Genre: YA fantasy, rated R
FIRST I want to say that while this is genre'd "Young Adult," there are graphic sex scenes in it, so I'd say this is more adult fantasy.
Feyre is a starving younger sister in a poor family. She is the youngest and has two unacceptably unhelpful sisters, and a practically useless father. She manages to keep them all semi-fed, living a half existence. One sister is honestly a total shrew, ungrateful and angry that it is her sister and not their father taking care of the family. The middle daughter is blissfully daft, not paying attention to much outside herself. And the father is handicapped from an old debt gone bad, and let his depression over losing their fortune practically destroy his daughters.
When Feyre is in the woods one day, she shoots a wolf. An unusual one, one which she knows to be fey. When the owner of the wolf comes calling, she must pay the debt with her life - dead or alive.
But then she goes to live a pampered life with Tamlin - she does not have to work for him, though the wolf she killed was a sentry. I did't get this, it seemed far too convenient. But no spoilers - you'll find out that it is indeed FAR too convenient.
I'm literally cringing through the first few chapters because I hate the protagonist's family. She's like a more self reliant Cinderella, very cringe-worthy. It's difficult to read. I almost put it down. But the hype for this series made me stick it out, and I'm glad we finally get past that part of the story, although since this is a series, many issues of course are left unresolved to pop up again later, at a most inconvenient time for Feyre. Of course.
I'm not sure that Tamlin is my favorite person. This feels a lot like Twilight when it comes to the relationship between the two protagonists, almost abusive at times, with one character holding all the power. The wolf and the lamb. I hope that young readers of these stories do not think that this is how a relationship should be. We don't want young women falling into the "bad boy" trope, which most of us adults know to be an evil trap!
I know this is a weird review, my thoughts are all over the place, and sometimes, especially with a series, it's very difficult to separate the books AND have a zero spoiler review!
4 stars, not my favorite Maas book but this is how she does it, they build and build for a spectacular finale. I'm looking forward to it!