Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin

I read the entire series in the span of the last couple months.

  • A Court of Thorn and Roses: 5 stars
  • A Court of Mist and Fury: 5 stars
  • A Court of Wings and Ruin: 4 stars

Wow! I can’t even begin to describe how much these books spoke to me. Feyre is a nineteen year old woman when we first meet her in ACOTAR. I felt she acted her age in the situations she was in. I also related more because this wasn’t just another teeny-bopper romance (*ahem* Twilight).

“When you erupt, girl, make sure it is felt across worlds.”

If the Harry Potter series was my childhood then the ACOTAR series speaks to my adulthood. I have not read a series in the last 5 years that was as strongly and beautifully woven together and was on the same maturity level as me.

The reason why I love this series is because Sarah J. Maas wrote Feyre with so much self-empowerment, something I didn’t have as a teenager but I have only just recently begun to learn in my adulthood. In the first book, Feyre hunts to help her family survive and after breaking the Law she is swept away into a Beauty and the Beast re-telling in which love and sacrifice are the initial theme. While there is a love interest, there is so much character growth when it comes to her soul and how her choices either tarnished or healed it. Eventually, she learns to accept her new soul flaws and all. There is a significant turning point that occurs to solidify that later on in A Court of Wings and Ruin.

SPOILERS!! SPOILERS!! SPOILERS!! SPOILERS!!

It would take too long to summarize the entire series so without further ado…

In A Court of Wings and Ruin, Feyre is taken by her ex-lover back to the Spring Court. She pretends she was under Rhys’ mind control to infiltrate Tamlin’s Court. Tamlin has allowed Hybern to take up residence in his home to find ways to take down the wall as a deal with the King. He literally makes a deal with the devil to everyone’s dismay. Tamil betrayed Pythian and put everyone he loves at risk just to get Feyre back. But Feyre is the Night Court’s High Lady and at equal standing as Rhys, meaning she is a wolf in the chicken coop. In other words, the Spring Court is screwed.

Thoughts: This feels very out of character for Tamlin. But I also wonder if it’s absolutely in his character considering his and Rhy’s history. I just feel like waging war directly with Rhys would have made much more sense.

Eventually, Feyre escapes with Lucien in tow leaving Tamlin’s Court in pieces. It turns out Feyre’s fae-turned sister, Elaine, is Lucien’s mate and he’d do anything to see her, including leaving Tamlin and the Spring Court behind. At some point we learn Hybern’s plans to destroy the wall, Nesta may have taken some of the power of the Cauldron wth her, and that the Queens transformation wasn’t successful.

We can’t trust Ianthe. We can’t trust Jurian. We can’t trust Tamlin. They all have alternative motives. The motives help to drive the drama and direction of the novel. It gets very interesting.

Feyre is back at the Night Court and she reunites with Rhys and her friends. However, her sisters are very not okay. They were turned immortal and have suffered a lot. This puts even further strain on Feyre’s family.

A  lot of plotting, planning, and surprise attacks occur. Alliances are being forged, even with hesitant parties. We see first hand how Pyrthian must come together if they want to defeat Hybern.

It’s in Part 3 of A Court of Wings and Ruin that things start to slow down. The battle field scenes are incredible and epic. We see even more character development and even more surprises coming from characters that we didn’t expect to have a shining moment. Right when I thought things were slowing down again, there would be another twist. However, the very end left something to be desired.

I expected to have a book hangover and be bawling for the next several hours. While there were some tear-jerking moments in between, I felt like something was missing. I appreciate that the last book especially was not focused on the love interests, but I would have loved if it were lengthened at the end. I feel like the journey with Rhys and Feyre had just begun only to end in one final chapter. I needed needed more of their relationship. Someone else pointed out that they wished there was more witty banter toward the end, too. This isn’t to say it was a bad ending, but definitely a rushed one.  I didn’t mind that there were all these plots open because I know Maas is planning to extend the series. I just won’t ever get as much Rhy and Feyre again and that makes me the most sad.

