Warning: If you’ve not read A Court of Thorns and Roses or A Court of Mist and Fury then I would highly recommend not reading this as it has spoilers for both. However, if you’ve read both then this is a spoiler-free review.
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genre: YA, Fantasy
A nightmare, I’d told Tamlin. I was the nightmare.
Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit—and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords—and hunt for allies in unexpected places.
Everyone who knows me knows that A Court of Mist and Fury is one of my all-time favorite books (reread in the past year more times than I can even count), A Court of Thorns and Roses one of my all-time favorite series. So, you know, I had some high expectations going into A Court of Wings and Ruin. Let me just say, Sarah J. Maas took every single one of those expectations and blew them out of the water! I’m in awe over this book, in tears because I loved it so much. It was everything I never even thought to hope for. Given that I just finished it about thirty minutes ago I’ll admit this review might end up being a mess because I have a lot of feelings. That aside, just wow – this book took me on an unforgettable adventure that was very intense and played on my emotions in the best way possible.
“For a moment, I let myself see past the glamour that concealed the tattoo on my right hand and forearm. The markings of my true heart. My true title. High Lady of the Night Court.”
A Court of Mist and Fury ended with the reveal of a heartbreaking betrayal that now has Feyre back in the Spring Court biding her time, preparing to take Tamlin down from the inside as well as gathering information about Hybern’s movements. The King of Hybern is raising his vast armies and setting his sights on shattering the wall and conquering Prythian once and for all. Which leaves Feyre and the others racing against the clock to make alliances and raise armies of their own in hopes of taking down the King and saving everyone. A Court of Wings and Ruin is an unputdownable read that will leave you breathlessly turning pages, wanting to know exactly how this adventure is going to end.
I’m completely speechless about the world building. Something I’ve loved since book one is the world Sarah J. Maas so masterfully crafted within these pages. It’s as beautiful as it is chilling and continues to be just that in this installment. However, A Court of Wings and Ruin really took all of it to the next level. She revealed even more of the history of Prythian, things that I had been wondering about since the first book. We finally got to see some of the other courts – Autumn, Winter, and Dawn. Albeit not nearly enough which is understandable given the events but is hopefully remedied in future books. Honestly, it made me realize the sheer size of this book world which left me in awe. What I loved most, however, was the fact that all of this information was seamlessly woven into the story. There were never any moments of info dumping or even moments where the pacing slowed down one bit. Which thoroughly showcases how incredible a writer Sarah J. Maas is. Also, I have to give her some major props for those battle scenes. She wasn’t afraid to go there that’s for sure, they were intense and descriptive.
“No going back now,” Cassian said to Rhys, gesturing to his wings.
Rhys slid his hands into his pockets. “I figured it’s time for the world to know who really has the largest wing-span.”
Cassian laughed, and even Azriel smiled. Mor gave me a look that had me biting my lip to keep from howling.”
These characters, I don’t even know where to start. Not only because I don’t want to give anything away but because the characters in this series are so special to me that I’m beyond words. Sarah J. Maas created a wonderfully unique cast of characters who are all flawed, none are wholly good or bad. (Well, aside from Hybern for obvious reasons.) That’s something that has not only made them so realistic but also some of my favorite characters ever. What I loved most about this book was the fact that a lot of character backstory was revealed which answered questions I’ve had since the previous book. Also, I was completely surprised by several characters. I won’t say much, again because I don’t want to give anything away, but every time I had my mind made up about a character the rug was pulled out from under me big time. All of that aside, so many new characters are introduced within the pages of A Court of Wings and Ruin. From the High Lords of the other courts we didn’t meet in the previous novels to a lot of other characters. By the time I neared the end I didn’t want to say goodbye to any of them, especially my Court of Dreams lovelies.
Feyre has changed so much from the girl we first met in A Court of Thorns and Roses who was just trying to keep her family alive. She’s been through hell and back and become stronger because of it. In this we see her stepping into the role of High Lady and learning how to navigate that new responsibility. We also see her learn who she really is and accept herself flaws and all, which I loved so much.
“You do not fear,” Rhys breathed. “You do not falter. You do not yield. You go in, you get her, and you come out again.”
I nodded again, holding his stare.
“Remember that you are a wolf. And you cannot be caged.”
Rhys has also changed so much from who we first met in A Court of Thorns and Roses. He’s finally decided to take his mask off and let the world see who he really is. That he’s someone who will sacrifice anything, even himself, to save those that he loves. I loved seeing him let that wall down, seeing him take that mask off.
Then, of course, Feyre and Rhys together. I just love them together so much. They’re both such self-sacrificing characters and they both struggle with a lot of things but they always manage to pull each other out of it. I love how Sarah J. Maas made it a point to showcase the fact that just because they’re together doesn’t mean their personal demons went away. I’m glad it didn’t turn into a ‘love cures all’ situation. Not to mention the mutual respect they have for each other. The perfect example of a well written, healthy romance.
“…Rhys stared at all of us, somehow assembled here in the sun-drenched open grasses without being given the order. Our family – our court. The Court of Dreams.
“I believe everything happens for a reason. Whether it is decided by the Mother, or the Cauldron, or some sort of tapestry of Fate, I don’t know. I don’t really care. But I am grateful for it, whatever it is. Grateful that it brought you all into my life.”
Also, my Court of Dreams/Inner Circle lovelies; Cassian, Mor, Azriel, and Amren. I can’t say much about any of them because so much is revealed in terms of each of their backstories. I don’t want to spoil anything. However, I loved seeing more of Azriel and how this more humorous side of him came out. I also loved seeing how much they all care for each other. And, of course, I can’t forget Nesta and Elain who were transformed into Fae at the end of the previous book. Both surprised me a lot, especially Nesta. I adored seeing the sibling relationship between them and Feyre grow. In fact, I just loved the family dynamic between all of my Court of Dreams lovelies and how much it grew.
Then last but not least, Lucien. I’m being so vague right now but he was my favorite in A Court of Thorns and Roses. I love where his story went in this one. You’ll have to read to find out what happens.
“A gift. All of it.”
Overall, A Court of Wings and Ruin was an adventure that I never wanted to end! I loved it and couldn’t have asked for a better ending for Feyre’s story. It gave me answers to a lot of the questions I had from previous books while also giving me new questions for future books. I love how it was a conclusion but also felt like a beginning. I can’t wait to see where the other books in this series take us. However, I know not having Feyre as the main protagonist is going to take some getting used to. I’ll miss her too much. All of that aside, bring on the book hangover because I’m not getting over this one for a long time!
Bonus: Feyre/Rhys Playlist
Because, of course, when I really ship two characters I have to make a playlist for them. Honestly, Dark Side by Kelly Clarkson is my theme song for Feysand. Hope you guys enjoy! I also have a mini Court of Dreams/Inner Circle playlist that is still a work in progress if you guys want to check it out. 😊
Have you read A Court of Wings and Ruin? What did you think? If not is it on your TBR?