Alrighty! Spoiler-free review for A Court of Mist and Fury (Book 2) by Sarah J. Maas – let’s go! (Note: This review, specifically the synopsis below, might have spoilers from A Court of Thorns and Roses, Book 1; so if you haven’t read that yet, you might want to hold off on reading this review. But! It’ll be here waiting for you when your’e done with ACOTAR ).
YA, Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Romance
This book most definitely contains some mature content (mainly steamy and explicit sex scenes, but also battle and fight scenes), so I’m classifying this as mature young adult and older. With that being said, the series has won numerous awards in the “Children’s” category, which, given the content, I found a bit odd. Okay, maybe more than a bit But there you go. You’ve been given a heads up. Also, if you’re a fan of faerie/fae-related stories, then definitely give this a read.
Overview (From book jacket)
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 torn apart.
ACOTAR, Book 1, primarily took place in the Faerie Realm of Prythian. There’s an awesome map at the beginning of the book that depicts the different courts and their territories. In ACOTAR, readers mainly saw the Spring Court (well…parts of it, anyway…) and Under the Mountain. In ACOMAF, we got to see more of the other Courts located throughout Prythian, which I thoroughly enjoyed. And yes, I now want to live there – creepy monsters and all.
OMG THESE CHARACTERS! If I thought the characters in the first book were layered, then MAN, the characters introduced (and expounded upon) in ACOMAF are something else (in the best way possible, of course).
First: New characters. Maas introduced quite a lot of new characters in ACOMAF without it feeling overwhelming or tedious. In fact, I loved each and every new character. Wait…no, yep, I loved them all. Each of their unique personalities and mannerisms and histories contributed to the story and the plot without detraction.
Second: Building off that point, Maas also created excellent character dynamics. The teasing, taunting, and bickering were on point and in correspondence with each character’s personality. These characters challenged each other, furthering their development. I also appreciated how Maas very clearly depicted how each character dealt with the aftermath of the events in ACOTAR, whether they directly or indirectly experienced said-events. In that sense, ACOMAF was darker on a personal level for certain characters as they figured out how to cope with their scars and post-traumatic stress and also how to help one another.
What I Liked
See the above Character section.
The writing style was consistent with ACOTAR, which means I loved it just as much. The descriptions and dialogue worked well with the characters (both new and old) and everything was well-paced. I also just feel like Maas’ writing style allowed me to be more in tune with the characters.
I also LOVED that we saw more of Prythian. I may have mentioned in my ACOTAR review that reading it made me remember how much I absolutely adore stories about fae, so seeing more of their land and their people(s) in ACOMAF was very much appreciated.
There was also just as much action and badassery in ACOMAF as there was in ACOTAR… If not more?… Yeah, maybe even more this time around. Especially with the introduction of new characters and even more fae powers.
Last, but certainly not least Those steamy scenes and overall romance? They’re somehow even BETTER in ACOMAF than they were in ACOTAR And you all know how much I need romance in my reads. (I don’t even know when that started btw I just know that now I don’t enjoy a book nearly as much if it doesn’t have romance in it. So mix that in with a ton of magic, epic adventure, and dynamic characters and I’m sold.)
What I Liked A Little Less
Although, I will say this (mainly a personal anecdote, so feel free to skip this paragraph): in my ACOTAR review, I warned against looking at fan art until readers at least read through all of Books 1 and 2; mainly because I saw some amazing fan art before ever reading these books and was SUPER confused when I finally got around to reading ACOTAR. I was all like, “Wait…where is [so-and-so]? Why doesn’t anyone draw him/her?” And “When is [so-and-so] gonna show up in the story? He/she is pictured in ALL the fan art I’ve seen so far.” And “WAIT! Why does everyone draw [so-and-so]?! He/She seems like such a JERK!!!” And… well… now that I’ve read Book 2, all I can say is “Ah… yeah, I TOTALLY get it now ” (Okay, end of incredibly disjointed and barely coherent personal anecdote.)
5/5! ACOMAF (and ACOTAR) is definitely one of my favorite reads of the year. My spoiler-free review of Book 3, A Court of Wings and Ruin, is coming soon, so stay tuned!