BEWARE, THERE BE SPOILERS IN YE… anyway spoilers.
3.5* – with one star dedicated to Rhysand and Lucien.
This was recommended and talked about to me SO many times I finally gave in and ordered it. I put off reading it for a while because I wanted to finish The Raven Cycle, but my friends really wanted me to read it and squee. It’s basically a Beauty and the Beast retelling – sort of – in a Fae world.
I understand why it’s popular, I do. But Feyre to me wasn’t a strong enough character to grip me. I think Samantha from Thoughts of Tomes summed it up perfectly – she’s meant to be a hunter, a survivalist, yet consistently makes absolutely stupid choices which put her in danger.
Such as “don’t go into the forest, you’ll get killed.” She goes into the forest and almost gets killed. Before she even went on the mission I literally put the book down and went “so stupid” and didn’t pick it up for about 3 nights because I knew the next chapter she’d get into trouble.
Also. “Don’t come to Fire Night”. She goes to Fire Night. “Don’t drink the wine”. She drinks the wine.
Similarly with the romance, I didn’t “get” the connection between her and Tamlin. The sex scene (of which I have written and read many so I know what I like) didn’t have much of a build up. Like they were talking cryptically as far as I remember about Tamlin having to shove her back home, and then suddenly they were in the mood and doing it. It felt disjointed to me.
After spending a majority of the book wondering why the heck Tamlin was being so nice to her, and we get told about the curse, it kinda got creepy. Not only because an entire chapter was written for Alis to explain everything to us out loud (aaaaaugh) but like, Tamlin took Feyre to his mansion and was uber nice and tried to give her things just in the hope she’d fall in love with him? At least in Beauty and the Beast the Beast seemed to be acting out of pure beastliness and anger at her father’s wandering into the castle. He might have known about the curse but he was acting on rage.
Here it’s almost pre-emptive.
I didn’t know this was meant to be a Beauty and the Beast retelling when I first started reading it. To be honest I felt it was more of a “let’s use plot points to make this book’s structure and then say it’s a retelling”.
And at the end before she solves the riddle (if Amarantha were Rumpelstiltskin, I would understand, otherwise, WHA?) it seemed too convenient that she remembered Tam and Lucien talking months ago about Tamlin’s heart of stone. How could they POSSIBLY know that would be key plot point in the future enough to leave the door ajar so she could eavesdrop, commit it to memory, and the use that information to their advantage later? Maybe they had a crystal ball.
For the first two thirds, the writing in general seemed fluffy and lengthy and I found myself skimming unnecessary information. Also so. . . many. . . ellipses . . .
The Big Bad was okay, I mean Amarantha seemed to have borrowed style tips from Maleficent, apart from the horns, but snarky and twisted witch uninvited to Prythien for sure.
Rhysand and Lucien were the two characters I wanted to read about most. Though with Rhysand at the end, he seemed to be able to open up a little too much too fast, and he lost his edge, I would still read about him and have in fact just ordered A court of Mist and Fury simply because he will naturally be in it a lot more. I’m also intrigued by the Night Court and the This Court and the That Court, because who doesn’t like Fae Hogwarts Houses, amirite?
Lucien to me seemed the most consistent in that he was loyal, snarky, and his objectives never seemed to change. I also really enjoyed that he rarely accepted any of Feyre’s shit and called her out on it cause damnit, someone had to.
So on the basis there were two characters I enjoyed and will continue to read about (plus I hear the next book is better) I gave this book 3.5*.