The third installment in the ACOTAR series, A Court of Wings and Ruin is an action-packed read with fluffly Feysand moments, discussions of what it means to be family, and then finally the climax that the other two books have been setting up.
Important to note that the author says that this is the last book focusing on Feyre and Rhysand, and that the new book A Court of Silver Flames coming out in February 2021 will focus on a new pairing! Based on the novella, A Court of Frost and Starlight, my bet is on Cassian and Nesta. Don’t worry, Feysand will still be featured in the future books, just not center stage. But what a way to go out in ACOWAR!!! Wasn’t lost on me that the abbreviation of this book was “WAR”, either.
ADD TO YOUR LIBRARY
IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK, STOP READING NOW! SPOILERS AHEAD!
This book was good, not great, in my eyes. I think you’ll notice a difference in my enthusiasm in this post compared to that of ACOMAF, because that was *chef’s kiss* and this is just there and acceptable. More than acceptable, I guess, but I saw more issues in this Feysand trilogy consulsion piece.
Feyre darling is back in the Spring Court with our buddy Tamlin. Lucien seems wary of her, but Tamlin is eating up the whole “Rhys stole me away” thing. Little does he know, Feyre and Rhys are still bonded, Feyre has the power of all High Lords, and she is trying to take his Court down from the inside. Espionage Feyre is a good Feyre.
The pace of this book is relentless. There is always something. It’s exhausting. There were also many things that felt forced, but one more so than everything else. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
Hybern has sent some cronies to the Spring Court to prepare for his conquest of Prythian. They’re annoying, albeit smart, and I could tell that they’d cause problems for Feyre. It seemed obvious she’d find her way back to Rhys, though.
Feyre stirs up doubt and successfully escapes the Spring Court with Lucien in tow, fighting his brothers along the way, until they meet up with Bat Boys. Stressful passage to read! I think something is up with Lucien’s brother and I am hoping the fourth book explores this. He did some bad stuff to Mor, but there is likely more to him than we are seeing now.
Jumping ahead to the High Lords meeting… felt predictable, felt like boys in the schoolyard, Tamlin was yikes, and yeah. Feyre shows her hand when she uses her powers, and the war is now inevitable, but we already knew that? ACOWAR, remember? Very subtle.
The Human Queens plot line was really never developed enough for me. It was integral to the story, but they could have done more with it, IMO. Jurian could have also been elaborated on. They do a better job with his storyline, but I would have liked to see more references to him in earlier books, instead of finding out he’s *evil* then *not evil* all in one story.
Then we have Tamlin’s Redemption Arc!! I still really hate him for Feyre, not that she’d ever leave Rhys or the Night Court at this point, but I admit the guy did the right thing in a tricky situation. He helps her escape. He indirectly aids the fight against Hybern. He revives Rhys. I immensely enjoyed the choice of the “Be happy, Feyre” line, because he doesn’t try to sway her back to his good graces, he doesn’t attempt to apologize or atone, he just is honest with her for the first time. He lied to her in the first book. He lied to her in the second book. He lied to her in the third book, though we see now his heart and loyalties were in the right place. But in this sentence, he is honest with her, and I appreciated that nugget of humanity and redemption for his character.
The Cauldron thing was a bit confusing for me to follow during the battle, but then again, so was everything else. There is literally no time to catch your breath as a reader, especially as the war begins. I usually like fast-paced plots, but this had me taking breaks from reading, which I usually don’t like to do.
There is seemingly a confession of love between Nesta and Cassian, we find out Feyre’s father really does love her despite the neglect (?) and brought over an army (yet, dies), and Amren is released in her true form, all within a short number of pages.
Little Elain kills the King of Hybern. Too predictable? Too “I don’t know”? Something about this moment was off to me. Reminds me of how I felt watching Arya kill the Night King in Thrones. It left a very “meh” taste in my mouth.
Perhaps my biggest issue with this book is the way in which it ends. Rhys dies. Oh no! But then he’s back??? It seemed a little *too* convenient, not that I am complaining because I love happy endings, but definitely could have ended where he truly was dead. It parallels how Feyre was reborn in the first book, cool, they’re mates (hate that word and how often they use it, also). But come on, how lucky can two people… I’m sorry, bat-winged, shape-shifting Fae… get?
We end the book with the IC happy in Velaris, Nesta and Elain up there as well, and the world *seemingly* okay for now, but with unrest brewing both in Illyria and in the Human Realms. Sets the scene for book four, but can these characters just get a break?? (I guess Maas gave them the novella for a break lol)
- HEA ending which I am a sucker for
- NESSIAN (!!!)
- there were a lot of wings discussed in this book and I once again had to talk myself into being ok with the Fae worldbuilding lol
- the word “mate” and its frequency
- pacing was off
- diversity felt forced
- HEA is also a thorn because it seemed too easy
- the end of Feysand-centric books 🙁
3/5 overall for me. I think ACOMAF was superior to this book, but I get that this storyline is more action and grit than relationship-building.
The technical successor is A Court of Silver Flames, but Maas put out a novella titled A Court of Frost and Starlight that gives us a glimpse into the Solstice holiday pre-book 4. There is virtually no plot, just setting the scene for conflicts in the next book. I have a short post on that, because there are details in it that are important for the series, but it’s not to the scale of the rest of the books.