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Seven Black Diamonds #1

Seven Black Diamonds

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Lilywhite Abernathy is a criminal. Her father’s “unconventional” business has meant a life of tightly held secrets, concealed weaponry, and a strict code. But Lily’s crime isn’t being the daughter of a powerful mob boss. Her guilt lies in the other half of her DNA—the part that can coax ancient rumors from stones and summon fire with a thought. Lily is part fae, which is a crime in her world.

From the time before she was born, a war has been raging between humanity and fae. The Queen of Blood and Rage, ruler of both the Seelie and Unseelie courts, wants to avenge the tragic death of her heir—a death that was the fault of reckless humans.

Lily’s father has shielded her from the repercussions of her ancestry…until she is sent to the prestigious St. Columba’s school, straight into the arms of the Black Diamonds.

Mysterious, glamorous, and bound together in their mission but constantly at odds, Zephyr, Creed, Will, Roan, Violet, and Alkamy are a Sleeper cell of fae, planted in the human world to help destroy it from within. With covers as rock stars and celebrity children, the Black Diamonds carry out the queen’s war against humanity. And unbeknownst to Lilywhite, she’s been chosen to join them.

Now more than ever, Lily’s heritage puts her in peril, and even the romantic attention of the fae singer Creed Morrison isn’t enough to keep Lily from wanting to run back to the safer world of organized crime.

Melissa Marr returns to faery in a dramatic story of the precarious space between two worlds and the people who must thrive there.

381 pages, Hardcover

First published March 1, 2016

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About the author

Melissa Marr

107 books12.9k followers

Melissa Marr is a former university literature instructor who writes fiction for adults, teens, and children and sometimes teaches in an MFA program. Her books have been translated into twenty-eight languages and been bestsellers internationally as well as domestically (NY Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal).

After a quieter spell the last few years (due to both adopting a sick baby & health complications--in part due to her lupus), she is back in 2024 with a queer fantasy (Remedial Magic), a picturebook about a wee one and his two moms (Family is Family), and a graphic novel about teen Harley & Ivy (The Strange Adventures of Harleen & Harley).

She currently lives with part of her family (wife & 2 of her 3 children) in Arizona.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 561 reviews
Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,279 reviews8,848 followers
March 30, 2018
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

Lilywhite Abernathy lives a complicated existence.

She's the daughter of a crime boss--the crime boss--yet she's also his heir apparent. Her peers, both male and female, don't know how to treat her, and can't relate to her even if they could.

Yet part of her responsibility to her father is to gracefully interact with those peers. A responsibility her father makes triply difficult by watching her like a guard dog.

Hard to socialize with people who already don't know what to do with you, when your father the HEP big criminal is watching your every move, poised to rain down terror and fury at the slightest misstep.

Then there's the fact that she's part faery. More than part, truth be told, which it must be, b/c lies are physically painful for Lily to tell (b/c part faery).

It's almost too complicated.

And I haven't even gotten to her rock star crush yet.


Somehow it works. I'm not sure if it's b/c subconscious allowances made for YA, or b/c Marr is just that good of a storyteller, but even it's the former, the key word is "subconscious."

The faery Queen of Blood and Rage has declared war on the humans. Part of her strategy includes training up baby fae in her favored guerrilla tactics, using their handlers to teach them how to use their magic, after strategically placing them in sleeper cells. At birth.

Once they reach an age and level of training dreamed useful by Queen, they're called active.


These cells of barely adult, maybe part, maybe full fae, but regardless, they've been raised by humans in the human world . . . Which means their loyalty is divided, so even if they obey the commands of a murderous Faery Queen, they aren't 100% devoted to the cause . . .

They have doubts . . . But their fear of Queen keeps them obedient.

Enter Lilywhite (whose name I scoffed at until one of her new friends started calling her Lilyblack), meant to be the seventh and final member of Queen's flagship cell, her black diamonds.

Except beyond the fact that her mother was one, Lily knows nothing about her ties to Faery. She's spent her whole life hiding her secret--having even a drop of fae blood is enough to be imprisoned (b/c WAR).

She's also been raised to be a leader, to question, to make her own choices . . . So being told that she owes her loyalty to Queen, whom she's never met and has good reason to think is CRAZY, doesn't immediately make her fall in line with the others.

And suddenly the world is full of possibilities.

You: What does that mean?


"The book" being SEVEN BLACK DIAMONDS by Melissa Marr, the faetastical first installment of her new YA urban fantasy series. Marr says in her acknowledgments that her three word pitch was, "faery sleeper cells." It worked for her editor, and it worked for me. There was no struggle to dive deeply into this latest faery endeavor, to roll around in it, losing time, leaving me wondering if perhaps I'd stumbled into Faery as well . . .

Highly recommended.

Jessica Signature


What do you suppose a Queen of Blood and Rage looks like?


Profile Image for High Lady of The Night Court.
135 reviews5,290 followers
August 12, 2018
I regret not reading this earlier…

This book was a wonderfully fast read and I enjoyed every bit of it. Lily is an amazing protagonist, probably even one of my most favorite female leads. Her character and personality were written very well and her upbringing made it even better.

Lilywhite was raised by Nicholas Abernathy, one of the most renowned crime lords in the world. Her life is filled with bodyguards, rules, and training in weapons. Yet her father is one of the most loving people in the world when it comes to family. Lily refers to the rules as Aberthany Commandments and follows them whole heartedly, and at some point in the book I realised that I’ve been pretty much following these rules subconsciously all my life.

