Saturday, 2 July 2016

A Court of Mist and Fury

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. {Goodreads Summary}

Sometimes, I find that I enjoy the first book in a series so much, I'm reluctant to read the next novel,in case the story doesn't follow the trajectory that I am hoping for. This is the reason I still haven't read Half Lost, by Sally Green. It's a sort Schrodinger's book problem; so long as I don't read the book, the characters can have the ending that I want. Sometimes though, when I do finally relent and read the book, it's even better than I expected. A Court of Mist and Fury is one of those books. 

"We were a song that had been sung from the very first ember of light in the world."

I remember reading some less-than-positive reviews for A Court of Thorns and Roses due to the problematic nature of Feyre and Tamlin's relationship. ACoMaF addresses this, and then some. I don't want to give too much of the story away, but there are some really clear representations of what is and isn't a healthy relationship in ACoMaF. 

“He thinks he'll be remembered as the villain in the story. But I forgot to tell him that the villain is usually the person who locks up the maiden and throws away the key. He was the one who let me out.”

“And I realized—I realized how badly I'd been treated before, if my standards had become so low. If the freedom I'd been granted felt like a privilege and not an inherent right.” 

Leading on from that, the other thing I really appreciated is Maas' portrayal of PTSD and depression. Often in books, characters move on from traumatic events with little or no effect on their mental health. Veronica Roth wrote a brilliant post on this topic on her blog. ACoMaF is not one of those books. Feyre's mental disintegration felt so real, as did her gradual recovery. She come out of the events of the books a stronger person, and I can't wait to see what she does next. 

"I was a survivor, and I was strong. I would not be weak, or helpless again. I would not, could not be broken. Tamed."

Also: feminism! ACoMaF really champions being your own person and rejecting any limitations people might put on you due to your gender. In the second half of the novel, Feyre refuses to let herself be sidelined from the action for her protection; she takes an active role and shows that she is every bit as strong and competent as the male characters. 

“She's mine. And if any of you lay a hand on her, you lose that hand. And then lose your head. And once Feyre is done killing you, then I'll grind your bones to dust.”

The ending. The ending! It's brilliant. It's terrible. It's fantastic. And it has made me more excited for the next book than I have been about a sequel since the Harry Potter years. I'll be reading book three the day it comes out. 

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