Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #2
Published by Recorded Books on May 3rd 2016
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy & Magic, New Adult, Paranormal
Format: Audio Book
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court--but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.
Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms--and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future--and the future of a world cleaved in two.
With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.
Listening Length: 23 hours and 16 minutes
“He thinks he’ll be remembered as the villain in the story. But I forgot to tell him that the villain is usually the person who locks up the maiden and throws away the key. He was the one who let me out.”
I was very disappointed by A Court of Thorns and Roses. So much so, that I put off reading the second novel in the series, and even contemplated not reading it at all. I’m glad I’ve had a change of heart. This book was EVERYTHING! Rhys was one of my favorite characters in the first novel, so the idea that I could read an entire book featuring him as a main character was enough to convince me to continue on with this series. In A Court of Mist and Fury, readers get to see a side of Rhysand that was only hinted at in the first novel. Not only that, but I even saw different depths to Feyre, and she became a character I began to really like and root for.
The book picks up a short while after the events in the first novel. Feyre, Tamlin, and Lucian are back home at the Spring Court and trying to bring their kingdom back to normal, which is something the people of the region haven’t had in over half a century. While Tamlin and Lucian work to bring the Court back to its former glory, Feyre tries to adjust to her new fey body and her upcoming nuptials to Tamlin. I never liked this pairing, which was one of the reasons I didn’t really enjoy the first novel as much as I hoped I would. Tamlin and Feyre are just too boring as a couple. Their romance in the first novel is what made the majority of the book drag on too slowly for me. This isn’t the case here, however.
“There are different kinds of darkness,” Rhys said. I kept my eyes shut. “There is the darkness that frightens, the darkness that soothes, the darkness that is restful.” I pictured each. “There is the darkness of lovers, and the darkness of assassins. It becomes what the bearer wishes it to be, needs it to be. It is not wholly bad or good.”
Thanks to the bargain Feyre struck with Rhys in the first book, readers get the opportunity to visit the Night Court. In the previous novel, the Night Court was depicted as this horrible place straight out of Dante’s Inferno, however, that’s not what we find during Feyre’s visits. Instead, readers discover that many things aren’t what they seem, and the politics of Prythian are even more complex and dangerous than we’ve ever realized. Rhys and Feyre make better partners to me, because Rhys doesn’t try to diminish Feyre, and loves verbally sparring with her. Their conversations are like a good tennis match as they lob insults and snarky comments at one another. I really enjoyed watching them develop as a couple, but also as individuals.
The narrator, Jennifer Ikeda, did a wonderful job bringing Maas’ world and characters to life. Her voice is part of the reason I had difficulty stopping the book. Ikeda would change voices between characters, giving them their own idividuality and allowing me to understand their complexity. Her soothing tone helped me invision the world in which these characters live. From the palaces, townhomes, and stores to the parties, woods, and magical fights. I just downloaded the next book and discovered there’s a new narrator, which is a bit of a disappointment. Ikeda was so fantastic that I’m not sure she can be topped.
“And I realized—I realized how badly I’d been treated before, if my standards had become so low. If the freedom I’d been granted felt like a privilege and not an inherent right.”
Of course like all of these kinds of books, the heroine had to go and become a super special little snowflake that everyone wants. This usually sets my teeth on edge, but somehow Maas made it work. Feyre’s new Fey status adds a layer of intrigue to the plot, and leaves you wondering for a bit about Rhys’ true motivations are towards her. Not only that, but readers are introduced to a new Big Bad that claims to be worse than Amarantha. The entire novel I kept waiting for the hammer to drop, and see our heroes in extreme peril, which kept me on the edge of my seat the entire novel.
Though I didn’t hate the first novel, reading it felt like more of a chore. Not so here. ACoMaF was riveting! I could hardly put it down. The development of Rhys and Feyre’s relationship was done right. So right, in fact, that I couldn’t understand how anyone could ship her with Tamlin. However, I will say that I was shocked by how much Tamlin changed from the first book to this one. He came across as a completely different character. Yet, I’ll hold my criticism about that until I’ve read the third book as I’m hoping there’s more of a story behind this drastic change than what I’m aware of now. One thing that shocked me was that this book is considered young adult by some when the sex scenes were a bit graphic. That’s not an issue for me as I’m over 30, but be warned if you are considering buying this for your teen.