A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
Third book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy
ALL THE STARS SHINING IN VELARIS
going to be spoilers for the two previous books, so adios and come back
when you’ve read the books. I’ll try to mark spoilers for important
sections of this book DON’T CLICK ON THEM because you will be hella
A Court of Wings and Ruin picks right up with where
ACOMAF left off. Feyre is back in the Spring Court and pretending to
have been under Rhysand’s spell in an attempt to thwart Tamlin’s
alliance with Hybern’s King. Feyre’s number one goal is to tear Tamlin
down and what better way to accomplish this than to turn the Spring
Court against him. This is the plot of Part 1 and from then on, we reach
the main plot of the novel, building alliances and going to war with
Hybern. That is the plot of ACOWAR, but from here on out I will be going
into depth on what I think, but major spoilers will be marked.
biggest bone to pick with this novel (get it, cause of the Bone Carver,
hahaha) is Maas is atrocious grammar in a finished copy!!!! Y’all this
is ridiculous. This is a finished novel, which means it has been edited
multiple times, but contains simple punctuation errors.
Tally of Errors: 19
annoying feature of Maas’ writing style is her technique of omitting
words or gestures and only alluding to them being foul. There’s a lot of
“I gave so-and-so a foul gesture.” What is this foul gesture? Why can’t
you just say, I flicked the mofo off because they are testing my
patience? Also scroll down to the couple section and read about my
thoughts Maas’s perpetuating negative homosexual stereotypes that are
already perpetuated by trashy TV shows. Spoilers in that section though,
so you are forewarned.
Besides Maas lacking common
knowledge on when to use a question mark and not a period, the world
building in this novel is strong. Maas continues to set up a vivid world
within Prythian and makes the courts we visit tangible. The battle
scenes are gruesome and there are plenty. This is a novel of war and
while there’s a lot of chapters that focus on planning, meetings, and
love scenes, there is quite a few battle scenes and the resulting final
war scene is quite intense. Maas may lack in common writing abilities,
but grammar isn’t everyone strong suit (it apparently isn’t her editors
either). Maas is strong in world building, imagery, and character
development. Maas is great at character development. I think that’s her
strongest writing attribute and it really shows in this novel.
Whimsical Writing Scale: 4.5(I’ll overlook those errors because the writing was very good.)
The depiction of war in this novel is very well done. Our first battle is an attack on the Spring Court.
The war is chaotic and really shows that there is no reason to war
other than cruelty and the feeling of entitlement. Feyre acknowledges
how hard it is to kill people, but how it is easy for the magic to do it
with no hesitation. She is also a strong fighter and she really shows
her strength in drowning soldiers alive. It’s brutal and it is a quick
battle, but it’s effects are long lasting. The dynamic between the seven
courts at the meeting is really interesting. I do like the Dawn, Day,
and Winter Courts immensely. The Summer Court is still a really
interesting factor, but there is beef between Tarquin, Feyre and Rhys.
The Autumn Court is full of arrogant, angry he-mans and I don’t care for
them one bit. The Spring Court Dynamic is the most volatile and
complicated because Tamlin is a whiny baby who is hurt that his favorite
toy has been snatched away. It makes for a very unbalanced dynamic when
only five out of the seven seem to be in an alliance against Hybern, a
foe with an almost never-ending army.
The characters in this series have stolen my heart. Characters I loved,
I’ve grown to despise and characters I’ve hated, I’ve grown to love.
There is a lot of fantastic character development and this novel relies
heavily on whether or not you love the characters in the center of this
story. If you don’t like Feyre, chances are you won’t like this story
because this is Feyre’s story which means everything is from her POV
(and this also means that we may not see the bigger picture because of
Feyre’s biases). If you don’t like Rhysand, you should’ve stopped
reading long ago because this novel is as much about him as it is Feyre.
Although sometimes I think Rhysand is more important than Feyre in this
story because he is the backbone of so many scenes and decisions that
contribute to Prythianwinning in the final battle. If
you don’t like the Inner Circle of the Night Court, well you are
definitely reading the wrong novel because these characters are in
almost every chapter once Feyre leaves the Spring Court. If you don’t
like Nesta and Elain, well, you’ll learn to love them. I know I did.
