Friday, 13 May 2016

Review: A Court of Mist and Fury - Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas, published by Bloomsbury on 3rd May 2016 

Goodreads synopsis:
Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court - but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms - and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future - and the future of a world cleaved in two.

‘A Court of Mist and Fury’ far exceeded all of my expectations. It literally blew my mind! From the second I picked it up and started reading, I was hooked. Nothing else existed but the world and the characters that Sarah J. Maas had created. I was torn between racing through the book in one feverish sprint and taking my time to savour each chapter and make it last as long as possible. In the end, I opted for the latter, although I had to use a lot of restraint not to stay up all night until I had got to the last page.

I honestly now find myself waiting for the release of a new Sarah J. Maas book with a sense of anticipation that can only be matched with waiting for Christmas Day to arrive. She is one of my absolute favourite authors and always on my auto-buy list.

This second instalment in the series, picks up the story with Feyre having been reunited with Tamlin and now back in the Spring Court. Although she and Tamlin are finally back together, she is struggling to cope with her experiences Under the Mountain. She is a different Feyre to the one we are used to. Her spirit has been extinguished and she is now compliant and yielding, unable to assert herself and bowing to the commands of others. It was interesting to see how she had been changed and how, although she was free from Amarantha’s grip, she still wasn’t free in the real sense of the word. Tamlin is determined to protect her against all costs but his iron grip on her, only serves to remind her of the imprisonment she previously suffered. I wasn’t really sure which direction Maas was going to take the story but I knew that it was going to include Rhysand and boy, did it! He turned out to be an integral part of the book and quickly became one of my favourite characters. I will admit that in ‘A Court of Roses and Thorns’, I wasn’t too sure about him. I saw him as a rival to Tamlin who I loved and some of his actions in the last book were slightly questionable. This time around, the reader really gets to know Rhys and what makes him who he is. He has had to shoulder a lot on his own and yet he has managed not to be broken in the process. He has his own demons to bear, but his mind is strong. I loved the fact that he treats Feyre like her own person and not someone to be kept safe in a box. He challenges her and pushes her and ultimately I feel that he makes her into a better version of herself. I don’t want to say too much about Rhys and Tamlin, for fear of giving anything away, but I do just want to say that all of my feelings about them were turned on their head and I ended up with very different emotions about them than when I started the book.

There are some fantastic secondary characters that are introduced into the series too. Rhys’s inner circle were all interesting and unique figures. I really liked Mor and Cassian swiftly became a firm favourite too. Sarah J Maas’s characterisations are always spot on and the characters in this book are no exception. She writes them in such a way that they come alive from the page and allow you to really connect with them and experience everything alongside them.

The plot is typically brilliant with enough pulse-pounding moments to keep you well and truly on the edge of your seat. There is action and danger and suspense and a good pace to the story with some lighter moments of relief to balance out the story. There isn’t as much romance as in the previous book, but that’s okay because what we get instead is a slow burning flame which grows steadily stronger as the story progresses. You won’t be disappointed.

I can’t heap enough praise on ‘A Court of Mist and Fury’. It is a stunning read and I enjoyed every second of it. I was shocked and stunned by the ending and I don’t know how I’ll be able to bear the wait until the next installment. I need it NOW!

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