After rescuing her lover Tamlin from a wicked Faerie Queen, she returns to the Spring Court possessing the powers of the High Fae. But Feyre cannot forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people – nor the bargain she made with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court.
As Feyre is drawn ever deeper into Rhysand’s dark web of politics and passion, war is looming and an evil far greater than any queen threatens to destroy everything Feyre has fought for. She must confront her past, embrace her gifts and decide her fate. She must surrender her heart to heal a world torn in two.
This second installment in the ACOTAR series has a Hades-Persephone vibe to the story, and continues with Feyre’s new immortal life. She and Tamlin, both victims of Amarantha’s torture, are PTSD patients and are planning to get married. She loves him and committed the murder of two innocents for that, but now her soul feels burdened by that taint. She freed the lands, but ended up in a cage of her horrors, and Tamlin, now freshly released is just aggravating those feelings with his brand of over-protective love. So,she develops cold feet, Rhysand swoops in to rescue her and later on offers her the choice to change courts, and to prepare for the war coming from Hybern. As she befriends him and starts working with him, the faery politics that she had been kept away from now threaten her world. Needless to say, there is a lot of things to look forward to in this book.
Emotionally, Feyre has a waking up in this book – when she realizes that the kind of love that Tamlin is offering, ensconced in safety and wrapped up in patriarchal bullshit (I was not a fan of his alpha male behavior in the last book iself, but he reaches new levels of being a tool in this one) is not the kind she wants. Rhysand offers her something much more than that – freedom, which has become more precious to her since her time Under the Mountain. And that is a big point in his favor, because he lets her grow into a fierce warrior, lets her make her decisions, lets her face down her own enemies; he doesn’t coddle her, no restrain her ‘for her safety’. He even invites her into his Inner Circle, his family, but does so pragmatically. With them, she realizes what love and safety really mean. Rhysand himself, shows his inner gentler side and my, is it so well-written. I can’t even begin to start with how much I support him as a character, and the love that develops between them.
Besides the main characters, even the secondary characters were given prominence. Mor is especially a great friend to her, and the others are equally important to her as friends, starting from a tentative understanding to a fierce love for each other. Rhysand’s second in command, the mysterious ancient one, was interesting and I liked how the sheathed danger of the people of the Dream Court was a mask to protect their world. Cassian and Azriel – I loved those two and Mor with them. There are the ones in the Summer Court, whom Rhysand spoke so fondly of. There is also a big development towards the end of the book, which is a game-changer (no spoilers!) and honestly, I am already craving for the third book.