A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. Maas
Holy cow. Is it possible for me to give a book more than five stars? Well, I don’t care. This gets six.
When I first picked this up and started reading, it’d been so long since I finished Book 1 that I got about a chapter in and decided that I’d better go back and re-read ACOTAR to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. The re-read reminded me that while ACOTAR was good, I hadn’t given it a raving 5-star review. So I went back to A Court of Mist and Fury with slightly lower expectations. And then I finished the book in about four hours (and it only took me that long because I lingered over some of the more *ahem* “fun” passages.) And I’ve already re-read it once!
First things first, if ACOTAR is the only Sarah J. Maas book you’ve read and you’re thinking, “oh, this is YA, it won’t be deep or or dark or controversial” … THIS IS NOT THAT YA. Although Feyre and others were tortured Under the Mountain and Feyre made it perfectly clear throughout the book that she was not a virgin, things were fairly tame in ACOTAR. Now we’re in adult territory. Get-yourself-a-glass-of-water-or-maybe-even-a-cold-shower adult territory. And it’s glorious.
The Beauty and the Beast re-telling aspect of ACOTAR was a big part of why I didn’t fall head-over-heels for this series at first. You know how the story ends, so while it’s a different take on the story, there’s only so much that can surprise you. A Court of Mist and Fury, however, proves that any sort of re-telling that was going on was just a jumping-off point. A way to get everyone on board and lulled in to a place where they thought they knew what was going on. Then the characters and the consequences of their time Under the Mountain take over and the fairy tale evaporates like the mist the title suggests.
Because its so hard to review this book spoiler-free, I’m going to stay away from discussing the actual plot, except to say that the ending is AMAZING. And twisty. I can’t wait a full year for book 3! I’m fully on-board with everything that Maas has written and I can’t remember ever having a book-hangover this severe.
Oh, and I will say that, per my previous review, we do indeed see more of Rhysand 😉
In more general terms, one of the things that I love best about Maas is her ability to take standard plot mechanics and story lines and make them real and believable on a whole new level. Every character has their own backstory that actually seems to drive their choices, they aren’t just there to provide a bad guy or a helping hand at the right moment. You don’t have to worry about an overdone YA love triangle or ridiculous insta-love; just like real life, for each relationship that lasts you get relationships that fizzle out, relationships where no one wants to take a chance so they never progress past the flirting-and-longing-glances stage, and relationships that break. Maas isn’t afraid to break your heart (or her character’s limbs) but that reality is what makes you feel the story.
A Court of Mist and Fury has jumped straight to my Favorite Books of All Time category, and I can’t wait to see what Maas has in store for us next!