Rhys lifted his head. “This is a bad idea.”
Cassian winked. “That should be written on the Night Court crest.”
I’m honestly surprised it’s not written there already, because ever since I started to read about the Night Court they made great and horrible decisions. *lol* And yes, hi, it’s me finally writing my review for this book. It only took me a year to get to it, but to be honest the amount of quotes I tabbed in this story were kind of intimidating. Jello and I read this as a buddy read and since it took us an entire year to finish the book it’s okay that it also took me a year to write my review, right? ;-P I promise to improve. Or just not to tab the hell out of my books in future. Haha! Anyway! Let’s talk about “A Court of Silver Flames”!
This book wasn’t just different when it came to the title (ACOSF instead of ACOTAR etc.) but also very different in its structure. The focus was clearly on Nesta’s journey and her character/redemption arc but also on the relationships between the characters. Well, and yes, there were a lot of sex scenes. I usually don’t mind them but I think it would have helped the book if Sarah would have focused less on Nesta’s and Cassian’s mind-blowing sexual encounters and more on the storyline instead. The plot really took such a backseat in this story and I don’t know how I feel about it. I mean I was okay with exploring Nesta’s trauma and her redemption arc and with the introduction of so many new characters. It was interesting to see all those various dynamics and how they shaped the people involved but I really missed a stronger focus on the plot and this got even more pronounced near the ending.
The ending totally wasn’t my cup of tea. For one thing everything happened way too fast and the revelations were neither surprising nor explored? It’s kind of hard to pinpoint what didn’t work for me but it was just this huge agglomeration of all the plot threads and in the end it was all over and I still craved for more context. I have no idea if that explanation makes any sense but it’s the way I felt and I really hope Sarah J. Maas will get her focus back on the storyline in the next book. For me it felt like she sort of lost her way and once she realized she needed to resolve the plot line as well, she rushed it and everything came together way too conveniently. I think it speaks volumes that everything, literally everything the story worked towards to was solved in the last 50 pages or so. So yeah, the plot felt like an afterthought in ACOSF and I genuinely hope that Sarah will focus more on it in the next book. *fingers crossed*
This said let’s go right for my characters section because I have THOUGHTS (as always. *lol*) and I need to get them off my chest.
Welcome to Velaris, the home of the Night Court! We have a lot of amazing sights and places to explore, but we also have lots of spoilers! So if you don’t want to be spoiled you better turn in the other direction and leave our city asap! This is a fair warning and it’s your choice whether you enter or not. As the city’s guard my job here is done. 😉
”And the dark eternity around her shuddered. Bucked. Trashed.
She laughed as it recoiled. Laughed around the mouthful of raw power she ripped out and swallowed whole; laughed at the fistfuls of eternity she shoved into her heart, her veins.
The Cauldron struggled like a bird under a cat’s paw. She refused to relent.”
What to say about Nesta? She’s still not my favourite ACOTAR character and probably never will be, but I finally understand where she’s coming from and how she thinks and feels. Sarah did an amazing job with her redemption arc and I think if you still feel bitter towards Nesta after reading this book it might be out of sheer pettiness. It was good to be in her head because it helped to understand her better and even though I still don’t like a lot of the decisions she made I can’t help but respect her. She knows she hurt many people with her behaviour and she really tries to do better which is more than can be said for a lot of other people. Some never realize their failures or just refuse to recognize them, but Nesta? Nesta tackled them head-on and tried to become a better person. It’s never too late to make amends and to try to do better so I admire her for it. Plus her trauma was extremely severe and I genuinely doubt that a lot of people would have been able to deal with a trauma like that. The fact Nesta did and came out of it alive on the other side speaks of her strength and who knows maybe we’ll see more of this strong and stubborn woman in the next books. I really hope so because she’s definitely a person I’d love to be friends with. The way she charmed Eris so much with her dancing he probably would have died of cardiac arrest if the song wouldn’t have ended was amazing and by far one of my favourite dancing scenes in a book ever! It was marvellous! And the fact she and the sentient house bonded over smutty books was more than just relatable. *lol* I kinda love the idea that she might become the leader of the Valkyries in the next books and I’m so ready to see it. Nesta is no longer the victim and she can stand up for herself and her friends now. It was beautiful to see her character growth and even though she isn’t as powerful as she used to be after she saved Feyre and her son, she is still a force to be reckoned with. The mother is on her side too so this is pretty impressive and I’m sure we’ll see more of this in the books to come. =)
”Though she had fought back against Tomas, against the Cauldron, against the King of Hybern, they had all happened to her. She had survived, but she had been helpless and afraid.
