Fragile Eternity (#3) by Melissa Marr

Published:  April 21st 2009
Goodreads badgePublisher: Bowen Press
Pages: 389
Format: Book
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
★   ★   ★ – 3 Stars

Seth never expected he would want to settle down with anyone – but that was before Aislinn. She is everything he’d ever dreamed of, and he wants to be with her forever. Forever takes on new meaning, though, when your girlfriend is an immortal faery queen.

Aislinn never expected to rule the very creatures who’d always terrified her – but that was before Keenan. He stole her mortality to make her a monarch, and now she faces challenges and enticements beyond any she’d ever imagined.

This book had good and bad in it, it was a good read but there were just some bits in it that were strange. The original review of this book is from 20 Dec 2012 so another big gap between books but that wasn’t because I didn’t want to keep going. In this third book we return to the storyline surrounding Aislinn and her court, but the other courts play their part as well to varying degrees. Being back with the Summer Court drama and the connecting stories with the Dark and Winter Courts is great as usual, but they are not exactly the main focus of the story. The issue here though is that while the Court drama is there and you see emotional turmoil between these characters, it does also just come across as typical relationship drama in a faerie setting.

Through all of the faerie changes and introduction has been Aislinn’s friend and then boyfriend Seth. He may have been accidentally been excluded from the previous reviews but he was there helping and playing the supportive friend/boyfriend combination. He was also there in Ink Exchange despite it following Leslie, I liked that about him because it showed he was not just attached to Aislinn and he showed he had friends away from her and his own life pretty much. You can see in these previous books how Seth is trying to understand and how he is trying to help Aislinn with what she is going through and he does whatever he can to help their relationship as well. He is a likeable character and I quite liked him. Fragile Eternity gives Seth a much bigger role, something that was needed probably, we see so much of every one else that we only catch glimpses of the inner workings of Seth.

The story begins with us seeing how Seth and Aislinn are dealing with this relationship they have on the more personal level. There is a lot focused around the fact that Seth is struggling to enjoy and have the relationship he wants with Aislinn because of her power, as well as trying to be patient with Aislinn who is constantly trying to fight the pull she has with Keenan. I understand that they are supposed to be together and build Summer’s strength, and I get that both Summer King and Queen love other people, but what bugged me was the repetition. Similar to the mortality discussions from Wicked Lovely, over and over we must bring it up that this is the issue.

With no spoilers I will say Aislinn is a more likeable character in this book, her situation helps make her character stronger, but her reaction to circumstances is a nice change. There is no sudden acceptance on her behalf, and it gives you hope that she will stay true to wishes, despite the pressures around her. The writing around these events is well done also. It is strong and realistic and you can see the impact it has on everyone and it has been developed and described really well. Favourites of the Dark and Winter Court return in their own ways, but there is an introduction of another court, adding more intrigue and mystery. With the new court introduced we are shown more parts of the faerie world and how everything is connected, characters previously mentioned are suddenly explained in much clearer terms and everything begins to fall into order, though there are still a lot of gaps, just as Marr likes it. Compared with the others I think this book went slightly odd in terms of writing style, something that remains I discovered into the next book. Something about the new court is just not written about in the same manner as the others and it tends to go back and forth as the story changes focus. Perhaps it is the court’s nature I don’t know, but it was weird.

While Seth gets a much bigger role than sidekick boyfriend here, he also changes a little bit from the previous books I think personality wise, and then even further. This is where it falters. From the Seth we are shown in the first two books, he suddenly changes his personality to something I personally didn’t think suited him, especially where he had come from. Too much acceptance too quickly as well. Nothing bothers me more than huge changes that people instantly accept. Aislinn took an entire book to even begin to accept what was going on and she is still going, Seth does not have this issue. I do not know whether it was because he knew what was going on, and what Aislinn knew and experienced was very different, but it felt off; not rushed per se, but not believable I guess.

The fact this reads very much like a typical teenage melodramatic relationship drama rather than a faerie story gets very tiring, being set in a faerie world simply added different elements into the same old story. We are under no illusion that this is complicated and that there are forces trying to pull things in one direction while everyone pulls the opposite direction, that has been clear from the very beginning of the series. Somehow in Fragile Eternity Marr has decided to bring this up as often as she can and have it as the forethought of everyone about being with the people they love when they are so different. I can’t be too cynical as it does help bring it all together, you see cause and effect, and see new sides to the faerie world as you learn more about it because of it so I guess there is that.

Overall it was good, you see the next stage of the saga progress and holes are filled in and issues are solved while other are beginning to form. I like that we are being drawn along by the things we aren’t told, it is a very good tactic in my opinion, but it is overshadowed in this book I think by the teen angst feel. The other criticism, amongst the others in this rather long review, was that the end was a bit sudden. Not in a cliffhanger kind of way but it finished and left you a bit unsatisfied and confused. I suppose that is meant to make you go into book four to see the conclusion and reaction, who knows.

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