In A Court of Mist and Fury, Sarah J. Maas continues the story three months after the end of A Court of Thorns and Roses (book 1). I always try not to include any spoilers, but if you haven’t read book 1, you may want to skip this review until you’ve read it, since it will reveal information that you don’t want to know yet.
TRIGGER WARNING: Sex, PTSD, abusive relationship.
After surviving her ordeal Under the Mountain, Feyre has returned to the Spring Court. She now has the powers that come with being High Fae, although her heart remains human, and she is struggling to deal with what she had to do to free the people of Prythian from Amarantha.
Feyre also hasn’t forgotten the bargain that she made with Rhysand, the High Lord of the infamous Night Court. As she learns about politics and power in his court, there is a new evil threatening Prythian – and Feyre might be the key to stop it. In order to do that, she has to learn how to overcome her trauma, manage her considerable gifts, and determine the direction she wants her future to take, along with the future of her world.
In book 1, we saw Feyre’s poor mortal village and the beautiful Spring Court, as well as the bleak landscape of Under the Mountain. In this book, we see more of Prythian as Feyre is freed up to experience more of the world through her association with Rhysand. The world of Prythian is so complex and richly detailed that it is easy to get lost in it. I especially loved how the author borrowed from Greek and Celtic mythology as well as from the Hebrew language in this book
Feyre is now High Fae, and engaged to Tamlin. Nightmares interrupt her sleep every night and have her racing for the bathroom, puking her guts up every night, while Tamlin doesn’t even seem to notice. He’s struggling with his own trauma after Under the Mountain, and they don’t talk about it at all. Rhysand hasn’t yet called her to the Night Court, even though the terms of their bargain states that she is to spend one week a month with him, and it’s been three months. Tamlin keeps Feyre on a short leash, under close watch by his sentries at all times.
As Feyre and Tamlin’s wedding approaches, it becomes clear that Feyre is playing the role of blushing, pretty bride-to-be, wearing dresses and attending parties, as a priestess plans the entire wedding for her. As Rhysand comes back into the picture at the most inconvenient time possible, Feyre and Tamlin start to feel the strain, and their relationship goes from mildly dysfunctional to outright abusive quickly. Feyre eventually finds a sense of safety and security that allows her the ability to finally process her trauma and start to heal. It’s beautiful to see her grow and own her powers.
I really loved this book. While I liked A Court of Thorns and Roses (see review here), this book far surpassed that. It was hard to read about Feyre having such a difficult time (I know she’s a fictional character, but it’s easy to get engrossed in these books), but this was also a book about her journey of healing. She didn’t stay in a situation that was familiar and easy, but went into a situation that was unknown and scary. Feyre is the girl who takes the hard road and trusts her judgment. She really is an underdog, and fights for the people who are wronged, misjudged, or overlooked. In this book, Feyre finds a group of misfits who are judged by everyone around them, even when they have little to no information about them, and forms her own opinions of this group of people. She kept an open mind, and I really enjoyed her process of discovery. This book was still full of action, just like the last one – packed with scary situations and terrifying characters, but I couldn’t wait to pick up the next book in the series.
People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn't an upper limit.
Gasp Factor: 25
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars