Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people. Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two. With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights
Review: (contains spoiler!)
Where do I begin with this book? It is a very good read, I must admit. I haven’t read Fantasy in so long but this book is one that kept me well occupied and not bored at all (unlike my current on-hold read). I am busy in the midst of carrying out my research and writing my thesis so any form of distractions is very welcomed, and ACOMAF did not disappoint in that area.
It is fast paced, filled with wonderful plots, world building and character development. Thank god I gave ACOTAR 3.5 stars, because I think this is a hundred folds better than its predecessor. I am curious to see what the third installment has in store.
Now on to my actual review…
I won’t gush about the feels and wonderful romance between Feyre and Rhysand (Oh how I wish I could ! But I don’t want to repeat what other reviewers have said)
Instead I will discuss with you merits of the book that, surprisingly, weren’t mentioned much in the rest of the GR reviews. You can skip this part because it does contain spoilers.
#1 Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
This form of anxiety and depression was nicely crafted by Maas to show the effects of undergoing such traumatic event (being resurrected from the dead must be traumatic after all) and the consequences of not dealing with it properly. Feyre should have been allowed an outlet to voice out her grief and pain but, understandably, the Spring Court didn’t provide that as they too were grieving and didn’t want to talk about it. Her only outlet was her bond with Rhysand and I thought it was interesting that a bond with the right person can slowly encourage you to heal over time.
We see her pain and her sufferings in the aftermath and what went wrong as she was locked up and it intensified her trauma.
#2 Abusive vs Healthy Relationships
The biggest theme of this book is definitely ROMANCE, like seriously I’m not even going to deny it, I loved the building romance between Feyre and Rhys. I’m such a sucker for strong characters helping and falling in love with each other. So, when Feyre left Spring Court, I was “GOOD RIDDANCE TAMLIN” It also helped that I hate guys with long hair, so choosing Rhys wasn’t that hard really
Anyway, if you see the way Tamlin behaved around Feyre after ACOTAR it is common behavior of an abusive and obsessive relationship. Where a guy ‘controls’ his partner and disguises it as love and protecting her. It doesn’t help that he too was going through PTSD but instead of helping Feyre he shut her out claiming what was good for her . But the moment a guy acts on the assumption that he knows what’s good for her without actually asking her, it’s no different than dictating her life without will.
So, yes I was more than happy that Rhys got Feyre out of that psychologically abusive place. I don’t care how people defended Tamlin, but a guy should never treat a girl like she was his pet.
Now the relationship with Rhys on the other hand is very interesting. Some people have said his filthy mouth and promiscuous behavior indicated his disrespect to Feyre but I beg to differ because Feyre knew exactly how he would response in those moments and she actually enjoyed the banter between them. And Rhys never acted on his words, but merely used them to tease Feyre and distract here from her pain, in a way helping her to heal. And I think that goes a long way in a healthy relationship. I personally know what it feels like to be in an abusive relationship when you feel pathetic and worthless, and to find a guy who challenges you and makes you stronger is a rare find. So whatever Rhys did, worked on Feyre to make her heal. And that is what makes their whole relationship worked
Which explains the steamy sex scenes to be honest. Some of you may think pure love doesn’t need so much physical attraction, but in my opinion, when you’re just so right for each other, that sexual attraction becomes so natural and willing. I didn’t cringe as much at the scene in the snow mountain cabin as when Feyre was having sex with Tamlin (again, must be the hair thing, ew).
A healthy relationship is when you find your equal and it made sense that Feyre and Rhys were mates. Say what you want, but I truly believe in the power of an equal bringing out your potential. And I know this first hand from experience :3
#3 Female Empowerment
We see a unique side of the High Lord of the Night Court when his Inner Circle had equal amounts of males and females (after Feyre joined). And when he insisted female Illyrians to train as warriors, it’s evident that Maas wanted to highlight the power of female empowerment. It’s no secret that so many cultures in the East do prevent their females from achieving their full potential and the fact that some carry out female circumcision on their genitals (which is synonym to the wing clippings of a female Illyrian) shows how many more girls need our help.
Even a High Lord like Rhys could only do so much when it comes to training more females. It’s a collective effort to ensure even most girls get the education they need, one many of us take for granted. I thought it was smart of Maas to slip this in and thought I’d highlight this as the other reviewers didn’t really mention this important essence of the book.
#4 The Mask of the High Lord
I swear this is my last point in this long ass review! Okay, so many of you are upset that Maas turned the tables and made Rhys the good guy and Tamlin, the Beast, the bad one. And I find this so realistic because we made the one mistake in ACOTAR that we make every day in our lives: Judge people on a first encounter basis
We were shocked to find out Rhys had a multiple personality, a sweet sensitive side to counter the evil and rage he portray to the world in order to keep those he loved safe. I think many of us do this subconsciously too. Though not in the sense that we have alter egos, but that we don’t show our true colours to others. How many times have someone called me a snob just because I have no interest in striking a conversation with a stranger? I too have many masks and I wear different ones depending on who I’m talking to. It’s not being hypocritical, but with some people, I can’t show them all of my true colours. I save those only for my Rhys *wink wink* haha
And that is the thing I find most relatable about Rhys –his human like persona in not caring what others think about him, as long as those he loved, are well cared for. We are so wrapped up in the idea of a likeable protagonist that we forget, those are the ones we should be wary of. Those with flaws and probably a streak of cunning and charm is what makes ACOMAF so damn interesting. Because there are tons of Rhys out here in our world, but we’re so caught up in finding a Tamlin, we don’t see them for who they really are.
And thus, I end my most elaborate review I’ve ever written. Thanks for reading if you read the entire thing! Thoughts are completely my own, I haven’t discussed this book after finishing it so I haven’t been influenced to think otherwise.
I would recommend this if you like mild fantasy with amazing plot and characters and hidden meanings. Also, this book is for mature readers, not in terms of setting an age limit, but in how open you are to understand the real relationships that adults have. All the emotions, physical tensions, and sexual acts are realistic in my opinion. Nothing has been sugar coated and the passion is raw, but it doesn’t make up the whole book. They are just snippets of the book that I think got overexaggerated by reviewers. Because I thought there were going to be a lot of sex scenes based on what I read in GR, but there were only 3 parts (worth 15 pages or so?) where Maas described the scenes in detail. The other 640 pages are purely action packed 😀
I hope you enjoy this! And let me know what you think? I’d love to discuss more of this book