Court of Thorns and Roses was just the beginning of the series and, in hindsight, it was nothing in comparison to the following book in the series, child’s play really. Let’s open the floor to the captivating A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. This is a follow on from my first review of A Court of Thorns and Roses, the first book in the series.
The threat of Amarantha is gone, Prythian is free from her reign and Feyre, our broken and tortured protagonist, is adjusting to her immortal body. Her wish came true, she fell into immortality and won the hand of her great love, the High Lord of the Spring Court. Tamlin was what she wanted, what she fought to save and protect. She is praised and worshipped and dressed up and pushed into parties and, as the bride-to-be of a High Lord, she is smothered and coddled. But the invisible scars inflicted on her from under the mountain run deeper than anyone can imagine. Well, than most can imagine or comprehend. Enter Rhysand, the High Lord of the Night Court. A tie in from the first book is the bargain that is struck between Rhysand and Feyre. It removes her from difficult situations in the Spring Court as Rhysand can feel her through the bond of their bargain. She is cracking, breaking under her own emotional stress and Rhys is the only one who understands the affect that her time under the mountain had on her, not even Tamlin takes the time to pull Feyre out of the bottomless ravine that she has soundlessly fallen into. But Rhys does. He sees her for the broken mess she has become, if only because he has become the same behind his mask of indifference and hostility. Rhys, beautiful and equally as scarred, whisks her away to his own court, away from Tamlin and the life she cannot seem to find her place in and he offers her sanctuary and friendship and the promise not to treat her like glass.
“He thinks he’ll be remembered as the villain in the story. But I forgot to tell him that the villain is usually the person who locks up the maiden and throws away the key. He was the one who let me out.”
He becomes a friend and she becomes part of his inner circle, part of his family. There is threat looming, and Amarantha was only the beginning, only one of Hyberns generals. Hybern is gathering its forces with intent to strike the wall, and only Rhys and his inner circle are willing to step up to the mark and stand against the King of Hybern.
There are many reasons why this book is my favourite of the series and is becoming my all-time favourite the longer I think about it. In this book we are introduced to the Court of Nightmares and the Court of Dreams and the city of starlight and the Illyrian warriors and their beautiful wings. There aren’t enough words, I cannot really describe how stunning this book is, how much it touches your heart and cripples it and just makes you feel so alive. It makes you want to be a part of it, to live it.
There is such character development too, so much more than the first book half and it hurts all the more but you can’t help but feel as they do. We learn more about our characters too and we meet new characters. We meet the High Lord of the Summer Court and he is the sun and sea and warm summer breeze incarnate. We meet Cassian and Azriel and Mor and Amren, Rhysands inner circle. The characters we once loved are scorned and the ones we were uncertain of become the ones we are rooting for. And the magic becomes more intricately worn into the story and we so quickly become lost in the fantasy world of Prythian. I am a dreamer and this is a book for dreamers. It gives hope and love and warmth even in the darkness of hardships. It reminds us there is always something better and that it is important to be your own person. To be the person that empowers you.
“There are different kinds of darkness… There is the darkness that frightens, the darkness that soothes, the darkness that is restful. There is the darkness of lovers, and the darkness of assassins. It becomes what the bearer wishes it to be, needs it to be. It is not wholly bad or good.”
Of course, we also have our characteristic steamy scenes between characters and they are guaranteed to leave you feeling a little hot under the collar. It isn’t tasteless, and it only enhances the detail and reality of the descriptive detail.
Something I feel that it is necessary to rant about is the love that is still felt for Tamlin. Okay. So in the ACOTAR we love Tamlin. He steals Feyre away and introduces her into his court and they fall in love and all seems pretty sound. Except after the fanfare under the mountain something sort of clicks out of place and it isn’t quite the same for them and that’s really okay. People can change and their views change shift and their whOLE LIFE IS QUICKLY THROWN OUT OF PERSPECTIVE AND THEY DO THINGS THEY AREN’T PROUD OF IN THE NAME OF LOVE AND PEACE AND FREEDOM AND THAT IS OKAY. It changes who you are and I would have been worried if Feyre hadn’t reacted badly to the things she had to do under the mountain, who she had to kill and the families she tore apart just for Tamlin. I don’t think I could feel the same way about him if it had been me. Both Feyre and Tamlin change and it isn’t anything to do with not loving each other but it is enough of a change to drive a wedge between them. Tamlin doesn’t give FEyre what she needs to heal and fill that hole in her chest, a hole that was torn because of Tamlin. No Rhys didn’t steal her or manipulate her or anything to turn her against Tamlin. He wanted her help and he helped her see that she was more than Tamlin was allowing her to be, she was more than an accolade. She is a Queen and if he couldn’t accept her as his High Lady of the Spring Court then he 100% did not deserve her.
Both books are available on Audible as audio books and if you’re anything like me then you will be pleased to know that both books are narrated by the same person which makes me happy. I don’t wholeheartedly endorse Audible, I 100% recommend reading the book, but audible is handy for myself as it fits nicely into a busy lifestyle. Also, the kindle has audio narration that accompanies a lot of its books which you may find to your liking (I hate it).
With the ending to A Court of Mist and Fury we are set up and ready for A Court of Wind and Ruin, the third booking coming this summer. The suspense is absolutely killing me. Prepare yourself, war is coming and if Hybern is going to fight dirty then the Night Court and its High Lord and High Lady will gladly rise to the occasion.
“To the stars the listen — and the dreams that are answered.”
A Court of Thorns and Roses
A Court of Mist and Fury
A Court of Wings and Ruin
A Court of Frost and Starlight