Feyre is a huntress struggling to keep her broke and starving family alive. But one day, she accidentally kills a faerie and breaks an ancient faerie treaty, resulting in her having to go with a mysterious captor and live out the rest of her day across the border, in the dangerous kingdom where faeries roam.
Before I get into it, I just want to say that this was my first Sarah J. Maas book. A lot of people went into this book knowing what her writing style was like and anticipating great things, but I had no idea whether I would like this author or not.
Secondly, I hate Beauty and the Beast. I have never enjoyed the story, and never enjoyed a retelling. But the premise of this book looked interesting so I decided to take a chance on it.
Already, I have two negative things influencing me, and this book has a pretty slow start. I’m glad I didn’t give up on it, but if anyone out there is like me— new to the author and not a fan of Beauty and the Beast— you might struggle to get past the slow part. I just want to say, it does get better. So hold on!
What I Liked:
Without giving too much away, I really did enjoy this novel. Everything from the action to the characters was very well done. Furthermore, I didn’t find myself distracted trying to see how the story matched up to the original tale (though sometimes that’s the best part of a retelling). The story was incredibly original, with amazing world building. I really felt the stakes in this book too, even in the beginning. When Feyre felt unsafe, I did too, because I had no idea what was going on or what would happen. But now it all looks so crystal clear.
What I Disliked:
At times, I found myself struggling to understand what was going on, or to remember all the details that end up linking together in the end. And because everyone has such unique names, I really struggled in the beginning to distinguish Tamlin from Lucien. But towards the end as everything started to come together I followed along well.
I also felt like the romance needed… like, just a little bit more time? It was getting there for sure, but I think the intimacy jumped in a little too quickly. That’s just what I was feeling, and it’s probably why it took me so long to warm up to Tamlin and Feyre in particular.
Now I’m getting into some spoilers as I discuss the characters so if you haven’t read it, go do that.
Feyre – I felt that Feyre was an admirable character, but she was hard to connect with at first. I could feel her coldness shifting as she became more trusting and loving, and when she went after Tamlin I loved her spirit and determination. I also liked that she could paint and couldn’t read— what a plot twist!
Feyre’s family – I hated Nesta at first. I honestly could not stand her. Elaine seemed sweet enough but I hated that she didn’t stand up for Fayre. And her father… I don’t really have an opinion. But in the end, I really came to like them all in their own way… especially Nesta. She was the only one with a shred of sense between the three of them.
Tamlin – I really couldn’t connect with Tamlin at first either. I grew to like him as the book went on and I think Feyre and Tamlin suit each other so perfectly. But Tamlin really isn’t my cup of tea, so I wasn’t exactly swooning over him. I did tear up when Feyre ‘died’ though and he was grieving her.
Lucien – I really liked Lucien— he was funny, friendly and loveable— but up until we got to Amarantha’s part of the story I felt really untrusting of him. I kept feeling like he was going to turn around and backstab someone. It was something about his character. Still, in the end, I was so petrified he was going to die and I probably would have cried. I think his friendship with Tamlin is a very important thing.
Amarantha – Sometimes I find myself really liking evil villains. They’re just so cool. But not this one. This one was a b*tch.
Alis – I wasn’t a fan of Alis. She had a good backstory but I just didn’t spend enough time with her. And she seemed quite distant and mean.
Rhysand – I have a mixed opinion for this guy. Are we supposed to like this guy?? Usually, bad boys are kind of my thing, but this one really just rubbed me up the wrong way. But, because of him helping Feyre… I don’t know. I mean, I’m not a fan, but I don’t mind him being around…
Honestly, it’s good, and I do want to read more in this series. However, I think you need a grain of patience for this book— don’t be so quick to judge it, the best part is at the end, and as a writer myself I know it can take time to set things out the right way to avoid confusion. This plot was quite a tricky one, but so worth the wait.
Let me know your thoughts on the book!
Black Tea | This was a strong, powerful book with an intense plotline/characters