Friday, July 8, 2016

Double Review: A Court of Mist and Fury - Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury
Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, New Adult
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Never before have I finished reading a book and immediately wanted to reread it. Until A Court of Mist and Fury.

Honestly, I knew from all the hype that ACOMAF was going to be an amazing second installment in the ACOTAR series, but it still toppled and demolished my expectations. This is definitely my favorite Sarah J. Maas book to date and definitely one of my favorite books of all time.

There is something that was so perfect about ACOMAF for me. Something about the characters and the story it was telling - not necessarily the bigger plot issues but the personal struggle of the characters - that struck a cord with me. Not only was Sarah J. Maas's storytelling as compelling as all her other books, but in this particular book, I really connected with Feyre. Sure, most people love Celaena and Feyre, wanting to connect with those strong women, but in this book, I felt Feyre's bonds so much more deeply than I have reading any other book. Her new friends were my new friends. Her new home was my new home.

I'm 100% definitely still in denial about this book being over. I do not accept that I have to leave this book. Nope. I want to crawl into the pages and live in the moments between these characters. If I was invited into this book as a guest, I'm the guest who you literally have to kick out onto the streets after they've outstayed their welcome because I refuse to leave.

Ok, momentary break in me feeling my feels to actually analyze some things that happened in this book?

I love the way Sarah J. Maas built all these different relationship dynamics in ACOMAF, clearly juxtaposing many healthy and toxic relationships. I feel like using a fantasy book with a largely young/new adult fan base was such a great way to educate young people in seeing the signs of unhealthy relationships. This wasn't a book about emotional abuse, but at the same time, it was - it taught a lesson to readers without being the Moral of the Story.

I also loved the way Sarah J. Maas portrayed Feyre's mental state following the events from ACOTAR. Bad things happened Under the Mountain, and something in Feyre changed as a result. She felt a lot of guilt, but it was more than that. She wasn't the same person anymore, just like the people around her weren't the same after what happened. Feyre felt like there were pieces of her missing, holes where things she used to love used to be, and the way Sarah J. Maas described it felt particularly real.

A Court of Mist and Fury is a huge book, and it was perfect. There's nothing I would take out or add to this book. It was just so satisfying - it left me dying for more without the actual emotional pain that sometimes comes with finishing a book in a series and having to wait for the next. My need for the next book is certainly there, but at the same time, I am satisfied with just living in this one for a little bit longer, holding onto it for as long as I can. I loved A Court of Mist and Fury, and I can't wait to see what Sarah J. Maas has in store for us next.

Also I'm dying for Feyre to tell everyone off in the next book. I can't wait.

- Kiersten

Noor's Review of A Court of Mist and Fury
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 

If Sarah J. Maas wrote a 2000 page book solely about Feyre hanging out and screwing around with her squad from this book, I would read and relish every single page.

Like Kiersten, as soon as I finished ACOMAF I just wanted to read it again. Well, actually, my first desire was to immediately have the next book because I needed to know what was going to happen to Feyre in her new situation but then I thought about it and as much as I need the next book, I like the characters and setting of this book so I just wanted to go back and feel it all again.

If you thought ACOTAR was good, ACOMAF blows it out of the water as it ascends its throne of Being Phenomenal. And if you haven't even read its predecessor yet, please do so immediately so you can experience this series in all its glory.

There are so many amazing parts of this book that add up to create a flawless story. Like the last book, there's a lot of focus on character development and I think it's done so beautifully. Feyre experienced a lot of trauma at the end of ACOTAR and the repercussions are explored in ACOMAF -- she definitely has a lot of PTSD and Sarah J. Maas works it into her narration and thoughts and hesitations so well. You can see that her character literally grows and changes as a person rather than being the same and just referencing the traumatic event a lot. I loved Feyre and her development and can't wait to see her become even more kickass as the series progresses.

We're introduced to more characters in this book -- as well as exploring the development of some we've already met -- and the setting changes as well, allowing us to learn more about the world Feyre now calls home. We get to know a lot more about Rhysand, the Night Court faerie we only caught glimpses of in ACOTAR, and I thought his character exploration was so well-done and astoundingly written. I just wanted to keep reading about his life and way he governs his city and his powers -- it was all so intriguing. We also meet his squad, and they're also such intriguing characters. Like, there's a super old and powerful Amren who drinks blood and no one knows what she is -- she was so cool and I want to know everything about her. Or there's Morrigan, the bright and bubbly cousin of Rhysand who has her own personal demons -- I loved her as a person and want her to be my friend too. Even the characters who appeared for only a few scenes, like Tarquin, the High Lord of the Summer Court, were fascinating and drew me in.

Kiersten mentioned the juxtaposition of healthy and toxic relationships and I totally agree with her on that whole front (actually I agree with her whole review but also that part, which is what I'm talking about right now). You can really see Feyre clearly angry and uncomfortable by certain things and yet, still not ready to call anyone a bad person, too close to her situation to understand how bad it really is. When she escapes that and you see how much it better it can be, it puts a lot into perspective.

The pacing of this book was faster than ACOTAR but it wasn't like a super crazy fast-paced hard-to-keep-up book or anything. I personally thought the speed of the novel was perfectly balanced with the time spent focusing on characterization (which isn't to say there weren't parts where characters were being hashed out and important plot things were happening, but obviously each scene had its own purpose). I also liked that more places were explored and they did more ~journeying~ to achieve their goals. It definitely got the most wild at the end, but Sarah J. Maas kept a solid flow throughout the whole book.

I had so many thoughts and feelings about this book, but overall I thought it was perfect and I'm anxious for the next one already.

Also, shoutout to Kiersten for getting me a signed copy when she went to Sarah J. Maas's B-Fest signing. True friend.

In addition, just a couple mildly spoilery thoughts for people who have read the book already:

1. Tamlin made me so angry that I wanted to scream but would have been unable because I was that angry. You know the kind? In ACOTAR, I didn't love him as a love interest but I did think he was a nice, loving, gentleman. However, his actions in this book have made him unredeemable in my eyes.

2. While Feyre was training with her new powers, all I could think was how cool it would be if she did an Avatar: The Last Airbender thing and trained with each High Lord until she mastered the power even though half of them would kill her before training her.

- Noor

Have you ever wanted to reread a book right after finishing it?
Let us know in the comments!

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