As a sequel to the Monstrumologist this book disappointed me. It started off on a high note amidst the freezing unforgiving landscape of the wildernesAs a sequel to the Monstrumologist this book disappointed me. It started off on a high note amidst the freezing unforgiving landscape of the wilderness and then halfway through it transitioned into an entirely different book. The metaphors and the gore both got so tiresome after a point that even the great Pelenor Wharthrop couldn't wade through this mostrumological mess. WE GET IT, STARE INTO THE ABYSS AND THE ABYSS STARES BACK AT YOU, DARKNESS , THE HORROR THE HORROR! MAN IS THE MONSTER. With the subtlety of a caps lock all of this is shoved down your throat again and again. I couldn't get through the later half of the book at all. The characters still entralll me so I will continue with the story, though I suspect I can't handle any more of Will Henry's ruminations of darkness in the human soul. ...more
Okay, I see the plot holes and the convenient shifting around of magic rules, but I still love the characters. I love their self-awareness, their deptOkay, I see the plot holes and the convenient shifting around of magic rules, but I still love the characters. I love their self-awareness, their depth, and their dynamics with each other. The magical universe isn't full proof with so much left unexplained. The biggest most glaring fault would be the courts. KYA CHAL RHA HAI exactly evades me. Two areas where I thought SJM weakened the plot further were (view spoiler)[Elain, her character arc, her seer abilities and just not developing her character beyond being sweet and loving gardening. Second would be all the cop outs, the mate thing which works for some, doesn't for others. The revival thing with Rhys is saved. (hide spoiler)] But but but, I would stand my ground and recommend this series as a whole because it strikes a true chord somewhere. Maas does such an excellent job with Feyrie, that she alone is enough motivation to read this 699 page novel. Add to that the gender dynamics, the stress on mental health issues and consent, the clans and their hierarchies. It just does more interesting things with fantasy which should be expected of this genre. This series has left me excited about the companion novels and also about the genre, it may not be perfect but it is important. ...more
I can not help but admire this book again and again for the direction it has taken, where it has dared to go. In my review of the first book, I mentioI can not help but admire this book again and again for the direction it has taken, where it has dared to go. In my review of the first book, I mentioned precisely what drew me to this series -strong characters and the willingness to look beyond the romance. It was the strength in Feyrie and the unexpected turn with Rhys that peaked my interest. I do see patterns that are present in all the recent fantasy trilogies emerging here as well. It is probably why series like The Thief, Froi of the Exiles, Graceling deserve their 5 star rating because they take the untrodden path. This trilogy doesn't and a lot of elements seem familiar but I admire how it took the same path but managed to explore character development and relationships with such maturity and nuance. A fantasy book with a predominantly female readership confidently does away with the eternal, immortal monogamic love story with the perfect immortal fae (with the same old dark past blah blah) and instead explores the after effects of trauma, explores growing out of love and realizing when love and care become exploitative. It explores control, gender dynamics and it is glorious to see this retelling of the beauty and beast story actually exploring aspects of the original story which were disturbing to a modern readership. To end all of that with the introduction of a supernaturally ordained plot twist felt like a cop out to me(view spoiler)[ who wants a mate bond, why not stick to the friendship/partnership angle that was blossoming (hide spoiler)]. I can't wait for the next part, not because I am curious about the fate of human and fae, but because I have an inkling I will enjoy Feyrie's revenge and machinations oh so much....more
Such a delightful slow burn this book is. I did not expect to find my heart racing halfway through and it had nothing to do with Tamlin and the supposSuch a delightful slow burn this book is. I did not expect to find my heart racing halfway through and it had nothing to do with Tamlin and the supposedly racy scenes. I yawned along the first part, irking at the plot expositions conveniently placed as conversation. I wasn't even mildly ruffled when the great love story was unfurling. Tamlin may transform into a beast, but he doesn't transform into a flesh and blood discernible character for me. Even the steamy scenes felt vaporous to me. (see what I did there :P) But slowly steadily the foundation of Feyrie as a character is built. She is capable, complex, owns her sexuality and her skills and is fiercely loyal. (Alina Starkov could really learn a lesson or two). She has a lot of guilt but none of it feels like unjustified angst. With such a strong character you can't help be drawn into a world even when the story initially involves the duck and dance routine of beauty and beast courtship.
The Faes are suitably terrifying, and once Feyrie lands up in the court, then the action is unrelenting. The first part has cemented who Feyrie is and the second part makes her face impossible trials and tasks which put her in the center of the action. I couldn't take my sleep-weary eyes off my low light kindle screen as I read the final 200 pages through the night. Through the action, Tamlin's character started appealing less and less to me. But there came another High Fae to the rescue. I don't think this is the end of Rhysand's story, and though I hate the conventional love triangle plot. I am anticipating sparks, if not comraderie between the forever altered Feyrie and Rhysand....more