(A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)
Sarah J. Maas
Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.
Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.
I’ve heard mixed reviews about this novel and as such I was reluctant to pick it up and see if Feyre would live up to my expectations. I only enjoyed the final few chapters of A Court of Thorns and Roses and was worried that Feyre’s ability to wow me would be confined to those final scenes.
The first few chapters are brutal. Feyre is so clearly tormented and miserable while at the Spring Court that I was ready to rescue her myself. I had hoped that Feyre, after having been reborn an immortal, would put her skills to good use. However, the emotional toil of being at the mercy of Amarantha has a far larger impact on Feyre than I could have predicted and I cannot begrudge her the time she needed to heal and overcome her trauma. It was perhaps a more accurate depiction of a heroin’s struggles in the aftermath of any heroic deeds. Despite this, it took Feyre much too long before she pushed herself to work on her gifts and regain her independence.
Sarah J. Maas makes no secret of who the enemy in this novel is, she might as well have painted “bad guy” in bold black lettering on Tamlin’s forehead. Which, to be perfectly honest, suits me just fine. I had nothing against Tamlin though I did bemoan his lack of personality in the first novel. However, I was still a little shocked by the complete tearing down of his character. It took me less than three chapters to go from bored disinterest to complete disgust.
Rhysand is Feyre’s knight in shining armour. He proves himself a loyal and trusted confidant and allows Feyre room to grow into herself and her powers with a gentle guiding hand and a cocky smirk. I was avidly cheering for their happy ending even amid the nauseating sweetness that was their inevitable entanglement. However, I would have liked to see Feyre pick herself back up without the aid of a man and learn to orchestrate her own rescues.
Despite having a clear cut plan and a clear objective to reach, Feyre herself miraculously being a key component of it, very little seemed to get accomplished. I spent much of this novel being begrudgingly charmed by Feyre and Rhysand but frustrated by Feyre’s lack of involvement in their schemes. Furthermore, the world building still left much to be desired. The ending, unsurprisingly, has me anxiously awaiting the third novel.