“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.” – Goodreads
As a fan of the Throne of Glass series also by Sarah J Maas, I was extremely excited to find out that she had started another series. I picked this up as soon as I finished Heir of Fire (the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series) and expected great things.
However, before I started reading I found out that this is a loose retelling of the classic story of Beauty and the Beast and this definitely put me off a little as unless it’s a truly amazing series, I hate re-reading things as I just know what’s happening, one of my favourite things about reading a book is the surprise. So I was worried that knowing the story of Beauty and the Beast would take away any of the surprise in reading this book.
I needn’t have worried. When I say this is a loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast, I mean it is so loose that you almost have to search for similarities. I would hardly even call it a retelling, it’s more just inspired by Beauty and the Beast.
The synopsis of the story also put me off as whenever a book specifically mentions Fae/Faeries and magic and things on the back it’s hard not to worry that the book will just be really childish. But I have to give it to Maas, she handled it very well, despite the magic and the fae this book didn’t feel childish or belittling.
However, as opposed to Throne of Glass (which I literally couldn’t put down) this book took me a little while to get into. I personally found the beginning a little bit slow, and I didn’t immediately fall in love with the main character of Feyre. I did like the first half of the book but I wasn’t hooked on it, it took me until about half way through to truly feel engrossed in the characters and the story.
The last third of the book is where this novel really shines. There is a major twist towards the end that I didn’t expect, and I love it when authors can surprise me. The end of the book was exciting and action packed and very S.J Maas. Maas does action so well, she really knows how to describe a fight scene and her writing definitely shines during exciting moments.
Despite this, I figured out the ‘riddle’ (which you’ll know of if you’ve read the book) the second I read it. I don’t know if she meant for the reader to figure it out, but I did and I was a little bit disappointed that it didn’t have more of an impact. But that’s me being extremely picky.
Like I said, at the beginning I didn’t love or even really like Feyre’s character. She put herself down, she complained a lot, and thus brought me down quite a lot. However, she developed a lot towards the end and became a much stronger character, much more brave, righteous and caring and this is when I really started to love her. I would have liked to have seen some more detail in the developing relationship with her family though. I felt that her relationship with her family 180’d so quickly and I would have liked to have seen a slower and more concrete development in this area that would have made it more impactful and believable.
I also didn’t really love Tamlin at the beginning but the way the story developed and as the secrets of his past came to light, I understood his character a lot more and a lot of the actions he made at the beginning of the novel ended up making sense.
Overall, I did end up very much enjoying this book and I can see myself picking up the sequel when it comes out this year. This book has further solidified my love for Maas’ writing and I can’t wait to see what she comes out with in the future. If you love Throne of Glass, Sarah J Maas, fantasy, strong female leads, romance or anything similar then give this a try. Just don’t really expect it to be anything like the original Beauty and the Beast story because you will be disappointed.
Paperback | 432 pages
Goodreads rating: 4.30 Published: 05/07/2017 | Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
My rating: 4/5