A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
I know this review is coming late (I finished the series weeks ago) but I’ve had such a hard time getting my thoughts together. Partially because I was just so wrapped up in loving it that I couldn’t for put it into words. Also partially because I was too busy basking in the beauty that is High Lord Rhysand to move on. Okay, mostly because of Rhysand.
THIS BOOK IS FAN-F***ING-TASTIC!
I’d thought ACOTAR was good. I’d thought the Throne of Glass books were great. But ACOMAF? ACOMAF takes ‘good’ and ‘great’ to a level of transcendent awesomeness I hadn’t thought possible. Well done, Maas–you are my queen and I bow before your greatness (and Rhysand’s. Though him bowing over me would probably be a lot more fun 😉 ).
When we left off in ACOTAR, the newly-minted fae Feyre successfully defeated Amarantha and returned to the Spring Court to be with her beastly beloved, Tamlin. ACOMAF picks up three months later in the thick of wedding preparations and vomit-inducing nightmares of Amarantha that nobody wants to talk about. Three months and Rhysand has yet to call in his Hades/Persephone-style debt. But alas, there’s trouble in paradise and when Rhysand finally does show up to take Feyre away with him to the Night Court Feyre is presented with powers she never dreamed she could wield, friends she never dreamed she could have, and a fierce love she never dreamed she’d deserve.
If you’ve been keeping up with any of my reviews, I’m sure you know by now that romance is a big thing for me (if you’re new, welcome!) so I’m just going to jump right in here.
This book is HOT.
This book is also highly descriptive and so not deserving of the YA banner. Welcome to the world of New Adult fiction y’all–please enjoy your stay.
As can be guessed from the blurb, the love interest this time ’round is Rhysand. Bad boy, deal-maker, secret saviour Rhysand. It is NOT a love triangle. Maas does a spectacular job of shifting from one to the other whilst making it a display more of Feyre’s own growth than pros and cons of the two very different guys. In the first I had some trouble connecting with and rooting for Tamlin–I found him overbearing though his sweet side made up for it–and cheered on Rhysand for reasons I couldn’t quite place. ACOMAF makes all those reasons clear, explaining and expanding on them until there are no teams, just Feyre and Rhysand.
Their relationship starts out slowly–taunting, tantalizingly slowly–but is always progressing. I think that’s part of what made it so great; even though it takes them a good 400 pages or so to really do anything, they’re never at a standstill. No, instead they flirt, they banter–and oh, my god is it delicious. The constant innuendos, allusions to each other, seductive threats…they may as well be jumping each other with words. And their letters? *melts* They kill me every time. Seriously. I’m completely dead.
Now when they do get together…Cauldron BOIL me! When I said the book is hot, I wasn’t kidding and nor was I kidding about the description. There is a fine line between romance and erotica and ACOMAF dances along it, then crosses over into ‘forbidden’ territory.
Look, I’m an advocate for women taking charge of their sexuality and I feel like there aren’t a ton of books in the YA genre that adequately portray this. Moreover, it’s a topic that a lot of people shy away from. God, I remember briefly mentioning reading Fifty Shades to friends in high school and seeing basically every single one of them recoil. But it’s okay to enjoy those kinds of books and it should be okay to talk about enjoying them, just as much as it should be okay to write them. So yeah, the sex scenes are numerous and vivid, and it’s not like I’m going to go running around thrusting the book into the arms of younger YA readers (dearest Cassie, if you’re reading this, please wait a couple years)–they won’t understand it and, frankly, they’re too young to enjoy it–but I think it’s a really good thing for Maas to write this kind of romance and leave it under YA. Teenagers are going to get into this stuff anyway so why not show them what healthy romantic/sexual relationships and being treated right look like?
I went off on a bit of a tangent but back to the book! Remember how Rhysand was a complete douche canoe back in ACOTAR? ACOMAF does a spectacularly good job at explaining why and showing him for who he really is–kind, selfless, and fiercely devoted–in such a way that though the two images seem utterly irreconcilable they blend perfectly. Feyre really finds herself in this book too, going from the fierce but afraid human that Tamlin needed to protect and becoming a force all her own. Maas also introduces a whole slew of absolutely fabulous new characters and builds on Elain and Nesta, Feyre’s human sisters. The character creation and development is so impressive.
Also impressive is the setting. Night Court? VELARIS?! If all I need to do to be granted VIP access is endure seemingly endless torture and take down a sadistic faerie queen, sign me up! So worth it!
The major focus of ACOMAF, in my opinion, is the character development and character relationships but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing else going on. With Amarantha defeated, the King of Hybern is the biggest threat to not only the faerie lands but the human world as well. The Night Court gang’s goal is to locate and nullify the cauldron from which fae originated as a means to minimize the king’s power and end the war before it starts. There’s a lot of plotting, sneaking, running, fighting, transforming, and magic-ing throughout the novel so even when it seems that the characters are the priority, there’s never not something else going on. The suspense is insane.
AND THE ENDING WILL TEAR YOU APART AND LEAVE YOU SCRAMBLING FRANTICALLY FOR THE SEQUEL.
Okay, this turned out way longer than I’d intended so I’m going to stop now. There’s just so much that I loved about ACOMAF that it’s hard to explain concisely. If I could write a face blushing and a jaw dropped all the way to the floor then I would almost be adequately describing what I feel about ACOMAF. I know in my review of ACOTAR I disagreed with the many readers who claimed this series as better than the Throne of Glass series but with this book, I’ve begun to understand. What’s more–I might even agree.
Click here for the synopsis on goodreads!
Also, in the time it took me to get my thoughts in order (or some semblance of) enough for this review, I resorted to an overly enthusiastic book talk/summary which I semi-spontaneously posted on YouTube. I may soon come to regret it but if you’ve read ACOMAF or are cool with spoilers, you’re welcome to watch my emotional offload here.