A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. Maas (2016)
NA Fiction | Fantasy | Romance | (TV-MA)Blurb:
“Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.
Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.”
Book One: A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES
pooled ink Review:
Sighing with the relief of a happy ending after a period of great trial we float into this sequel eager and excited to see how our beloved Feyre and Tamlin have gotten on since the downfall of Amarantha. Dreaming of true love, springtime, and avidly batting away the dark thoughts of Hybern that lurk at the edges of our fairytale we hardly get a few chapters into the book before we come crashing down from that cloud real quickly.
Everyone and their neighbor saw a love-triangle happening in this sequel, we just weren’t sure how it would play out. Basically we have an Adam-Juliette-Aaron situation going on (from Shatter Me). As intriguing as Rhys was to me in ACOTAR I felt firm in my raised-on-Disney hope for Feyre and Tamlin. It took hardly a moment for me to begin warming to Rhys. Sure he was a prick but everything about him was alluring, genuine, and challenging. Tamlin however…I truly fell in love with the idea of Beauty & the Beast falling in love forever and ever but of course that wouldn’t be nearly as dramatic or high tension, now would it? (Also this book shows us different definitions of ‘beast’). While my heart is cracked from the quickly tarnished Feyre-Tamlin relationship I must say I fell in love with Rhys with every page and with each revelation and development of his character I found the devastating blow softened. Rather, it took almost no time at all before I couldn’t even remember the thought of feeling devastated and perhaps I was never really devastated at all. (I mean Rhys did catch my eye in ACOTAR…)
So much happened in this book and despite its gargantuan size it seemed to be over in but a blink of the eye. Traitors at every turn, surprises and endless schemes, trickery, poisoned love, arrogance, and power leaching the color from my face with each page my eyes devoured. I knew the story would not end with a tidy bow on it, sure the first book had a happy ending but from the moment Feyre’s story continued I knew that this time it would be different. Her journey was far from over and this time it would be longer and far more grueling. Nope, rather once again we are left with a massive cliff-hanger but this time I’m sliding on my belly towards the cliff’s edge in an attempt to glimpse the future, practically willing myself a set of Illyrian wings so I might fly to the next book in the series rather than painfully endure months and months of waiting.
Primary characters from ACOTAR take a back seat as Feyre journeys to the Night Court. While the Spring Court romanced us in ACOTAR, the Night Court steals our breath away…but not without a touch of disgust (ugh, the Court of Nightmares is utterly atrocious…but impressive). Exploring and reveling in a completely different realm was amazing. It opened up this world moving it beyond words and maps replacing it with images, emotions, and desire. The Night Court moved beyond a descriptive story setting but was rich and detailed and unfolded a deep sense of culture. We also get to take a quick jaunt down to the Summer Court and it was no less spectacular.
Something that I loved and appreciated in ACOMAF is how Maas gave Feyre and Rhys time to heal. They did not stumble out from Under the Mountain into instant bliss and peace. That would have been grossly unrealistic and cruel to her characters. They were tortured and twisted and so as we hurry along the changing tides we witness as they both struggle to pick up their pieces, to remember how to smile, and how to forgive themselves.
Several new characters are introduced to us and I love them all…except the baddies, obviously. I love Amren. She’s fantastic – a little lithe form of mystery and ancient power indeed. Azriel, Cassian, and Mor are simply the utter best and I am envious that I am not a friend in their group. Ianthe is far more cunning than she tries to downplay it. Nesta and Elain receive a bigger role in this book and they do not quail beneath it. I’m a fan of Nesta. Do I love her? No, she’s as prickly and cold as ever…and yet as Feyre will explain that is also her strength and a reason I’m nonetheless a fan of her. Tamlin and Lucien desperately needed that timeout in this book but it does not seem to have been as effective as one would hope. Rhysand and Feyre? Mmm, yep I will ship them until the end of time.
Oh while I’m on the topic of Rhysand and Feyre… I will remind you that this is NA fiction and not YA fiction. While ACOTAR may have gotten away with being shelved in the YA section of the bookstore ACOMAF really does not quite belong there. What a handful of deep blush-inducing scenes indeed. I only mention this because this is a romance series after all and I can just picture some fourteen year old picking up this book and then spitting out their cereal as their eyes turn wide as saucers as the words twist into motion and image in their little minds and then the embarrassing squeal as their mother leans over and asks “What are ya reading, hon?” Yeah, you’ve been warned.
I truly just want to gush and theorize and mourn and cackle over this book, over this series actually. The writing is quite good, the characters are real and complex, the settings are alive with imagination. I was quickly absorbed into Feyre’s world and I am in no hurry to be released.
So much could be said about this book and I would love to chat endlessly about it over coffee or tea but as I write this review I find myself needing to take a bit of time to wrap my head around it and calm my pulse so that I might find peace with the long wait I know I will have to endure for the third book.
As much as I love this world and these characters a part of me hopes that the series is but a trilogy or a 4-book saga at max. I’ve been taken captive by the Courts, the Faeries, the magic, and the possibilities, but a deeper part of me needs resolution, not only for the sake of resolution itself but so that I may close that final book then pick up the first and relive it all over again from start to finish. The only lengthy series I’ve been able to love and endure are The Harry Potter Series and The Chronicles of Narnia. I know Maas will do as her inner writer demands but I couldn’t continue past City of Glass (Mortal Instruments #3) by Clare no matter how good fans claim the rest to be. That third book was enough of a resolution for me to ignore that dangling promise of dark potential and I will re-read them as a trilogy. As much as I’ve enjoyed the thrilling ride these books have taken me on I’d be sad to find myself walking away after realizing that there is no end in sight.
But I’m weird like that, I guess. Anyway, for now I am desperately eager for book three!
A Court of Mist and Fury is a breathless rush of magic, lust, and betrayal. Tense with treacherous schemes and traitors at every wall this book will snap the whispered “Happy ever after…” from its predecessor and let you free-fall into the poisonous subplots of a force awakening from an ancient slumber.
P.S. Wondering what the difference is between YA and NA romance? Chapters 2, 48, 55.
Purchase here: A Court of Mist and Fury