A review by eni_e
A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J. Maas


Warning: this review contains mild spoilers, major ones are tagged but proceed with caution.

This book left me speechless in many passages, but not in the good way.

Before this review turns into a rant, I want to say how beautiful Maas' writing is. The words she chooses and the way she uses them is magic. I adore her descriptions, the emotion and the tension ripple from the pages. But, that was just about all I liked about this book.

Sarah J. Maas was—yes, past tense—one of my favorite YA contemporary authors. Her [b: Throne of Glass|7896527|Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)|Sarah J. Maas|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1335819760s/7896527.jpg|11138426] series was brilliant. That until the last book [b:Queen of Shadows|18006496|Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)|Sarah J. Maas|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1441230104s/18006496.jpg|25272067] came up, where she shredded apart her characters in the sake of ships. She pulled the same unprofessional trick in this series. All because apparently she has some fetish for this mate-bond thing and manly alpha-male Fae men.

About the characters.

Let’s begin with Rhysand.

One cannot simply write such an interesting, complex, morally-ambiguous and alluring character just to destroy him in the second book like that. In ACOMAF Rhys was turned into this boring knight in shining armor that could do NO wrong and all he wanted was world peace. I mean, there's nothing wrong with wanting world peace—hell, it's great—but this Rhysand was just the sexier copy of a Disney prince with pointy ears and cool powers. Even the morally questionable actions he did in the past were justified and even glorified. And for what? So Feyre could reference classic fairy tales by calling Rhysand the knight of the tale? Ugh.

The Rhys in the last pages actually was the same Rhys I remember from the first book. I jumped of joy when he stuffed his hands in his pockets, smirked and pretended alongside Feyre. That was the Rhys from ACOTAR; smart, complex, a master pretender who falls in the grey areas between right and wrong. But aside from the first chapters and those in the climax, Rhys was just not Rhys during this book.

All right, I've said enough of the Lord of “Darkness”. Let’s talk about the Lord of Beasts and Roses: Tamlin.

I didn't really rooted for Tamlin as a character or love interest in ACOTAR, but I felt bad for such backstab he received in this book. The author destroyed everything compelling about him in favor of a ship. It was not surprising, since—as I already mentioned—Maas pulled the same ruse in her other fantasy series.

I don't mind ships breaking and new ones building as a story progresses. It’s natural. Most people have more than one romantic partner in the span of their lives; some settle, some don’t, some relationships are meant to last, some are just for fun, some die out slowly, etc, etc. However, I hated that Tamlin was portrayed as an actual beast in this book.

Maas justified the new relationship between Feyre and Rhys’ by making Tamlin an antagonist, by manipulating the reader into hating him. Maas and Feyre kept comparing Rhys to Tamlin. Even Rhys was infuriated about this; he said it to Feyre explicitly. And by the way, this new ship suffers from that world-changing-epic-undying-love issue so many stories have nowadays. I don’t mind a love story; hell, I’m a hopeless romantic, who am I trying to fool? But this sort of love has to be justified for it to work. Give me a love story that lives up to how the relationship is treated in the book; give me a heart-breaking story, develop a history for the couple, a bond grounded on something other than attractiveness and sexual desire, give me a bond that’s intellectual as well as carnal, show me why this love is so much more. Give me something other than “they were meant to be” or “they’re mates” tropes, because these tropes are lazy.

Anyway, back to Tamlin….

In this book, Tamlin was an overprotective, insensitive, violent, misogynistic asshole. Excuse me while I read through the kind, caring High Lord in ACOTAR. If anything, Tamlin was and is guilty of passiveness. And sure, he was annoyingly protective since book one, but apparently every male in this series is overprotective, possessive and super virile by nature (which is ridiculous and a trope that I hate). I'm tempted to reread ACOTAR to see if I missed the signs telling me Tamlin was a complete jackass from the start. I doubt they’re there though.

Vilify Tamlin was utterly unnecessary. It would have been enough to show him and Feyre distance from each other, both dealing with their inner demons. That could have been done by showing how Tamlin pretended to be asleep while Feyre vomited her stomach’s contents out every night. That shows Tamlin had no idea how to help her while dealing with his own PTSD. That alone is enough for everyone to know they might not be for each other anymore, that their relationship wasn’t going to survive. And that’s all right.

But if Maas absolutely needed to make him a villain, then she should have done it in a way that fitted his character. True, every hero needs a villain or antithesis, but if the hero cannot stand on its own without having to vilify other character(s), you are in trouble.

