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.
Just to preface, this was my first experience with Sarah J Maas’ books, and I had very little idea of what to expect. I knew the buzz surrounding her other books was pretty massive, but I was very fortunate that I had managed to avoid spoilers for this book and knew nothing about it other than the blurb on the back. This of course created the best surprise possible because whoa guys. Articulate, I know, but seriously, this book had me hooked and I had it finished within hours. So, what’s the deal?
Centuries after a massive war between faeries and humans, a wall divides the mortal realm from Prythian, the realm of the faeries. Little is known about what goes on on the other side of the wall, and 19- year-old Feyre has no plans to really find out. That of course all changes the day Feyre kills a wolf while out hunting and an angry faerie comes seeking retribution, requiring her to live out the rest of her days in Prythian. We get plunged into this unfamiliar world right along with Feyre, who has to relearn everything she’s ever been taught about the land of faeries.
Jumping into this book blind turned out to be really great, because I didn’t have other opinions to color my judgement/perception of the characters. Feyre is a huntress who relies on no one for anything, and I found myself really admiring her spirit and grit. That’s not to say that she doesn’t falter or have moments of weakness, but to me that just makes her so much more relatable. I found that there were moments in the book when something would happen and I’d be sitting there like oh hell no, and most of the time Feyre would react the way I’d hope she would. By the end of the book I just really wanted to high-five this girl. Tamlin was an interesting one for me, because just as a started to warm up to him, things got a little… off. I could see that he cared about Feyre and wanted the best for her but there were moments where, to me, he felt entitled and even controlling. Lucien was one that was hard to peg at first, because he came off abrasive and arrogant, but he definitely opened up to be someone that was a fun companion, and by the end I found myself really, really liking him. As for Rhys, I was caught between really liking him, and wanting to punch him in the face. He has his moments, and I can’t wait for more in ACOMAF.
To me this book was very well paced, and I loved Maas’ style of writing. I came to notice that with Maas’ storytelling, the actions, details, and descriptions were super important to take notice of, because they always came back around and proved to assist plot development. Which seems kind of obvious, but what I’m trying to get at was that the details mattered, and the descriptions weren’t just extra pretty words. Maas wrote to efficiently breathe life into the book while telling the story, foregoing the fluff for meaningful execution (not that I don’t love me some fluff, but in Maas’ case, it works).
This book left me with a book hangover like I have not experienced in so long, and a need for immediate answers. Super lucky for me, I’ve been so behind the times that the sequel, A Court of Mist and Fury, had already been out by the time I got started on ACOTAR so I was able to hop in my car and go get it the very next day. Booyah. I’ve already started, and judging by how quickly I flew through ACOTAR, you can probably expect that review within the next week!