Essentially your enjoyment of this novel and this trilogy as a whole
depends on your fondness of the characters. This is both a good thing
and a bad thing. Bad because people will definitely hate these novels if
they hate Feyre and good because it makes these novels stronger. Having
characters that incite different emotions creates a strong storyline.
My favorite thing about Feyre is her ruthlessness. She is brutal. She
is ready to take these bitches down and she does it in some pretty
uncomfortable ways. Feyre becomes a master manipulator and it is a huge
change from the docile hunter scared, but brimming with hate towards Fae
in the first book. Feyre steps up as someone who has to rule over her
people as well as someone who has to stand strong. I also love the
sister dynamic in this book. It is much stronger and it is a positive
portrayal of how strong the bond between sisters is.
Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 5
is my baby and having him gone for the first hundred pages was torture
on my soul. I was still good with Feyre destroying the Spring Court, but
that didn’t mean that I didn’t miss him because I did. I also know that
letting Feyre go was hard on him, but Rhys knew how important this was
to their cause. Rhys is my love and my feels were rampant when they were
reunited because YAAAAAAAAAAAS. One of my favorite traits when it comes
to Rhys is his kindness. He will help anyone in need especially those
who are displaced and in need of refuge. He warms my soul. Rhys will
sacrifice everything, too much of himself to save the world, but the
other High Lords have to be convinced. Rhys is a beautiful soul and I
love him so, so much. He’s so nice that the other High Lords forget how
powerful he is and it isn’t until he silences Tamlin by taking away his
speech that everyone remembers. Rhys’ ending speech to the Inner Circle
is the most beautiful part of this novel and it broke me and my
emotions. Page 666 was fucking with everyone’s emotions and I can’t with
Maas. She was really trying to destroy my soul.
Swoon Worthy Scale: BROKE MY SCALE
Here’s where I’ll talk about all of the characters. This is no particular order, just how I took notes in my book:
At first I hated him. How could I not? He betrayed Feyre’s friendship
after the Under the Mountain by letting her be locked up and suppressed
by Tamlin. His betrayal went even further at the end of ACOMAF when he
stood by Tamlin and Ianthe as Feyre’s sister were thrown into the
Cauldron and turned into High Fae. I immediately felt a war within
myself when it comes to Lucien because while I hate his actions, I love
him. He chose to be on the wrong side of the war, but that doesn’t mean
he is a despicable person. His friendship with Feyre begins to blossom
again and really made the Spring Court scenes entertaining. It was also
interesting that Feyre purposely got a little too close to Lucien to
arouse speculation within Tamlin that they may be lovers. Feyre is
brutal and it may have not been fair to Lucien, but he wasn’t on my good
side at the beginning of this novel. Lucien is a character that quickly
regained my love. He helps Feyre leave the Spring Court and travel with
her the Night Court. The fact that Lucien becomes an ally of the Night Court and is a key player in finding a possible ally
shows that he is capable of being his own person. In ACOMAF, he seemed
to bow to Tamlin’s commands like trained lap dog, but in here, he steps
up to plate and is the one to command situations. Even more interesting
is the knowledge that Hellion is Lucien’s father. I’m curious to see how
this plays out when Lucien finds out.
Jurian- Jurian had everyone
fooled. He’s a master manipulator and that’s why he was able to see what
Feyre was doing while he was there with those insufferable twins. I was
honestly surprised when it was revealed that he has been a spy against
Hybern this whole time. Like what? The more I think about it the more it
makes sense. Feyre never knew Jurian, she only heard stories of him.
Everyone assumed Amarantha’s torture and dismemberment would drive him
insane. No one who actually knew him was around him and it makes how
Feyre wouldn’t see it and how those who did know him (Rhys and Mor)
wouldn’t see it because well they were the ones to pass on the stories
and are biased in their memories. The truth stares us in the face, but
we see what we want to see.
Tamlin- THIS SON OF A BITCH!!!!!!!! I recently saw someone post about
how they didn’t understand why everyone vilifies him. Wanna know why?
