- Page Count: 640
- Release Date: May 3, 2016
- My Rating: 5 stars
Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court–but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.
Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms–and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future–and the future of a world cleaved in two.
THIS BOOK IS AN ABSOLUTE MASTERPIECE. Seriously, I have never been so happy with a sequel.
I read this whole book on the day it was released, so I went into it without ANY hype or expectations… which might have helped a lot.
Anyways, Feyre’s character growth is incredible and pretty much the central part of the story for me. I wasn’t a huge fan of her in ACOTAR, but she reminds me of Aelin in Heir of Fire here with how she learns to respect herself, pieces herself back together, and starts to shape her own future. Feyre develops so much incredible self-awareness, honesty, and bravery (and Rhys supports her but she doesn’t grow through him, which is so important). She becomes pretty badass by the end… and is now one of my favorite characters? Man, this book shocked me so many times. Look at this character growth:
“I’m thinking that I was a lonely, hopeless person, and I might have fallen in love with the first thing that showed me a hint of kindness and safety. And I’m thinking maybe he knew that—maybe not actively, but maybe he wanted to be that person for someone. And maybe that worked for who I was before. Maybe it doesn’t work for who—what I am now.”
I can’t really summarize all these feels right now, so here’s a list of the awesome:
– The Court of Dreams/Rhysand’s family and how well Maas can weave different myths & cultures together (like how the Morrigan and Azriel are part of the court of the Hades figure in this Persephone retelling)
– every single detail of the Night Court — I need fan art asap
– answers & the insight into all of Rhysand’s previous actions
– how much Rhys supports and respects Feyre as an equal
– actual healthy relationships with communication (friendships too)
– the fact that this was never a love triangle
– Rhys & Feyre form a solid friendship first (and she helps him tons)
– Feyre leaves a toxic relationship for herself instead of another guy
– I HAVE SO MUCH LOVE FOR HADES/PERSEPHONE RETELLINGS
– awesome action scenes and pacing that never got slow
– not seeing Tamlin’s name on the page for long periods of time
– how Nesta & Elain worked into the plot
– THAT ENDING.
I’ve seen some concerns that this book might be too steamy for teens, but I really don’t think it’s a bad thing for teens to read about consent in an empowering relationship for a change. I have seen SO many unhealthy relationships in YA books that romanticize abusive & controlling guys who are attractive because they’re threatening (??). Rhys turns out to be the complete opposite of that here (and even if he does become too perfect, at least those positive traits are what’s being romanticized). It was definitely more explicit than I thought was necessary, but I also think adults who shield teens from sex scenes have either forgotten what being a teen is like or truly don’t grasp the materials that teens see/read/live. Society has enough stuff that shames teen girls, so maybe ease up on this story about a strong female character going after the life & relationship that’s healthiest for her.
Anyways, it’s funny to look back at my review of ACOTAR last year where I said I’d be a way bigger fan of this series if the books dropped Tamlin and went to the Night Court. Hallelujah. I wasn’t particularly huge on ACOTAR, but this just became one of my all-time favorite books.
“Feyre is whoever she chooses to be.” – YOU KNOW WHO.
My later thoughts based on all of the Goodreads comments:
- “Being in character” does not mean that you stay the exact same person forever and that life’s events can’t change you
- Tamlin is still the same controlling character he was in ACOTAR. His behavior just stopped being romanticized by Feyre’s POV.
- I’m not sure if people who see Feyre as weak or got bored with her vomiting & fear at the start of this book really understand what it’s like to be truly broken.
- There seriously is no love triangle here at all.
- Did everyone marry their first love or how/why is anyone upset when young characters change & grow and find someone new who fits the next stage of their life better??
- I totally respect everyone who wasn’t a fan of this book. The awesome part of book reviews is we can all have our own opinions (so basically everyone chill with messaging me on why this book sucked).
<b>April 2017 update: </b>
I JUST LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. I understand the issues a lot of people have with Maas, but am just so grateful for how well she writes women who pull themselves through PTSD. Feyre’s growth in this book (and Aelin’s in Heir of Fire) is <i>so incredibly well done</i>. I don’t think I’ve ever connected with a character as much as I have with Mor, Feyre, and Aelin.
And unpopular opinion: I actually reallllllly hope this series never gets made into a movie because the world and story are just too amazing.
<b>March 2018 update:</b> well…. it’s being made into a movie.