I LOVED this book. It had everything I like – fantasy, romance, a great, fast-moving story line, lots of interesting characters who all bring their own skills to the party, and a brilliant love triangle. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.
This book picks up a short while after A Court of Thorns and Roses ends, and starts back in the Spring Court, Tamlin and Feyre trying to work out how to live now that Amarantha has been destroyed. Immediately we find that all is not really well, even though it looks on the surface as though it is; Tamlin is living up to his possessive, protective character from book one and Feyre is trying to work out how she fits in whilst trying to get over the trauma she’s experienced. I thought this was something Mass did really well – the post-traumatic stress was not brushed under the carpet, and it stayed that way for the whole book. She doesn’t ram it down our throats, but it’s always there in the background.
It becomes increasingly clear that Feyre isn’t really happy (even if she can’t admit this to herself) and just before Tamlin and Feyre tie the knot, Rhys re-enters the fray to call in his bargain from book one. And so ensues the love triangle, even if it takes a long time for it to resolve fully. I loved the bit at the beginning where Feyre’s time is split between the Night Court and the Spring Court, both because we get to see a new part of the world, and because of the developing relationships and new characters we’re introduced to.
I think the characters and the relationships within the Night Court are the biggest strength of this novel; there’s a real sense of community amongst the power players and I loved this. And the developing relationship between Rhys and Feyre was brilliantly page turning alongside the developing plot, which expanded in scale significantly from book one. And I really liked how Feyre’s sisters began to play a bigger part – giving important roles to characters other than the main one or two makes it so much more realistic.
All in all, I loved it. The romance, the characters and the plot are all great (if you like a high fantasy, sword wielding, training for the conflict ahead kinda thing), and the end is a fantastic whirlwind mix of emotions. Roll on book 3!