Book Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin

Book Review:  A Court of Wings and RuinA Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
Also by this author: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)
three-half-stars
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #3
Published by Bloomsbury Childrens Books on May 2nd 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction
Pages: 699
Also in this series: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)
Source: Purchased
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Goodreads

MY REVIEW:

 

A Court of Wings and Ruin is the third book in Sarah J. Maas’ popular A Court of Thorn and Roses series.  Although several more books have been announced for the series, my understanding is that those will be more along the lines of spinoffs and that A Court of Wings and Ruin is pretty much supposed to wrap up Feyre’s storyline.  So, how did it do wrapping things up?  Well, for me there was definitely a lot to love about this book. At the same time, however, I had some issues with it.  I guess my overall feeling is that while I did enjoy it, it didn’t blow me away like I really wanted and expected it to, especially considering how truly incredible the second book in the series was.

LIKES

Feyre’s Growth.  Watching Feyre grow from a young woman who seemed to have minimal self esteem when we first met her into the powerful and confident High Lady of the Night Court has been one of my favorite parts of this series.  She is now courageous and badass and has truly become Rhysand’s equal in every way.  She’s also just as much invested in saving their people as Rhys is and I loved watching her in action and seeing the lengths she would go to in order to save them.  She has grown from what was practically a little girl in that first book into a warrior and a queen by this third book.

The “Family.”  My absolute favorite part of this series continues to be the family dynamic that we witness between Rhys, Feyre, Mor, Cassian, Azriel, and Amren.  I can’t ever seem to get enough of these guys bickering back and forth, sometimes like children, but always like family.  Their banter gives me life.  There was some awkward family drama this time around when Rhys puts Mor in an uncomfortable situation without giving her any kind of head’s up.  Because these characters are so real and so complex, there were hurt feelings and a sense of betrayal, but like a true family, they’re able to put aside their differences and come together when they need to.  This group is so fiercely devoted to each other and any one of them would lay down their life if it meant the others would be saved.

Cassian and Azriel.  I’m not sure if this was supposed to happen, but somehow Cassian and Azriel have risen from the ranks of amazing characters to become my actual favorites from the series.  I can’t even explain specifically what it is about them, but I just adore them both and want them to find love and be happy.  It gutted me every time something bad happened to either of them. I also just love watching each of them in their element.  It was especially thrilling watching Cassian command the Illyrian army.

The World Building.  You wouldn’t think this far into a series there would still be such lush world building going on, but WOW!  I was so excited to finally get to see some of the other Courts and they were just as enchanting as the Spring and Night Courts.  After seeing the polar bears and the cute little vest-wearing foxes(!), I kind of wanted to live in Winter Court, haha.

Fascinating New Characters.  I loved meeting the new characters from the other Courts and lands throughout the kingdom. There were so many interesting dynamics at play as the various High Lords came together to discuss Hybern.  I think Helion intrigued me the most, but I really liked the introduction of Miryam, Drakon, and Vassa.

Lucien.  Lucien remains one of my favorite characters so I was pleased to see that not only were he and Feyre able to re-establish their friendship, but that he also seemed to find a place for himself in the service of the Night Court.  I was a bit disappointed that he got sent off on a mission for a large chunk of ACOWAR, but I LOVED that we were given an incredible backstory for him that I hope will be further explored in future books.

The Bone Carver and the Suriel.  I didn’t really expect to see either of these characters, so I was thrilled to have them turn up again in ACOWAR and to be used in such unexpected yet epic ways.  I especially never expected to shed tears over the Suriel, so kudos to Maas because she totally got me on that one.

Redemption of Tamlin.  Tamlin remains one of the most complicated characters of the series, but if this is the last we see of him, I think overall I’m happy with his ending.  As angry and hurt and betrayed by Feyre as he felt for so much of the series, the idea that his love for her would overcome that in the end is a beautiful thing.  If we do see more of him, I hope that he’ll find his own happiness.

