Rummanah Aasi
 While I enjoyed the fairy tale retelling, A Court of Thorns and Roses, I have to admit I felt underwhelmed for majority of the book. I did enjoy the world building and the clever blend of retelling the classic Beauty and the Beast story and faerie folklore, but I couldn't help but feel something was missing and if it was not for the solid last 100 pages or so I would not have bothered picking up the sequel. I'm thrilled to report that the sequel, A Court of Mist and Fury, surpassed my expectations and now I can not wait to finish this series! Please be aware that the review of this book does contain spoilers from A Court of Thorns and Roses.

Description: 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: A Court of Mist and Fury reads like a coming of age story. Feyre is still reeling in the months after defeating Amarantha and escaping hellish captivity in Under the Mountain. She has post traumatic syndrome and is drowning in guilt over the prices she paid and unable to escape the feeling that she's trapped. Though her heart is human, Feyre has been transformed into a powerful fey. She is still coming to terms to who she is all the while keeping her nightmares a secret from Tamlin and pretending all is well. Like Feyre, Tamlin is also consumed by fear of failing to protect Feyre and in denial.
   I thought it was very clever of Maas to alter the power balance in Feyre and Tamlin's relationship in this book. In the first book, Feyre is a damsel in distress who sought protection from Tamlin until the very end when she takes a new, active, powerful role. Now in order to prove his masculinity Tamlin overcompensates to the extreme with the 'admirable' intention of protecting Feyre. When Tamlin becomes too constrictive, she is taken by Rhysand, the feared High Lord of the Night Court, with whom she struck a deal and to whom she has been bonded ever since in ways she can't explain.
  I was never a fan of Tamlin, but Rhysand is so much more interesting and complex. Though I'm still  not thrilled of the bargain he forced Feyre into, I actually felt and believed in his and Feyre's chemistry. I really owe that to Maas's characterization of him. In this book we learn more of his backstory and why he and Tamlin have a strenuous relationship. Though Rhysand shows Feyre a new life and tells her that she has powers, he never holds her hand nor babysits her. He gives her space and through their banter and fights, Feyre taps into the strength, survival skills, and drive she forgot she had. While Tamlin acted like she was porcelain, Rhysand let her stumble, fall and get back up again. He has always been honest with her about his selfish (or selfless?) decisions when it comes to saving his Night Court and saving Prythian from the evil King of Hybern. Rhysand and Feyre's relationship didn't feel forced but natural and they acted as equals. Above all else, I did not feel like there was a love triangle in this book at all. In fact Feyre comes to a point where she makes a decision of who she will love and sticks by it. There is no waffling and while there is definitely sexual tension between Rhysand and Feyre, nothing happens until Feyre is one hundred percent certain of how she feels.
  A Court of Mist and Fury is a very large book, clocking over 600 pages, but I never felt bored. Maas broadens her world building and thoroughly examines the Night Court. I was mesmerized by its descriptions, character, and warmth. I don't think I would mind living there. We are also introduced to more political intrigue and wonderful, memorable secondary characters that work along with Rhysand. My favorite was Amren, but I also loved Cassian and Azriel. The Bone Carver and the Weaver both freaked me out but they were also fascinating too. There were a lot of great surprises and twists and turns in this book. Just be aware of the cliffhanger in the end. Once I finished this book, I wanted the next one now. It's going to be a hard, long wait for the series finale.
  The only reason why I gave this book a 4.5 stars instead of 5 stars is because I found the sex scenes a bit jarring and it disrupted the flow of the book. While I definitely understand why they are added and I appreciate that it a sex positive book, as a school librarian it is hard to decide whether or not to recommend this book to every teen, especially with conservative readers. A Court of Mist and Fury does straddle the line between YA and adult romance. Despite this issue, it is a fabulous read and not to be missed, especially if you enjoyed the first book.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language and strong violence in the book. There is also strong sexual content, including some graphic sex scenes. Recommended for older teens and adults.

If you like this book try: Daughter of Smoke and Bones series by Laini Taylor, Study series by Maria V. Snyder
5 Responses
  1. I might be wrong, but I thought this was being marketed as a NA series, so that might make it easier for you as a librarian. I haven't gotten around to this yet. I am happy to hear though that you enjoyed it and that there is not a love trianlge, I was worried about that.


  2. Christina T Says:

    Fantastic review! I definitely liked this one more than the first book. I think the issues I had with the Tamlin/Feyre relationship is that it had echoes of Edward and Bella from Twilight. The author does a great job of showing Rhysand in a different light and I thought the relationship between Feyre and Rhysand was well done. I really liked the secondary characters and the setting too. I didn't realize book three would be the last one but I can't wait till May when we find out what happens next.

    As a public librarian I also had some concerns but we decided to put these books in the teen room. So far there haven't been any complaints.


  3. Kindlemom Says:

    I love all of Maas' work and I really liked book one so I'm eager to start this one as well. So glad it was such a good read for you!


  4. Aylee Says:

    Oh okay, I haven't read ACoTaR yet (thanks for the spoiler warning), but I do find it really encouraging that everyone seems to have loved the second book more than the first. I mean, it's usually the opposite!


  5. Man this sounds so good. Even with the jarring sex scenes, I do think I'll enjoy it. a 4 1/2 is something I don't want to miss! :)


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