Review A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. Maas

Synopsis: 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.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

Rating: 5+++/5 Stars
Genres: High Fantasy, Romance, New Adult
Other books in the series:
My thoughts:
"I needed not to be dead when I agreed.”
“You needed not to be alone.”

I don't really know what to say in order to adequately express how stunning A Court of Mist and Fury is. How exquisitely beautiful. How slow-burningly sorrowful. How... joyous at the same time. I'm at a lack of words for describing how it truly made me feel -- because this book resonates with my soul and my heart and my mind so wonderfully, it just filled me with awe from within, leaving me drowning in an eternal swirl of emotions, a ruin because of a mere novel. 
“But then she snapped your neck.”
Tears rolled down his face.
“And I felt you die,” he whispered.
Tears were sliding down my own cheeks.

This book is a story about life and love and every gray shade in between. A story about the bleak days and the lovely winds of change. A story about hard-fought happiness and soul-wrenching sacrifices. And a story about a girl who finds herself drifting away into the fields of nothingness only to discover the stars and moon and night sky pointing towards her glorious rebirth. 

Feyre, oh dear Feyre. I am so so proud of her and who she's become at the end of the novel. She's so exhilarating and vibrant and incredibly strong. But she was not like this in the beginning. The events in the previous book shredded her apart from the inside out, living only a shell of the brave young woman we cheered for. My heart ached for her. But she finds herself again -- her true self, her wild heart, her luminous spark of daring, fierce, brilliant dreams. And the heroine that emerges is coated with sheer determination, powerful bravery and astounding compassion.

I was not a pet, not a doll, not an animal.
I was a survivor, and I was strong.
I would not be weak, or helpless again.
I would not, could not be broken. Tamed.

I want to assure everyone that not one character, NO ONE, acts OOC. And besides Feyre, no one changes. You know what I'm talking about -- the alpha-males vulturing around Feyre. ACoTaR only showed us bits and pieces, but we mustn't jump to the wrong conclusions about certain people especially since the depth of ACoTaR felt (at least to me) similar to a Vegas wedding after meeting a guy in the hotel lobby, whereas ACoMaF was a reality check. Harsh and cruel and unyielding. 

This being said, I liked Tamlin. He was true to himself. Everything he does, he does out of love and of fear of losing Feyre. And we all know that people blinded by love can often make mistakes -- and Tam did. Many mistakes. A lack of understanding intoxicated him and an imperative need for control severed his perception. Paradoxically, we get to know him better even if he's not a present figure throughout the book. And perhaps, now that we've seen more of his layers and facades... perhaps we see him in a much different light. He has issues and I truly believe Amarantha messed him up mentally -- nowhere near the trauma Feyre endured, but still a haunting scar imprinted on his demeanor. Regardless, do not mistake all I've said as excuses in his defense, because they are not. They do not excuse his ultimate authority, his condescending attitude and his infuriatingly rash decisions for which he does need to suffer the consequences.

“He did—does love me, Rhysand.”
“The issue isn’t whether he loved you, it’s how much. Too much. Love can be a poison.”

Rhysand, on the other hand, was the epitome of damn. I might even have a confession to make... He might *gulp* have overthrown Will Herondale and Dorian Havilliard as my favorite book boyfriend!!

Rhys embodies the highest standards for fictional males. His bad-boy allure. His arrogance. His cunning mind. His elegance. His astounding power. But these are nothing compared to his internal beauty -- his selflessness, his nerve-wrecking intensity, his carefully crafted mask, his turmoil and his kindness. His self-doubt brought me to my knees, because he is such a precious cinnamon roll and he doesn't realize it. And holy shit his past was just too much -- I WAS (AM) AN EMOTIONAL MESS.

“You think I don’t know how stories get written—how this story will be written?” Rhys put his hands on his chest, his face more open, more anguished than I’d seen it. “I am the dark lord, who stole away the bride of spring. I am a demon, and a nightmare, and I will meet a bad end. He is the golden prince—the hero who will get to keep you as his reward for not dying of stupidity and arrogance.”

And you wanna know what? HE'S A GODDAMN FEMINIST. If that doesn't make you fall in love with him head over heels, I don't know what will. Plus Rhys is basically the hottest fictional guy ever created (Darkling + Warner + Dorian = omg). WHY ISN'T HE REAL??? *sobs* 

“Tamlin won’t allow it.” “Tamlin isn’t your keeper, and you know it.” “I’m his subject, and he is my High Lord—” “You are no one’s subject.”
***
“Maybe it’d be a mercy to be ended— A broad hand gripped my face—gently enough not to hurt, but hard enough to make me look at him. “Don’t you ever think that,” Rhysand hissed, his eyes livid. “Not for one damned moment.”
***
"She wins,” Rhys breathed. “That bitch wins if you let yourself fall apart."

Lucien remains clever and intuitive and even though his relationship with our heroine gets stranded, his only flaw is undying, blind loyalty and I cannot fault him for that. 

