Book Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin (Spoiler-Free)

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Synopsis:

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

*Warning: While this is spoiler-free for ACOWAR there will be spoilers from the first two books in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. Read at your own risk.*

First, I think it’s worth noting that we, the fandom, overhyped this book. We were too hype. A Court of Mist and Fury was an amazing novel that is still my favorite book out of the three and I think everyone went into this novel with very high expectations that would’ve been difficult for any author to meet. With that being said, though I definitely don’t feel like A Court of Wings and Ruin met my expectations, I still throughly enjoyed this book.

The novel began where ACOMAF left off. Feyre was now in the Spring playing the doting… something to Tamlin. It doesn’t seem like the term girlfriend exists in this world but they weren’t exactly engaged either so I’m not sure what you’d call it. Regardless, Feyre played her role well and that’s where we found her at the start of the novel. One of the first things that bothered me about this novel was that I really hoped it would be told in alternating POVs between Feyre and Rhys and that was not the case.

Ninety-eight percent of the novel was told in Feyre’s POV, which was fine, it is her story after all. I just would’ve loved to see more of Rhys’ POV. I wanted to know what was going on at the Night Court while Feyre was away. How was the Inner Circle handling things? How were her sisters? I understood why Sarah J. Maas wrote it out this way. If we, the readers, saw what happened at the Night Court it would’ve been redundant when it was revealed to Feyre. Still, I just really wanted more Rhys.

That aside, I truly enjoyed this novel. The wittiness was still there, making me literally laugh out loud at times. I also legitimately cried at least twice, so badly I couldn’t see what I was reading, so look forward to that. I also loved that we got to know Azriel more. Because he’s so quiet and literally hides in the shadows, I think he went unnoticed at times in ACOMAF. He’s way more involved in this novel and he became one of my absolute faves. I 100 percent support a book just about Azriel. He’s too good for this world, honestly.

What I loved most about this novel was the world building. We got to see so much more of Prythian in this novel and learn more about the other courts and High Lords, which I really enjoyed. Because of this, the novel was also more diverse, including more characters of color and LGBTQ characters, which was a very nice improvement.

There was one character’s sexuality that really took me by surprise though and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. To me, personally, it seemed to come out of nowhere and while I love inclusivity this kind of felt forced, especially because it was revealed closer to the end and the situation around the reveal wasn’t really resolved, if that makes sense. This brings to what I believe is a lot of people’s issue with the book: it didn’t feel like a conclusion.

In theory, this is the end of Feyre’s story, however, there will be three more books in the ACOTAR world as well as two novellas. For some reason, everyone’s under the assumption that these three books will be another trilogy, which would make sense, however I don’t believe SJM ever said that would be the case. If it is great, but I’d be interested to see how she connects all the loose ends in this novel into another trilogy. To me, it felt like she laid the groundwork for multiple different stories to occur, but it’s possible that’s what the novellas are for and the three books will indeed be a trilogy that follows another character, just as this trilogy followed Feyre.

I say this all to say that I too felt very unresolved with this ending. Particularly, there was one major plot twist that left me confused because the people involved in that twist don’t even know about. I kept waiting for Feyre to say something and yet she didn’t, which I thought was so strange. I wanted to see that reveal, wanted to know what happened when they found out and then it didn’t happen. That irritated to me, but again I’m almost 100 percent positive SJM purposefully left that open ended and I’ll have to wait until we get more information about what these next books will be about before I can truly decide how I feel about this ending. (If you’d like to know the specific questions I’d like the next books to answer you can find them here. They’re spoilers, obviously.)

Additionally, this specific plot twist that I’m referring to also kind of annoyed me because it felt way too similar to a plot twist that occurs in SJM’s other series, Throne of Glass. If you’ve read that series, you’ll know what I mean when you read this book. I also kind of felt that way about the sexuality reveal I was talking about as well. It just felt like I’d read that before and while I enjoyed the twist it just felt too similar for me to be really excited about it.

