If you read my ACOTAR review you’ll know I’ve been dragged into this series by BookTok and all the hype it has been recieving on there. A quick scan on goodreads show that people are either really loving or really hating this series it’s quite divisive. So here are my thoughts. Spoilers ahead.
The second book in Sarah J. Maas series follows on directly from the end of the first book which saw Feyre go through three horrifying trials and solve a reasonably simple (to all of use but the illiterate Feyre) to prove her love for a Fae male, a species she once so despised. Dying and being resurrected as high Fae herself in the course, free to live out the rest of her now immortal life with her love, Tamlin. Or so you would think.
Maas pulls a complete 180 on us and all of a sudden the loving relationship between Feyre and Tamlin becomes a complete Toxic mess. Tamlins overbearing over protectiveness takes a toll on Feyre initially causing her to leave him at the alter and eventually run away completely after he locks her in the mansion. Only to runaway to Rhysand, who was portrayed to be a completely disgusting villain in the first book, but surprise, surprise, we are told this was all a mask….an act, to survive and to protect his people in his hidden perfect city.
We now hate Tamlin, he’s gone from loving (supposedly) to a monster in about 5 seconds flat and we are now expected to forgive and forget all the heinous stuff Rhysand did….which ends up being pretty easy given that he is written as the perfect hero, the perfect tortured male. The opposite to Tamlins controlling offering choice and freedom. All of a sudden it makes sense why the relationship building and falling in love part felt a little quick for me. It was never the intention of the author to make Tamlin and Feyre end game.
The romance between Feyre and Rhysand is a bit more fleshed out, a bit more of a slow burner, and despite all the aforementioned heinous stuff he did in the previous book, Rhysand can do no wrong in this one. Tamlin however is slowly, increasingly and then decisively turned into the villain, the monster, the beast.
The side characters in this book are certainly more fleshed out and are entertaining and help endear you to our new hero Rhysand. Everything feels just that little bit more pieced together. The pacing is good and the strong development is good. I enjoyed this book far more than the first but it certainly helped me view the first in a different light. We are introduced to the new big bad and Feyres human family are dragged right back into the mix, characters I never thought I’d see again. This book is certainly far spicier than the last generally written how you’d expect, however I do cringe whenever Feyre mentions her “breasts tightening” sorry…..what?!?! What even is that? It also took me a while to get used to refering to the characters as “males” and “females” I’m guessing this is pretty common language for the Faerie genre but it did take some getting used to.
The world and the scenery is much better developed in this book, the world no longer seems compartmentalised into convenient little pockets. I enjoyed seeing the way the heroine changed within this book and interacted with the new characters. This one gets a 7/10 from me.
Written by Clarissa.
Edited by Jackson.