Lily’s identity as a Crime Lord’s daughter is dangerous, but not half as much as the fact that she is a fae blood, the daughter of a human and a fae. Her father knows of her fae heritage and has protected it all her life (I love her father). Now, Lily has to attend St.Columba’s and in doing so reveals her identity to 6 other fae bloods. But these 6 kids are no ordinary fae bloods, they are the Black Diamonds, the Unseelie Queen’s most trusted sleepers. They believe that Lily is the seventh diamond, the one person who will complete their group. But to their shock, Lily is aware of her Fae heritage but not of her role as a sleeper.

The war between the humans and the fae started with the death of the true heir of the fae courts. The Seelie King and the Unseelie Queen once had a daughter,one meant to rule both courts as one. One day due to an unfortunate accident and mistake on the humans’ part the baby died, leaving the two species in a war and the courts divided.

The book shifts in perspective mainly between Eilidh, Lily, and Zephyr. Eilidh is the current heir of the courts, a girl who was supposed to die in childbirth, never accepted by the Seelie Princes. Zephyr, the leader of the Diamonds, who believes he has to marry Lily and make her the other leader for the diamonds. Lily, who has just been introduced to the diamonds, is not taking any of Zephyr’s marriage crap, and is attracted to Creed who she can’t seem to stay away from. Zephyr doesn’t truly want to marry Lily either, but will do so if the Queen orders him to. In all of this, each perspective shows us more about the loyalties, honor, love, and family of each of the characters.

Every character played an important role in the story and I enjoyed getting to know them. Each of the Diamonds have amazing personalities and I look forward to seeing them again in the next book. As I already said, Lily is a great protagonist and enhances the story very well,she’s definitely the right lead for such a story. I loved the Seelie King and the Unseelie Queen both of them added a lot of intrigue to the book because of their personalities and status in the fae world.

The story was narrated very skillfully and I look forward to reading more of Melissa Meyer’s novels. I give this book 4.5 stars and will hopefully finish One Blood Ruby soon.
Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
870 reviews4,081 followers
February 15, 2021

DNF. I have to say, Melissa Marr sure cares about my reading time : I already know, at barely 15%, that her writing style makes me so happy wince. How's that for an achievement?!

"The feel of his skin on hers resonated through her body like she was a vessel for nature itself."

Because fairies. Too bad I won't see her spawn flowers, I suppose. Seriously, though, what's up with that?

Props to her, really. I would almost frown if not for these wonderful details called repetitions, because I'm dumb or something! One time is never enough, I just LOVE when characters remind me of such IMPORTANT facts like,

"Those of the so-called "better" fae court were what was traditionally called "sun-burnished"

Yep. You said it already. 5 pages earlier. I do remember because, you know, 5 PAGES EARLIER.

Also, look at this Beauty here :

"The Queen of Blood and Rage sat on a throne inside her small throne room. The throne in this room was nothing more than wood and vine."

Beautiful. Just beautiful. ISN'T THAT BEAUTIFUL? I have no words (neither she).

"The articles she'd read all explained that fae-blood were typically associated with one element. Those of purer fae lines had a second. True fae had two or sometimes more. Nothing explained why she had four, and she'd never met another fae-blood she could ask."

Aw, that's okay, dear. You might just be a spechul snowflake is all.


I would clap, but I'm too tired for that (shoot me, just shoot me now).

For more of my reviews, please visit:
Profile Image for Ben Alderson.
Author 27 books13.8k followers
December 10, 2016
This was the book I was most excited about reading this year and I am pretty disappointed! The whole reading experience I was confused! So many characters, to much going on, so many secrets!

I did like the Magic and the writing was ... interesting...
I don't know if I will read book two..
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,779 reviews1,351 followers
January 7, 2016
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

"In the next moment, a scream began and ended. One of the queen’s various blades sliced across the girl’s throat. Between one breath and the next, she was dead.”

This was a really good YA story about the Fae.

The characters in this book seemed well thought out, and the queen was totally kick-ass! I liked Lilywhite and Creed, and the other characters all had such personalities that it was hard to dislike them.

The storyline in this started out with a real bang, and although the pace did drop off as the story progressed, I still enjoyed the story. There were some twists that I kind-of saw coming, but it didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the story, and I also liked the little bit of romance that we got.

The ending to this wrapped things up nicely, but I’m interested to see where this series will go from here.

7.5 out of 10
Profile Image for Wren (fablesandwren).
673 reviews1,576 followers
September 17, 2020
I was fifty pages in, and it was a chore to remember everything. There were names thrown at me on every page that I needed to know. There was a history that was explained but not really explained. Insta-love kind of killed it even more.

I just wasn't even enjoying it so I'm going to go on to another book. Sorry guys, it wasn't my style. The writing was also a little young for me, so maybe someone else would enjoy it!
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,016 reviews1,902 followers
May 26, 2016
After a fairly long absence, Seven Black Diamonds signifies Marr’s return to the fae world, albeit in a somewhat different setting. Her debut series Wicked Lovely was about the fae and it was extremely successful. I can only assume it’s where she still feels most comfortable. Those who’ve read both Wicked Lovely and Diamonds claim that there are many parallels, which I can neither confirm nor deny. I can only say it wouldn’t bother me if both were successful, but Seven Black Diamonds is a far cry from Made For You, a paranormal thriller and the only one of Marr’s books I’ve truly enjoyed.

Seven Black Diamonds offers so many different points of view in such a brief time that it’s difficult to keep track of all of them and their stories. I felt so confused throughout the first half and I was forced to go back and look up some details just to confirm I wasn’t going crazy. It’s difficult to get attached to any of the characters when so many are pushed in front of you at once. To be honest, most of my focus was on trying to figure out who was who and what might be their agenda.

