Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin (#3, ACOTAR) by Sarah J. Maas

Review

“… for my home, for Prythian and the human territory and so many others…
I would clean my blades, and wash the blood from my skin.
And I would do it again and again and again.”

Old wounds fester, betrayals cut deep, human and fae blood covers the land of Prythian as war crashes upon it in Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Wings and Ruin.

This highly anticipated third installment delivers the culmination of its main story arc. Rhysand and Feyre must stop the King of Hybern from using the Cauldron to destroy everything and everyone they hold dear. But first, a game of deception is at play as Feyre returns to Tamlin’s Spring court to siphon information to her mate.

From the beginning, the book stands apart from its predecessors as the romance arc gets largely resolved in ACOMAF (still my favorite of the series). The narrative focused on war—the preparation for it, the actual raging of it and the aftermath of it. So the tone felt inherently different. Also different was the momentum and pacing of the first half of the book from the second. The first part of the book lagged a little even though I had hoped that Feyre’s time with Tamlin would be thrumming with unbearable tension. But the story hit its stride midway as the action really began to unfurl.

Maas’ prowess at character development shone brightly once again—their relationships and complexities the true highlight. And while Feyre and Rhysand’s story naturally abated, the narrative broadened to further explore characters like Nesta, Elain, Mor, Cassian and Azriel. Tamlin’s storyline, however, was disappointing. While we know he made some bad choices (and I’m fully on board with Rhysand and Feyre together), I fell in love with Tamlin in the first book and hoped to close the book with a better feeling on where/how he ended up. There’s more to come, I hope, in his development, as other stories in this world descend next year.

Lastly, while war certainly took its toll, I had expected more deeply cutting consequences that would have given the story a visceral gravitas.

Overall, while I felt there were some bumps, I did love it. Particularly the second half. It was fierce and delivered that pull, that sense of urgency I usually feel throughout. There were moments I was moved to tears, moments between friends and family that hit me like a gut punch.

I look forward to seeing more from supporting characters like Nesta and Elain, as a new Prythian rises in the dawn after war.

About A Court of Wings and Ruin

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 and USA Today 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.

Reading Order

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Review: A Court of Mist and Fury (#2, A Court of Thorns and Roses) by Sarah J. Maas

My Thoughts

Flawless, magical—a stirring sequel, a bold and thrilling game changer.
My favorite book of 2016 thus far!

6stars

Synopsis

May-03 ★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.

 

My Review

If war comes, we’ll face it. Together. I won’t let them take me from you. And I won’t let them take you from me, either.

With A Court of Mist and Fury, Sarah J. Maas delivers a thrilling game changer that’s fiercely romantic, irresistibly sexy and hypnotically magical. A veritable feast for the senses, Maas ratchets up tensions of all kind as we explore the hidden secrets of the feared Night Court. The story shines brightly, however, even as the world darkens for Feyre, who is ravaged by guilt over the blood she’s shed to save Prythian from Amarantha’s deadly clutches.

I was the butcher of innocents, and the savior of a land.

With nightmares haunting her every sleep, Feyre fades into a shadowed, vacuous version of herself. She’d broken apart unrecognizably. To make matters worse, what happened Under the Mountain had shaken up Tamlin to the point of paranoia. He’d become paralyzed by the fear of failing Feyre, of not being able to protect her, that he held on to her too tightly. She felt bound, shattered, nothing like herself.

To make matters worse, Ryhsand, High Lord of the Night Court, calls in his bargain and whisks Feyre away into a land of glittering night sky, which hides long protected secrets while a brutal court flourishes—just as she had feared.

Feyre learns that the bloodshed is anything but over as the King of Hybern mobilizes against the whole of Prythian and the human realm. Refusing to be confined any longer and with new friends to help her, Feyre’s spirit once again stirs as truths awaken the fight, the power inside her.

Made me feel as if I’d been asleep for a year, slumbering inside a glass coffin, and he had just shattered through it and shaken me to consciousness.

She discovers abilities within herself—that if developed—could change the tide of the entire war. And yet, even as the stakes get higher, Feyre uncovers beauty and loyalty, holding on to a love she now knows can withstand any enemy, any struggle.

I want you to know, I whispered, that I am broken and healing, but every piece of my heart belongs to you.

Six hundred and twenty-four pages have never felt so short, so insufficient for a story so spellbinding. I could have easily devoured six hundred more. Maas pushes the story to sexier, edgier heights as tension becomes irresistibly unbearable. We also meet new, wonderfully developed characters that inject both wit and ferocity into the story as well as provide a buoyant counterpoint to the psychological struggles explored in the story.

A Court of Mist and Fury is a flawless sequel that will once again leave us desperately clamoring for more, more, more.

To the stars who listen—and the dreams that are answered.

