Thursday, 19 May 2016

A Court of Mist & Fury: Beware, Flailing and Fangirling Ahead

Title: A Court of Mist and Fury
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury 
Buy this book: Amazon / Book Depository
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.
fangirling crazy fangirling gif let me love you gif damn that butt!
I hope you're ready people, this review is going to get pretty lengthy. It might also get rambly as hell. I'm not even a little bit sorry. This book actually blew my freaking mind, I wasn't expecting it to be the pure work of fucking genius that it turned out to be. I'll admit, Queen of Shadows had left me doubting Maas's ability a little, as that book was a little all over the place and left me completely unsure how I even felt about it. This book erased all that from my mind and once again reminded me why I love Sarah J. Maas and her books. She is one incredibly talented lady.



My opinion was so different on the reread!
If you have already read book one then feel free to continue past this point. If you haven't read it yet you need to go away and go do that. Okay? Okay. When I first read book one, I absolutely loved it. I gushed about it endlessly and wrote THIS very fangirly review, where the book got 5/5 stars from me. I decided to reread it before getting to the sequel, as I have the worst memory in existence and like to go into sequels with everything fresh in my mind. I was so surprised when I reread it, I didn't love it as much as I remembered. It was still great, it just wasn't giving me all the feelings. Now I felt like it was a little bit boring, after she kills the fae in the beginning and goes with Tamlin, nothing else really happens until she goes Under the Mountain near the end of the book. Before that it is just the slow build of her and Tamlin's relationship. And my opinion on the relationship was different the second time reading it too. I loved it the first time I read it, and didn't get why anyone liked Rhys as a character. On my second read I wasn't really sold on the relationship between Tamlin and Feyre, and felt it was a little rushed in some ways. I also actually liked Rhys on my second read, the first time I read it I kind of hated him.

bring it on emperors new grooveThe first time I finished the book, I felt like the series could have been a standalone and I would have been happy. Tamlin and Feyre got to walk off into the sunset together and it felt like a good place to end. But her deal with Rhysand was still there and still needed to play out. I was so nervous to get to the second book before I reread A Court of Thorns and Roses. I hadn't warmed to Rhysand the first time I read the book, so the thought of Feyre having to spend so much time in the Night Court didn't really appeal to me. I had read Queen of Shadows, so I knew how poorly Maas could handle the characterisation of her own character in order to create new romances. So I was pretty terrified to get to A Court of Mist and Fury before the reread. I am so pleased I reread though as it put my feelings about the book into perspective and made me so much less nervous for the book. I felt that my changing feelings about book one meant that I would be less disappointed if the sequel was completely disappointing.

i love you rocky horror picture show barry bostwick
My Maas feels by the end!
Well, now that I have finished this book, I can happily report that it blew the first book completely out of the water for me. I ended the book feeling like Maas was a genius, that this book was absolutely incredible and that I was just in awe. I am so happy this book exists and that ACOTAR didn't end after book one. Maas had this series planned for so long, so I should have realised she had so much more up her sleeve than just a simple Beauty & the Beast retelling. That woman did not disappoint me, instead she restored all my faith in her!

I need to talk a lot about this book, so this review will be split in to two part. The first where I can talk about my feelings about the book as a whole, without spoiling anything. Then I am going to go into all my spoilery feels about this book. I will warn you before we get to that so you can skip it completely. So, to the non-spoilery list of why I LOVED this book.

editor  dancing happy happy dance thank you
Sums up my feels on the character growth!
  • The character growth: Oh my, the character growth in this book is my absolute favourite thing. It is just perfection. The events of book one were pretty brutal and not something our characters should easily get over, and that is so clear in this book. Our characters are struggling with the things they have been through, and we see the different effects this has on them. I love when books properly explore PTSD and the fact characters shouldn't be able to magically move on from horrific events with it having zero impact on who they are.
  • The romance: I will say very little about the romance here, I just want to say that it was completely perfect and I LOVE IT!
  • The story: I enjoyed this book so much more than book one and felt the story had so much more going on. We have Feyre getting used to her High Fae powers and having to learn how to use the powers she has gained. There is imminent war and everything that involves. We get to explore so many new Courts and areas and see so much more of the world and magic. 
Me to all the new characters
  • The new characters: The new characters in this book are the very definition of squad goals. Taylor Swift has nothing on this lot! I felt like we were quite isolated in book one before we got to go Under the Mountain. We didn't have the opportunity to meet many new characters in ACOTAR, so I was so excited by the endless new characters we meet in this. Not only that, but we also got to discover so much more about the characters from book one, and that was fascinating to me. 

