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A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas | Book Review

acowar

Book: A Court of Wings and Ruin

 Author: Sarah J. Maas

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3

Genre: High Fantasy

 My Rating: 4.5 Stars

“Night Triumphant – and the Stars Eternal. If he was the sweet, terrifying darkness, I was the glittering light that only his shadows could make clear.”

 A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas, my most highly anticipated book of the year, is the third instalment in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. It’s the last book in Feyre’s point of view but not the last book in this series/world. My thoughts and feelings are all over the place so I’m going to try to explain everything in coherent sentences.

It was such a surreal moment when I got this beauty in my possession. I am glad that it took me a few weeks to finish reading because I wanted to savour every moment considering the wait for its release lasted a year.

A Court of Wings and Ruin follows the events of the previous book and Feyre is surrounded by enemies in order to discover their plans and break them apart from the inside out. She soon reunites with the wonderful inner circle and her sisters. There is a lot to prepare for the upcoming war and because of this we are introduced to so many new characters, such as all the high lords, as they are essential allies.

I loved this book, I love these characters with everything I am, and this series will always be special to me, but despite loving ACOWAR I wasn’t as in love with it as I was with ACOMAF. I am fiercely protective and fiercely in love with ACOMAF and it’s just one of those books that has touched my soul and given me hope. I know that the two books have different purposes but I think the problem was all the plotting and planning for the inevitable war. I understand that every single part of the war talk were puzzle pieces slowly coming together to lead up to a hopeful victory, but as a result I found the pacing of the book to be hard to get through at times. The last couple hundred pages actually helped with the pacing because I was so invested in what was going on, but alas my rating for ACOWAR is 4.5 Stars.

*Spoilers Ahead*

 I think something that really surprised me is that the first 120 pages, where Feyre was not yet reunited with her family, were not as boring as I was expecting. I didn’t exactly enjoy reading it because of the circumstances but what really saved it for me was Lucien. I obviously wasn’t a fan of Lucien in the previous book but I did believe that he was going to change and have that redemption arc. Throughout the first 120 pages his efforts to be that friend that Feyre desperately needed in book two was finally shining through. The friendship from Feyre’s side was unclear though because we knew she was undercover, pretending to have good intentions and feelings toward Tamlin and his court, so there were definitely times where I was confused about how genuine she was with Lucien. For example when Feyre pretended to have a nightmare and went to Lucien for comfort and Tamlin caught them, she knew about Tamlin’s wrath and how he was going to take it out on Lucien yet she still involved him. I mean what she did in order to prevent Tamlin from going to her room was clever. I just didn’t like how she put Lucien in that situation.

My heart broke when Lucien explained what he had to go through in terms of being forced to be with Ianthe and I was cheering Feyre on when she decided to stay and help Lucien from another one of Ianthe’s unwanted pursuits. Feyre didn’t think twice about all the precise plans and actions she thought out and executed on the people who hurt and threatened her family. We later see that Feyre genuinely is Lucien’s friend and I love how Feyre pulled a Rhys and took him to Velaris. Where he was expecting torture, suffering, and death, he was just as surprised as Feyre was that the reality was in fact the complete opposite from what he was expecting.

 “There are children laughing in the street. … He said it with such… quiet surprise. As if he hadn’t heard the sound in a long, long time.”

I don’t think I’ve ever fangirled as hard as I did when Feyre was reunited with the inner circle. Cassian and Azriel swooped in and saved Feyre and Lucien in the Winter Court and immediately I was relieved that Cassian’s wings were intact and Azriel was healed from his injuries. I had to stop reading to regain my ability to take deep breaths and settle my emotions when Rhys walked on the page. When Feyre fell to her knees when she first saw him my first thought was: Did she just faint? Because same.

I was holding on to every single interaction between the inner circle, Feyre and Rhys, and even Elain and Nesta. It was just so exciting to be able to read canon plots, dialogues, and interactions because I waited so long for their story to continue. Of course when it comes to Sarah J. Maas’s main group of characters, they are written so well that’s it’s hard not to fall in love with all of them. The back and forth between the inner circle (including Nesta) was my favourite thing ever. All the banter was hilarious.

“Scared?”

“Why should I be scared of an oversized bat who likes to throw temper tantrums?”

I need to talk about Feyre and Rhys because obviously they are my favorites and the ultimate ship of this series. In ACOMAF I lived for their relationship development, how they weren’t technically together but it was the best slow burn romance I have ever read. Reading about them falling in love will never cease to make me emotional and give me all the feels. In ACOWAR however, they are together, they are a power couple, they are in love, and despite loving this I wasn’t feeling that enthralled in their relationship as I was in the previous book. But don’t get me wrong, they are still my favourite ship and there were still a lot of steamy, beautiful, and heartbreaking moments. My honest thoughts were “I love them, they’re together. Now I want Nesta and Cassian together.”

