Genre: Fantasy, NA
Though I drafted most of this review as soon as I finished ACOMAF, it’s taken me a while to upload because of the fact that I wasn’t sure whether I wanted it to be spoilery or not… So after much consideration, I’ve decided to keep the start non-spoilery and then add a spoilery section near the end! I will warn you before the section starts, so don’t worry. However, this review does assume that you’ve already read A Court of Thorns and Roses so fair warning, there will most likely be ACOTAR spoilers sprinkled here and there…
If you know me, you know that A Court of Thorns and Roses is one of my all-time favourite books, and that A Court of Mist and Fury was one of my top – if not my most – anticipated books of the year! I literally wanted to cry when I got it in my hands and if I try to write out a full, competent review, I’d probably babble on and on so I’m going to split this into the good and the not-so good.
3. Rhys – I love complex, torn characters and Rhys is everything and more oh wow. He is literally one of the best characters I’ve ever come across and we learn so much more about him in this story. In ACOMAF we get more of his back story, we learn about his childhood and how he lost his family, how he and Tamlin became acquainted and how the most powerful High Lord managed to become Amarantha’s lapdog. Learning about Rhys was one of my favourite things about this book and gah, I’m pretty sure he became my favourite fictional character. Ever.
4. A new crazy antagonist – so we have a new antagonist to worry about in this book, The King of Hybern also known as Amarantha’s boss. So yeah. That was fun.
5. More amazing characters – in this book, we get introduced to some of Rhys’s friends, the members of his inner-circle, and I love each and every one of them, wow. There’s his cousin Mor, his brothers in arms, Cassian and Azriel, and Amren who is a ‘monster’ trapped in their world trying to find her way home (doesn’t that alone sound epically heartbreaking?) If you know me, you’ll know I’ve been obsessing over the inner circle members since reading the book and I’m not even sorry. I love them all, and by the end I seriously felt like part of a family. AND I HOPE TO GOD THAT THEY ALL SURVIVE TO THE NEXT BOOK BECAUSE THAT ENDING- we wont go there.
7. Feyre suffering from PTSD – if you’ve read ACOTAR, then you’ll know the horrific things that Feyre had to endure Under the Mountain, and instead of brushing this off, Sarah portrays a realistic reaction to the horrors Feyre suffered. We see her struggling with a lot of things and it feels so real and human.
8. STEAMY SCENES. We long ago acknowledged that ACOTAR wasn’t YA, but if there was any doubt… ACOMAF definitely clears it. Within the first 20ish pages, there’s an intense steamy scene… and then, a few more here and there and wow, Sarah knows how to write her stuff *fans self*.
To discuss what I didn’t like about ACOMAF, I’m going to have to actually discuss something that happened in the book so if you haven’t read ACOMAF and don’t wish to be spoiled for it, please stop reading.
You can no longer blame me from this point forth.
The Not So Good:
There’s only one thing that bugged me while reading ACOMAF, and that’s how quickly Feyre gave up on Tamlin. I always try to avoid spoilers but for this I’m going to have to hint at some character development that might be spoiler-ish to some. Basically, Tamlin’s character changes or should I say, his more…. unpleasant characteristics become amplified in book two. He was always a little bit controlling, a little bit of an ass, but in book two his treatment of Feyre literally blew me away. By the end, I just wanted him dead. I still do, and I hope Feyre gets to tear him to shreds in the next book. (A little much? Sorry, I literally just put the book down when I wrote this part so my emotions were everywhere, blame Sarah).
As someone who adored Tamlin in book one, it was kind of hard for me to see how easily he fell into this asshole persona and how quickly Feyre dismissed whatever it was they had between each other – because clearly, as she points out, they no longer love each other the way they did in book one. If you’ve read ACOTAR, then you know that Tamlin is someone she literally murdered for. So it was a little surprising to see how she brushed off her feelings. Though after his questionable treatment of her, I’m also not surprised?! Like, it’s clear Sarah wanted us to accept the Rhys and Feyre ship which I’m totally 100% cool with but, some may argue she tore this other well-loved character to shreds to do it and weeks later I’m still not sure how I feel about that.
Evidently, I’m not the only one who feels this way as a bunch of people were a little put off because of this one aspect. That being said, I have to say that it didn’t ruin the book for me at all. I still absolutely adored the story, and the new incredible settings and there are so many things that I loved about this book that completely overshadowed my dislike of this one thing, like Feyre slowly growing into her powers, finally getting to see the Night Court (especially the Court of Dreamers) because I fell so deeply in love with the Prythian world in book one and this book just added more detail to the already breathtaking world-building, Rhys and Feyre’s slow-burning relationship throughout, and the parallels between him and Tamlin (I mean, how could one not compare them?). I also have to give Sarah J. Maas props for being able to change a lot of people’s opinion of a character so resolutely, I know a bunch of people who went in determined to side with Tamlin and…. yeah, that didn’t work out well for them.
Another thing I’m still a little unsure about is the fact that we find out Lucien and Elaine are mates. That threw me off a little because I was expecting another two characters to be mates… I’ll have to wait until book three before deciding on how I feel about this.
Since I did a spoilery section above for the not-so-good, I thought it was only fair to do the same with the good:
9. Rhys and Feyre are MATES – I ship this so hard, guys. The fact that they’re mates didn’t come as a surprise to most, mainly because after ACOTAR, we all had about a year to contemplate the meaning behind Rhysand’s abrupt departure at the end of book one… Their romance is a main aspect of the story but guys, I loved it so much. I’ll stop before I start gushing.
10. The back stories of all the new characters – Mor, also known as Rhys’ third in command and ‘the dreamer born into a court of nightmares’, I have to say her back story was completely heartbreaking as were Cassian’s, and Azriel’s and even Amren’s, ughgh. I also love that we even learnt a lot more about Rhys and especially the fact that he allowed Feyre into his mind so that we could see firsthand from his perspective (that one scene broke me).
11. Ianthe – can we talk about this character and how much I wanted Feyre to claw her eyes out. please?
12. NESTA – I was pretty indifferent to Nesta in ACOTAR, I thought she was uneccesarily stubborn and bitter but in ACOMAF, my opinion of her completely changed and I don’t know if it’s because I’ve come to adore hard-headed stubborn female characters in the year since ACOTAR, but I adore her and I can’t wait to see her kick ass in book three because there’s no doubt in my mind that she will be.
13. Nesta and Cassian – I ship this almost as much as I ship Rhys and Feyre. I don’t think I’ve shippd two non-main characters this hard before. They’re both so stubborn and I feel totally betrayed that they weren’t mates by the end of the book but still feel like they will be in book three and HAVE YOU GUYS READ THE TARGET EXCLUSIVE SHORT STORY, BECAUSE OH WOW.
14. FEYRE AS HIGH LADY OF THE NIGHT COURT OH MY GOD I LOVE IT.
This went on a bit longer than I meant for it to and it was mostly me just yelling wow, I’m not even sorry.
Overall, A Court of Mist and Fury was a strong, breathtaking sequel and for a book that is over 600 pages, I never once felt bored or as if the story was lulling. I don’t think words can express how much I adored this book, and how I can’t wait for the summer holidays to arrive so I can read it all over again. It’s been almost a month since I read it and I still can’t stop thinking about it and I know I could talk about this book forever.
Have you read ACOMAF yet? Did you love it as much as I did?
Favourite quote: “To the people who look at the stars and wish, Rhys.”
Rhys clinked his glass against mine. “To the stars who listen— and the dreams that are answered.”