A Court of Mist and Fury

I fell in love with Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses from the first moment, as evident HERE. This is the second time I read the sequel, A Court of Mist and Fury and it was even better than I remember it being. Maas is a great storyteller and this series really has captured my heart. If you haven’t read the first novel yet, but you’re curious about it then stop reading now because this review contains spoilers.

We’re back in Prythian with Feyre, now known as Feyre Cursebreaker. Three months ago, she finished off Amarantha Under the Mountain and she saved Tamlin and the rest of the land. Now she’s back at the Spring Court with Tamlin and Lucien, set to marry her love and finally get her happily ever after. But things aren’t great, despite the fact that they’re now all, finally, free. Feyre battles with everything she did and saw Under the Mountain and it’s hurting her. It’s hurting even more that Tamlin doesn’t allow her to work through it, that he instead encourages her to push it to the side. He wants her to sit by him and be silent, be still, to be the hope his people needs. But Feyre is dying inside more and more for every moment that Tamlin pushes her to be something she’s not. The only time she can breathe, truly breathe, is when Rhysand calls upon the bargain they made Under the Mountain and Feyre is brought to the Night Court. As time passes and Feyre’s relationship with Tamlin doesn’t improve she starts to wonder if the freedom she seeks isn’t with him, but rather in the Night Court. With Rhysand and his friends, in a court hated by so many but to Feyre wonderful in a way she never could’ve imagined. But despite everything, all is not well within Prythian. War is brewing and more hate and darkness is on its way. Soon Feyre needs to decide what to do – and who to stand beside.

As the title of the novel suggest, this is darker story than A Court of Thorns and Roses. While the first book was horrifying at times, especially later in when Feyre is Under the Mountain, she really has to work through it all here, in A Court of Mist and Fury. Everything she experienced is something she has to deal with now, but a big part of the novel is also dedicated to Feyre coming to terms with her immortality, her new body and strength and the gifts she’s received from the seven High Lords. They all have their own specific power and now Feyre is harnessing all of them inside her. Accepting this is not easy and Tamlin makes it so hard for Feyre when they’re back at the Spring Court, mainly because he’s afraid of losing her. But the more he tries to protect her and keep her out of harm’s way, the more Feyre hurts. I liked that Maas showed Feyre’s struggles because often I feel that heroines are made to experience awful things in novels, but they have little time to come to terms with what happened afterward, making the whole thing unbelievable. Maas didn’t do this, she let Feyre get the time she needed to heal and find herself and she wove the story around that rather than letting it be a small side-track before she continued on the path of the novel.

I loved the first instalment of this series and I could so easily sit here for hours and heap praise on the sequel. Maas has written a story I’ve been longing to read for years and it is more perfect than I could ever imagined. At one part in the novel, Feyre tells Rhys that she has unknowingly been looking for him and his closest friends – now her friends as well – for years and I feel like I’ve been looking for this story just as long. It is so rich and imaginative yet so believable. It will swallow you up in a heartbeat and not let you go, even after you put it down. It gives you action, romance, sorrow and pain, friendship and love, light and darkness, beauty and horrors. Basically, everything you could ever want from a book.

It took me months to read A Court of Mist and Fury the first time, since I didn’t want to rush it but this time I had the third novel, A Court of Wings and Ruin, waiting for me and I read the second book a lot faster, which gave me a better view over the whole story. I’m amazed by Maas and how she has crafted this story; it’s so detailed and big – I have no idea how she manages to keep every storyline separate but it really gives to novel a lot of depth. One of my favourite things remains the characters. They’re so deep and so true. I connected instantly with Feyre in the first book and I was very curious about Rhysand then as well. I didn’t believe him to be the monster everyone said he was and I was right. A Court of Mist and Fury allows the reader to get close to him and see that behind his hard exterior is a character with a very rich personality. His friends, as well, are wonderful and I love that they have their own stories that Maas touches on here and there. I can’t wait to learn more about them.

