Cover Image: The Marked Prince

The Marked Prince

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I enjoy this series so much. This one was even better than book one. This story focuses on Sebastian (who is the friend of the MC's in book one) has gone back to the Faerie court while they're locked down during the war. There he meets Duine, a servant who is much more than he seems. 

This was fast paced and super entertaining. There are a host of new characters and some new bad guys. I loved this couple even more than the Finn and Roarke from the first story (& I liked them a lot). 

I can't wait to read the next in the series. This really shouldn't be read as a standalone. You need to read the books in order.

**ARC provided through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**
Was this review helpful?
Brilliant read. 
Loved the world building, the characters, and the story moved well.

This series keeps getting better.
Was this review helpful?
This book was so so so good!! I didn't want to put it down and I had to know what happened next! Sebastian and "Duine" were so wonderful together and I loved the slow build up of their relationship. I also highly enjoyed the way both characters grew and evolved throughout the course of the story. I cannot wait for the events that are bound to unfold in book three!!
Was this review helpful?
Oh wow. There was so much in this book I was not expecting! From Sebastian and the roll he plays to Duine and the plot twist that sets the stage for the whole story.  I was so invested in the story, and I still am! The faerie courts, politics, characters, high emotions, action - there is a lot in this story and all of it was great. The ending kind of dragged on a bit, but there is a lot story that needed to be told without rushing through important bits.
Like in book 1, this ends on a bit of a cliffhanger as the war still wages on and the couple have a HFN that works. I am looking forward to book 3.
I did have an ebook arc of this but ended up listening to it on audiobook, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Was this review helpful?
When I first requested this book, I was drawn to the description but didn't realize that this was the second book in a series. It did originally make me hesitate to start (do I need to or should I read the first book first?) but when I couldn't find the first book at the library I decided to give this one a try anyways and I am glad that I did! I didn't find this book hard to understand without reading the first one and I loved the world building and characters so much that I will have to go back and read this first just to get more of this world.
Was this review helpful?
This book was really good. I enjoyed the take on the Fae and their potential for cruelty. I haven't read the first book and I didn't really struggle to understand what was going on which was good. But now I also want to read it. I liked the world building and the use of magic was good.
Was this review helpful?
Fabtastic follow up to the first story. Sebastian has grown so much from book one. 
the plot so much more intense, the detail (especially with the summer & winter courts) in the world building is incredible., I cannot wait for the next in the series! This author just gets better and better every time.

Was this review helpful?
This was a great sequel, I'm really impressed! 

The plot went in a completely different direction than I thought it would, with a lot of twists and turns. While the book took a little while to get into and the plot dragged a bit, I really did enjoy the romance between Seb and Slaine. It's a very sweet and tender romance, built on trust. I like how they built a friendship before a romantic relationship developed between them. And the trust! Wow. I usually hate the miscommunication trope and glad it wasn't included here, instead with the characters trusting and working with one another. 

I'm also really excited for book 3 and have no idea which couple the book will follow. Keen to find out!
Was this review helpful?
Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Sarah – ☆☆☆☆☆
This is such a fantastic series! The contemporary twist on classic high fantasy is beautifully executed and this second story is full of faerie court politics and thrilling action scenes.

I love the complex characters in this story and I loved unravelling all their secrets. Sebastian was an easily overlooked footnote in the first book but he’s fabulous here. Duine is a wonderful surprise and the royal family is everything I want from a classic fantasy. Without spoilers, it’s impossible to write much more about the characters and the Unseelie court but the secrets are almost as fabulous as the characters themselves.

Where most of the first book took place on a college campus, almost all of this second story takes place in the Faerie courts. I love the world building in this second book, and I love the perfect balance between the contemporary and high fantasy elements of the story. I have to admit that I raced through this book, completely caught up in Sebastian’s new world. Even though this book brings the series to a satisfying conclusion, I’m still hoping for more books set in this world.
Was this review helpful?
I thoroughly enjoyed this sequel to The Prince of Air and Darkness and the audiobook narrated by John Solo. This story had all the feels. The suspense and high stakes romance had me so hooked I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next. I even loved the moments this book made me cry.

