Faeries and humans are at war in the newest series by young adult fantasy author Melissa Marr. If the author’s name sounds familiar to you, it may be because I’ve been raving about getting to cross swords with Melissa earlier this month at Glimmerdark. It might also be because Melissa Marr’s debut series Wicked Lovely was widely popular, and helped to push the niche genre of faery-based urban fantasy to the forefront. Now, Melissa Marr returns to faeries again, but with some striking differences from her earlier works. Seven Black Diamonds is the story of a fae sleeper cell sent to undermine the humans by hiding among them. Its sequel, One Blood Ruby, comes out later this month.
The world of Seven Black Diamonds resembles a dystopia as much as it does a faery-based fantasy. Set many years in the future, the story takes place in a society that has been significantly changed by a great war between humans and the fae. Much of the world has been destroyed by pollution and violence, and new governments have risen up to replace the old. In the land once called the United States, fae-blooded children have been placed in the homes of several influential families. They are raised to blend in with the human world while helping the Queen of Blood and Rage exact her revenge on humanity for her missing child.
Lilywhite Abernathy knows nothing of these political intrigues. As the fae-blooded daughter of a widely feared crime lord, she thought her life was complicated enough. But when she arrives at St. Columba’s, a prestigious school for children of the rich and influential, she meets six more fae-bloods who insist that she is the long-awaited seventh member of their sleeper cell called the Black Diamonds. Lily has no intention of swearing allegiance to the ruthless faery queen, but her desire to avoid entanglement is at war with her need to know more about who she really is. The romantic attentions of her pop star idol Creed Morrison complicate the matter further. Meanwhile, for the rest of the Black Diamonds, Lily’s presence may just push them all to face difficult decisions about where their loyalties really lie.
With Seven Black Diamonds, Melissa Marr presents a complex picture of morality. Her earlier series, Wicked Lovely, made it clear that the traditional Seelie and Unseelie faery courts can’t be easily categorized into Good and Evil. Now, the two faery courts have merged under one ruler, and the main conflict is between faeries and humans. But which side is Right and which is Wrong? And where do the half-faery, half-human fae-bloods fit into this war? The Black Diamonds have been raised by humans, but they follow orders from an unseen queen to kill and destroy. But does protecting the ones you love justify killing the innocent?
Seven Black Diamonds is the perfect blend of romance, fantasy, and political intrigue. I can’t wait to pick up the sequel when it comes out on February 28! Have you read Seven Black Diamonds or any of Melissa Marr’s other works? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.