“It is the family you make, not the one you are born into, that matters.”
*POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK*
Finishing ACOMAF gave me such an undescribable high and after reading ACOWAR…..well, I feel kind of sad writing this review.
I was late to join the Maas bandwagon and my first taste of her writing was with A Court of Thorns and Roses (which made me realize that I haven’t written a review for ACOTAR and ACOMAF yet!!). This was a year ago and I became one among the many impatiently waiting for this third book.
ACOMAF ended in a tense cliffhanger, with a promise of suspense, manipulation and a lot of high intensity. To my dismay, the first few chapters fell short for me. It was mostly Feyre’s rants and pining and I didn’t get the force and excitement I was expecting.
PACE: The first half was slow for me. Boy, do I have a problem with the pacing. If this was the first book in a series, I would have put it down already. It was slow, sluggish and Feyre’s sole narrative can get tiring. It was narrative after narrative, only picking up when something remotely exciting happens. At about 60 percent, I realized that the only reason I’m still sticking around is because I’m already invested in the characters from the first two books. I was hoping that the remaining 40 percent will redeem the monotony I felt in more than half of the book but I feel like I should not go through roughly 400++ pages of flatness before finally getting to a really good part.
There were parts which for me were repetitive and I feel that this could be a couple hundred pages less than its current length.
POV: This is one of those books where in I wish I was getting multiple POVs. It would have provided so much clarity, so much more information and so much more feels I was yearning for. There were scenes wherein I felt like something exciting would happen but we would never know since we can only see through Feyre. Our side characters are deep, complex and dynamic and I would have loved to see through their eyes and understand through their thoughts.
Through the whole book, I felt that much needed longing for a multiple POV the most during the battle scene. I wish I could have seen the battle from Cassian, or Azriel’s eyes. I would have also liked to get a glimpse on the minds of the other High Lords. Instead, we saw the battle unfold from a mere onlooker.
BATTLE SCENE: ACOMAF’s battle scene shouts EPIC and that set my standards pretty high. I was expecting the same intense, edge of my seat feels with ACOWAR but it didn’t come close. I feel like all these powers and strength were just left there and not utilized. Also, where were Feyre’s water wolves?
MORE QUESTIONS: This book ended with more questions than when I started. I feel like a lot of the plot twists are placed there to propel for the next books to come. Let’s start with the obvious ones:
MOR – I have such high regard for the LGBTQ community but I feel like Mor’s admission was somehow forced. I don’t know why, but it just doesn’t feel believable. I felt like it was made to happen for mere representation without foundation from the first two books.
LUCIEN – he was a presence during the first half then he ran off to play hero to locate a missing queen and ended up missing the rest of the story. Seriously, what is up with that? No one even kept tabs on him or thought to wonder how he is. One moment he’s here, the next day he’s gone resurfacing only in those last few chapters. Also, that reveal about his lineage was most likely to pave way for another book because that’s a twist that wasn’t even fully acknowledged.
NESTA/ELAIN: These two ladies have so much potential to be amazing. There’s this buildup regarding their powers which in the end were not even given much attention. I thought that their use of powers will make a sort of debut during the war but there was none of that. Elain can be cute but her character can easily be overshadowed by the other strong characters surrounding her. On the contrary, Nesta is too strong and stubborn that I wonder if she even feels at all. There are moments when I get to peek at her humanity, at her heart – but those are fleeting, minute moments and as much as I understand her backsground – this girl seriously needs to face and understand her emotions about Feyre, about Cassian, about her new life in general.
I still have a lot on my list but writing them would be too rant-y already.
THE GOOD: I have to say that I cannot stay away from this book mainly because of the characters. I love this crew so much and feel like they could have been made more amazing. There’s a lot of potential left for them to develop. I like how these characters were individualized but I feel like their growth was rushed and very little development happened in such few chapters left.
These characters are broken and discovering themselves everyday as they try to heal. I love how the other ships are given focus as well but like what I mentioned earlier, I wish it could have been from their POV for a more in depth understanding of their characters. Cassian and Azriel will always be favorites of mine. Despite the mating, I really get excited everytime Azriel will have an interaction with Elain. Also, was it just me or did you get a vibe that Nesta could be Cassian’s mate?
Another plus point for me would be the meeting wherein I was able to get a glimpse of all the other courts and the personalities behind them. Also, I didn’t expect that I would have this kind of attachment and longing for the Bone Carver, the Weaver and the Suriel. It’s amazing how all these characters came together and banded for one common goal to fight in this very GOT-like battle.
There were also strong messages being delivered like forgiveness, hope, survival, family, redemption and unity. It’s a strong book actually but I felt all these immensely ONLY in the latter third part of the story. There were other scenes and references I really liked such as the library and the reason why it was built, seeing Cassian in his element, Amren and Varian, Tamlin and Jurian, Miryam and Drakon, the other High Lords, the three ships, Vassa and my favorite, Rhysand’s speech.
LASTLY, WHAT’S WITH ALL THE PURRING??? Jurian purred. Ianthe purred. Feyre purred. Rhys purred. Cassian purred. The Carver purred. Helion purred. And dear God, even the Cauldron purred. I can’t even describe how unsettling that can be.
WILL I CONTINUE WITH THE SERIES? Yes, if only to get the answers to the questions left. It was a good ending, not so epic but still enjoyable. I’m still deciding if it was me, the book or the extremely high expectations I set after ACOMAF.
3 STARS TO RATTLE.
A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES SERIES IN A GLANCE
A Court of Thorns and Roses – 4 STARS
A Court of Mist and Fury – 5 STARS
A Court of Wings and Ruin – 3 STARS
OVERALL: 4 STARS
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.