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Cover Reveal: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury

Just this morning, Bloomsbury revealed the cover of the second installment of A Court of Thorns and RosesA Court of Mist and Fury! Feast your eyes on this gorgeous cover!!! A Court of Mist and Fury is one of my top two most anticipated novels of 2016 and I’m dying to have this book in my hands!!! If you’ve not read the first book yet, stop what you’re doing and read it! This beautifully written story is inspired by Beauty and the Beast, with some epic romance, magic, suspense and adventure. A Court of Thorns and Roses is a 6-star read for me (read my review)!

ACOTAR: Amazon Kindle | Amazon Hardcover ✦
ACOMAFAmazon Kindle | Amazon Hardcover ✦

A Court of Mist and Fury

The stunning sequel to Sarah J. Maas’ New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses.

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.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

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Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

My Thoughts

A riveting, spellbinding tale vitalized by Sarah J. Maas’ lyrical storytelling, rich and imaginative world-building and unparalled style.
Fierce, seductive, romantic, emotional, epic—this story truly shines.

6stars

Synopsis

May-05

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin-one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin-and his world-forever.

My Review

As first seen on USA Today

Author Sarah J. Maas delivers what may be her best work to date in the fairytale-inspired A Court of Thorns and Roses. Enchanting, spellbinding and imaginative, this glimmering story encapsulates everything I love about reading. The world-building is stellar, as only Maas can imagine it, rich and lush and so very vivid. The characters are wholly intriguing and multifaceted, both relatable and alluring for their otherworldliness. Nineteen-year-old Feyre is an epic heroine, a huntress full of heart and verve,  courage and determination. Her life is tethered by responsibility, by a vow she resolved to keep. The lives of her ailing father and two sisters depend on the accuracy of her arrow’s aim, in the deep of the forest. A forest which is alarmingly close to the wall, the immortal border between the desolate, dark and hungry village where she resides and the faerie land of Prythian, which is enlivened by magic and glamour. Yet Prythian, as otherworldly and dazzling as was bruited, is also a terrifying place ruled by brutal, feral power unknown to humans like Feyre.

Our story starts here… with Feyre hunting in the woods, hoping for a kill to feed her hungry family. And this time, she indeed finds a doe, but must kill a wolf to take the food back home. Before too long, a beast crashes into her home, demanding retribution for killing his friend. Feyre is taken across that much-feared immortal border, to the land of Prythian, to live forevermore with this beast-like creature.

She soon discovers he is Tamlina powerful faerie with dominion over the Spring Court, where his estate is found… the place she would live for the rest of her days. Feyre despises Tamlin, for dragging her into this world, for making her leave her family to starve, for holding her captive with the promise of horrible things at the fringes of his estate. Frightening faeries lurked, ready to tear her into ribbons, and only he could protect her… as long as she stayed on his grounds.

“I was definitely walking a dangerous line, but I didn’t care. Even if he’d offered me sanctuary, I didn’t have to fall to his feet.”

Their relationship is fiercely antagonistic at first, despite Tamlin’s attempts to be kind. Tamlin is an enigma to Feyre. He’s powerful, mysterious and brooding, affected by a curse she knows not much about. The more time they spend together, however, the more she grows to like him, understand him… want him. Desire burns between them as these two unlikely people begin to fall for each other.

“You aren’t what I expectedfor a human.”

Tamlin is fascinated by Feyre. During her time with him, she is transformed from a hardened girl burdened by responsibility, gaunt and marked by hunger to someone who is thriving and joyful, despite keeping her magnetic ferocity. She’s now someone who is cared forby Tamlin, by her other unlikely friend Lucien, by others in the household. Feyre once despised and feared these magical creatures, but she grew to care for them and trust them, trust Tamlin, even though she grew up believing the contraryno one should ever trust the Fae. Yet she did, and she was happy for the first time in her life.

“My father once told me that I should let my sisters imagine a better lifea better word. And I told him that there was no such thing…. I never understood—because I couldn’t… couldn’t believe that it was even possible… Until now.”

But a darkness creeps over the faerie lands, a blight that has compromised the magic of its most powerful rulers, and has killed others mercilessly. And with this shadow, comes lies, deception, curses and a wickedly evil villain intent to shatter Tamlin’s world, and her own mortal realm.

The story takes some exciting and chilling turns as Feyre encounters the dark magic of the Faerlie lands. And just as she finds solace and happiness in the arms of Tamlin, everything is ripped apart as their worlds hang precariously in the balance.

Sarah J. Maas’ one-of-a-kind storytelling and perfect pacing made this novel entirely unputdownable. I devoured every detail as I irrevocably fell in love with Feyre and Tamlin and this world rife with dark magic and beautiful magic, evil and good, love and hope. This will be hard to beat as my favorite book of 2015 and the end was as fabulous as it was bittersweet. I wasn’t ready to let go of these characters, and thankfully the story continues, although the flip of the final page gives us a hard-earned, happy-for-now ending.

This is truly a book that should not be missed by fantasy and romance readers alike.

“I love you… thorns and all.”

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