Sunday, May 13, 2018

Review Sunday: A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas


A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.1
Released: May 1st, 2018

Blurb:
"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."



Review:
This book is just beautiful.  I mean, just read the title!  Seriously, if you've read this, we need to talk because there is so much I need to rant about that I don't want to include here so I don't spoil anyone!  Also, side point, the sneak preview is fabulous!!!  One other note, this series has now firmly drifted away from YA and landed squarely in NA territory in terms of sexual content.  Anyway, before I get too much into gushing, let's go through some logistics.

“I will never stop being grateful to have you in my life, either, Feyre darling. And no matter what lies ahead"--a small, joyous smile at that--"we will face it together. Enjoy every moment of it together.”

1.  The characters.  As always, Maas has blown me away with her ability to capture the essence of a character in so few pages.  The book takes place after the war with Hyberon is finished (well, finished in the formal sense of the word) and Feyre, Rhys, and the rest of the Court of Dreams is working through what's next and how to heal.  I loved seeing all of their interactions and I will admit that I laughed out loud on numerous occasions.  They all have such distinct personalities and they all have such a presence in the book (or, more accurately, novella).  This novella is reportedly the last we'll see of Feyre and Rhysand's POV (as evidenced by the sneak peek of the next book at the end) and while it definitely served it's purpose and I'm happy with how they ended up (OMG that ending though!!!), I'm going to miss them fiercely.

“Dangerous words, Rhysand,” Amren warned, strutting through the door, nearly swallowed up by the enormous white fur coat she wore. Only her chin-length dark hair and solid silver eyes were visible above the collar. She looked— “You look like an angry snowball,” Cassian said.”

2.  The plot.  As I mentioned above, this takes place as sort of a bridge book into the next conflict.  There is some sense of a new conflict brewing but I'm delighted to report it's a happy mix of joyous celebrations and serious strategy discussions which is what makes it such a great bridge book.  Normally, being a bridge is something to avoid (hello middle-book-syndrome in trilogies) but in this case, I thought it served as a really great transition into a new perspective and a new plotline for the next section of the series.  While there is an overall plot arch, it isn't as strong as the first three books and it's mostly focused on happily, and somewhat hilariously trivial things (like what Feyre will get Rhys for the Winter Solstice and he, her (I'll give you a hint: it's absolutely marvelous and I enjoyed it immensely).

“To the blessed darkness from which we are born, and to which we return.”

3.  The romance.  Going into this, I was a bit worried that Feyre and Rhys' romance would seem a little forced and routine now that they've been together for a whole book and a quarter and they're past the honeymoon phase but it wasn't like that at all.  Yes, there are a lot fewer romance scenes but I more enjoyed watching them live and work together as equals.  Especially in a place where Feyre is the only High Lady, it's sort of this novel thing that she's working out and it's handled brilliantly.  As for the other romances, I'm not going to say anything specific as to avoid spoilers but I thought they were all well-developed and realistically tied to previous circumstances.

“Stars flickered around us, sweet darkness sweeping in. As if we were the only souls in a galaxy.”

4.  The POV.  Something new in this book: more than two POV's.  We get to hear from Feyre, Rhys, Mor, and Cassian with Feyre getting the most page-time.  I absolutely LOVED hearing from Rhys and Cassian (I so wish there were more Rhys chapter especially in this series!) and I thought their voices were developed very well.  I'm a little more torn with Mor.  While I did love hearing from her perspective, it didn't feel as focused and distinct and clear to me as I would have liked.  Still, the mix is absolutely lovely and the switches between POV's are well-timed.

“It certainly seems like it’s your shop,” he said at last, turning his attention back to her. Emerie had drifted a few feet away, her back straight, chin upraised. He’d seen Nesta in that particular pose, too. He called it her I Will Slay My Enemies pose.”

The Final Verdict:
A well-thought through bridge between what is behind the Court of Dreams and what lies ahead.  The POV's are excellent and the romances are beautiful, each in their own way.
5 stars



Meet the Author:
Sarah J. Maas is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series (Queen of Shadows, Book 4, will be out in September 2015), as well as the A Court of Thorns and Roses series (out 5/5/15).

Sarah lives in Bucks County, PA, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much tea, and watches an ungodly amount of TV. When she's not busy writing, she can be found exploring the historic and beautiful Pennsylvania countryside with her husband and canine companion.

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4 comments:

  1. I need to read this series. Why am I always behind! I’ve heard some people were super underwhelmed with this one though. Nervous!

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    1. Yeah, I think that's mostly because it is just a solid bridge novella and a lot of people were expecting more. Personally, I don't like bridge books either but this one I just couldn't help but love. I'm interested to hear your opinion on the series, Jenny!

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  2. I've only read the first book in the series so far but I quite liked it. I am so glad to know this novella was another installement you could live! I usually think novellas aren't going to be any use or anywhere near as good as the main books, but it looks like this wasn't the case here!!

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    1. I am too :) There were kind of two camps with this: people who didn't really like it because there wasn't too serious of a plot and people who loved all the cinnamon roll mushiness that is everyday life with the cadre. Fortunately, I'm of the latter :) I agree with you though: generally novellas are all useless fluff unless you're in love with the MC's and actually, this is no exception. I loved it so much because I'm in love with all the characters and it really is a character driven novella. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, Olivia :)

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