Friday, May 12, 2017

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

31451174A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Third book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy


*There’s 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 spoiled. *

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.

My 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
Another 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

Rhys 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:

Lucien- 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- 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- 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:
Maas 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 it’s done.

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.

Cassian & 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 her actions.

Predictions on who the next book could follow or what I want to see:
I 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 desire it.
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.

Overall, 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!

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