The third book in Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thrones and Roses Series, A Court of Wings and Ruin, released May 2, 2017 by Bloomsbury Childrens, was one of my most highly anticipated reads of the year! I can not tell you all how excited I was for this book to come out, though I’m sure many of you already know! I loved it, and yet somehow, it fell a little flat for me…
A Court of Wings and Ruin picks up shortly after Feyre has returned to the Spring Court as an undercover agent, determined to collect information and undermine Tamlin’s plans. While she longs to rejoin her love and her newfound family, she must engage in a dangerous game to fight back against King Hybern and protect Prythian and its mortal neighbors from the ever increasing possibility of war and destruction.
The wonderful characters and the intense, complicated relationships are everything! And in this novel, they only become more realized. We get to meet a few new players in the form of other High Lords and many characters from Feyre’s life, Lucien, Elaine, and Nesta to name a few, are allowed space to grow and become real. Well, Lucien and Nesta…I’m not too sure about the way Elaine is characterized…Our favorite slightly dysfunctional family, Rhysand’s “inner circle” too gets a deeper look, with their own emotional trials and filled in back stories. Feyre is, of course, the center of all of this and her growth is something that really grounds the romance and action of this novel.
There were some serious moments of disappointment for me as well, the beginning of the novel and Feyre’s attempt at vengeance was actually quite frustrating and not at all satisfying. I felt she exhibited an extreme lack of self-awareness at times. And the ending…well, this is a spoiler free review so I’ll just say that while I loved it, it also fell a little flat for me. Ok and I’m sorry, but if I never read the word “mate” again in reference to someone’s partner, I’ll be totally ok! It borders on reducing these relationships to primal urges in a super reductive way, even as Rhysand is the ultimate, amazing, egalitarian, yet ever swoon-worthy partner. That being said, one of the things I love best about this series is the idea that we grow and change, our needs and desires change, and that’s totally ok. We don’t see enough of that in YA novels and I think it’s important.
The world building in this novel is wonderful too, and to be completely honest, I wanted way more of it! In ACOMAF, walking through the streets of Velaris with Feyre and Rhysand was a highlight. In ACOWAR we get to see some of the other courts and even some hints of the nations beyond!
Overall, I loved this book because I adore these characters and this world. However, this final novel didn’t leave me obsessing for days/weeks/months the way that ACOMAF did (I’m still not over it). I will, of course, be anxiously awaiting any future Prythian novels and imagine myself rereading this series, well at least books 2 and 3, many many more times in the meantime!
Have you read this series? What did you think of the trajectory and this last book?