A MelanieM Review: Prince of Air and Darkness (The Darkest Court #1) by M.A. Grant


Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Phineas Smith has been cursed with a power no one could control.

Roark Lyne is his worst enemy and his only hope.

The only human student at Mather’s School of Magick, Phineas Smith has a target on his back. Born with the rare ability to tap into unlimited magick, he finds both Faerie Courts want his allegiance—and will do anything to get it.

They don’t realize he can’t levitate a feather, much less defend the Faerie Realm as it slips into civil war.

Unseelie Prince Roark Lyne, Phineas’s roommate—and self-proclaimed arch nemesis—is beautiful and brave and a pain in the ass. Phineas can’t begin to sort through their six years of sexual tension masquerading as mutual dislike. But Roark is also the only one able to help Finn tame his magick.

Trusting Roark’s mysterious motives may be foolish; not accepting his temporary protection would be deadly.

Caught in the middle of the impending war, Phineas and Roark forge a dangerous alliance. And as the walls between them crumble, Phineas realizes that Roark isn’t the monster he’d imagined. But their growing intimacy threatens to expose a secret that could either turn the tide of the war…or destroy them both.

As a lover of fantasy, I had two thoughts upon finishing this story.  First, I wanted to immediately tell Free Dreamer she had another story to read and secondly, I bemoaned the fact that I had to wait for the next book in the series to come out.  What a gripping story!  I can’t wait to see where this saga is going because if the next tale is anywhere half as amazing as Prince of Air and Darkness, then this series is going to be one whopping adventure!

There is several elements and a couple of twists I adore here with the Fae courts that the author plays with.  While not a twist, Grant’s Fae aren’t the lovely faeries you might expect.  Instead they harken back to the Fae of old Irish mythology.  Those you don’t make bargains with, with little use for humans other than as pets.  Cruel, manipulative, beautiful, and layered.  These are the Fae of M.A. Grant and I love them.  Furthermore, in most novels the Seelie of the Summer courts tend to sway towards the “good/light” side and the Unseelie of the Winter Court towards the “bad/dark” side, here the waters are murkier.  It’s more about balance and individuals, than black and white, good and evil.

Even the torture done might not have had all the ramifications known, even to those doling out the torture.

The ley lines too, which are a common element in fantasy tales, here get a special Grant treatment which I need much more of.

With all of this as a foundation and framework, the heart of the first story is the convoluted relationship between the Prince of Air and Darkness, one of the three sons of the Queen of the Unseelie,Roark Lyne, and a  magical human, Phineas Smith.  Phin is fighting hard to learn to control his power over the ley lines, something he must do to graduate.  If he doesn’t, the consequences are dire.  For himself and his family.  Mostly for himself.

I won’t go further because that ventures into areas that give away too much information.  This is such a complicated tale that twists back on itself, with layers upon layers of secrets, that it’s such a pleasure to read and discover it for yourself.  The characters are so well done, the writing tightly constructed, so full of elements that even as you are pulled along by the events, you want to stop and go  back to examine tiny bits and pieces strewn along the way.  But of course, the pace is quick, the action wild and exhilarating.

And it all leaves you wanting more.  From what I can tell, there’s two more stories in the works.  One at least for this year.  Maybe one for each brother of the Unseelie court. That would make sense to bring the balance back into place.  However many books there will be,  I will be waiting.  If you are a lover of fantasy fiction,  pick this one up and wait with me.  I highly recommend it. Prince of Air and Darkness (The Darkest Court #1) by M.A. Grant is just fantastic!

 Cover art by Carina Press art department.  I wish Carina Press would give credit to its artists but here I think parts of this cover is a miss because it’s ravens that play a major part in the story.

Sales Links:  Carina Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: February 25th 2019 by Carina Press
Edition Language English

Series The Darkest Court :

Prince of Air and Darkness

The Marked Prince – to be published

The Iron Crown – to be published