Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr
Also by this author: Wicked Lovely
Series: Wicked Lovely #2
Also in this series: Wicked Lovely
Published by HarperTeen
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Add to: Goodreads
Unbeknownst to mortals, a power struggle is unfolding in a world of shadows and danger. After centuries of stability, the balance among the Faery Courts has altered, and Irial, ruler of the Dark Court, is battling to hold his rebellious and newly vulnerable fey together. If he fails, bloodshed and brutality will follow.
Seventeen-year-old Leslie knows nothing of faeries or their intrigues. When she is attracted to an eerily beautiful tattoo of eyes and wings, all she knows is that she has to have it, convinced it is a tangible symbol of changes she desperately craves for her own life.
The tattoo does bring changes, but not the kind Leslie has dreamed of, but sinister, compelling changes that are more than symbolic. Those changes will bind Leslie and Irial together, drawing Leslie deeper and deeper into the faery world, unable to resist its allures, and helpless to withstand its perils. . .
After reading Wicked Lovely I continued straight on into this book. I needed more of the characters and the world.
I was a little shocked that this book is from a different perspective and that our main characters are now mostly background people to this story. I will admit that it sort of upset me at first but I went with it to see if Marr could impress me again.
In this book we get to see Ash’s friend, Leslie, and her struggles in her home life and how that makes her turn to the world of the faeries we met briefly in the first book. Leslie doesn’t have a great home life, ever since her mother left her father has fallen apart and her older brother has decided to be a drug dealer. Leslie doesn’t really know how to escape but she knows she wants something that is just for her. She decides to get a tattoo in order to put art on her body that means something to her. She gets a vision to have wings and eyes tattooed onto her back. I liked the idea that a tattoo was going to tie Leslie to the Dark Court’s ruler, Irial.
I have to say that the beginning of this book is a bit slow. It really isn’t clear why Leslie wants a tattoo and it isn’t really clear why Irial needs Leslie bound to him. The story does grow over the course of the novel and you start to see more of the Dark Court and just how they live. They have to suck the emotions out of the air from humans. This is how they sustain their lives and so it puts a lot of humans at risk to have their emotions run dry by faeries. In order to stabilize the slaughter of humans by taking all of their soul and emotions the ruler, Irial decides to use a human tied to his court in order to feed himself and his people off the energy he has.
This book is all about last ditch efforts of Irial to regain control of his court. I did really like seeing just how dark his faeries were and how hard it was on him emotionally and physically to watch over the worst of the faerie courts. I liked how far he was able to push and the depraved things he was willing to do. I also loved seeing just how Irial and Niall knew each other. Another highlight of this book was to see where Niall came from and how he was going to be woven into this darker tale.
Overall, this book was good but it did drag on in certain parts. I also wasn’t the biggest fan of Leslie and was much more interested in the Dark Court as well as Irial and Niall. I loved the darker tone to this one and I loved seeing that darker side of the faeries’ world. I wanted to see the things that go bump in the night and to see how the politics of a dark side balances the lighter Summer faeries we spent time with in the first book. I feel like this book is necessary to read in order to further the overall story arc but it will probably not be my favorite once I read the entire series. The ending of this one was powerful though so now I want to know what happens next.