***Warning!! This review contains spoilers from the previous book in the series, so continue reading at your own risk! You’ve officially been warned!***
To see my review for book #1 – A Court of Thorns and Roses – Click HERE
To see my Fancast/Dreamcast for the series – Click HERE
Total Star Rating: 4.75 Stars
I was not a pet, not a doll, not an animal. I was a survivor, and I was strong. I would not be weak, or helpless again. I would not, could not be broken. Tamed.”— Sarah J. Maas, “A Court of Mist and Fury
So, I don’t care what anyone else says…this book is the greatest book ever written by Sarah J. Maas — fight me if you disagree! It seriously has it all in what makes an amazing fantasy novel: a vast and intriguing world, a plethora of memorable characters, exciting adventure, rich character development for the both protagonist and others, lots of twists and turns, and a scorching romance. This book is thiccc with all of that, and yes, it’s a thiccc book in general, but it’s truly a masterwork I’m sure no one expected after reading the previous book.
I personally wasn’t as thrilled with A Court of Thorns and Roses as other readers had been: for me, it was a much slower paced story than what I’d become accustomed to with SJMaas as an author, and romance was more centric to the overall plot of the book than usual. I could tell the author had spent more time in creating the world it takes place in, and it did have a lot of aspects of which I’d loved from her Throne of Glass series — one of my all time favorites! — but it’d felt like something was missing.
This book changed all that.
This book made me fall deeply in love with the characters, the world, and is an excellent example of reasons why I love to read. There was so much character development, there was a whirlwind romance, there was witty banter and a found family group dynamic, there were dark secrets revealed along with some twists with the secrets revealing to be a huge lie!
The book had almost done a complete 180, and had completely changed where I’d thought the story was headed. A lot of what happens in this book was not foreseen from Thorns and Roses — except for one action at the very end — and seemed like the previous title had seemingly barely set the scene for the overall series. While part of me is frustrated and thinking to myself “great…now if I ever want to read this series again, I have to get over the hump that is the first book,” but I also understand that you need to read it to understand Feyre more: what she’d gone through to get to where she was, her relationship with Tamlin, and Rhysand to gain the overall background knowledge that would in fact still come into play, maybe just not the way you’d expected it to.
What It’s About:
To the stars who listen — and the dreams that are answered.”— Sarah J. Maas, “A Court of Mist and Fury”
Mist and Fury takes place at about three months past the climactic events of Thorns and Roses: Feyre had (sort of) survived the horrors she’d faced under the mountain — except not really: she’d been murdered, but brought back to life by all the High Lords of the Fae courts and made Fae herself — Queen Amarantha was slain, peace was brought back to the realm, and so Feyre could have her happily ever after with Tamlin!…
Oh honey, it’s actually funny how wrong that sentence was…
Feyre is back with Tamlin in the Spring Court, engaged to be maried, but she has been suffering from severe PTSD that gives her nightmares and makes her physically ill. Tamlin pretends to not notice, but keeps her by his side on a short leash. He also refuses to train her and help her learn the ways of her new abilities she’d gotten with her resurrection; he just wants to protect her and keep her safe, but also reveals she will never become a High Lady of the Spring Court — such things are just not done, so Feyre really starts to question what future she has there, and why haven’t they’d gone through the Fae mating bond yet.
Ianthe, one of the 12 High Priestesses of Prythian, comes to their Chateau to help plan the wedding and act as Tamlin’s personal assistant and create an alliance with the Spring Court. On the day of the wedding, Feyre makes the startling realization she’s not ready — at least not in that moment — and panics at trying to figure out a way to get out of it.
Cue being saved by the bell…or in this case, the High Lord of the Night Court, Rhysand.
Rhysand interrupts the wedding and decides then and there to whisk Feyre away with him to the Night Court, as per the bargain they’d struck back under the mountain in order for him to help her.
From then on, the real adventure begins!
Feyre is opened up to more of the world of Prythian, meets many new and interesting faces who’ll become friends and enemies, learns about a sinister plot being carried out by the King of Hybern, a vicious High Fae ruler who plans to reclaim the lands of the humans, kill them all off, and reclaim it for him and the other High Fae, and plans to collect several magical items that have been lost in time that would help him carry out his plans.
As Feyre carries out Rhysand’s bargain, she learns she may be the key to stopping the king, so she’ll need to quickly master her new abilities and overcome the trauma that’s fractured her soul, and put her trust in unexpected allies. All of that is required in order to keep the world she’s come to love from being torn apart!
What I Liked:
- The Worldbuilding! In Thorn and Roses, you only got to see the Spring Court and under the Mountain, which by themselves were full of opportunity for a great setting, but Mist and Fury ups the world-building ante by, like, 5000x. There are so so so so so many additions to the world the author had created: We see Velaris and the Night Court (which is not at all what we expected it to be), the Summer Court, The Court of Nightmares, The Prison, The House of the Weaver of the Woods, The Illyrian War Camp, and even the King’s castle in Hybern. SO many different locations! The author has shown us how deep the world she’d created could go, and that she can create something truly spectacular.