This was so obviously the first in a series, a ‘meet the characters’ sort of deal. There really wasn’t much of a plot, nothing structured or tangible at least, and all of it was mostly about establishing complicated relationships. There was supposed to be one big revelation, but it was clearly visible from a mile away and it failed to bring any excitement into it. The weak love triangle that really wasn’t a love triangle at all (which made it all the more unnecessary) further complicated things.

I can’t really find much praise for Marr’s writing this time either. We could perhaps blame it on so many brief chapters told from different perspectives, but the narrative didn’t run smoothly and it lacked any real emotions. I wish I could have believed any of it, but it just wasn’t convincing. Seeing as I am a fan of at least one of her books, I can honestly say that Melissa Marr can do much, much better. Perhaps it would help to stick with one or two characters in the future, preferably Lilly and Eilidh (and just btw, it drives me crazy that they routinely call a heavily scarred girl Patches). Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll pick up the sequel and find out.

Profile Image for Amber.
928 reviews89 followers
February 12, 2016
Seven Black Diamonds excels in cliches and poor pacing.

Plot: I have to be 100% honest with you all. I read the first 300 hundred pages then skimmed the rest. From the first page, I knew that writing was not for me. We are thrust into a world with little explanation and multiple perspectives. To say it was overwhelming would be an understatement. Honestly, backstory, major plot points (that explain what our characters are even doing), and intentions are explained roughly around the 100-page mark. After that, Marr painfully overexplains situations and relationships. From there, we fall into all the basic cliches, including the powerful-unassuming-girl-who-has-multiple-boys-falling-over-themselves. Who's not tired of that one?

Characters: Lilywhite's father is a powerful crimelord which somehow makes her famous. She goes to school with a bunch of other rich and powerful teens and instantly becomes friends with a convenient group of 6 people with all have special powers. You know, the usual. There is an instant love triangle which is really unnecessary. In short, I found all of the characters to be juvenile and lacking depth.

Worldbuilding: Lilywhite is sent to a boarding school for "protection" according to her mafia father (like really?). The campus setting is overdone in a lot of YA and wasn't even explored in the book. The fae land is also present, but besides a few rooms in the castle, not much is explained.

Short N Sweet: Seven Black Diamonds did not mesh with me because of the writing style and overused cliches in the genre.
Profile Image for Alexa.
827 reviews
May 27, 2016
This is a novel that, in theory, I should have absolutely loved and adored. It is about faeries, about faeries who are at war AND faeries who have elemental powers. I'm a sucker for all three of these. And you know nothing pisses me off more than wasted potential, than things that are totally up my alley but have been butchered by bad writing.

The worst thing about this is that I didn't even start out loving, or at least liking, the book. No, the beginning was already complete bullcrap, it made me so mad that I was tempted to drop it right from the get-go. I didn't, in the hopes that it would grow to be better as the page count went up. Spoiler alert: It got even worse. Honestly, it is a fucking mystery to me how I even lasted without dnf'ing this shit. I was close multiple times, but you know I hate giving up and so I dragged myself through it, then I died and dragged my corpse through it and lastly, not even my immortal soul was spared by the shittyness that is this novel.

Okay, let's start with the least of my problems, which would be characters. There are seven Black Diamonds, half-fae who are tasked with destroying humanity by the Unseelie Queen. Okay, two of those are token gay characters that we see maybe ten pages total, I am not joking. They are absent for all of the plot, they're never relevant in moving the story forward or in any way crucial for it. They are mentioned in passing a few times, but they rarely even make an actual appearance. The fuck. Then we have Alchemy Alkamy Adams, who plays a bit more of a prominent role, but also not really. She befriends the MC and is only there to further main lead B's man pain by being his starcrossed lover he couldn't ever be with, because of reasons. Seriously, there's not much more to her characterization, other than she would do anything for a guy, for a guy she can't even be with. I can't decide if the other female character, Purple Sheep Violet Lamb, really has any more going for her than Alchemy. I liked her better because she has a fiery personality (what a coincidence, because not only is her element affinity fire, but she also has fiery red hair...) and her snark. I'll throw a bone here and say that at least there was no stupid ass female rivalry between any of the girls, which is a big plus.

The male leads, especially alpha Dick Assassin's Creed Morrison, really, really tested my patience. I'll start with the lesser of two evils, which would be main lead B Zephyr Waters, who is as bland as white bread with no personality outside of the stoic soldier stereotype. He is willing to sacrifice and do anything to protect those he loves (especially his Juliet whom he can't be with, again, for reasons), while never admitting even to himself how he truly feels. He's the guy you ask what he wants to eat, to which he replies that "he doesn't care, you choose" and then you end up choosing something he doesn't actually want to eat but he will soldier on despite it, not complaining, just quietly, broodingly eating the damn food. He's not outright annoying with his behavior and attitude, but you can't help heavily side-eyeing him for it.

Assassin's Creed, on the other hand, really IS that outright annoying. He is pushy, narcissistic, doesn't take no for an answer ever and thinks the world is spinning just for him. He is a grade A douchebag, an asshole of the highest caliber, if I met this dude in real life I would punch him, and punch him hard. So he falls for Lily, even though he has known his whole goddamn fucking life that she is "destined" to be with Zephyr, and he doesn't even care. He flirts with her, hits on her like there's no tomorrow, constantly forces himself upon her and is possessive (and obsessive) as fuck. He has known Lily NOT A SINGLE FUCKING DAY and he is already so in love with her it transcends time and space, and whatever else there is keeping them apart. His love for is epic, you know. After he's talked to her TWICE. I WISH I was joking but I can assure you I am not. And when she, rightfully, tells him to take it down a few notches and be friends first, you know what he does?
“I can't do this,” she said after several tense moments. (...) “Be my friend, Creed.”
“Don't say you aren't feeling the same things I am.” (...) Creed's arm snaked around her waist, holding her to him. (...) “You're my deadly girl, and I'm yours whether you want me or not.”

