Book: A Court of Frost and Starlight
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3.1
Genre: High Fantasy
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
“To family old and new.
Let the Solstice festivities begin.”
I don’t even know how to start this review. This was everything I needed and more. A Court of Frost and Starlight was fluffy, it was seeing my favourite characters be domestic, it was the Inner Circle and their constant, hilarious banter, it was about family, love, lose, celebration, and heartbreak and I’m too emotional to know how to take that all in and process it. I didn’t write notes when I was reading so I have no idea what will pour out of me as I try to coherently write down my thoughts.
A Court of Frost and Starlight, which has been explained by Sarah herself as a long novella that acts like a bridge from the trilogy to the spinoff books, is a gift.
The war has ended, but everyone is still working hard to heal themselves and the world around them. There are so many things to right, to rebuild, to ensure. But with Winter Solstice approaching, it opens an opportunity for a well-deserved break. We follow the Inner Circle as they balance preparations being made for their intimate celebration with the call to right the effects of the war and potential poison brewing. And perhaps a broken soul who can barely hold herself together.
I can’t even tell you the amount of times I laughed, squealed, and put down the book to take a breath. My experience reading A Court of Frost and Starlight was truly a joy. I am counting down the days for the next book. The concept of it has me pumped.
I want to start with the fluffy stuff.
“Dangerous words, Rhysand,” Amren warned, strutting through the door, nearly swallowed up by the enormous white fur coat she wore. Only her chin-length dark hair and solid silver eyes were visible above the collar. She looked— “You look like an angry snowball,” Cassian said.”
The Inner Circle has been, and I believe always will be, the best group of characters that I’ve ever read about. They are so loving and supportive of each other, but most of all, I love their banter. Yes, each one of them was responsible for making me laugh during this read. I’m always craving for more with these characters, and it was so refreshing to be able to read about them not going to war. To be able to read about their normal lives in Velaris was such a beautiful sight, and I’m so happy that Sarah gave us this opportunity to experience it.
One of the most fun parts of this to me was them gift buying and figuring out what to get everyone. I just saw my friends and I and how it’s sometimes a battle to figure out what to get each other. I just loved reading something so relatable.
Now this is the last time we will be reading from Feyre and Rhys point of view. We will of course see them again as side characters, but after reading their story for three book and a novella, this end to their chapter was bittersweet. I don’t have much to say about them that I already haven’t said in the past. But I feel so grateful towards them because they represent such a healthy relationship. It has really opened my eyes in that aspect, which is one of many reasons why Sarah’s books are so important to me. I really wish to see more healthy relationships in future books that I read.
“A memory. Of me on the kitchen table just a few feet away. Of him kneeling before me. My legs wrapped around his head. Cruel, wicked thing. I heard a door slamming somewhere in the house, followed by a distinctly male yelp. Then banging—as if someone was trying to get back inside. Mor’s eyes sparkled. “You got him kicked out, didn’t you?” My answering smile set her roaring.”
I’m sure the whole neighborhood heard me squeal when I turned to chapter three and saw that it was from Cassian’s point of view. As much as I love Feyre and Rhys, my interest has piqued immensely in regards to certain side characters and their journey, not just as background characters to someone else’s story. I think it’s no surprise that those characters, for me, are Cassian and Nesta. Of course I’m all for Nessian and they as a potential romantic couple has turned into my biggest priority, but it’s so much more than that. Them as individual characters, now there’s something complex to analyze. Especially Nesta. Especially after the glimpse we got into her new life and how her journey is about to develop in the next book.
Something that I’ve always appreciated about Sarah J. Maas and her stories is how she showcases and deals with mental illness.
Nesta broke my heart in this book. I was devastated to see her so isolated, unwanted, and hollow. Can I saw I was surprised by her coldness? No. I expected it. But I was surprised by how her loneliness, her PTSD, her depression, her addictions, were enabled, were not helped, were left alone in hopes that it would go away by itself. This was enabled by her own family. I know Nesta is not the easiest to deal with, but it won’t get better if they leave her alone. I mean A Court of Wings and Ruin is proof that it is possible to crack Nesta’s coldness. Unfortunately, the war made her retreat back into herself, perhaps even worse than before, and no one stepped up to help her. And I know first hand that this situation should not be dealt with in isolation. I honestly don’t know what they expected by leaving her alone, but,
“I want you out of Velaris,” Feyre breathed, her voice shaking. Nesta tried—tried and failed—not to feel the blow, the sting of the words. Though she didn’t know why she was surprised by it. There were no paintings of her in this house, they did not invite her to parties or dinners anymore, they certainly didn’t visit— “And where,” Nesta asked, her voice mercifully icy, “am I supposed to go?” Feyre only looked to Cassian. And for once, the Illyrian warrior wasn’t grinning as he said, “You’re coming with me to the Illyrian Mountains.”
As hard as this is, I see hope for her future. I see her gaining a purpose. And I’m beyond excited to read about it.
A concept in this that I thought was beyond beautiful and really impacted me in a way I can’t describe is the idea of creating.
“I have to create, or it was all for nothing. I have to create, or I will crumple up with despair and never leave my bed. I have to create because I have no other way of voicing this.”
It’s as if this is voicing something in the back of my mind that has never fully formed on the surface. I’m in a point in my life where I am desperate to keep busy and I’m scared if I stop. Because I don’t know what will happen, who I will be if I let nothing consume my life. I just really wanted to bring it up because I thought it was a good reminder of that.
I want to end this review with a highlight. The line that had be roaring with laughter. The line that forced me to put down the book and take a breath.
“Cassian had named about two dozen poses for Nesta at this point. Ranging from “I will eat your eyes for breakfast” to “I don’t want Cassian to know I’m reading smut.”
This was everything and more. Nesta reads smut and she tries to hide that from Cassian. This is the stuff I live for. Maybe Cassian and Nesta can have a romance book club in the Illyrian Mountains. I need the next book already.