THINGS I LOVED ABOUT THIS BOOK:

  • An aspect I loved about this book is how pro-consent it is. At one point, Lucien is cornered and is taken advantage of by Ianthe. Feyre finds them. She says to Ianthe, “You will never touch another person against their will. You will never convince yourself that they truly want your advances; they they’re playing games. You will never know another’s touch unless they initiate, unless it’s desire by both sides.” 
  • How much Azriel and Cassian mean to Rhys. How much Mor and Amren mean to Feyre. FRIENDSHIP GOALS.
  • I thought Jurian was such an interesting and well-written “villain”.
  • How uplifting and real Feyre is as a character. If I was still going through the things I did in my early adulthood, I think I would have come out better reading these books.
  • I didn’t love Suriel’s death, but that scene made me cry.
  • The ships Feyre’s father named after all his daughters made me cry.
  • Lucien’s real father… WHAT. Lucien is too good for this world.
  • “Be happy, Feyre.”  CRYING.
  • None of the House of Wind/Night Court clan died. I wanted more death, but I’m so happy they were kept alive. Finally, a book that doesn’t have a shocking death just for the heck of it!

It’s crazy to me that some people claimed this book was homophobic, antifeminist, and racist. I personally didn’t find these as issues at all even before the improvements. I felt was nothing inherently lacking with A Court of Thorns and Roses. Apparently, Maas was trying to answer criticisms of lack of diversity with making Mor bisexual and some people thought it was forced in. I don’t think a single author can make hundreds, and in some cases, millions of people happy. By not having characters of other sexualities, she was criticized and by having them she still is. Anyway, that’s a discussion for another time.

I gave A Court of Wings and Ruin 4 out of 5 stars because I cared more about the relationships than the wars and battles and politics. I’m glad the politics were there to weave together a more interesting and unique story, but I wanted the FEELS. Give me more FEELS!

 

Quotes I loved:

“My goal was bigger than revenge. My purpose greater than personal retribution.” (pg. 80)

“I see all of you, Rhys. And there is not one part that I do not love with everything that I am.” (pg. 402)

“Remember that you are a wolf. And you cannot be caged.”  (pg. 565)

“It’s a rare person to face who they truly are and not run from it-not be broken by it.”(pg. 607)

 

Novel Writing Volume 1.2

I decided to put my fantasy fairytale re-telling on hold to work on a magical realism ghost story! I had learned quickly that world-building is no easy feat and I don’t want to be a lazy writer and make my world generic. So I’m going to do some more brainstorming.

My ghost story is set in real life  so I don’t have to invent a whole new world. I have a very clear, linear story-line working in my brain. I’m SO excited for it.

The main character is a bookish, introvert young teenager who believes in logic and facts. Throw in a ghost story…. well, things get interesting!

Novel Writing 1.1

In case you didn’t know, I’m working on… stuff. I feel weird calling it a novel or novels because that would imply I actually have something worthwhile in physical form. Or in any form.

I’m currently working on a fantasy fairytale re-telling. Who knew world-building could be so much fun? I’ve written 10,000 words for Camp Nanowrimo, which was my goal. I had a writer’s block moment because if you don’t know all the players at large in your own story how the freak can you keep going? So I did some plot and character brainstorming and I think that will help me carry through my first bump. I’M JUST SO EXCITED FOR THIS RE-TELLING YA’LL. HINT: It’s not romance focused. I think my number one struggle with this story is not reusing the same fantasy world that’s been used a plethora of times before me. Example: A kingdom with a king and queen and castles blah blah blah…. My challenge is to convince my readers that is a whole new world, but still slightly reminiscent of what they’re used to. Or break all the rules of world-building completely. Or start off with a world we all know and are familiar with and then surprise the readers with a world they never knew even existed. I have a storyline for my main characters played out exactly in my head, but it is a re-telling so I do want to deviate from an ordinary fantasy to something more. 

I was working on a YA contemporary. I hit the 50k mark and stopped writing but in the last few says, I managed to reach 55k. I feel like I need at minimum 65k. How is it that I wrote 55,000 words and still need 10,000 more to make it count as a real life novel?! AH. I was going to finally take the manuscript I had to the printer and start editing it, but I’m afraid. I’m afraid I won’t like this story anymore. I’m afraid of sorting through all the crappy sentences and seeing failure. This is the closest thing I’ve ever had to a novel and I think I see two choices: 1. Completely trashing it after I realize what shite it is or 2. Reforming, Editing, and Drafting and making it official. What is it about a novel being official that is so terrifying?! I’m not even sure I want to write this book anymore but I feel like it’s because it would be so easy just to throw the whole thing away and start over and never have to look at my failure. It’s possible I’m not making an executive decision in saying I shouldn’t publish it —- I’m simply scared to try.