THE FUCK. The fuckity fuckfuck. I am so done with this fucking twat.

The other characters, namely Lilywhite (or LILYDARK seriously how absurd can you be) or Eilidh or Torquil or whoever else didn't really make any impression at all. I liked the dynamic between Eilidh and her brother Rhys, but that seems to be pretty much it.

The world-building, oh boy. It wasn't bad or totally lacking per se, I've definitely seen and read books out there who are much, much worse in that regard. But I can't say that it was artfully crafted and vividly described, either. There is a story, about how the Courts united and are now residing in the Hidden Lands because of this and that event, but it was all a bit lackluster if you ask me. Probably because it was all overshadowed by the terrible, awful characters and other aspects, but yeah.

Lastly, let me take a second to talk about the writing a bit. The book is written in third person, but switches its POV character every chapter (or every other chapter), mostly between Lily, Eilidh and Zephyr, which was kind of confusing at times, because Lily and Zephyr were mostly interchangeable and I had real trouble telling them apart sometimes. I would be reading Zephyr's chapter thinking it was Lily and then be really confused when the narrator was talking about "his" thoughts and feelings and I'd be left wondering how, when and why Lily suddenly turned into a guy. The only reason I didn't also confuse Eilidh with their voices was because her chapters always involved different characters and plotlines than Zephyr and Lily's. Other than that, the writing was okay. Nothing too fancy or mind-blowing, but I've read books that were written a lot worse.

Ultimately, I'd really hoped this book would be enjoyable for me, because it really had the potential to be. I guess It just wasn't meant to be, though. I doubt I'll be returning for book 2, but we'll see.

P.S: How RIDICULOUS can you BE when choosing your character's names. These were all horrible.

This review also appears on my blog.
Profile Image for Christina (A Reader of Fictions).
4,384 reviews1,763 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
June 3, 2016
Chapters read: 2, and a tiny bit of chapter 3

HOLY SHIT, WOW. I've read several of Melissa Marr's books in the past, and they weren't favorites, but they were decent. What I just read was indecent, and not in a sexy way.

Let's break this down in the quotes that wore me down into quitting. The first POV, Eilidh, wasn't great, but I could not even with Lilywhite's POV. So here goes.

Erik was there, of course, but for Lily’s seventeenth birthday celebration, Daidí had invited all of his associates’ children, and he’d hired her favorite singer. It was perfect on paper, but Lily didn’t mingle with people her own age.

OH MY GOD POOR LILYWHITE. She also complains about how much her dress and jewelry cost. Her life is really fucking hard, you guys.

The one exception was her friend, Erik. They’d shared a few kisses now and again, but under threat of retribution if any word of it was spoken.

Daidí knew, of course, as did Shayla, but they also understood that Erik didn’t occupy her heart. Instead, she fantasized about Creed Morrison and Zephyr Waters—celebrity darlings she suspected of sharing her same hidden, and illegal, heritage.

Just the way that everything is said makes me want to stab this book. Also CREED MORRISON. ZEPHYR WATERS. And of course celebs share her heritage bc no doubt she's an absurdly beautiful half human.

Lily thought through the Abernathy Commandments until she found her answer:Commandment #9: Be kind to those who deserve it.

Let's add sanctimonious commandments. That will definitely make the snobby, whiny, rich girl routine more pleasant.

She straightened her shoulders and sailed through the crowd—until Creed Morrison stepped into her path, stopping her advance, leaving her uneasy in a way no one ever had.

Oh good, a potential love interest. And he makes her feel uneasy. HOT.

Creed had the beautiful dark complexion of the Seelie fae. The fae long thought to be both kinder and better were those whose skin was sun-burnished. Creed’s skin had the telltale signs of fae heritage, but Creed’s human father was African American, so Creed had an explanation for his Seelie-dark skin. Lily shared his heritage, but she had less chance of exposure for her heritage because she’d inherited her father’s pale skin instead of her mother’s dark skin.


Creed was watching her with an utterly inappropriate intensity. If her father saw, he’d toss Creed out the door, despite the obscene sum he’d probably paid for his presence. Lily felt like her skin was electrified everywhere his gaze fell. She’d felt a tingle of recognition a few times when she’d seen other fae-bloods, but not like this. Nothing had ever felt like this.

Kill me now. Lilywhite apparently gets her fair skin from her dad, which helps her pass as a human or something and seriously wtf.

“Incidentally, flattering me is pointless. The sons of Daidí’s associates all try it to curry favor with him. I’m immune to praise.”

Dis bitch. I just. Like she's so humorless.

The feel of his skin on hers resonated through her body like she was a vessel for nature itself.

Whoops, just barfed on GR a little.

“Impure water burns your throat. The wrong soap makes your skin blister . . . and alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, they all affect you so much more than they do other people, non-fae people.”

I really wish I was making this up.

Soon, his colleagues would come and give her gifts. Shayla would arrive and catalogue them, and Daidí would nod approvingly.


As Creed started the opening chords to “Deadly Girl,” his eyes were fixed steadfastly on her and her father. She could feel his words like a lure.

Air. Creed Morrison’s affinity was air.

The articles she’d read all explained that fae-blood were typically associated with one element. Those of purer fae lines had a second. True fae had two or sometimes three.Nothing explained why she had four, and she’d never met another fae-blood she could ask.

Am I surprised that she has the most powers of any fae-blood ever? No. No, I'm not.

After Creed’s second song

If you name the hot guy "Creed" and he sings, we are now imagining the band Creed. This is not what you want us imagining. (This is how you remind me of how much this book sucks, yeah?)

