A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #2
Publication: May 3rd 2016 by Bloomsbury
Format: Paperback Pages: 624
‘Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.
Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.
With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.’ – Goodreads
A Court of Mist and Fury begins with Feyre back at the Spring Court with Tamlin, both broken and suffering from PTSD. Feyre is having a hard time living with the horrors she went through and the things Amarantha made her do Under the Mountain. Similarly, Tamlin is also struggling with demons because of the whole ordeal, and it results in his possessiveness and over-protectiveness hitting a whole other level. Tamlin’s terror of Feyre getting hurt leads to him making some ridiculously stupid decisions and being a complete control freak.
I didn’t like Tamlin in A Court of Thorns and Roses (read my review here) because his character was flat, he undermined Feyre by treating her like she was thing that needed to be sheltered and protected, and he kept things from her (like the Rite on Calanmai). Post-Amarantha, Tamlin’s finds himself under pressure to get his Court back in order, which leads to him making Feyre do things she doesn’t want to do, like having her dressed as a doll like she’s a plaything, further straining their relationship. It’s interesting how Tamlin manages to be over-protective of Feyre to the point of suffocation, yet he also neglects her physical and mental health entirely because he’s in his own bubble – something Rhysand is very quick to pick up on.
Rhys. It took that mysterious, cunning little prick 0.5 seconds to impress me. I knew he was something special by the end of ACOTAR because he was oozing complexity, but he honestly floored me in ACOMAF. The conversations between Rhys and Feyre are hilarious and sometimes really intense. Rhys’ character unfolds beautifully as the story progresses, and his relationship with Feyre is so much better than I could have possibly anticipated. Rhys doesn’t free Feyre, he helps her free herself. He becomes her crutch but doesn’t ever doubt her ability to be her own hero, and he doesn’t let her doubt that either. Rhy’s love is liberating and strengthening whereas Tamlin’s is suffocating and weakening. The romance in ACOMAF is slow, it gently slips into the storyline but it doesn’t overshadow it, nor is it the central focus of the plot.
There are a lot of new characters in ACOMAF and each and every one of them is memorable. Rhys’ inner circle introduces four new main characters; Azriel is dark and broody, Cassain is the flirty joker, Amren is formidable and awe-inspiring, and Mor is particularly tantalising but also very powerful. Each character has depth and a story beyond the main plot, but we’re not given all the details in ACOMAF. The glimmer of information revealed about Mor’s history is brutal and heart-breaking. I felt like her story could easily be written into an epic book in its own right, and have a feeling I will feel the same way when we learn more about Azriel, Cassain, and Amren in the following books. It was refreshing to read about the loyalty and love amidst the jokes and banter between a group of friends who had been to hell and back together, that’s something I haven’t had the pleasure of reading for a while now.
ACOMAF is a 600-page beast packed with action, adventure and a hell of a lot of really well-written world building, character development, conflicts, breaking into places, and all that good stuff. ACOMAF reveals so much more about Prythian and its history, but it still manages to leave a lot to explore in the rest of the series. I was impressed (and horrified) by the Illyrian warriors and their training methods. I enjoyed reading about Feyre learning about all her different powers, and her lessons with Cassain and Rhys were thrilling. I grew to love Feyre’s character because of her development in ACOMAF; she becomes her own person, and that person is kickass. I felt like the more intimate passages were a little TMI with a lot of ‘telling’ instead of ‘showing’ going on, but I skimmed through those as I was more interested in every other aspect of the storyline. I didn’t think I’d cry whilst reading this book but Rhys saying, “No” at Hybern made me tear up, and the ending left me feeling like an emotional trainwreck.
I was talked into giving ACOMAF a chance, and I’m so glad I did! It definitely saved this series for me and I look forward to reading the next book.