Book Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin
Also by this author: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1), A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #3
Published by Bloomsbury Childrens Books on May 2nd 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction
Also in this series: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1), A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)
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.
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.
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
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
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.