The Gaviria cartel was Daidí’s strongest ally, and as such, they were always first in line to offer felicitations. Their cartel was not a new organization like so many today. They had a history stretching back before the early 2000s, before the war, before the guerrilla attacks by the Queen of Blood and Rage’s terrorists, back when this continent was called North America.

And, with this fascinating piece of worldbuilding, I bowed out. I'm marveling at how awful this bit of book was. O_O
Profile Image for Ashlee » libraryinthecountry.
784 reviews757 followers
January 28, 2022
I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner! This was quite good, and I am surprised it doesn’t get talked about more!

Seriously, this checks so many boxes for me:
- Seelie and Unseelie court fae
- Wicked royals
- A lost heir
- Ruthless political machinations
- The fae have a vendetta against humans
- A secret team of fae hidden in the human world
- Top tier banter!
- Swoony, fun romance (multiple couples!)

This book was such a delight, and I wholeheartedly recommend it for fans of YA fantasy and stories with fae, alike!
Profile Image for Vira.
129 reviews98 followers
March 23, 2016
Wow, this one has intemperate youth written all over it. The hormones, the feels, the ultimatums! And the extremes, oh those amazingly stupid teen extremes, when life is either marvelously white or gruesomely black. Add major obsession with the looks and, hence, self-consciousness. And, of course, disobedience as a way to make a statement.

Been there, done it, can't even think about it - sooo embarrassing. No, really, every time my parents remind me of who I were and what I did back then, I cover my ears and try to black the memories out with my powerful "nanana" song. And that's exactly how I felt about Seven Black Diamonds - 400 pages of nanana, not-stop. We have insta-love, insta-loyalty, insta-friendship, insta-sex (not in reality, worry not, just in - everything that makes your dominant brow rise and your beautiful eyes roll. Because we know it’s not how things usually work. (Well, except for sex).

Now, I am aware that the genre is called Young Adult for a reason. YA books are meant* for young, unexperienced audience and so they should be a bit naive and not really overcomplicated. Their purpose is to entertain and, at the same time, help sensitive, vulnerable souls process and understand the chaos of emotions they experience, fight fears and find strengths, feel better about themselves etc. - with the help of deep, multifaceted, relatable characters. Which here they weren’t. And neither an appealing writing style, nor a rather promising concept could compensate for a lack for well-developed, tangible characters.

*but we all know who reads those, right?)
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,820 reviews738 followers
January 29, 2016
I don't normally read books with faeries, but apparently there was something in the synopsis that compelled me to download this.

I loved Lily right from the beginning. She's been raised to be a bad ass and I adored that she refused to let people tell her what to do. She's levelheaded and smart and doesn't let a cute boy {or 2} make the decisions for her. There are some other really great characters {helllllo Creed} and I loved some of the banter we got from this group.

My main complaint was all of the info dumping. I'm still not sure of how the fae world or some of the magic works. There are a lot of characters and several POVs and while I was instantly interested, I wasn't ever captivated by it. Lily and Creed were the only reasons I kept reading.

Overall, I did like the idea of the magic, the affinities, and the MCs. The ending wasn't nearly as dramatic or cliffhangery as I was expecting. I will be reading the next in the series.

**Huge thanks to Harper and Edelweiss for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,576 reviews214 followers
December 16, 2017
First off, there were a lot of point of views to keep track of. Especially with different locations and everything I was a little confused in the beginning. Luckily I somehow made everything make sense somehow and I sort of kept track but I just mostly went along with everything.

I did enjoy this book even though it was a tad bit confusing. Seven Black Diamonds was continuously interesting and even thought the point of views and setting changed quite frequently you never got bored.

I'm pretty sure I have fallen in love with Melissa Marr as a writer and I can't wait to dive into the next book, One Blood Ruby. I need to find out what is going to happen to all of these characters.

I pretty much liked every character within this book - my favorite was probably Lily though. I obviously loved her, her family, and Creed since I was first introduced to them. I was also shipping the crap out of Lily and Creed.

The Queen of the Unseelie was a fucking badass from the beginning and she scared the crap out of me because she knew about a lot of stuff that even I had no idea about. Or I just thought that there was no way in hell that she would've known.

In the end, I loved this book and I can't wait to dive into the next book. I need to know what's going on with all of the characters.
Profile Image for Shelley.
5,352 reviews483 followers
March 22, 2017
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Young Adult Fantasy
*Rating* 3.5

*My Thoughts*

Seven Black Diamonds is the first installment in author Melissa Marr's Seven Black Diamonds series. Marr does what she does best. She returns to the world of the Fae, while creating a world where Fae and Humans have been at war with each other ever since a fateful happenstance pushed Endellion, the Queen of Blood and Rage, into declaring war against humanity. One could, in fact, say that this story is cross dystopian, and part paranormal.

*Full Review Posted @ Gizmos Reviews*


*Published* March 1st 2016 by HarperCollins
Profile Image for Allison.
489 reviews192 followers
December 5, 2015
I'm still such a sucker for books about the fae (especially if there are Seelie and Unseelie courts). I seem to be the only person who HASN'T read Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series, but I'm familiar with her thanks to Graveminder, which I loved.

Crime lords, scary Unseelie queens, and some neat magic. There were a few less than great things (some instalove, for example), but all-in-all a nice way to spend my Monday night!

(Thanks to Edelweiss and HarperCollins for the arc!)
Profile Image for Britt.
318 reviews75 followers
March 5, 2016
My first go with Melissa's books and even though I loved anything to do with the Fae, this one was not what I hoped.
Profile Image for Hannah (jellicoereads).
792 reviews150 followers
May 26, 2016

Not flawless, but entertaining and enjoyable nevertheless.

