Why did I tolerate that other guy again, or my review of A Court of Mist and Fury

A Court of Mist and Fury

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

By: Sarah J. Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Publication Date: May 3rd 2016

Format: Paperback

synopsis

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.

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review

5 star (unicorn)

There are books I recommend because they made me happy and reaffirmed my belief that the world was a beautiful place. Then there are books I recommend because they tore my heart out, shredded it in front of me, hastily duct-taped it back together and left me holding it in my hands. This book happens to be the latter.

Seriously, I wasn’t sure I could handle all the feels this book gave me. It wasn’t quite to the point of sobbing in the early hours of the morning, but only because I forced myself to put it down at around midnight so I could get some sleep.

What broke my heart the most was the love story. I fell headfirst into the happily-ever-after ending promised by ACOTAR, and so was devastated when ACOMAF came around. (Yes, I’m abbreviating the titles because I’m lazy). It was apparent from the first page that Feyre was going through some serious PTSD and depression as a result of book one, and that Tamlin didn’t want to or didn’t care to understand. It was easy to realize that all Tamlin wanted was his perky little mortal Feyre, rather than the hurt, broken immortal she’d become. It was also shocking to realize that he was almost childish in his need to possess her, no matter what that did to her mind.

I’m going to be honest: this also hurt a lot because I was in a similar situation a few years ago (lonely, depressed, and with someone who wasn’t the right person for me at that time). Admittedly, my situation never got to the abusive point that Feyre’s did, but I sympathized deeply for her, all the more because I had felt almost every emotion, thought almost every thought, that she did. There was a point that I debated whether putting the book down and walking away would be the best thing for my mental health.

However, I’m glad I kept reading.

I belatedly remembered that this changing up of the love story is a Thing that Sarah J Maas does. In her other series, you have to read through three books until you see Celaena find someone she’s willing to stay with. And, honestly, I’m glad of this. It’s realistic (somewhat), and neatly breaks the stereotype of teen-forever-love so prevalent in YA. Also, it puts women’s choice and sexuality in the place of honor it deserves. Feyre is a sexual being, her choice to find another man is hers and hers alone, and no one is gonna slut-shame her and walk away healthy.

Anyways, rant aside, Maas changes up the love story VERY neatly from Tamlin to Rhysand. That tiny chance of redemption, that hint of brokenness from the first book, is capitalized on in ACOMAF. Despite my earlier dislike of him, I couldn’t help but completely adore Feyre and Rhysand together in this one. It was so obvious that they were both hurt, broken people, and in a weird way it was good for them to be with each other. I also loved how Rhysand helped Feyre to heal, reminded her of that spark inside her and gave her a thing to fight for. When Tamlin wanted to keep her coddled and protected, Rhysand forced her to reach her limits and go beyond them, and I loved him for it.

Also, let me just say this: compared to Feyre and Rhysand, there was no chemistry at all with Tamlin. DEAR LORD.

Ignoring that aside, I also loved how we were given a wider circle of people. With ACOTAR, it was always just Feyre and Tamlin, with Lucian hanging around like a third wheel. In this book, though, we’re introduced to Rhysand’s friends, all of whom have similar stories of brutality, healing and redemption. I loved them all, loved how they were all scarred yet whole, and how Feyre learned to bear her scars with pride. Mor, Cassian, Amren and all the others were so human, it was wonderful.

Plus, I loved how Maas figured out how to raise the stakes, make us aware of a bigger enemy, and have Feyre and Rhysand make a plan to defeat it despite all obstacles. I loved how she made Amarantha’s evil feel like child’s play, and how that tension, that urgency, gave a vibe of desperation throughout the book that played well with the story of healing.

I also loved how in this book there was a lot more playing of the political game–of making nice with the other courts, of flirtation and masks and hidden desires, and how in order to do the right thing Feyre and Rhysand were willing to go up against the world. Again and again, Rhysand proved he was willing to break every tradition in order to make sure that everyone had equal opportunity for a good life.

Compared to the (semi) obvious Beauty and the Beast retelling in ACOTAR, this one felt like a glorious retelling of the story of Persephone–only a version where the darkness is celebrated for allowing everything else to shine brighter. This is why, despite the heart-being-ripped-out-and-stomped-on-part, I would recommend it to anyone at the blink of an eye.

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Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us.