This is going to be the most fun book review I have ever written. I don’t even have a plan for it, and I’m literally just going to write this out how it comes to my mind, but I have so much to talk about with this book.
First of all, this is a SPOILER book discussion.DO NOT READ THIS IS YOU HAVE NOT READ THE BOOK!
If you want the non-spoiler review, you can check that out here!
Okay so in ACOTAR, I was kind of Team Tamlin. Not because I loved Tamlin. Actually, Tamlin was my least favourite of the male characters in the book, while Rhysand was my favourite. The reason was because I believe in fairytale happy endings. And Feyre literally killed herself out of her love for Tamlin Under the Mountain. She LITERALLY DIED FOR HIM! So a huge part of me wanted them to live happily ever after, because after all she had put herself through, out of her love for him, surely they were meant to last forever.
But then again, I understood the Rhysand x Feyre shippers, because I LOVED Rhysand and I loved the scenes with them together. But I didn’t want to think of poor Feyre going thrugh all of that and then not living happily ever after with Tamlin.
But this book just threw it at me…Feyre going through all that she did, was important for her self development, far more than for any love. Because from the very beginning of ACOMAF, it is so blindingly clear that Feyre and Tamlin are both such different people than they were in ACOTAR. And although Feyre truly (and I do believe she truly did) loved Tamlin…she loved him as human Feyre, who had lived a life of hunger and poverty and lack of love, and wanted love and protection. After the things she had gone through, she no longer wanted such protection: the now-Fae Feyre needed to be a protector. All at the same time as Tamlin had seen the woman he loved die and come back to life in front of him, and believed that showing her love would be to protect her and keep her safe. He just goes about it in a kind of twisted, jerk-y way. I mean, the scene where he locks her into the house had my head raging…
Sarah J. Maas is so good at describing emotional pain (I mean that in the best possible way!), and I so completely felt the pain Feyre was feeling. After so long not feeling anything, this becomes the point that anger and despair actually come to her, and it is such a powerful scene. Tamlin, I know you wanted to protect her but COME ON! You don’t lock the woman up and imprison her! You don’t make her wear dresses when she feels constantly uncomfortable in them! You don’t resign her to wedding planning when she has literally just saved your entire country from Amarantha and is clearly capable of so much more! You don’t tell her there is no such thing as High Lady, when you are just feeding her lie after lie to stop her becoming your equal, all to protect her.
I think the thing is, Tamlin loved, and I think still loves, Feyre. But, when he loved her before, it was out of trying to woo her to save his people. And now there wasn’t an imminent threat to his people, there was no rush or challenge in it any more. I think he just forgot that he needed to try any more. But that was just what Feyre needed.
I got closure of the Feyre x Tamlin reletionship being over, and I actually really appreciated it. In so many series, the female character (it is usually a female character, I’m not stereotyping here!) falls madly and deeply in love with the first male that shows them any love and kindness, and this love carries until the end of the series. And this is actually annoying because it is usually their first love too, and how many people’s first love is their true love? I mean, obviously that does happen, but it is annoying to read about all the time. So I really appreciated this book for shaking that up!
Which nicely brings me on to Rhysand…
Rhysand Rhysand Rhysand. Why are you not a real person? It’s not actually fair. I think he has actually become the number one book boyfriend after this book. It’s official…in the completely fictional sense, of course *not really because it’s real in my head though*
When Rhysand interrupts Tamlin and Feyre’s wedding…
He just sort of swaggers in:
“I whirled, and through the night drifting away like smoke on a wind, I found Rhysand straightening the lapels of his black jacket.
“Hello, Feyre darling,” he purred.”
I mean, reading back over this scene now is so emotional and gives it so much more significance, knowing that he knew they were mates (which I’ll get onto in a minute!). And later on in the book, when he tells her that he would have let her be wed, had she not been desperately, silently pleading in her head for someone to get her out of it. Rhysand would have let the marriage go on if she had been happy. He was going to sacrifice his love so that she would be happy.
Basically, Rhysand is the best. I had so many favourite Rhysand and Feyre scenes, but these are some of them: *emphasises the ‘some’ because if she were to give them all we would be here for hours*
1.The moment where he wakes her after a nightmare (which is significant because Tamlin never did and he was sleeping in the same bed!)
“Hands – there were hands on my shoulders, shaking me, squeezing me. I thrashed against them, screaming, screaming –
The voice was at once the night and the dawn and the stars and the earth, and every inch of my body calmed at the primal dominance in it.
“Open your eyes,” the voice ordered.
2. The scene where Feyre is describing the paintings she did for her sisters in her home.
“Rhys’s voice was raw as he said to the floor, “What did you paint for yourself?”
I drew out the fifth, moving to the sixth before saying, “I painted the night sky.”
I guess this scene only feels all the more significant to me after finishing. Because when he later tells her that it was him who sent those images through her mind, not knowing who she was, or where she was, but knowing that she was somewhere safe and could hold onto that image he so loved…
Which brings me onto number three…
3. The mating-bond-acceptance scene! AKA best, most emotional scene I think I have ever read. Rhysand tells Feyre his story, and he is so raw and honest and open and I literally sobbed
“If you were going to die, I was going to die with you. I couldn’t stop thinking it over and over as you screamed, as I tried to kill her: you were my mate, my mate, my mate.
But then she snapped your neck.”
Tears rolled down his face.
“And I felt you die,” he whispered.
Tears were sliding down my own cheeks.
“And this beautiful, wonderful thing that had come into my life, this gift from the Cauldron…It was gone.”
“And I said, “You love me?”
And I wondered if love was too weak a word for what he felt, what he’d done for me. For what I felt for him.”
But besides from all of the main characters, this book’s cast of side characters was so fantastic.
Along with Rhys and the Night Court, come his inner court:
Cassian – Basically, the sarcastic, funny, strong but loving character that everyone loves
Azriel – The quiet, reserved character who clearly has so much depth left to unveil
Mor – Possibly my favourite female character in this trilogy. She doesn’t care what anyone thinks about her. She is powerful and strong, and knows she can inflict so much pain, and yet she is kind and loving, aware of those around her, and restrains from inflicting such pain.
Amren – Who I’m not fully sure about yet. She was certainly interesting, but also a little creepy. But we apparently find out her story in book three, so I am reserving judgement!
And of course there is Nesta and Elain. Elain I still liked, Nesta I am struggling with. I get that she is hard and cold but still loves those close to her, but I just really find it difficult to connect to her. But the next book is probably going to break that because…
NESTA AND ELAIN ARE NOW FAE!!!
I did not see that coming at all! I think at this point I was skim reading a little (which I always do when it comes close to the end of the book, because I am always desperate to get to the ending to find out what happens – I’m impatient, I know!) and I had to re-read this whole scene again, because my brain was so confused.
So now humans can just be made into Fae by being put into this liquid?
But my reservations about that aside, it really does make the ships a lot easier because…
Nesta and Cassian are going to happen. THEY ARE!!!
And Elain and Lucien ARE MATES…well, I kind of saw that one coming actually…
…and I kind of like it.
So I’m leaving my review there because I could go on for hours and hours about my feelings on this book. So I’m going to leave you with probably my favourite quote/moment of the whole book…
“Welcome to the family, Feyre.”
And I thought those might have been the most beautiful words I’d ever heard.”