Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr
Released: March 1, 2016
Reviewed by Mandi
Blurb: Lilywhite Abernathy is a criminal. Her father’s “unconventional” business has meant a life of tightly held secrets, concealed weaponry, and a strict code. But Lily’s crime isn’t being the daughter of a powerful mob boss. Her guilt lies in the other half of her DNA—the part that can coax ancient rumors from stones and summon fire with a thought. Lily is part fae, which is a crime in her world.
From the time before she was born, a war has been raging between humanity and fae. The Queen of Blood and Rage, ruler of both the Seelie and Unseelie courts, wants to avenge the tragic death of her heir—a death that was the fault of reckless humans.
Lily’s father has shielded her from the repercussions of her ancestry…until she is sent to the prestigious St. Columba’s school, straight into the arms of the Black Diamonds.
Mysterious, glamorous, and bound together in their mission but constantly at odds, Zephyr, Creed, Will, Roan, Violet, and Alkamy are a Sleeper cell of fae, planted in the human world to help destroy it from within. With covers as rock stars and celebrity children, the Black Diamonds carry out the queen’s war against humanity. And unbeknownst to Lilywhite, she’s been chosen to join them.
Now more than ever, Lily’s heritage puts her in peril, and even the romantic attention of the fae singer Creed Morrison isn’t enough to keep Lily from wanting to run back to the safer world of organized crime.
I’ve read Melissa Marr in the past so I wanted to try this new fantasy series. I didn’t realize it was YA going into it, as I don’t read a lot of YA. But – it’s done well – not the most action-packed book but she introduces us to fun characters including a really bitchy Fae queen.
The title refers to seven half-fae, half human people, living in the human world who work as the Queen of Blood and Rage’s soldiers. They all appear human, and have been placed with human families to grow up. There is Creed, a rock star. Vi, an actress. Zephyr, Roan, William, and Kamy. These six (I’ll get to the seventh one in a minute) do the Queen’s bidding in the human world. The Queen (who rules over both the Unseelie and Seelie courts) blames humans for the world’s pollution and corruption. She lost a baby long ago and holds a major grudge with the human population. So, she named these seven half-fae as her “Sleepers” and once in a while gives them a mission, which usually involves killing a lot of people. These six don’t enjoy killing at all – it makes them sick. But – the Queen would not hesitate to kill them or anyone close with them, so they are forced to obey her.
And then along comes number seven.
Lily has grown up with only her father, a very notorious crime lord. Although he deals in crime, he has loved Lily and given her an amazing life. When she leaves home to go to school, she meets the other six – who have all been waiting for her. Lily knows she is different – she can command water, earth and plants – and has hidden this. She has no idea about the Queen or the other six though. So when she is face to face with them, and they are telling her she has to go meet the Queen and start getting missions, etc.. Lily puts on the brakes. She may be naive about the fae world, but her daddy raised her strong.
There is so much going on in this story – Lily is the main character but we get to know all seven black diamonds plus others in the fae world that greatly intrigued me. Marr writes really engaging characters in this one. The Queen of Blood and Rage is aptly named. She kills – a lot. She has no remorse and no forgiveness. She rules her land with great command. She has a son Rhys who I came to really liked. A daughter, Eilidh who has a big storyline with a man named Torquil. I could have read just about these two for the entire book.
The other six Black Diamonds are fun too. Even though they have Fae power, they act human. They act like young twenty-something humans. (or maybe even a little younger). Drinking too much – fighting with each other. Protecting each other. They have an extremely close bond, yet also bicker. Creed and Zephyr walk around like sex on a stick. There is a bit of a love triangle but it gets resolved before the book ends.
There is romance in this book, although it’s more that the romance has been building up before the book starts, and once we get to the story it’s just a matter of cementing the “I love you” between some of the characters. It’s sweet and made me smile.
Since there are a lot of characters, we get to know them all, but there isn’t a ton of action. There is the promise of big things to come as the seven must decide if they truly want to keep killing for the Queen and live by her strict rules. They also explore their family tree which gets quite large in this book. I think now that we are introduced to everyone and have learned their dynamics, the next book will explore a little more action.
This is fun – I really enjoyed the characters. Like I said, not the most action-filled but a good start.