A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (ACOTAR #2) Book Review

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Title: A Court of Mist and Fury
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Pages: 626
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication date: May 3rd 2016
Genre: fiction

About the book
Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

I'm flying through the ACOTAR series (I'm already about 400 pages into the third book, which is fast for me!) and it's no surprising that I loved this installment just as much - if not more - than the first book given that A Court of Mist and Fury is so, so action packed and full of adventure despite the fact that there was also a tonne of character development and slow-burning romance (which we'll get onto later!)

Let's start with Feyre though, shall we? I mentioned in my ACOTAR review that I really liked Feyre as a character but I loved her in ACOMAF. Like, SO much. Is it weird to be kinda proud of a character? Maybe, but that's the best way I can describe how I felt about her in this book. Without giving out too many spoilers, I was really heartbroken for her at the beginning of the book and my heart went out to her, but by the end, she was a completely different person (in the most wonderful way) and I'm HERE FOR IT. The events that unfolded in the first book truely tore her apart, but she finds her true self in ACOMAF and she becomes a fierce, wild and daring - but also compassionate and merciful - character who can hold her own and knows her own mind and it's one of the best examples of character development I've read in a long, long time.

I don't want to say too much about the other characters because spoilers would then be extremely obvious but let's just say this; A Court of Mist and Fury is a reality check. Feyre isn't the only character who had character development like no other, and characters from the first book are completely flipped on their head in ACOMAF and I'm one hundred percent here for exactly that. If you read my review on the first book, I mentioned how Tamlin was a disappointment towards the end of the book and how he kinda just sat on the sidelines during Feyre's very, very brutal trails and didn't even TRY to intervene whilst Rhysand, who is apparently Tamlin's enemy, fights more and does more for Feyre than Tamlin did during their time Under the Mountain. Again - trying not to give spoilers - but I'm so, so satisfied with how things turned out for Tamlin, Feyre and Rhysand. I kinda had a teeny inkling of what might happen in this book but Maas blew me away with how it was executed.

I also mentioned in my last review how I was glad there wasn't a tonne of characters. We are introduced to a lot more characters in ACOMAF but I'm not entirely mad at it. The main bulk of the new characters comes from Rhysand's Inner Circle and the dynamic between them was incredible. We have the beautiful and fierce Morrigan, the strange and not-quite-of-this-earth Amren (who was my personal favourite out of the Inner Circle), cocky and arrogant Cassian and finally, the quiet and watchful Azriel. The four of them, plus Rhysand, made for entertaining dialogue and they ALL served a purpose to the story. They ALL has an important role to play and none of them felt like they were there for the sake of bulking out characters. There was a real sense of family between them and we get to know each of their tragic backgrounds, which makes it very easy to root for all of them. Then we're introduced to the King of Hybern, the mortal queens, Tarquin and Ianthe - again, all characters that gave something to the story. Alongside these new characters, we still see some old faces besides the main characters; Feyre's sisters Elain and Nesta along with Tamlin's emissary Lucien all make regular appearances throughout.

Okay, enough about the characters, let's get into what the book is REALLY talked about for; the romance, which seems to be make or break on people's opinions on these books. There's no denying that the romance is heavy and Maas focus's equally on the romance aspect as well as the adventure and action side of things. I thought the romance was really, really well done but I can absolutely see why it would be too much for some people. There's a lot of it, and when it gets heavy, it gets HEAVY. Having said that, Feyre is in complete control the whole time and the romance is a healthy and lively portrayal of a relationship and I was completely consumed by it. There was a real sense of mutual respect and honesty for each other; one did not outweigh the other in terms of power and status and they were equals in every right and it was downright empowering. The tension is hot as hell but the hilarious banter, spark and chemistry between them is what got me truely hooked. However, like I previously mentioned, this book is heavy on the steaminess, so if that's not your thing, them you might just want to skim read a few select chapters because this book goes ALL out. If you've read ACOTAR and thought that was raunchy, you're WRONG. This book is ten times more erotic than the first, hands down.

In terms of the world-building and the writing; Maas has somehow managed to expand the boarders of everything we knew about Prythian from the first book. There is so much more depth and history to this book that it seems we only got a very, very small glint of this crazy and monstrous world that we were introduced to in ACOTAR. We get to see so much more of the feared and mysterious Night Court and it's a completely different and vivid experience compared to the Spring Court that the first book focused on. Don't get me wrong, the two were never going to be the same, but they might as well have been on completely different continents. I was blown away by the Night Court. I expected something dark and eerie and unearthly frightening, and whilst there are certainly elements of all of those things, there was also so much light and life and grace and charm that emanates from within the boarders of the Night Court. We are introduced the city of Valaris in the Night Court, which is just so, so stunning and echos all that is good in a Court that has such a disheartening reputation; both of the Court itself and its High Lord.

The plot isn't anything super fast paced in terms of actual happenings and it's more focused on the build-up to the inevitable war that's raging in Hybern, but given that these are chunky books with small font, I feel like there was enough happening to keep me fully gripped whilst knowing there's much, much more to come in the next book. I honestly did not see the ending coming but I'm living for it. Maas has this tendency to completely flip things on their head in the most wonderful way and it leaves you instantly craving more. I was gripped at every single word and I'm already contemplating how long is an acceptable time to re-read this book (and the whole series!) again. Maas has absolutely outdone herself and I can honestly say, that this book might just be one of my all-time favorite books, ever.

Verdict: ★★★★★

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