Slaine and Seb were such a sweet and sensitive couple that I was completely emotionally invested in their relationship. I loved how they rescued each other, how their bond manifested, and how their relationship grew over time, increasing in trust, honesty, and intimacy. I loved how they never gave up and in the end found their way to each other.

The fantasy elements were equally entertaining, from the battles, the plot twists, and the revelations. Seb’s powerful, honest, well-intentioned magic was awesome to see. It was such a part of him that mirrored his beliefs in kindness and equality and his connection with nature and the land. Meanwhile, Slaine as the Prince of Earth and Ruin was his natural counterpart.

I also loved seeing Finn and Roark again. Though I kind of wanted more in the end, perhaps a longer intimate scene between Seb and Slaine, I look forward to the final book in the series and can’t wait to find out what happens next.
Was this review helpful?
I unfortunately ended up DNFing the book. I normally love these types of books but something just wasn't clicking for me. I'm only rating it because I have to.
Was this review helpful?
One fear that all readers have when they start a new series is that the rest of the books won’t live up to first book. That was most definitely not the case with The Marked Prince. This is one of those rare times that the sequel was even better than the first book in a series. I really enjoyed The Prince of Air and Darkness, but The Marked Prince not only continued the action and intrigue of the first book, but added so many layers that it was pretty much impossible to put down.  

Sebastian was introduced in The Prince of Air and Darkness and even though I liked him, readers weren’t given a clue as to how involved he was with both faerie courts. Then there was Duine, who was even more involved. Just when I thought I had things figured out… well let’s just say, nothing was exactly how it seemed.

I loved the relationship between Sebastian and Duine, but their relationship with the supporting characters was just as satisfying. Sebastian had no intention of claiming his place as a royal, but when he returned, he wasn’t given much choice. His relationship with those who served him and his subjects wasn’t typical, but the mutual respect that they shared was refreshing – and annoying to those who didn’t understand.

Some questions that I had at the end of The Prince of Air and Darkness were answered, but by the end of The Marked Prince there I still wanted more. There’s at least one book left in the tale of Mab’s three sons and I can’t wait to see how M.A. Grant wraps things up in The Iron Crown.
Was this review helpful?
3- Stars

DARN IT!! I shouldn’t have such high hope - or any hope - after all. I thought Sebastian’s story would fare better than “Prince of Air and Darkness.” 😪Well, this is not the first time I’m proven wrong, but DARN IT!!

I ranted on the previous review how a certain “powerful” character could easily be subdued. It’s doubled here with the way a certain MC got tricked and trapped... Man oh man, was I mad (I mean, at least I hope there’s a token resistance before the succumbing!!!). What a bummer start was that... Still, considering the hell the character had put the previous book’s MC through, it might be considered sweet revenge. 

The good thing about THE MARKED PRINCE was it’s black and white approach on things. Other than Sebastian and people on his side, everyone at Seelie Sidhe were considered baddies. Although I still didn’t get how this court (too) couldn’t tell the devious and dangerous blackguard among them. 🧐Likewise, Seb was so clueless to what he thought his mother’s “betrayal” until the fact was thrown on his face when it’s late in the game was really disappointing.

Although, I got to give it to the author for another take on the Seelie/Unseelie world and their circumstances. I also considered the unexpected count of casualties (quite a number of known characters) to be one of the upsides of this second installment to MA Grant’s “The Darkest Court” trilogy. Compared to “Prince of Air and Darkness” the drama portion was rather tall here, too - surely to clear the path for all necessary elements to build up. Personally I thought the conclusion was somewhat convoluted while at the same time comme il faut for a certain good character from previous book. 

At this point I’m equally intrigued and wary of the last installment of the series. On the one side, it’s one more and gads I’m dying to find out what fate befall the other Seelie prince and his confidante. The flipside of it was the gnawing worry the delivery would flop and I ended up ranting again. Well, I get until Spring next year to prepare myself...

