Disclaimer: If you have yet to read A Court of Thorns of Roses then I suggest reading that before you read this review of A Court of Mist and Fury
I would like to know what happened in the year it took for Sarah J. Maas to pen the follow up to A Court of Thorns and Roses. That first book had some great ideas, but the pacing was slow and the tropes were too cliche; the characters also lacked any real depth. A Court of Mist and Fury however, is a huge step up in storytelling and all those issues with the first book are no longer present. It’s almost as if the author gained a decade’s worth of growth in just a year.
In A Court of Mist and Fury, Feyre must honour the bond that she agreed upon when Rhysand saved her life in the first book. On top of that, we see cracks appear in her relationship with Tamlin. You’ll find yourself predicting that the book will turn into a love triangle, but to my surprise the book doesn’t actually hinge itself upon this like you’d expect. The plot has a strong direction that provides value to the reader throughout. Even after the wicked Amarantha was vanquished in the last book, those who commanded her are becoming a threat once more.
One of the biggest gripes with the first book was the lack of action and exploration. For a 627 page book, A Court of Mist and Fury has no dry moments. Something is always happening and even in the moments of calm there’s enough substance and character depth to demand your full attention.
We get to explore more of the courts in Prythian this time around and the world is painted more delicately to the reader than previously. Feyre spends a lot of time in a city named Velaris and it’s described to us in such rich detail that you can practically see it through Feyre’s eyes.
Returning characters from the first book are expanded on and given motives that you can identify with. There’s even a revelation that adds more clarity to a characters actions in the first book that raises the likeability of the character significantly. We’re also introduced to a number of new characters that are all interesting in their own way. Having two characters that start with the same letter (Azriel and Amren) was confusing at times, especially considering they are frequently in the same scenes, but it’s a minor nitpick that is forgivable.
The themes presented in the story are more mature and the language and sex is turned up a notch. It’s almost as if the writer herself matured. Either that or she made a conscious decision that this was the direction to go in based on the audience of her readers.
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A Court of Mist and Fury is everything you loved about the first book and more. I love it because its fantasy that doesn’t overwhelm you. None of the world building is presented in a convoluted fashion. It’s an easy and satisfying read. The ending will leave you wondering what’s to come in the final part of Feyre’s story, but A Court of Mist and Fury will surely be difficult to top.
– Featured picture is from This is the story of my reading life