Rummanah Aasi
  I used to think that faeries were beautiful and nice creatures. It's not until I read books that solely focused on the fey did I realize that they were actually really mean, manipulative, and dark. Most of their stories don't have a happy ending. I just finished two books that illustrate this point very clearly: Holly Black's Kith, the second volume of her Good Neighbor graphic novel series, and Melissa Marr's Radiant Shadows, the fourth book in her Wicked Lovely series. Both works efficiently combine urban fiction with the fey.

Description of Kith: In the first volume of the Good Neighbor series, Kin, Rue discovers that she is half faerie and uncovers a dark secret that her father has been keeping. In this volume, Rue finds out what really happened to her mother. She must now decide whether she will give in to her faerie instincts and join the faerie realm, especially after she overhears the faeries plans on conquering the mortal world. What will Rue do? 

Review of Kith: I really enjoyed this second installment much more than the first volume. This sequel focuses more on the Faerie world than the first volume. It focuses less on the teenage relationships and more about the supernatural, which quickly bordered on the very creepy side. Naifeh's illustrations are dark and shadowy, giving the story the feel of a horror movie. The book ends on a strange note, a last minute twist that made me want to read the third volume to this series.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some mild language and suggestions of sex in the graphic novel. Some of the illustrations of the fey are a bit scary for elementary and maybe middle schoolers. I think this book would be appropriate for strong 8th graders and up.

Description of Radiant Shadows: When I think about Radiant Shadows in comparison with Kith, it's not that much different. The main difference is that the heroine, Ani, already knows that she is half faerie and half human. Ani's main struggle is to be part of her father's pack and she wants to give in to her faerie side's desires. It's only when Ani and Devlin, the High Queen's and her twin sister of War's brother and assassin, meet do things gets tricky and dangerous. Why? Because Devlin had been ordered to kill Ani when she was first born and hasn't done so because he is oddly attracted to her. As the two characters are drawn together, each with reason to fear the other and to fear for one another, a larger threat imperils the whole of Faerie. Will saving the faerie realm mean losing each other?  

Review of Radiant Shadows: I'm a fan of the Wicked Lovely series ever since I read the first book in the series. I loved how Marr combined elements of romance, mystery, suspense, and folklore in her books. Radiant Shadows, however, was not my favorite book in the series and I thought it was just an okay book. My main problem with this latest installment is that I had to learn two new characters in the Faerie world, which is totally fine, but I had a really hard time connecting with them. It's not until the last half of the book that I finally cared and rooted for them. I also had an issue with the pacing of the book. I thought the first half was a bit slow and drawn out. The book takes an abrupt turn from Devlin and Ani's relationship to the problems in the Faerie world. I just wished I had gotten to know both characters a bit more and had seen some of my other favorite characters like Seth, Ash, and Keenan a bit more too. I'm curious as to how this series will conclude and will be waiting for Marr's next book.

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: There is some mild language and suggestions of sex in the graphic novel. Some of the descriptions of the fey and the few action scenes may be a bit scary for elementary and maybe middle schoolers. I think this book would be appropriate for strong 8th graders and up.

If you like Kith, try: Desert Tales: Sanctuary (Wicked Lovely Manga Series Vol 1) by Melissa Marr

If you like Radiant Shadows, try: Lament by Maggie Stiefvater or Tithe by Holly Black
2 Responses
  1. Julie Says:

    I haven't read any of these kinds of books about faeries but I think they would be interesting. I like the information you shared about Radiant Shadows and eventually I'll get to reading it.
    But right now, I'm just getting hooked on Maggie Stiefvater's books so I may read Lament sooner.
    Very nice blog!


  2. Isn't Maggie a great writer? My copy of "Linger" is on its way and I'm trying to be patient.

    Happy Reading!


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