Book Review – A Court of Mist and Fury

Written By: Sarah J. Maas

Final Overall Rating: 5/10

Rating: 5 out of 10.

First of all, this review is purely derived from my own personal opinion. If you disagree, let me know in the comments; I am always up for a good discussion or to answer questions. 

Recommend Yes or No: 

Maybe. Like with many of my reviews on duologies or trilogies, if you enjoyed the first book you will probably enjoy the second book. As for me, I felt frustrated while reading this book. Maas maintains no continuity in her characters, is repetitive in her diction and thoughts, and fails to have clear overarching themes. Despite Maas being a popular author, I did not really find this book enjoyable. I think many readers enjoy this novel based solely off of Maas’ “attractive” character cast, and that just does not satisfy me as a reader. Personally, I need more substance in my novels. I do not think I will be reading Maas’ work in the future. 

(Spoilers Below – Read at your own peril!)

Writing Style: 5/10

A Court of Mist and Fury is written with a first-person point of view and in past tense. Much of this novel is built around dialogue, which is totally fine if the dialogue is strong, consistent with characters, and believable. However, I did not find this to be the case with Maas’ written conversation. Most of the time it felt weak; like Maas was struggling to keep track of which characters were saying what, or something a character said felt ingenuine and flat. This made reading ACOMAF a real struggle for me, as I constantly found myself wanting to fix sentences, dialogue or even paragraphs. I will say on a positive note, Maas does have some beautiful descriptions. I just wish she spent more time in development than popping out snack food fiction. 

Story: 6/10

Once again, the story wasn’t bad; I enjoyed several parts of it. And boy, can Maas write an “at the edge of your seat” ending. I love the endings in all three of Maas’ ACOTAR (A Court of Thorns and Roses) novels. I wish the entirety of her books were written like her endings, because if they were her stories might really be something special. My biggest pet peeve with her storytelling is Maas’ romance. The romance in this novel felt like nothing more than physical gratification. There was hardly any emotional build up between Rhysand and Feyre. Maas relied on her idea of “mates” to create their relationship and bond, and this was a huge mistake. 

Character Development: 4/10

Alright, this section is why I could not hardly stand A Court of Mist and Fury. Maas’ three main characters from A Court of Thorns and Roses – Feyre, Tamlin, Rhysand – all switch personalities in the second novel. If you read my review from ACOTAR, you might remember I said Feyre is stubborn for stubbornness’s sake. However, the opening of A Court of Mist and Fury depicts Feyre as this broken and demure being. Based on Feyre’s personality from book one this drastic shift made NO sense and was extremely irritating – especially because Feyre had all her new power, making her stronger than ever. She refused to listen to Tamlin in the first novel (when she had actual reason to), so I absolutely did not understand why she felt it was necessary to bow to him in the intro of ACOMAF. And believe me, I get Feyre was traumatized from being Under the Mountain, but her trauma before Prythian never stopped her spark, so I felt that her trauma from Under the Mountain should have fueled her strength and power if anything. 

Next is Tamlin. In ACOTAR he is kind. Tamlin only wants what is best for Feyre, and he is even willing to damn all of Prythian to an eternity of misery if it means keeping Feyre safe and happy. And, despite his desire for her safety, Tamlin always allowed Feyre to make her own decisions, because he respected her. However, in ACOMAF, Tamlin traps Feyre in their mansion. He refuses to let Feyre train to use her new power. He refuses to let her help keep the Spring Court safe. And he refuses to allow Feyre to move about unsupervised. The change is ludicrous. I do not even recognize Tamlin from book one as the same character as Tamlin from in book two.  This change in particular did not help my impression of the book since Tamlin was my favorite male character in ACOTAR (because he was kind). 

Finally, we have Rhysand. In ACOTAR he is the definition of a donkey’s butt. He is cruel and manipulative and fits the typical “bad boy” trope. However, in ACOMAF he becomes kind, intuitive and the hero. I did at least appreciate that Maas gave Rhysand an ACTUAL REASON for his character change, but it was still a little jarring. 

Fun Facts about Maas:

  1. Maas wrote the Throne of Glass series… and she started it when she was just sixteen!
  2. Her books are published in 35 languages – quite the impressive feat.
  3. Maas has a degree in Creative Writing but has a minor in Religious Studies.
  4. You can find her Instagram @therealsjmaas.

Favorite Quote from A Court of Mist and Fury:

“Maybe teach the others who were like me: broken in places and trying to fight it – trying to learn who they were around the dark and pain” (Maas 513). 

Final Takeaways: 

Sometimes happy endings only come after an ending.          

Works Cited: 

Maas, Sarah J. A Court of Mist and Fury. New York: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016. Print.

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