by Sarah Maas
This is my first Sarah Maas book and despite some challenging format on the ARC, it drew me right in, Fayre is one of three sisters who live in reduced circumstances after having known a comfortable life. Their mother is dead and their father is crippled and often in a world of his own, because it was some nasty creditors who crippled him in painful ways.
Fayre hunts for food, since the family is destitute. The forest is dangerous, full of hungry wolves as well as fae shapeshifters, and when she encounters a large wolf stalking the same deer she's hunting, she can't be sure which it is. The tension of her attempt to hunt food without becoming prey herself got the story off to a good start.
I wondered many times if this was meant to be a re-imagining of Beauty and the Beast, as there were a lot of similar elements. Fayre is a strong but fearful character, mistrusting the Fae effectively as monsters despite their physical beauty. These are not your fairytale Fae! She encounters some chilling creatures in the course of the story.
The first half kept me riveted, but then it started losing me. The standard gratuitous sex scene that seems to be a feature of New Adult books was better written than most, but still the same old actions. There was some inconsistency in characters and somebody needs to explain to the author that villages don't have 'blocks', an exclusively American term used by city dwellers.
There were also several occasions where the use of a word in a sentence would klunk, just not quite fitting. Despite that, the imaginative encounters with various supernatural characters and especially in the trials Feyre had to face were well done. The end was fairly predictable, but fit the story.
I don't think I'll be continuing the series, but overall I did enjoy the read.