Today, she would happen to him.”
”She had been born wrong. Had been born with claws and fangs and had never been able to keep from using them, never been able to quell the part of her that roared at betrayal, that cold hate and love more violently than anyone ever understood. Elain had been the only one who perhaps grasped it, but now her sister loathed her.
She didn’t know how to fix it. How to make any of it right. How to stop being this way.”
”It was my punishment. Don’t you understand that?” She could barely see him through her tears. “From the moment I met you, I wanted you more than reason. From the moment I saw you in my house, you were all I could think about. And it terrified me. No one had ever held such power over me. And I am still terrified that if I let myself have you… it will be taken away. Someone will take it away, and if you’re dead…” She buried her face in her hands. “It doesn’t matter,” she whispered. “I do not deserve you, and I never, ever will.”
”She faced the city – the lovely, vibrant city. None of it seemed as vibrant as what waited above. The climb would be brutal, and almost without end, but at the top … Cassian would be waiting. As he had waited for her for years now.
Nesta smiled. And began the climb.”
His eyes shuttered in a way she had not witnessed before. “I was taken away from her when I was three. Thrown out into the snow and in her so-called disgraced state, she became prey to other monsters.” Nesta’s stomach twisted with each word. “She did their backbreaking labor until she died, alone and…” His throat worked. “I was at Windhaven by then. I wasn’t strong enough to return to help her. To bring her somewhere safe.”
Ahh Cassian. It was so good to find out more about him and his past and it only made me love him even more. I already loved Cassian in the former books but this time around we got his POV and I was so happy to be able to dive into his mind. He’s really such a beautiful person inside and out and I totally get why Nesta thought that he would be too good for her. He’s such a generous and kind soul and he always tries to make the best decisions for everyone. Plus he’s good at putting himself in the position of someone else and I really loved that about him. While all the others didn’t get Nesta and Lucien and didn’t bother to understand them and their motives, Cassian fought for them and gave them the benefit of the doubt. It was really nice to see him care about Nesta and Lucien and that he acknowledged their pain. That’s more than can be said for all the others. I think if given the time Lucien and he might actually become friends. Also he’s humble and patient! Cassian is so powerful but he never abuses his power and always tries to use it for good instead. I just love this man, okay?! And I was so angry at Eris for making him feel inferior. But at the end when he notices the person Eris truly is he doesn’t make him feel worse, no he tells him that he sees him and hands him an olive branch instead and wow, if that isn’t altruistic and generous then I don’t know. (Yes, he also called him a coward in the same breath but honestly Eris deserved that one.) Cassian is awesome! Period.
”They were wrong.” his eyes glittered fiercely. “What they learned was that we love each other as true brothers. And there was nothing that we wouldn’t do, no one we wouldn’t kill, to reach each other. To save each other. We killed our way across the mountains, and made it through the Breaking – the worst of Ramiel’s three routes to the top – and we won the damn thing.”
Clotho huffed a laugh. She has a will of iron.
“Of steel.” He smiled. “Good seeing you, Clotho.”
You as well, Lord Cassian.
“Just Cassian,” he said, as he had said so many times now.
You are a lord in good deeds. It is not a title born, but earned.
He bowed his head as he said thickly, “Thank you.”
”Eris and his twisted word games and politics are an enemy I don’t know how to handle. Every time I meet with him, I feel like he’s got the upper hand. Like I can only catch up to him, and he sees through my every fumbling attempt at being clever. Maybe that makes me a stupid brute after all.”
