“You could rattle the stars,” she whispered. “You could do anything, if only you dared. And deep down, you know it, too. That’s what scares you most.”
“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. ” – Goodreads
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Thoughts About The Book
Faeries and magic and war, oh my! Sarah J. Maas has done it again – she’s created another enthralling tale in the world of Prythian with A Court of Wings and Ruin. This novel sent me through a roller coaster of emotions: happy, anxious, confused, excited, shattered… all invoked through the powerful scenes created throughout the story. The plot, the depth to each character, and the little details that stick with you add up to make this a beautiful, heart-wrenching addition to the series.
**Caution – there will be spoilers in this review of the previous books in the series. If you have not read A Court of Thorns and Roses (Book 1) or A Court of Mist and Fury (Book 2), you may not want to continue reading. Proceed at your own risk of spoilers!
Now that the obligatory warning is out of the way, let’s get down to the good in A Court of Wings and Ruin. Be prepared for a plethora of thoughts. There are a lot of topics I want to touch on, so I’ve categorized them for you in case you want to skip around – just beware for the spoiler section at the end! Now to get to it…
Maas really knows how to develop characters. Minus a few holes (to be ranted about later), she takes the time to show you the world through their eyes. How can you have a 700-page book and not feel like you’re living right alongside them? Through her carefully selected details, portrayal of emotions, and expertly crafted build-up, Maas hits you right in the heart. You’ll find yourself laughing, crying, and gripping on tight to your book in suspense by the end.
Fyre and Rhyshand are my absolute favorite ship – EVER. Their entire relationship from ACOTAR to now in A Court of Wings and Ruin has been a natural and beautiful progression.
What started as a mutual dislike in ACOTAR (or so it would seem) evolved later into a healing friendship in ACOMAF. It then turned into the ship that we were all craving for.
I can’t express the gratitude I have towards Maas that she didn’t rush their relationship. It wasn’t a love at first sight sort of thing – even for Rhys when he knew Feyre was his mate. Maas took the time to kindle their love, like any real relationship would do (especially given the hardships and issues Feyre and Rhys both have).
The end of ACOMAF left us with some questions as to how Maas would continue to develop the Feyre-Rhys relationship. With Fyre now a High Lady, how would she fit into that role with courts run by men? How would Rhys integrate her into their court and handle the dynamic himself? I won’t give away any spoilers here, but I will say that I am thoroughly pleased with how Maas continues their dynamic – you won’t be disappointed.
On a final note for this ship (yes, this is my favorite ship and deserves some extra attention), I want to point out that Maas touches on an important relationship quality that seems to be greatly overlooked in other stories. Feyre and Rhys demonstrate what unity and teamwork can accomplish. That while they are both strong and capable on their own, they bring out the best in each other.
THAT is what relationships are about. It’s not about finding ways around your flaws or how to overlook them; it’s about helping and healing and growing. Thank you, Maas, for setting the example of what a real power-couple looks like.
One word for the characters – all of them – in A Court of Wings and Ruin: wow! I could seriously write an entire post about this alone, and probably will at a later date now that I’ve just thought that out loud (ha!). I’ll try to keep this short and sweet for now, but I will say that the fact that Maas can create such a diverse group of characters is remarkable to me.
Each character is real (you see the reoccurring theme here with Maas?). Even though this is a fantasy story, it is relatable. Her characters allow you to connect with their struggles. While the actual problems she creates may not apply to our world (think a human loving a faerie), the message still applies to struggles everyone faces today.
All of the characters Maas creates are flawed – some more obvious or severe than others. The more hot-button issues Mass touches on include: domestic violence, depression, PTSD, and sexual abuse. Sometimes the most unforeseen character will have the one flaw you would never realize or ever knew they had. But Maas does this in such a way that it’s not overwhelming or whiney. You know what I’m talking about – the characters that make you roll your eyes because “woe is me, the world is unfair and nothing ever goes my way.”
Several of the characters don’t always find ways to overcome these flaws; some will actually embrace them and use them to their advantage.
“What we think to be our greatest weakness can sometimes be our biggest strength.” – Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Wings and Ruin
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this tale; however, I did think A Court of Mist and Fury was executed better. A Court of Wings and Ruin was a bit slower for me – particularly the beginning. Feyre is supposed to be undercover in her enemy’s house plotting revenge and spying. That’s supposed to be exciting, scary, or even thrilling! I found instead that it was the most boring part of the book for me.
