Friday, June 23, 2017

A Court of Wings and Ruin - Book Review

A Court of Wings and Ruin 

By Sarah J. Mass


DISCLAIMER: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!



Details:

TitleA Court of Wings and Ruin

AuthorSarah J. Mass

Page Count: 699

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Publication Date: May 2nd, 2017



Synopsis:
      A nightmare, I’d told Tamlin. I was the nightmare.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit—and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords—and hunt for allies in unexpected places.(Goodreads summary)

My Review 
             I honestly went in to ACOWAR thinking that Mass was gonna try to rip out my heart, then repair it, then rip it out again, step on it, roll it in some broken glass, and then throw it into a bucket full of lemon juice--and boy was I right.
             The book begins with Feyre causing havoc in the spring court as revenge for Tamlin siding with the King. I personally loved seeing the manipulative side of Feyre--especially when she used it to make Ianthe look like an idiot. I also loved how Lucien teamed up with her and became more of an interesting character than he was in the first and second books.
             Nesta and Elain are two characters who also develop quite a bit in this novel as well. We readers got a glimpse of what they were like when they were thrown into the cauldron, but Mass did a fantastic job with them in ACOWAR. Elain begins the book as a frail little thing who doesn't do anything other than mope around, but by the end she's holding Azriel's dagger on the battle field (...I kind of ship Elain and Azriel more than Lucien and Elain DON'T KILL ME PLEASE). Nesta, on the other hand, was a spitfire even before she was thrown into the cauldron, and that just intensified afterwards. She and Cassian are my new favorite ship, and I especially love the scenes where they just bicker back and forth. Both girls play a key part in ACOWAR, and I really can't see the novel being as good as it is without them.
            Though the inner circle has gotten bigger by adding Nesta and Elain, the original members are still going strong. Amren continues to be one of my personal favorites, and the sacrifice she makes at the end was really touching, and I'm so glad that she's still with them. Cassian and Azriel are still the best Illyrian warriors ever, and I think that they got a little bit more 'air time' so to speak in this book and I loved it. Now, Mor....I had some issues with her in this novel, but that can wait for a later paragraph.
             I can't believe I've gone this long without talking about everyone's favorite High Lord, Rhysand. I think we all went through an emotional roller coaster ride with Rhys in this novel--especially when Sarah ripped out all of our hearts by telling us that he had died. Of course it was only a momentary death before all of the high lords (yes, even Tamlin....I now consider him less of a prick) helped to resurrect him and bring Amren back to her human form. Also, Feyre and Rhysand's relationship develops so much 
            Aside from the Characters, I believe that Mass did a fantastic job in concluding the series. I know that there are going to be more books in the ACOTAR world, but this is teh last book with Feyre and Rhys as the main characters, and Mass ended their story well. The past two books have been leading up to the epic battle between Hybern and Prythian, and the battle itself did not disapoint. Mass also did well in displaying the politics side of war with the discussions of alliance and battle tactics between all the high lords. Almost every scene throughout the novel had me fully invested, and I can't wait to see what the next books have to offer.
             I'm glad that everyone's story had a somewhat happy ending (well....besides Hybern), but here is also where all of my happy thoughts about the book ends and I have to talk about everything I didn't like. Before I dive in on the deeper issues I just want to discuss some of the smaller things. Starting off, I think that bringing in Feyre's father as some pirate like figure was completely unnecessary and random. I get that Sarah had to get a ton of other troops to the battle field to help the good guys win, but Feyre's father was such a small character. Plus, he was only there for a chapter or two before he got killed so I really think it was not needed. Another minor complaint I have is that I think the sex scenes were a bit blasé compared to those in ACOMAF--if not a bit redundant.
             Now onto the bigger issue that I think a lot of people have been talking about--the lack of diversity. Honestly, before all these people started complaining about it, I didn't find any issue with it. Looking back on great series like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings there is a lack of diversity in those books as well, but it's not that big of a problem to me since it doesn't effect the content of the book itself. Don't get me wrong--I think it's important to have diversity and recognize different races, sexualities, etc. in literature, but I don't think it's good when it comes across as forced, and that's how I felt about it in ACOWAR. I think Mass was trying to overcompensate for the apparent lack of diversity in the other books by making Mor a lesbian and adding characters like Helion and co. She almost plays into the slutty bisexual stereotype with Helion, and if she had made Mor come out in the earlier books it could have made a stronger impact and would have felt much less forced. I just wish that Mass would've left her story alone and not let other people's criticisms effect her story as much, or that she could have at least waited to add some more diversity in the story in a smoother way.
           In conclusion, I give A Court of Wings and Ruin four out of five stars. I thought that despite some of the issues I had with the amount of diversity in the world and the way Mass addressed this, the story line, character development, and overall kick-ass-awesomeness that ensured outweigh the problems leaving the reading feeling completely satisfied. I highly suggest the ACOTAR series to anyone interested in fantasy at all as it is one of my absolute favorites.         




If you would like to purchase A Court of Wings and Ruin
-CG