AH SO many thoughts! What I’m going to do is give a brief spoiler free review of the series followed by a spoiler warning where I can give you all my spoilery thoughts.
There are currently 3 books in this series by Sarah J. Maas: A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury, and A Court of Wings and Ruin. A fourth installment, a shorter story dubbed book 3.1 A Court of Frost and Starlight comes out May 1st. It will supposedly be a bridge between the events of the first three books and the future 3 books Maas insteads to write. I haven’t found anything to suggest what the other set of the series will be about but I and others have been making some guesses it’ll focus on supporting characters from the first three.
If you read my post about series I wasn’t sure if I DNF or keep reading, then you know that I read the first book in this series back in October 2017, instantly downloaded the second book on my kindle, and then I couldn’t compel myself to read it. Which is not a good sign for me since I typically binge read through series so I figured if after the first one I wasn’t jumping for the second one that maybe it wasn’t for me. But after reaching out to booklandia, I decided I would give the second book a try, especially since I’d already downloaded it. And I’m SO happy I did. This is definitely a book series that I would read again despite how long they are. I binge read the second and third books in about 2-3 days this past week. Which is saying something considering the last book is about 700 pages.
This is a new adult fantasy book, it takes place in a world where the humans and fae are separated from each other by a magic wall that is meant to keep each other out. Feyre is our main character, she lives in poverty with her two sisters and crippled depressed father in a small cabin and she has to hunt to keep her family surviving. One day she kills a wolf fae in the woods and as punishment is taken by another fae, Tamlin, to live beyond the wall as payment for the fae life she’s killed. From here we are treated to a bit of a beauty and the beast trope. We learn that there is a curse on Tamlin’s people and basically all the fae are being subjected to an evil queen’s rule. Feyre tries to save the day and some real dark things happen. We get somewhat of a happily ever after with the first book and I think that’s why I wasn’t so compelled to read the second. But when you do, the second book turns the first book basically on its head and the series gets SO much better. I feel like it was kind of a risk for Maas to write the series this way because truthfully all the super good parts are really in the second two books, and actually the first book is even improved with the knowledge and perspective you get from the second book. And that’s not to say the first book isn’t good because it is, but you don’t realize how much you were missing all these really important and satisfying parts of the story until they are revealed in the second book. (Definitely compels you to reread too!)
The world building is well done and grows throughout the series as we explore more parts of it through Feyre’s POV. Most of the time is spent in the Fae world across the wall and you are introduced to the various seasonal and solar courts and players. Feyre struggles with some PTSD and depression throughout the series which I think was well portrayed and appropriate for the trials she experiences and didn’t make her character seem weak or annoying.
The character development in the books in fantastic. Feyre really grows and changes through the series again in a way that feels appropriate to her experiences and her personality/disposition. She doesn’t play damsel in distress and you learn what an incredible bad ass she is. More characters are introduced in the second and third books and the world feels fuller and more alive than in the first book, and we get a better sense of friends and family. Maas peels away the layers of each character in a way that is subtle and believable.
Maas also subtly and gracefully shifts our focus to the supporting characters in a way that sets you up for a natural transition of wanting more about their stories in future installments without feeling forced or tarnishing your investment in or taking away your focus from the main couple’s relationship.
The stakes are high, the romance is hot and steamy, and the characters are ones you don’t want to leave.
Absolutely recommend for fans of faeries/paranormal romance, will reread.
I loved watching Feyre wield control over her powers, herself, and others with newly developed confidence in the later books. I also really admired that she could recognize the flaws in her relationship with Tamlin and decide to end it prior to her beginning any romantic or physical relationship with Rhysand.
All. The. Rhysand. Omg, seriously new book boyfriend (also first time I’ve actually typed that out loud). The build up and banter between him and Feyre is f***ing fire and I loved every bit of it. I was feeling so freaking suffocated along with Feyre while she was with Tamlin in book two and was just dying for Rhysand to come steal her away so we could escape. Excellent writing on Maas’s part to give me all those feels before Feyre herself realized how suffocated she really was.
Rhysand is basically a big fat feminist and it’s really emphasized that he encourages the people in his life to make their own decisions. We learn so much about who Rhysand really is behind his mask and it’s written very believably so it doesn’t feel forced or like a farce. The other characters struggle to believe he’s not the mask and but since Maas really writes out and shows us his character through his actions and instead of just telling us he’s a good guy, it makes all the difference.
I really love that here wasn’t that drawn out “omg I’m done with you, no wait it was a misunderstanding so I forgive you, let’s get back” moment with her and Rhysand. It started to happen with Tamlin until Feyre realized she had to end it. Her and Rhysand work through adversity together and when they had their big “will they won’t they moment” it wasn’t overly dramatic and she just needed to have some space to paint and think for herself which shows her development for not rushing into things after her past experience just latching onto Tamlin and committing without much self reflection.
I’m actually a fan of the mate trope in books but it was kind of refreshing that it was something that, in a way, could be refused or turned down and that it wasn’t a prerequisite for a flawless or well matched relationship
Some of the best parts of the second and third books, besides all the Rhysand, are when we finally get the supporting characters that we were needing and lacking in the first book. Just like Feyre starts to click with other characters and begins to feel at home, I had that same feeling too with the story, like “ah yes, this is what I didn’t even realize I was needing and wanting”.
I was actually surprised by and really enjoyed Feyre’s sisters coming into the Fae world and being more involved in the story. I can’t wait to see more from them in the future.
We get a bit more out of Lucien and he has some character development. I’m excited to see more from his story line and hope things start to play out with him and Elain. I also want more especially after we learn that secret about his parentage; I really don’t have any guesses about what this could mean or lead to but I’m assuming we’ll find out later.
Shipping Cassian and Nesta with seriously ALL THE FEELS. Maas did an awesome job making us care about this ship, expertly switching our focus to them for hopefully the upcoming books without making us lose interest in our main couple. Ugh that scene where she screams his name to save him from the cauldron blast omgomgomg I really can’t stop thinking about it.
I started to suspect Feyre’s dad coming in at the end and I’m not sure exactly how I feel about it, it was definitely interesting and I don’t think I feel negative about it but not all positive either. Perhaps we’ll learn more about his role during that time in the future books.
Also, the Bone Carver’s story about the long-ago Fae worrier who contained his siblings, that he knew her name and her that her bloodline is long gone “though a trace still runs through some human line” – is this Feyre’s family??
I think we’ll definitely be seeing more of Queen Vassa in future books. I didn’t get much of read on her or form an opinion so this is mostly a neutral statement.
I feel bad for Tamlin since he’s not a *bad* guy per say but he definitely has some real control and anger problems leading to abuse. It’d be interesting to see him improve and have a healthier and happier story in the future.
I started to suspect about Mor’s sexuality after a comment that Eris made, but 500 hundred years or more is long freaking time to be in the closet and have that weird triangle mess with her, Azriel and Cassian to then just blurt it to Feyre in the middle of a war. I’m not sure what I want to see out of her in the future.
Also speaking of Eris, I’m actually really intrigued by his character and feel like there is more to it and I want to see it…
Basically I want MORE of all of it.
Let know if you’ve read this series or if you’re planning to!
Did you love it? Are you obsessed? Are you eagerly awaiting for 3.1??
Do you want to fangirl out with me??