But Feyre is of course the big achievement. She’s so broken in this novel and I loved it. A Court of Mist and Fury was a nice 600+ pages and Feyre is hurting for the most part. Maybe you think that’s boring, but I didn’t. I thought it was true and real. Feyre has been through hell and back and then back again. She did horrible things Under the Mountain and had horrible things done to her. She was killed and remade into a High Fae. She was reunited with her love and then pushed away by him. She hurts for months and I love it because that’s the only thing that would be logical, in my opinion. If you would go through something like that yourself, you wouldn’t be fine after a few weeks or a month. You might not be fine, ever. Like I said earlier, Maas does not rush Feyre’s recovery and I applaud that. So many authors do, because they want to move the story forward. But this is part of the story, such an important part, and I really think it can speak to readers who feel bad themselves, for whatever reason. That it’s okay to take however much time you need to be okay. You don’t have to get over everything in a few weeks. Getting back on your feet takes time and that’s okay. This is one of the most important parts in the book, in my opinion, and I love that the novel isn’t just about whether Feyre will split from Tamlin or about her possible romance with Rhys. It’s about her health and wellbeing and I really liked that Maas put so much focus on that.

I could go on and on but I think this is a series that you should explore yourself. I really think there’s something for everyone in here and I do believe it will take your breath away. It’s so intricate and rich – really one of the best fantasy novels I’ve ever read. I’m moving on to A Court of Wings and Ruin now, with both excitement and a bit of dread. I can’t wait to find out what will happen, but I’m also terrified for all the characters. No matter what happens, I know it’ll be an adventure I won’t forget.

The Dream Thieves

As you may know, I really adore Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys and I’ve read it quite a few times by now. Though, I haven’t reread the sequels despite liking them and I thought it was time to at least read the second one, The Dream Thieves, now. It's been a few years since I read it and I was surprised when I realized that it’s even better than I remember! If you’re interested in The Raven Boys but haven’t read it yet, HERE is a link to my most resent review and yeah, stay away from this one because it contains a few spoilers.

The Raven Boys introduces us to Blue, a non-psychic girl in a very psychic family. After hearing all her life that if she kisses her true love, he will die, she sees the spirit of a boy walking on the corpse road on St. Mark’s Eve. It’s said that when a non-seer sees a spirit on that day, it either means that he’s your true love or that you will kill him. The boy Blue sees turned out to be Gansey, a seventeen-year-old boy attending Aglionby Academy, a prestigious private all-boys school and Blue has a rule to stay as far away from them as she can. But after getting to know Gansey and his friends, Ronan, Adam and Noah, Blue is intrigued by the mystery of them and the quest they’re on to find the legendary sleeping king, Glendower. Together, they wake up the energy line (called ley line) that runs through their little town Henrietta and then The Dream Thieves begin.

The ley line in Henrietta is awoken again by Adam’s sacrifice and Blue’s half-aunt Neeve is nowhere to be seen, but the search for Glendower continues. But there are so many secrets in everyone’s lives and one after the other, they come up to the surface and for the most part, it’s nothing good. The biggest one of all is, of course, that Ronan can take things out of his dreams. No one understands how it works and they have no idea the danger that Ronan is in because of it. People are searching for him and the newly awoken ley line is changing the life in Henrietta. Noah is not himself anymore and Adam is moving further away from the others after his sacrifice. Blue comes to terms with her feelings for Adam and Gansey comes face to face with the fact that he doesn’t have control of everything. And Ronan? He is turning darker by the moment and the only help he can get is in the hands of the cruelest person he knows.

While The Raven Boys was a story that told the reader a little about every character, The Dream Thieves focuses mainly on Ronan and his abilities to take things from dreams. We still get to follow Adam and his struggles to reconcile with the sacrifice and bargain he made, and the gang is still searching for Glendower, although not quite as frantic as in the first novel. But, Ronan is in the spot light and he is a very intricate and interesting character to follow. To dive into his head, follow what he thinks and see his dreams, really answers a lot of questions about him. This novel is much darker than the first one but, perhaps, more important. It’s not just about the adventure, the search for a sleeping king. It’s the friendships that evolve, the love that is felt even when things are dark. Stiefvater gives us a variety of characters that helps the story move forward and, I believe, helps the reader to maybe see the world in a different way.