Now that is it for my non-spoilery thoughts. I loved this book far too much to not want to go into detail about its awesomeness. If you haven't read it yet, you really should. Don't put it off because you're nervous. Or you have had aspects spoiled for you and don't think you will enjoy it. Give it a go. I almost didn't read this book after the romance storyline was spoiled for me. But I read it anyway and ended up loving this book a million times more than book one. READ IT! Then come discuss with me, as I want to hear all your thoughts.


doctor who matt smith the doctor spoilers fear

Okay, time to get to all the spoilers and all the discussing. And I have a lot that I want to discuss.

Tamlin: Oh Tamlin, I thought I was going to hate Maas for whatever she had in store for your character. Instead I ended up loving her for it. Maas has finally given me something that I have been craving from YA for so long now - to show the Bella/Edward types of relationships for what they actually are, abuse. These types of relationships are not healthy, they are controlling and they should not be romanticised. Under the mountain, Tamlin watched as Feyre had to fight to save him and ended up being killed in the process, he then watched her be brought back to life. He's experienced what it feels like to lose someone he loves, and he is determined to never let that happen again. He's willing to do whatever that takes - even if that means taking away all of Feyre's choices, deciding everything for her and controlling her, but trying to brush it off as him protecting her and doing it out of love. He's smothering her, controlling her and locking her away when it is the last thing she needs. But to him that is love, he is doing it to protect her and believes he knows best for her. The thing is, just because you do it out of love, it doesn't make it any less wrong. And finally we have an author who picks apart that 'I'm protecting you, I love you' excuse and not letting it excuse shitty behaviour. THANK YOU, MAAS! And she also gives us a female character who can also see that this behaviour isn't acceptable and shouldn't be something she puts up with. I just felt that this was handled so beautifully in the book and sends out a really important message, one I applaud Maas for. I am sorry to any big Tamlin fans out there who couldn't get passed this. but I was just so happy to finally have a young adult book that addresses this kind of relationship and doesn't romanticise it. I like that Tamlin didn't change as a character, it is just that we finally get to learn his whole story. In book one we only learn what Tamlin is willing to reveal about himself. In this book we finally get to hear the truth about Tamlin and all that he is done and, let's be real, the guy is a giant dick and a liar, or just someone who avoids telling the truth when it suits him.
I was not a pet, not a doll, not an animal.
I was a survivor, and I was strong.
I would not be weak, or helpless again.
I would not, could not be broken. Tamed.

Rhysand: Oh thank you, Sarah J. Maas. Thank you for giving us Rhys. I LOVE him. And, also, thank you for proving that you can successfully bring in a new love interest and actually make it work. Here we have a complex character who we get to know so well throughout this book. There is so much more to his character than I ever could have imagined. He allowed himself to basically be whored out for years to Amarantha, all so he could protect his people and those he loved. He sacrificed so much of himself in order to keep others safe. I was so happy with how slow build the romance between him and Feyre was, it didn't just happen suddenly. Their relationships starts as a friendship and builds up from there. Rhys helps Feyre so much, helps her to find her strength and to finally embrace the powers she has gained. I just can't even put into words how much I adored Rhysand's character, and his romance with Feyre. It is my new favourite thing. I am in love. I just adored how he treated Feyre as his equal. And how he never told her they were mates, as he didn't want to influence how she felt. I almost cried at the end when we find out he had her sword in as a High Lady, so that she was his equal in every single way.
He thinks he'll be remembered as the villain in the story. But I forgot to tell him that the villain is usually the person who locks up the maiden and throws away the key. He was the one who let me out."
The steaminess: Now, I thought book one had some steamy scenes, but they honestly have nothing on this book. It takes the sexiness level up about twenty notches. And I was a big fan, as we don't really see it very often in YA novels - more in NA and I don't read much of that. It is nice to have a fantasy, YA novel that also includes sex scenes, and female characters who are actually experienced - I'm so fed up of the inexperienced virgin character who is present in almost every YA story. Newsflash writers: Teens have sex. Not all of them, but many of them so we might as well show that in our books. It's also nice to have a young adult book that isn't just filled with fade to black sex scenes. God help us all though if Maas ever writes a steamy erotic novel, I don't think anyone would be able to handle that - seeing as this is her holding back and being censored a lot.

