Book Review — A Court of Mist and Fury

Title:  A Court of Mist and Fury
Author:  Sarah J. Maas
Genre:  New Adult, retelling
Pages:  Hardback, 624
Publisher:  Bloomsbury
ISBN:  978-1-61963-446-6
Opening Lines:  "Maybe I'd always been broken and dark inside.  Maybe someone who'd been born whole and good would have put down the ash dagger and embraced death rather than what lay before me."

Rating


"Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Sprint Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart Book Reviewremains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

"Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, HIgh Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be the key to stopping it. BUt only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of the world torn apart."

~ Jacket copy



 After the conclusion of A Court of Thorns and Roses, I wanted to see if my suppositions were correct.  Thankfully, my local library had a copy, which meant I was not forced to buy this trite, cliched drivel.


Sadly, this book is easily summed up: boy—in an extremely predictable manner—drives girl away, girl runs to new boy, figures stuff out, falls in love with new boy, and is the key to saving the known world.  Oh, yes, there are some over-the-top, poorly written sex scenes that nearly plagiarize every other sex scene that has come before it in romance and erotica alike.  Basically, there was nothing original.
 

Before I even attempt to review this book, please do not bother reading it if you don't want spoilers.  It is hard to address the epic failure of A Court of Mist and Fury without looking at the book as a whole.

First, I want to address the very disgusting language running throughout the book.  At many points, Feyre, as well as others, make the comment that her human heart cannot come to grips with the atrocities she was forced to commit Under the Mountain.  They claim this is why she can never heal, why she is plagued with nightmares, and, basically, why she is "damaged".  BULLSHIT!  Human heart or no, at no point could anyone deal with that torture—both physical, emotional, and mental—without breaking.  (Well, I suppose, if you're a sociopath, you might be perfectly okay.)  The fact that she mourns the deaths makes her NORMAL.  In addition, continually calling her "damaged" feels quite abusive and manipulative.  Her lack of self-esteem in this book is shocking!  At no point did any of the characters attempt to correct the issue.

Tamlin is not suffering from PTSD after his experiences Under the Mountain.    His character completely changes from one book to the next.  Based upon the fact that he could so callously murder Rhys' mother and sister in cold blood, he must be a sociopath after his performance in the first book.  Honestly, I wish Maas had taken half a page to explain the rationale behind that one.  Additionally, if she had wanted Feyre to end up with Rhys, wonderful!  However, you do not need to turn Tamlin into a raging, controlling, ABUSIVE asshole.  Sometimes people just fall out of love.  Given the circumstances, it makes sense that Tamlin might feel threatened after Feyre saved all of Prythia.  Further, after needing to feel someone protect her, finding that Tamlin was unwilling (or could not) to do so, Feyre might seek to find it elsewhere.  There are any number of reasons why their love was doomed.  Maas did not need to be over dramatic (hmm, much like teenage girl drama) in their breakup.  I absolutely despise when authors decide to turn much-loved characters into raging assholes (*cough, cough* Laurel K. Hamilton *cough, cough*) as their pseudo Deus Ex Machina.  After reading the first book, the audience had to know that it was a foregone conclusion that Feyre would end up leaving Tamlin for Rhys; however, try to be an adult about how you handle it.

The minor characters in this book could have been interesting.  Unlike the first book with Lucien, Maas didn't spend anytime fleshing them out and they all had traumatic backstories.  When every single character has a traumatic backstory, the audience ceases to care about them.  Ugh, Feyre was starving, Tamlin's family was killed (rightfully), Lucien was abused and nearly killed by his brothers, Rhys was a half-blood and despised for it, Mor was beaten and left for dead, blah, blah, blah!  It is the author's job to craft a sympathetic character and garner a connection with the audience, yet using this tragic backstory over and over and over again is a sign of an immature author.  Sometimes I am most drawn to the characters who are just real people trying to deal with real circumstances.  I don't need my heartstrings pulled with every character.

Speaking of characterizations, Rhys moved from extremely interesting in the first book to flat and one dimensional.  Thank you, Maas, for showing that you know what a Byronic Hero is, and I am extremely upset that he lacked the dimensions of greater Byronic Heroes like Mr. Darcy.  It was nice to see that Rhys had a backstory and treated Feyre better, yet one has to wonder whether he is truly better than Tamlin.  His explosive anger toward Mor's father, as well as his response after the mating hints at repressed issues.  Also, what happened to Feyre?  In the first book, she was a kick-ass-take-no-prisoners-tough-as-nails heroine!  Yes, she is dealing with harrowing stuff; however, she never fully bounces back, sulks in corners, and pulls the "woe is me" card.  I wanted to slap her!

Half way through the novel, Maas developed a keen interest in "indeed".  It made me wonder what happened to her editor.  Close to 95% of the times it was used, it should have been removed.  It changed the entire meaning of the sentences or had not relevance whatsoever.  And if that isn't bad enough, she similarly gained an odd fascination with "barked".  "He barked my name", "my muscles barked after training", "I approached the dais, my knees barking" . . . Seriously, what in the world does that mean?

Since editing was mentioned . . . Why was half of this book not chopped?  I am almost terrified to see the length of a pre-edited version *shudder*  This book is 624 pages, and it could have easily been hacked down to less than half of that.  The majority of the book revolves around cliched dramas and episodes of "does he love me, does he not", crises of character, and so on.  The real plot of the book is probably less than 300 pages.

I'm not even going to address the ludicrous, corny sex scenes.  Heh, that might take a whole review in and of itself.  Let's say that 50 Shades of Gray was better.  Not by much, mind you, but it was better.

So, what did I like about this book?  Honestly, Amren was an amazing character!  I am beyond thrilled that Maas didn't flesh her out and allowed her to be shrouded in some sort of mystery.  My imagination has run wild with theories about her, how she came to Phrythia, etc.  She was a rare gem and an excellent success.  Unfortunately, I am terrified to see how Maas will destroy her the way she did Rhys and Lucien.

To put it bluntly, this book was banal, vapid, and unimaginative.  For a 600+ page book, I expected better, especially after loving the first book.  It would have been nice to see the old Feyre start to emerge and show older teenage girls that they are strong enough to overcome horrible adversity.  Regrettably, she decided that the cliches were easier to write.  



Much love, Sinn

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    "If you’re a freak like me, Wave your flag! If you’re a freak like me, Get off your ass! It’s our time now, To let it all hang out!" I am a recovering English major, closet bibliophile, breve addicted, zombie lover with a rockabilly and heavy metal fetish.