 

DISLIKES/ISSUES

Okay, so…as much as I enjoyed ACOWAR overall, I still had some issues with it.  I honestly thought it was too long and that there were parts that could have been edited out without taking anything away from the overall story.  One of my issues with the length was that so much time was spent talking about what was going to happen in battle.  Yes, I get that they have to plan, strategize, form alliances with the other Courts, etc. as they prepare to battle Hybern, but after so much epic action in the prior books, I felt like I spent too much time with this book sitting around waiting for the excitement.  Once the battle finally began, it was incredible beyond compare, but I just expected more of the book to be devoted to it.

I’ll probably be in the minority on this, but I also thought too much time was spent on Feyre’s sisters.  Nesta was at least interesting, especially when it came to the tensions between her and Cassian and her training under Amren, who seemed to see somewhat of a kindred spirit in her, but nearly everything about Elain unfortunately just bored me.  There were so many other more fascinating characters introduced in this book that I would have rather seen more of, especially those from the other Courts.

Even though I enjoyed the ending overall, I think it would have been more powerful and more realistic if (please don’t hurt me!) SPOILER (mouse over to reveal) – one of the major characters had died.  Not that I wanted anyone to die because I love them all, but the Battle with Hybern was supposed to be the most epic battle ever, the war to end all wars, the possible end of life as they knew it, etc. and yet all of the major players came out okay in the end.  I would have been devastated of course, but I just think it would have packed more of an emotional and realistic punch if someone had made the ultimate sacrifice to save their world

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

While I have to admit I wanted more from A Court of Wings and Ruin, I still can’t deny that it was a pretty solid and satisfying end to Feyre’s journey.  I definitely see myself continuing with the series and I look forward to seeing who the next books will focus on.  Throwing my two cents’ worth in for books that focus on Lucien, Cassian, and/or Azriel!

 

RATING:  3.5 STARS

 

 

GOODREADS 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.

three-half-stars

About Sarah J. Maas

Sarah J. Maas is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series and A Court of Thorns and Roses series, as well as a USA Today and international bestselling author. Sarah wrote the first incarnation of the Throne of Glass series when she was just sixteen, and it has now sold in thirty-five languages. A New York native, Sarah currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and dog. Empire of Storms, the fifth Throne of Glass novel, released on September 6th, 2016.
She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hamilton College in 2008 with a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Religious Studies.

14 replies
  1. Georgiana
    Georgiana says:

    I am on the fence with this trilogy. The first book did not seem that spectacular, but then the second one came and everyone was blown away by it. Then they released the third one and people have mixed feelings about it. I think that many people are angry with the way some bisexual characters have been portrayed. I don`t know, I have not read it. Though I feel I should give it a chance, because everybody talks about it.

    Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      It’s a tough call whether or not to continue if you didn’t love the first two books, especially since book 3 is 700 pages long. If I hadn’t loved the first two, I probably wouldn’t have read the third one based on the mixed reviews I’ve seen.

      Reply
  2. Elise @ Roaming Reader
    Elise @ Roaming Reader says:

    K SO I’M BOUT TO GO INTO SPOILERS DEAR ANYONE IN THIS COMMENT SECTION IGNORE ME 🙂
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    I agree with almost everything you said here (idk I grew to LOVE Nesta! I love her and Cassian! Elain wasn’t what I expected… I guess I agree that she was pretty boring… and don’t fight me what was the point of when Feyre and Azriel had to go save her? idk all it did for me as lessen the stakes for the actual battle bc we already saw them get away once)
    But I 200% agree that *insert character here* should’ve stayed dead… why do I care if you can just bring characters back to life whenever! I probably wouldn’t have cared as much but then other character came back too and wow things would’ve been much more bittersweet if at least they stayed gone… I mean I love both these characters but I need to stakes and tension…
    And the inner circle are my FAVS! I felt bad for Mor when Rhys just had Eris show up without warning her… poor baby. Mor has become one of my favorite characters ever! She’s just so great!
    BUT CAN WE TALK ABOUT THAT HIGH LORD MEETING?! bc omg Tamlin was SOOOO salty! 😂 I freaking cheered when Azriel attacked Eris for insulting Mor… Like YOU GO MY SHADOW BAT!
    And (last thing) I LOVED The Court of Nightmares scene where Rhys lead Feyre to sit on the throne while he just perched on the side and everyone was all shocked but Omg I love it!
    k I’ll stop now bc I could talk for HOURS about this! 😂

    Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Of the two sisters, I definitely thought Nesta was a lot more interesting of a character than Elain. I especially liked all of that tension between her and Cassian. If one of the next books in the series focused more on Cassian and had Nesta in it, I wouldn’t complain.

