- Page Count: 416
- Release Date: May 5, 2015
- My Rating: 3.5 stars
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.
Update since re-reading this in April 2016: I’m not sure if I’ve been successfully brainwashed by this intense fandom BUT I do like it more now.
This is a pretty original retelling of Tam Lin (a Scottish ballad similar to Beauty & the Beast)! Feyre lives in a human kingdom that’s separated from the faerie realms by a wall. She has been forced to hunt and provide for her family because her father’s hit some hard times and her two older sisters would pretty much just let them starve. One day she kills a wolf who’s actually a faerie, so a fae High Lord from beyond the wall comes and claims Feyre as payment. Long story short, she falls in love with this High Lord named Tamlin. He’s all super powerful and can shift into a beast… so she loves him because he protects her? I really don’t get the attraction but it’s also part of where Feyre’s character is at the moment so I’ll roll with it.
There’s lots of politics and drama going on between the different fae courts, but the story is told through Feyre’s POV so the reader isn’t really sure what exactly is going on until closer to the end when it’s already happening. Tamlin doesn’t tell Feyre ANYTHING, so the reader is also left in the dark for a long time. In the end, Feyre decides to fight for her new “home” and save the High Lord she loves. I don’t really know what all to say without spoiling a ton, but it really does follow the plot of Tam Lin in a creative way!
Overview of my original 2 star review: It’s like Bella tries to be Katniss and ends up in some Beauty & the Beast situation in a Game of Thrones fairyland? I couldn’t stand Tamlin or Feyre… I didn’t like Tamlin because he reminded me of a controlling frat bro who thought he knew best in every situation. He treats Feyre like some little doll instead of a person (maybe because she’s human) and yet her POV romanticizes it, so idk if I’m a fan of her either. Rhysand, the High Lord of the Night Court, is the only intriguing part, so I guess I’d be a bigger fan if the next book drops Tamlin and moves to the Night Court? I’m not huge on how the line between Rhysand being dangerous & abusive is blurred, but am holding out final judgement until the second book (as long as she isn’t attracted to him while he still behaves like that & she thinks he can change etc).
NEW OPINION TIME: The book flowed so much better the second time I read this. The flip between the threat of the “blight” and what it really was created some serious pacing issues for me the first time I read this. The stuff “under the mountain” got to be a bit drawn out and the way the story unfolded felt awkward/stilted. But the story flowed a lot better once I knew where everything was heading and what to expect!
I’m still not that huge on Feyre, though… I like how resourceful and determined she is, but I’d like to see her become a bit more sure of herself in the sequel. She just seems a bit weak still? Oh, and I still can’t stand Tamlin, but I’m glad others like him. He’s had a few ok moments but I’m definitely not about to swoon over him anytime soon, sorry.
The best part of this book is probably the amazing worldbuilding. The Spring Court is described in such a pretty, detailed way (and the hell of Under the Mountain is also quite vivid). I love the different courts and the minor characters like Lucien and Elain so, so much!! If Tamlin could just move out of the picture and Feyre could get some self-worth, this whole world would be grand.
So, look at that — it only took a year, but I’m a fan now!