Because this prick throws a TABLE in a fit of rage at Feyre. Granted she
stood in the way on purpose to get the brunt of it, so she could use it
as an emotional ploy to turn Tamlin’s soldiers against him, but he
threw a table at someone he claims to love. Why would I love him? Sorry,
you can have him. I’m not looking to have a table thrown at me and not
be able to properly walk without feeling sorry like Feyre. “Not when he
saw the purplish markings and knew that if they were on a human, I might
have been.” What a Romeo! Tamlin is a mixed bag. He claims allegiance
to Hybern and then pretends not to be in alliance. Then he sets up another attack on the Summer Court after pretending to be kind-of in alliance with the five courts.
Ianthe- This is my least favorite character in this trilogy because I
liked her in ACOMAF. I felt played like a fiddle when I saw her true
colors and I continue to despise her callous cruelty and manipulation
that causes harm. Her actions with Tamlin’s soldier made me absolutely
RAGE and I couldn’t wait for to go. She rapes men and thinks it’s all
honkey dory because they are aroused, so they must want it even if they
say no. I do commend Maas for breaking the stereotype in novels with
women being raped and showcasing a woman who enjoys raping and
manipulating men. Feyre crushing her hand was brutal, but I don’t think it taught her any lessons.Seeing Ianthe being fed to the Weaver was the most satisfying moment. I couldn’t have seen a more fitting demise.
Cassian- I LOVE, LOVE Cassian. He is funny and loyal to his friends.
Cassian has a great scene where he pretty much lays his soul bare to
Feyre in expressing how as a High Lady of the Night Court she is all of
the Inner Circle’s to protect. She is no longer just Rhys’, but every
member of the Night Court’s responsibility.
Azriel- I think Az
is my favorite of the Inner Circle. He is a tortured soul surrounded by
darkness, literally, he can control shadows and darkness. I have a
special place in my heart for him because he is so gentle and kind.
Amren’s sass levels are on point. Every scene with Amren is guaranteed
to elicit a laugh because she is so snarky and calls everyone out on
their BS. We get a little bit more on her backstory and it touched my
heart because Amren is a monster who longed and wanted when monsters are
supposed to. My biggest fear with Amren was that she would give up her
body to protect the Night Court and be lost forever. [Naturally,
Amren sacrifices herself to destroy Hybern’s army and it is the so sad
and devastating. Doesn’t last for long though because naturally she
returns from the Cauldron as a High Fae.
Mor- I love Mor. She’s a good friend and a strong fighter. She fights
alongside Feyre and remains a constant close friend. I really enjoy
their dynamic and the strength of their friendship. Scroll down to the
couple section for my thoughts on the big reveal about Mor.
Elain is very fragile and she’s quite innocent. It’s obvious that
having her mortality ripped from her has left her broken and unsure of
her purpose. She can no longer marry the boy she was meant to and the
Cauldron is the most comforting experience, especially for someone like
Elain. I also predicted Elain’s gifted from her first mutterings and
random catatonic state. Maybe,
I’ve read too much about seers, but I can spot ‘em and I was right.
Elain is a seer, but this important quality is easily spelled over
Hybern which makes life harder because of course magic can mask plans. Elain
is the most surprising character in this battle. She was the one to
slit the King of Hybern’s throat and this was a huge character
development. This moment also shows the bond of a sister and how we will go against our core beliefs to save our loved ones.
Nesta- We all know Nesta is a bit of a cold-hearted bitch. She was cruel
to Feyre constantly in ACOTAR and she grew on me in ACOMAF. In ACOWAR, I
actually LOVE Nesta. She’s become one of my favorite characters in this
trilogy. We learn that Nesta
pulls a piece of the Cauldron out when it turns her. This means she has a
piece of Death inside her. She is Death. I can’t think of a more
fitting ability for Nesta because Death is a cruel part of life and
Nesta is cruel. A gentle person cannot wield Death, but Nesta can and
I’m curious to see her master it. Nesta is a brutal when it comes to beheading King Hybern and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Bone Carver- I love this character. I think he’s creepy, but so interesting. He also learn that he is death. Obviously, I mean he carves bones, but it’s a solid confirmation that comes in handy in the war. He
sends Feyre out on a goose chase to obtain the Ouroboros from Hewn City
to ensure that he will help in the War. The catch is that most go mad
upon looking into it. The Carver’s death was sad AF. I mean damn, he wanted to die and it was so sad.
