Saturday, July 23, 2016

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Publication Date:  May 3, 2016 
Publisher:  Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages:  640
Series:  A Court of Thorns and Roses #2
Genre:  Fantasy
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.

Review:  It's a common cliche that sequels are worse than the first installment, yet when it comes to Sarah J. Maas, that is just not the case.  A Court of Mist and Fury is leagues above its predecessor.

A Court of Thorns and Roses was a whirlwind romance and a tiny glimpse into the intricacies that make up the faerie courts.  But A Court of Mist and Fury takes all you know about this strange world and builds on it until you can't believe that you ever liked ACOTAR half as much.  You see much more of the world and its history, fleshing it out so much that sometimes you feel like you are actually living the story.

The writing is addictive.  Once you get sucked in there's no going back.  This is one of those cases where you pick up the book, saying "just one chapter" and then the next thing you know it's five in the morning.  It is so entertaining and spellbinding that you only really notice flaws in retrospect.

To the stars who listen—and the dreams that are answered.

The plot is more balanced in every sense of the word.  The pacing is better and the romance no longer outweighs the actual story.  However, I often get the sense that the adventure is just a side show for the romance that takes place.  On a similar note, while I enjoyed every scene, I did not see the point of all of them being included.

Feyre is the least interesting character there is, which is a tragedy since she happens to be the protagonist.  While I appreciate the seemingly accurate portrayal of her PTSD, she lacks depth in every other aspect.  The plot moves her around, as do other characters, but she herself never takes action until the last chapters.  There is so much talk about her being strong and independent that you begin to believe she has undergone this fantastic character arc, yet you never actually witness her doing much to support that.

Rhysand was my favorite character from the first book, and while I still like him, he's a bit washed out.  Everything morally ambiguous about him was erased and replaced with anecdotes that made him into a perfectly respectable but almost unrecognizable version of who he was before.  He is basically Tamlin 2.0 (except sassier), while Tamlin's character (who I now viciously dislike) was just thrown away to make room for the new relationship.  Speaking of, I really like the slow build of the relationship in this book and it makes for a far more intriguing match.  

When you spend so long trapped in darkness, Lucien, you find that the darkness begins to stare back.

On the surface there is more depth and a better developed plot, yet I almost feel as if it is extremely well written fan fiction.  I loved it to pieces while reading it, and yet underneath I see all these flaws.  It's such an odd thing to claim to love a book and yet to simultaneously point out where it went wrong.

However my biggest gripe is that A Court of Mist and Fury is nothing new.  I've read a hundred other books just like it, and while Sarah J. Maas spins her tale very well, it is a tale as old as time (ha). 

To clarify, I enjoyed this book and I wish I could go back in time and read it all over again because I had such fun the first time around.  And yet, in all honesty, it isn't perfect.  It may be good read, but it isn't a great book.  If that makes any sense whatsoever outside my own peculiar mind.


  1. Loved the pun hahah - "a tale as old as time" - THAT WAS AWESOME! :)
    I'll have to read ACOTAR before I read ACOMAF, but I'm glad you did enjoy it, even though it did seem like very well written fanfiction

    1. Haha, thanks! I just couldn't resist slipping that in there. ACOTAR/ACOMAF is definitely worth giving a shot. It's really enjoyable in the end, which is the most important thing! Thanks for commenting, Geraldine!

  2. I have ACOTAR and really need to get to it. I have been seeing mostly good things about this one too so I might just go for reading them both soon. It totally makes sense it was a good read but not a great book. I feel that way a lot actually. Great review!

    1. Like I said, the series is super enjoyable and I really do love it, despite all the flaws. I'm really happy you get what I mean about the good read thing. Thanks for commenting, Grace!

  3. I understand you completely! It's so disappointing when books turn out like that - you enjoyed reading them, but then you realized there wasn't much substance. :(
    I've been thinking of trying ACOTAR, but I'm afraid Feyre will turn out to be a Mary-Sue and the romance will be too typical. Have you had any of those thoughts so far?

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

    1. Exactly! I really love reading this series but when I start to think too deeply about them I start seeing multitudes of flaws. I would definitely say that it's worth a shot reading-wise (although Feyre CAN be a but Mary-Sue-ish). The romance can be very dramatic but still fun. Thanks for commenting, Ellie!

  4. You already know that we have the same opinion on this book, but when I read your review again I realised that my favourite part of what you'd written was the phrase 'Tamlin 2.0'. Omg that's the best thing I've heard all day. BECAUSE IT'S TRUE. Rhysand's character has changed so much... and I get why but... it feels like the easy way out? Like a cheap way to turn him into a hero, by excusing his earlier actions as nothing but an act? It's a shame because I missed that cunning evil-ness. And... I understand that circumstances were different but I felt that Rhysand was still trying to control Feyre like Tamlin did but she didn't seem that bothered when he was doing it?! I mean yeah he didn't lock her up or do anything too teerrible, but just little things... I don't know if I'm even making sense anymore! Your review is definitely the best one I've read regarding this book. At least I'm not the only one a little puzzled by it! <3

    1. Haha, I'm glad you found Tamlin 2.0 funny! It's so true, isn't it?! I mean, suddenly he's this perfect hero and Tamlin is a nasty villain, the opposite of ACOTAR. I do love Rhysand but I miss his morally ambiguous moments--it makes him more interesting! I feel like Feyre is just kind of annoying in general... She's very flat and passive. She just goes along with whatever anyone else says. Anyway, I am SO happy you liked my review, Rebekah! Thanks for commenting!

  5. I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE, ERIN *points at B&TB reference* *nods aggressively*

    I've been holding off from reading ACOMAF after finishing ACOTAR because, well, I wasn't very fond of the first book all that much. I guess I wasn't a fan of the plot? Or the book? Or the execution of the plot?? Er... I'm not entirely sure. >.< I'm also a bit hesitant to read ACOMAF because I've been seeing a lot of negative reviews... And I guess I'm also afraid to read an even cheesier romance that I'm not really looking for (I wasn't a fan of Tamlin and Feyre in book one). :'(

    Maybe I'll give ACOMAF a try soon...? Though judging from your review, I think I'll need to be in the mood for it before I do. Awesome review, Erin!

    1. Haha, I was wondering if anyone would catch that! I love puns like that. Besides that, I liked ACOMAF a LOT more than ACOTAR. It has a much more substantial plot and less romance. I definitely know what you mean by the execution of the plot being a little off, but it improves a lot. And I personally like this romance a lot more than Tamlin/Feyre. I think this is worth reading for sure and I hope you like it. Thanks so much for commenting, Mara!