by Melissa Marr
Cover Artist: Photo: Mark Tucker
Review by Gayle Surrette
HarperTeen Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780061214677
Date: 01 May 2008 List Price $8.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
[Note: This review originally ran in our September 2007 issue.]
Aislinn's mantra is focus and control. She can see the fey, but they must never know. Gram has taught her to ignore what she sees, to act normally when things are happening around her. and to never, under any circumstance, get their attention. But suddenly, faeries are everywhere, even places were they shouldn't be, and they're all watching her. Somehow, she's garnered their attention and she doesn't want it.
The Summer King Keenan, must find the Summer Queen before he can come into his full powers. The Winter Queen, his mother, has set a task. The potential Summer Queen must hold the staff of winter. If the girl is truly the Summer Queen it will be as a normal staff, otherwise she will be filled with winter's cold and become the Winter Girl until a new girl attempts the staff. Keenan has decided that Aislinn will be the next one to try for Summer Queen and first he has to woo her. Aislinn doesn't want anything to do with Keenan; she has a boyfriend, Seth, who lives in a train car surrounded by steel. The stage is set as Aislinn tries to refuse and Keenan insists, tricking her with all his faerie ways.
How Aislinn manages to deal with Keenan, the Winter Queen and the Winter Girl makes for an exciting and different tale. There are some twists and turns that are unexpected but ones, that in hindsight, I wonder why no one else seemed to think of using this ploy. Keenan and his court are men and women out of time while Aislinn is a self-confident young woman of our time. Aislinn steers her own destiny.
There's romance a plenty, along with a strong story line. While most of the minor characters are little more than stereotypes to move the plot along, the major characters are well defined and three-dimensional. The only jarring note for me was the insistent need that the Summer King regain his powers to counteract Winter's takeover of all the seasons, making a permanent winter for all the world. That, for me, in a time of global warming, created a bit of dissonance. But overall the story was an interesting twist that made for a pleasant reading and a satisfactory ending.