Tuesday, June 14, 2016

"A Court of Mist and Fury" by Sarah J. Maas

This is a follow up book to A Court of Thorns and Roses so obviously I had to pick it up and read it immediately.  This book has some PG-13 to Rated-R moments....read at your own discretion.

Summary:  Feyre survived Under the Mountain and battled her way to happily ever after.  Except she's anything but happy.  Feyre can't cope with the cost of her freedom, even though thousands were saved along with her.  As Feyre sinks into a deep depression, her fiance Tamlin struggles with issues of his own.  Determined to protect Feyre at any cost, he locks her in his manor house, isolating Feyre from the very things that give her hope.  On the day of Feyre and Tamlin's wedding, Feyre realizes that she absolutely can't marry Tamlin.  As her heart wishes for someone - anyone - to save her, the High Lord of the Night Court appears and whisks her away, claiming that it's time Feyre makes good on their bargain to spend time at the Night Court.  Feyre's time in the Night Court helps her heal her soul, but also plunges her into the dangerous world of High Fae politics and the potential of a brutal and terrible war.

My Thoughts:  I liked this sequel, even though it wasn't what I expected.  Although longer than your usual YA novel, "A Court of Mist and Fury" was jam packed with plot, character development and action that made turning the pages quick and fun.  And now to the meat...

First of all, how did I not notice that Tamlin was such a dirt ball in the first book?  "A Court of Mist an Fury" paints Tamlin as a fairy equivalent of an abusive boyfriend.  While Tamling never raises a hand to Feyre, he locks her in the house when she asks to go outside.  This is not ok and is actually really scary, as at first Feyre seems to think its OK as Tamlin claims to be protecting her from the creatures on the lose in his realm.  Further, Tamlin mentally abuses Feyre by convincing her not to take an active role in his life, or even in her own.  He undermines her sense of self by convincing her that she's not as capable as she is.  Maas tries to use the excuse that Tamlin was damaged by his experience Under the Hill (and I think that it right on) but it is done in such a secondary way that it seems like it comes out of nowhere.  I felt this was sloppy on Maas' part, and an excuse to break the epic love story of Feyre and Tamlin a part.  I think its fine for the characters to grow apart, I just wish there had been more of a buildup instead of a lot of the action taking place between books.

Secondly, I disliked Feyre much less in this book.  I will even admit that, at times, I may have even liked her.  While I found her depression and lack of will in the first few chapters frustrating, I thought it was well done and true to depression as I've seen it experienced.  I also enjoyed Feyre's journey into self reliance and self discovery.  Her time with the Night Court and the relationships explored there help her become if not a certified bad ass, well on the road to bad-assery.  Don't get me wrong.  Feyre is still petulant and cocky, but her heart grows to care for others in a way I wasn't sure was possible.

Lastly, I really enjoyed the setting and character development in "A Court of Mist and Fury".  Maas has a masterful sense of description - I could see the lights of Velaris, see the beauty of the Night Court Palace and imagine every fabulous outfit worn by the main characters.  The new supporting characters were interesting and integral part of Feyre's development.  I wanted to learn more about them even as they skimmed in and out of each chapter.

Rating:  Definitely read this, if you've read the first series.  I'm going to re-read books #1 and #2 again as I feel if I missed a ton of setup in ACOTAR.

Reviewed By:  Tami

Also Read By:  A Court of Thorns and Roses (Book #1)

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