Customer Review

Reviewed in Canada on May 30, 2016
Thank you, Sarah J Maas, for writing this book! The first book of the series echoed East of the Sun, West of the Moon as a story of a powerless young woman saving the man she loves. This book, however, says goodbye to fairy tales that end on love as the reward and shows us that sometimes going through hell changes people. Spoilers ahead:
While Tamlin wears a literal mask in the first book, Rhysand wears a figurative one. And in this book we see behind that mask. And we see the damage and changes wrought by Amarantha on the characters. Feyre is no longer the same after what she went through. Neither is Tamlin. And yet they both assume that their happily ever after has begun. Sarah J Maas masterfully twists your emotions and confuses you, to feel what Feyre feels as she tries to come to terms with who she is becoming, with who Tamlin has become (or shown himself to be), and who Rhysand might be when he is free to be himself. Bits of it feel contrived and cliched but it is a romance story and a fairy tale. And it is a good look at what happens in the first book from more mature eyes. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to reread the first book, however. You absolutely need to read the books in order and read the first book closely. It will never be the same again. This book offers some different viewpoints on what happens in book one that will make it hard to root for Tamlin and Feyre although Maas does try to tell us that Tamlin at that time was what Feyre needed. I am still struggling to reconcile the two books but I think it is to Maas's credit even if it leaves me in discomfort. This book forces readers to question their assumptions about how the old story goes, about whether love is enough or if we need more in a relationship for it to be healthy.
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