The book picks up right where the first left off, with Feyre and Tamlin returning to the Spring Court after destroying Amarantha. Feyre has been Made into a High Fae, thanks to the pieces of soul that each of the High Lords granted to save her life with during the fight. Three months have passed without word of the bargain she struck with Rhysand, High Lord of the Night Court, and things are very different in the Manor. No longer celebrated as his equal, Tamlin has become so fearfully protective that he shields her inside with his childhood friend, a High Priestess, resigning Feyre to become nothing more than a wedding planner and a bed-mate. He refuses to acknowledge the night terrors that wreck her, the way she is wasting away to nothing, the fact that she can no longer touch a brush and begs constantly for nothing more than a glimpse of the outside world.
Despite the fact that she is the one who has saved all of Prythian, Feyre finds herself a prisoner… Until Rhysand comes along, to make good on their bargain, and Feyre learns that the love she has held dear may not be a balm, but a poison. In her week-long visits, she will learn that the Night Court is not as it seems, nor are its constituents. Feyre finds new allies, and even friends, as she prepares to fight in the unfolding war against the King of Hybern, and his plot to destroy the wall – and the mortal realm with it.
Feyre was a frustrating narrator for me during ACOTAR, because I found her thickheaded, overly stubborn, and to be frank, boring. That said, Feyre as a High Fae is infinitely more delightful, especially as she comes into her own and discovers her strength and how much value she actually holds. Rhysand’s sudden onset of frequent “screen time” is fantastic, as he is witty (it’s rare that a book makes me chuckle out loud, but a few of his one-liners did), kind, warm, and altogether a much more complex and remarkable character than any of the other leading men we’ve met so far (ahem). I also loved his “family” of misfits, particularly the Illyrian soldier, Cassian, who is the token “impossible to love” side character that every series needs.
This installment had far more suspense, I felt, than its prequel, and I found myself on the edge of my seat enough times that I felt it justified the way I tore through the pages every time I had a spare second to sit down and read. That said, the fighting scenes were always countered with a moment of lightness, whether it was watching Feyre’s relationship with Rhysand unfurl, or her powers developing, or just her moments of friendly banter with Rhysand’s Inner Court. It was enough to make me grow incredibly attached to many of the characters, to chuckle and cry; by the end, I am being completely literal and serious when I say that I had to laugh through my tears and say to the book in my hands, “Maas, you beautiful, wicked bitch!”
May 2, 2017 – and the release of A Court of Wings and Ruin – cannot possibly get here quickly enough for my liking.