Monday, October 30, 2017

All Things Halloween Review - A Court of Mist and Fury

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, # 2)

By: Sarah J Maas

Published: May 3rd 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

626 pages

Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Fae, Faeries

Source: Borrowed from Holly

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

So first things first...what a rollercoaster! At the end of A Court of Thorns and Roses Feyre kills two innocent faeries in order to save Tamlin's life. But it goes beyond saving his life. The death of these two fae allowed Feyre to break the curse that Amarantha put on all of Prythian. However, Feyre's really in a dark place because she murdered these two faeries. She's depressed, doesn't feel worthy of having survived or the gift of new, immortal life that she's been given. And I expected from the end of that book that Tamlin might not be the person to help her overcome this place of darkness. So I expected it, but Lacy and Holly also warned me that the first 30ish% of A Court of Mist and Fury would be a struggle to read just as Feyre's struggling to live it. And it was. Or at least the first 25% was for me.

I said "rollercoaster," right? Here's how things went. I was rolling my eyes in the beginning. Drudging through bit by bit. Falling asleep from pregnancy exhaustion and a lack of interest in Feyre's struggles. Then Rhysand calls in his bargain with Feyre and pulls her to the Night Court for a week and I started to feel hope that he might be exactly what Feyre needs to snap out of her darkness. Tamlin does something stupid, and I was back to rolling my eyes. Feyre makes some choices that slow begin to pull her out of her depression and darkness and the seed of hope began again. Of course this part was something that I'd predicted to Holly and Lacy, but I won't state here to prevent spoilers. I was almost scared to hope for what I predicted though so I lived on in a state of anxiousness in this area until about 65-70%. In the meantime, Feyre and gang began to formulate a plan against the bigger bad (bigger than Amarantha),Getting to the 70-80% mark I was feeling all the feels of romance and love and swooning. But of course, we still have 20-30% left so we can't get too comfortable. Bad things must happen and anxiousness sets in again. Sure enough we find ourselves in quite an unfortunate situation where I was a little frustrated and miffed that the characters didn't see this coming. Then outrage over the stupidity of a once beloved character who will have a hard time redeeming themselves if that's even possible. And then furiousness that the book was approaching such a rapid close with the possibility of such a negative cliffhanger approaching. Or not necessarily cliffhanger, but just really negative circumstances for our characters. And then Sarah J Maas swoops in and gives me a bit of relief even if I'm not completely happy with where the book comes to a close. ROLLER. COASTER.

Now I realize that all of that was extremely vague and probably didn't quite help you out if you were having a hard time deciding if you want to read this book/series or not. Well let me just tell...YOU DO! You definitely do want to read this book and this series. Sarah J Maas put a whole new level to every piece of the puzzle being linked and having a double meaning. I mean with my experience through her Throne of Glass series, I knew that she was capable of this, but her storytelling abilities in A Court of Mist and Fury went beyond, beyond, beyond anything I imagined.

As always, the secondary characters are rich and complex and colorful. I look forward so much to the added layers of story that each character (and perhaps a few new couples) might add to the next book/spin off.

I was snapping pictures galore (since I was reading this one on Holly's kindle) of sections that I thought were foreshadowing (one passage I didn't even realize was foreshadowing, but turned out to be major), witty one-liners, heated passages, words that made me swoon. Here are some of my favorite, non-spoiler quotes:

-"There have to be at least a dozen other hunters more experienced and skilled--" "Maybe there are. But you're the only one I trust."

-"You can be a pawn, be someone's reward, and spend the rest of your immortal life bowing and scraping and pretending you're less than him, than..., than any of us. If you want to pick that road, then fine. A shame, but it's your choices."

-"...I'll always make time for you."

-"I love my people and my family. Do not think I wouldn't become a monster to keep them protected."

-"So I followed the bond home."

-"Because you were breaking. And I couldn't find another way to save you."

-"To the stars who listen--and the dreams that are answered."

Oh I had many more quotes but they revealed just a bit too much.

I should have mentioned this in my review of A Court of Thorns and Roses but I do find myself annoyed with the names of people and places that I'm utterly unsure how to pronounce. I like unique, but give me some heads up on how to pronounce them so I'm not either mispronouncing them the entire time, skipping them entirely, or having to stop each time I come to the words to sound them out. The first book did have a pronunciation list at the END of the kindle edition that I read. This would have been better up front. But this book didn't have one at all as far as I recall and there were a few new names/places that could have used some explanation.

Language and sexually descriptive scenes place this series beyond young adult.

Sarah J Maas is a master craftsman when it comes to storytelling. I'll be checking out her future books for sure, and I can't wait to see how this series wraps up. I know there is likely frustration, swoon-worthy moments, and many twists to come. I debated giving A Court of Mist and Fury 4.5 Stars because of the slow beginning, but realized that such a beginning was utterly necessary to the overall story and to the transformation of Feyre's character that A Court of Mist and Fury can only deserve 5 Stars. Have you read A Court of Mist and Fury? What did you think? Let me know!

And because I can't resist discussing this, highlight for spoilers: Sarah J Maas is one of the few authors who has successfully had me jumping ship (relationships that is)...MORE THAN ONCE. After her mastery in this area in the Throne of Glass series, I was prepared for it in this one and actually specifically predicted this very thing to Lacy and Holly. However, to see it play out was masterfully done. And the moment where Rhys reveals all to Feyre from the beginning...before they even met up until that very moment...it was perfection. The slow process of Feyre's personal changes mixed with the inch by inch of Rhys revealing himself to her in just the right amounts and pieces leading to an epically deep bond and love between the two of them. THESE ARE THE LOVE STORIES THAT I LOVE TO READ ABOUT! Obviously there's physical attraction and flirting between the two from the very beginning, but the substance and foundation of their relationship goes so far beyond the physical. And the physical is magnified between them because of their deep emotional and soulful connection.

This review is part of my All Things Halloween event--a month of paranormal, supernatural, mystery/thriller, etc reviews and books.

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