Copy of this book is kindly given by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
so i didn't realize this was book 2 of a fantasy series, but once i caught on to what was happening, it was all good. the marked prince finds the disgraced unseelie prince sláine at the mercy of half-blooded seelie sebastian. sebastian only knows him as duine, because sláine has been enchanted by sebastian's evil cousin aoife.

there's so much royal court intrigue and drama, but the connection between sláine and sebastian is what makes this story shine. from the first time they interact it's clear that they are more to each other than servant/master. even when neither knows the other's true identity, the spark between them smolders and burns.

they both come into their own throughout the story. they start out with so little power and what they achieve is beyond what either of them could have ever imagined.

the story isn't over by the end, there is more to the war that is happening between the seelie and unseelie courts. and i'm definitely reading book 1, just to make sure i have all the tea before reading book 3.

**the marked prince will publish on august 5, 2019. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/carina press in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Whereas it took some time to get into the world and atmosphere of the first book in this series, this one meshed a lot sooner. That is in part due to the hard work done in Prince of Air and Darkness to build a complete and believable fairy world, with duelling kingdoms.

Sebastian's confidence and ability to help his people grows as naturally as the plants he tends to. Our masked prince, defeated and disguised learns to hope and love. The twisty turny political intrigue is well handled and balances well with the romantic thread.

Now we know what we're facing (oooh, no spoilers), I can't wait to see how it all turns out and get to know the third brother in this remarkably noble family. 

Thanks Netgalley and Carina Press for advanced copy. It was out earlier this week.
Was this review helpful?
The first book in M.A. Grant’s Darkest Court series was a good read, but I liked this one more.

The angst level in both romances is high, but it worked better for me this time around. In Prince of Air and Darkness, Roark spent a LOT of time pining over Finn, because he can’t have the man he loves. (Or so he thinks, anyway.) It’s sometimes OTT angst that is largely internal to the character. In this volume, though, the angst is more a product of the situation in which our heroes find themselves. Duine has been imprisoned in the Seelie Court, stripped of his power and identity and tormented by his captors. He barely dares hope for an escape. Sebastian is an outcast from the court, forced to go back to a place he fears in hopes of retrieving Roark’s wayward brother, Slaine. When Sebastian saves Duine from being tortured, the two of them learn to rely on each other in the face of mutual enemies, and along the way they fall in love. 

So much potential for angst! I’m not even mentioning the truly heart-wrenching scene in the book. And then there’s the period where the Sebastian and Duine are separated by circumstances but yearn for each other . . . 

The world building was stronger this time, too. I couldn’t quite get a handle on the campus setting of the first novel; it wasn’t our world, and yet it was so similar as to be a bit confusing. Confining most of the action to the Seelie sidhe created a more focused environment for the author to work with, and I think that helped her in building a stronger setting for her story. 

The one quibble I have with this book is that moments where I questioned what was happening occurred a bit too often. Like, “But would this character really know that?” kinds of moments, or times when I wasn’t sure why a character reacted a certain way. I really wish the author’s editor/beta readers would be a little tougher in questioning her choices. Her writing is good, but I think it could be more. That's kind of frustrating, you know?

Still, the first book was good, and the second one better, so I have hopes for the third in the series. I’m definitely going to be reading it, because I want to find out what happened to the third brother, Lugh. Mission accomplished—I’m hooked!

A copy of this book was provided through NetGalley for review; all opinions expressed are my own.
Was this review helpful?
I read the first book in this series months ago, but the minute I saw the author in my NetGalley list, the strength of that story and characters came pouring back, making me eager to return to their world. The author did not disappoint.

The Marked Prince is a continuation of the story began in Prince of Air and Darkness where the Winter Court is in isolation and the Summer Court is preparing for war. The details of the conflict never quite added up, with both sides blaming the other, but it also didn’t feel like a continuity error. In this book, we learn why. As with the first, though, it’s much more complicated than it seems, with multiple layers and characters driven by their weaknesses as much as their strengths.

We already understand, in a gut-level way, just how far Roark will go for Finn, based on the first book. Sebastian’s very presence in the Winter Court is proof of that even if most are unhappy with his half-Seelie presence. They’re sure he’s a spy for the Summer Court, but they have no idea how impossible such an idea is in Sebastian’s eyes. He stormed out of his mother’s world in his youth to go live with his Unseelie father, and she did nothing to stop him. But the only reason he’s there is Finn’s friendship when his half-Seelie blood would have denied him refuge in either court.

