“There are good days and hard days for me – even now. Don’t let the hard days win.”
After taking two years to read A Court of Thorns and Roses, I’m surprised by how quickly I flew through A Court of Mist and Fury. Well, actually, no. I’m not. This book was fabulous.
Anyone reading this spoiler-filled discussion of the book has probably read this book already, but I’ll summarize a bit. The novel picks up with Feyre living at the Spring Court, ready to marry Tamlin. She’s stuck indoors constantly, brooding on the terrible events that occurred while she was beneath the mountain. On her wedding day, Rhysand shows up to call in the bargain they made at the end of A Court of Thorns and Roses. From there, we’re thrust into the Night Court and its politics. We discover the brewing conflict between Prythian and Hybern, and we begin to see just how many of the fae resent the treaty that allowed humans to live free of them.
First of all, the fact that this book opens with Feyre suffering from PTSD is one of my favorite things about it. In fantasy series, we so rarely see realistic reactions to traumatic events. Death and violence line pretty much every fantasy story, but the characters are affected for all of ten minutes before they begin focusing on other things. It’s nice to see an author show the struggle that would normally follow these tragedies. Maas gets an A+ for that.
Another major reason behind my love for this book is the casting. In A Court of Thorns and Roses, I liked the characters. I didn’t love them, not the way I love my Harry Potter characters or my Shadowhunter babies. But they were interesting enough. Once I got a few hundred pages into A Court of Mist and Fury, I began to fall head over heels for them all. Rhysand became even more interesting than he was in the first book, and his court is full of fascinating and lovable personalities. And even Feyre, who bordered on being annoying all through the first book, really came into her own during this sequel. Her character development was fabulous to witness, but I’ll talk more about that when we get to the book’s ending.
The romance in this novel is top notch, if a little problematic at times. Feyre’s relationship with Rhysand grows over 700 pages (if that isn’t slow burn, I don’t know what is). By the time they finally acknowledge their feelings for one another, it feels like the most satisfying moment in the world. I love how the two complement one another as equals, and I absolutely love that Feyre became the first High Lady in Prythian (I mean, we all knew it would happen once Tamlin said there were no High Ladies, but still). Also, it needs to be said: The amount of witty banter in this book rivals The Mortal Instruments. And god, I love witty banter.
Finally, the ending of A Court of Mist and Fury is what landed it a 5 star rating. The entire story was action-packed, but nothing could have prepared me for all that transpired when the group traveled to Hybern.
Feyre’s character grew on me throughout the book, but seeing the sacrifices she was willing to make for her family and her court was something else entirely. Her willingness to return to the Spring Court and destroy it from the inside shows her growth as a character, and it demonstrates how much strength she has in spite of everything that’s happened to her. I’m also so excited we’re bringing her sisters fully into the fold of Prythian, and I can’t wait to see how they fare as fae. I have a feeling the king might regret putting Nesta into that cauldron.
While I gave this book 5 stars, I definitely did still have a few qualms with it. For starters, I think Sarah J. Maas was far too extreme in vilifying Tamlin’s character. He already had possessive tendencies throughout the entire first book, and it would have been easy to subtly push Feyre (and the audience) away from him. But she completely puts him beyond redemption, having him make deals with the enemy to get Feyre back and revealing his involvement in the slaughter of Rhysand’s mother and sister. It just felt like it was a bit much.
There’s also plenty of the awkward gendering that Maas has a tendency to include in her series, and I definitely eye rolled a few times while reading. It wasn’t enough to make me rage quit, but it was jarring at times. I also would have loved to have seen more diversity given how much more of Prythian we see in this sequel.
Even still, this was a 5 of 5 star book for me. I adore almost everything about it. It was addicting and made for a fabulous reading experience. I can’t wait to see how Maas wraps this trilogy up!
Have you guys read A Court of Mist and Fury? Let’s discuss! Tell me your thoughts in the comments.