”Cassian was good. In his soul, in his warrior’s heart, Cassian was good in a way Nesta knew most people were not. In a way she knew she was not and would never be.
He was not a warrior who killed on a whim, but a male who carefully considered every life he had to take. Who’d defend what he loved until death.”
Az chuckled, the wind shifting the strands of his dark hair. “You two need a chaperone up here?”
Yes. No. Yes. “I thought you were the chaperone.”
Az threw him a wicked smile. “I’m not entirely sure I’m enough.”
Cassian flipped him off.
Okay, but can we talk about Az in this book?! OMG! I was so glad we got to see more of his wicked, playful and fun side and I lived and breathed for those little snippets that were thrown our way! There is so much humour and teasing in this man and I really want to see more of it. Az is still such a mystery, though. We got a little bit more about him, but for me it still feels like he’s this huge big question mark hovering above my head. Can we please explore his character in the 5th book? XD Also I’d like an explanation for all his confusing behaviour. Like he’ll do done thing and I’ll think: “Okay, I’m back on track.” and then he’ll totally throw me off again and I JUST DON’T KNOW HOW TO READ THIS MAN!!! Thank you Sarah for writing him that way. It’s fine, it only causes me sleepless nights every once in a while. *lol*
”Right,” Cassian panted through gritted teeth as he blocked Az’s kick and bounced a step back, circling again. “Whoever lands the next blow wins.”
“That’s ridiculous,” Az panted back. “We go until one of us eats dirt.” Az had a vicious competitive streak. It wasn’t boastful and arrogant, the way Cassian knew he himself was prone to be, or possessive and terrifying like Amren’s. No, it was quiet and cruel and utterly lethal.
”Give me some credit, Feyre,” Az said. “I can keep hidden well enough.”
“We take no risks,” Feyre said, voice flat with command. “Pull all your spies out.”
“Like hell I will.”
Lust glazed Eris’s eyes. Covetous, calculating lust. Cassian swallowed his growl. “I mean that whatever you want, I’ll give it to you in exchange for her. As my bride.” He jerked his chin to the box with the dagger at Rhys’s feet. “I’d rather have her than that.”
He danced three dances with her! Feyre squawked. Rhys’s lips seemed to be fighting a losing battle not to smile.
Good lord, what to say about Eris? I really disliked that asshole but at the same time I couldn’t help but admire him for the way he thinks. To be honest I got strong “TSoA Odysseus” vibes from him because as much as I disliked Odysseus I begrudgingly had to acknowledge his smart brain and intelligence as well. The way he lusted after Nesta was quite something, but I could understand why she was almost irresistible for him. I mean she certainly was able to keep up with his thoughts, wits and schemes and at the end of the day we all long for someone who gets us and understands our actions. I think Eris is very lonely and he really might have seen a future for himself and Nesta. AND (you’re allowed to unpack your pitchforks now) I believe that he saved Mor and that leaving her at the border to the Night Court was the only thing he was able to do for her. At this point I’m convinced he had no other choice and that all the things he’s done so far are because he wants to end Beron’s reign. I mean he tried to save his men from Koschei and Briallyn. Doesn’t strike me as something a truly bad person would do. I’m very curious how his character arc is going to develop in the next books.
Eris went on, “Always mix truth and lies, General. Didn’t those warrior-brutes teach you about how to withstand an enemy’s torture?”
Cassian knew. He’d been tortured and interrogated and never once broken. “Beron tortured you?”
Eris rose, tucking his book under an arm. “Who cares what my father does to me?”
”Get that pitying look off your face,” Eris snarled softly. “I know what sort of creature my father is. I don’t need your sympathy.”
So Cassian said, “I grew up surrounded by monsters. I’ve spent my existence fighting them. And I see you, Eris. You’re not one of them. Not even close. I think you might even be a good male.” Cassian opened the door, turning from Eris’s curled lip. “You’re just too much of a coward to act like one.”
