I’ve been antsy with anticipation over this book for weeks and, oh my, what a payoff. While A Court of Wings and Ruin (ACOWAR) wasn’t a perfect novel, it was a satisfying conclusion to a series that I have come to dearly, dearly love.
Title: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
My Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.
As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.
In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.
My Thoughts (Without Spoilers):
I took my time with the book, treating it like a delicate feast I didn’t want to end. I read it slowly–carefully tasting each paragraph, savoring the pulse of the plot, not wanting it to end. At night, the characters wove in and out of my dreams, calling me to keep reading.
For the most part, this was my state of being while reading this book:
Without going into details, one of my favorite parts of the book was seeing more of Prythian and the people who live there. We see several new courts and an array of wonderful new side characters. There is an epic library, was a huge highlight. I also loved that some of the more minor characters from the previous books take larger roles.
In the discussion ahead, I address some of my criticisms with the ACOWAR. After I had written them out, I realized that it may sound like I didn’t like the book or am overly picky. I’d like to note that you can be critical of a text and still love it to pieces.
My main criticism of the book is that some plot elements and character arcs feel repetitive. For example, Lucien and Elain’s relationship covers some of the same ground that Feyre’s and Rhys’s did–the male in the relationship had to cope with the fact that the female didn’t want them. While Feyre and Rhys are in my favorite fictional couple’s list and sex scenes generally don’t bother me, there were so many that it got annoying.
There’s also a lot of deus ex machina going on. Several of the plot points are really convenient. The Court of Dreams is in need of intel… Elain is a seer. Feyre needs information… find the Suriel. They’re going to lose the final battle… oh look! Here is an armada to help even the playing field. A beloved character meets their end… let’s bring them back with a plot device we’ve seen before. (I’m willing to let this one slide because I don’t think my fangirl heart could handle them actually dying.)
One thing I enjoyed about ACOWAR was the introduction of more diverse characters. Are the representations perfect or well done? I’m not sure, but I’m glad to see Maas making steps in that direction. It’s good to see a mix of ethnicities and sexualities and, in future books, hope to see more of these characters.
As for the ending, I’m really torn.
On the one hand, my fangirl heart is so, so, so pleased that everyone made it out. Yes, there are consequences and trauma in the wake of war, but everyone I cared deeply about is still breathing. THANK THE CAULDRON!
On the other hand, my inner critic is shaking it’s head at how self-indulgent the ending is. It’s unrealistic to have that many key characters go to war and come out again. A few characters die, only to be brought back. The characters that do meet their demise aren’t ones that I am emotionally attached to. This feels a bit like a cop-out.
Still, I think I’m going to let my fangirl heart win this one.
Here’s some of my favorite moments:
- The Feyre/Lucien hiking trip through the Autumn Court
- Everything about Cassian and Nesta’s relationship
- The library beneath the House of Fire and the battle that takes place there
- Kallias and Viviane–High Lord of the Winter Court and his mate and their story
- Cassian kicking ass on the battlefield
- Mor’s revelation to Feyre about why she hasn’t made a pass for Azriel
- What Feyre sees in the Mirror of Ouroboros
- Nesta and Elain being the ones to finish Hybern
In the end, while I have some quips about things that happen, I loved this book. As previously stated, the end is extremely satisfying. Maas wrapped up Feyre and Rhys’s story, but left enough threads dangling for more tales to be told. I’m really, really looking forward to spending time with other characters in the books to come.
In the meantime, my ACOTAR coloring book should come in the mail any day now and I’m excited to spend time coloring all my favorite characters.
Have you read ACOWAR yet? What parts did you love? What were you critical of? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
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