While I was a bit doubtful at the beginning of the book, with the introduction of a spoilt, rich teenager and her ilk, as soon as the world building moved into the realm of fairy, I was sucked in. With Melissa Marr, I seem to enjoy her fantasy writing more than her contemporary, which was why the first few chapters seemed a bit meh to me. If you find the same, I urge you to continue because the book becomes so much more rewarding.

The author's fairy worlds, as seen in her Wicked Lovely series and now here as well, tend to be a bit unhinged, a bit dramatic, a bit sexy - a combination which totally works for me.

There are multiple perspectives in the book, but never fear, it doesn't get confusing - things are easy to follow While I liked getting to see the relationships, nuances and interactions between the gang of seven, I will admit to wanting more detail there.

Kudos to the author as well, for trying to remedy problematic elements. For example, our protagonist, Lily, shuts down the he-man posturing between the dude she really likes, and the one who is planning to marry her because that's what the scary dramatic queen decreed - she doesn't get drawn into it, works on defusing the situation, and tells them that she's not a conquest.

"It's like they need to bicker, you know? If they weren't so tediously straight, I'd swear they needed to kiss it out."

It's like Melissa Marr read my freakin' mind when it comes to competing dude love interests. HA.

The author also flips around the traditional paradigm of white=good, black=bad - the fae of the Seelie court, i.e. the 'better' fae court, are dark skinned - the author uses the phrase 'sun-burnished' quite a lot. The more evil/dodgier fae of the Unseelie court are the pale folk. While sometimes it can get overemphasised to the point of awkwardness, I appreciate what the author is trying to accomplish here.

The characters are also well aware of their limitations, and they don't go making crazy plans to overthrow the crazy monarch, which I thought was where the story was headed.

That doesn't mean we can slay her like a storybook dragon... or even dream of it. The best we can do is protect those we love.

In terms of the flaws:

There is some instalove going on here, at least between Lily and her nice fey man friend - she pretty much has a fantasy about him/crush on him before they even meet, and their attraction when they finally do encounter each other is explained away by them being fey, so affairs of the heart work differently, etc. Cop-out!

The world building is a little flimsy in terms of how everything came to be - mentions of environmental destruction, and then the fey coming out of hiding to play (re: blow up everything).

And there's the creepy obsession with the princess Eilidh's virginity by the royal family, which is a tad cringeworthy.

But despite these issues, I did devour the book. There was some welcome humour, and I enjoyed the reveal of the family relations and the complications that it's going to cause. I just overall wanted more - more info on the lives of the other characters, more info on the faery courts and their functioning, more insight into how/why they go to war, because as it stands the reasoning seems a little flimsy. Why couldn't the queen just wipe out those pesky humans instead of sending teenagers to do it? But I digress. This is apparently the first book in a duology, and I'll be interested to see where the author takes the characters, especially my stone cold fox [fairy warrior prince] Rhys.

"One of us can set fires to idiots, and one of us sings pretty songs. Guess which is more useful?"


ARC received from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from uncorrected proof and may differ from final publication.
Profile Image for  ♥ Rebecca ♥.
1,407 reviews471 followers
April 17, 2016
So this was a pretty interesting story. A different world from Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series, but with a familiar feel. I think fans of that series would also enjoy this.

The main character is Lily, and the book had the alternating POV of Lily, Zephyr, and Eilidh (pronounced like Hayley). It is set in an alternate reality where humans and fae are at war. There are seven mixed blood faeries who pass as human and are a guerilla group for the faery queen called the Seven Black Diamonds, who go to a prestigious private school. When Lily enrolls in the school she meets the group and becomes friends with them, and learns a lot more about herself and her heritage.

Zephyr is the group's leader, and although he means well, he is super annoying. I don't really like him. Eilidh is the faery princess who tries to help them from the inside. I am not sure what role she will play in the story yet, but I like her and her betrothed, Torquil. I wish them nothing but happiness and sweet dreams. ;) Creed was another member of the group and Lily's love interest. He never had his own POVs which I wish he did instead of Zephyr. He was totally swoon worthy.

There are a lot of players in this game and I look forward to finding out what will happen with the courts, and also among the group. There are a seven of them, plus the queen's meddling so there are endless possibilities for relationships there. I am glad to have another faery series to look forward to. And maybe we will get to know Will and Roan better.

Profile Image for Ariel Andrews.
49 reviews3 followers
May 31, 2017
Melissa Marr is an amazing writer but I think she has found a rut that she can't get out of. I really loved this book. I also loved the Wicked Lovely series. There's no shame in writing about the same type of mythical creature but both stories so closely resembled each other that you could tell that this is new time same story. Don't get me wrong though, I think the story and plot is great on both books but you can tell that she hasn't come up with something new yet. Both involve Fae which I love, both involve a king and a queen, and both involve unsuspecting humans that end up being dragged into a "war". I do love the drama and the characters in this story. I do have a hard time with the repetitive aspects such as Lilys commandments, that are very much like the rules in Wicked Lovely. I did read this book in a day so it was a nice read, but there are a lot of names to remember so don't try reading it while your minds on other things or you will end up confused. I will definitely be buying the sequel and any other books in the series, because I am very interested in the characters and the progression of the plot! I am hoping book two offers up some more originality. All in all I thought this was a great book especially for anyone who read and loved the Wicked Lovely series.
Profile Image for Love of Hopeless Causes.
721 reviews52 followers
March 11, 2017
Insta-verse fail, plus wallpaper characters, and clunky plot. The paint hasn't dried on this world yet. If one is born a half-this or that, one comes to terms with, it or suffers early on. One doesn't, for convenience, turn on a dime, so the Queen can prove how heartless she is. This stuff can be sorted in the simplest of critique circles, so I am baffled why authors don't have any decent Beta readers.
Profile Image for Dark Faerie Tales.
2,274 reviews560 followers
April 29, 2016
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: An addictive start to what I can predict will be a fantastic series.

