Spoilers ahead, consider yourself warned!
Holy moly, this is one of those series that just absolutely swept me off my feet. As you guys know, I’m a bookstagrammer, and this series showed up EVERYWHERE on my feed. I couldn’t go on Instagram without seeing one of these books. So two weeks ago I made the plunge and ordered all three.
As soon as ACOTAR came I started reading. Honestly, it was a little bit slow to begin with. Maas was obviously a skilled writer, but I don’t really enjoy gritty, uncomfortable settings. However, as soon as we went over the wall I was hooked. The magic of Maas’s world is truly lovely. It is familiar and yet completely original at the same time. Although Feyre was a bit unlikable at the beginning (I mean really, do you have to be that rude all the time?), I eventually grew to love her throughout her character arc. Her romance with Tamlin was so real, and I was touting for them the whole way.
Until suddenly I wasn’t. I think that Maas’s most masterful trick was her ability to make us fall in love with Tamlin, and then again with Rhys. In a way, I felt like Feyre. I was so dedicated to Tamlin that I felt a bit guilty about liking Rhys. Tamlin was supposed to be her happily ever after! But in A Court of Mist and Fury we learn the happily ever after isn’t always what we think it is. I think that message may be what makes the sequel so good. After all of the horror of Amarantha’s court, Feyre and Tamlin aren’t the same people. And that’s okay.
So often there’s a huge focus on the first love having to be perfect, having to be happily ever after, even after something as traumatics as what happened under the mountain. But that’s just not realistic. In ACOMAF Maas skillfully takes all of her characters through a journey of healing and forgiving, and learning what’s right for them. For Feyre, Tamlin isn’t right anymore. She had to learn how to care for herself under the mountain, and now Tamlin’s protectiveness isn’t what she needs. The way Maas navigates between Tamlin’s controlling protectiveness and Rhys’s respect for Feyre’s strength is truly incredible.
All in all, I completely recommend ACOTAR and ACOMAF to each and every one of you guys. I’ll be posting my thoughts about ACOWAR soon. Until then, happy reading!