Don’t get me wrong, there were some scenes that I enjoyed (you’ll know which ones when you get there 😉), but it was overall a slow part of the book and felt a little rushed. Beyond that, I think it just wasn’t as powerful.
Maybe the biggest issue lies in Maas trying to fit too much into one book. While most scenes were done with grace, there were a few that just didn’t really fit or make a whole lot of sense with the background we were given (see the spoiler section below for some of the rants I have in regards to this).
Now keeping that in mind, think about all of the amazing qualities this book has that I have described in detail above (and will a little more in the spoiler section below). Looking at the entire book as a whole, I will give this a rating of…
5 out of 5 cups of coffee
This may be a little high given the amount of issues in this book (I’ve actually been going back and forth between a 4 and a 5 rating), but I think that the issues Maas brings to light coupled with the characters and overall story, push this just a little higher on the scale.
Stay tuned for more Pyrthian, because there should be a few more books coming – and they’re looking like they’ll be spinoff stories!
***Spoilers for A Court of Wings and Ruin start below, INCLUDING THE ENDING. I would not recommend reading if you have not finished this book yet.
Alright, let’s get some rants out of the way.
The twist with Tamlin did not make sense to me. I’m talking about how he goes from psycho-abusive and “you’re mine and no one else can have you” to “I would never put my people or others in danger of Hybern. I’ve always been on the ‘good’ side.”
This doesn’t add up. AT ALL. The whole preface of this book is that Tamlin is now teamed up with Hybern because of his abusive and possessive obsession with Feyre. Here’s what would make more sense to me: Tamlin never intended to be on the good side, but is forced to switch when he saves Feyre during the rescue scene. Because Feyre has always been the most important object of his life.
I’m disappointed with the confusion and muddled mess Maas seems to have created with Tamlin. I can understand and appreciate character growth, but not a blatant disregard for the entire persona of a character.
How it Should Have Ended
To be completely honest with you all, I wasn’t a fan of the ending. I’m sure I’m going to get a lot of heat for this unpopular opinion, but I wish Rhys would have died.
Okay hold the backlash! While my heart loves that Rhys is alive and they get to “live happily ever after,” it just didn’t really flow with the story. Not to mention it was entirely predictable. The whole bringing people back to life thing was already done in ACOTAR; Maas couldn’t come up with something unique?
I’m sure she did that on purpose to do a sort of complete circle on the story – Feyre even says “You did it for me … Now do it for him.” But still…. It just didn’t work. There was all of this build up to Rhys giving his life to save everyone. We all knew it was going to happen, but then Maas just waved a magic hand (or several) and poof, Rhys was back like nothing ever happen.
Ugh. Now I want to share with you how I think it should have ended.
There was all of the foreshadowing about the little boy Rhys and Feyre would one day have. So here’s what I propose: due to all the sex scenes in the story, I think Feyre should have gotten pregnant. Then when Rhys died, she would discover this and have a piece of him to hold onto. There would be something to help heal and mend her.
Another alternative would have been to have Feyre utilize the cauldron to revive Rhys. I mean, she has all of the High Lord’s powers and should be able to revive him herself. All I’m saying, is that his death should have been more of a struggle or challenge. It lasted all of two seconds.
The Other Ships
I’m over the moon with how many new ships are in this story! We have:
- Cassian and Nesta – a little weird at first, but I really grew to love it.
- Elain and Lucien (or even Az!) – I personally would love to see Elain with Az. Yes, Lucien is her mate, but Az would be so much better!
- Then there’s Mor and her exciting new background. In the upcoming books, I hope Mor finally gets the truth out to everyone.
- Tamlin is left by himself at the end. Literally everyone else has a potential someone besides him, so I’m curious to see how he will develop.
My 5 Cup Rating:
Pages: 720 (Hard Cover)
Publication Date: May 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Sarah J. Maas official website
A Court of Wings and Ruin on Goodreads
Sarah J. Maas Amazon author page
My Review Copy: Purchased – Amazon
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Other Books in the Series:
What were your thoughts on Throne of Glass? Favorite character, quote, scene? What’s your favorite book in the series?
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