As I was expecting the ending of the story was sad and bittersweet.
I wasn't surprised though because it was set-up in 'The Gathering of Gargoyles' that she couldn't be with Irrayalth.
Even with the best of intentions people won't always give what you've given back to them.
My favourite singer growing up was Sting so I learned that lesson early on. I listened to the wise old sage that possession is not a healthy way to love someone. I took those love songs to heart.
Aeriel dealt with jeaously and the bitter truth [learned from that other old sage in my youth Fitzegerald] that sometimes when you've helped someone out or seen their worse they aren't comfortable in your presence. She couldn't force anything more lest she end up like the witch.
Irrayalth squandered her precious gift because his capacity to love just wasn't as great as Aeriel's. She saw the bigger picture. Plus she had Erin. That friendship was the real love story in this series.
They could have been but as in life ego and one's own opinion of themselves sometime get in the way. He was shown to be vain and self absorbed from the first book so I believed his truth love looked exactly like himself. The metaphor of returning his heart was poetic.
My older sister would be furious they didn't get together if she read the series.