”Even with Elain here, he’s become close with Jurian and Vassa. He’s voluntarily living with them these days, and not just as an emissary. As their friend.”
So what?! Lucien has finally made some friends that aren’t toxic for him and you blame him for it? Ugh! Honestly sometimes I really dislike the Night Court characters so much, because they just can’t seem to think beyond their family. I love Rhys and the Night Court, but damn they are testing my patience with their stance on Lucien. Was it wrong of him to hold on to Tamlin and to stay with him even though he knew how abusive and controlling he was towards Feyre: Yes. But it’s not like he had a choice. Tamlin was at least as abusive towards him and he did the best he could with what he had. And yes, Tam sure as hell knew how Ianthe stalked Lucien and did nothing about it. Unlike the Night Court Lucien never was part of a found family and all he ever had was his friendship with Tamlin. I think what all those characters forget is that he loves Tamlin like a brother and really cares about him because he was the only one to save him from his father’s clutches. And even if he wanted to his honour wouldn’t allow him to leave Tamlin alone. That’s not the person he is because he’s loyal to a fault. Lucien’s actions were misguided but never malicious and it’s about time the Night Court gets this in their thick heads! Honestly, if they aren’t more welcome to him in the next books I’m gonna riot. I mean they weren’t exactly welcoming and only use him for their own gain and I’m NOT surprised he is looking for people that are actually his friends. If you treat him like shit you can’t expect him to stick around and to be loyal to you. Period. Yes, I still have A LOT of strong thoughts about the way the Night Court treats Lucien. Anyway! I’m very curious when Sarah will finally tackle the elephant in the room, namely the fact that Lucien is Helion’s son! He deserves to know and I’m not okay with Feyre and the others keeping this a secret from him. There were some moments in ACOSF when his true parentage shone through and I’m ready for him to find out. Can the 5th book be about Lucien please?!
”Lucien’s gold eye clicked, reading Cassian’s rage while warning flashed in his remaining russet eye. The male had grown up alongside Eris. Had dealt with Eris’s and Beron’s cruelty. Had seen his lover slaughtered by his own father. But Lucien had learned to keep his cool.”
”Easy,” Lucien said.
“Easy,” Lucien repeated, and flame sizzled in his russet eye.
The flame, the surprising dominance within it, hit Cassian like a stone to the head, knocking him from his need to kill and kill and kill whatever might threaten-“
”She’s not a carnival attraction,” Cassian said through his teeth.
“It’s not for entertainment.” Lucien’s red hair gleamed in the dimness of the rainy day. “I think Feyre wanted a progress assessment from someone who hasn’t seen her in a while.”
“And?” Cassian bit out.
Lucien threw him a withering look. “I’m not your enemy, you know. You can drop the aggressive brute act.”
”They say a beast prowls these lands now. A beast with keen green eyes and golden fur. Some people think the beast has forgotten his other shape, so long has he spent in his monstrous form. And though he roams these lands, he does not see or care for the neglect he passes, the lawlessness, the vulnerability. Even his manor has fallen into disrepair, half-eaten by thorns, though rumors fly that he himself destroyed it.”
At this point there seems to be nothing left of Tamlin and I honestly don’t know how I feel about that. He did so many wrong and horrible things and I still haven’t forgiven him for any of them, but I also think that it’s time someone gives him a chance to heal. It’s obvious he’s hurting and his entire court is suffering because of it. There’s barely anything left of the Spring Court as it is and the way it looks Tam won’t be able to get it together on his own. I think it’s about time Feyre and him have a talk and find closure and yeah I know Rhys won’t like this but all I can say to that is that he has to suck it up. Because quite honestly not to tell Feyre that the baby and her would die during birth was at least as f*cking wrong as what Tam did. I don’t think Tamlin can get better without closure and they wouldn’t just help him but basically every faerie that belongs to the Spring Court so it would be the right thing to do. He can only do better if he’s given a chance to prove it. I know I might have an unpopular opinion when it comes to Lucien and Tamlin but I don’t care. To give them a chance is the least the Night Court could do. Peace is worth it.
