Feyre is a young woman who cares for herself and her sisters. While out hunting she accidentally kills a wolf and that one act will change her life forever. Soon after a Fey High Lord comes to her doorstep demanding payment for the fey life she took. She has to come with him across the wall, forever. But, as with all good fairy stories there is more to this man and this world than meets the eye. An evil force, a battle on the horizon, monsters, magic, and a curse all face Feyre as she tries to survive in this new life.
For those of you who started reading Maas’s other series Throne of Glass, don’t count this new series out. Yes, the writing in Throne of Glass is really…rough (for more about that series see my other reviews here). However, none of that painful writing exists in these books. The writing here if solid. Nothing to write home about, but it doesn’t distract from this story. Feyre is a great main character. She is age appropriate, and reasonably immature. She has the caretaker spirit of Katniss Everdeen but the fire of Kasta. (If you haven’t read Kristin Cashore’s books then you need to).
I hate when writers give these young female characters that are overly mature and have the whole world figured out from the beginning. That approach distinctly lessens the available learning curve and deters from possible character development. This book just SCREAMS character development.
Feyre starts off young and inexperienced possessing all of the prejudices of the world she grew up in. But she learns to shed those misconceptions when faced with Tamlin, the High Lord and possible love of her life. While this story rings of Beauty and the Beast complete with monstrous claws and a girl with a hobby, this is so much more than a retelling of a classic fairytale. Every scene and every character plays an important role in the plot and/or character development. Just when you get tired of Feyre needing saving she steps up and becomes a woman in a string of heart-wrenching scenes that you can’t stop reading. Really, when reading this book make sure you have set aside time to read straight through at least the last third. I couldn’t put it down.
One of the main reasons for this is Maas’s ability to write a good action scene, there are chases and battles and riddles, each of which is astoundingly described. This even includes several somewhat erotic scenes with definite adult content. Each detail making you feel like you were watching a battle or the breath was on your own neck.
It’s not all about Feyre either. Everyone from the evil pawn, to Tamlin, to her sisters are incredibly written and complex characters. I would like to give special praise to Maas for the writing of Feyre’s sisters. Each sister has her own unique personality and each are well formed fully considered characters. Too often the side characters are one note, but Feyre’s sisters are just as deeply complicated as Feyre herself.
My only concerns is that I don’t know where book two is going to go. At the end of this story we are left with a vague idea of where things are going to go as well as a potential love triangle. I am firmly #TeamTamlin and I don’t want to have to give that up.
All in all, I love the love story, I love the family, I love the classic elements.
Here Maas has made a tale as old as time new, fresh, and fiesty. I give it a 5/5.
Main character: 5/5
Side characters: 5/5
World Development: 5/5
Procrastination and Giggles,
The Red Queen
“I threw myself into that fire, threw myself into it, into him, and let myself burn.”
P.S.S. Check out that cover…like for serious. How awesome is that cover?