Opening Sentence: “You were created to serve.”

The Review:

Seven Black Diamonds had me hooked from the first chapter. The storyline was fast paced, the characters were energizing and well developed and it all just ‘clicked’, if you get what I mean.

Lily is a brilliant female protagonist. Raised by The Crime Lord, she’s more than capable of looking after herself in sticky situations. Lily knows that she isn’t quite human but until she meets the other sleepers, she has no idea how much fae blood resides in her. I loved how fiercely protective she is of her friends and her loyalty to her human father and his upbringing.

Lily couldn’t say that she was surprised by Zephyr’s choices. She suspected he wasn’t truly surprised by hers. They’d both been raised to believe certain truths. For him, that meant unerring loyalty to the faery queen; for her, it meant that she would fight for her own beliefs and choices.

It would take forever to describe each of the other sleepers but my favourites were Creed and Violet. Creed, because he had the whole moody, singer thing going for him and the romantic plot between him and Lily was super cute. Violet, because of her incredibly short but fiery temper. Even her insults were hilarious!

“Easy choices, as far as I’m concerned.” Creed looked at her. “I pledged myself to you once, Lily. I can say it again if you need, but the reality is that if you need me to buy you time to escape, I’ll gladly do so.” He gestured to Torquil. “I won’t have him or Vi doing it.”
“Back up, boy.” Violet’s temper finally sparked, setting off a mini light show in the dark cavern. “One of us can set fires to idiots, and one of us sings pretty songs. Guess which is more useful?”

My least favourite was probably Zephyr. I sympathised with his situation, always knowing that he must marry Lily but falling in love with Alkamy regardless. However, it was so funny when Lily found out about the arranged marriage but didn’t even give him a second thought! Zephyr acts like he’s the martyr, protecting his friends from the queen, giving up his life to serve her and so on. But, personally, I thought he was trying too hard to prove himself as the group’s leader and show off to the queen, irrespective of how his actions affected his friends. If he loved Alkamy so much, why doesn’t he ever fight for her? He was too rule-orientated for my liking.

“I’d never let anything happen to you,” he promised her yet again. No one else understood him the way she did. Alkamy felt like his other half. He met her eyes. “Ever. I’d die before I’d let you get hurt.”
Alkamy sighed. “You’ll die for the queen’s cause; you’ll die for me…Maybe you should try finding something or someone to live for instead.”
“Is it so wrong to have a purpose?”

There’s also an excellent villain in this story, the Queen of Blood and Rage. She was scary enough for everyone to be terrified of disobeying her but I could see elements of humanity showing through at the end, so I wonder if all is not lost for the sleepers and their dreams.

The story itself is fascinating because it’s not just about the war between human and fae, but also about the unspoken rivalries and power struggles between the Seelie and Unseelie courts. What I enjoyed most was that there was so much taking place. Despite this, the events flowed smoothly and there were a lot more secrets unveiled than I would expect from the first in a series.

The world building was pretty good too but I would have liked to know a little more about the school they attend and some more detail on the hidden fae world, especially the two courts, but I imagine this will be covered in the next book.

I should probably stop gushing about this book now but my gut intuition is that this series will be huge!

Notable Scene:

Alkamy nodded, but she didn’t speak again until Lily was at the door to her room. “None of us want this, Lily. Not even Zephyr. He thinks we don’t know how he feels, but I see his doubts. We’re trapped. None of us want the queen’s guards to kill us in our sleep, either. They tell us we were born to do this, that we’re special, and there is no choice.”

Lily turned back. “There are always choices, Kamy. I don’t know if they’re good choices, but there are some. We can find them.”

FTC Advisory: HarperCollins provided me with a copy of Seven Black Diamonds. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
Profile Image for Richa.
430 reviews147 followers
February 1, 2016
Originally posted on City of Books

I haven't read any of Marr's previous books, but after this one I really want to get started on them! Seven Black Diamonds is an exciting novel full of intrigue, romance, action, and a bunch of awesome characters. I love fae books, and this is probably one of my favourites.

The Seelie and Unseelie faerie courts are currently united as one, although it's a very precarious situation. Lily is half human, but she's suddenly put right in the middle of everything. After she meets Creed, a member of the Black Diamonds, Lily wants answers about the fae side of her, and the Black Diamonds can give them to her. Except that Lily doesn't want to join them, doesn't want to answer to the fae queen, and definitely doesn't want to kill humans. But there are things about her abilities she doesn't understand, and to figure them out, she needs to embrace her fae side.

This book is told in several POVs, mostly Lily's and Eilidh, the queen's daughter and heir to the throne. We also get POVs of the other Black Diamond members, which was confusing at first but after I got to know them it was alright. The POVs actually helped to understand what's going on in the other members' heads.

This is quite a character-centric novel, so I'll probably talk mostly about them rather than plotlines. Lily is great - her father is the head of an important criminal organization, so she knows how to take care of herself. She's resourceful and independent, but there are so many secrets she's hiding. Her fae powers, for example. Lily has a list of 'Abernathy Commandments' that she follows, and they keep her on track. But though she's tough, she's also compassionate and she has honour. Also, I liked that she doesn't really show a soft side of herself. Lily is a total badass, and it was a crazy ride being in her head.

