*Disclaimer: I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
What follows is an artfully imaginative twist on fae-centered fiction and a retelling of Beauty and the Beast with a dabble of the Persephone and Hades myth toward the novel's conclusion leading into 2016's second book. The first icy then fiery, passionate relationship which develops between Freyre and Tamlin will entice teenage and adult readers alike. Maas' knowledge of fae lore as well as her ingenuity as blending such elements into a beautifully descriptive and epic romantic adventure make for an page turning read. Freyre is a compelling and complicated female protagonist whereas Tamlin is fierce, dashing and mysterious. Readers will love the supporting characters just as much, especially Lucien and Rhys! (insert SWOONS here). Even better is the addition of a deliciously evil villain ruled by grief and a hunger for power.
I will caution that I'd recommend this title to slightly more mature teen readers given that there is a degree of sexuality. While these instances are not overtly graphic, there is a descriptive level of intimacy implied--more so than the Throne of Glass series. This is certainly a novel for fans of similar books such as Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series, His Fair Assassin by Robin LaFevers, and even the Song of Fire and Ice by George R. R. Martin.
This novel is by far my favorite of the anticipated 2015 releases. I give it an overall rating of 5/5 stars and will attempt to wait patiently for the followup.
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