First of all I need to establish that Nesta is one my favourite characters from ACOWAR. I loved how present Nesta and Elain were in this book, Nesta especially. Of course there were moments in the beginning where Nesta was being vicious, and I don’t think she will ever lose that about her, but her development throughout this book made me want to sob. She agreed to work with Amren to mend the wall, her relationship with Feyre began to improve, and she became the emissary to the human world for Rhys. When Nesta agreed to attend that meeting with the High Lords and tell her story, something she vowed to never do at the beginning of the book, was really the turning point in which I knew she was my favourite. I kept predicting that she was going to change her mind, and she did.

And of course there was the tension filled relationship between Nesta and Cassian that I was rooting for. I was living for the small mentions of Feyre observing the looks and body language between Nesta and Cassian. We didn’t get a chance to get their point of view, but Feyre kindly informed the readers what was going on. Nesta is a closed off person, she always puts on this uncaring mask, but anytime Cassian was in any sort of trouble, specifically when he was fighting in all the battles, Nesta’s mask came right off and her genuine fear of Cassian’s safety was displayed. But what absolutely broke me, despite it being one of the highlights of the book for me, was when Nesta couldn’t leave Cassian’s side when he was badly wounded and was about to be killed by the King of Hybern so instead she shielded his body with her own and was prepared to die with him.

“I have no regrets in my life, but this. That we did not have time. That I did not have time with you, Nesta. I will find you in the next world – the next life. And we will have that time. I promise.”

“Together. They’d go together.”

So how could I not be absolutely devoted to these two after that scene?

As for Elain, I was expecting her to end up with Lucien before I started reading the book and now having finished it, I can’t decide if I want her to end up with Azriel or Lucien. Honestly I wouldn’t mind either way but I find it interesting how a mating bond can be rejected. I’m not entirely convinced of either choice just yet but hopefully one of the next books will expand on their relationships.  

I’ve mentioned before that the pacing of this book was slow at times, mostly because of war talk, but with the war talk it allowed us to meet all the High Lords. I’ve taken the court quiz and I’m officially part of the Day Court, so being able to meet Helion was amazing. I didn’t have a high opinion of him during the meeting but we later find out that he was acting in a way that wasn’t truly him. We also find out that Helion is Lucien’s biological father, and being a big fan of Lucien throughout this book, I was really happy about this twist.

I don’t think I’ve ever been as stressed out when reading than when I was reading the last hundred pages of this book because I was convinced that either Azriel or Cassian was going to die. I was thankfully wrong, but of course Sarah J. Maas didn’t let her main characters go off easy because she decided to kill off Rhys… which truthfully I wasn’t really affected by because I just knew that there was going to be some way to bring him back. What really got me though was Feyre’s reaction to his death, it absolutely crushed my soul. Just how she described the bond going blank was really heartbreaking. All the High Lords, including Tamlin, and Feyre brought him back, which is really interesting because the most powerful High Lord in history now possesses even more power from every High Lord and High Lady.

Something that I wasn’t expecting was Amren’s return. After she turned into her true form and ended the war Rhys gave her the opportunity to come back, and she took it. Now her true form is officially Fae.

The ending was definitely satisfying, especially because everyone in the inner circle made it out alive, but there are still so many stories that were not concluded. I know they will be the topics of the next books though. Personally, I’m really hoping that the next book follows Nesta and Cassian because I’m absolutely obsessed.

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Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas | REVIEW

fireheartBook: Empire of Storms

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Fantasy

My Rating: 4 Stars

“But letting that glimmering, lovely light before him die out . . . In his ancient, bitter bones, he could not accept it. She had offered him a home.”

Empire of Storms, the 5th instalment in Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series, was a whirlwind of epicness, battles, romance, and attractive territorial fae warriors. I personally had no idea what to expect from this 700 page book, meaning that I was able to (for the most part) avoid spoilers as best as I could, which doesn’t usually happen. But there was the occasional direction of the storyline that I was able to guess right because of the amount of foreshadowing happening throughout the book. I had some problems with a few characters and at some points didn’t seem to enjoy Maas’s writing, finding her descriptions to be repetitive and just frustrating to get through. I surprisingly enjoyed and cared about the storylines of the side characters more than the main ones, which sadly means that I wasn’t really excited about the majority of the book as I kept trying to get through a number of chapters in order to get to the POVs of the minor characters I cared about.

