Tuesday, July 10, 2018

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

3.1 in the A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy

3.25 stars

“I lifted my eyes to his again and found stars and darkness waiting. Found home waiting.”

There’s no point in me telling you what this is about because if I say anything I would spoil everything, so just know that it’s a fluff fest. A Court of Frost and Starlight is a weird novel. It’s not a novel, it’s technically a novella. Think Stephen King style of a short story with enough substance to be a novel. The problem is that I went into this novel expecting SK level of substance and I don’t know why I was expecting this 230-page novel to actually deliver something other than what it promises. I guess that’s my fault. I set up an expectation of this novella will destroy my soul like Apt Pupil, give me hope like Shawshank Redemption, and empower me like Big Driver. Alas, that’s where I went wrong. Not every writer is at King’s level when it comes to writing novellas. In fact, I would say Maas is one of the worst/rockiest endeavors into this territory. That sounds harsh, but there is always room for improvement. I haven’t read her Throne of Glass novellas, so I don’t have anything to compare them to. I’ve read enough novellas in the YA genre (they are very prevalent in series) to feel confident in saying that this wasn’t a bad novella, but it wasn’t a good one either. Imagine a cake that’s three layers with icing in the middle of each other and then imagine a baker coming along and adding a random cupcake on top of the cake. It’s not a horrible idea, but it doesn’t do much for the story in terms of character development. It is a bridge between Feyre and Rhys’s story into Nessa and Cassian’s story. Not a bad idea, but this book is hard to get into for being so short. I think this is because Maas didn’t know really what she wanted ACOFAS to be. She was contracted for some novellas to bridge one series to the next and so she just kind of made up this sweet filler story about the Inner Circle celebrating Winter Solstice. There’s also so potential conflicts thrown in, but none of them are addressed in this story because that’s would be too complicated to address conflicts in this novella. We have to spend money on the other series to find out all these subplots that have been introduced along with any plots that were left open from the original trilogy.

Also, I want to preface that Maas still makes basic grammatical errors that drive me crazy. She continues to use periods at the end of questions and it drives me bananas (it’s even worse since taking a grammar course). She also has picked up a new and overwhelmingly annoying habit of using colons where a dash should be. Colons are best for listing, but she is uses it for just one word. Example: “The door: new. The display window: new.” It’s annoying. I’m going mention that Rhys’ obsession with having sex with Feyre is still randomly sprinkled in his PoV at the most serious times. It’s just weird, but I expect it from Maas at this point. (Still doesn’t mean it’s fun to read and it’s more cringey than sexy or alluring.)

Whimsical Writing Scale: 3

Feyre is still the main focal point of this story. It focuses primarily on her roles as High Lady and her desire to paint again, but being scared to / not having the privacy to express the horrors she wants to focus on in her art. It’s a nice little plot. I liked it well enough. Feyre is still a character that I like, but she has a few moments where she tries to control of people’s lives when it is not her place to do so. I never realized how much of a micromanager she is when it comes to meddling and trying to sway people to do what she thinks is best, but a lot of people struggle with that as well so it’s a believable character trait. Mor also has a couple of PoV chapters. Her chapters are insightful to where she is going to be and what she’ll battling in the upcoming novels and I’m really curious to see where she goes and what adventures she’ll face. Nesta doesn’t even get a full chapter. I’m so annoyed about. She is hands down my favorite character in the books. Everyone puts her on the back burner. They exclude her and then wonder why she is so cold. It’s because no one actively reaches out to her except Amren. Nesta deserves a great character story and I hope that she gets it because time after time we see that people don’t pay attention to her with true and genuine intentions.

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: Ferye-3.5 Mor-3.5 Nesta-4

Rhys has a lot of PoVs in this one and I’m kind of annoyed that we don’t see him coming terms with being resurrected after dying in ACOWAR. His thought process focused all on Feyre and sometimes on the problems with the Illyrian camps, but it felt contrived. I was unimpressed by the way he treated Tamlin. I don’t even like Tamlin, but it always peeves me that characters hold grudges against others for actions committed against them but expect everyone to forgive them because entitlement. That mentality doesn’t work well in the real world or for the soul. It’s toxic and it puts a bad taste in my mouth. I can’t say I was really swooning over him like I usually do. I thought he was just alright this go-round. I guess I’m kind of disappointed by that, but I’m taking it as a sign that it’s time for Maas to move on from writing about Feyre and Rhys. The man that really stole the show was Cassian. What a sweet soul. He has a noble heart when it comes to training Illyrian women to train and be treated as equal to men. I loved him so much. He stole the show.

Swoon Worthy Scale: Rhys-3 Cassian-5

I want everyone to know that if I didn’t ship Elain and Azriel hard before I ship it SO HARD now. The tension between these two was palpable and I wasn’t even in either of their heads. They are so sweet and cute. They deserve the best because they are both sweet and pure souls who will come together and have magical sweet love. (My inner romantic is coming out. I’m embarrassed because I’m a grown adult. LOL) I also would love to see a PoV from Amren. She is an iconic character who does all these amazing things and sacrificed herself at the end of the last novel and we still don’t get to see inside her head. There was a new character introduced that I really enjoyed and I loved her dynamic with Feyre.

Character Scale: 5

Overall, ACOFAS isn’t a complete bust, but it has a lot of faults. I’m not overly impressed by it, so I’m hesitant to recommend it. A lot of people are saying that this is a novella and because of that it doesn’t need to be amazing. I disagree. If it wasn’t for the sampler of the next book I would’ve decided to throw in the towel with the series, but that sampler was a lot of fun and pumped me up for the next book.

Plotastic Scale: 3

Cover Thoughts: I adore this cover. It’s one of my favorites of the trilogy.
Have you read ACOFAS? Are you a fan of it, lukewarm, or not a fan? Are you excited to read Nesta and Cassian's story? Let me know down below in the comments! 

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