Let me begin with saying that I genuinely enjoyed the first book in this series. I gave it a glowing five-star review, and it immediately placed Sarah J. Maas in my list of favorite authors, which very rarely happens for me after just one title.
That said, if I compared it to its sequel, I would be forced to go back and rewrite that review as two, maybe three stars, because this one just blows that one out of the water so damn well. It took a maximum of 100 pages for this to become my favorite series, and the most enjoyable thing I’ve read in years – ten, to be exact, because I don’t think I’ve loved a series and its characters this much since closing the final page on Deathly Hallows.
Okay, enough of my gushing – on to the review!
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.