Release Date: May 5, 2015
Source: The goddess Alexia over at Adventures in Reading lent me her physical ARC!
Genre: YA, Fantasy
I. Loved. This. Book. I was a little nervous, and you’ll see why in the points below, but it really did ruin my life in the best possible way. I hate reading Maas’s ARCs because then I have to wait SO MUCH LONGER for another book. If she keeps them coming, I’ll keep reading them! Here’s your synopsis from Amazon:
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin-one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.
As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin-and his world-forever.
Perfect for fans of Kristen Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!
1. I hated Feyre for most of the book.
If you follow me on Goodreads and you saw my many, many updates for this book, you saw that most of them involved Feyre and my hatred for her. She is whiny, she is selfish, and she is too stubborn. Maas has become known – to me, anyway – as a writer of strong female heroines. I really thought Feyre would be in the same league as Celaena Sardothien. Nope. Feyre is so immature and even though her captor is trying to keep her safe, she keeps diving headfirst into trouble. At one point, when she had gotten herself into a horrible situation, I was really hoping she would die and that no one would save her. I just really, really hated her. Then, towards the end, she actually surprised me. She does something selfless and brave and that totally went against everything I had previously thought of her. I still don’t know exactly how I feel about her, and that’s okay. I think I have 2 more books in which to make opinions.
2. Speaking of feelings about characters: there were so many characters who I did not know how to feel about!
Do I love Rhys? Do I hate him? What about Lucien?! And what about Feyre’s sisters, Elain and Nesta? HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO FEEL!!! This is a sign of great writing. These characters felt like actual people, and I usually don’t know how I feel about actual people anyway. I loved this about the book. It was great not knowing how to feel and being pulled back and forth in my opinions. Including Feyre, most of the characters have that fluid feel to them. I don’t know whether I love or hate them. I obviously have no problem about this. Bring it on.
3. This is a Beauty and the Beast retelling. At times fantastic and at times…a little disturbing.
Another downside to this book is the realities of it being a Beauty and the Beast retelling. Feyre is kidnapped – just like Belle. Obviously, there is a love story. However. There is a particular scene, in the midst of when Feyre is deciding how she feels about Tamlin, when she is actually assaulted by him. It was after a festival where magic takes him over and makes him more beast than human, but the fact remains: he sexually assaulted her. He even leaves a huge bruise on her neck which she shows off the next day as a slap in the face to Tamlin. There is violence in the book, yes. We are dealing with faeries and their strange laws, customs, and a violent blight taking over their land. But the violence wasn’t disturbing as much as that assault. Even though Feyre admitted to liking it, it was still a little hard to read because even when you’re a beast, no should mean no.
4. The end of this book was a punch in the gut, for real.
Within the last maybe 100 or so pages, I really started to like Feyre and her strength and devotion. Of course everything goes wrong, and of course – against my judgment at first – Feyre steps up. Feyre goes through SO MUCH for love, and all of it is sneaky, underhanded, and violent. It was shocking to see her come into her role as heroine so willingly when I wouldn’t have attached that role to her in the beginning – or really, at any point during the book.
OVERALL: 5 stars!!! Through most of the book, I was going to solidly give this a 4 star review, but then the end…just, wow. The end totally redeemed me hating Feyre for the whole book and I just couldn’t believe the story had saved itself like that! If you’re a fan of Maas’s Throne of Glass series, you will love this. It is entirely different, yes, but isn’t that what we want as readers? It’s wonderful to see authors grow and change and take on different things. This was fantastically written. Minus the bit of sexual assault, I really adored this. It comes out on May 5, 2015, so click the link below to pre-order!