Nesta & Cassian:
”Until she’d been hunted by the King of Hybern and the Cauldron. Until she’d realized that everyone she cared for would be used to hurt her, break her, trap her. Until that last battle when she couldn’t stop one thousand Illyrians from dying, and had instead been able to save only one.
Him. She would do it again, if forced to. And knowing that … She couldn’t bear that truth, either.”
The banter between those two was legit one of the best things about this book. I really liked how they went back and forth and how they were able to hold their ground, but as I already said at the beginning of this review: I think it would have been better if Sarah wouldn’t have focused so much on the sex scenes. I get why she did it, but to be frank, after the 3rd time they said “It’s only sex, no feelings involved.” the reader already got that it’s not just sex and that there are plenty of feelings involved! You didn’t have to add even more “mind-blowing sex scenes” to show this, we already got it after the second time. I mean I’m the last to complain about sex scenes, I love good smut in my books but a couple less steamy scenes and a stronger focus on the plot instead definitely wouldn’t have hurt this book. You feel me? Aside of that I really liked the moments when Nesta and Cassian got closer and opened up to each other. Nesta had a severe trauma from being forced into the Cauldron and becoming fae but Cassian was very patient with her and understood her on a level no one else did. He was nourishing and pushy at the same time. Giving her enough space to grate on him whenever she needed it, but also offering her comfort when she was vulnerable. It was truly beautiful to watch those two find their way together and I think their dynamic was awesome. Nesta had a lot to work through in this book, the grief of losing her humanity and her father, the trauma of being made, the feeling of helplessness, of failing her sisters when they needed her the most, of almost being raped,. It was a whole can of worms to get through and with the help of her friends and Cassian she eventually made it. She’s still far from okay, but she’s on the right way and she can work on getting better now. Did I already mention how much I loved it that Sarah slowly but steadily let Nesta work through her trauma. It was very realistic and I’m glad we got to experience her character growth. And of course Nesta and Cassian are quite the formidable couple. *lol* I can’t wait to see more of them now that they are finally in tune. 😉
His grin was a slash of white. “The only thing that’s obvious is that you’re talking to yourself.”
“I’m talking to the House. Which is a considerable step up from talking to you.”
“It doesn’t talk back.”
”Everything about him had radiated that confident, arrogant masculinity. It had been heady and overwhelming, and all she’d wanted, all she’d wanted for so many months, was to touch him, smell him, taste him. Get close to that strength and throw everything she was against it because she knew he’d never break, never falter, never balk.”
”They clung to each other, and he tried to piece himself back together, to remember what the fuck his name was and where they were.
But there was only her. Only this female in his arms.
And the only name he could remember was hers.”
”You can keep that sharpness I like so much, that boldness and fearlessness. I don’t want you to ever lose those things, to cage yourself.”
“But I still don’t know how to fix myself.”
“There’s nothing broken to be fixed,” he said fiercely. “You are helping yourself. Healing the parts of you that hurt too much – and perhaps hurt others, too.”
”Cassian stood beside her through all of it. Not speaking, not touching. Just there, should she need him. Her friend – whom she’d asked to come her with her not because he was sharing her bed, but because she wanted him here. His steadiness and kindness and understanding.”
Nesta & Feyre:
”Nesta hated that word. The term Feyre used to describe her court. As if things had been so miserable with the Archeron family that Feyre had needed to find another one. Had chosen her own.”
Oh boy, that sibling relationship certainly wasn’t an easy one. Feyre tried to keep Nesta in the loop and really wanted to make amends but Nesta always shut that door right into her face and it was hard to watch. I finally get why she did it though and some part of me was relieved to find out that Nesta felt bad for not being able to take care of Feyre. I mean Feyre was the youngest, yet she still went out into the woods and hunted in order to keep her family alive. And yes, Nesta should have done something to help her but she was too scared to do anything and that kind of paralyzed her. I can’t say I understand their dynamic but I think Feyre was always more resilient, stronger and more curious than her sisters? So Nesta looked after Elain and her father because it was the only thing she felt capable of doing while Feyre went hunting. I suppose in their own way they both watched out for their family, only that it was Feyre who truly risked her life. But then again Nesta actually went after Feyre when she was taken by Tamlin and tried to find her, which is more than can be said for Elain. (I still hate Elain btw. *lol*) Sibling relationships are complicated and Nesta and Feyre, well they have a lot to work through. As long as they do it together there is hope though.
