Book Review: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and FuryTitle: A Court of Mist and Fury

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

I was a survivor, and I was strong.
I would not be weak, or helpless again.
I would not, could not be broken.

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A Court of Mist and Fury is the second part of Feyre’s story.  Her wedding to Tamlin is approaching but she struggles with the memories of being Under The Mountain, and feels suffocated by the Spring Court.  Swept away by Rhysand to uphold the bargain that saved her life, she must survive the mysterious Night Court, and learn not only how to control the new powers she has gained as a Fae, but how to stop the nightmares in her head of those awful months with Amarantha.  Meanwhile, a terrible war is stirring, and Feyre’s new powers may just be the key to stop it…

As I read this book, I had decided already in my head that it was an instant five stars without question.  It had reduced me to tears after all, and surely a book that can create such an emotive response is a good book?  I was flying the Team Rhysand flag high, right up until the final chapters.  You see, nearing the end of the book, I began to feel that I was flying the Team Rhysand flag not through choice, but because Tamlin’s character had been utterly destroyed by the author, and I had been pushed into a position where it was wrong to want to root for Tamlin.  Is this an example of a poor plot?  Or was it done intentionally?  I can’t decide.  Feyre’s integration into the Night Court changes her entire outlook – she learns things about both Tamlin and Rhysand that shock her, and I wonder if her changing allegiance is less a reflection of Tamlin’s behaviour and more a reflection of Feyre’s perspective changing.  The story is told in first person, after all – we are receiving her biased account of the story.  Or perhaps this is just me trying to justify bad writing?  Who knows…

I also can’t help but make comparisons to the first book, which in my eyes was a near-perfect piece of YA Fantasy.  The writing was a little sloppy in book two compared to A Court of Thorns and Roses.  It was repetitive too in its use of language – too much purring and growling. Speaking of which, there was an awful lot of sex in the book and sexual innuendos (more erotica than anything else at times).  I know the Fae seem like quite sexual creatures, but a lot of the word count did go into these themes, when maybe more development was needed elsewhere.

Clearly, I could write an essay of criticisms for this book, yet… I still loved it.  Loved it despite all those flaws.  I just love the world and the lore.  Feyre is feisty and strong, hungry to be active and fight for herself; she is a truly badass heroine.  Brought back to life by the high lords at the end of the first book, she possesses a unique kind of magic that has so much potential, and it is exciting to see her attempts to wield that power. I think visually the magic would work really well on film, so I’m really hoping they adapt the series at some point.

I also thoroughly (and maybe reluctantly, too) enjoyed learning about Rhysand and his backstory.  I did feel however that his character was mostly boosted by the presence of his four friends, who added some comic relief to the story too.  The moments of banter among the members of the Night Court are some of the best moments of the book for me, as I loved the chemistry of the group and found myself laughing along at their mischief.  However, I did find that I was often more engaged by what was happening between Mor and Cassian and Azriel (and their confusing love triangle) and Amren’s ancient power than I actually was by the protagonists.

If I’m being honest with myself, I really don’t know if this book is even worth the 4 stars I am going to award it.  However, there are some interesting chapters – the Weaver and the Bone Carver were particularly excellent – and clearly there was enough in the book to keep me reading like a maniac whenever I could to get the book finished.  I know a lot of fans will be upset with the book, but that certainly won’t stop me from waiting eagerly to read the third installment (out in 2017).

Star Rating: ★★★★ (4/4)

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