EoS opened up its world in a way that we’ve never seen before. The world expanded right in front of our eyes as the main crew met up with old characters and visited a wide range of lands in order to plot and plan, ensuring that their side of the dark war, that’s inevitably coming, isn’t a fool’s task. All I can say is that I’m excited and a little frightened over what’s to come next in the final installment of the Throne of Glass series. It’s been a long journey, but there’s still a lot more epicness to come.

For the continuation of this review I will be talking about my spoiler thoughts and feels.

I think splitting this review up by ships is the best way to go because almost every character in EoS was matched up with someone…

Lorcan and Elide: I want to start off by saying that the highlight of this book for me was the Elide and Lorcan chapters. I had no idea before I began this book that I would be sailing on a new ship, but there I was from the very first chapter being excited at the possibility of these two characters getting together. I was loving the “we have to pretend we’re married trope, leading to the awkward sleeping arrangements trope” that Sarah included in their story. I was laughing at how Elide completely baffled Lorcan. He’s a 500 years old dark fae warrior who found himself impressed, surprised, and a little frightened by this teenage girl. I thought their little makeout session was great despite the uncomfortable location and atmosphere they were in, and when Elide sacrificed herself to save him… his reaction was so heartbreaking. Just the idea that Lorcan has probably never had anyone care for him, let alone sacrifice themselves  for him, really made that scene so much more meaningful. It was definitely a defining moment in their relationship. Also, props to Sarah for including the difficulty of Elide getting her period because it was realistic and relatable!! And can we just talk about how Lorcan tore up his shirt for her to use as pads? He seriously reached a whole new level with that thoughtful gesture.

Aedion and Lysandra: I was rooting for these two to be a thing from QoS, and even though they still aren’t a couple in EoS, I don’t really mind because their relationship isn’t being rushed. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t have some great moments throughout the book. I think one of my favourite parts of EoS overall was when Lysandra turned into a sea dragon at Skull’s Bay and battled all those sea-wyverns. That was completely epic! And Aedion was watching the whole time (as were everyone else) worried for her and pissed off at Aelin for putting her in that situation. Even that post-battle scene on the beach really stuck out to me. He waited there with her for hours until she had enough strength and energy to shift back into her human form. I really hope that their relationship strengthens in the last book and that Aedion puts aside his anger towards her so that they could work as a team. They had similar pasts, and I think they really need each other (even as just a friend) to be able to heal and move past the scars they possess.

Dorian and Manon: Where do I even begin? I was so excited about what was going to happen between these two from the moment I read their first meeting in QoS. They were honestly the least likely characters to get together in my mind, but that obviously changed. Now I’m not sure at this point where their relationship is headed. Being in a romantic relationship doesn’t really seem like Manon’s thing… But she’s had so much character development over the last 3 books that anything is possible at this point.  It’s guaranteed that she and Dorian are lusting for one another though. I must admit, I honestly never liked Dorian from books 1-4. I didn’t understand the hype surrounding his character, but EoS somehow changed that for me. I absolutely love him now. He’s just a precious and powerful cinnamon roll and he needs to be protected at all costs.  On the topic of Manon, I don’t think I’ve ever went through several emotions at once than when Astrin was about to get executed. I literally went from crying and being angry at the idea of her dying, to being surprised as I rooted for Manon to take her grandmother down.

Rowan and Aelin: This is what I’ve been dreading the most to talk about. I was so for Aelin and Rowan becoming a romantic couple in HoF & QoS, but my feelings have changed drastically. I didn’t want to admit it to myself throughout half this book, but the reality is I just really don’t care about their characters, individually and together. This is a pretty controversial opinion considering there are so many readers out there who love them, but I also know I’m not alone on this opinion because I’ve read reviews with people who have had the same. So basically Rowan is an okay character, I don’t love him or anything, he’s just there. But I literally lost count on the amount of times Aelin annoyed me throughout this book. I don’t know how to explain it, but I just didn’t feel any connection with her at all. She was always so angry, moody, and full of herself. It was honestly exhausting to read her chapters. And I just didn’t feel anything towards her relationship with Rowan. The fact that they’re mates and that they got married didn’t give me feels. I don’t know what else to say other then I just couldn’t bring myself to rate this book higher than 4 stars because Aelin and Rowan obviously played a huge role in this book, as they are the lead characters, resulting in no way of escaping them. If I felt this way towards a side character, I wouldn’t have had as much of a problem with the book because they wouldn’t have been the main focus. There is still room for improvement, perhaps my mind will change with the final book, but at this point I don’t see myself ever shipping them.

