Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Ink Exchange

Ink Exchange

Melissa Marr
Fiction  Series
For ages 14 and up
HarperCollins, 2008   ISBN: 978-0061214684

Ever since her mother left Leslie's life has been a living hell. Her father is an alcoholic who is almost never around, and her brother Ren takes and deals drugs. One day, to please his drug dealing friends, Ren drugs Leslie and gives her to them. Now Leslie tries to have as little contact with Ren as she can, and she hugs the secret of her molestation to herself telling no one what happened to her.

In an effort to take back her life and her body, Leslie has decided to have a tattoo done. At the tattoo parlor that she has visited many times, she finally chooses the design she wants. What she does not know is that she has been chosen to receive a very special tattoo. Once it is complete Leslie will be intimately connected with Irial, the fey King of the Dark Court. His blood is mixed with the ink, and he plans is to use Leslie as a conduit to feed human emotions to his people, who will starve without this dark fey ?food.'

The queen of the Summer Court, Aislinn, just happens to be Leslie's friend. Aislinn wants to protect Leslie from the fairy world, but her efforts are in vain. Not only does Leslie become Irial's property, but she also develops a very close attachment to Niall, a fairy who used to serve Irial, but who now works for Keenen, the Summer King. The fairies in the Summer Court are very different from those who follow Irial, but they are still mostly uninterested in the doings of humans. They will not go to war with the Dark Court to save Leslie.

In this utterly engrossing sequel to Wicked Lovely, Melissa Marr introduces us to another young woman who the misfortune to get pulled into the fey world. This time the girl is damaged and vulnerable. Because of this she is susceptible to fey tricks and she falls for them. What makes this story especially powerful is the way in which Leslie fights for her right to control her own life. First her brother and then Irial steal this precious thing from her, but she does not give up.

Though there is much darkness and pain in this story, there is also a thread of strength that runs through it; there is Leslie's will to survive.