”She discovered the pregnancy. I wanted you to know this part before anyone else.”
“I hadn’t realized you were keeping score.”
Feyre gave her an exasperated look. “I’m not, Nesta. I just … Do I need an excuse to share things with you? You’re my sister. I wanted to tell you before anyone else. That’s it.”
”Hunting to keep them fed had taught Feyre that skill set. Hunting, while Nesta had stayed home, safe and warm, and let Feyre venture into that forest alone. Those skills Feyre had honed had allowed her to survive against the High Fae and all their terrors, but … Feyre only had them because of what she’d been forced to do. Because Nesta hadn’t been the on to do it. To step up.”
Feyre & Rhys:
Rhy’s throat bobbed. His next words cracked Cassian’s heart. “I didn’t realize how much hope I’d been holding on to until I saw the pity and fear in their faces. Until Drakon had to embrace me to keep me from falling apart.”
First of all: Feyre is still the strong woman I love and the way she tackled the revelation about her pregnancy was… Well, she dealt with it like a boss! But Rhys?! I can understand that he was worried sick about her and didn’t want to endanger Feyre’s and the child’s health, but the mother help me, WHY THE HELL DIDN’T HE TELL HER!!!?? Honestly, if I would have been Feyre I’d have chewed that man and spit him out! Honestly, the fact he didn’t tell her made me so damn angry, I can’t even put it into words. Like how did he think it would be okay not to tell her?! How can it be okay to let your wife, the woman that carries your child, go into childbirth without letting her know about the danger she is in?! Yes, they made that stupid bargain that both of them would die, but Feyre is the one who was pregnant and carried that child in her body! It’s her body!!! It’s the child living in HER body! I can’t emphasize that enough. You don’t make decisions for pregnant women! You tell THEM and let THEM decide because THEY are the ones that have to live with the consequences and the ones that have to make a decision! Or that have to deal with the knowledge in that case. Honestly, the more Sarah writes about Rhys since Feyre and him mated, the more I start to dislike him. Where is the Rhys that wasn’t possessive and gave Feyre room to form her own opinion and to come to her own conclusions? Where is the Rhys that would have never lied to Feyre and would have supported her through all of her troubles? Where is nourishing and gentle Rhys? I don’t see him anymore. All I see is an alpha hole that is possessive of his mate and thinks it’s wise to keep her in the dark. Feyre is no mimosa, she can handle every shit that is thrown her way. He of all people should have known that, but since they mated he totally lost himself. And I hate that about Sarah’s characters. The moment they have a mate they get stupid, possessive and the individual characters don’t exist anymore. Yes, you can use your pitchforks but it won’t change my opinion. I hate it that Sarah always makes her characters mates and then sacrifices their individuality. It’s not healthy. It’s not how a relationship should be. They should be equal and make decisions together. To romanticize unhealthy possessiveness and jealousy is NOT healthy. Period. You can be part of a couple and still be an individual, it doesn’t have to be this all-consuming, no compromise thing. Sorry for that long rant but it’s one of those things I absolutely hate about Sarah’s books and I just can’t overlook it anymore. It literally happens in every single one of her books and I just can’t. Also where the hell did that talk about Rhys becoming the leader of all fae from? That was at least one thing Rhys and I agreed about. Just because he has power that doesn’t mean he needs to become a leader. Uff. Honestly, at this point I’m scared that in one of those next books I’ll actually start to hate Rhys for real. And that’s such a shame. Sarah isn’t doing her characters any favour by writing them that way. >_< Okay, end of my rant. Or this review will never end.
Cassian squeezed Rhy’s shoulder. “Why won’t you tell her?”
