Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #2
Published by Bloomsbury Childrens Books on May 3rd 2016
Genres: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance
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Feyre is immortal.
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.
Finally, it’s here: one of the most highly anticipated YA sequels of this year. Sarah J Maas’ A Court of Mist and Fury takes us back to the world of the Faerie Courts and their enigmatic inhabitants. I wasn’t as big a fan of A Court of Thorns and Roses as some (e.g. Philippa), but I was still pretty keen to get back into the story.
This book is marketed as ‘New Adult’, which basically means it’s a YA Fantasy adventure with swearing and graphic sex scenes. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Please note: This is my review for the second book in this series, and so contains mild spoilers for the first, and even some for the second (although they are marked clearly!). If you haven’t read A Court of Thorns and Roses yet, you may wish to listen to our audio review of that first book instead.
No really, I’m going to put a spoiler for book one out there first up, so if you haven’t read it, go do so!
Feyre is now one of the fae, immortal and betrothed to Tamlin, the High Lord of the Spring Court. She should be overjoyed at their victory Under the Mountain, but instead she is withdrawn, unable to sleep without horrifying nightmares of the events that unfolded there. On top of that there is the lingering threat of her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the Night Court, where she is expected to attend him for one week out of every month. As the Spring Court prepare for the upcoming wedding and hail her as Feyre Cursebreaker, she feels confined and trapped.
By the end of A Court of Thorns and Roses, we were already getting hints that Rhys may not be the monster he seems to be, and as ACOMAF progresses we are treated to a slow reveal of his true intentions. I don’t want to give away too much, but.. it’s obvious that Sarah likes to write the sexy alpha male fae!
This was a hard book to read in many ways, because the main characters spend almost the whole book being messed up by what happened in ACOTAR, Under the Mountain. It’s not just Feyre who’s suffering severe post-traumatic stress. Both Tamlin and Rhys are having a tough time of it, plus several members of each court. It’s no surprise that they all treat each other in less-than-perfect ways. I had hoped after reading ACOTAR that the aftermath wouldn’t be dealt with lightly, and it wasn’t. I was grateful for that, in a non-sadistic way.
I’m going to talk about mildly spoilery stuff below, so proceed at your own risk! But let me say that if you loved ACOTAR, then you will love A Court of Mist and Fury even more, and if you didn’t like the first book, you might like to give the second a chance. I really enjoyed it!
So how’s your book hangover?
vvvvvvvvv RANT INCOMING vvvvvvvvv
Okay, here we go.
I’m really torn by whether or not the switching alignments of Tamlin and Rhys bothered me or not. On one hand, this story is being told entirely from Feyre’s point of view. As she experienced life-changing horrors Under the Mountain, she, Tamlin and Rhys are all terribly affected by it and their relationships change because of it. It’s a masterful representation of Feyre’s changing point of view as she starts to feel stifled by Tamlin’s behaviour and as she learns more about Rhys’ motivations.
On the other hand, it feels like Sarah has retconned previous parts of the story to suit how she wants the story to go now. She did write ACOTAR long before this second book, after all.
Gotta say though, despite the alleged retcon, this line turned my knees to water:
There you are. I’ve been looking for you.
What I loved:
- Rhysand – I mean, how could you not? I liked him already by the end of ACOTAR, and in this book he almost became too perfect. And that scene in the retreat at the end, with the soup? Oh my giddy aunt. I’m not usually a fae-fan, but in Rhys’ case, I’ll make an exception!
- The scenery, especially Velaris and the Rainbow, and the description of Starfall.
- The sexy bits. Wow, that scene in the Court of Nightmares was not good to read on the train.
- The action – there is a fair bit of waiting and training involved in this book, but when it does happen, the action is fast and furious.
What I didn’t like so much:
- Abusive relationships. I mean, Feyre escaped from what she perceived had turned into a stifling relationship, and got right into another one. Sure, Rhys gives her the option to say no to most of his plans, but really, it’s an illusion of choice. He dumped her in it with the Weaver and with the Attor, and some of the other plans were dubious at best. But she just went along with everything.
- Okay, yes. I didn’t like the feeling that major parts of ACOTAR had been reconned into fitting in with the new story. Maybe she planned it all this way from the start, idek.
I originally rated this book four stars because I really wasn’t a fan of the way the Tamlin/Rhys retcon and personality switch developed, plus the abusive nature of Feyre’s relationships, but I’ve had to bump it up based on the epic book hangover I have from this book. I keep finding myself thinking about it, wondering what could come next?!
Damn you, book hangovers! *shake fist*
^^^^^^^^^ END SPOILERS ^^^^^^^^^
Thanks to Bloomsbury Australia, who sent me a copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.