REVIEW – A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

A COURT OF MIST AND FURY

– Published 3rd May 2016

by Sarah J. Maas

RATING: 3.75 STARS

***

*** SPOILERS AS PER ***

Hello! I began reading this book around the 16th February and here we are… I finished it 3 days ago. Yes, it’s taken me a while, for many reasons I guess. I have read a number of other books in between but this one just had me stumped. I read A Court of Thorns and Roses towards the end of last year not long after I had read The Queen of Nothing and Shadow and Bone, so clearly I was in a bit of a YA fantasy phase. I love the Folk of the Air series so much that Shadow and Bone and ACOTAR did not quite live up to the hype for me, though I did enjoy them both. I guess I came out of them both thinking, “meh yey fantasy, I need a break”. It lead to pretty much all of my early 2020 reads being queer romance (and I loved every second of it). I thought I’d finally get back into some fantasy and bookstagram is forever going mad about Rhysand so I wanted to see what it was about.

Story:

Feyre is alive and supposedly living her best life with the love of her life, Tamlin, in his beautiful Autumn Court. After the horrific trials she had to go through you’d think she’d be thankful to have some form of peace and love. Wrong. Well, I believe she is thankful but since she was brought back to life in ACOTAR (a fact I must have missed in the first one – I was so confused. I don’t know where I was for that part of the book) her body is struggling to cope with the immense pressure Ianthe is putting on her to be the hopeful image the fae people need. Meanwhile, Tamlin is off doing his courtly business: ruling his people and keeping check on all the borders. Feyre proved her worth over and over again throughout the first book yet here she is stuck inside getting more and more fatigued, thin and ignored. Despite her talents with a bow and arrow, Tamlin refuses to let her help out in any way she can for “the good of her health” and instead she must remain ladylike preparing for large events where they can show off their love to everyone around. She protests and calls in Lucien for help trying to persuade Tamlin to let her be involved. All Tamlin seems to do is put more and more restrictions on her. One event that has been organised is their wedding and just before she is due to walk down the isle she basically has a panic attack and the main man comes to rescue.

Rhysand, who until this point has been quiet, decides to take this as an opportunity to begin the bargain Feyre agreed to in ACOTAR. It is through their bond that he realises Feyre is in pain and so he sweeps in to save the day. The bad guy ruins the wedding but saves Feyre’s day? Perhaps he’s not so bad after all.

At his place Rhysand persuades, and partly teaches, Feyre to finally learn to read and write. The week is over but she’ll be back every month. In the meantime Tamlin gets worse and Feyre feels even more locked away. At least in the Night Court she has a little freedom. Lucien is still no help. Things remain the same until Feyre has had enough and Rhys knows. This time things have to be done by the book as much as possible. Feyre, having been created by the high lords has begun to show some of their powers but, being unable to control it, she can do nothing but let loose. Luckily Mor is there to save the day this time and off they go to the Night Court for good.

This time the Night Court is not quite as Feyre remembers it as shes introduced to their biggest secret, Velaris, once she agrees to help them in their mission to stop Hybern from starting another war. In return Rhys and the gang will train her. Soon, Feyre will be stronger than ever. Little does she know, her whole life will change once again.

Feyre, Rhysand, Cassian, Azriel, Mor and Amren all do what they can to stop Hybern. Including finding a ring in the wicked Weaver’s house, nearly drowning in the Summer Court, and crossing into the mortal realm to work with Elain and Nesta to convince the mortal queens to hand over their half of a magical book that could put a stop to Hybern’s plan all together. In the process Rhys gets shot, Feyre saves him only to find out he’s been keeping another secret from her. He’s known all along that they are mates. Mates in their world, in short, means like a magical kind of love that is fated. Of course she’s angry with him and allows no explanation and off she goes, into hiding. It all ends up ok though and he eventually finds her and they seal the deal in what seems to be every room… and continue with every room in the main house.

Next step is beating Hybern and they come so close but in comes Tamlin to ruin the day. Fully believing Rhys has a power over Feyre he makes a deal with Hybern to get her back. Then in come the sisters who are one by one forcibly magically changed to Feyre’s, and Tamlin’s, despair as they learn that they have been betrayed by Ianthe. Typical. The scene finally ends with Tamlin getting what he wants – the bond between Rhysand and Feyre broken and Feyre back in the Spring Court.

The mating bond cannot be broken. Instead, Rhys and Feyre are torn apart and so we find ourselves onto the next book hoping they can find a way back to each other and put a stop to all the madness.

