A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #3
Publication: May 2nd 2017 by Bloomsbury
Format: eBook Pages: 720
‘Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.
Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.
As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places.
In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.’ – Goodreads.
Apologies for how LONG this review is. I’m actually surprised because I was going to write a short paragraph about it, didn’t think I had much to say, but once I started writing down my thoughts it all just came out haha.
A Court of Wings and Ruin (ACOWAR) was a hot mess. No word of lie there. I’ve accepted that this is that series that I know is absolute bollocks but I’m going to read it anyway because I like torturing myself sometimes and I don’t know, I got issues.
A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR) was my first exposure to Maas’s writing and while I was unimpressed, I gave A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOMAF) a shot, which gave me hope for this series because of Rhysand and the inner circle. Although Maas’s writing was never groundbreaking, I felt it slipped through the cracks in ACOWAR, I couldn’t help but notice how poorly this book was written. The ACOTAR series is too inconsistent, it’s a gamble deciding whether the next book is going to be worth your time and money or not.
Feyre… I don’t know about this girl. The ending in ACOMAF was intense and exciting, I was looking forward to sneaky adventures, detective work and some seriously dangerous close calls upon Feyre’s return to the Spring Court. Basically, none of that happened. Feyre’s time at the Spring Court was short and perhaps thankfully so because it was one of the dullest experiences to read about. I really don’t understand how something that had the potential to be so good could end up being so bad. I hated Ianthe, the sleazy git got under my skin too and I would gladly push her under a bus, but Feyre completely lost her sense of purpose. She was obsessing over Ianthe, escaping, and other crap I can’t remember right now, that I didn’t get why she even bothered with the whole charade in the first place. She wanted to make the Spring Court collapse on itself but how would that help them in the grand scheme of things? She didn’t do anything proactive, what was the bloody point of walking into the enemy’s lair if you were going to spend all your time thinking about how much you hated everyone and wanted to get out instead of digging for all the secrets and good stuff? Really the only bit of valuable information she got out of the ordeal was by accident. Because someone accidentally let it slip. Nancy Drew she is not.
I guess Rhysand did all his shining in ACOMAF because his character collapsed in on himself in this book. I was so disappointed by the lack of personality from him. Both Rhysand and Feyre basically only eat, breathe, think each other, they only exist for each other and as a result, their character development suffers in ACOWAR. I get it, love is great and all, but they’re supposed to be at war damn it. The seriousness of the situation is lost on these twits busy sending each other crude illustrations through their freaky arse mental mate telepathy thing. The mating thing still bugs me, to be fair, Maas does go on to explain it a little more in this book and there does appear to be acknowledgement that mating can be horribly wrong and can match two incompatible people together – so you don’t have to be with your mate, most of the time it’s probably better if you don’t join your mate. It’s still weird as hell. Also, can’t they just call each other by name or some soppy but normal crap like ‘honey’ or ‘love’ instead of referring to each other as ‘my mate’? The fact that the Calanmai ritual is still a thing is also disturbing.
Honestly, I think it’s the inner circle and their dynamics that are the best part of this series. They’re the most interesting mix of characters and I keep wanting to learn more and more about them. Out of the lot, Mor is my favourite, but I felt like she was lost in this book, almost like Maas wanted to pay attention to her but couldn’t be bothered to be consistent and do justice to her character. To avoid spoilers, I’ll only hint that Mor reveals something about herself to Feyre, and I thought the revelation was brilliant and made sense to me but the conditions in which she felt the need to talk about it weren’t okay.
Mor’s forced to face a lot of people and truths she’s not ready to face in this book and while her reactions were understandable and believable – the intense need to avoid the situation, be upset and hurt, the anger and all that – her behaviour after the forced face-off was inconsistent and confusing. I felt like she recovered very quickly, sometimes even her behaviour during these meetings was a little off and uncharacteristic of her. There was all this build up of how betrayed Mor felt, how much pain she was in, but then Mor’s feelings were almost forgotten post-event and the stuff that wasn’t forgotten was just plain confusing. There was scope to give her character some much-needed attention here, I would have liked to read about Mor coming to terms with things or even not coming to terms with them.
The only character whose behaviour was consistent and made sense was, surprisingly, Elain. After the horrific cauldron nightmare that happened in ACOMAF, she’s in an uncomfortable situation where she’s engaged to be married to someone who despises all things fae. Elain’s heartbreak, her struggle to come to terms with what she is and how the man she loves reacts to everything was portrayed brilliantly. I liked the fact that she remained true to her character throughout this, by the end of the book, we see her character begin to slowly develop and I believe we’ll see more subtle but substantial changes in Elain in the books to come.
Nesta continued being a moron. Her overprotectiveness of Elain I understand (kind of), I’m an older sister to three and I get going mother bear at times, but holy freaking peanuts Elain is not a child, she’s a woman stop suffocating her and let her grow up. I don’t get Nesta’s need to be a downright arse to literally everyone else. She’s been turned fae against her will, she most likely went through hell in that cauldron and she’s had a rubbish life, I get the hurt, I do. But I don’t understand why she’s horrible to the only people trying to help her. Rhysand and the inner circle protect her and Elain, she’s offered everything, she’s taken care of but she can’t even hold a decent five-second conversation with any of them. I winced at all the scenes between her and Cassian, the guy had his wings ripped off, he was losing blood by the bucket load and was barely conscious, still, he tried to save her and Elain but she’s hung up on him not actually being able to save her? Like I’m sorry being on the brink of death myself meant I couldn’t do anything for you, Nesta. What even. I wish someone would hit Nesta with some common sense.
Amren. I DON’T EVEN KNOW. I loved Amren in ACOMAF. She made it on my list of awesome characters but it’s like she was another person in this book. I don’t know what happened but I didn’t like it. The Bone Carver and the Suriel were great, I loved the way their stories unfolded. What we learn about them and what happens to them was perhaps my favourite thing about ACOWAR, I was surprised by the twists and the way these characters behaved, which is why I was drawn to them and I got a bit emotional. We get a lot more interactions between the Courts and those were cool, I liked learning more about the various High Fae, their issues with each other (mostly Rhysand), and how they try to face Hybern.
The entire book builds up to this war scene with Hybern but it ends up being anticlimactic. I thought it was boring and predictable. I kept thinking all my favourite characters were going to die any minute every second I read this book, which is what made me keep reading. I was on edge and screamed along at things. I might have liked this book more if the ending wasn’t so terrible. I really didn’t like the outcome at the end. It was all glittery unicorn tears and pixie dust, which is incredibly unbelievable and ridiculous in a war situation, even if it is fantasy!
The inconsistency in this series is truly baffling, Maas does amazing things sometimes, her worldbuilding is amazing, she adds these golden passages here and there, she creates some incredible characters and I see so much potential in them but then she does something weird which ruins them. I might read the next book just because I heard that it won’t be from Feyre’s perspective anymore (not 100% sure if that’s true though!). Maybe a different point of view will give characters like Mor the attention they deserve.