Reviewsday: A Court of Wings and Ruin

Sarah J Maas is back with the amazing third instalment in the Court of Thorns and Roses series, A Court of Wings and Ruin. War looms as Feyre Cursebreaker must decide who is friend and who is foe in a race to stop the destruction of not only Prythian, but the human world as well.

In my not-very-humble opinion, Maas is one of the best fantasy writers out there right now. The world of Prythian is richly imagined and full of complex, evolving, well-drawn characters. Feyre, Rhysand and friends burst into life the moment you open the book, and the world around them teems with magic and wonder. What I enjoy most about Maas’s writing is the way her characters grow, both over the course of each novel and the entire series as well. Feyre began as a frail human girl, starved both of food and of affection; by this book, she’s grown into the commanding High Lady of the Night Court, full of confidence in herself and her abilities, both magic and otherwise. The story itself moves at a cracking pace; even though it’s quite hefty at 400+ pages, it never feels too slow or too wordy.

Three things I loved about ACOWAR:
1. Feyre.
She’s complex, clever, and fearless. Kicks an inordinate amount of ass.
2. The revelation of the Bone Carver’s history.
And by extension the shared history between him and a few other characters (no spoilers!). I’ve always been intrigued by the Bone Carver, and ACOWAR briefly shines a light on the mysterious character.
3. Rhysand.
Just… a total babe.

Three things that drove me crazy:
1. Feyre.
Yes, she was also on the above “things I loved” list. But she made a couple of seriously questionable decisions early on that had me rolling my eyes.
2. Tamlin.
He’s just so different from the Tamlin we met in A Court of Thorns and Roses. His development makes sense story-wise, but I found the whiplash-inducing shift in his character a bit jarring.
3. The Mirror of Ouroboros.
Not the Mirror itself, but the fact that it’s part in the story felt a little glossed-over. I want to know exactly what Feyre saw in the mirror!

All in all, A Court of Wings and Ruin is a really satisfying conclusion to a fantastic series. And Maas has very skilfully managed to resolve the storyline, but also left room to return to Prythian for more adventures – so hopefully we’ll get to see Feyre, Rhysand and their friends again very soon!

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