Thoughts:

As I said, it took a while to get through this book. I just couldn’t get myself to pick it up and instead found other books more interesting. This definitely annoyed me since everyone keeps saying this is the best one, or at least a lot better than the first. Tamlin, of course, seriously annoyed me. I’m fine with finding characters to be annoyed by but this felt like it was too soon after all the confessions of love at the end of ACOTAR. Though I suppose, with the trauma they went through, things could change in an instant and then it becomes a constant want to get back to normal, which just isn’t possible. Sure, he wants to protect Feyre but the character difference from the first book to the second seemed a long jump. That said, maybe it was just because I wanted to like him after the first book and I hated him in this. At first, I didn’t like Rhysand either at first. I kind of wanted him to be more involved when Feyre was in the Night Court but he was absent. Of course this gets explained later on, but still.

I appreciate the descriptions of Feyre’s struggles. It was definitely set in reality. That panic of being stuck and locked in is something that can be related to easily for most people I’m sure, in one way or another. Ianthe is annoying yet I guess I didn’t really have a full opinion of her towards the beginning (and perhaps towards the end). I often felt she was irrelevant, not as a plot point but just generally as a person.

Things do get better when we are introduced to Velaris. The descriptions of the place and the aura that surrounds it are beautiful and I could imagine it vividly. I could also feel it, if that makes any kind of sense.

Though the story picked up, I felt I wanted more training from Feyre, more snide comments between her and Rhysand, and more about Azriel and Cassian. And then I got it.

The second half of the book (actually probably the last quarter) kept me going. Finally I wanted to pick the book up and read more, find out more and the more I found out the more I wanted to read. Read until the end. The tension between Feyre and Rhysand was immense, though I got a lot sick of them doing it when I just wanted them to get on with their plans. There must have been so much time that passed, constantly giving Hybern more time to build his armies and fix the cauldron.

My rating would have been much lower if it wasn’t for all this. I loved the story behind the stars and the event. I loved the Feyre getting to know the gang more and becoming a part of the family. Their back stories were some of the most interesting parts. Mor is such a bad ass and has got to be my favourite character. I believe her involvement in this book was enough but I’d be interested to read something else about her life, or hopefully see more from her in A Court of Wings and Ruin. I’m intrigued by Amren. I still don’t think I know enough about her to have a full opinion but this mystery was refreshing compared to the others. The others all have similarities which are clear, so you can understand how they are together, but Amren’s story is given in brief sentences and you’re still not given enough. I would love to see more from her.

The Hybern mission all happens so fast which normally I wouldn’t like but the fast pace scene is what made me pick up ACOWAR straight away. So much happens in such a little time. Everyone appears to betray everyone. Azriel is badly hurt. Cassian shows more emotion. Lucien finds his mate. Feyre can’t speak to Rhysand down the bond. The queens are in cahoots with Hybern. The sisters are put into the cauldron. Ianthe betrays Tamlin. Tamlin is a dick (what’s new?) and we finish with Hybern once again at the top of the food chain – like nothing has happen. Yet so much has happened. I love that. Suddenly we are back at the Spring Court and Feyre begins to play her role as the girl she was at the beginning of the book. Except this time she has more power than Tamlin can even imagine.

I did pick up the next book straight away so I’m currently reading it and so far so good. I thought I would hate going back to the Spring Court but so much has changed and I need to know what happens. Can Rhys and Feyre find each other again? How will Amren’s character develop? Will we get more of Mor? How will the sisters cope in the Night Court and with their changes? Will Lucien figure out his mating situation? And finally, will Tamlin just piss off?

To finish, can we just talk about mates for a second. Mate mate mate MATE mate mate MaTe mate mate mate… is it just me or is that the only word in the chapter when Feyre and Rhysand confess to one another their feelings? It definitely felt like it. It calms down a little but safe to say, I’m sick of the word mate. I understand its meaning in this case but it is a little cringey.

I did find that the best way for me to get into this book was to skim read a lot. Usually with fantasy novels I read deeply. I want to relax and immerse myself in the world but since I struggled to get into this one I couldn’t do that. So I skim read. Only when I got to the good bits did I finally relax into it. Now I feel ready to fall into ACOWAR.

Perhaps if I read this at a different time I would have been able to fall into it straight away but here we are. I would of course still recommend the series and since this is the first Sarah J. Maas that I’ve read, I am pretty excited for Crescent City and I need to go back and read Throne of Glass. Until then, I will be finishing ACOWAR! BUY A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES ONLINEBUY A COURT OF MIST AND FURY ONLINEBUY A COURT OF WINGS AND RUINS ONLINE

MORE BY SARAH J. MAAS:

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