Overall, I enjoyed certain aspects of Empire of Storms more than others and despite the fact that this book was not my favourite in the series, I’m still curious to see how Sarah J. Mass will end her story in the final instalment. She is one of my favourite authors and I will continue to read all the books she releases. I guess my expectations have just been really high ever since I read A Court of Mist and Fury.

 

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

“I would have torn the world apart to get you back.”

So many scenes, so many lines that had my heart racing with a stupid smile plastered on my face. I mean if I were being honest here, this whole book was exactly what I’ve been anticipating for for a long time. It exceeded my expectations and I’m completely in love. This is definitely a solid 5 stars for me. I wish I could rate it higher!

*Just a warning that there will be spoilers in this review*

Okay, okay, okay, I don’t even know where to begin…

I seriously think I’m still blushing.

This book was so steamy and beautiful. I can’t even begin to explain how fantastic the romance, world building, and character developments were. We got to see so much more of Prythian; The Night Court of course, and some of the Summer and Spring Court. And in the Night Court we got to visit so many places! Such as The Court of Nightmares, The hidden City of Velaris, and The Illyrian Mountains and war-camp. Not only did we get to see so much of it, but we also learned a great deal of information about the different places and the characters histories there. I would love to live in The Night Court if I was ever given the chance, perhaps even join Rhysand’s fabulous court (squad).

So to begin…
I went into this book completely ready to despise Tamlin, which ended up actually happening. (Urg) It makes me mad because I actually liked him a lot in the first book. But with the way he was treating Feyre… I think we can all agree here that though what he did was because he had intentions of making sure Feyre was safe, he dealt with it in a completely wrong way. With what they both just went through Under the Mountain, the fact that he didn’t so much as get up in the middle of the night whenever Feyre was startled from a nightmare and had to deal with it by constantly throwing up, confused me… She was in need of comfort, but he didn’t even bother trying to talk to her about it whenever either of them had a moment where they were being haunted by the horrific past events. All he did was lock Feyre up and that ultimately lead to her unhappiness. It just became an unhealthy relationship. Feyre was lonely and unhappy, not only because of what happened Under the Mountain, but because of the type of role she was forced to play as Tamlin’s future wife and court member. Seriously, if Rhysand hadn’t gotten her out of there in time, I would have found a way to do it myself.

The Night Court: Feyre made a deal with Rhysand in ACOTAR that if she visits him one week every month for the rest of her life, he would heal her so she can continue her tasks in freeing Tamlin from Amarantha’s clutches. It seemed, though, that the High Lord of the Night Court didn’t bother showing up to retrieve her for the bargain for three months after their survival Under the Mountain. Even though Feyre wished he forgot about her and the bargain, he still ended up making a grand entrance.
He decided to show up on her wedding day, and right on time too, I might add (even though Feyre didn’t appreciate it at the time). That’s when he finally came to claim his bargain and whisk her away to his court.
I seriously love this court, and not just the Night Court in general, but Rhysand and his inner circle. They are all very dangerous, intriguing, and unique parts of his court.

We have Mor, who is Rhysand’s cousin. She is an independent woman (lets be real; all of Sarah J. Maas’s female leads are independent) who is so full of life and will take any opportunity to go out and have fun. She was a dreamer born in the Court of Nightmares. Despite her horrible past with her family, she is still able to move forward and appreciate the new family she has now. She loves them deeply and is quick to welcome Feyre into this family as well.

Then there is Azriel, Rhysand’s spymaster, warrior, and shadowsinger of the Night Court. Most of the time it was evident that he had shadows surrounding him, perhaps talking to him. He also may or may not have feelings for Mor, but it’s not clear because he doesn’t easily allow his emotions to be shown.

Cassian, the General Commander of the Night Court’s armies, is altogether a complete pain and flirt. He is a bastard-born Illyrian warrior, who after all this time with his high rank in Rhysand’s inner circle, still doesn’t believe he is good enough.

And of course, there is Amern. She is quite a powerful creature who got turned into a faerie a long time ago. She entered the fae and mortal lands from another world and is Rhysand’s second in command. This just proves that Rhysand doesn’t care or believe in traditional gender roles, which I really appreciate.

I enjoyed this book so much, but one of the things that constantly persuaded me to not put the book down was the romance, friendship, and just overall wonderful relationship between Feyre and Rhysand. Anytime they interacted, which was most of the book, I had all the feels. From their amusing banter, to their slow burning steamy romance. It was all just so beautiful and emotional.

I seriously can’t wait until the next book to see how the story continues. Sarah J. Maas truly outdid herself with this sequel.