Thursday, July 13, 2017

A Court of Wings and Ruin

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court after making Tamlin and the rest think she was under Rhysand's mind control. Her goal is to gather intel on her enemies, namely Hybern, and push his subjects into rebelling. Feyre has to find out who to trust and who to be wary of as the battle of the century looms close. The people if Prythian need to band together or the powerful King Hybern may prevail in enslaving humanity.

The previous two books in this series were amazing, so the third and final installment has a lot to live up to. For the most part, I was pretty happy. Feyre in particular impresses, especially as a double agent in the Spring Court. Tamlin deserved everything coming to him after his unrepentent abusive behavior, which continues in this book. Observing her as she undermined him at every turn and helped his court self destruct was incredibly satisfying. Outside of that, Feyre has some changes to adapt to. Her powers are well in hand, but her status as High Lady of the Night Court is brand new and she has to navigate how to be ruler to people she's also friends with. This is of course on top of trying to stop the most powerful being Prythian has ever seen. I especially love how she works with her friends and family to in order to achieve their goals using their specific skills instead of trying to be everything.

The found family she has built is stronger than ever with the addition of her two sisters Elaine and Nesta. Her relationship to Rhys' friends (now her friends) deepens more than ever as they get to know each other and share experiences together. Her sisters weren't very well developed before, but Nesta especially becomes a real person in this book. Although she hates being a fae, she eventually finds ways to be productive that don't involve sitting around, being rude to everyone. She directs her anger into understanding her new powers and researching. Elaine spends most of the book stunned that her whole life as she knew it is over, but her powers of precognition show themselves more and more as the book goes on. At first, her vague descriptions are taken as madness, but when they are revealed as visions, she starts to truly live her new life. The addition of her sisters proves to be integral to the story as well as to Feyre's journey.

Revisiting previous characters that weren't seen a lot in the last installment and meeting new characters ties everything together and fleshes out the world. Lucien more than redeemed himself for previous transgressions and grew to be so much more than Tamlin's puppet. Even Tamlin himself does a bit of good despite his abusive, controlling nature. (His previous actions aren't ignored or excused.) The rest of the High Lords have to choose a side and it was interesting to glimpse their personalities and the people in their Courts. It also shows how differently they run their Courts and interact with others. Cassian and Azriel are seen in their warrior capacities as usual, but when they become infatuated with Feyre's sisters, we get to see their slightly softer sides and explore their relationship with Mor. Where Rhysand's strength were shown in the previous book, his weaknesses are on display here, which I appreciated. He isn't perfect or an eternal font of energy, so it was good to see a powerful character worn down and devastated by war.

One big part of the novel is the war aspect. Many times they have to fight the forces of Hybern to protect themselves or their people. Unfortunately, this is the part that made this book the weakest of the series. On one hand, I liked how realistically war is shown to be in the trappings of this fantastical world. However, there are numerous small battles and one large one at the end. They start to blend together and I'm not a huge fan of books about war. The plot had many twists and turns, which made the book unpredictable. Another criticism I had is the ending, which feels a little too convenient all around. I'm hopeful that Sarah J. Maas will be continuing the series, so it's not a permanent ending. Overall, the series is enjoyable with a relatable protagonist, a worthy love interest, and nonstop action throughout.

My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins

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