*Warning – Spoilers! I’ve kept them to a minimum and haven’t revealed the ending etc, but I have explored characters and relationships as they grew throughout the book so there may be a few revelations along the way. If you want to stop reading, my summary is essentially that I absolutely loved this book with a fierce passion and I’d definitely recommend it.
I always loved reading growing up, I love reading now and I will always enjoy that pleasure of losing yourself in an exhilarating work of fiction. Once in a while, a book has come along that has drawn me to it so much that I feel quite literally obsessed, that I need to read more and more and cannot put it down, like some invisible rope is pulling me in from the depths of it’s pages. This, is one of those books. And so, I sit here on a cloudy July evening with a cup of tea and a mind of excitement.
Many reviews that I have read have been driven by the idea that it’s a bit of a twist on Beauty and the Beast – I can see why, young courageous sassy heroine falls in love with a ‘beast’, unaware of the curse that means he must find a human to love him before it is too late. Some of these weren’t overly positive, but of course not every book is everyone’s cup of tea (mine is currently going down a treat, thank you PG tips). My first thought though, as being a huge Disney fanatic, was ‘oh my goodness an adult rendition of Beauty and the Beast, I MUST read it. I’m so glad I did.
I could definitely see where the Beauty and the Beast references stem from, as I’ve said above, but I did notice some sort of similarities that come from other fantasy series’. When I first opened the book, I was met with the below map. Of course, it does seem to be a reconstitution based on the British Isles, Ireland and Europe but moreover it strongly reminded me of the map of Westeros and Essos from Game of Thrones, especially with how the lands are separated out and run by individual lords, yet governed rather forcefully by an ultimate power. The contrast however is that instead of this book being a battle for power, it is a battle for freedom. There are also a few Twilight sort of vibes within the book (I know, controversial, but I did still enjoy Twilight, and I’m not sorry), with the human battling to be with her mystical creature beau against his own kind. Nonetheless, the book comes in on it’s own right with a tale so mesmerising that reading the next chapter was all I could think of at any given time. It brought me 416 pages of total joy.
I love how the setting is seemingly quite medieval yet with a modern twist. It is like a totally new world, full of magic. It’s generally intoxicating. Who needs alcohol when you have a good book? Sarah J Maas cleverly hurtles us through so many twists and turns and shocking revelations, and you generally do not know where the plot line is going to go next; even if when you think it’s obvious you’re dealt another set of cards. It’s this ability to completely apprehend the reader that makes this book stand out for me.
I love Feyre. She is so strong-willed, brash and quick-witted, yet deep, loving and relatable. The perfectly unperfect huntress protagonist in our story. I found a part of myself in Feyre, and connected with her at such an emotional level. The way her character grows as the story goes on, the physical and mental stresses and pains that she endures, just captures you as a reader and I for one found myself fiercely protective of her. Nonetheless, I found myself shouting in my mind at her for not saying those words back to Tamlin first of all, though now I’m content for it gave way to so many of those shocking twists. She isn’t a poor little helpless princess, and she certainly holds her own, especially with keeping Tamlin, Lucien and later Rhysand in check with her curt responses and powerful mind. This is also clearly conveyed when we first meet her: as the youngest family member keeping her father and sisters alive with her incredible hunting skills, learnt from the age of fourteen out of sheer desperation. It is clear she will do anything for those she loves, as we see when she has to do the unthinkable near the end of the book.
Feyre and Tamlin’s relationship seems to progress so shockingly and yet so naturally, and I kept waiting and aching for them to admit their feelings to each other. Each moment spent together becomes such a play of “Will they? Won’t they?” and you find yourself almost begging them to get together. Their relationship is one of such sauciness and hunger, yet so loving and delightful as well. The lengths they go to to protect each other is astonishing and extremely gripping. In addition, Tamlin’s decision to put Feyre’s safety about all else is a clear indication of his love for her and his genuine good-nature.
Can I also say a huge cheer for that ‘bromance’ between Tamlin and Lucien!? Despite what Feyre did to be brought to the Spring Court, we later find out that it was not in vain, and both Lucien and of course Tamlin know how it can break the curse. The way they have each other’s backs against everything and anyone is beautiful, especially with their share of broken families and unfathomable experiences. I grew to love them both, despite the frostiness of their personas at the start. Lucien I found become quite a comedic relief with some of his passing remarks and actions, especially with Feyre keeping him on his toes at both Fire Night and the Solstice.
As you can tell, I loved this book. I was very sad for it to end, until I realised there are three more books in the series! The ending is quite abrupt after the final twists of the storyline, so I was quite relieved! If you like an edgy fantasy romance then this is a good one for you! It might not be for everyone but I’d give it a 5 out of 5, and would really recommend.
Thanks for reading!