Publication: May 5, 2015 by Bloomsbury Children's
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.
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I really tried not to let the hype get to me with this book. I did my best to go in with excitement, but not expect too much. I ended up really enjoying it. There are things that I didn't love so much, but overall, it was a fun and captivating read.
I mostly loved the imaginative and vibrant world. Maas' writing does a beautiful job of depicting what this fae world looks and feels like. It mostly focuses on Tamlin's estate, but some other areas are explored. I really felt surrounded by the rich atmosphere and environment. The fae creatures all look different depending where they are from, and I loved meeting them all and learning about them.
However, the aspect of the world building revolving around learning how this world works and its history, is lacking. It's a beautiful world physically, but learning the ways, secrets, and magic of the world felt inconsistent. It's not presented in the best way, with a lot of information dumping.
I'm torn on the characters. Feyre, in the beginning, has a strength and darkness to her that I began to connect with, but as the story goes on, her personality fades. She becomes almost a cookie-cutter female character. Towards the end she does come back around, but I didn't feel a strong bond with her throughout.
Tamlin captured my interest at first, he seems like a 'good guy', but also has some mystery to him, but then he just gets weird. He becomes too mysterious and both the reader and Feyre don't get to know much about him until close to the end. It just took too long to get to know him, so I couldn't fully fall for him.
The major side characters shine. There are two characters that I absolutely loved. They greatly enhanced the story and my enjoyment. They felt a lot more real and consistent, their strong presence and personalities allowed me to connect with them, unlike the main characters.
By the end of the book I did start to believe in Tamlin and Feyre's love, but I still wasn't completely sold. I'm rooting for a different male character for her. :)
The last fourth or so of this story is very engaging and entertaining. The pace picks up and things get pretty crazy. It took until then for me to really start feeling pulled into the story. The plot takes an interesting turn, and I'm definitely looking forward to the next book to see where things go.
Warning: This book is listed as New Adult. There is some sexual content. However, I would say it's mostly for an older audience because of violence and gore. There are definitely dark and mature themes throughout.