Monday, May 18, 2009
Opinions Unsolicited: Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr
I started reading it yesterday afternoon. I finished it sometime after midnight. That was with a break to visit with my neighbours and a dinner break as well.
I tend to do that with Melissa Marr’s novels. I just find myself so drawn into the story that the idea of putting the book down before I know what happens next is a vile, loathsome thing.
Mr. B. Probably thinks that my retreat into the pages of a book that is nigh impossible to distract me from is a vile and loathsome thing. I’m fairly certain you could set me on fire, and I wouldn’t notice until my hands were burning and thusly could no longer hold the book.
But anyways, we’re talking about Fragile Eternity here, not my propensity to get so wholly absorbed in words on a page that I stop responding to the world at large.
The third instalment of Marr’s Faery series centers around Seth Morgan, who is, if you haven’t been keeping up with the series, the boyfriend of Aislinn — the teenage girl turned faery Queen of the Summer Court who is trying to balance having a somewhat normal human life with being the ruler of a troupe of the very beings she spent her entire life avoiding at all costs.
In Fragile Eternity, Seth is dealing with being stuck between two worlds. He’s too human to be a part of the Faery world, and he knows too much about faeries and their world to walk away and return to a purely human state of affairs. Add to the mix the coming of summer, which dials up the magical imperative his girlfriend is burdened with to be constantly near the Summer King, and things aren’t looking too keen for poor Seth.
I really enjoyed this instalment. In Wicked Lovely, we saw Seth through Aislinn’s eyes: he was her rock, her confidante, and he was perfect. I appreciated him then, even if we were only given a one dimensional view through Aislinn’s love-tinted glasses. Everyone should have someone that they feel is there for them, no matter what, and Seth was undeniably there for Aislinn.
In Fragile Eternity, we are given the reverse: we see Aislinn and how she’s changed through Seth’s eyes. He’s still there for her as much as he can be, but due to his fragile human state, it can’t be as often as he’d like. We see his frustration with Aislinn’s growing power and how he feels like he’s losing her, we see his envy of the faeries of her court, and his jealousy at Keenan’s machinations. He’s maddeningly, woefully human surrounded by magic and power that he can’t hope to touch or understand.
Until he realises that there is hope, after all.
It makes for a wonderful story.
I couldn’t help but feel terrible for Seth, but I also felt terrible for Aislinn. She was born human, and has been at this faery business for less than a year by the time the novel starts. She has to learn that she can’t behave like the teenage girl she still thinks that she is, she has to discover that those who were her friends while she was a fledgling faery are only her friends now if it doesn’t interfere with the needs of their respective courts. And Keenan’s misdirection and manipulations help to ensure that he is the only ‘friend’ that Aislinn has left. It’s unfortunate that Aislinn trusts Keenan so much, but with no one to give her solid reasons not to trust him, she can’t really be faulted for wanting to believe he is a good person.
Which, on occasion, he is. But not nearly enough to make up for all the shady things he says and does for the ‘benefit’ of his Court.
I can’t wait to read the fourth instalment.