Series: Wicked Lovely
Genres: Horror, Paranormal, Science Fiction, YA
Published by Harper Collins on February 21, 2012
Source: the library
Also by this author: Fragile Eternity, Ink Exchange, Radiant Shadows, Darkest Mercy
Dangerous promises and beguiling threats swirl together in a dozen stories of enchantments dark and light by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr. Uncanny and unexpected creatures appear from behind bushes, rise from beneath the seas, or manifest from seasonal storms to pursue the objects of their attention—with amorous or sinister intent—relentlessly.
Twelve short stories with half of them occurring within the Wicked Lovely paranormal romance series.
“Old Habits” (Wicked Lovely, 2.6, right after the Prologue in Ink Exchange)
“Stopping Time” (Wicked Lovely, 2.5)
“The Sleeping Girl and the Summer King” (Wicked Lovely, 0.0005; this short story takes place before Keenan or his dad and started this series)
“Cotton Candy Skies” (Wicked Lovely, xx.5, far in the future??)
“Unexpected Family” (Wicked Lovely, 5.5, a few weeks after the war)
“Merely Mortal” (Wicked Lovely, 5.7, human Keenan’s “honeymoon” with Donia)
“Where Nightmares Walk” is more of a thought Marr wrote down about a person who cannot escape and is betrayed by one thought to be a protector.
“Winter’s Kiss” has a faery tale quality to it with a princess who has been cursed and flees her people to find freedom and acceptance. Very sweet.
“Love Struck” is a tragic selkie tale with one brother undermining the other. You’ll cry, you’ll sigh, you’ll breathe in relief. Even if it was rather funny how desperately Alana worked to reject both of them. Poor Murrin, he’s trying so hard to respect her, to reach out. And she doesn’t respect him enough to talk to him.
“Old Habits” is about Irial passing the kingship onto Niall as he acknowledges how knowing Leslie has changed him too much. For Niall, it’s a look into his thoughts about the past and about now, about his friendship with Seth, and what he does to protect Seth from the Summer Court. It’s the interactions between Niall and Irial as they explore old angers and deal with the shifting of leadership. It seems to be the start of Seth’s championing the solitary fae and humans caught up in the fae Courts. We see behind the scenes with Irial meeting with Sorcha; Sorcha’s thoughts about the other Courts and some of their histories; a taste of the motives behind binding Keenan; a warning about Devlin’s coming visit to the Dark Court; Niall is changing the rules of Court to be kinder, gentler; a look at Sorcha’s relationship with Devlin, his own character; the steeds of the Hounds; and, Sorcha’s interest in Seth.
There’s a bit that discusses what the Dark Court is, and it’s not necessarily evil, but “one of passions, of shadows, of impulses”. And in so many ways, I think the Dark Court is more compassionate that the others.
“Stopping Time” is a repeat of a short story I read and reviewed earlier.
“The Art of Waiting” is an intriguing little story about patience in a lovely valley that gets socked in for the winter. The classic tale of the rebellious teen tempted by a wider world.
“Flesh For Comfort” is a fat person’s dream come true, lol. A symbiotic relationship of sorts between yellow-skinned creatures and a young woman who wants to trade her flesh for more comfort. It would certainly be easier than dieting.
“The Sleeping Girl and the Summer King” provides a slice of history between Donnchadh, the Summer King, and Aisling, the Sleeping Girl who rests through the winter and has a choice of becoming a Summer Girl or to replace Cailleach, who is Winter.
This one is confusing. It seems that the Sleeping Girl is the Summer Queen of “today’s” stories except that she goes to sleep for the winter before the Summer King whispers her awake to bring the flowers back to life.
“Cotton Candy Skies” is about Rabbit and takes place further up the series than I’ve read—and since Marr doesn’t give a hint as she has with the first two shorts in the Wicked Lovely series, I don’t think the events have occurred yet. For Tish is two-months dead and Ani is the Shadow Queen and I think Devlin is the Shadow King, Irial was stabbed, only Seth can move between Faerie and the mortal world, and Gabriel has disappeared while Rabbit has a studio in Faerie where he can paint all day. One which Olivia will move into with him, bringing him starlight, peace, comfort.
“Unexpected Family” is another Wicked Lovely in the future in which Seth mentions his much improved relationship with Aislinn, although he still is not her subject. It’s been a week since Aislinn became the sole monarch of the Summer Court, a couple weeks since they all worked together to defeat Bananach, and Niall had tried to kill Seth because he was his balance, the faery to keep Niall in line. It was a choice to help Niall in the war, and now Seth wants to repair their relationship. Ooh, Leslie has written to say she’ll spend weekends with Niall and Irial, who seem to have made up and become something of a couple. Seems Seth has picked up the ability to look at future threads.
It’s a letter that had piled up in his untouched mail that sends Seth off on an unexpected road trip with one of the Hound’s steeds with the Dark King, Niall, to rescue his parents — Master Gunnery Sergeant James Morgan and the flighty Linda. Seems the solitary fae engineered this fright to get Seth to come to them. Seth discovers he has some new gifts, which open the door to having to tell his parents that Seth is now fey. And, oh, lol, I love how this ends with his parents.
By the end, he has become a solitary faes’ king. And I want a Hound’s steed for my vehicle!
“Merely Mortal” is another repeat of a short story I read and reviewed earlier.
The cover is a perfect photographic collage representing these short stories: a beautiful-seeming girl in a gown of tulle looking out a log cabin window at the trees, the floor of the cabin appearing to be snow-covered.
The title is apt for this collection of short stories and is indeed Faery Tales and Nightmares.