Wednesday, 2 August 2017

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas


A nightmare, I’d told Tamlin. I was the nightmare.

This review is going to hurt but like anything metaphorically painful I need to rip off the plaster and get on with it. A Court of Wings and Ruin was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. A book I not only pre-ordered but warned Kev it was coming out so that he could expect me to be missing from life for a while. If A Court of Mist and Fury was anything to go by I knew that I would disappear totally consumed and enthralled...and yet that was not the case. I honestly really enjoyed the first two books and despite some teething issues with the writing I loved the characters and the different courts.

The book starts where book two left off with Feyre in the court of her ex-lover Tamlin playing the ever convincing victim but secret enemy. It should have been tense, it should have been gripping but it was not. I did not connect as I had previously to Feyre. I struggled to feel on her side with the way she was enacting her vengeance. Instead of powerful it came across petty. Instead of justified it was cruel to those who had not hurt her. Instead of well thought out it was young and naive and as the book goes on actually causes quite a lot of issues.

Considering the sheer size of this book Feyre in Tamlin's court is over before you are even a quarter of the way through and the tension just doesn't mount up. Now although I don't mind first person narrative I think it was the issue in this story. There were too many places we needed to be hearing about and being only from Feyre's point of view meant we missed loads of potentially amazing story lines. Without going into too much detail Lucien was wasted because of her narrative. We see him only for the first half or so and then he doesn't get to tell his story and that was just a bit of a let down for me as I really like his character. I get the impression from chats about the story that a novella focusing on Lucien is anticipated. Nessa was another character who we just didn't get to know enough because we were always in her sisters head. I did like the use of Nessa and her dynamic with Cassian added the spark to the book that ACOMAF got from Feyre and Rhysand's relationship.

This leads me on to my other bone of contention. I find Maas uses a disproportionate amount of sexual content and it always feel a bit unnecessary and this book had it again in droves. There was far to much completely out of context mating (I mean immediately after a battle come on guys) in addition the incessant referring to Rhysand as 'my mate' drove me a tad insane. We get it Feyre, Rhysand is your mate. It is just a completely ludicrous way to talk and I imagine the word count for mate was in the thousands. Maybe it was because the build up to their relationship in ACOMAF was so fiery but the same dynamic was flat in this book. Rhysand in-particularly seemed to have lost the bite he had in the previous book and as a result Feyre runs a little bit amok putting herself in dangerous situations and jeopardising other people in the process.

The end was expected for me and not too much of a surprise really so it all felt a little anti-climatic and I just felt we had we lost alot of the story in 'mates' maybe it would have packed a greater punch. Nessa and Elain were awesome at the end though and that saved it a little for me.
Finally I just didn't feel like I was reading a finale. So many lose ends the book is fraying. Everything from Lucien to Elain, Mor and Azraiel, Mor and her father, Mor and Eris, ok so Mor in her entirety. Eris and his bargain, Feyre and her bargain, Tamlin etc. I know Maas had said she's going to write more from the Courts and I do hope she uses some of these characters to conclude their stories.

Now I didn't read this book anywhere near as quickly as I read the previous one. I still liked being back in the different Courts and Maas wrote some cracking scenes with some lesser known characters. Her scenerary description was breath-taking and I love the world she has created.  I just feel that had the story had a different narrative I might have felt more connected. I still have to give it 3 stars as I do love the characters I just felt the writing was needed some more refining a few less repetitive words and scenes and a little more action.

Just didn't feel like the other books. 

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