Read: 19th June 2017 – 27th June 2017
Spoilers in review: Sexuality isn’t a spoiler. Otherwise, also no
I loved this book. I was dubious going in, because I’d had some issues with previous books in the series and I’d also heard that apparently it was getting mixed reviews (although I haven’t looked at reviews yet). But I ended up loving it!
Despite my five star rating, it wasn’t perfect. Maas still can’t write sex scenes. Please, somebody, make her stop. But this wasn’t enough to downgrade it a star.
A problem that I’d had with the previous two books was that everyone was cishet. Everyone. To a frankly unrealistic degree. However, I’ve tagged this one as lgbt. That’s because not only are two (2) of the other high lords explicitly shown to not be straight, but there is a person from the history of Prythian, that Feyre looks up to, who is gay and married. Additionally, Morrigan comes out to Feyre late in the book, and she describes Velaris as being a haven for people like her. There is also very little homophobia in this book. Nobody on-page reacts badly to it at all. It is mentioned in conversation that people from the Court of Nightmares can be cruel about it, but that their attitude is because of wanting to continue bloodlines more than anything else. To reiterate, the only characters who show a whisper of potentially being homophobic are the ones already widely accepted as being terrible people, and no actual homophobic actions occur throughout the entirety of the novel. It was great to see lgbt characters exist, and survive, in a story that wasn’t just about them being gay. They got to be actual characters! I think the reason why this is making me so happy is because I had resigned myself to seeing no-one, so this is a very happy surprise!
[Note added August 2020: I was so excited over crumbs. I do genuinely appreciate that Maas was trying to make her series more diverse, but Morrigan could definitely have been handled better.]
Another thing I liked was the inclusion of Elain, Nesta, and Lucien. Feyre’s sisters play a massive role in this book and in my opinion this was done especially well. Lucien also plays a larger role in this book that he did in the previous one. I enjoyed this because Lucien was my favourite character from the first book, so it was great to actually see him again. Platonic relationships between men and women don’t get enough love.
The books in this series have only gotten better as they’ve gone on. Here’s hoping the pattern continues, as I’ll definitely be reading the next one in 2018!
Review originally written in 2017