The sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury – or ACOMAF as many refer to it – expands upon the world of Prythian and the lives of Feyre and those around her.
Let me start by saying that I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH! This is likely my favorite book of the year and was so much better than the first. Normally sequels do not live up to the first volume, but ACOMAF surpassed ACOTAR by far. I have read very few reviews to the contrary; no matter how anyone felt about ACOTAR, almost everyone seems to love ACOMAF much more.
As such, while I normally refrain from mentioning spoilers in my reviews, the amount of love and feelings I have for this book might prevent me from refraining this time. So, before you read any further, know that I might unwittingly mention spoilers in this review. This will also likely be a lengthier than normal review.
Shall we begin?
Set about two months after Under the Mountain, Feyre is trying her best to live in a new world free of Amarantha’s influence – and in a new fae body. But the three months Under the Mountain has taken its toll on her, and she suffers from nightmares – terrors that Tamlin is either oblivious to or just refuses to acknowledge. (It is noted that Tamlin likely has his own terrors he is suffering from, but the fact that he doesn’t acknowledge Feyre’s is a big rift in their relationship.) This leaves Feyre relatively alone in coping with her PTSD while trying to learn her new role in the spring court as bride-to-be and future Lady. She tries to overcome her nightmares by going out, helping to rebuild the Court, but is constantly told by Tamlin and High Priestess Ianthe that it is too dangerous and her help is not necessary. This leaves Feyre depressed and she starts to slowly wither away.
On the day of her wedding to Tamlin, so withdrawn despite her love for Tamlin, she secretly begs for someone to save her. As if sensing her request, Rhysand appears and calls in his bargain with Feyre, for her to stay in the Night Court one week of every month in exchange for saving her life Under the Mountain. While at the Night Court, Rhys attempts to teach Feyre to read and helps her to build mental shields to prevent other fae from invading her mind. He also encourages Feyre to explore her new fae powers that she appears to have inherit from each of the High Lords. While there, the only other fae she meets is Morrigan, Rhysand’s cousin, and the twins Nuala and Cerridwen, her fae handmaidens from Under the Mountain. Rhysand is careful to keep Feyre secluded from the Night Court while still giving her the freedom she so desperately craves.
This goes on for a few months until Tamlin, determined to keep Feyre “safe,” locks her in the mansion. This sets off her PTSD and the powers she seems to have inherited. Morrigan comes to save her and deliver her to Rhysand, who allows Feyre to stay in the Night Court as long as she wants. Eventually Feyre sends a letter to Tamlin not to find her as she makes the decision not to go back to the Spring Court.
As Feyre now attempts to find her place in the Night Court, she learns a great deal about Rhysand and who he really is. She learns why he did what he did Under the Mountain. She learns about who Morrigan is and what atrocities she has had to endure; about Cassian and Azriel and how they overcame being just Illyrian bastards; but of Amren Feyre only learns that she is ancient and powerful. But Feyre learns the most about Rhysand, how he is not the ruthless High Lord everyone thinks he is. Rhysand plays the role of ruthless High Lord in an effort to remake a Court and a Prythian that allows fae, High Fae, and even mortals to live together in harmony within the hierarchy that currently exist. He is willing to sacrifice himself in any way possible in order to achieve this dream and keep his friends, family, and beloved city of Velaris safe. Feyre becomes enthralled with and eventually a part of the Court of Dreams, hidden away in Velaris, a city no one in Prythian really knows exists. She learns about the powers she possesses, how to harness them.
But most of all Feyre learns of her mating bond with Rhysand. A bond that supersedes her engagement to Tamlin, that is more permanent than any other vow of bond made. And she accepts it. She accepts the bond, accepts Rhysand, and accepts her place in the Court of Dreams and Velaris. She accepts it all so thoroughly that she is willing to sacrifice everything – even herself – in the end to save it all against the invading king of Hybern, against the traitorous mortal queens, and against the most unlikeliest of enemies.
What I love so much about this book is how Sarah J. Maas manages to address so many current, modern day issues in a fantasy based book. There’s feminism, depression, PTSD, abuse (mental and physical), and love. Each character is flawed but learns to accept their flaws as part of who they are. They put on masks for others while revealing their true selves to very few but trusted individuals. There’s conflict, both internal and external, that each individual has to somehow overcome. Each character is willing to sacrifice themselves of the people and the things they love, while feeling as if they don’t deserve happiness no matter how hard they strive for it. I like to call them “perfectly imperfect.”
And can we talk about the adult content? *fans self* This book is often liken to a new adult book rather than young adult. There are scenes – even a whole chapter – that elude to the more sexual side of human (fae?) nature. Maas does a great job of writing these scenes without being overly explicit. And, more importantly, the scenes serve a purpose than just being senseless fodder.
I read this book slower than normal because I didn’t want it to end – and it ends on a cliffhanger as one would expect. I am impatiently waiting for the next volume that won’t be released until 2017. I want to see Rhysand and Feyre back together. I want to see the Court of Dreams succeed in making a happy world. But mostly, I want to see Feyre come into herself – and rip Hybern apart for the sake of the man, the people, the city, and the dream she loves so much.
I adored this book so much that I actually have two copies: one is a first edition signed exclusive from Books A Million, and the second is the Target exclusive with a short story featuring Cassian and Feyre’s sister Nesta. If the first book left you feeling a little “meh” like it did me, I highly encourage you to stick with it and read A Court of Mist and Fury. The character development is superb and I can’t wait for the story to continue.
My rating: 5/5