Alright. If you are a reader, and obviously you are or you wouldn’t be here, then you have most likely heard of Sarah J Maas. Best selling author of the Throne of Glass series. On the New York Times best seller list. Everyone in my reading circles seems to have read her.
Until last week I hadn’t picked up a single one of her books even though all I heard was praise for her writing. Most of the “highly recommended” books I pick up I end up hating so I just pushed it aside, assuming it was one of the many instead of one of the few. Well, I finally gave in. I even went even more outside of my usual reading habits and bought it instead of borrowing it from the library. Typically I only buy a book if I have already read it, loved it, and want to add it to my collection or if I’ve done a good deal of research on it and my local library doesn’t carry it. In this case I just took a leap of faith.
I am so glad I did.
“I threw myself into that fire, threw myself into it, into him, and let myself burn.”
If I were prone to such things I would be fan-girl squealing right now. Okay, even though it is completely out of character for me I may have fan-girl squealed anyway. I loved this darn book. Loved. If I was in high school I would be drawing little hearts by the chapter titles and making up fan-fic to hide away in a notebook in the bottom of my locker. I’d take this book to prom and make out with it behind the bleachers. Maybe that is taking it a bit far…maybe not. You decide.
“I love you,” I said, and stabbed him.”
Our story begins with the hungry, cold, starving Feyre who is out hunting to try to feed her family. They had once been a part of the merchant class and were fairly well to do but have since fallen from grace. If it wasn’t for Feyre, her two older sisters and father would quickly starve to death. She isn’t going to let that happen.
Lucky for her, that day she spots a deer in the forest and takes aim with her bow to bring it down. Then, an enormous wolf emerges from the trees and she feels she has become pray instead of predator. She, miraculously, manages to take down both the wolf and the deer. Little did she know that the wolf was actually a faerie in disguise.
Alright, the book nearly lost me at this point. Faeries? Really? Really? You’re going to make me read about faeries? I’m not sure I’m on board with this but okay, I’ll bite.
So, shenanigans shenanigans and Feyre ends up in the land of the faeries with a High Fae as payment/punishment for killing one of their kind. Feyre and most humans have been told that the fae are horrible and cruel and will kill all mankind. They are to be feared. Feyre slowly starts to learn that , despite their differences, humans and fae really aren’t so different. Both have feelings, concerns, family, and the troubles that plague all beings.
We can draw parallels between this and the horrible prejudices that plague our modern world in the form of religious, cultural, and ethnic differences but I digress.
Feyre begins to respect and then to love one of the High Fae, the one that “holds her captive.” But, he and his household have a secret that they are unable to tell her. She unknowingly holds all of their lives in her hands.
Once Feyre realizes her importance she goes to the ends of the earth in an attempt to help them. This is the part that really pulled me in. Her struggles and desire to do the right thing. Her regret of not having done it in the first place. Her desire to fight.
In a nutshell, I loved this book. Some people have criticized the amount of violence and sexual themes but I can’t say that they rubbed me the wrong way. However, I surely wouldn’t recommend this book to, say, my cousin who is in her early teens. If you are sensitive to those kinds of topics I would say that this book may not be for you. There is also violence against both animals and humans which can be touchy to some. I will say though that the violence and intimacy had a purpose and it wasn’t superfluous. Those themes were used to further the story and weren’t merely filler.
So, if you haven’t read this book (although I feel like everyone but me has) I highly suggest picking it up.
“Don’t feel bad for one moment about doing what brings you joy.”