So I sort of really enjoyed this book. It was way more spectacular than A Court of Thorns and Roses and I really reveled in reading it, despite what I expected about this book. I shipped Feysand instead of Feylin the whole way, which is why I think I enjoyed this book so much. Altogether, it was definitely an unforgettable book.
Oh, I’ll say it. I loved A Court of Mist And Fury. I thought that I definitely wouldn’t, after reading Aimal‘s review and talking to her about it. She told me that I should give it a go, and so I did. And where she hated it, I loved it.
That’s that. (IMO IMO IMO everything here is IMO) It was infinitely better than the preceding novel, no doubt. So naturally, I’m having a hard time reviewing it, because of ALL OF MY THOUGHTS. But what I’ve figured out about this book is that there is two primary views of it: 1) the people who hate it and have good reason to 2) the people who love it and have good reason to. There’s not really an in the middle with this book, there is no average, it’s either you were pleased with all the great things, or you were brought down by all the lesser details. And I belong to the former group, but I will address some things that I didn’t like as well. Whoo. I’m not ready for this. Please write faster, Mrs. Maas. I NEED THAT THIRD BOOK NOW NOW NOW.
Author: Sarah J Maas
Genre: YA Fantasy (NA Fantasy, if you ask me personally)
Series: ACOTAR trilogy
Followed by: ACOTAR #3 (untitled)
Preceded by: A Court of Thorns and Roses
No. of Pages: 640
Other Works: Throne of Glass series
Dear Mrs. Maas,
I love your book A Court of Mist And Fury. But I had issues with it. Let’s cover the issues first, because evidently there are less of those than of WHAT I LOVED, because in all truths, I think this book would have fared a lot better by itself than as a sequel, because trust me, without looking at DARLING FEYRE ON THE COVER and the similarities in the titles, not many people will be able to tell that they are part of a series together.
As much as I really, truly love Rhysand, and as much as I dislike Tamlin (obviously, Rhysand was written perfect and Tamlin was villainised perfect), they CHANGED so unlike them. It seemed very shady and unlike the characters. You villainised Tamlin just as you villainised Chaol, but it seems you weren’t content enough with the cruel villainisation of Chaol, so you made it crueler with Tamlin. So everything was completely changed, and it confused me at the beginning. Why suddenly Tamlin had changed as she had changed, why suddenly she didn’t love him. It made sense as I continued the book, but I still thought this messed things up quite some a little. Also, FEYRE IS ALL-POWERFUL AND A WEAPON AND PERFECT AND BEAUTIFUL. HAHA, JUST A LITTLE HARD TO RELATE.
It’s like Rowaelin. Same thang. BUT BETTER.
Rowan and Rhysand are the all powerful males. POWERFULEST.
Feyre and Aelin are also SUPER POWERFUL, and have either regained/gained ultimate powers. They are weapons. OF COURSE.
WINNOWING IS APPARATING. EXCUSE ME?
Oh, this, I am super angry about. I finished the book and was ready to give it 5 freaking stars, and then, oh yeah, the whole people changing thing would’ve made me reduce the tiniest bit, because as confused as I was with the change in people, I was pleased with it too. So without this, I would’ve given the book, say, like, 4.8 stars or something like that. BUT THE WINNOWING THING GOT TO ME. It made me take away a whole freaking star.
DO NOT STEAL FROM THE BOSS JK ROWLING. JUST DON’T.
I understand, it’s gratifying to see your beloved fae have all of these incredible powers which make me swoon instead of relate, but as soon as the term ‘winnow’ was explained, it was in every way the same thing as apparating. Oh, yeah, when do they learn to apparate in Hogwarts? 6th year, right? And that ministry official teaches them those three d’s or something, destination, deliberation, and determination? And he talks about bending space and just stepping across? SAME THANG. NAW PLEASE. NO NO NO NO NO.
Also there was a reference to ‘like calls to like’ somewhere in the book, I think when Feyre is hunting for either a ring, a book, or a cauldron, and I was also like THAT COMES FROM THE GRISHA SERIES MADAMMMMMMMM. You are an amazing writer, but sometimes I feel some of the parts of your books, you write out of desperation.