Lastly, while I did enjoy the novel overall and was for the most part satisfied with the ending, I did kind of feel like it was a cop out though I did appreciate the full-circle feel to it. I can’t really explain what I mean without spoiling it so I’ll just leave it at that. Still, faults aside, this was a great novel, and I have so many tabs in this book of scenes and quotes I want to reread. I can’t even begin to imagine all the merch that is going to come from this book. I already want all of it.

If you’ve finished ACOWAR already, what were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below. If there’s a spoiler in your comment please put in a spoiler alert so you don’t spoil it for anyone. Thanks!

Borrow or Buy: Buy it! Like I said, I’d give it a reread.

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“I missed you. Every second, every breath. Not just this but…talking to you. Laughing with you. I missed having you in my bed, but missed having you as my friend even more.”

Book Review of A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOMAF)

Book Review: A Court of Mist and Fury (Reread)

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Synopsis:

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 torn apart.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

*This review will contain spoilers for ACOTAR and ACOMAF. For the spoiler-free review of this book please click here.*

In prep for the release of A Court of Wings and Ruin, which came out today, I decided to reread the first two book in the series and it was probably the best decision ever. I finished my reread of A Court of Mist and Fury and then went back and started rereading it again. Can you tell I’m obsessed with this book? I’m not even sorry.

So where to begin. Going into this reread I was honestly a little nervous that I wouldn’t love it as much as I remembered. I was scared I’d realize Rhysand isn’t actually that great and I just hyped it up in my memory, but boy was I wrong. I loved it even more the second time around, for a variety of reasons but mainly because I really got to see Feyre fall in love with Rhys.

I think the first time I read the book I was so focused on Rhys’s obvious affection for Feyre and being mad at her for not really what was right in front of her face, that I missed Feyre’s own realization of her feelings. I may have also been distracted by all the smut. I loved Rhys and Feyre’s flirting and wit and how fun they were with each other the first time but during that first reading I was kind of surprised when Feyre told Rhys she loved him. I expected it but I also kind of didn’t. Even with the reveal that they were mates, I understood why she ran. To be, that was a big deal that I felt she probably wasn’t ready for. However, during my reread, there was one scene I totally forgot about.

After they went to the Court of Nightmares, which was a very good scene, Feyre and Rhys got into this whole fight and Rhys stopped talking to Feyre for a day. It was during that time when it was clear to me how deep her feelings for him really were. And then Starfall right after was so good and I was like, “Feyre you are so in love with him!” It was perfect. I reread that part multiple times.

There were also just a lot of things I forgot. For example, one of my favorite lines, “There are good days and hard days for me even now—Don’t let the hard days win,” I thought Rhys said that but it was actually Mor. There were a few other instances like that where I forgot who said what and just scenes that were so fun to read again.

I honestly feel like I could reread this book again right now but it’s time to dive into the next book and I’m excited and nervous to see what happens next.

Stars

5 stars

Favorite Line:

“I am broken and healing, but every piece of my heart belongs to you.”

Other Reviews

The Nameless Book Blog

A Thousand Words, A Million Books

Natalie’s Blog

Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses (Reread)

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Synopsis:

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin–one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin–and his world–forever.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

*This review will contain spoilers for ACOTAR and ACOMAF. For the spoiler-free review of this book please click here.*

In preparation for the release of A Court of Wings and Ruin, I’m rereading the first two books in this series, and thus far it’s been a blast. There were so many things that occurred in ACOTAR that I totally forgot about so let’s dive right in.

First of all, it was super strange to read about Feyre falling in love with Tamlin, knowing that Rhysand is her mate. I ended up cringing a lot during this book, especially during particular points that I thought were warning signs for Tamlin’s over protectiveness that turned abusive in ACOMAF. For example when Tamlin said this to Feyre:

“No, I don’t want you to live somewhere else. I want you here, where I can look after you—where I can come home and know you’re here, painting and safe.”

