Summary: Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.
Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.
Review: As much as I loved the first book, I loved this one more. I read it in about a day even though it’s over 600 pages long and I was a little overwhelmed when I was done. Not necessarily in a bad way, it’s just that so much happened and I had so many feelings that I was a bit lost when it was over.
In my review of A Court of Thorns and Roses, I talked about how I liked the fact that Feyre isn’t your typical hero; she does what she has to to protect those she loves even if it’s not “the right thing”. Some of these actions from the first book have resulted in her having PTSD. Partly because of the awful things that were done to her or that she saw in Amarantha’s court Under The Mountain, but a huge part of it is the things she herself did Under The Mountain. Even if we completely ignore the fact she’s been turned into High Fae (she’s literally not even human anymore and that’s an insane adjustment for anyone), everything that’s happened since the beginning of ACOTAR has been traumatizing. She’s trying, and failing, to cope as she comes to terms with who she’s become. This book had some of the best character development for her, particularly because it doesn’t happen overnight. Throughout this entire book she’s changing, growing, learning who she is and who she wants to be. A huge part of that growth is influence by Tamlin and Rhysand in vastly different ways but I’ll go into more detail about that later.
I slowly hated Tamlin more and more throughout this book. This seems to be the source of some contention for fans. Readers seem to either think his personality in ACOMAF is completely different from ACOTAR and that Maas forced it that way to make room for Rhys to be with Feyre; OR readers think it’s simply an extension of Tamlin’s personality that we didn’t see in ACOTAR but that was sort of amplified by the trauma of Under The Mountain. Honestly, I’m not sure what I think but it seems to fall somewhere in the middle for me. His change in ACOMAF definitely felt just a little forced but I’m also not surprised by it. As much as I loved him in ACOTAR, I definitely got that sense that he was a little controlling, a little possessive. Part of the problem might be that in the first book, that’s what Feyre wanted. She wanted to feel protected for once in her life, not have to do the protecting but after Under The Mountain she needed some semblance of control of her own life and Tamlin wouldn’t let her have that. I understand he watched her die and doesn’t know how to deal with that but even months later after Feyre’s tried telling him what she needs, after he’s promised to be better about it, he only gets more and more controlling. All that said, I still felt a little sorry for him right up until that last scene. I won’t spoil it for anyone but his actions at the end were the final straw for me. In my mind, there’s no excuse for what he did and I won’t forgive him for it.
Rhysand. Is. Perfect. Not that he doesn’t have flaws; of course he does. His flaws just made me love him more. Everything about Rhys’s story gave me all the emotions. It’s tragic and beautiful and funny. For me though, the main reason he’s my new favorite book boyfriend is for the way he interacts with Feyre. He works so hard to give her what she needs to deal with her trauma and he listens to her and respects what she says whether he agrees with her or not. He never tries to control her and actively gives her the freedom to act for herself to the point where, if there’s danger, he lets her handle it; he might step in when necessary but he never tries to fight her battles for her. This more than anything helps Feyre grow because she finally has the freedom to do what she needs to do for her own well-being. Rhys never treats Feyre as anything less than his equal and I absolutely adore that.
Rhys’s Inner Circle was one of my favorite parts of this book. Mor, Cassian, Azriel, and Amren are such unique, complex, lovable characters. I love that they, including Rhys and later Feyre, are a family first and the Night Court second. I’m beyond excited to see more of them in the next book.
Overall, this is one of my new favorite books. It had everything I want from a story; romance, friendship, complex character development, action, heart-wrenching moments, laugh-out-loud scenes, and an ending that just about killed me. I recommend this to everyone. Seriously. Just read this book.
I’d love to hear what you think. Thanks for reading!