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 over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin–and his world–forever.
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*This review will contain spoilers for ACOTAR and ACOMAF. For the spoiler-free review of this book please click here.*
In preparation for the release of A Court of Wings and Ruin, I’m rereading the first two books in this series, and thus far it’s been a blast. There were so many things that occurred in ACOTAR that I totally forgot about so let’s dive right in.
First of all, it was super strange to read about Feyre falling in love with Tamlin, knowing that Rhysand is her mate. I ended up cringing a lot during this book, especially during particular points that I thought were warning signs for Tamlin’s over protectiveness that turned abusive in ACOMAF. For example when Tamlin said this to Feyre:
“No, I don’t want you to live somewhere else. I want you here, where I can look after you—where I can come home and know you’re here, painting and safe.”
This sounded really nice and sweet in the moment but when combined with the way Tamlin locked up Feyre in ACOMAF, it doesn’t sound all that sweet anymore. That being said, I did find some sympathy for Tamlin after rereading ACOTAR. Sarah J. Maas affectively turned her fandom against Tamlin with the utter change in character of him and Rhys in the second book but I think a lot of us forgot why we liked Tamlin in the first place because of it. My reread reminded of all the reasons why I did like him.
Feyre says it best in ACOMAF, when she says Tamlin was good for her at the time that she needed him. Yes he was overprotective with her and was more than happy to take care of, and that’s what Feyre needed when she was human. Tamlin didn’t treat Feyre poorly, she just hadn’t wanted anything more than to be pampered and loved by Tamlin. His problem began when he failed to realize how much Under the Mountain changed Feyre and after having to watch her die, it’s easy to understand why he became so protective and controlling. Was Tamlin wrong? Without a doubt, yes. Do I know understand where he was coming from? Also, yes.
Besides Tamlin, I didn’t know how to feel about Rhys. I was at war with myself while reading. On the one hand, I knew why he did all the things he did but on the other hand, I wanted to tell Rhys to chill and at least try to be nicer to Feyre. There’s one point right before he makes the bargain with her, where he grabs her injured arm and twists and I literally cringed. Why Rhys, why?
Still, there were also a lot of one liners that meant so much more to me, knowing how he truly felt. My personal favorite was when he sees Feyre for the first time at Calanmai and saves her from those other faeries.
“There you are. I’ve been looking for you.”
I think I literally swooned, especially when Feyre referred to him as, “the most beautiful man I’d ever seen.” So good! (Side note: Rhysand probably heard her think that. That probably made him even more cocky.)
Another one of my favorites was when Rhysand sees Feyre dressed for the party in the throne room Under the Mountain.
“You look just as I hoped you would.”
That means so much more knowing how he felt about her. For Feyre, she thinks he’s joking at her expense but in reality he really means it and it’s so cute and also so heartbreaking because at this point Feyre hates him so much. Another moment that broke my heart was when Feyre heard the music that gave her a slither of hope. That moment also meant so much more knowing it was Rhys that sent it.
Also, through my reread I realized all the many hints SJM put in about Feyre and Rhys being mates. There’s literally so many references to the night and stars that I’m honestly a little mad I didn’t catch on sooner. It was so obvious! SJM is amazing. I truly can’t take it.
My reread also reestablished my distaste for Feyre’s sisters and my love for Lucien. Hopefully my reread of ACOMAF will make me like Nesta and Elain again. As for Lucien, I’m still upset with him for the things he did in ACOMAF but I remember now why I loved him so much and I hope he’s redeemed in ACOWAR. I kind of hope Tamlin’s redeemed too but to be perfectly honest, if he died I wouldn’t cry over it. Sorry, not sorry.
Overall, I think I liked ACOTAR even more the second time than I did the first. The start was still just as slow as I remember it being but because I knew where the story was heading that was enough to keep me reading and interested. I highly recommend giving this book a reread after reading ACOMAF. It takes on a whole new meaning and it’s really interesting seeing how drastically the characters change between books.
What are your thoughts on the ACOTAR series? Let me know in the comments below.
“Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.”