Genres: Mature/New-Adult, Fantasy, Fairy Tale, Retelling, Magic, Fae, Romance, Young-Adult(?)
Purchased: Kindle Book My Rating: 3 Stars
A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Timesbestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beastwith faerie lore.
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.
Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!
*I’m not sure about this being YA. I’m thinking more mature/new-adult territory here. Then again, some may feel otherwise. There is sex – which is not really descriptive but it is kind of shown in one scene, so other than that, it’s YA friendly. This may be a little long winded. But, because it’s a new series, I want to give you a feel for these characters. Spoilers? Possibly, as I can’t decide where to start and why I feel the need to explain my disappointment. If you don’t want to be spoiled don’t read beyond this point!!
REVIEW I really had high expectations for this book. A part of me loved the story as a whole, and a part of me hated it. Where did I end up? 3 Stars seemed to suffice when I weighed the pros and cons. I could have bumped it up to 3.5, but I just don’t like the way it ended and I don’t really care for the heroine. I love Maas, so I was in line with everyone else to get this book. I do think that I’m in the minority when it comes to how I feel regarding this world and these characters.
Feyre: At the start, this girl had my complete attention. Not only was she a huntress, but her being the overlooked sister made my heart bleed for her. She did everything for her father and two sisters, Nestra & Elain. Her sole concern was about them. She promised her dying mother, when she was 9? 11? – I can’t remember correctly, to take care of them. A big promise for a child & I think that her mother shouldn’t have put that burden on her. Each and everyday, her thoughts were about protecting her ungrateful family. Or, are they truly ungrateful? See, I had a hard time in trying to sympathize with Feyre regarding her family, so that may be one of the reasons that I find her character weak. So, Feyre kills a wolf on her hunt for food. Wolf turns out to be of the faerie kind. She is tracked down and is told that a life for a life is the punishment according to the treaty between the Fae and humans. She’s not killed. Instead, girlfriend is living in luxury. At first, it’s all about escaping back to her family. Then comes the bargaining. Then comes feelings of happiness. Then comes lust. You see where I’m going.
Tamlin: I didn’t know what to make of him at first. I mean, what does the High Fae of the Spring Court want with a human. And I thought about this whole “retelling”, and it all made sense. He’s a little broody in some ways. One of his powers allows him to shapeshift, among other things. He’s tan with golden blonde hair, elfin ears and built like the statue of David. God help me! It’s hard not to like him. And on the night of a ceremony, all the High Fae give their magic over to the earth and it is returned to them, making them almost brutal and a little out of their minds. It’s also a mating ritual (not about finding your soulmate or anything, but primal sex, more or less. LOL). A line of faerie women await them and they choose and do the deed. That is one scene that I won’t forget, because that was the turning point of this beauty and the beast tale. Tamlin in lust is a sight (scene) to behold. Just wow. And no, the actual partaking isn’t played out, it’s afterwards that I’m talking about. Falling in love with Feyre seemed an impossible task for Tamlin, at first. Then their little moments turned to big moments, and it was effortless. I actually love them as a couple, it’s the last 25% of this book that I didn’t like.
Lucien: Sarcastic, will tell you how it is – be damned of your feelings. I love him! Not as a book boyfriend, but because he was the most honest in his feelings. The banter between him and Feyre made me laugh. Dare I say that he and Nesta would make a fine couple. Just think of the love/hate relationship between them if they were to meet. I’m crossing my fingers for this to actually happen. Anyway, he is emissary to Tamlin. It’s more than that though, they are friends first and they have a strong bond. Lucien’s backstory is heartbreaking and tragic. Reminded me of Lucian from Underworld. I know that he, along with the faerie servants, wanted to tell Feyre everything. Especially when Tamlin sent Feyre back to her family. They wanted that curse gone and to get their lives back.
There are other characters that play important roles. The ones I like: Alis and Rhys. I loved how Alis jumped down Feyre’s throat and called her out. No need to sugarcoat it. I didn’t like Rhys at first, but when he revealed why he was trying to get Tamlin all riled up, I was like heck yeah! Let the beast free! He knew that Tamlin was going to go full beast on Amarantha and he was only making sure that he succeeded. I hate Amarantha. She’s cruel in every way. She thinks because she’s Fae, that humans are nothing but trash. The way she tried to humiliate Feyre – well she didn’t try, she did – made me only like her for a second because I was too angry with Feyre at the time. The whole curse thing was just as evil as the person who cast it. Even though that curse was broken, I’m not sure what the future holds for the faeries of Prythian, but it doesn’t look like it will be easy.
My main problem with this story was that last bit. I didn’t like that Feyre was so freaking blind regarding Tamlin. If she had opened her heart fully, she’d have seen what was going on before leaving. She was so weak to me. A part of that weakness stemmed from her wanting to get back to her family. That’s why she couldn’t even say those 3 words to him before going. And to think, Nesta actually does have a heart. A black heart, but a heart nonetheless. When Feyre decided to go save Tamlin and his people, I just wanted to scream. I’m not sure what is in store for her and Rhys, now that she is bound to him. I don’t think it’s a love triangle brewing either, so that’s all out the window. I want to know what happened in those moments that Feyre became what she is in the end. Something seeped in while all the High Fae gave her their magic. Whatever it is, it scared Rhys enough to run. He saw it in Feyre’s eyes. I’m actually ready to read the next book, just to see what the heck is going on. I’m thinking Amarantha, but I could be wrong. And another questionable character is Jurian. Although, he wasn’t present in full body, something isn’t right. It all seemed to fly by at the end, so I’ll just have to wait and see what Feyre will be all about in the next book. I hope she makes me respect her character more, because if not, then I won’t even continue after that.
Recommend? Yes. It’s not my favorite retelling, but don’t go into it with high expectations. The story itself is kind of great, but the way that it all ended had me perplexed. And then there’s the fact that I don’t like the heroine that much. Other than that, it’s a good story to add to your fantasy shelf. Especially if you like Fae and magic in general.