Genre: New adult, fantasy
First published: 2016
Author: Sarah J. Maas
***SPOILER ALERT*** This review contains spoilers both for this book and the first one because I do not know how to review it without spoilers.
Synopsis: Feyre is immortal.
After rescuing her lover Tamlin from a wicked Faerie Queen, she returns to the Spring Court possessing the powers of the High Fae. But Feyre cannot forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people – nor the bargain she made with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court.
But war is looming and an evil far greater than any queen threatens to destroy everything Feyre has fought for. She must confront her past, embrace her gifts and decide her fate.
Finally, finally! Nearly one year and two re-reads later, here is my review of this book.
First thing to say about it, and about the series in general, is that it is a love story. Sure, there’s all kinds of other Fae badassery going on, but this is a love story, and it has been from the beginning. It’s a really good love story.
The reason it’s such a good love story is because, unlike what we so often see in this genre, this isn’t a love story based on attraction (though there’s plenty of that, to be sure). It’s based on friendship. And I applaud Sarah for it, because I think that is the most important thing in a relationship and if people understood that, there’d be a lot fewer failed relationships. But I digress.
Having said that, let’s talk about the characters. This is a very character-centric book. There’s some action going on, but mostly it’s a storm brewing. And somehow, despite that and its considerable length, it still manages to be gripping. That is because of the characters. We meet a whole new cast of characters and they are everything.
First, there’s obviously Rhys. Whom we’ve met before, but we don’t really get to know him until ACOMAF. And he is a precious night kitten and I love him. We get to see a lot of layers to him that are hinted at in ACOTAR.
(As an aside, when I was young and bright-eyed, I used to play DragonFable. Don’t know how many of you know of or have played it, but it’s this online RPG and at some point, you have to fight this adorable little thing called Doomkitten.
And it kicks your ass. This is Rhys. Like, if someone took his soul and made an animal out of it, it would be this.)
Then, there’s the rest of the Night Court. Amren is such a delight! I am dying to learn more about her. And about Azriel. The dynamics of the Night Court are a joy, and really that is all that needs saying.
There’s a lot of development going on with the Archeon family as well. First, there’s Feyre, who’s got to learn to live with herself and what she’s done and I loved seeing her healed by friendship and love and learn to love herself again. But I also really loved seeing more of her sisters. Nesta. I cannot wait to see more of her! Also, Nesta and Cassian are going to be everything.
Tamlin. I honestly did not expect him to do what he did. Even after being a complete turd and acting like Feyre was a possession and locking her up, I did not see it coming. I was so shocked. I remember when I first read it, I was sitting outside on a bench and I just yelled in disbelief. And then I stomped my feet yelling “No, no, no, no NO!”
We also get to see a little bit of the Summer Court, which is cool. I really want to see the other courts. I like Tarquin. I hope the Night Squad manage a reconciliation with him, because I like him and I’d be sad if they didn’t. Also, I am so upset that Velaris is no longer secret. After all that Rhys has done, all he’s suffered. I hate those Queens and I hope they die painfully in that stupid Cauldron.
Okay, one more thing I want to talk about before I finish this long, incoherent, rambling review. The foreshadowing! I loved it so much! The painting of the night sky, Feyre and Rhys’ first meeting, I loved it. It gave me the warm and fuzzies. It just goes to show how much thought and love was put into the story. You can tell that it’s been with Sarah for a long time.
Right, so… yeah. If you’re reading this review, you’ve probably read the book already. Unless you like spoilers. So I guess there’s no use in telling you to go read it.