There are six other members, and we get to know a few of them quite well. Creed is Lily's love interest (no love triangle, don't worry), and he's a rock singer in the mortal world. He and some of the others live a life of luxury in the spotlight, without a care. But camera Creed isn't the real Creed. I loved getting to know the real Creed! He's sweet and protective and also kind of intense. I'm definitely hoping there's more Creed-Lily interactions in the next book.

Zephyr is another member we meet, the leader of the group. He's kind of a wild card.. moody, jealous, but also kind and good at heart. Lily was 'supposed' to be with him, to lead the group with him, but instead she falls for Creed. So that impacts Zephyr, obviously, but there's another girl who matters more to him than anything else, and he won't admit it. Yeah, there's a lot of romantic tension everywhere. We also meet Alkamy, Violet, Will and Roan. All very different characters, and I hope we get to know them better later on. I already love Violet, though. She's snarky and smart and just as badass as Lily.

Each of the members have a fae affinity to an element, or even two. It was interesting to see how they used them and how often they came in handy. This book was more of an introduction to the series and characters, but I was glad we got some nice action scenes towards the end, with the fae using their powers.

Does this sound like too many characters in a book? Well, there are a few more! The other main POV we get is Eilidh, the queen's daughter. She resides in the fae world, so we get to know what that's like, and what the queen is really like, too. Eilidh has only two allies with her - her half-brother Rhys and her best friend Torquil. The three of them are opposed to whatever machinations the queen is planning, and the two separate storylines of the novel soon converge, which is when everything makes a lot more sense.

The plot isn't devoid of cliches, but everything was done well in my opinion! There were also a few surprises I didn't see coming. I thought the larger-than-normal number of main characters would be annoying, but it really wasn't. I just wish some of them had more focus in the story. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and I can't wait to see what comes next!

*Thank you to HarperCollins for providing me with an eARC for review*
Profile Image for Mandi.
2,313 reviews726 followers
March 9, 2016
've read Melissa Marr in the past so I wanted to try this new fantasy series. I didn't realize it was YA going into it, as I don't read a lot of YA. But - it's done well - not the most action-packed book but she introduces us to fun characters including a really bitchy Fae queen.

The title refers to seven half-fae, half human people, living in the human world who work as the Queen of Blood and Rage's soldiers. They all appear human, and have been placed with human families to grow up. There is Creed, a rock star. Vi, an actress. Zephyr, Roan, William, and Kamy. These six (I'll get to the seventh one in a minute) do the Queen's bidding in the human world. The Queen (who rules over both the Unseelie and Seelie courts) blames humans for the world's pollution and corruption. She lost a baby long ago and holds a major grudge with the human population. So, she named these seven half-fae as her "Sleepers" and once in a while gives them a mission, which usually involves killing a lot of people. These six don't enjoy killing at all - it makes them sick. But - the Queen would not hesitate to kill them or anyone close with them, so they are forced to obey her.

And then along comes number seven.

Lily has grown up with only her father, a very notorious crime lord. Although he deals in crime, he has loved Lily and given her an amazing life. When she leaves home to go to school, she meets the other six - who have all been waiting for her. Lily knows she is different - she can command water, earth and plants - and has hidden this. She has no idea about the Queen or the other six though. So when she is face to face with them, and they are telling her she has to go meet the Queen and start getting missions, etc.. Lily puts on the brakes. She may be naive about the fae world, but her daddy raised her strong.

There is so much going on in this story - Lily is the main character but we get to know all seven black diamonds plus others in the fae world that greatly intrigued me. Marr writes really engaging characters in this one. The Queen of Blood and Rage is aptly named. She kills - a lot. She has no remorse and no forgiveness. She rules her land with great command. She has a son Rhys who I came to really liked. A daughter, Eilidh who has a big storyline with a man named Torquil. I could have read just about these two for the entire book.

The other six Black Diamonds are fun too. Even though they have Fae power, they act human. They act like young twenty-something humans. (or maybe even a little younger). Drinking too much - fighting with each other. Protecting each other. They have an extremely close bond, yet also bicker. Creed and Zephyr walk around like sex on a stick. There is a bit of a love triangle but it gets resolved before the book ends.

There is romance in this book, although it's more that the romance has been building up before the book starts, and once we get to the story it's just a matter of cementing the "I love you" between some of the characters. It's sweet and made me smile.

Since there are a lot of characters, we get to know them all, but there isn't a ton of action. There is the promise of big things to come as the seven must decide if they truly want to keep killing for the Queen and live by her strict rules. They also explore their family tree which gets quite large in this book. I think now that we are introduced to everyone and have learned their dynamics, the next book will explore a little more action.

This is fun - I really enjoyed the characters. Like I said, not the most action-filled but a good start.
Profile Image for alice.
268 reviews394 followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
February 20, 2017
DNF @ 44%

I really wanted to like this book because pretty cover! interesting concept! a lot of good reviews so far! BUT:

- there were so many different characters?? and I didn't really care about any of them to be honest. there were so many POVs too and I literally could not differentiate between all of them
- so much info-dumping.
- zephyr is a gross boy. he (SPOILER) kissed Lily without her consent and felt entitled to her, called Lily "his" like ?¿? shut up gross boy

anyway. sorry for the lil rant. I really just gave up after that last stunt zephyr pulled.
Profile Image for Meli.
649 reviews450 followers
November 8, 2015
El libro más "ni" que leí en mi vida.
No es malo, está bien escrito y la trama está muy correctamente planteada. Pero tampoco es bueno, no tiene nada que no hayamos leído ya mil veces, ni nada del todo original o emocionante. Por eso lo dejo en ni, porque no es ni una cosa ni la otra. Aunque tampoco es una saga que vaya a continuar, el tono es demasiado serio para un YA y le falta emoción, gracia.
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