RHYSAND RHYSAND RHYSAND RHYSAND RHYSAND
Who didn’t think put this on their own list first, honestly? The way Rhysand is written, it leaves no room for will. Even if I was pledged to Tamlin, and was reluctant with Rhysand, I’d turn in less than an hour because I am traitorous, or whatever else Feyre calls herself for leaving Tamlin. You know why I loved Rhysand so much? Because you made me.
You made Rhysand all-rounded, well-crafted, and absolutely perfect. He considered females and males of the utmost equality, where in fae-wretched Prythian, women are treated like whores and ‘playthings’ in general whereas men are treated like warriors and kings. Sexist much? But Rhysand, no, Rhysand you made him very perfect, intelligent and humorous and sarcastic and a playboy and of course considering himself worthless, oh, and the most powerful male in the history of Prythian?
I SWOON RHYSAND RHYSAND RHYSAND. Too bad Rhysand doesn’t have a last name that I know of, because by chapter 10 I was ready to take it up for myself. EVERYONE SWOONED AT SOME POINT I SWEAR.
The romance and the banter between Feyre and MY LIFE RHYSAND
I don’t normally like the more…intimate scenes in books, and I was especially uncomfortable with them in ACOTAR, but here….Maas, you did something. I didn’t love them, especially because whenever you try to write something more sensual between fae, it usually expressly signifies their animal-ness resulting in dining tables more favorable than beds, rooftops more favorable than beds, gardens more favorable than beds, and generally many places EXCEPT a bed. But I didn’t hate them. I mean, it’s described with all the same sensuality but the terms you use…it would be far more clear and um, less integral that I reread the words, if you would use normal terms rather than breaking and branding and marking. I don’t understand if Rhys is breaking her. BUT YOU SHOWED ME THAT MATES DO MAKE SOME HECK OF THEIR TIME.
Now what I REALLY ENJOYED was the romance bit. The flirting, the teasing, the continuous banter between Feyre and Rhysand. It was so admirably done. I really do admire you for how you managed to pull it off without it sounding like Jace and Clary or some other cliche couple. It sounded original and completely individual to each Rhys and Feyre’s characters. It was gorgeous, and it made me feel pleased with their connection. You wrote it the same way you wrote Rowan and Aelin, and I think you might be particularly partial to that kind of relationship. BUT I’M NOT AGAINST IT THAT MUCH. JUST SLIGHTLY. I LOVE RHYSAND DON’T WORRY.
“I fell in love with you, smartass, because you were one of us—because you weren’t afraid of me, and you decided to end your spectacular victory by throwing that piece of bone at Amarantha like a javelin. I felt Cassian’s spirit beside me in that moment, and could have sworn I heard him say, ‘If you don’t marry her, you stupid prick, I will.”
The fast-moving plot
SRSLY, Mrs. Maas. Thank you for giving me something in this book. In ACOTAR, it was all TAMLIN AND FEYRE TAMLIN AND FEYRE FLIRTING AND NATURALLY BEAUTY AND THE BEAST BUT SLOWER WITH LESS OF ANYTHING. In this book, actual things happened. Aside from all the romance, which is why this is obviously NA instead of YA, there was many revelations that I appreciated you writing and adding. It made the story more crafted and it seemed thoroughly well thought out. The plot movement and the flow transitioned perfectly, and it left me craving for whatever wasn’t there. When there was war and action, I craved the romance. When there was an absence of romance, I craved the war and the action. They were perfectly written and came together to make an AMAZING story.
And Feyre’s integral part in it–the way that instead of everything revolving around the romance, the way she was useful to something BIGGER, pleased me. The war with Hybern, and the tension and the thrill of searching and gaining the book, the ring, the cauldron, getting caught–all of it was spectacular and thrilling and MADE ME DIE BECAUSE HOW DARE YOU, MA’AM, WITH ALL RESPECT, FINISH THE NEXT BOOK BY NEXT YEAR. Two words, Mrs. Maas: Write. Fast.
