Y’all, Sarah J. Maas is a genius and A Court of Mist and Fury was SO GOOD. So much better than A Court of Thorns and Roses (which I reviewed here). I’m so glad I stuck it out because this series gets just wonderful.
First and foremost, I had none of the problems with this book that I did with the first one. The pacing was beautiful, and the characters were so well constructed. No one was missing any pieces this time, and the ones that had been missing something either found it or made it, because they made more sense.
And just don’t get me started on where the STORY goes! It was not at all what I expected, in the best way. I love it when books surprise me. Sarah J. Maas always manages to do surprise me, and that’s part of why I love her books. You can have an idea of where it’s going, and then she does something that throws everything off.
All in All
I love this series and would highly recommend it to anyone. Well, okay, so anyone over, like, 17 because there is definitely some sexual content all over the place. But other than that reservation, definitely READ THIS SERIES because it’s fabulous. The characters get better, the story gets better, and it’s just all around a beautiful Sarah J. Maas jewel.
Now, if you’ve read it, spoilery discussion/massive fangirling commences below.
Spoilers below; proceed with caution!
First can I just say FEYRE AND RHYSAND ARE OTP. I mean, I liked their scenes together in the last book much more than I did Feyre and Tamlin’s already. And then! They’re together! And they’re mates! And just!!!
Really, though, I wanted to punch Tamlin. He was kind of the worst, and by kind of I really mean REALLY THE FUCKING WORST. He did the super overprotective thing that usually makes me put books down. I really wanted to for a while, it bothered me that much. It’s the worst when the relationships are that suffocating, and reading them is just painful for me.
That being said, I’m so happy I didn’t put it down because apparently Sarah J. Maas can’t stand it either. And the way that Feyre gets out of it is just the greatest, both times.
The first time, Rhys just flat out saves her from her disastrous wedding. Which, just let me say, sounds like a nightmare. I mean, she clearly doesn’t want to go through with it at that point. She doesn’t want to choose anything, really she doesn’t want anything to do with it. Does that sound like a happy bride to you because I don’t think so. But everyone makes her, and just kind of forces her along even though I’m sure that they know. It just sounds like the worst.
The fact that Rhys just nabs her right out of it is wonderful. He makes it look like “Oh, it’s just me, being an ass again. As I do. She’s mine for a week bye.” BUT REALLY HE KNOWS WHAT HE’S DOING HE’S SAVING HER.
Then the second time? When Tamlin locks Feyre in the house because he’s being a total and complete ass, there’s Rhys again. Honestly, how we could have ever thought he was the bad guy I’ll never know. He helped her more than anyone else in the trials in ACOTAR, and now he’s just swooping in and rescuing Feyre every chance he gets.
Whereas Tamlin, for comparison, wants Feyre to be a pretty china doll only to be pulled off her shelf for playtime and special occasions. And ignored for the rest of the time. He doesn’t want her to leave the house, he doesn’t want her to do the things that she wants to do. She can only do what he wants her to do, which is lock herself inside and paint forever. Which, obviously, she doesn’t want to do since she is far too haunted for that to work.
Feyre (and Rhys)
I really liked how her character arc went. In the last book for a long time she was the little doll Tamlin wanted, and just kind of let herself be manipulated and moved without putting in a lot of input till the end.
This time around, though, she starts finding ways to assert her will on the world. She tries to talk to Tamlin and get him to let her out, she tries to explain things, she wants to talk. Then she realizes that it’s not going to happen, and she just leaves. Well, okay, so Mor pulls her out and takes her to Rhys and then Feyre decides to stay because she wants to.
Honestly, I liked that she came back from Under the Mountain a little damaged. That feels like much more of a real thing to me. No one could come back from something like that and not be a little dented, though many books try. Feyre just needs some time. I mean, she did get an entirely new body for God’s sake. That alone would take some getting used to.
You can tell from the beginning that the healing is not going to be done with Tamlin though. He just won’t let it. Rhysand, on the other hand, Rhysand tries to help. And Feyre actually feels better after the week with him. She was eating in the Night Court, she was sleeping mostly, she was learning. Basically she was digging herself out of the hole that she was in since Under the Mountain. Then she goes back to the Spring Court and everything is undone.
Rhys just helps her so much in so many ways. He’s careful and gentle with her, and doesn’t push her or tell her what to do. He lets her decide, and she needed that so much. I think that more than anything helped her heal.
Then she starts getting a thing for Rhys (and really who could blame her), and he doesn’t push it. Even though the whole time he knows she’s his mate. He just lets her come to it on her own because he doesn’t want to pressure her.
The Night Court
The Night Court as a whole might have helped Feyre as well. I loved how it was like a yin-and-yang court. With the Spring Court, really you don’t see anything of it. You see Tamlin’s estate, and some of the forest there, but other than that there’s not much. Of course, we learn that it’s mostly been sacked by Amarantha, but still there doesn’t feel like there’s anything to it. It’s just there and there’s no depth, no mystery, no excitement. Especially after we see some of the court at the Tithe.
The Night Court, though, is just beautiful. There’s the debauched, evil side that Rhys pretends at and the soft, beautiful side that’s so much more real. Like, the court that people see, the evil one, is so much like hell it’s insane. It just seems like the worst place to be, and it’s entirely fake. Well, mostly. It’s a facade, but all the people there actually suck, so.
But the other side, well. I had Venice in my head the whole time and I don’t know why. Something about the river described, and the beauty of it with its little cafes and all the art. I mean, I’ve never been to Venice (someone please take me I’m small I can fit in suitcases and stuff), but that’s what I was picturing. Some place that’s just beautiful that gives life to all the art and the wonderful things of the world.
The Real Things
I talked about it a bit before but can we just talk for a minute about the fact that there are so many real world issues talked about in this book? I mean, Feyre starts out the book depressed, like really depressed, with some PTSD thrown in. Tamlin is super abusive, way too controlling, and he doesn’t just abuse/control Feyre. He does it with Lucien as well.
Then Tamlin starts the Thithe and! I just felt so bad for all of them, to have such an awful High Lord it’s just the worst.
There’s healing here too, though. Rhysand is kind of portrayed as the bad guy, and he believes that he is the bad guy. When really, he’s the knight in shining (black) armor. He works with Feyre, he treats her like a real person, first of all, and he treats her as an equal. That’s something that Tamlin never did. Like, not even when he was trying to woo her because he needed to break the curse.
I would expect themes like this in a contemporary novel, but for it to be talked about so well in a fantasy? It’s more than I could have asked for. More than anyone could have asked for, to be honest.