I have so many books on my TBR, but I reread ACOTAR once again because it is literally my favorite series of all time. To be honest though, I am not the biggest fan of the first book, but the second book is just so good and I thought that I’d do a quick reread.
ACOTAR basically tells the story of Feyre, a human girl who has hunted for years to support her father and her two sisters. When she goes out to find food for her family, she spots a white wolf, kills it, and skins it. One of the high fae later finds her and takes her in revenge (but spoiler: it’s not just because of revenge) and we find out that he is the High Lord of the Spring Court, Tamlin. Feyre and Tamlin slowly fall in love, with Lucien there with him as a witty friend.
However, because of a deal that Amarantha made with Tamlin, she later takes him as he has not made a human girl love him by the deadline. She takes him Under the Mountain and Feyre must complete multiple challenges in order to free him.
I absolutely loved the fact that this was a Beauty and the Beast retelling! I love fairytale retellings in YA, and this has got to be one of my favorites in addition to A Curse so Dark and Lonely. It was just a really interesting aspect to add in, and it was nice to see the similarities between them. I also loved that this book had Fae in in. Books with Fae in them have my entire heart, and it just added to my enjoyment of the book.
I loved Feyre and Lucien in this, but I didn’t like Tamlin, as a character. I feel like he was sort of shallow, but there were things I liked about him (as a person, I don’t like him because he’s not the best in the next novels, but there are some aspects that make him a good character) . It was interesting to see how the curse impacted his entire way of life, and how he has changed because of it. He was so desperate to fix things for his court, and it bled into his kindness towards Feyre.
Going off of that, it was interesting that the story was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. In my first read of the book, I actually didn’t notice that, but once it was brought to my attention, it is obvious that there are many similar elements. I always love retellings, and it added another nice element to the story.
Lucien has to be one of my favorites from the Spring Court though. I loved his witty remarks and he seems like a really interesting character. He has remained loyal to Tamlin for so many years, and I liked hearing more of his backstory. I thought it was really sad that he was basically forced out of his own court, and I’m looking forward to reading more about the Autumn Court.
I’m honestly pretty sure it’s because of the fact that I’ve read A Court of Mist and Fury, but I literally love Rhysand. Even in this book, you could tell that he’s doing these hurtful things for a reason, and I thought it was interesting that he continued to help Feyre in all of the tasks. While he hurts people to please Amarantha, he does his best to protect Feyre from the horrible world around them. I liked that he was put in as a “nice character” despite his horrible reputation. I think that it gave him more of a depth than “what meets the eye” and it set up for the next book really well.
I also enjoyed the family dynamics between Feyre, her sisters, and her father. Everything she did was to protect all of them, and it was interesting to see what their relationships were. Despite how “mean” she seemed, I really liked reading about Nesta. I feel like she is such a deeply flawed character, but she is always trying to do what she needs to defend herself and her family. Elain is a more simplistic character, but I really liked the contrast between herself and Nesta. Whereas she is open and welcoming, Nesta is seen as more cold and closed off.
I found the plot of the story to be important, but also lengthy at times. The pacing seemed to be slow and I wish that the beginning went by a bit quicker. It did set up important background information for the rest of the story, but I think that it could have easily been written in less words to make it a more enjoyable read. There also isn’t much action in the beginning of the story, and I feel as if it is much more character driven than the last third.
Overall, I found this to be really enjoyable, but it definitely more of a setup for the following books. There are multiple open plot-lines that help the second book develop even more. I feel as if the characters really start to develop by the end of the story, and it leads in nicely to the following book.