Roark may love Finn with everything he possesses, but it doesn’t change his upbringing. He gets Sebastian to agree to help them recover Roark’s brother, who has defected to the Summer Court, because Queen Mab ordered Finn to go. Between Sebastian’s dislike for the Summer Court and his shared worries over Finn’s health, the request doesn’t take much thought. But he lets his guard down a little too far and ends up returning to his childhood home as a spy when he meant to provide only intel.

Remember what I said about more complicated?

Once again, this book is a mix of high fantasy politics and intrigue. It’s set deep in a Summer Court in uproar, though with more of a focus on dress code and procedure because much of the story occurs at the actual court.

Sebastian isn’t quite who he’s made himself out to be. Not that he lied, but he let people make their own assumptions based on his father and growing up on the edge of the Wylds. To be honest, that’s how he sees himself as well.

Then there’s Duine, who is much more than he appears. As with the first book, we have both perspectives and know just what Duine hides behind his servant’s mask. A curse strangles his tongue so he cannot confess the truth no matter how deep his connection to Sebastian grows.

Sebastian’s not stupid, though. He can tell there’s more to Duine’s story as the apparently magicless Unseelie servant he rescued from the grasp of his childhood tormentor guides Sebastian through the complexities of court procedure. He just doesn’t know the full of it.

Their relationship develops beautifully with a connection running deeper than words, a lucky thing when Duine must choose every one to avoid crippling pain. The romance is filled with conflict and worry, but you can see their growing mutual respect and wistful hope spring to life. Their connection is much more than physical, though they manage one open door scene before their worlds fall apart once again. Every time they are together, the tension is tangible not just to the reader, but also to those around them. Some find this a threat, for good reason, while others are delighted to see Sebastian win happiness.

You might have noticed, speaking of choosing words carefully, the mad dance I’m enacting between giving a glimpse of the story without spoiling anything not already in the back of the book blurb. The most telling point is the huge gap in my notes when I was too caught up in the story to make any. I figured out a crucial element about halfway that is supposed to be the big reveal at the end, but it didn’t undermine my enjoyment one bit–and I didn’t know for sure until it was confirmed.

Ultimately, Grant offers another powerful story with high court mixed with down to earth in more ways than one. Celtic myths wind into a new whole through love, danger, manipulation, fear, and trust. Things are not quite what they seem, nor is everyone taken in by the false faces. Loyalties are tested, old truths retold, and a fabulous story brought forth through well-drawn characters.

This is a middle book as far as the overarching tale of the war between Seelie and Unseelie, but it forms its own full and complete arc of courts and courtship that will captivate the romantic heart. I walk away satisfied on all fronts and yet eager for the next book to come.

P.S. I received this ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I've been eagerly awaiting the next book in this series ever since I finished the first, and M. A. Grant didn't disappoint. I actually liked this book a bit more than the first. That may be because I already understood the background of the court politics that confused me a little in the first book. Ultimately, I enjoyed the very slow unfolding of Duine and Sebastian's relationship, made even more fraught by the secrets hidden between them. I've always enjoyed epic fantasy, so some of the mythology behind the events was familiar to me, but there was quite a bit I wasn't expecting. I also enjoyed seeing Roarke and Phineas again and seeing how he has been coping as the Winter Knight. The setup for what I assume will be the final battle in Lyne's book was dropped in careful pieces and left me anxiously awaiting the next installment.
Was this review helpful?
"I will kneel for you. Only you, from this moment until my last." 

If I could give this book more than 5 stars, I would. In a heartbeat. IN A HEARTBEAT. ALL the freaking stars for this book! The truly funny thing about all of this is that after reading it's predecessor, Prince of Air and Darkness (PAD), I was So In Love with Roark and Finny and their love story, that I thought there was No Way I could possibly buy into any other love stories in this universe. Boy oh boy was I Wrong.

This about sums up my emotional evolution while reading this book:

Me before starting The Marked Prince: I hope I can get into this book, but I'm honestly worried I won't like them as much a I liked Finny and Roark.

