The latest installment in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series.
Spoiler Free Review:
Content Warnings: trauma, mentions of sexual assault, depression, graphic sex
*There will be spoilers for the previous books in this review!!* Normally my reviews tend to be as spoiler free as I can get them, but I don’t want to waste the energy trying to be vague about certain things because I have a lot to say.
Where do I even start with this? It felt so weird to me to actually another ACOTAR book in my hands! Going in, I really didn’t have any feelings about Nesta. I realized as I started that I kind of skimmed over all of the Nesta and Cassian parts of the previous books in the series.
I definitely enjoyed this book – to a certain degree, I think I will enjoy any SJM book – but there were definitely some issues I had with this one.
I thought the pacing and set up of the story was so off. Not a ton happens in the first half, then there are two pretty major plotlines that happen in the second half. I feel like neither of those plotlines got the time they deserved. Both would have been really interesting if there had been time to fully explore them both, but there wasn’t, so they both fell flat for me.
I enjoyed being able to see some of these characters from a perspective that wasn’t Feyre’s, specifically Rhys. My opinion of him changed quite a bit in this book, and I don’t think it would have had I been seeing these events through Feyre’s mate-tinted perspective.
There was a whole plotline with Feyre and Rhys that I could not stand. The idea itself was not bad, but every part of how it was executed made me so angry. I don’t want to say more because spoilers and also I could rant about this aspect of the book for days. It definitely affected how much I enjoyed this book.
I’m not sure if it is just because I’ve read some books with great worldbuilding since I first read this series, but I felt like this book had particularly convenient worldbuilding. Every time an obscure thing was brought up, one of the 500+ year old characters just so happened to know the whole history of that thing, without it ever being mentioned before in the series. It just felt kind of lazy and also left me very uninvested in how it related to the plot.
On to the things I did like! There are a couple new characters in this book that Nesta befriends and I thoroughly enjoyed that aspect of the book. One of the things that I think this series lacks in general so far has been female friendships, so it was nice to see it and also nice to get to know some characters outside of the Inner Circle.
Also, I have to say, I think SJM has improved on her sex scenes. There were definitely still parts that were silly to me, but overall, better than before. There is definitely a reason this book is adult, not YA, and it’s mostly these scenes.
Even though Nesta’s journey as a person was at the core of this book, with the romance, multiple plots, and random Feysand sideplots taking up time, I do wish there was more of it because I liked what we got.
Overall, this was definitely a fun read! I could read like 100 pages and not even notice time passing, but I don’t think it is perfect or SJM’s best work.