“The Spring Court was a land of rolling green hills and lush forests and clear, bottomless lakes. Magic didn’t just abound in the bumps and the hollows – it grew there. Try as I might to paint it, I could never capture it – the feel of it.” (p. 169)
For the past few months, I had this book sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read by me. Several times, I even picked it up and attempted to do so, but never made it more than a few pages in. I honestly thought I wouldn’t like it, that it was nothing special, just another one of the many ‘fairy books’ around. Oh me, oh my, how very wrong I was. When I picked it up today and had gotten past what had bothered me so much in my last attempts (the main character Feyre has an awful family, I must say) and made it to where the main proportion of the plot would be set in (the fairy realm), I was immediately sucked in, so much that the last few months were completely forgotten and I had to finish the book in a couple of hours.
Feyre, a 19 year old who hunts in the woods for her family to survive (this trope reminded me a lot of Katniss Aberdeen from The Hunger Games in the beginning), and kills a wolf, who later turns out to be no wolf at all, but a fairie, a creature she knows about only from legends. After she has killed the wolf, a huge beast-like creature comes for retribution for that kill, and Feyre agrees to go with this creature to live in the dreaded faerie lands with no chance of ever going home again – one life for another, so to speak. Although she is allowed to go wherever she likes in the fairie land (Prythian), the High Lord of the Spring Court, Tamlin, can convince her to stay on his estate. Although in the beginning she feels nothing but mistrust and hostility towards him, her feelings soon change into very much the opposite. However, things get even more complicated as an ancient shadow is growing over the fairie land, much like an illness, which is out to doom Tamlin and his court. Can Feyre, a simple human, be strong enough to change the looming threat?
I really enjoyed that the book stays true to the original idea that fairies are usually mischievous and should not be trusted, that they love bargains, and mostly try to trick you somehow. Even though Feyre is very careful in this aspect and always tries to stay one step ahead of them, I still also liked to see that there were exceptions from the rule. Tamlin and his friend Lucien are very interesting characters, and prove to be very likeable.
However, I have to say that I lost my heart to one of the bad guys. Or semi-bad, I should say. During one of the festivities in the Spring Court, Feyre makes the acquaintance of Rhysand, the High Lord of the Night Court. Already sounds very promising? Well, it gets better. (I am fully aware that we should be rooting for Tamlin, and he is nice enough, but you know how much of a pull the bad guys can have…)
Even though Feyre is aware of the danger every pore of Rhysand seems to evaporate and she is far from trusting him, he also proves to be very kind and caring when Feyre is in the trial to win Tamlin back. Although I have to say Rhysand always tries to make it seem as if he is the bad guy everyone thinks he is, so I’m really hoping I’m not the only one who got the feeling that he is more than that. I am definitely very much looking forward to see what role Rhysand will play in the books to come!
One teeny tiny aspect I have to mention I didn’t like that much was the romantic relationship between Feyre and Tamlin. I mean, I did like it, but I didn’t really see it coming, it was too much of a quick change for me, because Feyre expressed her dislike for fairies and her mistrust towards them more than once, and suddenly, her feelings changed… That, together with the beginning of the story which was a bit hard for me to get into, are the only *slightly* negative aspects though, which is why I rate it 4.5 stars, almost 5 stars, though! I’m so much looking forward to read the next book in the series!!