Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on May 5, 2015
Feyre's survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price ...
Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre's presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.
I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to think of this book – the series receives rave reviews, and so I bought the set of the first 3 with a gift card I got for Christmas, but I was not expecting much. After all, I really didn’t like Throne of Glass at all and didn’t expect this one to go much better. I was pleasantly surprised, however.
How I’d Describe This Book to A Friend
Feyre’s life sucks. She lives in a hovel in the woods with her crappy sisters and her well-intentioned-but-also-crappy father – times are hard, living in a world post-war where the faeries beat down the humans and relegated them to a specific portion of the land, a line that must never be crossed. Feyre hunts in the woods near their home to make ends meet, but it barely works and nobody else lifts a finger to help her. So when, one day, she spies a wolf in the woods going after a doe, she does the only thing she can: she shoots it, clean through the eye.
Only problem with that is that oops, it wasn’t a wolf, it was a faerie. And they don’t exactly take kindly to people murdering their friends and family in cold blood, as is made incredibly clear by the raging beast-man bursting into her cabin and screaming at her. Humans don’t take kindly to faeries either, largely because this just serves to solidify the “faeries are jerks” impression of them.
What follows is the typical Beauty & the Beast story – Feyre gets taken hostage and carried to the castle of the High King of Faerie (well, the Spring court anyway, there are 6 others) to serve out a life sentence. She discovers when she arrives though that she is hardly prisoner – Tamlin, the High Lord who can turn into a beast at will and also has what I only assume are Wolverine-esque claws – doesn’t give a crap what she does, as long as she doesn’t leave. Feyre spends her time exploring the grounds, getting to know Tamlin at mealtimes as well as his best friend and (basically) bodyguard, Lucien. Tamlin even has a large library, similar to the Beast, although Feyre is illiterate (I told you her life sucked) and can’t truly appreciate a lot of it the way she wants.
As time goes by, Feyre learns that there is more to faeries than she thought – maybe they aren’t all terrible people after all. But a blight is here, and it could strike the human world at a moment’s notice. It’s starting to affect everyone, human and faerie alike. What’s an illiterate teenage girl with excellent sharpshooter skills and Stockholm Syndrome to do?
I enjoyed this book thoroughly – I always love the suggestion that faeries aren’t as cute and innocent as we make them out to be – sorry, Tinkerbell. The only negative I’d give it is that the romance is a little heavy-handed, and I am really not feeling Feyre with any of these eligible bachelors. But alas, I know the Love Triangle is an important factor in most YA lit, so I will let it slide. I hear a lot of people say that the second book in this series is the best by far, so I am excited to get into that one once I get to that point in my TBR pile.
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