Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin-Sarah J Maas
"You do no fear. You do not falter. You do not yield.
Remember that you are a wolf. And you cannot be caged."
Before this book released, I told myself to take my time. To not rush, and drag it out for as long as possible. I have finished it within a day and a half. So much for that dragging it out thing. Even I'm impressed. But I was so excited to read this, I built up all this hype, and couldn't stop myself. ACOMAF is my favorite book ever. So this one was in no way going to be a slow read. As the last "official" book in there series-because there is going to be novellas and more books to come-it was almost everything I could have hoped for.
In A Court of Wings and Ruin, we follow Feyre, who invades her enemy court to find information on the upcoming war that's been brewing for a while. The High Lord of Spring, Tamlin, doesn't seem to find anything amiss about the woman he loves and remains in the dark. He doesn't question her absent mind and body, figuring it's because she's healing from the pain and suffering she "went" through at the Night Court. His emissary, Lucien, finds Feyre to be different and is suspicious of her while in the Spring Court. Soon, Feyre and Lucien find themselves back at the Night Court. Therein starts a story of war, battle strategies, ancient creatures, confrontations, and love.
When I had finished reading ACOWAR, I was so content. I was shook. I was in pure bliss after my soul had been smashed and out together. This story, I had thought, was pure amazement and there wasn't a thing wrong with it. I was so in love with the characters, the plot, and creatures, and the ending. I saw nothing wrong with it. And at a few parts, I still don't. But when I woke up the day after, the honeymoon phase had disappeared, and I really began to think about this story. I still enjoyed it, I've been waiting for a year, I love these characters, but something wasn't the same.
The first character I want to begin with is Mor. I'm not upset about the way her sexuality came out, I expected it to happen soon or later. I just didn't think it would be till near the end for it to happen. That's not even what I care about, thought. It's how she came across. She's supposed to be this amazing, kick ass girl who doesn't let anything bother her and will protect her friends. She fell flat to me in this book. She wasn't her usual self, she was overshadowed by other people or events. I get this book is about the war and centered around Feyre, but I missed Mor and their friendship. Feyre and her barely interacted, and when they did, it fell flat and felt pushed. I don't know what went wrong, and I'm sure that's not what Maas intended, but it's just off for me. And she seemed to only care about Cassian and Azriel. I think she had a right not to be kind to them, though, after Rhys and Azriel put her in a tough positions to go against her rapists and abusers. I'd be hateful too.
We got a bit closer with Cassian, having been around him more. I liked hearing about his past and see him laugh and be a bit relaxed, but something about his scenes was short and clipped. It was as if Maas didn't want to write a really, really long book and kept certain scenes short, and I really dislike that. I'd have waited for another book if it wasn't so rushed!
The only scenes that wasn't really rushed were the battle ones. The description was long and lengthy, something I've come to realize is Maas type writing and missed it during the other scenes.
Feyre and Rhysand's relationship, while not dull or horrible, was empty to me. I've been in love with these two for two years now and was so happy and excited to see them together, being cute and connecting on a deep level. In this book, it fell flat. Once again, the war was forefront and their relationship took a back seat. There were a few cute, witty scenes between them, reminding me of their past selves from book two, but more often than not, it was only them talking politics or in the bedroom. Now, I love smut and steamy scenes in my book, and I wasn't worried about that. I was excited. But-and I don't know what others are reading-but this isn't erotic in the least. Sure, there's a few words that could be thought of as 18+ but there was no description. I don't see what most people are talking about. What I don't like is that those scenes, once again, felt rushed. Not at all like their scenes in ACOMAF.
Rhysand lost his sarcasm. There was a few times I smiled at his wit, but it wasn't as forefront like before. Maybe its meant to be that way, and I'm thinking too hard about it. I mean, they are in the midst of a war. I wouldn't really be cracking remarks or jokes either, but when he did, it was off. And Feyre, she had so much development in book two, that this one was flat. She was a warrior, yes, but almost as if she lost that part.
Lucien. I wasn't sure about having him be at the Night Court. I didn't like him in the last two books, so I was prepared to be annoyed at this existence once again. Yet, I found myself understanding him. He's got a mate, one who doesn't love him doesn't seem to want him in her life and loves another human guy. I felt sorry for him and wanted it to work out for him. I'm excited to read his story, whenever that happens. What I didn't like was that he didn't get development time. Again, the rushing of this story ruined so many aspects. Lucien was there for a short bit of time, barely speaking or having scenes before he left for the rest of the book. I was disappointed but understood why. His mate doesn't want him, I suppose I would also run away.
I didn't feel like this was the last book. It ended with a cliffhanger of sorts, leaving questions unanswered. I was expecting more and got something rushed and disappointing. That hurts to say, but this is my least favorite.
There was a few parts I loved. Like Azriel teaching Feyre to fly. Those were always funny scenes, espeically when she flew into a tree and claimed it hadn't been there before. I loved seeing Azriel open up more and enjoyed those scenes between them.
I also enjoyed the heart to heart Feyre and the Suriel had. I wasn't expecting that, and it offered a moment away from the death of war. I liked seeing these characters, who seemed so scary before, let a little bit of humanity show in their own way.
The little scene where the Archeron sisters were laying down together was so sweet. These sisters weren't close, torn apart by duty and becoming fae. It took a while, but I was glad to see them rekindle their sister bond, even if it was just a little bit. I hope to see more of that mending.
One of my favorite scenes is the library one, where Rhy's shows Feyre for the first time. It's so cute, and sad to hear about those poor women who had gone through so much pain. It was bittersweet, and I just love everything about it.
Rhysand's death. You're probably wondering why this is under the good section. It crushed me. And for a book to invoke such emotions and crushing to a soul, it deserves to be under this section. I felt myself fall off a cliff. I sobbed. And how everything came to be after that. I almost didn't believe it was true and was panicking. That right there is how I know it deserves more than one star. It invoked something tangible, and strong.
One thing I want to talk about is the diversity in this book. I've read and heard many people point out how horrible of a person she is for writing characters in such a way or stereotyping others. I'm glad to see that many of the Courts were created and reigned over by people of color. Winter Court, for example, which many people cast as white.
On the matter of the LGBTQ+ representation. I almost felt like this topic was forced. I had not seen Mor do or say anything that could have shown her as bisexual. It threw me for a loop and felt as if it was thrown in because that's all people want in books now. I'm all for it, as long as it isn't forced. I felt like this topic was majorly tossed in my face. It was just odd to me how we see nothing of this, and suddenly, it's everywhere. Again, not a bad thing, just unexpected.
I can't believe this series is "over." I know there will be more, but that feeling of finishing a series hits you in the chest. You feel it for days, if not weeks afterward. I miss them already, despite problems faces in this book.