Heavily Flawed But Enjoyable: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas

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Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Rosesseries.

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 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.

Source: GoodReads

Note this review contains lots and lots spoilers for the first three books in the series.

This book was the most anticipated follow up to A Court of Mist and Fury.  A book that seems to have very mixed feelings amongst fans of this series-I personally like it, but I can understand why some people might not like it.  Especially, if they favored a particular ship.  For me, upon reread, of the series the twist that was going to happen in the second book was much more obvious than it was first read.  But I can still get how fans of that ship were pissed, but overall I liked the second book better than the first because of the character development that was done (Feyre is a lot more tolerable in that installment than the first).  Not that some of the writing was atrocious.  I literally cringed with some of the descriptions  metaphors that Maas used, but usually I can give purple prose writing a pass if the story is good enough.

At least that was the case in A Court of Mist and Fury, as for the follow up though…

Eh.

I really have mixed feelings about A Court of Wings and Ruin, there were some parts that worked alright.  Some parts that had me rolling my eyes.  And every time there was a sex scene I had to roll my eyes.  xtitndc8wjdnqupxnq

Let’s talk about what worked: the book held my interest.  That’s something.  Especially considering this is a big book at almost 700 pages.  Stuff happens throughout all of it, so that’s good and some of the interactions are nice. Some is the optimum word though because when Rhys and Feyre get too mushy this book turns into fae porn.  It’s that eye roll worthy.

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That’s who bad it is.

It’s probably in part that I hate the whole mate trope.  I know Maas tried to remedy it by saying there was some choice to it-whether or not you accepted the bond-but come on, with the amount of pressure that is given on these characters if they choose not to except the bond you know that there’s going to be some dastardly consequences.

Just going to say it now, poor Elain.

I didn’t get why there was a bond between her and Lucien to be honest about it.  Other than to have a reason for Lucien to not keep being Tamlin bitch-sorry for the grotesque language, but that’s pretty much what he is throughout most of the series.

The other randomness when it came to romantic relationships in this series was Mor.  There was build up between her and Azriel throughout most of the last two books, but because-and this is me totally theorizing on this aspect and it’s ONLY a theory-Maas was called out on the fact that her books lack diversity she decided for Mor to randomly be revealed as bi, with little or no character development to show that she had a preference for women in the past-in fact, she has the character state she tried to hide this aspect of herself by randomly sleeping with men to get away which I guess allowed Maas to get away without having character development.   I would be perfectly fine with this if it wasn’t so random, and if the relationship that had been building up was’t so sweet.  It was way better than Lucien and Elain at least, just saying.  But now knowing that’s not going to be an end game, I’m a little sad.  Especially since it just seems like the ship was thrown away to make Mor into a token character.  Had there been more development with Mor’s sexuality, I think I would’ve enjoyed this plot point better than I did.  As it was, it was more or like Maas was like, “Oh, shit.  They’re right.  I don’t have any diverse characters in this book, what if I make Mor bi.  That will fix it, and I’ll just change this ship with this ship and…I’m a genius”.

I should note though, Mor is not the only diverse character in the book.  There is a minor character that is mentioned to be bi and who is into threesomes and a minor extra whose a lesbian.

Yeah….it was pretty much tokenism.

gnjgblpghtcnsHonestly, if she wanted an actual QUILTBAG relationship that actually worked she should’ve just had Tamlin and Lucien get together already.  I would’ve been behind that, a lot more than I’m behind Lucien and Elain or Tamlin and anyone right now.

Probably my favorite character in this book (really in the series at this point) is Nesta.  I feel like this character remained the truest to what we were presented with in the earlier groups and grew accordingly.  I hope in future installments she’ll be a main character because she’s bad ass, vicious, and I just really like her over all.

So Nesta kept the book from completely falling apart in its later half.

Because God was the later half a bit of a hot mess.  Especially since Tamlin was such a douche canoe throughout the whole book.

It’s odd when I reread the first one, I thought maybe I’l see that Tamlin was a douche canoe from the start and Rhys wouldn’t come off as creepy as he did the first time I read the book.  And yeah, some aspects of that were there.  I mean, he’s practically useless Under the Mountain and once he and Feyre have sex the relationship pretty much falls apart, but he wasn’t near as controlling as he was in the later books or possessive.  And the creepy priestess made no impact on his life in the first one.  Hell, he even tells Feyre to leave in the first book and that she was not forced to stay in their lands.  While Rhys in the first book, I know Maas keeps saying he did what he had to do.  But drugging Feyre was not cool, even if it was to spare her from pain and a lot other shit that went down under the mountain.

And honestly, Rhys made a number of douche canoe decisions in this book that he said needed to happen but really were just made to facilitate drama.  And what he did to Mor….

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Mor really got shafted in this book on so many levels.  It’s like Maas took her hate out for this character in this installment and it just makes me fucking mad.

Is this book a great book, no.  Like the rest of the series, it is heavily flawed but it is an enjoyable read.  It has that crack-ish like quality to it that I see a lot in fan fiction and like fan fiction it suffers from a lot of problems.  While I would say that Feyre has developed over the series and is less of a Mary Sue than the lead character in Throne of Glass, there are still some obvious Sue-isms to her.  While I did like the turn the romance took in book 2, I’m not naive and know that the scenes that were between Rhys and Feyre have a cringe like quality to them.  Especially when Maas decided to bring in the whole mate trope.  Still, it’s a fun series.  And if you can look past the flaws and the ridiculousness of the series, and borderline offensiveness when it comes to how Mor was treated its an okay book.   Not what I hoped for, but it could’ve been much worse.

Overall Rating: A B.

 

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3 thoughts on “Heavily Flawed But Enjoyable: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas

    • I actually really did like the first two books though they are definitely gimmicky. But I probably would’ve not have given the third one as high as a rating as I did had it not been for them. It really is problematic how Rhys actions were downplayed as being for the “greater good”. What he did to Feyre in the first book and Mor in this one was just disgusting. Tamiln’s no peach either, but I’ll give Maas credit for not trying to justify his crap. Though this comment will probably backfire in the next book or wherever when he gets a new love interest and his misdeeds are glossed over.

      • I see but I’m a bit unimpressed with Maas stories. Throne of Glass was underwhelming.
        And it feels that she just keeps publishing more and more books, not sure if necessary to the plot, and the series just become so long! :/

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