Like An Embarrassingly Bad But Good Fan Fic: Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas

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The Winter Solstice. In a week. I was still new enough to being High Lady that I had no idea what my formal role was to be. If we’d have a High Priestess do some odious ceremony, as lanthe had done the year before. A year. Gods, nearly a year since Rhys had called in his bargain, desperate to get me away from the poison of the Spring Court to save me from my despair. Had he been only a minute later, the Mother knew what would have happened. Where I’d now be. Snow swirled and eddied in the garden, catching in the brown fibers of the burlap covering the shrubs My mate who had worked so hard and so selflessly, all without hope that I would ever be with him We had both fought for that love, bled for it. Rhys had died for it.

Source: GoodReads

I bet Sarah J Maas wrote fan fic at one point.  Fan fic where cannon characters are flipped on their head as being evil, and cannon baddies are fannon heroes.   You know like where Draco Malfoy is revealed to have been a good guy all along while Ron is a Death Eater bastard(there are a ton of Dramione fan fictions out there that follow that trope, it’s sad I know that and I really hate Ron so I don’t mind them). While this was made exceedingly apparent in the second book in this series-which I annoyingly enjoyed way more than I should’ve, becuase hello character assassination galore- I feel like it’s exemplified here because this installment is an unnecessary epilogue that is purposely written so that it can sell the next series in this mega series.  However, unlike a certain other author who was actually a fan fiction author that I’ll try not to reference too much so her fan bots won’t attack me, I sort of like this series and this book so I’m only mildly annoyed.

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However, I have my eye on you Sarah J Maas.  You have one trick pony tendencies and this book shows it…

And so do all those Throne of Glass books-side note, I have told you guys I’ll try to read that series but I swear someone is just going to have tie me and hold me hostage before I actually do.  I just haven’t been able to work myself up to doing that especially since I found the first book annoying…

And I’m digressing again.

I’ve been doing that a lot lately.

I think that’s because there really isn’t a lot of new for me to say about this series.  I enjoyed the first two books, sort of had meh feelings about the third, and sort of have meh feelings about the novella.  I know the series is problematic, and from the reviews that I read that have pointed out the criticisms regarding these books-I get ya’ll.  I’m honestly surprise I enjoy it as much as I do, since I just cannot get into TOG-one of these days I swear I’m going to read another book and give it a try, I mean they are on my shelves…

The point is this is a guilty pleasure series for me.  I will probably continue on only because I am interested in seeing the spinoff series, but I could easily see this thing going into full Cassandra Clare territory (yes, I said the name)  in obnoxiousness-it’s already halfway there.

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Fans of Feyre and Rhys’s eyeball worthy floor play, will likely enjoy this one.  For me it was just meh at best.  I know that their will banter with Rhys saying something suggestive, Feyre calling him  prick, and them having sex on some sort of unsanitary surface that should have you cringing but Maas thinks is romantic.

Yeah, I know I’m a  Debby Downer who’s a little germ obsessed.

Shrugs.  I really don’t care.

At the end of the day though, I found this to be rather inoffensive if expected.  I mean, I could tell his book was pretty much setting up the next arc of the story.  I had a suspicion where Rhys and Feyre were going to go with their relationship, as well as a suspicion whose story is going to be told next.

So there really wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.

While I do find the romance at times to be cringe worthy, I was okay with it.  I probably could’ve done less with the Tamlin bashing though.  God, I get dude is a douche but he is really old news now unless he’s going to be redeemed and get his own series of books (which I honestly feel meh about since he was a huge douche especially in the second book).

Regardless, if your a fan of this series you’ll probably want to read this one.  Sure, you can skip it, but if you really like the series you’ll probably want to have picked it up at some point in time.

Overall Rating: A B- like I said it was pretty much  a tacked on epilogue of smut, but uber fans are going to like it.

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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.

 

Bond Boy Syndrome: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

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.

Source: GoodReads

Be forewarned, if you shipped a certain ship hard at the end of A Court of Thorns and Roses, you’re probably not going to like A Court of Mist and Fury that much.  As for me, I enjoyed it more than the previous installment and it wasn’t like I didn’t ship the ship in the last book.  But still, you’re going to be confused and caught off guard initially when you read this if you cared about the initial ship at all.

Don’t get me wrong,I loved that ship, and I did mourn it throughout what occurred in this book.  But upon reflection, I can understand why the ship ended up NOT working.

Maybe if I read the Throne of Glass series which I’ve heard has a bit of a Bond Girl complex but in reverse-the MC gets a new man like every book-I would’ve not have been amused with the romantic complications that occurred in this book, but as it stands it works.

It actually filled in some of the holes that I had with the first book.

There is something about this series in general that is so atmospheric.  In general I don’t like faerie themed stories, but there’s something about Maas’s spin on it that makes it enjoyable maybe it’s because she is loosely basing this series on some of my favorite fairytales and myths-first Beauty and the Beast and now Hades and Persephone.

Is the book too long: short answer, yeah.  There could’ve been stuff that could’ve easily been cut out of this one, but I still enjoyed it for what it was.  I enjoyed emerging into the Night Court learning more about Rhys and finding out that I did not know everything about Tamlin in the last book.

And Feyre really grew as a character.

Some people might argue that a lot of this development and reveals relied on bashing.  And a part of me thinks that they might have a valid argument.  While 600+ pages cause the reader to forget that what was established and built in A Crown of Thorns and Roses.   However, I would argue that the page count wasn’t what made the changes that were made in A Court of Mist and Fury  were.  I really think if you look at the two books that have been released at this series so far, it’s kind of obvious to see the subtext of book one and see it play out in book two.

Again, while I don’t think A Court of Mist and Fury was perfect by any means, I did think it had a lot to offer and I enjoyed it for what it is.

Overall Rating: Subjectively and A because of the sheer enjoyable but objectively it’s probably closer to an A- or B+