With the release of A Court of Wings and Ruin just a couple of weeks away, here’s a brief recap of the first two books in the series – as I haven’t reviewed these books on here before. I’m also currently running a giveaway for a pre-order of the next book from the Book Depository. It’s open until midnight BST on Thursday 21 April, so if you’d like to enter you still have time. You can view the original post and how to enter here.
As I’m reviewing the two books in one post here – there will definitely be spoilers – so please don’t read ahead if you don’t want to know what happens!
A Court of Thorns and Roses
The story: Feyre and her family live hand to mouth, surviving the best they can and living in fear of the creatures that dwell in the neighbouring land. When Feyre kills a faerie, she’s taken to live on the other side of the wall in a court where people wear masks and an unspoken threat is threatening to destroy not just the faerie realms, but also the family that Feyre has left behind. As she struggles to come to terms with her new life, she’s unaware that she has an important role to play in unfolding events.
My thoughts: This is a loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast, with Tamlin, the love interest in this book, being the beast. He and his court and cursed, and Feyre is the key to getting them removed, even if she doesn’t know it yet. As I’ve read the second in the series, which completely turns everything I thought I felt about ACOTAR on its head, I’m finding it really hard to review this book. At the end of the day while this book was enjoyable, the second in the series is so much better – and it’s very rare that I say that about any book!
I didn’t really believe in the relationship which developed between Feyre and Tamlin, although it does provide a way for Feyre to change her views and to become who she needs to be for book two. On the other hand, Rhys is presented as a bit of a shady character in ACOTAR, although on a reread it’s clear to see the clues of what’s to come. I also picked up a whole load more clues to future events on my recent reread, which meant I enjoyed it more than I thought I would the second time around.
A Court of Mist and Fury
The story: Amarantha is gone and the people of Pyrthian are struggling to pick up their pieces of their lives after fifty years spent under her reign of terror. Feyre is now a High Fae in the Spring Court, but the events of under the mountain have taken their toll on her, on Tamlin and their relationship. She’s struggling to deal with her new reality and with her ongoing bargain with Rhysand. And while Amarantha might be gone, Feyre soon realises that her tormentor was just a small part of a wider plan to bring war not just to Pyrthian, but to the human lands beyond its borders.
My thoughts: Sarah J Maas is really is in a league of her own in this genre. Usually a sequel, and the second book in a planned longer series, is never as good as the first. But while I liked ACOTAR, ACOMAF takes things to a whole new level. I’ve never seen a book with such overwhelmingly positive reviews.
A lot of horrible things happened at the end of ACOTAR. All of the characters are dealing with some serious emotional turmoil as they attempt to piece their lives back together – from survivor’s guilt to post-traumatic stress disorder. I thought this was dealt with really well – there’s no attempt to gloss over things or an assumption of a happily ever after.
While ACOTAR was based on Beauty and the Beast, this book draws on the tale of Hades and Persephone. As part of her bargain with Rhys, Feyre must spend a certain amount of time each month in the Night Court. But while she expects to hate Rhys and his court, she finds something unexpected there. She really comes into her own as a character as she adjusts to her new life and the consequences of her decisions in book one. Rhys goes from being a villain to being anything but, and Tamlin goes from her saviour to her jailer. It’s quite a turnaround from the first book, but it’s done excellently and doesn’t feel forced.
Have you read this series? What are you hoping happens (or doesn’t happen!) in A Court of Wings and Ruin?