What to say about the sequel to one of my favourite series A Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah J Maas? A lot that I feel I’m going to combust! A Court of Mist & Fury is an epic of twists and turns that would leave you hanging (as well as your mouth).
Spoilers ahead. You can turn back, gaze away from the wall below or climb over and deal with what’s coming.
Okay, after breaking the curse and freeing everyone in the faerie realms, Feyre adjusts to being a High Fae and this is only just the beginning. She goes through a new series of trials and learns what’s really in her heart. While there are others including the King of Hybern hunting her down. Dun, dun, dunnn.
Different from ACOTAR, I thought the plot was fluid and well-crafted though there were moments especially in the middle that dipped. However, it eventually picks up again. To cliffhangers, great reveals, and plot twists – not that I’m complaining about the…sexy moments and wow, were they graphic and hot (sorry, but I still think NA is part of YA, it’s just on the end of the scale).
The world is gradually revealed bit by bit as Feyre learns about it. The map thing is clever – I couldn’t help but compare it to the one in ACOTAR. The glimpses of history settle in nicely with the plot and at the same time blows your mind.
I didn’t see the twists coming, though I knew something was strange about Ianthe, the high priestess overseeing Feyre and Tamlin’s union. I thought she was manipulative and was behind Tamlin’s increasingly aloof and aggressive behaviour.
Characters & trauma
The new characters: Mor, Amren, Cassian and Azriel are perfect and I fell in love with them instantly. Each so different from each other yet connected with shared histories, sad ones – they didn’t need to tell everything about their past to convey how it shaped them. It’s all there radiating in their bodies and scenes. I liked the relationship dynamics too. I hope we get to know Amren more. She’s a mystery – she’s like Feyre, so I’m curious about who and what she was before she became Fae.
Rhysand. Rhys…oh sweet Cauldron. He’s one of my favourites from the beginning so I was fine when he and Feyre got together and discovered that they were bonded mates. More on that later. I loved his character development and learning about his tragic history, the reason why he allied with Amarantha, the main antagonist in ACOTAR, showing a different side of him that no one knows. Ahh, there are so many layers to him.
The Mortal Queens, Ianthe and the King of Hybern creeped me out, like snakes slithering all over you. I hope we get to see the queens more and learn more about Ianthe and the King (even though I just want him to die) in the next book. Jurian didn’t come across as a threat (who knows? Maas might surprise me). I just found him annoying and needs to be rendered unconscious or return to the land of the dead for being in the way.
Lucien. My poor Lucien. There isn’t much of him (sad face) and like Feyre, I hoped that he rebelled against Tamlin’s orders, but that didn’t happen. Even though I wanted to slap him, he’s still one of my favs and he…tried to be defiant towards the end. But, god, could he be more assertive for once? Though I softened and grinned when he found his mate…Feyre’s sister Elaine. Both Elaine and the other sister Nesta become Fae. I can’t wait to read how this turns out since they’re wary of fairies, and Lucien and Elaine are separated from each other. Despite being distant, the sisters made me care about them. Their courage and pushing away their thoughts about fairies to help stunned me.
I found Feyre’s character development well-written and really hit home. She’s haunted by the innocent Fae that she was forced to kill. Her feeling being ripped apart and distant from everyone was quite raw that you could feel her pain too. She’s trapped in her own head as no one helps her through.
The book takes time with the healing and moving on process. Her powers, an anomaly since she has all powers of the High Lords, also added layers to her complexity. She learns to master them whilst struggling with her inner turmoil. People go through like that in the real world. Putting up a front, doing life and struggling with what’s really going on inside them at the same time. So that’s why I find Feyre relatable and without a doubt, one of my fav female characters. She’s still comes across as human to me.
The change in Tamlin was like a punch to the face. He’s…different from the Tamlin in ACOTAR. What he and Feyre went through Under the Mountain, thanks to Amarantha, ripples through. They are changed, broken. But that doesn’t excuse how he treats Feyre and basically everyone.
Oh god, my loyalties have been questioned. I love Tamlin but he’s such a bastard in this book. At the beginning, Feyre doesn’t do much and she’s passive, letting everyone doll her up and tell her what to do – and she’s okay with it, though she becomes frustrated and no one is there to help her through her trauma or listen to her, not even Tamlin.
Her and Tamlin’s relationship becomes a mess. He becomes possessive and controlling, not letting Feyre go anywhere for safety reasons. I get that after everything that happened, he doesn’t want anything to happen to her. BUT he’s suffocating her and I couldn’t believe that he locked her up in the house, against her will. It’s…out of character.
It’s interesting and a relief to see how others especially Rhys see their relationship and call out for what it is. An unhealthy relationship. I like how this book touches on that and explores what Feyre saw in Tamlin and how love can blind and entrap you, and also forming relationships due to circumstances – as a way of coping. I felt that Feyre’s love for Tamlin and vice versa is genuine, but he takes it to an extreme level. The change in Feyre’s thoughts and feelings towards him really knocked me off my feet. It wasn’t sudden. It crept up slowly, yes she’s right to be angry, yet her interaction with him during the climax still surprised me.
Tamlin makes a bargain with the King of Hybern. The tyrant traps and sends Feyre back to him in exchange of being allowed to invade and break the Wall separating the faerie courts and human lands. What. The. Fuck. Tamlin? This did stress on how he didn’t do anything to help Feyre escape from Under the Mountain until the last minute, when she’s tortured and dead as a human. And…he still doesn’t come to Feyre in a better way. Instead he goes to the enemy and when the king successfully traps Feyre, Tamlin “lunges” for her as if she’s a possession or prey. Just why? Even Lucien isn’t that stupid. It would be great if we get Tamlin’s POV. What’s going on in that head of his?
I still have a soft spot for Tamlin though. I hope that he redeems himself by the end of the series. It would be a waste of character.
The friendship between Feyre and Rhys is great and their banter made me laugh tears. It’s a different chemistry compared to Feyre and Tamlin in ACOTAR. I did feel like that Feyre can breathe and have the freedom to be herself whenever she’s with Rhys – and definitely isn’t afraid of telling him everything or asking about anything. I’m glad that their relationship gradually changes into something more – they’re bonded mates. I was worried that they would love each other and stay together because they have to, instead of following their hearts and dreams. So I’m relieved that that wasn’t the case. The pre-existing rapport helped the transition.
What made me melt is that Rhys allows Feyre to be her own person despite being bonded and she becomes High Lady in her own right (I did hope that she would be a High Lady of her own realm with no mate – I just don’t like guys fighting over her). Though some part of me still clings to the Feyre and Tamlin ship…like I said, this book questions my loyalties and also morals.
Mor, Amren and Feyre. Their friendship is sweet and refreshing from female villains and distant sisters, but I wish there was more room for them as their conversations and scenes were mostly limited to their mission. I need more girlfriend bonding time.
The only thing I criticise: ACOMAF reminded me a lot of Throne of Glass – falling for the guy with the tattoos (not that I’m complaining about Rhys), the protagonist is royalty and gets trained to master her powers while dealing with trauma, the quest to find objects that are keys to ultimate power before the tyrannical king gets them, the mention of other worlds/dimensions and things inhabiting in them…it made me curious about…I’ll tell you at the end of this post.
Despite that, ACOMAF and the characters do stand on their own.
ACOMAF is definitely one of my top reads this year and I strongly recommend it. I can’t wait for the next book 🙂
Rating: How about 10000 out of 10000, yeah?
So that thing I was and still curious about, and this is open to discussion, feel free to leave a comment.
Do you think ACOTAR and Throne of Glass share the same universe?