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

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

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Y’all. I am so blown away by this book. I enjoyed A Court of Thorns and Roses much more than I expected. But I absolutely adored A Court of Mist and Fury. My expectations were a good bit higher going into this second book, but those expectations were obliterated. I can’t believe I waited so long to read this series. I might be the most reluctant of Maas converts, but I have been won over entirely. This book is one of the most addictive, well-paced, romantic things I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve read all year. Not only am I excited to see what happens next, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have found a new series to add to my comfort-rereads shelf.

Be aware that I don’t know how to review this book without giving some details that spoil events in ACOTAR. So, there will be spoilers aplenty below. You’ve been warned.

“To the people who look at the stars and wish…”
“To the stars who listen— and the dreams that are answered.”

The world building, the plot, and the characters in this second installment are all leaps and bounds superior to their predecessor. I feel like A Court of Thorns and Roses walked so A Court of Mist and Fury could run. Yes, ACOTAR was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but it was also a perfect introduction to ACOMAF as an even more compelling Hades and Persephone retelling. Feyre is taken from the Spring Court to the Night Court one week out of the month because of a deal she made with Rhysand while Under the Mountain. And yet, even while having to comply with this bargain she made under duress, Feyre has far more freedom with him than she could ever hope to have with Tamlin. I love the foresight Maas demonstrated by making Tamlin High Lord of the Spring Court, and how well that sets up the Persephone link for Feyre. It’s a detail I found delightful, and I believe shows that Maas had this twist in the story in mind before she even started writing ACOTAR.

“Don’t let the hard days win.”

I was team Rhysand from the instant Feyre met him, even before we knew his name. That allegiance just grew and grew over the course of the last dozen chapters of ACOTAR. And my opinion of him skyrocketed, while my opinion of Tamlin plummeted, with every chapter of ACOMAF I read. I have come to love Rhysand with my entire heart, and this is the most romantically infatuated I’ve been with a character since first meeting Roarke in J.D. Robb’s In Death series as a teenager. Rhys’s personality is as unspeakably hot as his physical appearance.

I also dearly love Rhysand’s entire Court of Dreams. Azriel, Cassian, Mor, and Amren are all fascinating, likable, and exhibit the kind of depth missing from any of the characters in ACOTAR. Except for Lucien, that is. I love their relationships with one another, the friendships that bond all of Rhys’s court, and the way they accept Feyre into their midst so willingly. These are some of the best friendships I’ve read in fantasy fiction, or fiction in general. Azriel and Cassian are both especially intriguing, and I hope to learn more about them in future installments. They’re so radically different from one another, but are equally compelling.

Feyre has grown tremendously as a character. I found her whiny and unlikeable in ACOTAR, and weak at the beginning of ACOMAF. But by the end of this book, she had totally won me over. She grew and developed dramatically, which actually made me care far more deeply for her than I would have an immediately likable protagonist. She ended up being a very strong character who I’m incredibly invested in at the point. Honestly, she could have become a bit of a Mary Sue after the events at the end of ACOTAR had her development not been carefully handled. Instead, she’s a badass who really worked for every bit of power she has. I can’t believe how much I’ve come to respect her.

“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.”

And the romance. Y’all, this is one of the most romantic books I’ve ever read, even though there was a ton of plot going on outside of that romance. There’s a particular chapter (54) that actually had me rubbing my chest because it made my heart physically ache. I’m a romantic at heart, and this fed my soul. It was a slow burn, but to quote Fahrenheit 451, it was a pleasure to burn. This couple is now among my favorite couples in fiction. And I already had quite the extensive list, but I’d say this couple is up there with Eve and Roarke from the aforementioned In Death series, who are my O.G. favorite couple and have been over the course of the 50+ book series.

“I am broken and healing, but every piece of my heart belong to you.”

The world building and lore of Prythian are so compelling. In particular, the city of Velaris is simply magical in every way. I love the idea of a secret city dedicated to art and living life to the fullest, nestled deep in the mountains and kept hidden from the rest of the world at all cost. It’s one of those fantasy settings that, if I could live in any fictional place, would be very, very high on my list. I would love to wander those streets. And the night of Starfall was absolutely gorgeous. The House of Wind sounds beautiful, and the town house sounds charming and homey. I just loved everything about the Court of Dreams setting. But even outside of my favorite pocket of Prythian, Maas has developed a world that is utterly fascinating, and I hope she continues to explore it over the course of many future installments.

Without giving the ending away, I just have to comment on how deftly Maas handled the twisty climax. While this was a cliffhanger in a sense, and I could happily have picked up the next book immediately, I wasn’t frustrated by the ending. She gave us enough resolution that, if I would have had to wait a year between books, I wouldn’t have been irate about how she left things, but I would have wanted to get my hands on that third book the day ACOWAR was published. It would have been excitement, not frustration over the cliffhanger, that had me reaching for the next installment. And I think that’s a pretty wonderful, but difficult, balance for an author to strike.

I’m still in shock over how very much I’m loving this series, and this book in particular. This just goes to show that you shouldn’t judge a book by its fanbase. I’ve (hopefully) learned my lesson in that regard. If you’ve made it all the way through this rambling review, thanks for sticking with me. If you did so and haven’t yet read the books, I hope I didn’t ruin them for you, but instead gave you just enough information to find yourself intrigued into picking them up for yourself.

You can purchase this book from: Blackwell’s | (Support Independent Bookstores)Amazon US | Amazon UK | Audible | (Another way to support independent bookstores!) | Book Depository (Free shipping worldwide!)

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