Posted on Book Chelle.I must admit that I was afraid to read this book. I was prolonging the inevitable end to the series. I finally picked it up this past weekend and read it. It had everything that I was looking for and more. Up until this book, I felt that each book prior to Darkest Mercy was a story in itself. The amazing Marr did an excellent job and brought all the books together in this fifth installment.Darkest Mercy begins on a not so positive note. Keenan is missing. Seth is missing. Aislinn is ruling Summer by herself. Donia is grasping on to a little glimmer of hope. Niall is feeling the pain of grief. Each court is trying to keep their emotions in check while preparing for a possible war with Bananach. And speaking of, chaos would be a great word to describe the situation.Some spoilers from here on out, so if you have not read this book yet, please do so. For everyone else that would like to continue, let's start, shall we? Let's start with the progression of the stories in relation to each character. I don't really know how to do this any other way, heh.Aislinn,or Ash, has grown stronger. As queen of the Summer court, she has had to become more assertive, more tough, or better yet, more like a queen of the court. Since Keenan's disappearance, she has had to fill in the role for both regents. What she becomes, in regards to this book and to the entire series is just so amazing. Once she becomes the sole regent of the Summer court, she is unstoppable. She brightens in ways that Summer is expected to become. Can you blame Marr for making her the savior of the battle with War? Well, I may be partial to her because she is my favorite.Keenan. Oh Keenan. I hated you at first, but through Darkest Mercy, I have seen a different side of you. Keenan is no longer the cold Summer King. His sabbatical, if you will, has done him some good, forcing him to think about what is most important to him. He was raised to be loyal to his court, to his Queen, but was his queen Aislinn or was it Donia? Through Marr's words, you feel his emotion and pain of love lost and love gained. In the end, I can't help but sympathize for him. He gave up his court for Donia. If that doesn't move mountains, I don't know what will.Donia is the Queen of Winter who was used and taken advantage of. She has been hurt through so many years. Her love doesn't trust her enough, or even doesn't love her enough to let her in like two people in love. Her emotions are reflective of how she portrays her emotions. She is cold, quiet, and still; perfect description of her Winter Court. Once she finds her happiness, I see a different side of her. Maybe it's her human side.And poor Niall! I have this soft spot for Niall. Even though he is a part of the darkest court, he has felt the most pain all around. I could feel his grief from the first moment he was brought into the book. Marr writes grief in such a way that brings you deep into the sad abyss. It's perfect actually. It is a great reflection of his court. Love. Love lost. Craze of that lost love.The most surprising has been Seth. At first, I thought he was going to stay as a supporting character. Throughout the series, his involvement has surprised me. With Darkest Mercy, Marr surprises me yet again with his character. Seth has always been the determined one out of the whole group. He has never strayed away from who he is and he has always been the voice of reason. He has been the common friend, human and fae alike. I shouldn't have been surprised that Seth would also be the common link between fae and shadow.Marr's writing has always been consistent, allowing me to fully grasp and feel the emotion. It's like she is there, with her gentle hand on my back, allowing me to have a great cry. With each word, I anxiously waited for the next moment. She answered so many questions, and managed to satisfy my mind with how the story ended.Darkest Mercy has one significant meaning to me. It means, just that. A forgiveness of all acts because of who they are. Simply put, unconditional love. Each main character portrayed a part of our own emotions. From the happiness of summer, the cold ruthlessness of winter, and to the crazed solemn of the dark court.