A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. Maas
Published in May 2016 by Bloomsbury Children's Books.

Links: Goodreads.

Source: purchased (paperback).

Genre: New Adult High Fantasy.

My rating:

Feyre is immortal. After rescuing her lover Tamlin from a wicked Faerie Queen, she returns to the Spring Court possessing the powers of the High Fae. But Feyre cannot forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people – nor the bargain she made with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court.

As Feyre is drawn ever deeper into Rhysand’s dark web of politics and passion, war is looming and an evil far greater than any queen threatens to destroy everything Feyre has fought for. She must confront her past, embrace her gifts and decide her fate. She must surrender her heart to heal a world torn in two.

zmaj-desno

So. I might be a black sheep again with this one. This review will be FULL OF SPOILERS because it’s very hard to talk about most of what’s happened in the story without spoiling you for something since a pivotal event occurs at about 10% of the book. If you’d like to see a nonspoilery review of A Court of Thorns and Roses, the first book in the series, you can read it here.

I’m not even counting this one towards my Retelling Challenge because there’s no clear source of inspiration that I can see, unlike with the first book, which was loosely based on Beauty and the Beast and also Tam Lin.

Let’s do the positives first, shall we? This is a very fast read. It has more than 600 pages and yet I read it in 3 or 4 days despite my rather hectic schedule these days. Sarah J. Maas is the queen of bingeable books and I can see why they’re extremely popular. The story is quick and the writing good enough to pull you in.

And, uh, it’s… um… yeah. I have nothing more. *sigh*

What you have to know is that this is the second time I’ve been seriously disappointed with how Maas handled her relationships in her series. In my (spoilery!) review of Queen of Shadows, I complained about how she spent two books developing a relationship between two characters, only to drop it like a hot potato in favor of a new, shiny one. It ticked me off. Why did I bother getting invested in that couple when she was going to break them up anyway? So you can imagine my surprise when she did it again! Tamlin and Feyre are no more and now we have Rhys and Feyre to root for. Ugh.

This is not to say that I don’t prefer Feyre with Rhys. Because I do. I never particularly liked Tamlin but that doesn’t mean I wanted him to become this horrible creature that he is in this second book! Seriously, you guys, can anyone explain this shift to me? I complained about how Maas changed Chaol’s nature in Queen of Shadows but this change here was extreme. I know Tamlin was an overbearing ass from the start but he’s gone completely crazy here. Oh and Lucian? The one character I liked from A Court of Thorns and Roses? He’s a spineless worm, that’s what he is.

I also wanted to smack Feyre a couple of times. Look, I get it, she got through a horrible ordeal and is suffering from PTSD, but her actions – or rather non-actions – were painful to read about. Maas made her relationship with Tamlin seem abusive – and I’m not talking just about the part where he locked up like an animal, I’m talking about the sex where she feels nothing and yet allows Tamlin to come to her bed every night. This is a very problematic attitude, especially in a book that’s geared towards a young audience.

Which brings me to my next point. This is NOT a young adult book! I have no idea why the series was picked up by a children’s publisher because this clearly falls into new adult category. I’m not going to say it’s an adult fantasy because Feyre is too naive to exist as a proper adult character and some of the topics are simply too “young” to be counted as adult (am I even making sense right now?) but there is killing and sex and I can’t say I would like my 17-year-old future kid reading this stuff. I mean, people, you know I’m not a prude, but this wall-banging, body-licking, scream-inducing sex is hardly something that should be in books for teenagers – if nothing else, it sets up unrealistic expectations. :)

Okay, so I do like Rhys. I like how he is with Feyre, he doesn’t take her decisions away from her, he doesn’t speak for her and she’s a better person all around when she’s with him. So there you go, another positive thing I have to say about this book.

BUT PEOPLE, why does EVERYONE have to have a tragic story here? Like there’s Mor who was beaten (and probably raped) by her own family because she refused to be bartered off like a prize mare. There are Feyre’s sisters who get turned into Fae against their will (hello, have we learned nothing from the first book? Changing people without their consent is bad!). There are the two badass warriors (um, their names escape me) and each of them has gone through hell to become the great man that he is. Why can’t we have someone who is a good person despite having had a very nice childhood? I can assure you, it is possible to know about sacrifice and hardships without actually having been beaten half to death. Promise. It’s also possible to be a good lead character if you’re human! Imagine that.

And the similarities between her two series!! Gah! Both Celaena and Feyre are very beautiful and skinny and everyone loves them and wants to be with them. They make ancient, immortal males swoon and follow them around like puppies. Said males are protective and gruff but really have hearts of gold. Their crews of other badass males are all damaged and scary but they have their reasons for looking like they’re going to rip your throat out. Save me, please.

Yeah, if you’re still reading this, you deserve a hug. *hug* 

Anyway, I wasn’t even a fan of the ending. Nope. Feyre has gone to spy at Tamlin’s court and will basically sell her body for information if I understand things correctly. But you know, as long as she knows she really loves Rhys. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

So many things! But you know what? I’m almost a 100% sure I’ll be reading the sequel anyway because a) I want to finish the series and b) I want to see where she takes it. I just hope (I really hope) it will be a trilogy. If it gets stretched into a longer series, I might not bother after all.

zmaj-levo

*long exhale*

So. Now it’s your turn. What did you think about this one?