No love triangle: I am just going to call it how I see it, this book doesn't contain a love triangle. Not once is Feyre going back and forth between two guys. She starts the book feeling suffocated by her relationship with Tamlin, and finds a way to escape that. Her relationship with Rhys grows over time and they don't start a romantic relationship until very late into the book, at which point her relationship with Tamlin is completely over. I was so scared this book would be Feyre constantly trying to decide between these two guys, I am so thankful it wasn't.

Strong female character: I LOVED how Feyre grew throughout this novel. I was a bit annoyed with her in the beginning, as she was allowing herself to get walked all over and I just couldn't handle that. I loved how she got stronger and stronger over the course of the book. She proved herself so much in this book and I came to really respect and love her by the end. She reminds me a lot of Katniss, another character I adore so much. They are two characters who have suffered and they are different because of it, it changes them and they have to fight to handle what they have seen or been through. They aren't the perfect heroines or the strongest all the time, they prove the strength by their ability to pick themselves up and carry on.
No one was my master- but I might be master of everything, if I wished. If I dared.
The ending: OH MY FUCKING GOD, THAT ENDING!!! I was truly scared for a moment that Feyre was being an idiot and sacrificing everything just to protect them, and making a huge mistake. I should have known she was smarter than that. When I realised she was going to take down Tamlin and the Spring Court from the inside I was so excited and happy. I can't fucking wait to get my hands on the final book in this series. It can't release soon enough. I NEED IT! I need more Feyre, I need more Rhysand. I need more Mor, more Cassian, Azriel and Amran.

5/5 Butterflies

Everything I never even knew I wanted from this sequel. I am just desperate to have the final book in my hands. I can't recommend this enough. 

13 comments:

  1. I just finished this book yesterday and I have to say: OMG I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING YOU SAID HERE^^ I wanted to be surprised by Tamlin's behavior here but I just couldn't It fits. Something about him always irked me...probably his tantrums and violent outbursts. Rhys has SUCH a great evolution as he reveals himself and he sees women as EQUALS which is perfection. I LOVE HIM. Seeing Feyre grow into her trauma was beautiful as well and OMG THE NIGHT COURT SETTING was glorious ♥ SO MUCH AWESOME in this book. LOVED your review Charnell^^xx

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  2. I honestly wasn't sure I was going to read this because although I love Maas, I was disappointed the romance was all over the place and had changed sides (according to other reviews I saw for it) but I think you have me convinced to still read it. ;)

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  3. Oh wow, you definitely loved this book inside and out! I'm glad you were able to enjoy this one so much and that you couldn't get enough of it. I just love it when I read the sequel to a book and it's EVEN BETTER than the first one, although that can be so hard to come by sometimes! It seems your trusty author never fails you ;) I should really try one of her books (and sooner rather than later!)

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  4. I'm glad you loved it so much! XD I read all the spoiler bits here because I don't actually plan to read the book... :P And I'd heard tons of stuff about Tamlin turning into the abusive monster, but I was worried the book was condoning it? So I'm REALLY glad it's not. But...I believe this isn't YA? I've heard it labelled NA and the characters are in their 20s, right? ANYWAY. I mean, not that that matters, hahha. But yeah.
    I'm glad Maas isn't letting you down with this series! *cheers*

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  5. This book was just everything! I absolutely adored it! Fantastic review!

