“He thinks he’ll be remembered as the villain in the story. But I forgot to tell him that the villain is usually the person who locks up the maiden and throws away the key. He was the one who let me out.”
(Mostly) Spoiler Free Review
Title: A Court of Mist and Fury
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series or Standalone: A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2
Genre: Fantasy, Romance and New Adult
Publication Date: May 3rd 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children
Source: Personal Library
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.
Star Rating: ★★★★★
“To the people who look at the stars and wish, Rhys.”
Rhys clinked his glass against mine. “To the stars who listen— and the dreams that are answered.”
A Court of Mist and Fury was truly a stunning story. Three years after having read (and having been disappointed by) A Court of Thorns and Roses, I put off this sequel in fear that it would follow suit. There were just so many ‘buzzwords’ surrounding it; enemies to lovers, found family, Hades and Persephone… All of which sounded right up my alley! (Also winged faerie alpha men, not going to lie that’s also very appealing.)
Yet despite all the hype and wait, I really loved this book and had such a fun time reading it. This story is one of Sarah J. Maas’ most enjoyable books. I was truly skeptical it was going to be as enjoyable as many of the reviews in the book community said it would be. Largely because post Crown of Midnight, I haven’t enjoyed a lot of Maas’ publications that have been really long. (Seriously, some of them have no business being as long as they are.)
Does this book need to be as long as it is? Absolutely not. But would I put myself through the 600 something pages again? Ahh yes, absolutely.
Seriously, I cherished every page (well I mean, not really where Tamlin was concerned) but most of what was happening was enjoyable. Even in the beginning when it was slower paced. There was a foreboding sense that it was all for a reason and that it was leading to something important (and it did!) I also loved Feyre exploring different courts in the faerie realm, slowly becoming apart of Rhys’ inner circle, discovering a new found family, oh and uh, the slow burn romance with the surprisingly not-so-alpha (but still a kind of alpha) Rhysand.
I don’t even feel bad for Tamlin, because really, we all saw the switch-a-roo coming. I mean, I’ve read enough of this authors work now to know Tamlin wouldn’t be endgame by book one in the series. Anyway, there’s always been better mystery and intrigue where Rhysand was concerned. Sarah J. Maas really didn’t hold back and I felt like everything I wanted to know about this dark knight was answered tenfold in this book.
“I love my people, and my family. Do not think I wouldn’t become a monster to keep them protected.”
Seriously, there are so many deliciously good layers to his character. I personally loved unravelling his character and learning about his self-sacrificing nature for his family and his people, and what the true cost was of becoming Amarantha’s whore. Yet, he still has moments where he gets to be delightfully evil without being positioned as villainous. I mean sending poor Feyre into the Weaver’s house unknowingly prepared? Brutal. But in the same breath, I loved how he relentlessly supports Feyre throughout this story. I mean, this is all the foreplay I need:
“Do not,” Rhys said with a deadly quiet, “condescend to her.”
More satisfying though, was Feyre’s growth and development and the new relationships, both romantic and platonic, that she forms. Which is all at the forefront of the entire of the story. As a reader who enjoys these types of character driven stories, I loved it. Especially where the slow-burn romance is concerned. And it felt less like enemies to lovers, and more like enemies to friends to lovers. It’s really a best of both worlds situation here.
“I’d broken myself apart.
And I didn’t think even eternity would be long enough to fix me.”
The character growth was handled so astoundingly well. It helps justify the length of the novel because in order to witness Feyre’s breakthrough, you first need to witness her breakdown. I think it was in Feyre’s lowest moments that this story really tugged at my heartstrings. The only instance in which you wouldn’t like this story, is if you really cared about Tamlin and hated that character destruction. (It was kind of brutal.)
And honestly, Feyre banging not one, but two High Lords… respect! I love that this series has graduated from young adult to new adult. I’m personally a big fan of the steam Sarah J. Maas rights. Maybe it’s because I grew up reading her fantasy stories, but I honestly love all the ‘purring’ Rhys does. But in all seriousness, I do think that Feyre and Rhysand’s romance tops all of the romances I’ve read this year. The book is so chunky, that there’s just so many deliciously angsty moments that fed my soul. Really we should be talking about fan service, because that’s what this book is.
Okay now we need to talk about the parallels to Hades and Persephone, because Rhysand really is a great re-imagining of Hades. I mean, he’s the most powerful male in Prythian’s history and self positions himself as the embodiment of fear. But in actuality is incredibly loyal and kind of wholesome. Hades after all was the most loyal husband out of all the Gods. Rhys’ takes this a bit to an unhealthy level with his self-sacrificing nature and all… Also just the whole concept of the bargain he struck with Feyre in book one. Kind of like how Persephone was dragged to the Underworld unwillingly, but after time she came to love Hades and lived happily with him. I just love the parallels between Feyre and Rhys/Hades’ and Persephone!
“They’ll be at it for a while,” Mor said, leaning against the threshold of the house. She held open the door. “Welcome to the family, Feyre.”
And I thought those might have been the most beautiful words I’d ever heard.”
Also, hello Court of Dreams. Who doesn’t love a found family in their fantasy stories? I don’t think I’ve read a story with such a good found family aspect like this in a long time. (Except for Six of Crows, that’s just an obvious one.) Personally I’ve found that when character relationships that hinges on history, be it platonic or romantic, can often be unsuccessful. But that really wasn’t the case here. The long withstanding history between Rhys, Amren, Mor, Azriel and Cassian was so strong. I’m sure the length of the book has something to do in supporting this, because there was room for flashbacks, slice of life moments and good banter between all the characters that supported the validity of their friendship. Also I could not help but picture Mor as Rebekah Mikaelson the entire time, they just have the same energy. Can anyone back me up on this?!
Although this book was a five star read, I do have some qualms about it that are slightly irritating. The first is one I haven’t quite decided how I feel just yet, and it’s about Feyre feeling overpowered at times. I think that given her faerie resurrection, her gifts are easily justified. I also love elemental magic and enjoyed how Feyre expresses her magic in this story. So I’m not 100% sure where I fall on this yet.
What was personally more irritating to me is Maas’ evident habit of pairing off all her main characters. Which just never feels organic for me. Sometimes you need to put your gay lenses on, because let me tell you, I think there’s some potential in Amren and Nesta. I mean, I know Nesta and Cassian have something going for them and it was satisfying enough. But it just feels like I’ve seen this dynamic before in the authors other books.
I’m not quite sure what is happening between Mor, Azriel and Cassian, but I have a hard time caring. As much as I love them as individual characters, I just don’t always need every single character in a book to be in a romantic relationship. Honestly I can see polyamorous potential, which wouldn’t be the most ‘outrageous’ thing in this book… seeing as this book has wing play. There’s something about Lucien and Elaine that I’m holding off on making an about. Only because I want to see a redemption arc from Lucien that could involve Elaine, which is something I can see myself really liking.
Ultimately, the other aspects about this book superseded what I was irritated about, because after all, I did rate this five stars. And who knows I might be very wrong about how everything unfolds in the finale. Which by the way, I am so excited for because this book ends on such a great cliffhanger that I’m itching for A Court of Wings and Ruin.
What did you think of A Court of Mist and Fury? I’m so excited to finally engage with the community and talk all the spoilery good things. Even though everyone might have stopped years ago, because after all this book has been published for a few years now! 😂