- The Slow-Burn Romance! To be completely honest, there was actually a lot less romance in this book compared to the previous one. Oh don’t worry there was plenty of romance, Oh my god, was there lusty, sexual, flirtatious, slowly built romance, but it wasn’t a central part of the whole story this time around because there are so many more things going on now that a bigger plot becomes revealed. There was so much tension that kept building up between Feyre and Rhysand, and a certain iconic scene in the Court of Nightmares literally spills gasoline on the flames, until it’s unavoidable and the two of them need to talk it out and sort out certain secrets that get revealed.
- So Many New Characters! There’s literally a list of new characters that you meet in this next installment: there’s Ianthe, who’s one of the 12 High Priestess who’s working alongside Tamlin, There’s Tarquin who’s the Lord of the Summer Court and his sister Cresseida, there’s the Bone Carver: some shapeshifting creature in a magical prison who Feyre and Rhysand seek out for answers, There’s the Weaver of the Woods: a monster who prey’s on anyone who dare ventures into her lonely cottage, and the major villain of the book: The King of Hybern. More importantly, you meet Rhysand’s inner circle back in Velaris. Feyre meets Morrigan, Rhysand’s cousin, who is second in command of the Night Court. There’s Cassian: Rhysand’s general to his army. There’s Azriel: Rhysand’s master of secrets and spy. Lastly, there’s Amren, a being not of their world with a mysterious past, and piercing silver eyes with a thirst for blood. Like I said, there are so many new characters introduced, some who become such a major factors in how beloved this series is to so many readers! I especially loved the dynamic between Rhysand and his friends, and how they’ve all come from tragic backgrounds, found each other and consider themselves their family.
- Feyre’s Character Development! Feyre really grows up in this book; she’s a completely different version of herself coming into this book…literally. After the traumatizing events from Amarantha and under the Mountain, Feyre realizes she doesn’t want the world she’d thought she did. She could no longer just settle for just being Tamlin’s wife and nothing more, and learns that her needs have changed as she has changed. Tamlin refuses to accept her for anything other than the dainty, fragile human she’d been when she’d entered into his life, and holds her back — he refuses to train her to learn her new abilities as a Fae, keeps secrets from her, and even traps her within the Spring Court Chateau with a spell. She no longer needs a strong protector, she needs freedom to be who she aspires to be.
- Rhysand’s Character Development! Like Feyre, Rhysand has some major changes happen to his overall character in this title. In Thorns and Roses, he was Amarantha’s right hand man, her whore, and a dark & dangerous High Lord of the Night Court. As him and Feyre meet up and figure out what’s going on, you’re not necessarily given a new side of him, you uncover hidden depths of who he really is and what truly matters in his life and drives him. I’m not giving too much away, but let me just say there’s a reason why Rhysand is considered top of the top of the Leading Males in Fantasy.
- The Suriel! Continuing his reputation of a drama-loving queen continues to give Feyre the tea, once again makes a short but meaningful appearance and reveals a huge secret that actually flips Feyre’s world upside down!
- The Ending! Now, how this book ends is a perfect example for authors to do it in a way that’s not a cheap cliffhanger, leaves us readers satisfied, but is somehow still so cruel and invokes so many emotions and of course: makes us want to get our hands on the next book ASAP! I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it yet, but whoah boy!
- That Scene in the Court of Nightmares! Everything about it was just so great, so sexy, so iconic!
What I Didn’t Like:
- How It’s Still Considered “Children’s Lit”…So Sarah J. Maas is a YA Fantasy author, that’s nothing new there, but I do find it strange how this title specifically was on the NY Times Bestseller List under “Children’s Literature.” Anyone who’s read this book can probably agree that maybe it doesn’t belong on there, NOT because it’s not a great book, but because the subject matter may be a little mature for younger readers. I’m not trying to be a conservative prude, but there’s some pretty graphic sexual scenes within the book, maybe not the best reading material for that 10 year old who’d just finished Percy Jackson, BUT that’s just me… This may be considered YA, but it’s more on the New Adult (NA) reading level, and it’s a big jump from other YA titles that are more innocent in tone.
Probably one of the biggest game-changers you’ll ever read in literature, this book was an unexpected mind blowing gem of a book that I had not expected from the previous book! Gone is the loose retelling of “Beauty and the Beast” and welcome in its place is a thrilling , epic fantasy that is rich in all aspects of what we readers consider to be great escapist literature.
I recommend this title to those that love high fantasy filled to the brim with world-building, found family group dynamics, slow burn romance, and plenty of twists and turns to leave you guessing even after you’ve put the book down!
Thanks For Reading!
— Nick Goodsell