By: Cait Marie
Sarah J. Maas’s sexy, richly imagined Court of Thorns and Roses series continues with the journey of Feyre’s fiery sister, Nesta.
Nesta Archeron has always been prickly – proud, swift to anger and slow to forgive. And since the war – since being made High Fae against her will – she’s struggled to forget the horrors she endured and find a place for herself within the strange and deadly Night Court.
The person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred, winged warrior who is there at Nesta’s every turn. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. And when they are forced to train in battle together, sparks become flame.
As the threat of war casts its shadow over them once again, Nesta and Cassian must fight monsters from within and without if they are to stand a chance of halting the enemies of their court. But the ultimate risk will be searching for acceptance – and healing – in each other’s arms.
I have no idea how to write this review… I should start off by saying this book is a lot more graphic than what I normally review. Also, I’m going to try not to spoil things until the end, where there will be warnings; however, you’re still going to get some minor spoilers of the first three books and novella. So, if you haven’t read the rest of the series, this is your warning now.
Read my reviews of the other books here:
All right, back to your regularly scheduled review.
This book was one of my most anticipated… ever. Since ACOMAF, I have absolutely loved Cassian and shipped him and Nesta. After finishing the series the first time, back in 2017, I could not stop thinking about them. The amount of Nessian fanfic I’ve read in those three and a half years is absurd. I think I’ve read all that exists on AO3 at this point. So, when I found out they were getting a book, I was beyond excited.
Now, you might be asking, if you were so excited, why did it take six months to read? Apart from just being ridiculously busy with my own book releases, work, and working toward a master’s degree, I was not in the right headspace to read such a book. I’ve been in a reading slump on and off for the last year and a half, where I have been struggling to read ebooks and physical books. My brain has only liked audiobooks in that time, but I really wanted to physically read this one.
I was also nervous that it wouldn’t live up to expectations…
It so, so did. Nessian is still everything. I actually love them even more now. In fact, I love Cassian more than Rhys, which is really saying something if you know me at all. He’s just so caring but still cocky. My two favorite things in this book (other than their sarcastic interactions) were the ongoing joke of him ruining a building in the Summer Court and that he, this big, bad army general, has seasonal allergies. It sounds insignificant, but I promise it’s hilarious. They visit the Spring Court for spoiler reasons, and he can’t stop itching, and he’s trying so hard to hide it. It’s glorious.
There has been a lot of talk about how this book glorifies harmful coping mechanisms, and I do not agree at all. In fact, I think it shows how someone can grow and overcome them. Not only do I have a psychology degree but I also suffer from depression and anxiety, so this is not a subject I treat lightly. I know through my own experiences and those of my family that Nesta’s reactions and behavior were realistic, and I think that’s why I love her. She’s not perfect, far from it, but she’s relatable in a way the other characters in this series are not.
A lot of people do not want to read this book because they do not like Nesta. I didn’t like her in the beginning of the series either, but the more I read, the more I understood. When I re-read it for this release, I realized just how much I love her. As mentioned above, she’s relatable and real, not a typical, cookie-cutter character often found in this genre. Yes, she was horrible to Feyre growing up, but Feyre was just as awful. She even says so in one of the books. It was a mutual thing. And sometimes that’s just how it is with sisters; we are the meanest to those we are closest with, to those we love most, because there’s a sense of comfort there that doesn’t exist with anyone else. At least, that’s how I was with one of my sisters. Growing up, I bottled up all of my emotions and frustrations with the world, and it often came out on her. We fought, and it appeared we hated each other, but at the end of the day, we’d also do anything for each other. Just like Nesta and Feyre, the former of whom traveled to the wall to search for Feyre in the first book, despite her fear and anger.
This book did start off a little slower, but if you’ve read the other books, it’s not anything unusual for Maas. It builds and builds until you’re reading at 3 am, unable to stop. The plot is intriguing, but it’s really just the beginning of a bigger story arc that I’m eager to continue in the next books (theories on what’s to come will be at the end). I love Maas’s style of writing. She makes it so easy to get lost in this world.
I loved this book more than words can say. I was finally able to read a full, satisfying Nessian story that wasn’t fanfic, and Maas did not disappoint! If you like this series, definitely read A Court of Silver Flames.
This. Freaking. Book. The end, when it kept going back and forth between Nesta and Cass, as she was climbing the mountain in the Blood Rite and he was facing Eris, Briallyn, and Koschei… I was dying. It was so intense. And then, seeing Cass controlled by the Crown, trying to kill Nesta, absolutely broke my heart. Especially when he fought the control enough to turn the knife toward himself instead. I might have screamed…
- I think Cassian is the long lost heir to the High King. That was such a random story to not mean anything, and Rhys kept glancing to Cass. Also, Maas has gone out of her way to repeatedly call him the Lord of Bastards. So, it would be fitting if, after so long of being looked down on, he ended up being the heir.
- There’s been this whole thing about whether Elain is going to end up with Lucien or Azriel for a while, but I think she’s going to end up with Eris. I know, random, but hear me out. Eris is not as bad as he seems. I think he left Mor to actually save her. If he’d helped her way back when, she would’ve been “trapped” with him in the Autumn Court. I think he’s the one who alerted Rhys or Az to where she was, and that was how Az found her (or he found her because of my last point lol). It also showed Eris gently playing with the flowers in the Spring Court, and we all know Elain’s thing is flowers. Again, this was such a random detail to show him doing that if it didn’t mean anything.
- I think Azriel and Gwyn will be together. They both have a dark past, and they’d be able to work through it together. And I think their book will be next. I think Mor will be with Emerie, and Lucien will be with Vassa.
- I’m like 98% sure Azriel and Mor are mates though. If you read the series with that in mind, paying attention to the way they react around each other, it seems the most likely answer. I think Mor wants to reject it because she prefers women, but she doesn’t want to hurt Az. Breaking the bond is a painful thing. And I think Az doesn’t act on it because he thinks she’s disgusted by it; he doesn’t think he deserves that kind of happy ending. But I think in the end, he will break the bond to “free” her and to be with Gwyn.