La recensione più positiva
RATING: 4 - @clodiareads on IG
Recensito in Italia 🇮🇹 il 12 maggio 2019
WARNING: THIS REVIEW IS SPOILERY
I went into this book kinda expecting to read just another boring, trivial, YA fantasy. I'm happy - you can't even imagine how much - to say that it surprised me a lot, in a positive way.
I'm not giving it five stars for a few reasons: first of all, the Faerie world is becoming a little bit too mainstream in my opinion and I would love to read about new, more original worlds. Second, I hated the romance side of this book. HATED.
This book could've been perfect - I'm not kidding - if Sarah J. Maas didn't decide to add a spoon of 50 Shades of Grey in the mixture. Why, Sarah? WHY?
If you plan on reading it, expect a lot of focus on male bodies, especially muscles, they're everywhere, in every thought of the main character and they're the main reason behind the romance, which to me sucks. Anyway, let's start with a more detailed review.
The story is nice and interesting. Everything is well explained since the beginning and it doesn't sound forced or clichè - well, at least until the romance starts. I must say that it gets a bit boring when Fayre goes to live in Prythian: all those chapters in which she basically just walks around, discovers her new home, eavesdrops conversations and hates on Tamlin without a valid reason, after a while they get annoying. Luckily it's just a phase and the story goes back to being interesting when Tamlin forces her to leave Prythian. I liked the idea of the curse, the fact that no one could actually tell Fayre what was going on and that she had to figure it out all alone. The best part is - obviously - when she gets Under the Mountain and accepts to complete three tasks in order to free Tamlin from Amarantha's curse. It kinda reminded me of The Hunger Games, but in a very different way, and I absolutely loved it. There are two main things I truly appreciated in this book: the characters have so much depth and structure, their stories are long and detailed, almost all of them feel very three-dimensional, which isn't an obvious thing (cough cough The Cruel Prince cough cough). Their actions don't feel weird or out of nowhere, there's always a clear reason behind everything. Honestly, they feel so real. I also really enjoyed Sarah's writing style: she's clearly a tell writer, which means you shouldn't expect too many descriptions, beside the necessary ones. Is this a bad thing? Not at all, at least for me. She puts in her writing the necessary details you need to understand the world you're reading about and see with your imagination's eyes what she wants you to see, but at the same time she does not extend into long-winded descriptions that make you want to skip the paragraph and move on. The only thing I have to criticize - and it's a very bad one for me - is, as I previously said, this feeling of 50 Shades wannabe. Tamlin's muscles are the main focus of Fayre’s thoughts most of the time, even when he's doing regular things, like opening a door or serving her a plate of food. Ridiculous and unnecessary.
Fayre: she's our main character, a teen girl forced to hunt in the woods every day to sustain her family. She lives in a hovel, with a father who's almost a ghost and two sisters who never raise a finger to help her. But she promised her mother she would take care of them and that's why she goes out every day, risking her life, to bring food home. She's also illiterate, meaning that she never learned to write or read. I like this major flaw she has because it makes her different from the typical, perfect YA heroines, it makes her real, flawed, problematic. It also creates - later in the book - a situation where, without the help of someone else, she would've died because of this, bringing down Lucien with her. I LOVE THIS! I find very unrealistic when YA protagonists always manage to beat their enemies and overcome their obstacles, just thanks to their smart ass and their countless qualities. Fayre isn't like that: she is smart - of course - but she's not perfect, she makes mistakes, she doesn't always know how to act and she can't do it alone. I also really enjoyed her love for art and painting, this side of her which wasn't necessary for the purposes of the story, but it made her three-dimensional and unique, giving Sarah the opportunity to describe things like Fayre would see them, with the artist's eye. Fayre is that girl who immediately steals your heart and she grows on you with every page you turn. The only thing I didn't like about her is how she behaved with Tamlin at the beginning of her stay in Prythian, how she was always rude and cold, even though he was trying to make her feel comfortable, even though he was always nice, sweet and kind. That didn't make a lot of sense to me, just like it didn't make sense, later on, her crush for Tamlin, which - for me - was really out of nowhere. I get it, he's hot, strong, with a good hearth, I get that he's likable, but I didn't really get when she fell in love with him. How did that happen? To me, it felt clichè and forced, given the fact that it almost seems like she falls in love with him because he has ripped abs, huge arms, golden hair and perfect jaw.
Tamlin: to be honest, to me he's indifferent. At this point I don't hate him - of course, he didn't do anything wrong (yet) - but I don't love him either, and not because there's something bad about him. It's just that, among all the characters, he's one of the few two-dimensional. He doesn't really grow or develop through the story, he's the same since the beginning: nice, kind, sweet, with a deep love for his territories and his people and a great moral code. He just doesn't make me go WOW. But - having read some little spoilers here and there - I know that this should change in the next book.
Lucien: he's one of my favorites! Just like Fayre, he's not perfect, he makes mistakes and regrets it, he's peevish and a bit harsh at the beginning, but then he starts to get close to Fayre and they develop a trusting friendship. He helps her while she's locked Under the Mountain and she promises Tamlin to always protect her, even though he's not the one in love with her. There's nothing much to say about him, because - despite everything - he's a very background character, but I liked him.
Amarantha: she's our villain, with a capital V. She's cruel, hateful, sadistic. She's just the worst. But I loved her. I mean, I hated her and everything she did, the pain she inflicted with joy, the deaths she caused with no regrets, the perverse pleasure with which she cursed Jurian and forced him to live forever, trapped in his own eyeball, after torturing him and destroying his body. Oh my God, how much I despise that woman. But I also loved her as a character, I loved how Sarah built her story and gave her a reason behind this cruelty. She's not just a bad woman, she goes bad because people make her suffer and this is her reaction. It's isn't right or justifiable, but it makes sense and it gives her character an interesting facet.
Rhysand: I don't have much to say about him, given the fact that he was present just at the very end of the book. I have to admit that he has the typical bad boy charm. I don't like bad boys in real life - if I could, I would punch all of them right in the face - but I'm a sucker for bookish bad boys and I just don't understand why! I think it's because they have more room to develop, to change, to grow, to astound me and I enjoy witnessing all of this, almost being a part of it. Rhysand is loyal to his court and everything he does - good or bad - it's for the sake of his people: that's why he serves Amarantha, why he's willing to lose his dignity, to be her "whore". That's also why, in the end, he betrays her and helps Fayre to complete her three tasks, he literally saves her life twice! We love him just for this reason, right? I still don't have a clear image of him and I guess I'll have to wait and read the sequel to really understand what's going on.
That's it. I thought I was starting another plain, boring fantasy series, but I had to change my mind and I honestly can't wait to read A Court of Mist and Fury!