Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Battle for True Love

"But I lived in that moment--my life became beautiful again for those few seconds when our hands grazed."
--Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Thorns and Roses


Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 432
Publication Date: May 5th, 2015
Source: ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Previous Books in Series: First in Series
Goodreads Description

A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Well, well, well. My format for my reviews has never been so relevant...yeah, but I have no actual Beast critiques because this book...THIS BOOK Y'ALL...this book is everything you would expect from the brilliance that is Sarah J Maas and then some. Be prepared for a "review" steeped in flailing and incoherent thoughts as I try to process the first installment of yet another series that will have your heart defying the laws of science because it will be pounding in your chest, swelling in your throat, and dropping to your stomach...you've been warned.

Feyre is our heroine and we meet her while hunting in the woods because she is the sole hunter and gatherer for her family after their fall from wealth. Faeries are elusive creatures that once ruled the land but are now confined...kind of...north of the wall. Humans and faeries do not mix. At all. Feeling of hatred and fear run deep within the human race which is why Feyre, when facing down a massive wolf she thinks maybe could be but probably isn't a faery, shoots to kill. This sole action is the catalyst of our entire story and propels Feyre into the world of the Fae, and most importantly, into the world of Tamlin.

This is a Beauty and the Beast inspired story and it makes me grin like an idiot just thinking about how Maas weaves her own version of this timeless tale. I mean. OBVIOUSLY look around my blog to know how much I LOVE Beauty and the Beast. It like, isn't even a question that this story resonates with me on a deeply personal and base level. The way this story unfolds so closely yet so uniquely to the original story is one of pure genius and I applaud Maas in so many ways because she took my all-time favorite story and not only gently reminded me of it's foundation, but gave me something completely new to love. There are absolutely no words to describe the deep love I felt for this story and it's parallels to BatB.

After killing the wolf in the forest, Feyre is forced to pay her life debt to a faery who claims the slain as his friend. From there, we are taken to his manor...and from there we have our story. Feyre is surrounded by Tamlin and Lucien, two high Fae, who she has no reason to trust and every reason to hate. But they just make it so hard. Lucien is sarcastic, moody, and thinks Feyre is a useless waste of space. Tamlin is awkward, quiet, and completely unreadable in his intentions. Feyre proceeds with caution but the walls come down slowly and the ice she has surrounded herself with for survival slowly begins to melt. The relationship between Feyre and Tamlin is hard-won and tenuous and fraught with sexual tension of the best kind and...yeah...that tension is there for a reason, that's all I shall say about that. All the feels guys...ALL THE FEELS.

Feyre...wow. I am convinced that Sarah J Maas sits around in her free time plotting just how kickass she can make her next female character. Celaena is the epitome of badass and Feyre easily joins the ranks of this elite female club. And as I discussed with Alexa, I almost think she reigns Queen of this club. Why? Because she doesn't ask to be a hero. No plot spoilers but I will say that she was not trained to be a warrior. She has no skill beyond that which she taught herself in order to survive. She is a hero in her own right, her own convictions, driven by the love she feels for those around her. She is inspiration incarnate. She does not diminish in the face of adversity nor does she cower at those who could easily rip her to shreds. She stands tall and she is a force to be reckoned with. I really cannot say more except you will fall in love with her character and everything that she stands for.

The history of Prythian and the course of what occurs in our story is epic and haunting and steeped in death and darkness. The war that occurred centuries ago between the Fae and the humans is still an open wound. Hatred is present on both sides and to see it represented in our characters felt raw and honest. The journeys our characters go through, both seen and unseen, is beautiful. There is way more to this but to tell you would be to give away SO MUCH and I just cannot do that. Just know...JUST KNOW that so many emotions and judgements and prejudices are called into questions on so many different fronts and it's just...poignant and epic and so many feels. It is just so good. SO good, you guys. (Do we now see what I mean about flails and incoherent thoughts?...I warned you.)

Gah, ok what else?...Well, the writing never ceases to amaze me in its utter brilliance to creep into my heart, grab the tendrils, and yank...hard. I was tearing up at multiple points because the emotion is so raw. The relationship between Feyre and her sisters is complex and deeply layered. There is so much more to these women than what meets the eye. Their strength may not always be obvious but the way it is shown broke my heart to pieces. There are so many subtle intricacies weaved into this story that when all the pieces fit together at the end it is a huge eye-opening realization. The complexities fit perfectly and it is just a feast of amazingness at the end...

...the end...is...read it and find out. Yes, yes I did just do that. Pre-order this bad boy and you'll see exactly what I mean.


There is nothing that didn't work for me in this book so I'll just use this Tamlin section, oh I'm sorry, Beast section to state once more how much I love Tamlin...did you know? Have we gotten to that part of the flailing? Because I FLAIL for Tamlin...and Lucien...and maaaaaybe one more who I"m not quite sure what to think of yet but cannot help swooning juuuust a finch for...all hail Sarah J Maas and her army of Fae men...Drool McDrool.



VIP
If you love epic fantasy, beautiful words, amazing plots, and characters that kick major ass...this one is for you..this book is for everyone with a soul...it's just that good.


4 comments:

  1. I pretty much adore your review because it's SPOT ON. everything you said! I also adore beauty and the beast and LOVED how she melded the retelling with her own story and omg Feyre and Tamlin and Lucien and YES I'm right there with you on the other one too! I can't wait until my preorder gets here so I can reread! I'm not sure how Sarah J. Maas is so damn awesome but she is and ALL THE LOVE FOR THIS BOOK!

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  2. I loved A Court of Thorns and Roses, as you well know! I definitely agree that Sarah has managed to concoct something special with a story that does take elements from Beauty and the Beast + Tamlin, but spins it into something different and new. Plus, Sarah's ability to write memorable, lovable characters? Flawless. So excited to get a finished copy of this one in my hands!

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  3. I am so excited for this book! I started the Throne of Glass series after reading your reviews and love all of those so far, and I can't wait to get my hands on this one! :)

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