from the truth, 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.
Lilywhite is a crime lord’s daughter. She is also half Fae thanks to her mother. Her mother has been long dead, so her father keeps her sheltered. In this world, being Fae means death, so she keeps her Fae side a secret. One the night of her 16th birthday her father hires a famous rock star to play for her at the party. The only things is that this rock star, Zephyr, is also part Fae and thinks Lilywhite is going to be his wife. The Queen of Rage and Fire, the Fae queen, has promised Zephyr that Lilywhite will be his. Through Zephyr Lilywhite learns that she is a person the Fae queen has been searching for, for many years. She is to be become one of the Fae Queen “Black Diamonds”, a group of half-fae that reign terror on humans. Unfortunately for the group, Lilywhite has been taught since a young age to stand up and think for herself.
There were some great things about this book. First, Fae. I can’t remember the last time I picked up a book with Fae characters and I loved their secret world. There is also royalty since The Queen of Rage and Fire and the King of Fire and Truth feature prominently in this story. There are Seelie and Unseelie courts. There is some sacrifice made to the Queen and it got me wondering if she was a good or bad queen. Either way, I was on board to get to know her.
The second thing that is kinda cool is the ships that happen in this story. There are two major ones for me and I doubt I could say which one I liked over the other. It is fun when teenage love is explored for the reader with all the feelings of forever. That is the kind of relationships I like to see in YA.
We get to know all the characters pretty well. There is Lilywhite, Creed (musician who Lily fancies), Zephyr (the leader of the group and most loyal to the Queen), Violet (a free spirit nature lover), Alkamy (a starlet who loves Zephyr), and then Roam and Will (who love each other but we don’t learn much about them individually). They also each have at least one affinity to either air, water, earth or fire. Only strong Fae have more than one and the most powerful have all four.
There was also these fun Abernathy commandments Lilywhite recounts in her head through out the story. Those commandments were things her father (the crime lord) taught her. Later in the story, the Black Diamonds seem to have their own commandments although they are not as numerous, and not repeated nearly as much.
My problems with this book are world building. Given everything I just said about the hidden world and courts, that seems odd, I know. Hear me out. I couldn’t “see” anything in this story. Most of the book is dialogue with one or two descriptions dropped in. I didn’t find out where these conversations were taken place until late in the talking. I am the kind of reader who needs descriptive details, and not just about what the characters look like.
I also didn’t like that these diamonds are at school, but there is no school-ish things mentioned in this whole story. Since they are so powerful and/or famous, why do they need that school anyways? The school is never really explained, just the dorms where a lot of conversations take place. I left this book feeling sad that it didn’t explain much, but I was hopeful that the sequel would clear things up for me.
One Blood Ruby by Melissa Marr
Series: Seven Black Diamonds #2
Published by HarperCollins on February 28th 2017
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, General, Romance, Fairy Tales & Folklore
eARC provided by HarperCollins
In this gripping follow-up to Melissa Marr’s lush Seven Black Diamonds, Lily and her friends are forced to reckon with the truth of their own lineage and to protect one of their own, no matter what—or who—comes between them.
Now that Lilywhite Abernathy is the heir to the Hidden Lands, everything is about to change.
The Queen of Blood and Rage wants Lily to help broker peace with the human world, but Lily knows that harmony won’t come easily. After decades of waging war on the humans, who cost the queen her firstborn daughter, the fae are struggling to accept Lily, a half-human monarch. And the humans, while no match against faery affinities, will hardly agree to the queen’s détente without resistance.
Lily wants to be a fair ruler but fears having to abandon the life she’s known. Now that she and Creed are more than just fellow Black Diamonds—operatives for the queen—her priorities have shifted. But her worries about assuming the throne are derailed when it becomes clear that someone—or some fae—is masterminding violent attacks to discourage peace. Who can end the war between humans and fae?
Lily is really coming into her own in this story. She is no longer known as Lilywhite, now she is Lilydark. She is claiming her throne, but she is facing some dark opposition. First, she demands peace between humans and Fae. Then she finds herself thwarted at every attempt to secure that peace. Also, she kind of looses herself in this story, but it is all for a good cause. She begins to call on the Hidden Lands Fae to help her, but are they really helping her?
I had so many questions going into this book. Some were answered but still others popped up and I can’t say I am really satisfied by the story conclusion. This story ends with so many characters left hanging. Not all of the character story arcs had a conclusion in this book, and that was pretty frustrating.
My favorite pairing in this story was Will and Roan. I have no idea what happens to Will after he comes out, although I am glad that he did. Will and Roan were such a nice aspect to this story.
People fricken die in this book! I don’t feel like it was talked about enough (or that it was very fair because now a certain Fae is sad and mate-less). I have no idea if that Fae ever moved on or what became of them.
What happened to Creed? He was so cool in the first book, but this story has him following Lily around like a puppy. He really looses his identity in this story. I still root for them, but I wish he had more action scenes in this story. Also, neither of these books show Creed “performing” in any scene. I still don’t understand what he is famous for.
Violet was such a scene stealer in this book, but in the best way. I almost think she didn’t get enough credit or attention in this story. I was so curious about Violet and Erik but in the end I was denied this ship.
Elidih, who I never even mentioned in my review for book one, plays a really important role in this story. Her role as being even more connected to the Hidden World then Lily left me pretty confused. She also has this whole relationship with Torquil, her best childhood friend. Torquil is related to Rhys who is Zephyrs real father. So all these characters connect in a fun way.
This book is still lacking on those descriptive details that set the scenes for me. I guess descriptions aren’t this author’s thing. That’s too bad because I would like to explore more Fae stories by her.