Me about 96% into The Marked Prince: OMG Roark, stop being such a self-righteous ass and LEAVE THEM ALONE!!!! My babies Seb and Slaine need some space!!!

I won't say too much about the plot itself, because it's all one big, massive, mind-blowing spoiler. Long story short - Sebastian (who we don't really get to know too well in PAD), is more or less forced to return to the Seelie Court on a secret undercover mission to retrieve Roark's traitorous older brother, Slaine. Upon his arrival, he discovers an Unseelie slave, Duine, who is being mercilessly tortured by Sebastian's truly awful cousin, Aoife. Sebastian convinces his uncle (Aoife's father) to turn Duine over to him to be his personal manservant. As Duine helps Sebastian navigate court life, and Sebastian attempts to show Duine that not all Seelie Fae are terrible monsters, it becomes clear that both men are not who they at first appeared to be.

This book....This Book. I've put off writing this review because I was so overwhelmed with how much I loved it, and how much it made me feel - I was worried (and still am) that I wouldn't be able to do it justice or put it all into words.

So, if you couldn't tell, I ended up (more than) buying into the love story in this book. Do I like this pair better than Roark and Finny? It's hard to say, but maybe? I loved these two characters, and I loved how much I felt like they needed each other. It's probably best to not compare them because both couples are glorious in their own way.

We learn so much in this book, so many secrets, so much backstory. About Sebastian, Slaine, the driving forces behind the imbalance in magic between the courts...we even learn some new (and super shocking) things about Roark. I felt like this book did a great job answering some of the questions I had from PAD, and really fleshing out the story in a cohesive way. It's tone is very different from PAD, though - this book gets a bit darker and grittier. And our main characters are actually separated for good portion of the book (which is such a heart-breaking section of the book but so necessary - we see just how connected these two have become, just how much they need each other).

"His call echoes into my bones, and I obey because he's my prince, my king, the only man I ever wish to kneel before and he's here, waiting for me. 'Seb,' I whisper, and the leaves stretch toward me. 'I've come back.'" 

I'm excited and nervous for the next installment. I'm no longer worried in the least that I won't completely fall for the new love story (Kieran and Lugh). I know I will. I'm nervous, however, to see how the impending Civil War between the Courts plays out. I have my fingers crossed that we won't lose any of the characters we've come to love, but what's an epic story without some loss? All I know is I will for sure have the tissues on hand when I start reading The Iron Crown.

*This review appears on GoodReads and will be posted to my personal blog and retail sites once available.*
Was this review helpful?
I will be honest and admit that I didn't really pay much attention to Sebastian in Prince of Air and Darkness . He was mentioned here and there but wasn't someone who caught my attention.I actually had to go through the previous book to reacquaint myself with him.

First thing I will say is I can't tell you any specifics about this book. I know I know but you deserve to experience all the ups and downs, twists and turns and the REVEALS. Trust me, it made the book soooo good!

Look out for Duine's past ... it comes out and hits you right up the side of your head. Man! I cannot even HINT at something because it will totally spoil the book but it was a healing and redemption story as well for him. He was not as expected and I totally loved him and the sweetheart that was Sebastian.

The relationship first started as a means of survival then morphed to friendship, attraction and then love... *Happy Sigh**

The baddies were truly evil in this one and blew my mind with their casual cruelty. I thought I hated Queen Mab of the Unseelie Court(and still cannot stand that woman) but the nobility of the Seelie Court really took the cake... What cruel beings; ESPECIALLY Aoife. I mean she deserves a special hell because of the "purity" of her evil. My skin crawled every time she came on page. *Shudders*

As I've said, I loved all the twists and turns in this book but once again(like in Book #1) the ending left much to be desired.It wasn't a cliff hanger but it was the most HFN ending to ever HFN.

There was No epilogue, No extra chapter with our MCs being in love... it was just an end with the threat of another conflict on the horizon. I just stared at the last line of the book completely dazed.

Fortunately, there are extra scenes on her website (with Finny and Roark) which somewhat appeased me. But like the greedy reader I am, I hope we get more from them, and more from the MCs of this book!
Was this review helpful?