I saw a lot of hype about this book, and I was uncertain after reading ACOTAR and thinking it was good but not as great as the Throne of Glass series which I adore. But then I read this and I understood the hype completely.
I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with so much character development. Feyre becomes a completely different person, someone I like as a character and doesn’t feel like a huge wet blanket. Rhysand is the most wonderful person ever, the more I learnt about him the more I fell in love. He’s such a beautiful soul and he’s so selfless, nothing in ACOTAR prepared me for how much I would adore Rhysand. There’s a lot of time where not much is really happening in this book but that’s because we’re learning so much about the characters and the characters are learning so much about each other. I wrote a note to myself when reading it that said “a whole lot of nothing and everything at the same time” which is pretty much what about 70% of this book is.
I’ve seen a lot of talk of how “Tamlin was always a bit controlling and abusive” etc. and I’ve seen people say the opposite and thought his character did a complete 360; my thoughts on the subject are that he was quite controlling in the first book but then the complete trauma of what happened Under The Mountain brought out all his worst traits. I don’t think he’s a bad person, yes he’s abusive but life isn’t all black and white, he’s misguided and needs someone to talk to who isn’t going to completely mislead him.
The other thing that completely struck me with ACOMAF was the way the Night Court was described, I felt like I could imagine everything. It feels like somewhere I could imagine visiting and having a wonderful, magical time.
ACOMAF brings something to the table that is often pushed away and is just completely left unsaid in many modern iterations of fairy tales: happy endings aren’t always happy. I think it’s important for younger readers to have something like this to read, most books have happy endings and it gives a warped view of life. You don’t always stay with the person you risked your whole life for.
I still prefer Throne of Glass as a series as it’s more action driven than this, but I adored ACOMAF and I’m so stressed out that I have to wait for 2 bloody SJM books next year.