I recently reread this amazing series by Sarah J Maas and figured I’d write a review on it. After all, I need an excuse to talk about how much I love the Inner Circle. (Especially Cassian.)
SPOILERS AHEAD. (Seriously, if you haven’t read these books, do not continue reading the review after A Court of Thorns and Roses because I will talk about what happens.)
But let’s start with A Court of Thorns and Roses, a gorgeous retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
Here is the blurb for it:
Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price . . .
Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.
Sounds amazing, right?
I’d been seeing it everywhere for weeks so I decided to place on order on Amazon for it. When it arrived three days later, I started reading and finished it within eight hours. Here’s the thing about me: when I’m seriously into a book, I do not put it down.
I completely lost myself in the book, in the world of Prythian. I became invested in the relationships Maas so artistically crafted, rooting for Feyre right through to the very end. I rejoiced when Feyre and Tamlin had their first kiss. I fell in love, completely, with Feyre’s cunning bravery, her sharp wit, her big ass heart. She is–forever–one of my favourite heroines, because of how amazing she is. She’s careful and cautious, which I adored, and her relationship with Tamlin was a beautiful slow-burn, which is so much more realistic than various other Young Adult novels.
Feyre’s strength is admirable and I aspire to embody some of that courage in my own personality. All of the characters, including the minor, side characters, were so well-written, I couldn’t find any fault in them. At first, it seemed like I would end up hating Rhys but then as the story wore on, I began to think maybe there’s more to him than meets the eye. Towards the latter half of the book, he proved himself to be worthy of me totally loving him without feeling guilty. Lucien’s loyalty and sarcasm makes me squeal like a little fangirl, because he’s just so amazing and I can’t quite explain how amazing he is.
This book is phenomenal and the journey Feyre goes on is one that gives me shivers each time I reread it. The few scenes during the trials with Rhys treating Feyre as his pet irked me a little, but over all, this is definitely a five star read, but it is nothing compared to A Court of Mist and Fury.
The day after finishing ACOTAR, I went out to WHSmith and bought the sequel, because I knew I wouldn’t have the patience to wait a few days for the delivery. Again, I finished it the same day I started and after rereading it three times since, I have realised just how utterly in love with this book I am.
Earlier I mentioned The Undoing of Ryder Burke, which will be my all time favourite. A Court of Mist and Fury comes in at a close second.
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.
This book . . . it just made me SOB SO MUCH and I was FREAKING OUT because why the actual heck was Tamlin being such a douchebag? I mean, bro, c’mon, wtf? That’s your girl! Why are you not comforting her? Feyre was suffering from depression and PTSD, which made me cry. I mean seriously. The way Sarah J Maas wrote about all of it, every detail, every word was like a stab to the heart and I remember telling a friend that I had to put it down for a few minutes because I could feel it. I could the pain Feyre was feeling and all of my own feelings were rising up inside me and it was so, so awful.
The way Tamlin was just . . . UGH!!!!!!!!!!! I HATE HIM!!!!!
Feyre was struggling so much and it was all pushed aside. When Rhys swooped in and stopped the wedding, I screamed thank god out loud.
And then Tamlin totally screwed up. He messed up big time and I will always hate him. I literally wanted to jump into the pages and tear the bastard’s throat out. Because how dare he?
(See what I mean? INVESTED IN THESE CHARACTERS.)
Afterwards, when Mor (AKA THE MORRIGAN) and Rhys came in and rescued Feyre, I was crying again. Throughout this entire book, Feyre was inspiring. Her courage to continue trying made me weep and seeing Rhys help her heal, seeing the way he opened up and revealed the person he really is, meeting the rest of the crew (aka Cassian–my sweet love, Azriel and Amren) was like the entire night sky lighting up completely, all over, with billions of stars, able to see them all clearly. It was epic. It was beautiful. It was everything. So I would rate it however many stars exist in this entire galaxy. THAT IS HOW AMAZING IT IS.
I got incredibly attached to everyone mentioned and wanted to see them thrive and be happy! and in love! and then the end happened and I died a little death. I was crying and laughing in the end (seriously in shock), hating that I had to wait months for the third book.
The third book is A Court of Wings and Ruin (aka ACOWAR). I had gotten three copies of it: one hardback from Amazon, a paperback from my niece and a special edition hardback from Indigo.