Of course, Stiefvater’s writing is just as good as in the first novel and her way of writing really fits the story. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but there’s a certain flow to her words, and to the entire story. It’s both scary and funny and wonderful all at once. From times I wanted to close my eyes and hide away and the next moment I couldn’t get enough and I kept reading even though I should’ve stopped a long time ago.

This series is a very special and I’m not sure it works for everyone but I do think you should give it a chance. There are so many impossible things happening, especially in The Dream Thieves, with the ley line and the psychics and the ghosts and of course, the ever-present search of the sleeping Glendower, that you kind of need to like paranormal stuff and magic and things that just doesn’t happen in every-day life. Now if you like all that, this is definitely the novel for you. And if you don’t? You should really give it a try anyway, because if ghosts and predictions and sleeping, ancient kings aren’t your thing, Stiefvater’s writing is glorious and I would hate for anyone to miss out on that!

A Court of Thorns and Roses

I've been living in a reading slump for quite some time now, but everything took a turn for the better last month. This month, however, it seems like I'm back to my old ways. For some reason, I can't seem to start a new book, so I've been rereading old favourites for the better part of the year. A book that I loved fiercely the first time I read it, but that I haven't read since, is Sarah J. Maas' A Court of Thorns and Roses. I loved it so much and I loved the sequel (A Court of Mist and Fury) so much but the third novel in the series (A Court of Wings and Ruins) have been waiting for my attention for a long time now. It's been in my reading pile for over a year, yet I haven't picked it up. One reason was that I got the biggest book hangover after the first two novels, but I decided that now it's finally time to read it. Of course, I needed to refresh my memory a bit, so I just haaaaad to reread the first novel (oh, the horror!) and it turned out that A Court of Thorns and Roses was even better than I remember.

This story is set in a fictional fantasy landscape, a world divided in two. The mortal and the immortal realm. Feyre is a human, a nineteen-year-old woman who is the provider for her family. She has two older sisters and a father but after they lost their fortune years before, none of them work and Feyre must venture into the woods and hunt for food. The woods are dangerous since it’s close to the invisible wall between the mortal and immortal realms. Sometimes, evil faeries from the immortal realm makes it past the wall to kill humans but Feyre has no choice. One cold, hard winter, she comes face to face with one of these faeries and when she kills it, she also seals her destiny. A few days later, a beast from the immortal realm breaks into her house to claim her in exchange for the life she took when she killed the faerie. She is to live in the immortal lands for the rest of her life alongside the beast, who turns out to be a shapeshifting High Fae named Tamlin. What Feyre doesn’t know is that Tamlin is cursed and that she is his last hope of breaking it.

I’ve read a novel by Maas before, namely, Throne of Glass. I didn’t enjoy it at all, but A Court of Thorns and Roses really showed me how much Maas has grown as a writer. The writing is amazing, so fluid and lovely. Reading this book is like taking a long, hot bath. It enjoyable, comfortable and amazing in every way. The worldbuilding is great, rich and deep, giving the story a wonderful depth. The characters are strong, complicated and intricate. The story itself twists and turns, leaving you breathless and wanting more.

The base of this story is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast but Maas has evolved it to something more. The immortal realm, Prythian, and its seven courts are complex, crafted with a lot of detail and love. There’s a history behind every character and they all feel so very real. The contrast between the humans and the faeries are interesting and it’s fun to see Feyre and Tamlin trying to get along when they’re so different. Their chemistry is strong, though, and the love that eventually blooms between them makes the story shine. This novel has the same feel as Beauty and the Beast (the curse, the beast and the strong heroine) but A Court of Thorns and Roses is deeper and have even more to offer. It’s a magical adventure you’ll never forget and one I think you should take.