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: Empire of Storms (#5, Throne of Glass) by Sarah J. Maas

My Thoughts

Fierce and exciting–and as expected, entirely unputdownable.

6stars

Synopsis

Empire of Storms Throne of GlassKingdoms collide in Sarah J. Maas’s epic fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series.

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don’t.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

My Review

“A storm is coming. A great storm.”

Battle and blood, betrayal and sacrifice – Sarah J. Maas’ Empire of Storms is rife with it as it sets the world ablaze in this exhilarating fifth book from the Throne of Glass series. Tension roils as the power hungry push harder than ever before.  We see schemes unravel and pretenses disintegrate to reveal the true terror of what’s to come. The whole of Erilea must choose sides in a war forged by death and darkness.

With 689 pages of non-stop, heart-pounding action, there is never a dull moment as the cunning Queen of Terrasen plots secretively to raise an army strong enough to conquer Erawan, the monstrous Valg King, and his ruthless allies.

“Spreading into the distance, blotting out the sunset like a storm of bats, flew a legion of wyverns. Each bore armed witches, roaring their battle cries to the color-stained sky.”

Dividing lines blur, however, as Aelin gathers an impressive motley crew of allies. Together, they must not only amass a force to fight Erawan, but also ready for whatever the Fae-Queen Maeve may have planned.

Burrowing into the depths of her power, Aelin Fireheart wields every ounce of magic she can harness to try and claim Terrasen’s throne, protect those she loves and save their kingdoms from a dark and ancient evil.

When it comes to matters of the heart, fans of Aelin and Rowan will revel in their romance, a supernova of power and passion that burns up the pages.

“This thing between them, the force of it, could devour the world.”

In addition, one of my favorite things about the novel is how Maas spends more time on the story’s supporting (but critical) characters, delving deeper into their individual experiences, desires and fates.

By the time you plow through heart-attack-inducing battles and pulse-pounding twists to reach the novel’s gasp-inducing end, you’ll be wishing it was 2017 to see what happens in the series’ long-awaited finale.

“I love you… I’d walk into the burning heart of hell itself to find you.”

Reading Order

The Assassin’s Blade can be read after Throne of Glass.

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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.

Series Reading Order
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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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