Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy | Romance
Synopsis: 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 grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it … or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.
Would I Recommend? Perfect for people who like fantasy which is more character and romance driven.
Final Rating: ★★★★★
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I was kind of late to the Sarah J. Maas fan club. I read Throne of Glass a month or two ago, and to be honest, I didn’t think it was going to live up to the hype; boy was I wrong. I devoured that book and its sequel, so it’s safe to say that I had very high expectations from this. But, I do think that the hype around this book is slightly misleading- even though I absolutely loved and revered it.
Many people go into this novel thinking it’s going to be a fantasy novel with political intrigue, infinite amounts of strategizing, something very smart, something very complex. If that’s what you’re expecting, stop right there. This is not a political fantasy in any sense. This is a fantasy romance- that’s just what it is. There is a fantasy world, and there is a form of government that has some complications but many of those complications occur in the history or behind the scenes. This is, first and foremost, a fairytale retelling of Beauty and the Beast, so the romance aspect of it is very, very strong. And if you don’t want romance, you’re going to be severely disappointed. So, for this book, you should know what you’re getting yourself into to enjoy it fully!
Having said that, I think Sarah J. Maas is an author all other fantasy authors need to look out for. She has such beautiful command over her language. Her characters are wonderfully built; you find yourself invested in them after just a few pages. The plot was a little slower in this book than it is in the Throne of Glass series, but it was full of beautiful moments. I’m a huge fan of this book, and I can’t wait to read the next part.
Also, this is more of a New Adult fantasy than a Young Adult fantasy; there are some steamy scenes in here that may make younger readers uncomfortable.
Meet Feyre, a young huntress who is the sole person her former-wealthy family depends on for survival. One day while on a hunt in the forest, she comes across a deer and a wolf; she kills them both- the deer is consumed, the wolf is skinned and its pelt sold at the market. Turns out that the wolf was something more than just a wolf; it was Fae. A beast visits Feyre’s house in search of revenge, and tells her that she can either be killed or come with it. She decides on the latter.
Meet Tamlin- the beast who brought Feyre back to his sprawling estate. Their interactions start off with frigid opposition, which later transforms to warm civility, and ends with something more than Feyre bargained for: love.
Like I said before, you will not find political strategizing in this novel, nor will you find a ton of action (although there is a lot of action in the last hundred or so pages), but you will find a passionate, fiery romance unfold in front of your eyes between two unassuming people. As for the romance, I absolutely loved it. I thought it was very well-developed. Sarah J. Maas has a talent for writing beautiful relationships; she peels back layers and layers slowly and gradually, at a leisurely pace, until we get to the core of the relationship- the core that matters, the core that we become so invested in.
The world-building was fantastic. Although we don’t get to see much of the world, there was a rich history unraveling throughout the pages. Much of our experiences as a reader is confined to Tamlin’s estate, but we do get vivid, brilliant glimpses of what’s behind the walls. We encounter malicious Fae as Feyre is forced to fight them, and inherently kind, good Fae as Feyre learns she has been lied to about them ever since she was a child.
The action, when it existed, was absolutely breathtaking. The last hundred or so pages had me on the edge of my seat, and I found myself turning the pages at an alarming pace. Maas puts her beloved characters in difficult positions, and it’s great to read about how they wriggle out of these situations, how they learn from their experiences, how they develop.
I am looking forward to learning more about the world in the next book.
I am in love with the characters in this book, and that is not an exaggeration. I think Feyre is a fantastic main character; I related to her increasingly as we learned more and more about her. She’s strong, a little hot-headed, impulsive. She’s the definition of an introvert; she likes to paint, she keeps to herself for the most apart, preoccupied with her thoughts. But when she opens up, she has a sharp, clever tongue, her humor is witty and she’s just a lovable character overall. She’s kind of a cross between Katniss and Celaena- there’s a little bit of both in her.
Some people think Tamlin is boring, and I would like to clear my throat and say, “Whaaaaaaaat?!” I thought Tamlin was a wonderful character. He’s brooding and mysterious, he has a darkness about him, but get to know him and he’s charming, kind, protective and – uh let’s just say it – sexy. He’s a brilliant character. I am totally invested in him; I want everything good to go to this person because Sarah J. Maas made me love him so much. Feyre and Tamlin’s chemistry was mindblowing. I did not need any more OTPs in my life, but I ship Feylin so much. I just want to wrap them in blankets, put them on a ship full of candles and warmth and a nice fiddle for Tamlin to play and get them to sail FAR FAR FAR AWAY FROM RHYSAND.
Speaking of Rhysand, I think he’s a great character. I’m a big fan of dark, bad-boys with ambiguous morals- in fact, I think those are the best kinds of characters and are hard to pull off, even though they’ve become a cliché. Rhys, as a character, has great potential. I would love to know more about his past, more about what his motivations are. BUT, I see a love triangle developing in the future between Tamlin x Feyre x Rhysand, and I do not want that to happen because it will throw pretty much everything in the first book to dust.
The secondary characters were brilliant as well. Lucien was a great character- kind of like the Ron Weasley (with the red hair and everything) of the novel. He’s loud, funny and extremely loyal. The chemistry between Feyre, Tamlin and Lucien was a lot of fun to read. Some of my favorite parts were between those three.
I can point out a total of zero flaws in Maas’s writing style. Her expression, the tone she sets, the amount of passion she injects into her work- everything is perfection. This woman can do no wrong.
But, psst, Sarah – if you’re reading this, please protect Feylin at all costs. Thx.