WARNING: This review contains spoilers for A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES
Unlike with ACOTAR, I drafted this review the same day I finished reading A COURT OF MIST AND FURY. I think this calls for a celebratory coffee.
The Rating and a Content Warning.
I wanted to cover this bit first because I think giving it three stars is a tad misleading. I was tempted to give it two stars; I was also tempted to give it four. Or five. Or one. (Okay, not one.) *headdesk* Let it be known, I enoyed ACOMAF, and part of the reason I took so long reading it (several months) was because I wanted to suffer from a book hangover for as short a time as possible (since A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN comes out in May). However, the biggest, BIGGEST reason why I docked two stars was the sexual content. I was warned that there would be some, but there was a good deal more than some. And I do not like sexy times in books. They make me uncomfortable, they gross me out, and they make me sad because I don’t feel super okay recommending books with this level of sexual content, even if I liked all the other parts. (I know I probably include this disclaimer a lot, but rest assured, if you loved, loved, loved this book, I’m not judging you. I’m just saying that stuff is not for me.)
So, a word to the wise.
PTSD, Depression, Food, and Art.
At the end of ACOTAR, after an extremely traumatizing ordeal Under the Mountain, Feyre is killed and then brought back to life as a High Fae (that was a lot of capitalization). Naturally, this has a lasting impact on her mental health. She finds herself unable to keep food down, unable to paint, unable to feel much of anything. I kind of felt her pain here, given some of the struggles I’ve been going through recently. It helped to have some perspective.
Because I’m prejudiced against Romance (as a genre) in general, I hadn’t expected such an honest, nuanced representation of mental trauma. In this case, I wasn’t just surprised, I was moved. Even if this book had no other redeeming qualities, I would love it simply for how it shows Feyre’s emotional journey.
I can’t go into much detail here without risking spoilers, so let me just say: I was intrigued by Feyre’s relationship with both Tamlin and Rhysand. Coming into the series, I had expected something a little different with regards to these three characters, but Maas ended up surprising me. Though I think I already know what’s going to happen now, I’m ohmygosh so excited to see how this trilogy ends. (And she’s writing three more books in the ACOTAR universe!?! WANT.)
There are thick books, like THE HOST, where I genuinely believe that removing any detail (or word, or scene, etc.) would take away from the story, but there are more commonly cases with thick books, like ACOMAF, where I have to wonder if the book could have benefited with more tightening. That being said, I admire Sarah and her work ethic to the moon and back (and then to the moon again). Of all the writers I have
stalked researched, I find her to be one of the most inspiring. It takes crazy amounts of time and effort to publish two thick books a year and not end up stabbing yourself in the eye with a pair of tweezers. So yeah, props to her. I just think she needed a bit more time.
While there were some stylistic aspects I wasn't as much of a fan of, and while I don’t feel comfortable recommending this book, given how broad my blog audience is, I did enjoy the overall experience of the story and am excited to read A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN.
What about you, my little coffee beans? Have you read ACOMAF? What are some elements in stories that make you uncomfortable? What are some reasons why you might not recommend a book you enjoyed?