The Suriel- This creature is one of my favorite in this trilogy. I LOVE
this character and the guidance and truth it has provided throughout
these books. The Suriel’s death
destroyed my soul. Of course, Ianthe would take such a wonderful
creature out of this world. I cried so hard.
Feyre, Nesta, and Elain’s father
showing up at the helm of a ship with soldiers was so unexpected and it
made my drop. Even sadder was his death and I kind of feel like it was
not necessary at all.
Character Scale: 5
Villain Scale: 5
Here’s where I talk about the romantic partnerships/developments:
likes to pair her characters off to one another. That’s not a bad thing
for fangirls, but it certainly doesn’t show good quality writing if
every character has to be in a relationship to show their worth. I’m
going to talk about my thoughts on the relationships and new romantic
developments/possibilities/predictions. HUGE SPOILERS, so you can skip
this section if you would prefer to, I’ll put a big bold warning when
Lucien & Elain- Lucien has knowledge that Elain,
Feyre’s docile and gentle sister, are mates. The situation is really
depressing because Elain is engaged to a human boy who comes from a line
of Fae Hunters and is now a Fae. Lucien pines after and longs for his
mate. It is also revealed that mating bonds can be rejected. To be
honest, I see Elain rejecting this bond and ending up Azriel. Unpopular
opinion: I don’t want Lucien and Elain together AT ALL. If Lucien ends
up with anyone it’ll probably be Vassa, the swan queen.
& Nesta- At first, I was a strong believer in, “Cassian can do so
much better than Nesta”. My feelings quickly shifted because their
banter gives me life and it is a lot of fun to see someone so stoic be
so quick witted. There’s a quote by Cassian in a big reveal concerning
Nesta and OMG my feels. (view spoiler)
The ending battle scene with Cassian and Nesta fighting Hybern’s King
was the most emotional thing. I was having a panic attack because of how
intense this was.
Mor & Azriel- Surprise, it doesn’t exist!
SPOILER Alert Mor confides in Feyre that she is bisexual, but prefers
females. I honestly don’t think that this was Maas’ original intention
for this couple, but the backlash with her having lack of diversity made
her come up with this. In all honesty, I’m ashamed her fans drove her
to this because now it makes it seem like Mor is manipulative and cold
and doesn’t care about hurting Az by leading him on for five hundred
years. This puts a sour taste in my mouth because it allows people to
think that bisexual or lesbian women are only leading people on. It’s a
stereotype that has been perpetuated in our media and people who scream
about needing diversity in everything have lead Maas to continuing this
stereotype. I don’t like this at ALL. I love Mor and still respect her,
but I think this is a horrible way to treat someone. I’m going to tell
you something people may not want to hear: NOT ALL WRITERS CAN WRITE
DIVERSELY. All these diverse stories are coming out that further
perpetuate stereotypes and do nothing for the people they are
representing. This is a prime example that some authors can’t write
diversely because they do not KNOW DIVERSITY. Maas is comfortable
writing straight, white characters with wings and Fae powers. That’s
okay. What’s not okay is how everyone is forcing other people to write
diverse stories when some people just can’t do it. I can’t write from
the point of view of an atheist because I’m no longer atheist. That
mindset does not reside in me and I’d be a bias writer who would piss
off atheists and perpetuate stereotypes. This is the same situation. I
still love Mor and I understand her reasoning, but I don’t agree with
Predictions on who the next book could follow or what I want to see:
want to see something about a half-Fae, human and Fae. I’d love to see a
story about one rising up from below the Wall and becoming an
ambassador of the people, but I don’t Maas will write that. I just
I want to see a book about Lucien. I think he will make a wonderful High Lord and it won’t be of the Autumn Court.
I want to see more Cassian and Nesta because that last scene of the battle proved to me that this is a couple I want more from.
I want a story of Vassa, the swan by day, queen by night, because I think that would be really interesting.
this book has problems, but I honestly don’t care. This is one of my
all-time favorite trilogies and this is my favorite book in the series.
It is wonderful. Despite the four flaws I had, I one-hundred-percent
stand by my 5-star rating because this book deserves it. I LOVED this
book to bits and pieces.
Plotastic Scale: BEAUTIFUL
Cover Thoughts: This cover is so gorgeous. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE it.
What were your thoughts on ACOWAR? Did you love it or hate it? Let me know down below in the comments!