Romance Books

Ink Exchange – Melissa Marr

The Dark Court has found in Leslie a new Queen that will help them feed.

Ink_Exchange_Poster_by_AmandaDely
From Melissa Marr’s Website:
Unbeknownst to mortals, a power struggle is unfolding in a world of shadows and danger. After centuries of stability, the balance among the Faery Court 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.Unbeknownst to mortals, a power struggle is unfolding in a world of shadows and danger. After centuries of stability, the balance among the Faery Court 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—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. . . .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—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. . . .

    • “As the sequel to Wicked Lovely, Ink Exchange is even more compelling. Their [the characters’] fierce, sometimes despairing search for their true selves gives Ink Exchange its sinister power.” (Washington Post Book World )
    • “Another highly addictive read…Compulsive enough to give the Twilight series a run for its money, and dizzyingly more sinister.” ( Publishers Weekly (starred review))
    • “Older readers of fantasy will be drawn in by the dark supernatural element and surprised by a theme that reinforces the affirmation of human identity and self-reliance.” Kliatt
    • “. . . impossible to put down” (School Library Journal (Starred review))
    • “The sexual tension is subtle but makes the story most appropriate for high school students. Teens Will appreciate this title more after listening to/reading the first volume. Twilight fans will enjoy this dark, brooding audiobook” (School Library Journal (on the audio))
    • “This dark fantasy about survival and transformation is as mesmerizing as its urban faery subjects.” (Booklist)

 

Jules’s Review (4 July 2011)
I’m writing this review now with the book still very fresh in my mind. I got it from the Works in UK partially due to its compelling cover.

cover uk

I have not heard of Melissa Marr before, probably due to the fact that she is a teen/tween writer and I must say I have been pleasantly surprised by the book.
I started reading with low expectations (the book cost me just a meagre £2.99) and very soon I found myself drawn into this dark world run by invisible fairies.
The main character, Leslie, is the best friend of the Queen of the Summer Court which orders a very sexy, scarred Niall to look after her.
For some reason, whenever I imagined Niall I kept thinking about “I am Number Four”‘s supporting character:
my niall
The storyline goes mental after Leslie decides to do a tatoo with the dark king’s avatar (or eyes in this case) which will bind the two of them emotionally.
She likes Niall and then she is attracted to Irial (the king of the Dark Court) and then she is with Irial and then she goes to Niall to get rid of the tatoo and in the end she ditches them both.
It all sounds a bit stretched and I admit, I was a bit distracted by the weird sounding names used. I wouldn’t have preferred a John but still..

To the bad parts of the book, I must add the family in which Leslie is living. Now – supposedly your brother sold you to his drug mates for a rape fest. In which world would you still be living with him under the same roof? If it were me, he would either be rotting in jail or be dead in his bed the morning after.

Another bad part is the fluctuation of feelings between the two of them. I liked the idea of the bad guy falling for the cute girl and then getting transformed by the love, but the way the book went, it was not quite clear the feelings they shared.
Maybe I am in the bad here as she did not have any feelings and was most like an empty vessel without personality (reminds me of Bella from Twilight).

All in all, I give this book a 3/5

Maybe I will revise this rating once I read the other books.

Characters

Leslie – the protagonist. She has recently been through traumatic events and is struggling to regain control of her life.She choses to get a tattoo that ties her to Irial.This tattoo brings unexpected changes
Irial – Faerie King of the Dark Court. He is connected to Leslie by the ink exchange in order to feed his emotion-hungry court of dark fey. He ends up falling in love with her and giving his court to Niall.
Niall – Faerie who previously served Irial and the Dark Court, but left them after it was revealed to him that his touch left mortals hooked on his skin and instead became advise the Summer king. He watches over Leslie, and comes to love her, though he knows he shouldn’t. He ends up leaving the Summer Court in an attempt to save Leslie and becomes the Dark King. He is a Gancanagh.
Gabriel – Irial’s “left hand” and trusted enforcer. The father of Rabbit, Ani, and Tish, he is forever loyal to Irial and is known for his violent methods of subduing rebellions in the dark fey.He is the leader of the hounds which everyone but bananach are terrified of.
Aislinn – The Summer Queen and a friend of Leslie’s. She is concerned about Leslie’s involvement with the faeries.
Seth – Aislinn’s boyfriend. He used to dislike Leslie because of her connection to her older brother Ren, but tries to guide Leslie to talk to Aislinn about her problems once he relises she has nothing in common with her brother.
Keenan – The Summer King and Aislinn’s consort.
Rabbit – The tattoo artist that carries out the Ink Exchange between Leslie and Irial. He is Gabriel’s son, and half human. Irial protects him against the wrath of the less tolerant Dark fey.
Bananach – The embodiment of war and in Irial’s court. She tries to entice Niall into overthrowing Irial and start her war.She is the twin of order. She is always giving Gabriel trouble.
Tish – Rabbit’s sister, Gabriel’s daughter, and half human. Between herself and Ani, she is the responsible sister.
Ani – The irresponsible, rebellious sister that is able to feed by tasting human blood. Irial finds her interesting and potentially helpful.

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