I never know to say in these things. I guess that says something about me. I read a lot, write stories, and like books. I like a good debate. Nothing else is to say. :-)
This is one of those books that has secrets that are slowly revealed throughout, so when you give it a review, you want to make sure you don't give it all away. Because that spoils the journey for everyone else after you. It makes for a vague review though....but I'll do my best to put my thoughts down.
When I first began to read this story, the first comparison that came to mind was Beauty And The Beast or The Princess and the Frog: A Prince, of a sort, under a spell/curse that traps him in a form as his punishment. And the only thing that could save him and break the spell....was love. True Loves's Kiss, the love of a pure soul and all that clap trap, warm and fuzzy stuff. Saying that would make someone think that I did not enjoy this book....but they would be wrong. Yes, all those Disney type elements are there, but with a dark and adult twist. Yes, the spell is ridiculous, but the person who cast it, did it because it was ridiculous. Because they viewed it a "clap trap" and cast it like some vicious, ironic joke. They did not believe in true love or soulmates, and was just bidding their time, and using this spell to play with their food if you like...before they tasted victory. The spell was beautiful in its mean-spirited viciousness.
And then there is Feyre, our heroine, who is not like those virginal, sweet girls of the fairy tales: pure of heart and soul, well loved, and kind and beautiful. No, when we meet her, she is hard and brittle, and as beaten as one gets when living in a constant state of near starvation, bitterness and desperation. She is living and taking care of her family by the sheer will alone. She doesn't believe in love and goodness and hope or any of that ridiculousness, she takes pleasure where she can, and with who she chooses, and she doesn't get sentimental about it (I LOVED that she had a little sexual arrangement with that boy in her village and she felt no shame about it, or allowed anyone else to make her feel shame about it. Life was hard, she was going to get some pleasure out of it and you can get gone if you didn't like it. I hate that only pure virginal girls are good nonsense. Bring me more heroines who have and like sex!) Anyway, she does what she has to survive to the next day and she will take her beaten and downtrodden family kicking and screaming with her. She survives and she is a fighter, and if that means getting bloody and dirty, then she will. She is no Princess. And that serves her well throughout the book.
It is her stubbornness and her iron clad will to survive that allows her to endure the cruelty of the Fae Court. It is that steel in her spine that made Tamlin love her. It was not her beauty and goodness that won him over, and made him place so much hope in her...it was her fight, strong will, and her protective instinct about those she loved. Her family never appreciated her and treated her badly, but she would have given herself to the devil if it meant saving them, and in her eyes at the beginning of the book, that is exactly what she did when she went with Tamlin. Feyre was not perfect, she did not listen at all, she was beyond stubborn, she fell into a blubbering mess every so often, but that only made her more of a hero. What bravery does someone actually display, if they have no fear or any never felt any self doubt? Fear is what keeps you alive and fighting. Fear of dying, fear of hunger, fear of loss, and fear of love. It's when you carry on and succeed despite your doubt and fear, that you are brave. And that bravery was in Feyre from the start and it was what drew allies to her and kept her alive, and made her succeed in all the trails she was put through. Well, succeed to an extent...because in order to win, she had to lose a lot. Maybe too much.
From the last chapters in the book, it seem like Feyre might have lost more than she was willing to deal with. And the last scene with the Lord of the Night Court gave a hint that some other secret is still out there, or danger lurking. I can't help but think another series in going to dig it's hooks in me...ugh...
All in all. I loved the main character. She was flawed and human. The romance was built over time and not rushed, so once it came to fruition it was very satisfying. The clues and secrets spaced out and revealed at a nice pace so it did not drag on too much. I would definitely recommend to people that like bad-ass heroines, hot Fairy men and fairytales.