Fragile Eternity: Too Much Waiting

A Review for Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr

A true sequel to Wicked Lovely, the story follows Ashlinn as she works through her new duties as Summer Queen and Seth as he grapples with his own mortality and the fact that the girl he loves has become an immortal faery who will be tied to Keenan, the Summer King for eternity. A few conflicts left over from Ink Exchange (the second book in the series which followed Leslie and Niall) are also vital to the story - Niall has become King of the Dark Court and Keenan's betrayal and the loss of Leslie have soured him immensely, and unrest is growing between the three courts - many of the faeries are looking forward to war.

While I enjoyed the story, especially the parts of the story which dealt with Seth and Ashlinn's relationships, I ultimately felt disappointed as it ended. What I loved most about Wicked Lovely, was Ashlinn's strength in her character. Knowing the horrors about what faeries were like, she managed to stand her ground against Keenan, barter with him, and strike a deal which would allow her to remain with the people she loved while also helping him unlock his powers and become a true king to the Summer Court. I found the torturous "love square" between Donia, Keenan, Ashlinn, and Seth complex and compelling, and at the end of the novel, it looks like they've found a way for it to work: Keenan and Ashlinn are monarchs but more like co-workers and friends than lovers, Ashlinn and Seth are a couple, and Keenan and Donia are in love as well.

What I saw of the four characters in Ink Exchange bothered me a little. Ashlinn seemed much too whiny - her strength mostly gone. She said she wanted to protect her friends, but she kept them ignorant, choosing to see the good in Keenan and not the manipulation. And in this third book in the series, her character seems to fall even farther. She lets Keenan try to push her into a relationship, chastises him, then falls for the same thing again, despite the fact that everyone keeps telling her that he's manipulating her - Seth, Niall, her Grandmother - they all warn her against trusting Keenan, and she does it anyway. And it's frustrating, especially since in the beginning she knew better than to trust him. It makes me feel like she's being stupid, and it's harder to like her.

Keenan has also gotten harder to like, though I still find him realistic. He's not used to rejection - he pursues things that run from him. He has a court to run, and it would be more powerful if Ashlinn was a true queen. That makes sense. But the way he witholds the truth and says he loves Donia but pursues Ashlinn infuriating. And Niall, while I understood his anger with both Ashlinn and Keenan was often mean and cruel to Ashlinn - Donia too.

So really, there were times when I was reading, that the only character I still really liked was Seth, and I understood his motives, only his, throughout the entire book. Which means, I broke down and skimmed several times in order to get to parts which really only concerned him. And like with Leslie in Ink Exchange there are long sections where Seth is in Faerie and time moves differently, which (in both novels) made it seem like there was a lot of waiting - waiting for action, waiting for war, waiting for Seth to get out of Faerie.

Which brings me to the end. There's no resolution. Everything is left up in the air. Honestly, it feels like this novel is more of a bridge. It builds and we wait for 400 pages, and then it just ends. And presumably whatever action is going to happen will happen in the next book - unless of course we wait some more. I will still read the next book, though, when it comes out. I love the faery world Marr has created, and I am still pulling for the Ashlinn and Seth from Wicked Lovely, but ultimately this book left me disappointed.

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Kristen said...

I liked this book more than you probably, but I agree about being disappointed in Aislin's character. She just isn't staying strong, but I think Marr is really trying to get at the core of how her faerie world works. Ultimately, she turning fey and not thinking quite like a human anymore. I do hate cliffhangers.

suzie said...

You're right - I think Marr was definitely concentrating on expanding the world of Faerie, and I did really enjoy reading learning more about that.

The problem is, I think Ashlinn is still thinking very much like a human in certain aspects - she's always worrying about her friends and seeing the best in people (and other faeries) which is very "human" of her. But she's also sort of changed her personality.

I'm still definitely going to read the next book - I still want to know what happens. I think I just had such high expectations after Wicked Lovely, and the book didn't really meet them.

robin_titan said...

Wow, that's pretty sad. I mean sad as in disappointing that it's disappointing.
I started reading the first book in the series a few days after it was first released and stopped because it didn't interest me and bored me. Some people kept telling me to give it another shot but I still haven't done that. It sucks that it might not get any better for me if I read the rest of this series. Bummer.