WHY SARAH J MAAS WHY?!?! A slow start with characters reeling from the aftereffects of A Court of Thorn and Roses (book 1) evolves into a FEELS-ridden, fast-paced, fury-inducing cliff-elbow. *
A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J Maas
Published by Bloomsbury on May 3, 2016
Genres: YA Fantasy / Pages: 624
Format: Book / Source: Library
Rating: 5 stars
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 torn apart.
*It’s like half of a cliffhanger (the triangle part of the hanger? That was bad. I’m going to go hide behind my books now) The fury is primarily directed at TAMLIN – for him I need to learn how to type certain emojis on here, because they now dominate my phone keyboard. I ranted about him most of the weekend via text!
THIS CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR BOOK 1 BECAUSE THAT ENDING WAS TRAMATIC AND WARPED PEOPLE IN WAYS THAT HIGHLY EFFECT BOOK 2 – SO I HIGHLY SUGGEST YOU STOP READING IF YOU HAVEN’T READ ACOTAR! : )
The main characters
Feyre is now Fae after being brought back to life by the seven High Lords of Prythian, with the added bonus of not wanting to eat human brains (#winning) but also not really wanting to eat anything (#notwinning). After returning to the Spring Court with Tamlin & Co, she has massive depression or PTSD (I do not know about either of these so I can’t make any solid guess) that is NOT helped by the evil Toadstool, aka Tamlin (who I shall address below otherwise this could get bloody *licks her fangs*). As her life at the Spring Court becomes insanely restrictive, she loses her interest in just about everything (ESPECIALLY her painting), but as her wedding approaches, Feyre can’t quite admit it but SHE WANTS OUT and unconsciously calls to Rhysand (<- finally!! Where are the party balloons? Turn on the dance music and CELEBRATE :D). It is at this stage of the book that Feyre’s new character arc really develops and weaves through the rest of the important plot bunnies who will devour your soul and subconsciously make you buy all of the candles. (<-no JOKE! ACOMAF candles smell amazing and are totally a valid expense in place of basically everything.)
Tamlin is EVIL. The love interest in ACOTAR (who I picture as a slightly more savage version of Disney’s Beast wearing a tutu because I can and it would make him all of the displeased), many readers may come into this book having previously liked him. I thought he was meh for many reasons, but this isn’t a review about that book and I should probably focus? Toadstool’s beastly/possessive side (and not the sexy kind) is basically on a continual power trip this whole book – completely ignoring the pain and trauma of Feyre while trying to force her into a “safe” role and actually inflicting WAY MORE PAIN/TRAUMA AND RUINING MULTIPLE PEOPLE’S LIVES!!!!! *mentally stabs sharp pointy objects at Toadstool* Thankfully, he is not in a significant portion of the book, but my precious cinnamon roll is!
Rhysand, aka the precious cinnamon roll (because that was not totally obvious right?!?), is not the easiest character to figure out at the beginning of ACOMAF. He basically is a no-show for his monthly kidnap-Feyre agreement until her silent plea at her wedding. It’s like he’s auditioning for his own Romance novel (which I TOTALLY AM IN SUPPORT OF, but we kind of already got O=D) by showing his mad rescue-the-damsel-in-distress/run-off-with-the-bride skills. Anyway, dark and dangerous Rhysand from book 1? He exists, but so does the Night Court – his bestest of buds that he used the last of his powers to hide from Amarantha when she originally took over. Rhys and his buddies HELP Feyre recover AND recognize that she is a total badass Fae who actually has the powers of all the courts (<-instead of eating brains, I feel like any zombies reading this story will feel REALLY JIPPED!). RHYS IS ALL OF THE PRECIOUSNESS ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (and yes he has his own candle #priorities).
The good stuff
- Prythian – aka the land of all the magic – we finally get to EXPLORE. And not just down dark tunnels that even my evil comment trolls would tremble to pass through. The Night Court has some breathtaking scenery (<-new retirement destination people!!), but we also get to visit the Summer Court and a classic fairytale-esque witches cottage. As Feyre learns about her new powers, we learn a lot about Fae culture/courts/etc. And lordy lord the politics – ‘tis properly bloodthirsty.
- The violence – ACOTAR definitely had it’s gritty, death doom and tear you to pieces bits, but ACOMAF does it better in my mind. Instead of only Feyre fighting against a tyrant (with some aid on the side from Rhys), in this book there’s a whole EPIC FIGHTING SUB CULTURE (who also need to work on their equality -> Rhys is on it!) that Feyre can rely on, but not be dependent on, when things get rough… and they get rough.
- The lovey-doveys and triangles – I’ve mentioned before that love triangles and I tend to get into fisty cuffs >.< This is less of a love triangle and more TOADSTOOL IS EVIL. It just takes awhile for Feyre to realize that. Luckily, Rhys is a smart, tasty cookie who recognizes that Feyre needs to time a) figure out who she is as a Fae, b) adjust to the emotional impacts of book 1 and c) be taunted into fighting because STRESS PEOPLE. Holding it all in makes one big epic explosion and Feyre explodes a couple of times. But good explosions. Ish. It is also gets quick romance novelly at times…. Forewarning!
- The friendly banter – with a twisty and turny snake-ish plot, emotional health issues and WAR, you would think this book is fairly serious and gory… at times, true, but the BANTER. The Night Court is fantastically good at quips and smirks and being a family of friends. We learn some of each character’s background (there are 4: Mor, Amren, Cassian and Azriel), but Amren remains the biggest mystery (she’s still my favorite!).
The bad stuff
- It took SO LONG for Feyre to leave the Toadstool that I stopped reading for a while in the middle of the book. Once I came back to it, I read it quickly, but it takes her quite a few pages (and horrible experiences) to give up on her reptile of a fiancé.
- The ending…. like I said at the beginning, it’s not quite a HUGE cliffhanger, but there is clearly a LOT more to come.
What did you think of ACOMAF?? Do you prefer the name Tamlin or Toadstool? I’d love more YA fantasy suggestions!