To the stars who listen– and the dreams that are answered.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 May 2016
“To the stars who listen– and the dreams that are answered.”
Have you ever read a book that impacts you in a way you can’t even put into words? It ruins you for all other books for a long time afterwards. It leaves you feeling such a wide range of emotions that you find it difficult to put those emotions – and your thoughts – into any sort of order. Have you ever read a book that just resonates with you in a way that you don’t even know how to express?
Well, A Court of Mist and Fury was that book, for me. It’s been two weeks, and I still haven’t read a page of another book. I physically can’t bring myself to do it, because I just cannot stop thinking about this profoundly beautiful story that Sarah J. Maas has created. It’s the only book I’ve ever read in my entire life that I considered reading again the second I’d finished it.
I’ve spent the past fourteen days trying to work out how to put my feelings about this book into words, and I haven’t had a great deal of success. I think, if I was to really do so, and really give this awe-inspiring novel the justice it deserves, then I’d probably end up writing a novel myself… So, instead, I’ve decided to write a brief(ish) list of reasons as to why you should read this book right now. (With some quotes because I highlighted so many great ones, and I can’t not include some of them!)
— FEMINISM. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book in this genre that was so openly feminist and, let me tell you, it was so refreshing. And exciting. And just great. Seriously, a female protagonist in this genre who is treated as an equal by all of the males in the novel! A female protagonist who is physically powerful, but who is also soft and feminine – since, you know, you can actually be both at the same time! I genuinely felt empowered reading this novel. Thank you, Sarah, for giving young women a book with such a strong, feminist message running throughout. We need more books like this.
— A Hades and Persephone retelling!! Need I say more??
— FEYRE. Oh, Feyre. I am so proud of her, I can’t even put it into words. Feyre’s growth was just incredible. I liked her in ACOTAR, don’t get me wrong – but I fell head over heels in love with her in this novel. At the end of ACOTAR, Feyre fell to pieces. In ACOMAF, she slowly puts all of those pieces back together and, in doing so, maps out her own future in such an awe-inspiring way. Feyre becomes someone who is wild and brave and compassionate and completely astounding. I can say with absolute certainty that she’s now one of my favourite book heroines ever. Honestly, I am so in love with her. Ahhh.
“No one was my master — but I might be master of everything, if I wished. If I dared.”
— The world-building. Oh. In A Court of Thorns and Roses (the first novel in this series), we barely glimpsed the incredible world that Sarah J. Maas has created for this series. Every part of this world has been crafted so elegantly. I was completely lost in it all. The Night Court and The Court of Dreams, especially. Hell, even The Court of Nightmares had me dreaming up the most deliciously dark images in my mind. And back to Velaris. Oh, man. I fell in love with this city. Like, so much. I don’t want to do spoilers, but there’s part later on in the novel… I was so sad and angry and eurghhh. I don’t think I’ve loved a fictional place this much since Hogwarts.
— Love as a main theme – but not just romantic love. All kinds of love. The lengths we are willing to go to for love. The sacrifices we are willing to make. The way that love can change and shape us – for better, or for worse.
— While we’re talking about love… Healthy relationships. And not only that, but the process of moving from an unhealthy relationship, to a healthy one. Of realising that someone you love isn’t right for you just because you love them, and the various emotions that wrack you when you begin to fall for someone else who is. Maas shows us that sometimes, we grow up and, in doing so, grow apart – and that there’s nothing wrong with that. It doesn’t make you a bad or cruel person. It just happens. And it might not be easy, but it’s okay.
— RHYSAND. High Lord of the Night Court. Powerful. Feminist. Dreamboat. I always suspected that there was a lot more to Rhys than what we found out about him in ACOTAR. I mean, I was madly in love with this character even then, but after his character development arc in this novel, coupled with the revelations about his past, it’s safe to say I’m a goner. We see Rhysand remove all of his carefully constructed masks in this novel, and the man beneath them… I don’t want to do spoilers, but ahh… Yeah, I’m definitely a goner.
“My mate. Death incarnate. Night triumphant.”
— THE ROMANCE. Seriously… The relationship between Feyre and Rhys was one of the most beautiful and touching romances I have ever read. Ever, ever. The way Rhys inspires Feyre, and supports her every decision, and encourages her to be her best self… It was just so touching to read. I ugly cried so many times reading about these two. Even during the happy parts. I don’t want to say much more, because I’ll end up giving away a lot of spoilers via ridiculous levels of fan-girling, and I don’t want to do that… But I am seriously in love with this relationship, and I am so glad that Sarah has incorporated a romantic relationship into her novel that is not only this touching and beautiful, but also sends a really good message to girls about how you should be treated by someone who really, truly loves you. Someone who wants you to be the absolute best version of yourself… But who is also there to support you when you can’t be that. Someone who lets you take the lead when you need to, but is willing to take the lead when you can’t. Everyone deserves that.
— The “secondary” characters. It feels weird even calling them secondary characters at this point. The character development in this novel was astronomical. Like, wow. I am so in love with Amren, Mor, Azriel and Cassian. I don’t remember the last time I read a book with secondary characters with so much depth. My heart tugged for them just as much as it did for Feyre and Rhys, and that’s really saying something. Like I said earlier, this novel is about all of the different kinds of love, and the friendships that formed between all of these characters was such an absolute joy to read. Also, as a side note: I NEED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT AMREN. Like, right now.
— This was supposed to be brief and it’s really not brief at all, is it?
— Everything else I need to say involves spoilers and squealing and lots of incoherent noises.
— Seriously, just read this book, okay.
Honestly, I’d go as far as saying that this book is one of the best things to happen to me in so long. I was going through a pretty bad time when I read it, and it managed to fill me with hope and love and happiness so far from what any book has filled me with for as long as I can remember. It touched my heart in a way that anything rarely does, and I don’t think I’ll ever get over it.
I really hope you’ll read A Court of Mist and Fury, and I really hope it will touch your heart in the same way that it touched mine.
Thank you so much for this beautiful novel, Sarah.
Let me leave me with my favourite quote:
“I wonder if some part of me knew what was waiting for me. That I would never be a gentle grower of things, or someone who burned like fire — but that I would be quiet and enduring and as faceted as the night. That I would have beauty, for those who knew where to look, and if people didn’t bother to look, but to only fear it… Then I didn’t particularly care for them, anyway.”