Format: Hardcover, 400 pages
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
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.
Melissa Marr returns to faery in a dramatic story of the precarious space between two worlds and the people who must thrive there.
Seven Black Diamonds is the first installment in author Melissa Marr's Seven Black Diamonds series. Marr does what she does best. She returns to the world of the Fae, while creating a world where Fae and Humans have been at war with each other ever since a fateful happenstance pushed Endellion, the Queen of Blood and Rage, into declaring war against humanity. One could, in fact, say that this story is cross dystopian, and part paranormal.
The story features several narratives including Lilywhite Abernathy, daughter of mobster Nicolas Abernathy. It also features Roan, one of the Queen's sleeper agents, and Eilidh (Ay-leigh), the Queen's heir to both the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. I have to say, I actually liked Eilidh's narrative. She is the heir, but scorned by Seelie and Unseelie alike because of her features. She has a secret that if revealed too soon, could have serious implications on the Queen's plans. She also has a brother in Rhys who is protective of her, and she has a fiance Torquill who would die for her.
One could, in confidence, call Seven Black Diamonds meet the characters since that is exactly what is laid out for us. Oh yes, we eventually learn about what drove the war between humans and Fae, but it is more important to learn about the Seven Diamonds while trying to decide whether or not they are worthy of our attention. After all, not all of the characters are impressive, and in some way, they are background fodder for political machinations. We're told that because of Lily's dual heritage, she can be arrested at any time if her fae heritage is exposed to the public. Being Fae is tantamount to being killed on sight.
We're told that she's been trained to become her father's successor, and keeps a fairly good sized amount of weapons on her body which she is skilled at using. We can also firmly say that her own father doesn't explain some really important things to her, before sending her off to a boarding school where she will soon meet the other members of "her" team. We can also say that Lily falls immediately into an insta-romance when she meets Creed Morrison, a singer who is also one of the Queen's Seven Diamonds, aka Sleeper agents who are fighting a secretive war against Humanity.
Lily lives by what the author has called the Abernathy rules. Don't be upset if you miss any of Lily's rules. She has a tendency of repeating them as she wades through a new reality that fundamentally changes her entire existence, let alone what she is expected to do next. She also ends up making several new ones along the way after encountering other Fae. One of the interesting question is about the Queen's sleepers. Who are they really? Are they half-lings, or changelings, or something else entirely? One can easily call the Seven terrorists, and not be hit upside the head with a large dictionary. That is what they do, after all. They spread fear and terror.
I'm not going to talk all that much about the rest of the so called Diamonds. Especially since the synopsis pretty much gives all that information away. But, I will mention that they as Zephyr, Creed, Will, Roan, Violet, and Alkamy who will later become Lily's flatmate at school. I am happy about one facet about this story. That facet being that Lily doesn't allow herself to be drawn into a triangle. Her feelings for Creed are genuine. She doesn't care about betrothals, or what she is expected to do. She has some courage and strength and some backbone and that comes in handy when meeting and dealing with her new reality.
Apparently, I have been reading way, way too many books. The big revelation was so apparent, that I almost laughed instead of being impressed. So, no, I am not digging at the author. I am saying that I read way, way too many books that have had similar paths to revelation and conclusions. I like the unknown. I like not knowing what is going to happen to a character or whether or not the character will accept their supposed fate or not. I would honestly love if a character just said, hey, no thank you! But, that would totally ruin an entire series, right?