So we’ve reached the final book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. It’s been a wild ride of emotion and pain but we’ve loved every moment of it. There is a huge possibility that this series is my favourite series of all time (and that would mean that it surpasses The Lord of the Rings and Spotless which says a LOT about my feelings towards the series). Anyway without further ado, A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas.
War is looming and it is threatening all that Feyre holds dear.
After the end of the second book, Feyre is back in the Spring Court, a wolf in amongst chickens. Ianthe sold out Elaine and Nesta to Hybern and after watching them forced into the cauldron against their will and make immortal, Feyre is ready to make the Spring Court burn for what it did to her family. She is determined to gather information on Tamlin and the invading King’s plotting and manoeuvrings before she reduces the court to ashes but to do this she must play a dangerous game of deceit, one slip up could mean the ruin of everything.
War is coming and it is up to the Inner Circle of the Night Court to make sure that Prythian is ready for Hybern. It is time to put aside differences and unite against Hybern, bringing together the High Lords for the first time in 500 years to save their lands and once more, protect the human lands.
This book really shows the horrors of war, it doesn’t try and make it seem honourable or glorious. You see the pain and suffering and the real after effects of battle, the screaming and the wounded and the casualty lists. It is hard going. When Hybern sacks the Summer Court, you are gripping the book tighter hoping that they can survive, that Tarquin and his people can hold the city. But when the final battle plays out, I found myself holding my breath at so many points. So well written.
We finally get to enjoy the wonder that is the other High Lords too. Hellion is my favourite. He’s all sun-kissed skin and sass and smouldering looks.
Feyre really shows her teeth in this book and her strength. My favourite part of this book is the first part when Feyre rips apart the Spring Court from the inside out. She so artfully poises the court to fall after everything that happens at the end of the second book in Hybern. This does, however, come back to bite them later when they are asking the other courts to unite with them against Hybern and Tamlin throws it back at her to show how she may not be trusted. It is spiteful, revenge doesn’t really help anyone but it is pretty satisfying to watch the corruption in the Spring Court meet its match. Although, it does cause issues later on in the story for everyone. But despite her anger towards those who would seek to hurt her and her own, she still remains true to the cause. She helps to ally the High Lords, risks looking into the Ouroboros, and bargains with the creature in the library. She is the reason that the High Lords reach out to help those in the mortal lands because, after all this time, she still holds true to her human heart and remembers to reach back to those who need it most.
Rhysand is ready to give every part of himself to ensure that his family survives, as he did 50 years prior with Amarantha. But this time there is more are stake and those around him aren’t prepared to stand back and watch him give up everything to give them even the slimmest chance at victory. He has spent so much of his life trying to protect what he loves that he never takes a second for himself. He allowed the world to believe that he built a court of monsters, heartless and unfeeling, but in actual fact built a court of dreamers who feel everything and love freely. This is the book that they finally allow the world to see them for who they are, no masks or glamours. The Court of Dreams stands together as a family in the face of the end of everything. And if that isn’t just the most powerful thing then I don’t know what is.
Something that did bother me in this book, however, was how it came out that Mor prefers the company of women to men. Now before you jump on me, I’m not saying that there is an issue with this. What I mean is that it was very sudden and played no real part to the story, if anything it felt forced just to have one of the main characters have some LGBT traits. It came out so abruptly and then was never spoken of and really if this is truly who she has been for over 500 years then she would have shared this truth with her family by now, especially Azriel who really she is only hurting by postponing it for so long. I love Mor but I think this ‘character development’ was very poorly played out.
Lucien gets more than his comeuppance in this book. The situation with Ianthe leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but I admire that Feyre reaches back a hand when it goes against her plans and nearly results in her being taken by Hybern.
“I hadn’t realized I was a villain in your narrative,”
And this comment hurts regardless of how true it seems to be. Lucien saw the damage that Tamlin’s actions had on Feyre and he tried to some extent to help but for the most part, he always seemed to take Tamlin’s side, choosing to maintain the image of a unified Court. But he had become Feyre’s friend too and that he was so quick to shut her down when she clearly needed help, needed space, was a hard thing to experience. But Lucien isn’t really a villain, he simply made some poor choices at the time and he definitely does what he can to help when given the chance to. The whole mate thing with Elaine though is something that I’m really not too keen on the idea of. It feels too forced but I am glad that the story doesn’t seem to play into it, that Elaine doesn’t seem inclined to accept the bond. Elaine and Azriel though, now that is a shipping I could get behind. The Shadow Singer and the Seer. Imagine that.
And Tamlin. I don’t like Tamlin. I liked him somewhat for the first book but then my opinion of him became shot to hell by the second book. But know that I think about him I realise that he is a very misunderstood character. Sure he did a lot of rubbish things to Feyre and Lucien, but he has lost so much and suffered greatly (just as Rhysand did), and after what Feyre does to his court he does what he thinks is necessary to protect his people. He loved Feyre, that we cannot deny and he does some monstrous things in the face of love, but he tries to come through. He drags Beron to the fight, saves Feyre and Az when they go to save Elaine and gives Feyre back what is most important to her. He’s not a great guy but he’s not a villain.
Finally, a moment to mention the Suriel, who was a dreamer until its last breath.
“Feyre Archeron,’ the Suriel said again, gazing at the leafy canopy, the sky peeking through it. A painful inhale. ‘A request.’
I leaned close. ‘Anything.’
Another rattling breath. ‘Leave this world…a better place than how you found it.’
And as its chest rose and stopped altogether, as its breath escaped in one last sigh, I understood why the Suriel had come to help me, again and again. Not just for kindness…but because it was a dreamer.
And it was the heart of a dreamer that ceased beating inside that monstrous chest.”
(I cried. So. Much)
A Court of Mist and Fury still holds the title for the best book in the series but this is a close second. So much has happened and changed over the course of the three books it’s so hard to think that we were rooting for Feyre and Tamlin at the start. This is been a roller coaster of a series and I’m heartbroken that the main series is over. However, there are novellas to come starting with A Court of Frost and Starlight.
A Court of Wings and Ruin
A Court of Frost and Starlight
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas