Critique || A Court of Mist & Fury by Sarah J. Maas

I’m not sure what I was expecting from this book, but it was definitely not this and I love it. I got everything I want and more from ACOMAF. I’ve decided that I’m going to split this review into a non-spoiler section and a spoilery discussion section. Ok? Ok. Let’s get to this because there’s so much I need to get out. (This is a long one. Sorry!)


17927395Synopsis:

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

Brief Thoughts:

  • Unlike ACOTAR, the pacing for this book was good. We felt Feyre’s conflict about what she’d done from the start and from there it kept going.
  • I really, truly don’t see a love triangle here, and I feel sorry for everyone missing out on it because of that.
  • We get to meet a ton of new characters, each of whom I completely fell in love with.
  • The world-building kinda sorta awed me in this book. We learn so much more about relationships between courts, fae politics, and traditions.
  • I love Feyre’s character development in this book; she really comes into her own and starts to find her own way.
  • Rhysand. I loved everything about him and that we get to know him a little better.
  • The ending…as is SJM’s style, she really threw me for a loop and I had to sit back and go, “Wow,” when I was done.
  • The writing style felt different, which was great. Though there were a lot of F-bombs I wasn’t expecting and oh boy, were there more of those steamy scenes she loves to write, haha.
  • If you’re a fan of Tamlin, you don’t see much of him in the book at all. He’s absent for probably 95% of it.

That’s all I can really say without giving away too much. Keep on reading if you want to see my in-depth thoughts. 😀

***Spoiler warning from here on out***

Plot

So I read on Goodreads that ACOMAF is a retelling of the Greek myth about Hades and Persephone. Having read the book and now knowing this, I can see the similarities between the two stories (which I’ll address as I get to each plot point). A Court of Mist and Fury is a completely different book from A Court of Thorns and Roses. It felt like Sarah J. Maas found her footing for the series and took off with it in this book. The pacing was much better, and things picked up fairly quickly once we got the gist of what happened in the three months since the end of the first book.

At the beginning, we find out that since “Under the Mountain,” TAMLIN PROPOSED. Really Maas, really??? Why couldn’t we get that in an epilogue? As much as I ship her with Rhys, that’s still something I would’ve enjoyed seeing.  The first few chapters talk about how Feyre’s adjusting to life after what happened (not well) and preparations for the wedding. It becomes obvious fairly quickly that things between Tamlin and Fayre aren’t the fairytale ending we wanted for the two of them. Feyre is struggling and Tamlin refuses to acknowledge it, using his protective instinct as an excuse to keep her locked up in the manor.

I know exactly how much pressure he endures. And I didn’t realize I’d become a prisoner.

All the while, I’m reading and eagerly waiting for Rhys so show up and call in the bargain. As soon I read that he hadn’t and they were getting married, I knew right then and there that on the day of the wedding, he was going to show up to make a statement. Make a statement he did; he showed up at their wedding, invoked the bargain, and whisked her away. It’s here that we start to see the softer side of Rhys, and that he really isn’t her enemy, no matter how much she wants to hate him. We see the differences between him and Tamlin, and realize that maybe Tamlin isn’t the better choice like she might have thought.

I’m thinking that I was a lonely, hopeless person, and I might have fallen in love with the first thing that showed me a hint of kindness and safety.

Anyway, so the story progresses and Feyre decides that she’s going to stay with Rhys in the Court of Dreams in Velaris. CAN I PLEASE LIVE IN VELARIS?? It sounds even better than the Spring Court, and Rhys is there, so win. Once she’s there though, things start to change for Feyre, and the similarities with Hades and Persephone start to appear. Hades kidnaps Persephone to marry her, and the part that mirrors this is when Mor comes into the manor to rescue her after Tamlin locks her in and basically makes her a prisoner. The difference though, is that Rhys is in no way making her a prisoner; she’s free to leave whenever she wants, and Feyre decides on her own volition that she wants to stay.

Stay here however long you want. Stay here forever, if you feel like it.

There was action, but not a ton of it until the end of the book. A lot of the focus was on Feyre finding herself and piecing herself back together. She was so incredibly broken and lonely, that she had become this empty shell that dreaded eternity. With Rhys, the more she was in Velaris, the more she started to become less broken, or at least learned to deal with it, and for the first time, started living her life. All the while, her friendship with Rhys slowly started to grow into something more, and both of them tried to deny that they loved one another. But then, the best part of the book happened: FEYRE AND RHYSAND ARE MATES. It turns out that Rhys had known this during the entirety of her trials under the mountain., but it was confirmed once she had been reborn and the bond locked into place. Of course I’m sitting there the entire time squealing with delight because I shipped them so hard at the end of ACOTAR and was praying to the SJM muse that she’d make them mates.

The High Lord of the Night Court is your mate.

Oh yeah, and while all of this is happening, Feyre’s trying to gain control of the powers she has from each of the seven High Lords, and help them (Rhy’s inner circle) stop the Kind of Hybern from declaring war and taking down the wall between Prythian and the mortal realm. I mean, no big deal. A big part of this was breaking into the King’s castle to destroy the Cauldron, which is where the “real” action started. There was a plot twist, betrayal, ultimatums, and a whole lot of good stuff.

The End

I knew that when I got about 80% of the way through the book and things were hunky dory for everyone, things were going to go downhill quickly. I held my breath as they made their way to the castle and got into the room where the cauldron was kept. I’d be totally lying if told you that my heart didn’t break when Tamlin and Lucien walked into the room after Feyre and everyone were caught at the King of Hybern’s castle. I couldn’t believe that they’d sold them out to get Feyre back, even though she insisted that she had made the decision on her own.

I have a problem with a couple things that happened though; I don’t like that Nesta and Elain are faeries now. I don’t know how that’s essential to the storyline, except now Feyre doesn’t really have to worry about them. I also really don’t like that Elain is Lucien’s mate. At that point, I just rolled my eyes and went, “is there anything else that we’re going to throw in here? Because there’s way too much going on.”  I’m hoping this means that they’ll have to work with Tamlin because I don’t think he’s this big enemy that Feyre now sees him as. She was in love with him for God’s sake.

Anyway, I LOVED when Feyre decided that she needed to “play a game” with Rhysand to save everyone. So she had the King of Hybern break the “bond” which I knew the whole time was the bond from the bargain and not the mating bond. (That one is pretty much unbreakable.) I had come to live for those scenes when they had to pretend, and I love that everyone played into it perfectly. I just wish that we could’ve seen when they made the bond official and Feyre became the Lady of the Night Court.

Characters

I was going to break it down and talk about it each character individually, but then I realized how long this review is already, so I’m going to generalize everything. I really enjoyed the characters that we met in this book. We knew when we met each person that they had a definitive purpose in Rhys’s life and consequently in the novel. Azriel, Cassian, and Mor are hilarious, while Amren is definitely on the serious side. I got some mad Celaena vibes from her and all the badassery she exudes, haha.  Each one is fiercely loyal to Rhys, and it was awesome to this extended Feyre before she accepted the mating bond.

I knew that the five queens we met were fishy, and when they too showed up at the end, I wasn’t the least bit surprised. I was ready to throttle each and every one of them and hoped that their transformations went horribly.

Feyre’s character development was tremendous in this book; she went from broken and essentially dead on the inside, to whole (for the most part) and full of life, looking forward to an eternity with Rhysand. She grew stronger both physically and mentally, because unlike Tamlin, Rhys helped her grow. He encouraged it, and now she can fight and even read and write. What???? I know, it’s crazy. I loved every single minute of it.

Rhysand’s character was much more tortured than I had anticipated. I kind of got that the whole heartless man-slut thing was an act, just with the way that he showed a kindness toward Feyre that was so endearing and actually cared for her well-being (I’m 100% that this goes past their mating bond). I mean, hi, she’d show up for her week with him and be skin and bones. It clearly upset him, so he’d make her eat, and he made her literate. Did Tamlin ever do that? Nope. He’d just bang the crap out of her, because why would he want to actually take the time to care? We also know he’s kind-hearted because of the way he protects his people and inner circle. He went to such great lengths to protect them…I just… **swoon** Even once the fact that she’s his mate was revealed, not once did he push it on her. He told her everything and allowed her to make the decision for herself.

He understood my offer: tell me while I cooked, and I decide at the end whether or not to offer him that food.

So yeah, in case it isn’t obvious, I would wholeheartedly recommend this book. It is such an amazing follow up to A Court of Thorns and Roses, but it’s also it’s own entity and really changes the game for our characters. I definitely enjoyed this one even more and it wasn’t just because of Rhys. I loved the characters, the world building, and the plot. I’m really intrigued to see how she’s going to wrap everything up in the final book next year. Do we really have to wait???


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