The Indigo version arrived a few days ahead of the release day. When I came home from work that day and saw the parcel, I started screeching (which scared my mum and made her shout at me . . . oops?) because of how excited and happy and terrified I was.
I was praying Cassian’s wings were ok. I was hoping Feyre would make Tamlin eat dirt.
It definitely lived up to its shortened name. ACOWAR indeed.
Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.
As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places.
So here’s the thing.
I loved ACOWAR. I truly did.
And it’s definitely a five star but there was something missing. I’m not entirely sure what it is, but it felt almost a little lacklustre compared to ACOMAF–which is the best book in the entire goddamn world. But despite this, oh my god! this! book! killed! me!
I laughed, I was overjoyed and jumping up and down when Azriel appeared and we got back together with the rest of the gang. I was practically hyperventilating because I was so nervous and worried about everything that was to happen. And oh my god. I was sobbing. So much. Ugly crying. Face all red and blotchy and teary and snotty and crying my goddamn eyes out.
“Only you can decide what breaks you, Cursebreaker. Only you.”
This book was just full of so much plot and building the anticipation for it and mystery because the stupid mortal queens! everything! the king! Tamlin! That scene when Tamlin helped Feyre escape? *chef kiss* (don’t get me wrong, he’s still a prick and I still dislike him.)
But let’s break it down to my favourites:
- the Suriel. He was like a cute, gossipy high schooler and I was so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so sososoososososo sad when he died 😦 because it was just so sad. And when he said “you were kind”, oh god, my heart broke a little more
- RHYS’ LIBRARY! The way this book dealt with the aftermath of Amarantha and the pain and horrors she inflicted on everyone was wonderful. The library being like a safe space for survivors brought me to tears.
- ALL. THE. STRONG. WOMEN.
- Rhysand as a whole. Everything about him is my favourite and I love how supportive, caring, loving and fiercely protective he is of those he loves–those who he considers family, including Feyre. The battle scene with him, nearly the end, the sacrifice, made me sob. I was crying. No, not just crying. I was heaving with sobs, unable to control the tears and I was sending a video on Snapchat to my niece. She took a screenshot and put it up on her story, captioning it because a character died and replied to me saying I can’t believe you’re crying loooool. Like? Hello? You would be too????????
- “I see all of you, Rhys. And there is not one part that I do not love with everything I am.” Brb while I go cry.
This series has my entire heart. I’m not even kidding. It is it. I have raved about this to anyone who will listen, for months and drove my friend and colleague crazy before the release of ACOWAR. I was counting down the days and it was worth the wait.
But the only thing I didn’t like was how it felt like Mor being gay was used as a plot device. Don’t get me wrong, I love that she’s gay, it’s great, but there could have been subtle mentions of it beforehand, instead of it suddenly being thrown in, out of the blue. There could have been hints of it in ACOMAF, but there weren’t any. Still, I love it and I hope she finds an amazing, wonderful woman to love and be with forever because lord knows she deserves to. I hope it’s explored more in a novella and we get to see her story. (But I absolutely hate how she treats Azriel. The way she is with both Cassian and Azriel made me dislike her a lot–but I still love her.) Other than that minor thing, ACOWAR was incredible and oh my god!
When Feyre called herself High Lady in that meeting with all the High Lords?????? FREAKIN’ A, MAN! THAT WAS EPIC. CAN WE GET A ROUND OF APPLAUSE PLEASE?
LIKE YES, FEYRE DARLING! GET THOSE MEN TO SEE YOU ARE JUST AS GOOD AS THEM, IF NOT BETTER. MAKE THEM ALL BOW DOWN TO YOU!!
“Remember that you are a wolf. And you cannot be caged.”
On a final note, I am so glad that I came across this series because it is the best thing ever to grace this dying earth. (Reminder: stop polluting, people. Throw trash in the bin! Recyle! Global warming is real. The earth is dying!)–anyway I once did a quiz for each court I belong to and it’s the Dawn Court, which is super cool and I’m happy about it. (Also did anyone see that plot twist coming about Lucien and his father? Holy mother of a cupcake.) I’m so happy Sarah J Maas created this magnificent world with all these rich, detailed, incredible characters. I love Feyre and Rhys–their relationship makes me wish I had that, someone who loves me the way Rhys loves Feyre *cue sad violin music*.
What did you guys think of the books? Tell me!