Title: A Court of Wings and Ruin
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Release date: May 2nd, 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing plc
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Warning: This is a book discussion, not a review. I will be discussing major spoilers so if you have not read this book and don’t want to know what happens then please do NOT read any further. If you want to read a spoiler-free review of the previous book, click here.
This is, no joke, the third time I’ve written this review because I just cannot properly put into words how I feel about this book. There are so many things very wrong in this book but there are also a lot of things very right.
Let’s start off on a positive note and discuss the things I thought were great in this book. First of all the characters, mainly the side characters. Honestly Cassian, Azriel, Mor & Nesta were the reasons I kept flipping the pages. One thing I think Sarah J. Maas is a master at is creating interesting side characters. I feel like in this book I cared more about them than I did about Feyre and Rhys (don’t hate me). However, it was kind of a bummer that none of their storylines tie up nicely at the end of the book. I get that Sarah is setting up the three spinoff books but it just made the ending of Feyre’s arc seem very rushed and unsatisfying.
The next thing I like was the climax. From the first battle with Hybern I could not put the book down. I kept wanting to read the next chapter to see what happened and I finished the last 200 pages or so in no-time. This was the pacing I wanted to see in the entire book, which I, unfortunately, didn’t. I felt like the first part of the book was very slow! Especially the part when Feyre is in the Spring Court. Nothing really happened when she was there. She rarely actually communicated with Tamlin and I feel like Sarah could have made it so much more interesting if she wanted to. I did like it when they went to see the wall and I definitely thought Feyre was proper badass when she killed the Hybern twins, but I still feel like it could have been more exciting.
And lastly, I really loved Tamlin’s redemption. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted Tamlin dead at the beginning (pretty much through to the end to be honest) of the book. But I really think he redeemed himself in a believable way. He learned to let Feyre go and he was able to put his own needs aside for her happiness.
Now on to all the things I didn’t like. Grab yourself a snack and a cup of your preferred hot beverage cause this is gonna take a while.
First of all, the sex scenes. I had no problems with the raunchy scenes in ACOMAF, cause they had a good dose of will-they-wont-they tension. In this book, however, there was no tension and they were honestly just horny 24/7. At some point, it felt like I was reading smutty fanfiction and that is just not what I was hoping for. But the thing that bothered me more than anything about these sex scenes was the timing. The timing ranged from awkward (they are literally riling each other up with their mating-bond-reading-the-other-persons-thoughts-thing while the inner circle + Lucien are in the room who they tell to find somewhere else to be so they could have sex) to disturbing (at a war-camp where people have died and still are dying. While their friends are suffering from injuries). It just made me really uncomfortable because I kept thinking how someone was suffering from severe injuries and possibly dying in the tent next to theirs while they were getting it on. I’m sorry but I don’t understand how they were still turned on at that camp.
Secondly, I want to discuss the diversity in this book. I know everyone and their mother is bashing Sarah for her lack of diversity and I get that, but I hated the fact that I could feel the controversy in this book. I felt like Sarah so badly wanted to please people by adding diverse characters, that when she did it seemed very forced to me. I appreciate the fact that she tried but I don’t think she handled it very well. I mean, why on earth is the first bi-sexual character we are introduced to trying to get Mor and Cassian in his bed to have a threesome? I think most of the diversity was badly done and I personally feel like it’s better to have no diversity than diversity that seems forced and is poorly executed.
My next point of irritation was, don’t kill me, Rhys. In this book he is portrayed as a bloody saint! And why, you ask? Because he’s a decent person who isn’t controlling of his ‘mate’ (a term that is thrown around constantly and kind of made me want to puke by the time I got to the end of the book). Why are we praising Rhysand so much for something that should be normal? Every other page Feyre mentions how Rhys always gives her a choice, and how he lets her make her own decisions. And I’m just here like, okay that’s great but isn’t that any relationship should be like? Also, I would’ve been less annoyed by that, had Sarah shown us instead of spelling it out. She could have shown us how much better Rhys is as a partner for Feyre than Tamlin ever was by his actions, yet she chose to let Feyre tell us constantly instead, to the point where it just got repetitive.
Then my last point of discussion is the ending. To be fair, I do think the pacing of the climax was fabulous. However, I found the actual content to be lacking. I thought everything ended very conveniently. The biggest problem I had with the ending was the fact that nobody died. Well I guess Rhys sort of dies but I never for a second thought he was going to stay dead. All the High Lords are right there so I thought it was pretty damn obvious that they were going to save him. And we lose Amren but she ends up just chilling in the Cauldron and all they have to do is pull her out… It just doesn’t seem very realistic. There is a full-on war going on and pretty much the entire inner circle is on the battlefield and you mean to tell me that none of them die? It doesn’t make sense. Besides that, the ending just felt very rushed. For a 700 page book I feel like Sarah could have made the climax a lot longer if she wanted to. I also didn’t get actual closure for any of the characters except Feyre and Rhys. I mean, what happens to Nesta & Cassian? Elain & Lucien (hopefully nothing, I ship Elain & Azriel)? Mor? Azriel? How does Amren learn to function as a regular High Fae? I get that Sarah left these loose ends in order to tie them up in the next books. But I don’t feel satisfied with the ending of Feyre’s books. I wanted so much more, I was expecting so much more and it just didn’t suffice.
Overall I think it was an alright book. ACOMAF is 100% my favourite installment in this trilogy and I don’t think any of the spin-off’s will top it either. I think it could have been so much more epic if Sarah cut some of the unnecessary sex scenes and used those pages at the end to tie things together. For a 700(!!) page book I really don’t feel like I got enough out of it. The idea was great, the execution could have been a lot better. I will definitely be picking up the next books if they follow any of the characters from the inner circle because they honestly saved this book for me.
Lots of love,
What are your thoughts on this finale? I would love to hear your opinion and discuss in the comments!
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