||To meet Wikipedia's quality standards, this book-related article may require cleanup. (October 2009)|
|Cover artist||Mark Tucker (photography)|
|Publisher||HarperTeen, an imprint of Harper Collins|
|April 21, 2009|
|LC Class||PZ7.M34788 Wi 2007|
|Preceded by||Ink Exchange|
|Followed by||Radiant Shadows|
Fragile Eternity is the sequel to the novel Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr. It is also a companion novel to Ink Exchange, another novel by Marr which is set in the same universe but focuses on different characters. Fragile Eternity takes place after the events of Ink Exchange.
The novel begins with Aislinn and Seth arguing over their relationship, as Seth's mortality, Aislinn's immortality, and her ties to Keenan as the summer queen make a normal relationship near impossible. During the book Seth is also bothered by the reality that even the weakest fae is stronger than he is. Whenever Aislinn touches Seth, it results in a burnt bruise. Meanwhile Bananach visits her twin sister, the High Queen Sorcha, telling her of Aislinn and Seth's relationship as well as predictions of impending war. Curious about Seth, Sorcha orders Devlin, her brother and advisor, to follow Seth to see if he is any threat to the balance of the Faery courts.
Niall offers Seth the protection of the Dark Court, which means that threats or violence against Seth would be treated as a threat or violence against the court as a whole. Niall explains that this would protect him against any potential threat from Keenan in the event that the Faery king decided to dispose of him.
Due to it being the summer season, Aislinn and Keenan are growing more physically attracted to each other as the king and queen of the summer fae. After one of the summer revelries the pair discusses how to better protect and strengthen the court, with Aislinn suggesting ways to make peace with the other courts. Because of the summer season's effects on him, Keenan kisses Aislinn. But actually, Keenan's in love with Aislinn. Aislinn, however, faithfully confessed to Seth about their kiss. He forgives her. During this time Donia is growing increasingly unsatisfied with the relationship between herself and Keenan, telling him that his attraction to Aislinn must stop so that she can be the only one in his life. When Keenan cannot promise her this, Donia throws him out of the house, only for Keenan to reveal the events to Aislinn. Aislinn attempts to apologize for Keenan, but Donia grows mad at Aislinn and stabs her with ice. Aislinn walks out of the Winter Queen's home and topples over, then calls Keenan to rescue her.
While trying to heal her, Keenan's touch arouses Aislinn. Seth discovers this and asks Aislinn for space in their relationship. Hurt, Aislinn lets Seth leave without following him. After leaving, Seth is abducted by Bananach, who takes him to Sorcha. Sorcha offers to make Seth a powerful faery capable of using her own powers as long as he stays with her for one month each year. During his time in Faerie, Seth develops a mother/son relationship with Sorcha, gaining great influence in her court as well as a strong connection with her.
Seth, however, is unaware that one day in Faerie is six days in the mortal world and his long disappearance crushes Aislinn. Aislinn attempts to find him, not knowing that Keenan, Niall, and Donia are aware of where he is. Keenan chooses not to tell Aislinn because it would cause her to have conflicts with the High Court and breaks up with Donia in an unsuccessful attempt to woo Aislinn. Niall eventually goes to visit Seth, who is perfectly happy in Faerie, except for his longing for Aislinn. He then tells Niall of his deal with Sorcha, and tells him not to worry about him. Sorcha tells Niall not to tell Seth too much about what is going on in the outside world and especially not to tell Aislinn about his being there.
At this point Seth has been missing for five months and believing him gone for good, Aislinn attempts to seduce Keenan but is rebuffed. Keenan tells Aislinn that he will only sleep with her once she really loves him. Upon his return from Faerie, Aislinn and Keenan are surprised to see that Seth has returned and that he is now a powerful faery with strong ties and influence in Sorcha's court. Keenan runs to Donia to beg for her forgiveness, but is rebuffed by her. Seth discovers that Aislinn has been dating Keenan and blames her for not having faith in their relationship. The novel ends with Seth getting permission to train with Gabriel's Hounds so he can hunt down Bananach.
Critical reception for Fragile Eternity was mixed to positive, with RT Book Reviews giving it four and a half stars, saying "It's a keeper".Kirkus Reviews said that the book was mediocre and repetitive, but that it would "fly off library and bookstore shelves". Booklist stated that the book was "Slim on plot and heavy with Aislinn’s inner conflict, this will nevertheless be popular with fans of the series".