Has a series (or an author) ever disappointed you like this?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

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  • Dragana

    I’m completely with you on this one. I see a lot of similarities between these two series and it’s mostly things that annoy me. :/

    • Okay, whew, I thought I was the only one. Seriously, my Goodreads looks mostly like “THIS IS THE BEST BOOK I’VE EVER READ IN MY ENTIRE LIFE” and I just don’t get it.

      • Dragana

        SJM writes very good and as you said it I devoured it quickly, but … I hoped the sequel in this series will be another fairy tale retelling with different couple, not that it will become clone for Throne of Glass series.

        • Yep. I wonder what she’ll write next, after she finishes this trilogy (if it stays a trilogy). If it’s another fae story, I’m out.

          • Nina Lannister

            probably will be another fae story

  • Greg Hill

    Haven’t read it but I have seen other reviews say the same thing, especially about the relationship/ character changes. And yes why does everyone have to have had all the traumas growing up? lol that can get old in YA. Not only that but it surprises me that relationships that border on abusive are so well loved by segments of the YA community- I would think that women (who lets face it make up the target audience for the most part) would not be into that? I’ve wondered that a few times with various books.

    Anyway not having read it I can’t really say lol but I have been thinking of trying her Throne of Glass books just because they’re so popular. These seem to be getting a more mixed reaction. Anyway too bad this had so many issues.

    • I don’t know, maybe authors think we’ll sympathise more with broken characters? Which is probably true, only not ALL characters have to be damaged – it’s too extreme.

      Here, the abusive relationship is shown as something Feyre has to push through, she has to save herself (and be saved by her new beau). I have no idea why there are still such relationships in books marketed for young readers. I wish they showed more healthy ones – but again, it’s probably all about the drama. *sigh*

      Yeah I really liked the first three books in the Throne of Glass series but the fourth one was something of a disappointment, so we’ll see how things wrap up in the end!

  • Maraia

    I can’t believe you actually want to finish the series. oO

    I already hated the first book, so I knew I wouldn’t want to read the sequel, but reading people’s reactions to it has been kind of entertaining, I have to admit. :P

    I don’t understand how Rhys can be a healthy love interest, considering their relationship in the first book. (Admittedly, I don’t remember much beyond being disgusted that he was going to become the love interest in the next book.) What changed?

    Also, I’m very glad my library decided to shelve the first book in the adult section. I’m assuming they did for ACOMAF as well.

    • Yeah, it’s kind of like watching a car crash. Can’t look away and all that. :/

      Uh, Rhys has explained that he did what he did to protect his own people. He is also Feyre’s true mate (and she is his, of course), so there’s that. I don’t particularly like the “the end justifies the means” mentality but let’s say he had his reasons to act the way he did. Plus he was a slave to that evil underworld queen. HE MADE SACRIFICES, MARAIA!! I don’t even care. :D

      And yeah, I’d definitely put this one in the adult section, too. The first book had some issues with dubious consent if I remember correctly but this one strays into the realm of adult romance for sure.

      And I completely understand not wanting to finish this. But I hate having incomplete series languishing on my shelves, it looks bad. :)

      • Maraia

        LOL.

        Haha, I’ll have to take your word for it… :P

        I guess I won’t even suggest, *gasp*, getting rid of the series so it won’t have to taunt you on your shelf. ;)

        • Nah, I am now curious about the ending of this story, I need to see if any more humans get turned into fae against their will.

          But seriously, some people are saying that this is the BEST book they’ve EVER read and I have huuuge problems with this. I’m starting to doubt their judgement – like how do I trust a blogger after such a declaration? It doesn’t even make my top 100, let alone top 10. Even if all I read was YA fantasy, it wouldn’t make the top 30. Yeah.

          • Maraia

            Well that’s just sad. I refuse to believe the book is THAT good.

          • IT IS NOT. That’s just it. I suspect it has to do with people who don’t read romance reading about sex the first time? :D (I’m kidding but who knows?)

          • Maraia

            Oh, I really hope not. That would be worrisome!

  • This is one book that I know I’ll hate, yet I’ll probably wind up reading it as some point. Especially after I didn’t really care for the ACoTaR

    • Yeah, don’t read this if you already disliked ACOTAR. :D It has all the issues of the first book + some exciting new ones, so they’d probably just annoy you some more.

  • I totally agree that Maas’s writing makes it easy to fly through her books, but I don’t think I’ll ever find it in myself to finish this particular series. I wonder why Maas finds it necessary to change the personality of a character’s first love-interest in order to allow her character to move on. I’d be much more on board if they grew apart in a more natural way, because in this instance and Throne of Glass, it feels forced.

