Sanctuary by Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely Desert Tales)
The desert is far away from the schemes of the Faerie Courts—and that's how Rika likes it. Once a mortal and now a faery, Rika seeks isolation and revels in her ability to appear invisible to humans. Then, she meets him. Artistic and kind, Jayce is the last person Rika wants to hide from.
But change is coming, challenging Rika's freedom and her new romance, as her past pursues her, even into the heart of the desert. . . . (courtesy of Goodreads)
After finishing Wicked Lovely recently, I was eager to read anything and everything by Melissa Marr. I was pleasantly surprised to discover a series of graphic novels based off the themes of the Wicked Lovely series.
Rika was once trapped as the Winter Girl, when she tried and failed to become Keenan's Summer Queen. Now free from the spell that entrapped her, but still living as a fairy, she resides in the desert - constant dry warmth. She keeps to herself, no longer in love with Keenan, but resentful that she was stuck being the Winter Girl and fearful of being in love again. A young human catches her eye. Jayce spends much of his time hiking and rock-climbing in the desert. Rika is infatuated. She rescues him from some fairies who were making trouble. They embark on an adventure full of love and danger from all the fey who seek to harm them.
Since this is an American graphic novel, it reads in the traditional manner: from left to right. It is telling how accustomed I've become to manga that reading the normal way felt unnatural. Several times, I would read a page from right to left only to realize I didn't understand what was going on.
If you haven't read the Wicked Lovely books, you'll be very confused by Sanctuary. The story itself is entirely different than the Wicked Lovely plot, but the fairy world is not explained well. The novel assumes that you are already familiar with who Keenan is and what being a Winter Girl means.
I liked the drawings. I didn't find Jayce particularly attractive, but I don't really go for guys who have ropey-looking dreadlocks. At times it was confusing which characters were fey and which were human. The artist distinguished them by drawing gray lines through the fairies, but sometimes they were hard to catch unless you looked closely. Overall though, the art was simple enough to add to the story rather than confuse it. Despite the simplicity, there were many beautiful desert scenes and enough emotion drawn into the characters that words weren't necessary to convey the plot.
I enjoyed Sanctuary. It's definitely not as good as Wicked Lovely, but it's still a good, quick read. I quickly became attached to Rika. She was a victim of Keenan's courting and now just trying to love a decently happy life. I didn't get a good feel for Jayce, other than that he was nice and brave, which is good enough for the start of a series. The story flowed quickly, and I enjoyed seeing how Rika interracted with Keenan, the other fey, and with Jayce.
I would not recommend Sanctuary unless you've read Wicked Lovely. If you love the Wicked Lovely series and are dying for more, I would definitely check this out.