- A Court of Mist and Fury, Sarah J Maas
Rating: * * * * *
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #2
Publication Date: May 2016
After rescuing her lover Tamlin from a wicked Faerie Queen, she returns to the Spring Court possessing the powers of the High Fae. But Feyre cannot forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people – nor the bargain she made with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court.
As Feyre is drawn ever deeper into Rhysand’s dark web of politics and passion, war is looming and an evil far greater than any queen threatens to destroy everything Feyre has fought for. She must confront her past, embrace her gifts and decide her fate.
She must surrender her heart to heal a world torn in two.
There’s a part in the third novel of Sarah J Maas’ other series, the Throne of Glass series, in which the main character Celaena is asked, ‘Why are you crying, Fireheart?’, and she replies, ‘Because I am lost, and I do not know the way.’ I think that this quote sums up how Feyre is feeling at the start of ACOMAF. After the terrible trials that Amarantha forced her to go through and her transformation into one of the Fae, Feyre has lost sight of who she is. She has stopped doing the things she loves, like painting, and is suffocating inside the Spring Court and wasting away. This book is her journey to find herself again. Feyre’s journey is a difficult one, but by the end of the novel she has rediscovered herself and her strength and determination has returned. She has found the place where she belongs and the people among whom she belongs. What I loved about Feyre’s characterisation in this book was the fact that the changes she undergoes during the novel feel very natural and gradual – they are not at all forced. I also felt very close to Feyre when reading ACOMAF and moved by the journey she undergoes.
Another part of ACOMAF which I really enjoyed was the addition of new characters. There’s the cheerful Mor, Rhys’ cousin, who develops a wonderful friendship with Feyre over the course of the novel and has the exact attitude needed to uplift Feyre; there’s Azriel, a shadowsinger who is rather serious but loyal and kind; there’s Cassian, who is Rhys’ cocky and charming best friend; and there’s Amren, who is hugely powerful and has mysterious eyes to match her mysterious diet. Each of these characters is original and bursts to life immediately. Together they form a wonderful cast who I could read about all day. They are each exceptionally well developed and have full backstories. I always think that the best novels and the ones that are instant favourites are those where I grow just as attached to the secondary characters as I do to the main ones. ACOMAF certainly has this quality, as Sarah J. Maas’ novels always do.
ACOMAF, as well as being filled with wonderful characters, is full of wonderful scenes. I was trying to think of my favourites and it was very hard because I have so many, but I think the scenes that stood out for me are the scene with the Tithe where Feyre gives away her jewellery, because this demonstrates both Feyre’s defiance and her kindness, the scene with the Weaver because it is so atmospheric and tense, particularly when the Weaver’s singing ceases and she knows that Feyre is present, the scene where Feyre first meets Rhys’ inner circle, and finally the Starfall scene as it is so vividly described and is breathtakingly magical.
Overall, I found ACOMAF impossible to put down. It is ceaselessly exciting and full of action, is hugely imaginative, and is full of captivating scenes, characters and settings. It’s 600+ pages of first class fantasy writing and is a joy to read. In my opinion, it’s Sarah J. Maas’ best book to date.
- I did skip a couple of sections because they were clearly aimed at an older audience.