Rating: 5 Stars
Published: May 2016
Genre: Fantasy // Fairytale Retelling
I belonged only to me, as my future was mine to decide, to forge.
They survived Under the Mountain and now Feyre & Tamlin are back in Spring Court trying to make sense of their lives. Tamlin is determined to protect his court and Feyre, to any cost. Now with their wedding looming, Feyre realizes that this life that she fought for may not be what she needs after all.
(Spoilers, proceed with caution)
This book simultaneously turned me into mush, made me nearly cry, had me shaking in anger, grinning like a fool, completely satisfied, and shocked beyond belief. Now my jaw is sitting pretty on the floor while I’m attempting to gather my thoughts.
GODDAMN THIS BOOK. It’s my favorite thing in the entire world right now but I am absolutely destroyed. How’s that for a start? It’s the only thing I’ve been able to come up with for an hour. So, that’s sufficient right? I can stop there? No? I guess I’ll come up with more…
The world-building was rich & vivid. I want to live in Velaris (though when there’s no war going on please). There was a lot of character building but we also saw an expanded world. There is still so much more to know about the world but Maas really opened with more. It’s more tangible now.
I didn’t think it was possible to up the stakes but damn, there is so much more to lose now. I cannot even begin to express how much I enjoyed this story line. It’s about personal growth, a impending war, love/loss, family, friendship, and being a true leader. The plot was INTENSE. There was so much going on but it was well-spaced (hence the need for over 600 pages). Despite the length, it kept moving. There was a good flow.
The characters are all personable and varied. They’re flawed but they’re easily understood. I don’t like all of them but I know their motivations. They make sense despite their cruelty (if it applies). It’s a harsh world and this book is certainly not just light & fluffy. These characters have to be strong.
“To the people who look at the stars and wish, Rhys.”
Rhys clinked his glass against mine. “To the stars who listen— and the dreams that are answered.”
Rhys is a feminist. A FEMINIST. YIPPEEEEEE. That makes him 10 times hotter. I don’t think his backstory entirely excuses his actions in the first book but it makes them understandable. In any case, I love Rhysand. With my whole entire being. He’s flawed, he’s made mistakes (who hasn’t?), and he’s broken. He can keep it together and through it all, he protected his true court. Le sigh. My heart beats for you, Rhysand. I love his dark side. He’s wicked & cruel but in the most sensible ways.
This issue isn’t whether he loved you, it’s how much. Too much. Love can be a poison.
I love his flirty personality and I love the banter between him and Feyre. I love that he only wants what’s best for her without be suffocating. He’s trying to better her and show her how much she could be if she only tried.
I was not a pet, not a doll, not an animal.
I was a survivor, and I was strong.
I would not be weak, or helpless again
I would not, could not be broken. Tamed.
I love that this book is about self-discovery. Feyre is learning who she is now and how strong she can be after she survived and saved Prythian. She learned what and who was bad for her and who turned out to be completely RIGHT. She’s growing as a person, as a new fae. She’s learning what she can & cannot handle and she’s just trying to be herself again. Feyre is the type of character we need to see more of in YA lit. She’s strong and her character development is a thing of beauty. Her feelings are so realistic. It’s honest and heartbreaking but that’s life. Life is complicated and boy, is Feyre complicated.
And I realized—I realized how badly I’d been treated before, if my standards had become so low. If the freedom I’d been granted felt like a privilege and not an inherent right.
Oh Tamlin. Why couldn’t you see that you were suffocating her? How did you not see Feyre was withering away right in front of you? Silly, controlling boy– how I loathe you even though I loved you. It’s confusing, all right? Damn feelings.
I want so much more information about Mor. Actually, scratch that. I want a book about Morrigan and the war. And generally just more stories about Rhysand’s squad because #goals. They were all damaged and beautiful and you just KNOW they have so many epic stories to tell.
WHY LUCIEN? WHY? Can I just scream at your face for a little while? Please? I always had a soft spot for him. I hate hate hate that he didn’t stand up for Feyre. He tried, sure, if you could call that trying. It does make me want to know more about him though. His ties. His loyalties. His thought process. But then again, sometimes I just don’t care anymore about him. I’m done with him and Tamlin.
I love the way that Maas crafts her stories. Until it was happening, I didn’t realize WHAT was happening. She had me on the edge of seat. I felt like suddenly I was wearing glasses and everything became clear but I didn’t realize my world view was fuzzy before. I didn’t see a lot of it coming and I’m so glad because I hate guessing right at what comes next.
The sex scenes are pretty damn steamy & explicit for YA. It wasn’t something I was expecting but I welcomed them. They’re few and far between but damn, they’re worth it. *finds fan to cool down*
At the end of ACOTAR, when Rhysand looked at Feyre and gasped/stumbled back, I knew that meant something significant (and something I absolutely did not want to happen at that time). I just didn’t realize the extent of it until it was all laid out.
Maas has a really good way of getting me to trust/love new characters. I was dead set against Rhys in ACOTAR and now I loathe Tamlin. How does she do it? In any case, I am 10000% Team Rhysand and I’m thrilled to see where the story goes next.
This is hands down, one of my favorite books of 2016. And I can say that with confidence even though the year isn’t half over. I don’t know how I’m going to survive the year without the next book. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. Until then, I’ll be sobbing hysterically.