    I’ve heard a few complain that Feyre ends up being a little too much like Celaena in this one, making it hard to tell the difference between the two. I’ve also heard people being concerned about how this is marketed because of the sexual content. I wish it had been pushed as a New Adult book from the beginning. I do not like the sound of that ending either, what? Thanks for your honest review, Kaja and never fear, we will be black sheep together.

    • Well, some series aren’t meant to be finished. It’s one of the rights of the reader, isn’t it, the right to drop a book? I see no point in reading books I have no interest in. Here, I just want to see how she’ll wrap things up. Then I’ll review it for those of you who decided to give it a pass. :)

      I have no idea what Maas’s issue is, I wonder if she’ll keep repeating this pattern in her later books.

      And yeah, that ending. Super weird. I just hope there won’t be any actual scenes where she describes Feyre’s “spying” in Tamlin’s bedroom because that would be too much. Ugh.

      • Yes, I will at the very least read your review of the final book because even though I am letting go, I’m not entirely letting go :/

  • I’ll probably read this one just out of sheer morbid curiosity! I didn’t love the first one, probably liked it JUST enough to pick up the sequel. But the reviews I’ve seen for this have been all over the place, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ll just have to see for myself. Agreed though that Maas does not handle relationships in her books very well. Every time I have an issue with her books, it’s always about her characters’ “faux-mances”.

    • Yep, that’s how I feel about reading the last book. I need to see what happens, it’s like watching a car crash.

      And I KNOW, people have been saying that this is the best book they have EVER read, which is so ludicrous to me that I’m starting to doubt those people’s taste. I mean… This book doesn’t make my top 100, let alone top 10. Even if I only read YA fantasy, it would be far, far behind.

      I’ll be looking forward to your review – I wonder what you’ll make of it. :)

  • Oh dear… I need to get round to this, but the relationship stuff makes me headdesk.

    • Haha, yep, love triangles and angst, my favourite combination. I wonder what you’ll make of it!

  • I actually did really like this book, which is surprising seen as I wasn’t all that fussed with the first book in the series.
    I think the reason why I liked both this book and Queen of Shadows more than a lot of people though is that I wasn’t all that fussed that the heroine ends up with someone different than you think in the first books. To me that just seems more realistic, because most people don’t meet the love of their life first time, and everything works out happily ever after. I can see why that might annoy people though seen as they’ve invested all that time in the original love interest.
    I do agree about the whole age thing though – this book definitely isn’t suitable for younger teenagers! I was pretty surprised when I read it that some of the stuff was included in a book marketed as a YA novel (although I believe technically they’re calling this New Adult, but a lot of readers of Sarah J. Maas’ books are going to be younger).
    Awesome review though! It’s always interesting to see other people’s opinions on books you’ve read, even they differ from yours :)

    • Yeah, I understand your point – but unlike with Chaol and Celaena, where I’d hoped they would end up being together, I really didn’t care about Feyre and Tamlin. It just bothered me that Feyre would do all those things for Tamlin in Book 1 and then completely turn around in Book 2 (she had her reasons but still).

      And thanks for disagreeing with me politely, I really like it when differing opinions crop up in discussions! :)

  • I actually read this review a couple of days ago but I’m trying to do a bit of blogging catch up today. It sucks that there are so many things which bothered you in this book. I admit, I was more excited for this book than the Throne of Glass books after hearing everything about the sinking of my ship, but it’s annoying the same things happen in this book.

    I will read this (eventually) but I have to say I’m not too surprised that Maas is shifting the romance to Rhysand (I saw it hinted in the first book and I actually preferred it in some ways) but it’s annoying that it is set up by creating a villain out of another character and them being extreme in their personality.

    I was hoping Maas was going to take a different path with this series and it sucks she hasn’t. I will give her a chance with this and see how it goes… but I’ll temper my expectations appropriately.

    • I saw your comments pop up throughout the day and I respect your determination – I’m useless at commenting right now because my life is crazy. :(

      Yeah, it’s very similar to ToG in the sinking ship department, I wonder what you’ll make of it. I know there were hints of Rhys and Feyre getting together but she was so IN LOVE WITH TAMLIN, she did all those things to save him or whatever and now just BAM! She doesn’t love him anymore. Eh. Like I said, I like Rhys better than Tamlin, I just hate that we had to endure Tamlin for an entire book if she was going to kick him to the curb anyway.

      Maybe having lower expectations will help – I certainly expected something… different and was disappointed.

      • I’m determined not to miss posts. I now reserve days for blog reading and replying to comments otherwise I will never get around to it. I tend to have an evening once or twice a week where I just sit and start writing my comments because otherwise I’ll never get around to it.

        That is true it’s been too long since I read the first book so I can’t remember everything but she did do all those tests didn’t she so it’s not because she didn’t care for him. Maybe if she’d been more uncertain of her feelings to begin with then the change in romantic interest would make more sense. I’m gonna have to read the two books and see.

        I think you can go in with no expectations with Maas’s books right now and what and see how it goes. She’s not taking the expected path with her book, so I guess just read and see how it goes is the best option.

  • Nina Lannister

    It got stretched to 6 books XD
    I completely agree with everything