Wicked Lovely is a 2007 YA fantasy novel by Melissa Marr. The title can also refer to the Wicked Lovely series, which includes the novel of the same name, Ink Exchange (2008), Fragile Eternity (2009), Radiant Shadows (2010) and Darkest Mercy (2011). A short story, "Stopping Time", serves as a sort of postscript to Ink Exchange. Chock full of romance and a dash of political intrigue, the series is a Paranormal Romance set in Huntsdale, where three of the four Courts of Faerie currently reside.The first book deals with Keenan, the King of the Summer Court, courting a human girl named Aislinn, who he hopes is the missing Summer Queen, and her attempts to resist his advances. Subsequent books build upon the cast of characters established in Wicked Lovely, introducing readers to the movers and shakers within the Winter, Dark and High Courts. Further explanation of the plot would simply be too spoileriffic.The fifth book, Darkest Mercy was recently released, and a short story anthology is planned for 2012.
This series provides examples of:
Above Good and Evil: How Irial perceives the Dark Court. See also this page's entry for Blue and Orange Morality.
Blue and Orange Morality: Pretty much everyone. For example, Donia stabbing Aislinn might seem like a pretty harsh move, but due to her position as the Winter Queen, it was politically (and, arguably, metaphysically) necessary for Donia to take whatever measures necessary to limit Summer's ability to meddle in her Court.
Dark Is Evil: The denizens of the Dark Court. Subverted somewhat with Irial and Niall, who consciously hold their Court at least somewhat in check. Water fey as well, as glimpsed throughout the series and in Darkest Mercy previews. FAR more so than the Dark Court, they are borderline sociopaths to mortal standards, or at least completely, utterly alien. Even most 'normal' fey fear them.
Dark Is Not Evil: Also applies to the Dark Court. Both Dark Is Evil and Dark Is Not Evil can apply to them because of the Blue and Orange Morality of faeries. Death fey like Far Dorcha and the Shadow Court as well.
Face Heel Turn: Niall. Probably inevitable, but more interesting angsty.
Faeries Speaking English: Why Sorcha, who has been around literally forever, speaks perfect -if overly formal- modern English despite having never even been to the human world is the worst example, but it applies to several faeries. Mind you, it would be hard to write all dialogue in Gaelic, especially considering most readers wouldn't understand it, so this was probably a common-sense move on Melissa's part. Although faeries HAVE been said to possess the gift of tongues.
Horror Hunger: Negative emotions (fear, hatred, pain, lust, greed, etc) are the Dark Court's source of nourishment.
Idiot Ball: Aislinn in Fragile Eternity, Sorcha in Radiant Shadows.
Important Haircut: Niall had much longer hair in the backstory, but cut it very short when he left the dark court, both as a symbolic gesture of 'not looking back' and for more practical trauma-related reasons, according to Word Of God.
Making a Splash: Water fey, like Aobheall and Innis, have been mentioned throughout the series and according to the snippets on the author's website pay a big role in the final book. Namely, they're vital allies to the Courts in the final battle against Bananach.
Not Himself: In Darkest Mercy, the shade of dead Irial persists in Niall's mind, and sometimes takes full possession of the body, causing the already-falling-apart-at-the-seams Niall to black out now and then, only to come to and realize that he's stabbed someone else without being aware of it, or something like that. Keenan figures out what's going on after realizing that Niall is not himself.
Polyamory: Niall, Irial, and Leslie are all totally cool with their emotional - though not physical - three-way. To a lesser extent, Ani and Rae don't appear to have any qualms about sharing Devlin either.
Shown Their Work: Marr generally gets the folklore right, though, of course, faery lore is already old enough and varied enough that Marr can have quite a bit of wiggle room to make any new innovations she sees fit.
Triang Relations: Of the polyamourous variety. Ani/Devlin/Rae is a type seven which turns into more of an eleven at the end of Radiant Shadows with the loyalty/friendship between Ani and Rae nonsexual in nature. Rae and Ani certainly don't seem to mind sharing Devlin. Irial/Niall/Leslie is a type eight.
The Woman Wearing The Queenly Mask: Sorcha by Radiant Shadows. Aislinn also has elements of this. Subverted with Donia, who adapts to being Winter Queen surprisingly well. Completely averted with Ani, who pretty much jumps at the call where the Shadow Court is concerned.
Word Of God: Plenty of it- Melissa pops up on the fan forums every now and then.