Since I don’t particularly care about Tamlin’s fate, the author can do whatever she wants with him. He can die for all I care.


I don’t really understand the need of her existence at all. You could smell from miles away that she was evil. She’s like the classic two-dimensional beautiful mean girl of this world, a character that is almost always unnecessary in stories to me. Why writers keep putting the mean girl in their works I don’t understand. She wasn’t even in the book for most of it and, honestly, this paragraph is much more attention than she deserves.


No. Just, no. The way Maas destroyed Lucien I cannot forget or forgive. He was a character I wish I had for a friend. He was this perfect, damaged yet sarcastic and fun character who was loyal to his friends until death. Now he’s just some oblivious, pathetic servant of Tamlin 2.0. How did that happen? Right, ships. They crash and destroy everything.

I will miss the snarky, smart Lucien I came to love in the first book. He was such a well-written character, simple yet so complex. Let him rest in peace.

The Night Court’s cool kids.

I don’t have much to say about the new characters from the night court. I think they were cool enough, but the allure of the “shut your mouth, you idiot” jokes died soon. I just began to roll my eyes every time they insulted each other. Of course friends do that, but not ALL THE TIME. I couldn’t see the bond between them, the actual friendship there. There was only insults and not-so-funny teasing.

Amren was probably my favorite, but I’m not sure she was well-presented. She had much more potential. For example, for the climax, Maas did that “X-Men of future past” thing where they leave their most powerful member behind because of plot! Otherwise the book might have ended sooner and in a very different way. Maybe it would have turned the series in a duology. But God forbids! Because trilogies are so much cooler!

Okay, enough of that. Buckle up, because here's comes the good part:

There’s a mile-long list of annoying, self-centered female protagonists in YA books nowadays. Feyre is the queen
Spoiler—pardon me, the High Lady—
of all of them. Sure, in those last five chapters she finally began thinking of others aside of herself, but for the rest for the book all that mattered in the world was her ass. Yes, she suffered, she did horrible things, but she had help and she survived it. (I’m not even sure she strove enough solving that riddle in ACOTAR, but that’s another subject.) But others did horrible things too, worse things, and they weren’t sitting around pitying their asses contemplating how awful people had been and were towards them.

Everything was about her!

In one chapter, she leaves Rhys, her friend,
Spoilerher mate,
injured on the dirt. Seriously, because he didn’t tell her
Spoilerthey were mates,
a secret he was not in any obligation to share. The secret was as much hers as it was his. Come on, Feyre, his wings were injured, you soulless little thing…

I did like that Feyre had to deal with PTSD, but once she was over that, she could have cared a bit more about other people. She was such a strong woman in ACOTAR, despite being physically weaker than Fae, she had a strong will and was a fighter in her own way. I mean, she was a child when she gave everything of herself only to feed her ungrateful family. (And yes, I still find no excuses for the way her sisters and father were towards her. They don’t deserve the redemption they’re given in the story.) All of that strength in Feyre was nowhere to be seen in this book. Why? Simple, she's a powerful Fae, special snowflake now, who cannot be bothered to care for anyone but herself—and Rhys’ wingspan i.e. penis. She had no special powers in ACOTAR, but she was strong and caring and that was cool on its own.

In the first book I kind of wanted for Feyre to win. She was a bit plain, not as vivid and amazing as other female characters Maas has written, but she was okay. In this book, however, I HATED her. And that was the main reason it took me over a month to finish this book.

I want to believe there's hope for these characters, but we’ll see.

The plot.

There wasn’t much there. I didn’t mind the middle of the book where nothing but friendship-building happened. The book is long because of this. I noticed some readers did not like this. I didn't mind it because I adore when authors take their time to built the relationships between the characters, show their motivations and who they are. This was actually not so bad, but as I explained before, the relationships between the Night Court band left much to be desired. The end, though, was all over the place.

Sex and smut.

This is not a YA book. I don't know if it is considered that way (I can’t be bothered with looking that up) but this should be considered an adult book. The sex scenes are way too graphic for YA. That said, I don’t mind smut, except because it got tiresome here. Yes, we get it, Rhys—and every Fae male in this series—is a stud, a perfect male specimen, but there was no steam in those scenes; there was no passion.

In conclusion.

All in all, the reading is fast and entertaining. It had to be, because Maas is great with words and visuals.

What bugged me the most was the way the author handled the ships. It was downright unprofessional. The rest is fine. As is always with Sarah J. Maas, it's an impeccably-written book. And a book with horrible characterization and plot too.