I’m going to make this as free of spoilers as possible. This is notable for this particular post because I’m talking about the fourth book in a series here, instead of beginning with the first one. Why am I doing that?
Simply put, this is the book that made the series for me. It colored the entire series for me. I can’t help but feel like everything that came before was leading to this.
Essentially, the series is about a half fey girl discovering her heritage and saving the otherworld from a creative menace (the Iron Fey; their very composition is normal fey kryptonite) in an equally interesting way. The fourth book though, is essentially about her boyfriend finding a way back to her.
For some reason, it seems a lot less impressive when I put it that way.
So what works? The sense of sacrifice. It’s a very tragic story, and the real beauty of it doesn’t come out until the last third or so, but it’s worth it. The characters are all giving up a lot. As much as the current culture in America tends to emphasize the importance of love over everything else, what they’re willing to lose in order to gain that love isn’t trivial. The book delves into the issues of someone with a human lifespan being with an immortal. It deals with the feelings of frustration and helplessness, and it doesn’t ignore anything.
This story makes the characters understand exactly what it is they’re losing. The fact that what happens next is a choice based on a real understanding what they’re getting into is very powerful. I thought it was especially impressive that it was made with so little hesitation.
And especially surprising is that despite all that, the story still managed to have a happy ending.