Warriors Kaleb and Aya will stop at nothing to destroy their competition. But when Kaleb finds his fate entwined with that of Mallory, a seventeen-year-old human girl, he can't seem to separate the vicious Carnival contest he's entered from his sudden devotion to her. He and Aya may be prizefighters from the otherworldly Untamed City, but his strange, obsessive connection makes staying away from the witch-ruled human world, and Mallory, harder every day.
All Mallory knows of the Untamed City is what her elders have told her—that it's full of debauchery and daimons looking to destroy her. But she knows she's being pulled toward Kaleb with an emotion so fierce that it's utterly foreign.
The two are forced apart by Mallory's overprotective witch father, stranded by necessity between warring populations that can't coexist. But when The City's ruler raises the stakes of the Carnival's prize, there's nothing Mallory, Kaleb, or Aya can do to stop the two worlds colliding. Mallory's about to discover her true identity—and stumble into a fate she'd die to avoid.
Fans of The Hunger Games will devour this tale of lush secrets, dark love, and the struggle to forge one's own destiny from the bestselling author of Wicked Lovely, Melissa Marr.
(Formerly published as Carnival of Souls)
Kicking off a new series, Marr (the Wicked Lovely books) introduces a pair of worlds whose fates are intertwined. In "our" world, witches secretly run corporations and spread their influence. In "The City," daimons reign supreme, plotting and scheming, and anything can be found in the sinister Carnival of Souls. A bloody competition to determine who will rise up to help rule the City draws close to conclusion, with several contenders vying for the last slots. Aya is a high-caste daimon, who must win to survive; Kaleb is a low-caste assassin willing to risk all to succeed. And in the mortal world, 17- year-old Mallory has been raised by a witch, Adam, and trained to fight dai mons. When their paths cross, it sparks revelations and a dangerous change in the status quo. Marr's trademark blend of dark romance, fantasy, and action is on full display, but while Marr makes Mallory strong and independent, those qualities are undercut somewhat (in this installment, anyway) by the multiple brain-wipes she receives from Adam, what amounts to a forced marriage, and an abrupt ending. Ages 13 up.