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  6. I loved A Court of Mist and Fury infinitely more than A Court of Thorns and Roses. I agree with you 100% - I appreciated where she took Tamlin and Feyre's relationship and where she took Feyre and Rhysand's. The ending killed me, too. (Also, on another note, it's good to see love for Katniss post-Catching Fire. I love her in Mockingjay, but so many people think she's boring or annoying.)

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  7. This is a great post, especially highlighting how Sarah J Maas demonstrated controlling relationships, that can look and smell rosey (ha) at the beginning, can quickly turn abusive when circumstances put naturally controlling people under stress.

    I also love love loved this book. Can't stop thinking about it and waiting for the next.

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  8. Seriously fantastic review! You summed up all of my feelings on Rhys and Tamlin SO perfectly.

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  9. AAAH I can't wait to read it! I had to skim the review in fear of spoilers, but I am very excited now! Oh yes, I tagged you in this post here, hope you check it out! :)

    Cloe @ Mornings and Epilogues

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  10. This review makes me want to finish ACOTAR so badly. I just skimmed over a few things so I didn't get the rest of ACOTAR spoiled for me, but holy crap. I don't think I can read fast enough. Lovely review!

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  11. Your review is perfection. I was dreading this book in some ways because I thought it was going to be a love-triangle situation (and I didn't care for Rhys during my first read of ACOTAR) but it's SO clear that SJM had this book planned and the plot progression planned from the very beginning!

    -Cristina @ Girl in the Pages

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  12. Yes, yes, YES to all of the above. This book was just absolute perfection! I didn't read anything for two weeks after finishing it because the book hangover was SO BAD -- and, even then, I'm still having to force my way through other books while resisting the temptation to pick ACOMAF back up and devour it all over again!

    Also, isn't Rhysand just the best EVER?? I don't think I've fallen so hard for a fictional character since I was 14 and first read about Edward in Twilight. (Shh, don't judge me, I was young...)

    Thanks so much for a great post! I wish my review of this had been so well thought out and coherent, instead of me just bashing keys and squealing a lot. I'll maybe write a better one when I reread it. Which will probably be very soon... haha.

    Shaunna @ Books Over Bros

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  13. HELLO, FELLOW ACOMAFIST. WE MIGHT SHARE A BRAIN.

    Because, look, EVERYONE AND THEIR MOTHER love ACOMAF. EVERYONE AND THEIR MOTHER jumped ship. Unlike ToG, after ACOMAF this series is pretty much unanimous in its love and dislike of certain characters. So, yeah, we WOULD be of one mind.

    But YOU ACTUALLY FELT THE EXACT SAME AS ME ABOUT ACOTAR #1. AND ABOUT MOST OF THE CHARACTERS. Granted, I jumped ship the first time I read it and spent a year agonizing over how little Rhys there was in #1, but I, too, felt like it was sort of slow and basically uneventful and couldn't be sold on Tamlin and Feyre's dynamics and ALL THE AGREEMENT OF EVER with you on this! (And I ALSO started my ACOMAF review by reflecting on that same thing.) I still felt like ToG was the superior series. Now... ahahahaha. ACOMAAAAAAAF FOR PRESIDENT.

    Because... ALSO EVERYTHING YOU SAID. In particular - THE THEEEEEMES. AT LAST an EMOTIONALLY abusive dynamic gets called out! At. Freaking. Last. I might crown Sarah queen just for that. Because I feel like abuse gets a pretty two-dimensional treatment in YA/NA, even when people DO attempt to call it out. It's physical (and blatant), or it's verbal (and blatant). Or, if emotional, it's ROMANTICIZED. this tackled the final one and just... well, you said it all. I'LL JUST FLAIL AND NOD. NODDING AND FLAILING. Me with ACOMAF. AND this review.

    - Lexie

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