Moving now onto more serious topics -- the new characters. We have quite a lot, but by far the loveliest ones are Rhysand's Inner Circle. They're squad goals. Fierce Morrigan; strange and kickass Amren; sassy, arrogant and skilled Cassian; reserved and observant Azriel. All these, plus Rhys, entangle a dynamic that creates a family. I loved them to bits. Secondary characters, yet so wonderfully nuanced, three-dimensional characters that gut you with their own stories and make you shed a tear at how much they love each other. Plus, they cracked me up on a constant basis. And the respect and unflinching support they have between them was all kinds of wow and awwww

Okay. Enough with the stalling. Let's venture into dangerous territory aka the romance. *deep breath* I want to start by saying there is no love triangle -- there's only a wonderful, all-consuming and healthy relationship that evolves naturally until it reaches paramount heights. I was constantly plastered with a stupid, goofy grin on my face whenever this couple interacted or was simply in the same scene. What makes them absolutely beautiful in my perspective is the mutual respect, honesty and support they have for each other -- it paints them with an empowering and downright heartwarming glow. Their amazing friendship, their sparking chemistry, their hilarious banter and their hot as hell tension had me repeatedly blessing the gods for Maas.

“He locked you up because he knew—the bastard knew what a treasure you are. That you are worth more than land or gold or jewels. He knew, and wanted to keep you all to himself.”
***
“I’m thinking,” he said, following the flick of my tongue over my bottom lip, “that I look at you and feel like I’m dying. Like I can’t breathe.

Besides those strong traits of their relationship, I need to mention the steaminess and sexiness and overall HOTNESS. Because this book? It's hot. Like black-in-the-middle-of-July-in-California-hot. NA, after all. You thought ACoTaR was hot? YOU THOUGHT WRONG -- prepare yourself for hyperventilating, fangirling and swooning, 'cause SJM's writing skills slay in those scenes. 

“I heard every word between you. I knew you could take care of yourself, and yet … ” He went back to his pie, swallowing a bite before continuing. “And yet I found myself deciding that if you took his hand, I would find a way to live with it. It would be your choice.”
I sipped from my wine. “And if he had grabbed me?”
There was nothing but uncompromising will in his eyes. “Then I would have torn apart the world to get you back.”

Oh oh oh but there are some other ships that get my blood pumping even though they're not sailing -- YET THEY SHOULD. They totally should. Mozriel and Nessian embody pure awesomeness.

What I enjoyed tremendously about this particular sequel is how it managed to expand the realm beyond its initial borders, in terms of world-building, depth and history. ACoTaR now seems like a small piece of a giant puzzle, the lovely but common retelling of Beauty and the Beast paling in comparison to ACoMaF which, while just teasing us with glimpses of the real deal that's to come, contained a sense of radiant and vast epicness

http://amren.tumblr.com/
The most special and bewildering aspect is the lush and vivid portrayal of the Night Court. Enthralling and contradictory, it completely enraptures you with its seductive tone. So different from the Spring Court (and Summer Court which we get to visit!!). But I expected something disheartening and equally dark, and while this mysterious court has that vibe and then some, there is also such glorious light and normalcy and elegance that reside in its spectrum. The Court of Nightmares gave me goosebumps. The Court of Dreams, however, gave me breath and life. The book centers in Velaris and ohmygod this city! I loved Velaris with all my being and if there ever was a fictional place or universe in which I'd want to live, then Velaris and the Night Court are it. 

Plotwise, there isn't really much to say, honestly, besides the fact that the king of Hybern is the new big bad wolf (as expected) and he wants to bring chaos into this world. But his presence is subtle, his threat only looming on the horizon -- the finale will deal with him more. Yet we encounter intrigue and secrets and eye-opening side stories and tales that create the legacy of Prythan hand in hand with the world-building. It felt similar to Heir of Fire, a journey of healing rather than grueling war. However, as in HoF, the last few chapters left me breathless and white-knuckled as I gripped the book to read every single word. Betrayals, alliances, resurrections, magic and evil marvelously unraveled in an explosive punch, a mic drop of a sort. It leaves you craving more the very next instant. 

We'll see more Nesta and Elain and Tam and Lucien in the next book, that's for sure. But the stakes are so high and the game of hide and seek between friends and enemies so dangerous that I cannot help but be in a continual frenzy until the sequel. It's going to be as much of a masterpiece as this one, certainly. 

A Court of Mist and Fury made me want to re-read it the second I've finished it -- and re-read again afterwards. It made me want to live in its universe. It made me want to be friends with the characters, tell them how much I adore them and just how precious they all are. It made me feel alive in so many ways that it also rendered me speechless. 

But you know where its absolute beauty resides? It's in the cleverness with which it was constructed. Sarah J. Maas outdid herself -- with the loose threads, with the vibe of Hades & Persephone and with the countless clues and hints that begged for a re-read of ACoTaR in order to pick them up bit by bit. No one can say she changed her creation to her whim, because it was all carefully planned out, mapped out ever since the first page of the first installment. 

“You are my salvation, Feyre.”

A Court of Mist and Fury is my new favorite book and I'll keep it close to my heart from now on. Enchanting, clever and masterfully written, it shattered my expectations and raised itself on a gold pedestal. I love it completely and I hope you'll do so too -- as fiercely as Feyre loves the night. 

On a chirpier note though, I'll go drown myself into a hell of a long book-slump because nothing, absolutely nothing can come close to this glorious book while its remnants shine so brightly in my mind. 

ENJOY! <3

1 comentarii:

  1. Am terminat ACOMAF acum cateva zile si inca nu pot trece peste. A fost pur si simplu perfecta, iubesc fiecare pagina. Si le ador pe Mor si Amren, sunt geniale. Nu mai vorbesc de restul, chiar imi doresc sa se traduca si la noi, seria e prea fantastica, are nevoie de cat mai multi fani si in Romania <3