This sounded really nice and sweet in the moment but when combined with the way Tamlin locked up Feyre in ACOMAF, it doesn’t sound all that sweet anymore. That being said, I did find some sympathy for Tamlin after rereading ACOTAR. Sarah J. Maas affectively turned her fandom against Tamlin with the utter change in character of him and Rhys in the second book but I think a lot of us forgot why we liked Tamlin in the first place because of it. My reread reminded of all the reasons why I did like him.

Feyre says it best in ACOMAF, when she says Tamlin was good for her at the time that she needed him. Yes he was overprotective with her and was more than happy to take care of, and that’s what Feyre needed when she was human. Tamlin didn’t treat Feyre poorly, she just hadn’t wanted anything more than to be pampered and loved by Tamlin. His problem began when he failed to realize how much Under the Mountain changed Feyre and after having to watch her die, it’s easy to understand why he became so protective and controlling. Was Tamlin wrong? Without a doubt, yes. Do I know understand where he was coming from? Also, yes.

Besides Tamlin, I didn’t know how to feel about Rhys. I was at war with myself while reading. On the one hand, I knew why he did all the things he did but on the other hand, I wanted to tell Rhys to chill and at least try to be nicer to Feyre. There’s one point right before he makes the bargain with her, where he grabs her injured arm and twists and I literally cringed. Why Rhys, why?

Still, there were also a lot of one liners that meant so much more to me, knowing how he truly felt. My personal favorite was when he sees Feyre for the first time at Calanmai and saves her from those other faeries.

“There you are. I’ve been looking for you.”

I think I literally swooned, especially when Feyre referred to him as, “the most beautiful man I’d ever seen.” So good! (Side note: Rhysand probably heard her think that. That probably made him even more cocky.)

Another one of my favorites was when Rhysand sees Feyre dressed for the party in the throne room Under the Mountain.

“You look just as I hoped you would.”

That means so much more knowing how he felt about her. For Feyre, she thinks he’s joking at her expense but in reality he really means it and it’s so cute and also so heartbreaking because at this point Feyre hates him so much. Another moment that broke my heart was when Feyre heard the music that gave her a slither of hope. That moment also meant so much more knowing it was Rhys that sent it.

Also, through my reread I realized all the many hints SJM put in about Feyre and Rhys being mates. There’s literally so many references to the night and stars that I’m honestly a little mad I didn’t catch on sooner. It was so obvious! SJM is amazing. I truly can’t take it.

My reread also reestablished my distaste for Feyre’s sisters and my love for Lucien. Hopefully my reread of ACOMAF will make me like Nesta and Elain again. As for Lucien, I’m still upset with him for the things he did in ACOMAF but I remember now why I loved him so much and I hope he’s redeemed in ACOWAR. I kind of hope Tamlin’s redeemed too but to be perfectly honest, if he died I wouldn’t cry over it. Sorry, not sorry.

Overall, I think I liked ACOTAR even more the second time than I did the first. The start was still just as slow as I remember it being but because I knew where the story was heading that was enough to keep me reading and interested. I highly recommend giving this book a reread after reading ACOMAF. It takes on a whole new meaning and it’s really interesting seeing how drastically the characters change between books.

What are your thoughts on the ACOTAR series? Let me know in the comments below.

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.”

Other Reviews

Blog of a Bookaholic

Going Through Books

The Biblio Life

A Court of Thorns and Roses

Five Books That Actually Live Up To The Hype (Guest Post)

*This is a guest post written by Darian Duckworth and she runs her own book blog, The Novel Millennial, and a BookTube channel of the same name . If you would like to do a guest post for To Borrow or Buy, please email me at toborroworbuy@gmail.com*

If you’re anything like me, you tend to get turned off by really popular or hyped up books and series. But I’m here to tell you that there are actually some popular books that actually live up to the pedestal they’re put on. Proof: I didn’t read Harry Potter until a friend forced me to read Prisoner of Azkaban in the third grade. (PS: it’s still my favorite book in the series). Recently, I caved and picked up some seriously popular books that I was extremely turned off from because of their popularity. Here are five books that I think actually live up to their hype:

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

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ACOTAR is a retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast fairytale. If you’re looking for a strong female protagonist, don’t let the fantasy genre of this series deter you. Even if you don’t typically like fantasy, ACOTAR has something for literally every reader. There’s adventure, fantasy, romance, and lots of action, especially towards the end.

2. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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Okay, if you don’t like fantasy then you probably don’t like sci-fi with cyborgs and all that jazz either. Well, here’s the series that’s going to change that. Cinder is a retelling of Cinderella but the similarities between the two stories are few and far between. There’s cyborgs, a different race that lives on the Moon called Lunars, and a plague threatening Earth. It’s pretty intense.

3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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You’re probably sitting there like “Who hasn’t read THG?” but I know y’all are out there. If you haven’t read this series, do it now! I can’t say that enough. The political atmosphere alone is enough to make this book live up to the hype. Pro Tip: The rest of the series is pretty good too, and Catching Fire is the best one.

4. It’s Not Okay by Andi Dorfman

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I’m not one for self help books and I’m definitely not one for self help books about breakups but I am a fan of all things The Bachelor. Andi Dorfman made waves on both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette and people were legitimately shocked when she and her fiancé called it quits nine months after the finale. It’s Not Okay is Dorfman’s raw and emotional journey at coping with the aftermath of that very public breakup and it is every bit worthy of you clicking “Buy Now” on Amazon.

5. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

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I hate poetry, mostly because it takes too much effort to interpret, usually. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur is the exception to that first statement. The poems are raw and real and powerful and I damn near read the entire thing in the bookstore. I simply could not put it down!

Book Review of A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOMAF)

Book Review: A Court of Mist and Fury

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Synopsis from Amazon:

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.

*This book is part of my POPSUGAR 2016 Reading Challenge.*

*WARNING: If you haven’t read A Court of Thorns and Roses yet, there will be spoilers. You’ve been warned!*

A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOMAF) picks up three months after the end of ACOTAR and Feyre is still dealing with the trauma of everything that happened Under the Mountain and with Amarantha. While Feyre spends most nights fighting her nightmares and vomiting, Tamlin has become overprotective. He fears for Feyre’s safety and doesn’t want her to go out into town or hunting, but instead to stay in the castle with one of the High Priestesses, Ianthe.

While Feyre and Tamlin continue to butt heads over what Feyre can and can’t do, they’re also preparing for their wedding, despite their issues. Additionally, Feyre questions the bargain she made with Rhysand, the High Lord of the Night Court. She agreed to spend a week with him each month but in the three months since she’d been back at the Spring Court Rhysand never came for her and she’s not sure why.

Until one day when he shows up just when she needs him and changes Feyre’s world forever. Whisked away to the Night Court Feyre soon discovers there’s more to the dark High Lord than she ever imagined.

ACOMAF takes readers even deeper into the faerie world of Prythian, showing us new courts that are even bigger and more intriguing than what we saw in ACOTAR. Sarah J. Maas built a fantastic world that includes many new characters that I absolutely loved. This book was filled with romance, action, twists, and just overall bad ass scenes that I couldn’t put it down for one second. Maas touches on so many subjects from trauma to various kinds of abuse to genuine love and does so in such a way that it doesn’t feel preachy or fluffy, it just feels real.

A Court of Mist and Fury will take you on a roller coaster ride that will leave you breathless and aching for the next book. It’s no surprise that it’s a #1 New York Times Bestseller and I’m incredibly excited to see what Maas will do next.

Borrow or Buy: Ha! Why is this question? I want this book in every format. I need the hardcover for my shelf, e-book for travel, and paperback just because. Buy this book and then love this book. Forever.

Stars:

5 stars

Favorite Line:

“To the people who look at the stars and wish.”
“To the stars who listen— and the dreams that are answered.”

