Hello there! I read A Court of Wings and Ruin last month and I can’t believe it’s over, so I thought I’d do a round up review of the whole A Court of Thorns and Roses series for those of you who haven’t read it yet. I’ll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum, but there will be spoilers for book one if you read on to books two and three!
A Court of Thorns and Roses – book #1
Feyre lives with her father and sisters in a ramshackle cabin near the woods, made cosy by her painted murals on the walls and furniture. Times are hard, and her father is unable to work since his leg injury. Her sisters, Elain and Nesta, are too stubborn, spoilt and helpless to do anything to provide for the family, so the responsibility falls to Feyre.
One day, she’s hunting a deer in the forest when she spots an enormous wolf also stalking the animal. She realises immediately that it isn’t a normal wolf, it’s one of the fae from the other side of the wall, the magical beings that enslaved humans for centuries until a war resulted in the wall being constructed to separate the two realms. She shoots the wolf, not wanting to let it deprive her family of a good meal.
Later that night, a hideous beast bursts into their cabin and demands that she come with him to Prythian, on the other side of the wall, in exchange for the life she took. Feyre goes with him, terrified he will kill her family if she doesn’t. There, she discovers that the stories told about the fae amongst humans aren’t all true, and she finds herself torn between her family and their home in the human realm, and the wondrous, magical new world she has discovered.
I enjoyed book one, I’d probably give it a solid 3.5, maybe 4 stars. It begins as a Beauty and the Beast retelling, before taking a serious curve around halfway through. It was at the halfway point that I really started to enjoy it, the action ramps up and some really fascinating characters start to come into their own. ACOTAR is slow going at first, but I recommend you persevere, because it’s about to get SO GOOD…
A Court of Mist and Fury – book #2
After the events of book one, Feyre is back at the Spring Court with Tamlin, a tattoo representing her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the Night Court, covering her arm from fingertip to elbow. She’s struggling with PTSD and depression after everything she went through Under the Mountain, and planning her wedding to Tamlin is the last thing on her mind.
She can never return to the human realm and her old life, too much has changed, including her. When Rhysand finally calls in their bargain and forces her to spend one week a month at the Night Court with him, she’s pretty angry, but any excuse to get away from the Spring Court and all the wedding talk is welcome.
Meeting Rhysand’s friends and family, seeing a side of him she never could have imagined after the events Under the Mountain, Feyre begins to wonder if he is really the monster everyone says he is, or if there could be more to him than meets the eye…
OK, there is no denying it, or being coy, ACOMAF is the best book I have ever read in my entire life. This is a solid 5 stars, and if I had more I’d give them to it. The book hangover I was left with when I finished it was the worst I have experienced since Harry Potter ended ten years ago. What did I love so much about it? Only everything! The new characters are all amazing – flawed and layered, with fully realised back stories and motivations of their own. The relationship that develops between Feyre and Rhysand is the stuff of #relationshipgoals, the setting of Velaris is dreamy and beautifully described, the events of the book are heartbreaking, surprising, wonderful and terrible.
Just read it. If you found ACOTAR a bit of a slog, or you didn’t even both finishing, do, and then pick this one up. You won’t regret it.
A Court of Wings and Ruin – book #3
Feyre is once again at the Spring Court with Tamlin, wishing she was in Velaris with her husband and sisters, especially after what happened in Hybern at the end of ACOMAF. But, she’s got a plan to get back to her family, she just needs to hide her true feelings and abilities until the time is right to make her move.
The King of Hybern is mobilising his troops and plotting to tear down the wall between the two realms, enslaving those humans that are not killed in the ensuing battle. A meeting of the High Lords is called, uniting the leaders of all seven courts for the first time in centuries. Old rivalries are renewed and old wounds are reopened, but the only way to stop the King of Hybern is to put their issues aside and work together.
With battle imminent and the outcome of the war uncertain, relationships start and end, bonds are formed and broken, and loyalties are tested to breaking point.
ACOWAR had a lot of living up to do if it was going to surpass ACOMAF, and it didn’t quite reach those realms of perfection, but I felt it was a really enjoyable and satisfying ending to the series. I gave it 4 stars, I enjoyed it more than ACOTAR, but a lot less than ACOMAF. There are a few things I would change if I could, but overall it was the right way to end the story, and it definitely did justice to the the characters and the world Maas has created. I’m really looking forward to finding out more about this spin-off series Sarah has planned (if not already written). I’ve no idea who will feature, if any of the characters we have come to love will, or whether it is a prequel or a sequel, or a companion series, but I’ll be at the front of the queue the day it releases in bookstores.
Have you read the ACOTAR series? Did you enjoy ACOWAR? How did you feel about the way the story concluded? Let me know your thoughts and feelings (because let’s be honest, this series is all about the feelings) in the comments.
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