Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Publication Date: 5 May 2015
Format: Paperback, 432 pgs
In Sarah J. Maas' latest fantasy trilogy, humans and faeries are enemies and they are bound by rules of The Treaty laid centuries ago. High Faes and faeries live in the lands of Prythian and their lands are separated by walls and borders from the mortal lands. There are legends and rumours surrounding the faeries, that they hate iron and that an ash arrow made out from ash wood would kill them, though no one really knows if that's fact or merely rumours until a nineteen-year-old girl named Feyre killed a wolf with her ash wood arrow during hunting. It turned out that the wolf is no ordinary wolf but a faery.
When the High Lord of Spring Court, Tamlin, knew Feyre has killed his friend, he sought her out and gave her an option to either be killed or live out the remainder of her days in Prythian. Feyre chose to cross the wall and spend her days in Prythian, knowing very well that her family needs her and she would find her way out of Prythian. But her hope of escaping is dashed when she finds herself falling for Tamlin; a High Lord whom she finds both threatening yet noble at the same time.
When the seven courts in Prythian are threatened by Amarantha, the powerful High Queen of Prythian, the other High Lords and faeries knew they have only one person to rely on to help regain their freedom in their immortal world - Feyre, a mortal girl who vows to save Tamlin from Amarantha's grasp out of love and loyalty and to save the human realm should Amarantha decides to exercise her power and authority on it as well (There is a history why she hates humans so much but I'm not going to dwell on that.)
Sarah J. Maas has done a wonderful job in the world building and creating a cast of equally wonderful, fascinating characters. The story has a few similarities with the popular classic fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast" in terms of the three sisters and their father who'd lost their wealth (here is Feyre and her two elder sisters and Feyre is the only one who brings food to the family since her sisters acted like princesses and their father's leg is injured after being beaten off by his creditors due to an unfortunate failed business) and of course, Tamlin who shares a resemblance of the Beast (who is also cursed) but other than these, this fantasy stands out of its own with its original plot and a remarkable setting of the immortal faeries world.
I found myself admiring and empathising Feyre at the same time reading this story. I liked her strength and her courage, and most of all her fierce devotion towards Tamlin when she is forced to take upon a few quests by Amarantha and from there we got to see her wit, her determination and her struggles as she is forced to make a decision in matters of life and death. I also found myself intrigued by supporting characters such as Lucien (Tamlin's court-trained emissary, a warrior in his own right) and Rhysand, a High Lord of the Night court who seemed charismatic and dangerous at the same time. He played an important role in Feyre's life in the immortal world and he is one character which had left me baffled due to his personality. Is he good or bad? He couldn't be good if he was feared by other faeries and killed orhers mercilessly but yet he couldn't be bad either if he'd saved Feyre's life more than once.
Although the book stated this is the first of a trilogy, the ending is surprisingly nicely wrapped up and even could read it as a standalone. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would definitely continue with this trilogy. And I hope to see more of Rhysand in the sequel (the book stated it'd be released in May 2016.) simply because he is such an intriguing character, aside from Tamlin and Lucien.