Other Reviews

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YA & Fantasy Book Reviews and Blogs

Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses

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Synopsis from Amazon:

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin–one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin–and his world–forever.

*This book is part of my POPSUGAR 2016 Reading Challenge.*

I honestly have no idea why it took me so long to finally read this book but I’m so glad I did. Sarah J. Maas is a master story teller and the world she creates in A Court of Thorns and Roses is unbelievable.

First of all, Feyre is a boss. She’s headstrong, good with a bow, and will do whatever it takes to make sure her family survives, even if she doesn’t particularly like them all the time. And then you have Tamlin, the beastly prince with a heart of gold. He can be throat and vicious, because he is a faerie and in this series faeries are meant to be feared. Still even from the start it’s clear her cares about his people and Feyre.

Then there’s Lucien, Tamlin’s right hand man. Lucien is hilarious and mysterious and has a great back story. There were some points when I’m pretty sure Feyre wanted to punch him in the face and give him a hug all at the same time. I felt the same way. And lastly my surprising favorite was Rhys. I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t say much but I really am curious to know more about him because he seems like a really complex character that I already kind of love (although I’m not sure if I should).

As a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Maas did an excellent job of switching things up and still giving readers twists they wouldn’t expect. Although in the back in my mind I always assumed there would be a happy ending I could never trust that idea because Maas always had my heart racing. Truthfully, depending on how you look at it I’m not sure you could even this book has a happy ending.

What I will say is it kept me on my toes and I loved almost all the characters, even the villains. The twists and turns is really what made me stay up late and finish this book in one day. You won’t want to stop reading until you get to the very end.

Borrow or Buy: Buy it!

Stars:

5 stars

Favorite Line:

“I love you. Thorns and all.”

Other Reviews

Blog of a Bookaholic 

YA Midnight Reads

Fantasy Book Critic

‘Me Before You’, ‘Confess’, And Other Books I Read This Month (Feb. Wrap-Up)

I read a lot of great books this month and I got a bunch of books too! Check out my first monthly wrap-up. I plan to do this at the end of every month as a recap of what I’ve read and what books I’ve either bought or was given to me during the month.


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Number Of Books I Read This Month: 11

Top Three Books I Read This Month

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

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I absolutely loved this book. A retelling of Beauty and the Beast, this novel follows 19-year-old Feyre who’s forced to go to Prythian, the land of faeries, with a beast that shows up at her door. Although at first she doesn’t trust him and is fearful for her life she begins to realize this beast may not be as beastly as she originally thought.

2. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

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This book made me cry just as much as I expected it to, which was a lot. When Louisa Clark accepts a job as a caregiver to Will Traynor, a wheelchair bound man, she doesn’t know what to expect. Although they have almost nothing common Louisa finds herself trying her best to make Will happy and show him life is worth living.

3. Confess by Colleen Hoover

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I’d never heard of Colleen Hoover until I joined bookstagram and saw her books everywhere but man I’m glad I finally dived in. Confess follows Auburn and Owen as they’re paths continue to cross and intersect, having positive and sometimes negative affects on both of their lives. Filled with twists and surprises this book kept me on my toes.

Other Books I Read This Month

Books To Buy

  1. You Were Here by Cori McCarthy
  2. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  3. How Willa Got Her Groove Back by Emily McKay
  4. Pushing the Limits by Brooke Cumberland
  5. November 9 by Colleen Hoover
  6. Making Her His by Lucy Leroux
  7. The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters

Books To Borrow

  1. How to be Bad by E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski, and Lauren Myracle

Books I Received This Month

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I didn’t buy any books this month because I’m currently on a book buying ban but hopefully that will change next month. Still, I did receive a box load of books from a friend of mine that works at HarperCollins Publishers. Here’s all the books I got and plan to read soon.

  1. Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard
  2. Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
  3. Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass
  4. Shatter Me Trilogy by Tahereh Mafi
  5. Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

What were your favorite reads of this month? Let me know in the comments below!