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I Belong


Review: Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr

Seven Black DiamondsTitle: Seven Black Diamonds

Author: Melissa Marr

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: Untitled (Book #1)

Publication Date: March 1, 2016

Format: Hardcover, 400 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062011170 (HarperCollins)

ISBN-13: 978-0062011176 (HarperCollins)

Reviewed by: Zed

Synopsis:

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.

Quick & Dirty: An addictive start to what I can predict will be a fantastic series.

Opening Sentence: “You were created to serve.”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Seven Black Diamonds had me hooked from the first chapter. The storyline was fast paced, the characters were energizing and well developed and it all just ‘clicked’, if you get what I mean.

Lily is a brilliant female protagonist. Raised by The Crime Lord, she’s more than capable of looking after herself in sticky situations. Lily knows that she isn’t quite human but until she meets the other sleepers, she has no idea how much fae blood resides in her. I loved how fiercely protective she is of her friends and her loyalty to her human father and his upbringing.

Lily couldn’t say that she was surprised by Zephyr’s choices. She suspected he wasn’t truly surprised by hers. They’d both been raised to believe certain truths. For him, that meant unerring loyalty to the faery queen; for her, it meant that she would fight for her own beliefs and choices.

It would take forever to describe each of the other sleepers but my favourites were Creed and Violet. Creed, because he had the whole moody, singer thing going for him and the romantic plot between him and Lily was super cute. Violet, because of her incredibly short but fiery temper. Even her insults were hilarious!

“Easy choices, as far as I’m concerned.” Creed looked at her. “I pledged myself to you once, Lily. I can say it again if you need, but the reality is that if you need me to buy you time to escape, I’ll gladly do so.” He gestured to Torquil. “I won’t have him or Vi doing it.”
“Back up, boy.” Violet’s temper finally sparked, setting off a mini light show in the dark cavern. “One of us can set fires to idiots, and one of us sings pretty songs. Guess which is more useful?”

My least favourite was probably Zephyr. I sympathised with his situation, always knowing that he must marry Lily but falling in love with Alkamy regardless. However, it was so funny when Lily found out about the arranged marriage but didn’t even give him a second thought! Zephyr acts like he’s the martyr, protecting his friends from the queen, giving up his life to serve her and so on. But, personally, I thought he was trying too hard to prove himself as the group’s leader and show off to the queen, irrespective of how his actions affected his friends. If he loved Alkamy so much, why doesn’t he ever fight for her? He was too rule-orientated for my liking.

“I’d never let anything happen to you,” he promised her yet again. No one else understood him the way she did. Alkamy felt like his other half. He met her eyes. “Ever. I’d die before I’d let you get hurt.”
Alkamy sighed. “You’ll die for the queen’s cause; you’ll die for me…Maybe you should try finding something or someone to live for instead.”
“Is it so wrong to have a purpose?”

There’s also an excellent villain in this story, the Queen of Blood and Rage. She was scary enough for everyone to be terrified of disobeying her but I could see elements of humanity showing through at the end, so I wonder if all is not lost for the sleepers and their dreams.

The story itself is fascinating because it’s not just about the war between human and fae, but also about the unspoken rivalries and power struggles between the Seelie and Unseelie courts. What I enjoyed most was that there was so much taking place. Despite this, the events flowed smoothly and there were a lot more secrets unveiled than I would expect from the first in a series.

The world building was pretty good too but I would have liked to know a little more about the school they attend and some more detail on the hidden fae world, especially the two courts, but I imagine this will be covered in the next book.

I should probably stop gushing about this book now but my gut intuition is that this series will be huge!

Notable Scene:

Alkamy nodded, but she didn’t speak again until Lily was at the door to her room. “None of us want this, Lily. Not even Zephyr. He thinks we don’t know how he feels, but I see his doubts. We’re trapped. None of us want the queen’s guards to kill us in our sleep, either. They tell us we were born to do this, that we’re special, and there is no choice.”

Lily turned back. “There are always choices, Kamy. I don’t know if they’re good choices, but there are some. We can find them.”

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FTC Advisory: HarperCollins provided me with a copy of Seven Black Diamonds. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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