      I felt bad for Mor too. I mean, I guess I understood what Rhys was thinking, but he really should have given her a head’s up, especially because of her history. Seeing that he was upset that he had hurt her helped a little bit. At least he wasn’t a heartless you-know-what about it, lol.

      Reply
  3. Di @ Book Reviews by Di
    Di @ Book Reviews by Di says:

    Suzanne – you basically wrote a review for me! I haven’t been able to gather myself to write reviews for these books yet.. But I’m still a little disappointed with this one.

    I do think that it was an amazing series and I loved SOOO much about it, but there were definite problems.

    BEWARE OF SPOILERS
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    While I loved her time in the Spring Court, I felt like there could have been a little more scheming and a little more tension involved – Feyre was just a little toooo good at doing what she did. I know it came back to bite them in the end but at the time I would have liked to have feared for her just a little more. I also wouldn’t have minded a few more pangs for the Tamlin I knew in the first book…

    Then there was the finale… It was perfect, I loved it… But……………………………….

    When Nesta decided that her and Cassian were going after the King I was TOTALLY devastated. My heart was in my throat I just knew we were losing at least one of them… Then there was the Amren scene and I thought that both the shock value of her ‘betrayal’ and the relief at her reveal could have been bigger…. Then there was that damn page 666. OH MY GOODNESS.

    But then we didn’t lose ANYONE… It felt too neat? I would have been Okay with losing Amren because she made the ultimate sacrifice and was the 2nd and everything. Losing the father was sad, yes and I really felt for all the girls, but at the end it sort of felt like he was just the throwaway so we could get away with keeping everyone else safe??? But if we truly DID lose someone I would have been devastated. So I’m just confused really. And hence the total confusion and no reviews from me yet…

    Di @ Book Reviews by Di recently posted: The Blog Squad: A Blogger Collaboration - Part XIX
    Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Yes, I was very conflicted the whole time I was reading. There were so many good things about it, but I still had a lot of issues. Like you say, it felt too neat in the end. As much as it would have devastated me, I had mentally prepared myself for loss so at the end, I was just sitting there like ‘Really? Happily ever after?’ I still really enjoyed it overall but it wasn’t what I thought it would be. I’ll look forward to seeing how you end up reviewing it.

      Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Yes, I really couldn’t get over how much talking there was. I did enjoy it overall but still just felt like something was missing overall. The second book was definitely the better book in the series.

      Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Thanks. I still enjoyed it overall, but I guess it just didn’t really live up to the hype that the second book generated because that one was just so good.

      Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Yes, it’s a conflicting feeling because I adore all of the characters and wouldn’t want anything to happen to them, but I do think my spoilery thoughts would have made the story resonate more and as you say, pack a bigger emotional punch.

      Reply
  4. Jordon @ Simply Adrift
    Jordon @ Simply Adrift says:

    I have to agree with most of your points! The world building was amazing, the new characters were well thought out and interesting, and Tamlin’s redemption really made his character for me. Everything about him was complicated so I was glad to see him more than just the hurt, selfish ass-hole everyone thought he was.

    I also agree that the buildup to the war took too long, there was way too much talk about the impending war, I got a little bored in those parts. But I do have to admit I liked reading about Feyre’s sisters, Nesta was feisty and so much fun to read, and Elain was frustrating and I wanted her to snap out of it. But ultimately I enjoyed getting to see them cope with becoming fae.

    I enjoyed this book! But didn’t love it like I thought I would. I would agree that if a main character had died then it would have been more realistic. And the pairing up thing was a little cliche. But I did like the couples.

    Jordon @ Simply Adrift recently posted: A confession: I don’t have my shit together…
    Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I think what Maas ultimately did with Tamlin in this book was one of my favorite parts about it. I had really hated the way she made me feel about him in the second book.
      While I didn’t love ACOWAR as much as I expected to, I am curious to see where she takes the series next. I definitely wouldn’t mind more Nesta and Cassian!

      Reply

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