As I've mentioned before on this blog, fantasy is not normally a genre I spend a lot of time with, but I've seen a LOT of people talking about the ACOTAR book series (yes that's the acronym given to it by it's loving fans) and my curiosity got the better of me.
It was a slow starter, and took some perseverance to get through the early part of the story. I found the fantasy elements of the story a little hard to adjust to at first, potentially because of the abundance of descriptive language around them, but I did get there in the end. The characters were interesting, but I wasn't immediately hooked on any of them. The pace did seem to change around half way through though, and ultimately I'm glad I stuck with it.
Feyre was a strong lead, even though it took the first chunk of the book to warm to her. She has a well-developed sense of identity and an inviting inner strength about her that makes you root for her. She is immediately set up as someone who is willing to do whatever it takes to survive and that continues throughout the story. It was nice to see a female lead built as someone who knows how to hold herself, rather than waiting to be rescued.
The romance element of the story, and her relationship with Tamlin, felt oddly like it crept up on. Not because I wasn't expecting it, but because I felt like we were deep in the middle of a period of figuring each other out, with a sense of antagonism at some points, and then it was just there. Tamlin was a semi-likeable male lead, but he didn't grab my attention in the way I expected him to. That honour belongs to Rhysand - a character whose introduction and short character arc intrigued me more than any other character in the book.
The other characters in the book are very well-written, and I'm hoping to see more of Nesta and Lucien in future books for sure. They were given a considerable amount of depth and conflict given their limited time on the page compared to other characters.
There was a lot of scene-setting and world-building in the descriptive language used throughout. It helped create a full-feeling story, but also hindered plot development at points. This is especially true as I listened to the audiobook, and found myself zoning out for pieces of the story where the language felt favoured over the plot. I much preferred when that language was put to good use to create drama and tension in the violent clashes at the end of the book.
Given my issues with pace and language, you may expect the rating that I gave the book to be lower, but the characters and the romance of it all really did a lot to engage me in the second half of the book. I ended up being very eager to get to the end to see how things concluded, and am also keen to read the rest of the series. There were some distracting elements, but on the whole I really enjoyed the story.
Feyre is a huntress. And when she sees a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she kills the predator and takes its prey to feed herself and her family.
But the wolf was not what it seemed, and Feyre cannot predict the high price she will have to pay for its death...
Dragged away from her family for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding even more than his piercing green eyes suggest.
As Feyre's feelings for Tamlin turn from hostility to passion, she learns that the faerie lands are a far more dangerous place than she realized. And Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.
You can buy the book here now. It was published by Bloomsbury Publishing.