A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: May 2016
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Plot: Feyre is immortal.
After rescuing her lover Tamlin from a wicked Faerie Queen, she returns to the Spring Court possessing the powers of the High Fae. But Feyre cannot forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people – nor the bargain she made with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court.
As Feyre is drawn ever deeper into Rhysand’s dark web of politics and passion, war is looming and an evil far greater than any queen threatens to destroy everything Feyre has fought for. She must confront her past, embrace her gifts and decide her fate.
She must surrender her heart to heal a world torn in two.
I have a lot of things to talk about.
A lot of things that I didn’t think I would be talking about when it came to A Court Of Mist And Fury.
For starters, I really enjoyed this book, so much more so than the first, A Court Of Thorns And Roses. Apparently, this is a consensus; ACOMAF is the better of the two, with strong characters, stronger plot, and web-weaving and glorious world building. The setting is beautifully written, and you’re thrust into the Night Court with stars in your eyes.
But, as I weeped and agreed with everyone that yes, this story is great, I came across the dreaded final quarter of the book.
These four stars is not the same as other four stars I’ve given, that have slowly crept or shone to that spot page after page. No, these fucking four stars are a demotion. I had planned to give this book five stars. I had planned to click on that button before I’d even finished. The relationships (before the awfulness) and the characters were just so well rounded and good.
But now, I’ve got to have a little chat about the portrayal of love in ACOMAF.
As we saw in ACOTAR, the portrayal of love was weird, abusive, and skewed. I’d been consistently told it gets better, it gets sorted, as if Sarah J. Maas had read back her work and gone “Shit, that’s a bit dodgy, better fix that.” And here we are, a very consensual, loving, and slow burning relationship.
But then, THEN, it’s like she said “Ah no, this seems very un-YA fantasy like, let’s throw in SOULMATES.” And this is where your non-spoilery section ends, friends.
To read spoilers below, simply highlight:
While I had seen Rhysand as this horrible, abusive character, he was finally redeeming himself. He brought out the best in Feyre, and we saw just how broken and damaged he was as well. How this wasn’t treated as an excuse, how Maas had crafted this relationship to eventually turn into something stronger. I accepted that, I rooted for that. But then, for no reason, Feyre and Rhysand become…mates?
*Que Jacob/Renesmee imprinting flashbacks*
I’m sorry, but why was that necessary? Why did their relationship have to become this everlasting, eternal and binding thing? Why couldn’t it have just grown and developed naturally like a healthy, adult relationship? Why are soulmates important to a story? Why can’t love just be enough?
And then it got worse. Because then there was the dance of ‘Everybody pair together!’
WHY. Why does every male and female in a story have to be paired together? Why is it important that no single person gets to stay single? They are not miserable or alone. I’ve written blog posts on the importance of platonic relationships, on the importance of queer relationships, but I’ve got this itching feeling to write about this strange and boring trope of pairing heterosexual ‘soulmates’ together.
I genuinely enjoyed the majority of this book, and I’ll be delighted once the next book comes out. But it’s still riddled with many aspects of a Sarah J. Maas book that is slowly putting me off Throne of Glass, and any book that sounds similar.