A Court of Wings and Ruin
by: Sarah J. Maas
I honestly don’t even know where to start with this one. I didn’t hate it. But I didn’t love it. Overall I liked it despite the fact that it had some pretty massive problems. Until the end. By the end there were just too many things that I couldn’t overlook.
It wasn’t as good as A Court of Mist and Fury which I already didn’t love as much as most people. While there’s supposed to be more books set in this world this one is the conclusion of Feyre’s story. I’m going to put my thoughts on this one under a spoiler warning!
SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPECULATION!
(And possibly some swearing!)
Let’s just throw out the good stuff first. I liked a lot of the secondary characters including some of the Night Court when they are on their own and not with Rhys and Feyre. I like the world and we get some views into the other courts and their histories that are intriguing enough that in one case I would probably pick up another book (Lucien.)
So now some of the things I had massive problems with…
I had to seriously edit myself here to the top things that drove me crazy otherwise this would be a week long post!
Taking Back the Big Deaths
I freaking hate death fake outs! Two characters actually die in this big war to end all wars sacrificing themselves and Maas brings them back! Oh, I rolled my eyes at one because I knew they weren’t staying dead but she chose to bring that one back in the most wildly repetitive manner she could have (think first book) and then the other one just appeared and it was like,
“Oh, I found her wherever it is we go and asked if she wanted to come back.”
“You bet! Despite the fact that I just sacrificed myself in a blaze of glory to save everyone there’s nothing so anticlimactic as taking it all back!”
No worries though because that person comes back as High Fae! I get the feeling from this series that everyone in SJM’s books has to be “special,” or they aren’t important/ don’t last long. And if you aren’t special and need to be apparently she’ll find a way to make that happen.
There’s really one character that dies (human of course) in that battle that I think I was supposed to care about but it’s literally someone that I didn’t even think about until he participated in this total last minute save. Rolling my eyes again.
The Night’s Court/ Feyre & Rhys
If I ever have to hear or read the phrase “my mate,” again it will be to soon. Also I know these people are supposed to be great friends and all but I have never given my great friends so many vulgar gestures in my life. I couldn’t help but start thinking okay, it’s not cute. Say good-bye. Make a joke but no more vulgar gestures!
The court together just struck me as strangely juvenile in places. I suppose that could work but they were basically leading the charge to get the other courts to participate in this huge battle and ugh, there’s a big council that they call, which actually was interesting but guess what court couldn’t keep control of themselves?
Feyre was a rough narrator for me to. I’m not overly fond of this particular super special snowflake whose ass everyone has to kiss. But I found the self-righteousness off the charts in some parts. There’s a part where she actually burns a High Lord’s wife and just kind of shrugs it off with an apology and Rhys is like, “Well, he shouldn’t have been rude to you.” His wife wasn’t being rude to her! There was also a part where another High Lord is talking about how Amaranthe executed children from his lands as punishment and Feyre’s like, “Oh that really sucks but think about how hard it was for poor Rhys!”
Don’t get me wrong that stuff is fine if this is just Rhys and Feyre dealing with their issues but in this book we’re being asked to buy them as bringing all these other courts together for a war. I couldn’t get over the idea that no one in their right minds would follow these two.
I don’t think Feyre was able to hold up this narration on her own. The book needed another narrator to me and there were some options. You could have kept Feyre in the Spring Court a lot longer (because seriously for all that was built up it’s basically blink and she’s out of there) for whatever reason and had Rhys do an alternating narration.
There were also some elements here that were dropped for most of the book and then picked up again (think Lucien- he disappears on a mission the only thing we find out about that at the end is that someone else beat him to it) that could have played a bigger part and I think was Maas just using this book to set-up the coming offshoot novels. Amren could have had to go to another court for some reason and we could have gotten her narration. Elain could have tried to get back to the human lands and been stuck in Tamlin’s court (which really might have helped me buy Elain’s big moment at the end because that one was not earned at all!)
Basically, it needed something besides Feyre.
So there were my three biggest problems: the taken back deaths, narration and the tone of the Night’s Court. Like I said there was some interesting stuff here Lucien, Jurien, a couple of the different courts that we meet, a new Queen and even Tamlin, but it felt like that was all set-up and fodder for future novels.
As much as I complain I will most likely pick up the Lucien one to get a conclusion to his story but other than that I just don’t think Maas and I gel.
Recommend: 50/50. If you’ve come this far you likely want to reach the conclusion and it’s getting great ratings on Goodreads and pretty much everywhere else. The series as a whole was entertaining in a summer movie kind of way. But by the end of this one I really couldn’t overlook the problems.