The side characters–good and bad
I LOVED the new side characters. The way you incorporated them in with essence instead of boring existing things like Lucien in the first book, who basically chatted with Feyre over tea and got mad at her for killing the wolf. Cassian, Mor, Amren, and Azriel were all detailedly done. I admit I didn’t like how half of Feyre’s thoughts about them was who had been with who, and who wanted to be with who, but, let’s face it. This is NA. NOT YA, sorry.
Cassian was more than an Illyrian bastard who led the armies. He was sweet, and he was humorous, and he was like Aedion. Slumbering, hilarious Aedion who is the deadliest thing of ever possibly next to Rowan as Cassian is next to Rhysand. Lots of similarities between this and Throne of Glass, but my standards of you have lowered by the last book and you are one author with one idea writing two series’, so I’m not going to bother with that. Azriel scared me though, and he was every bit a real warrior as I’d thought. His silence was more resounding than Cassian’s loudness, and his burnt hands and dedication and silent partiality to Mor–it was charming, it was thrilling, and it was scary. It made him a three-dimensional character who was unpredictable and really brought a sense of great storytelling and thrill to the book.
AMREN WAS SCARY REALLY SCARY TOO. I congratulate you on creating Amren, Mrs. Maas, making her so definitely scary and bloodthirsty and alien and powerful. But, I have to admit, I DIDN’T KNOW ANYTHING ELSE ABOUT AMREN BESIDES THAT? But no one did, not even Feyre, not even you, I bet, so that makes sense. She scared me.
Mor was great. She was better than Ianthe no doubt. She was true, and honest, and she brought the best out of Feyre. She was a great friend, and she was playful and loyal, and not once did you say that in the book like you expressed Feyre’s flat character. (Which hasn’t changed since the first book, so I don’t see anything new being discussed if I bring it up here) Instead, you showed that Mor had all those great characteristics, and a detailed, complex past. ALL OF THESE CHARACTERS HAD SUCH GREAT, SHADY, THRILLING BACKSTORIES. WELL DONE.
The fairytale-y distinction between good and evil
Normally, I don’t like this. I don’t like it if it’s given what’s the antagonist and what’s the protagonist because with mystery there, it makes the story more thrilling, but I believe if there is that mystery in a fairytale retelling, than it doesn’t seem like a good classic fairytale. It seems like good classic YA instead. So I can definitely say that I think you did good really distinguishing the difference between Prythian (good), and Hybern (bad) and also Tamlin n Lucien (bad) and Rhysand and his crew (good good good). In the previous book, you made it unclear about Rhysand (who was he, by the way? Gaston) and also made it unclear about Tamlin, because as much as I wanted to believe he was good, him just sitting by as Feyre was tortured didn’t sit well with me either.
Oh, bravo to you with this, Mrs. The ending was amazing. Heartbreaking and heartwrenching and basically brutally murdering my soul, but amazing. YOU BELIEVE I SHOULD WAIT A YEAR FOR THE NEXT BOOK. I WILL COME FOR YOU. Haha, actually I won’t. I’m just saying that because this is a blog post. If it was an actual letter to you, I’m sure there would be a lot more devotion and less complaining/praising.
The ending was great, because here I was, thinking that (SPOILER!) they really were unmated WAHHHHHH NOOOO (//SPOILER) and was also confident that they would get out safely, thinking it was a fairy tale so bad could not win, but then the end of the book left me. It just left me, and betrayed that thought, and redefined fairytale and gave a whole new meaning to the book series. This is why I can’t wait, and why I was prepared to give the book 5 stars. I’m the type of book blogger who rates on final emotion (at first) rather than full, carefully thought it reasoning. SO IF THE ENDING IS GOOD AND THE OTHER PARTS OF THE BOOK ARE NOT TERRIBLY HORRIBLY AWFUL THEN MY INSTINCT IS FIVE STARS FOR YOU, FIVE STARS FOR YOU, FIVE STARS FOR YOU TOO.
My entire gratitude and admiration to you for writing such amazing books altogether,
Darth Veda (a number one book-written-by-Maas addict)
All in all, I am in love with this book and I consider it to be one of the best I’ve ever read (if not of all time, then of late). I would’ve loved it more and given it 5 stars had it been the starting to the series or a book on its own, rather than a sequel, and if there was something else in place of winnowing.
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