I’ve been thinking about starting a version of a “will I buy it” or “hit or miss” series on my blog/BookTube Channel for a while and thought this beloved series was the perfect place to start!
For the end of Tome Topple, I read one of the more popular series in the bookish community, the ACOTAR series by Sarah J. Maas.
Now I know, I’m a bit late to the game, but I still wanted to share my thoughts on this series.
Book 1: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Book 2: A Court of Mist and Fury
Book 3: A Court of Wings and Ruin
Okay, so two things, 1) SPOILER WARNING – I’m talking about plot points from all three books. and 2) I binge read this series and the story started to run together. I’m going to try to keep the thoughts per book separate, but I may mess up. Sorry in advance!
OKAY, REVIEW TIME!
Book 1 is a loose interpretation of Beauty and the Beast, and it kind of worked. This book took some inspiration from the Disney movie and the original story and blended it into this fantasy novel pretty well.
From the start, I wasn’t really sold on Feyre as the MC. I think throughout the series, she was definitely the weakest part for me. I was much more interested in other characters and really didn’t agree with her choices or overall progression.
As the story continues, I found some things that made me raise an eyebrow or were incredibly problematic, but overall I enjoyed it. At this point, I loved Tamlin as a character. I thought he was fun, charismatic, and a pretty good love interest. I wasn’t overly wowed by Rhys in this book. I thought he was too much of a dick, especially in the first few scenes we see him in.
The ending of this one was actually pretty solid. It had some predictable moments, but I actually kind of liked it. I can see how people would hate this book, but I found it pretty fun. I ended up really enjoying this one. That being said, I didn’t go into this one looking to hate it, so I was able to overlook some of the more red flag moments.
Like many fans of this series, this book was easily my favorite. I loved the Hades and Persephone vibe of the story and kind of wish we got more of it.
I also really liked the smutty scenes, I’m not going to lie. With some of the stuff going when I was reading it, having some mindless fun, epic adventure, and smutty smut really hit the spot.
This book adds so much backstory to Rhysand and I actually really enjoyed it. Unfortunately, in doing so, it completely screws over Tamlin. I absolutely hated his character arc through these last two books, but especially in this one. I feel like his personality change was beyond forced, especially since there was such a drastic change in emotions from the end of book one to the beginning of book two. I know that a lot of this was done to make Rhys look better, but WOW was it disappointing for us Tamlin fans.
Oh, and the first couple of chapters were starting to get my blood boiling. There was literally one part where Tamlin and Feyre are starting to talk about their futures and Feyre brings up the idea of being a High Lady, Tamlin’s equal. Tamlin dismisses her, mentioning that “there are no High Ladies” and then distracts her with sex. Even worse, Feyre DROPS THE SUBJECT. Oh boy, that started to piss me off.
As the book goes on, a lot of the things that started to irritate me lessened as many items were addressed or became inconsequential in the overarching plot.
Another thing that kind of irritated me was using Rhys’s role in book 1 against him. He was forced to engage in sexual acts against his will and he did it to protect his friends. Rhys is still called a whore and has this transgression brought up constantly throughout the remainder of the series. I didn’t like that as for the most part, it didn’t go anywhere other than to make us feel sympathy for Rhys. I don’t think that every character arc needs to gooooo somewhere, but I don’t feel like sexual assault should be used to build sympathy or contribute to characters forming a relationship.
I don’t know, say I’m nitpicking…I am.
Minor nitpicks and such aside, I did end up really enjoying this one. I thought it was a fun follow up, built on the characters and had a pretty great narrative. I can see why so many people enjoy this book and it’s one I’m definitely going to be rereading in the future!
Okay and the super controversial finale. I didn’t hate this one, I didn’t love this one, but I did enjoy it.
I thought there were some parts that were a bit slow, but overall it was a solid finale. That is until the FREAKING ENDING. Guys, let me tell you, this ending really irritated me.
So, I can’t remember if this happened in book two or three, but Lucien saying that Feyre’s sister, Elain, was his mate and Feyre’s other sister, Nesta, ending up with Cassian. I think this is something many of us YA fans get annoyed by. Everyone ending up together is a trope I tend to like less the older I get.
But fine, that’s just a personal thing. But I think the part that really angered me was Rhysand’s fake death. Holy hell. That pissed me off, let me tell you. I really hate a fake death trope, especially when it’s a romantic interest or side character. Without giving much away, Nemesis and Genesis played with this trope, but kind of made it work (at least in book one, I’m still unsure how I feel about them doing it in book 2). But I hate nothing more than this big emotional build up only for it to be squashed in just a few pages.
I’m not going to lie, most of the major plot points in this book are a bit fuzzy to me. I kind of remember the results of the big battle and if I read a spoilery review, I’d be fine. That ending, on the other hand, I remember that clear as day.
SERIES RECAP/FINAL THOUGHTS:
Okay, I got a bit ranty at the end there, but honestly, this series is some mindless fantasy fun. I totally get the criticism for this series. I tabbed up some bits I liked (and didn’t like) when I was reading it and found some problematic elements. I get it. But I also feel like hating on this series is kind of like hating on Twilight, totally valid but probably not the hill you want to die defending.
Don’t get me wrong, readers are entitled to their opinions and pointing out criticisms are super important to grow as people and readers. I, personally, was able to set some of these critiques to the side and still found myself enjoying this series.
This series had a little bit of everything, fantasy, romance (some steamy, steamy romance), action, and even some badass characters. Feyre was probably my least favorite character (other than Tamlin post pointless character change), which is what lowered my overall enjoyment of this series. Fortunately, we had some other amazing characters that helped save this series for me.
I think this series is a solid pick up if you’ve had some interest in it, but if you’re on the fence, I’d read some reviews and see if the on the fence elements are things you can overlook or are deal breakers for you.
Oh this series is totally New Adult, not YA. As mentioned several times, there are some explicit sex scenes. Just proceed with caution if that’s a thing you’re sensitive to.