The fourth novel, but fifth installment in the ACOTAR series, A Court of Silver Flames is finally here!!!!
Do not read this book, or this post, if you have not read all of the books in the ACOTAR series! Even the novella! There are plot points and characters that are introduced and barely referenced in the novella that are a big part of this book’s story.
This book tells the story of Nesta, Feyre’s sister, and Cassian, Rhysand’s general, as they navigate new problems, mental health and their relationship. It is *chef’s kiss* because the pining has been there ever since ACOMAF and it finalllyyyyyy comes to fruition!!!
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IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK, STOP READING NOW! SPOILERS AHEAD!
IT FINALLY HAPPENED!!! I called the Nesta and Cassian thing from their first interaction and have the texts to my friends to prove it. I was secretly rooting for them, and it was all but confirmed with the dramatic kiss in the Hybern battle.
From the first chapter on, it was interesting to see Feyre and Rhys from Nesta’s point of view. I still love them, but parts of their personalities that were kind of glazed over when they were the narrators are highlighted by Nesta.
I felt really bad for Nesta in the previous book, and especially in the beginning of this book. She clearly is going through immense guilt, trauma and PTSD. Her behavior seems like she’s also depressed. They let this go on for a year after Hybern??? I understand giving someone space, but if they’re clearly lashing out and hurting, you need to help them. I wish Feyre had acted sooner, but I guess this showcases the lack of relationship between Feyre and Nesta that Feyre had no idea how to help.
The ultimatum is given. Nesta is obviously super upset and feels like everyone has “chosen” Feyre over her. Elain. Amren. Her father…
I knew Nesta would make it hard on Cassian, but I felt bad for him, and her, as she lashed out. I was nervous the training would turn *physical* too soon, but I was happy the relationship was kept separate from training, especially with the addition of others.
Let’s talk about the Valkyries!!! I am here for the female friendships, the gender equality, and sticking it to the misogynistic Illyrians.
I knew the shopkeeper from the novella was a Chekov’s gun, and she shows up as Emerie, one of the three Valkyries. She and Gwyn are treasures. I love their dynamic and their ability to transcend both the physical and emotional challenges together. More on them later, after the ending, because I have some thoughts on the extra Azriel scene that features Gwyn.
Back to Nessian: I don’t really mind the whole “hook up first, define it later” thing that apparently is driving others insane because it seems like it fits both of them? They’re both extremely scared of rejection and feel they don’t deserve the other, so they’ll take what they can get. Doesn’t seem OOC to me.
Nesta Made the house into her friend!! My heart! It’s so cute that she was able to turn it into a sentient being, and that it ends up being hers.
Feyre is pregnant! It seems like it happened quickly for Fae standards, but of course they are pregnant. And the baby has wings. Couldn’t Rhys have *not* gotten her pregnant when she was in Illyrian form if he knew she didn’t have the proper birthing canal? I also hate that this is a plot point???
Tamlin is mentioned a number of times but only appears once, and he barely does anything to advance the plot. So much for his redemption arc?
Interesting note here: Gwyn is 28 and was fathered by a male in the Spring Court during the Rite. IS SHE TAMLIN’S KID????
Lucien barely gets any screen time, so to speak, but more on him, and Elain, later, because Azriel chapter.
Eris is still an ally and I guarantee he knows Mor is gay, and that’s what he eludes to multiple times about what happened with her. I feel so bad that he was abused by his father, and I hope that perhaps we see him choose to rise to the challenge Cassian raised to him toward the end of the book.
The human queens are a problem, but one in particular. The way in which Nesta and Cassian hunt down the Trove and then face the Queen Briallyn seems like Nesta’s version of ACOMAF??? Lots of similiarities.
We have to talk about the Blood Rite!!! I had hoped based on the dedication that Nesta would undergo the Blood Rite, but seeing her do it with her Valkyries was so sweet and meaningful. Naturally Cassian *magically appears* when Nesta is about to be killed (although he’s with said evil queen) and saves her, and then we have half a page where we kiiiiinda think something bad will happen, but then JK Nesta kills the queen and Cassian is okay!
I’m not mad about the lack of problems the queen and the Carver’s brother under the lake whose name I’m forgetting pose in the book, because I am a sucker for a HEA and seeing a relationship build, but a lot of the ways the conflict resolved seemed convenient.
I am glad Rhys constantly shot down the “High King” thing, as it’s clear he and Feyre are already super powerful and everyone knows they could best them. It seems like the plot in the next book may make it necessary for Prythian to unite under one king and one queen. I don’t know. We shall see!
We’re back at the River Manor, Feyre’s in labor, and both she and Rhys will die together, apparently alongside the baby. Again, because the baby has wings. This could have been avoided. Oh well. Nesta strikes a bargain with the Cauldron and the Mother to save Feyre and the baby (therefore saving Rhys) by giving all her powers back.
- she gave up everything to save her sister, because she felt she never did anything to save Feyre in the past. it shows character development. I understand why the author did it.
- Nesta changes Feyre’s body to that of an Illyrian’s when it comes to the reproductive system. she also changes herself so she and Cassian can have winged babies one day. buuuuuut NOT Elain. this comes back when we will discuss the Azriel chapter.
- she has some sort of new bargain with the Mother, even after returning the power she had with death to the Cauldron. I am reading that a lot of people are mad she gave it all up and of course Feyre and Rhysand were both brought back from death before and kept their power, and now could well be the High King and Queen in the next book, and Nesta has nothing?? I feel like as much as she talked down to Elain about having a simple life, that’s what Nesta wants now. she wants to be happy with her friends and family. she isn’t that wolf anymore. she’s a Valkyrie, and I think that’s enough for her.
OK now to the extra chapters:
The Feyre / Rhysand one contains how they found out she was pregnant, cute and short. Nothing really to write home about.
The Azriel chapter shows that he and Elain are attracted to one another and seemingly have emotional connections as well. I think it’s more of a loneliness that causes them to have crushes on one another? Obviously they’re both beautiful, too.
Elain and Lucien are mates, but we know the mating bond can be rejected. But do I think Elain will reject it for Azriel? No. Here is why.
- I don’t like the desperation in the “I deserve her” statement from Azriel. I don’t think this is a good foundation for a relationship. Reminds me of the desperation for Mor.
- Gwyn is who ultimately gets the necklace. Earlier in the book, it’s mentioned that she is bendy. this leads me to…
- Nesta did not give Elain the ability to bear Illyrian children, something she would need if she were to have children with Azriel. You don’t need kids to be fulfilled and have a good relationship, but in this world of happy endings, it’s going to be there. You know it will be.
- Elain makes Azriel’s shadows go away, as does Mor. Gwyn likes the shadows and accepts them, even asking Azriel if he sings (she sings!). I think this is a great set up for them.
- NESTA CLIMBED THE MOUNTAIN. physically and mentally. I am so proud of her and love her character arc
- I love the friendship between Nesta, Gwyn and Emerie. grl pwr
- Nessian finally happened and they’re mates (naturally)
- HEA ending wrapped in a bow
- Feysand baby!!! a little too convenient but happy everyone is happy
- I wish there was more than the “minor villain” being faced in this book. we know the Carver’s brother in the lake is gonna be a big player but I wish he did more
- Nesta lost her powers. I guess for a full circle with Feyre but still. a big cost
- the whole baby with wing plot point was a bit much for me because couldn’t this problem have been avoided???
4/5. I think ACOMAF is still my favorite book, but this was a great read and full of so many different types of love, and just felt good.
No news yet on the next book, but Maas says there will be three more novels and two more novellas in the series, one of which will be a prequel! Here’s to hoping they come sooner rather than later 🙂