Rhys throat worked. “Because I can’t bring myself to give her that fear. To take away one bit of the joy in her eyes every time she puts a hand on her belly.” His voice shook. “It is fucking eating me alive, this terror. I keep myself busy, but … there is no one to bargain with for her life, no amount of wealth to buy it, nothing that I can do to save her.”
”Yours is a terrible and beautiful power, Rhysand,” Amren said, sighing. “You have three magic blades before you, each a kingmaker in its own right, and yet you would rather share that power. Keep to your borders. Why?”
Rhys demanded, “Why do you want me to turn conqueror?”
Amren shot back, “Why do you shy from the power that is your birthright?”
“I did nothing to earn that power,” Rhys said. “I was born with it. It is a tool to defend my people, not to attack others.” He surveyed them. “Where is this talk coming from?”
”“Rhys knew?” Tears spilled down Feyre’s cheeks, smearing the paint splattered there. “About the threat to our lives?” She peered down at herself, at the tattooed hand cradling her abdomen.
”How can you be so calm about this?
The alternative is fear and panic. I will not let my son feel those things. I will fight for him, for us, until I no longer can.
Cassian’s throat tightened. We’ll fight for you, too.”
Nesta & Rhys:
”Rhysand might be an arrogant, vain bastard, but he was honorable. He fought like hell to protect innocents. Her dislike of him had nothing to do with what he’d proved so many times: he was a fair, just ruler, who put his people before himself. No, she just found his personality – that slick smugness – grating.”
Well, what can I say about those two? I’m glad they finally worked through their differences and started to trust each other. Also I kinda agree with Nesta, Rhys can be a lot sometimes. *lol* They are both strong characters so it’s no wonder they were at each other’s throats more often than not. I just hope Rhys won’t pamper Nesta all too much now that she saved his wife and child. I understand why he’s thankful but if he overdoes it she’ll lose all her respect for him. XD Just saying. At least they seem to get along now and that’s a huge step up from where they were before. Still, makes me wonder why Rhys never argued with Elain because let’s face it, this woman didn’t do anything for her sister, yet he never despised her for it. Only Nesta. *sighs*
His throat worked, as if he’d heave, but he held it down. “She was dreaming of the Cauldron. Of… of when she went in.” Cassian had never seen Rhys at such a loss of words.
“I saw it,” Rhys whispered. “Felt it. Everything that happened within the Cauldron. Saw her take its power with her teeth and claws and rage. And I saw… felt … what it took from her.”
Rhys rubbed his face, and slowly straightened. He met Cassian’s stare unflinchingly, his eyes full of remorse and agony. “Her trauma is …” Rhy’s throat bobbed.
“I know,” Cassian whispered.
Nesta buried her face in the cold sweat of Feyre’s neck. She opened that place within herself, and said to the Mother, to the Cauldron, “I’ll give back what I took from you. Just show me how to save them – her and Rhysand and the baby.” Rhysand – her brother. That’s what he was, wasn’t he? Her brother, who had offered her kindness even when she knew he wanted to throttle her. And she him. And the baby… her nephew. Blood of her blood. She would save him, save them, even if it took everything. “Show me,” she pleaded.
Then Rhys fell to his knees and took Nesta’s hands in his, pressing his mouth to her fingers. “Thank you,” he wept, head bowed. Cassian knew it wasn’t in gratitude for Rhys’s own life that he knelt upon the sacred tattoos inked upon his knees.
Nesta dropped to the carpet. Lifted Rhys’s face in her hands, studied what lay in it. Then she threw her arms around the High Lord of the Night Court and held him tightly.
Nesta & Elain:
”I went into the Cauldron, too, you know. And it captured me. And yet somehow all you think of is what my trauma did to you.”
Uff those two. I can’t with Elain, I just can’t. Instead of realizing that Nesta was worried about her and cares about her, Elain made everything about herself. Yes, she was in the Cauldron too, but she didn’t fight it like Nesta did. And yes, she has a trauma too, but everything Nesta ever did was to try to protect Elain. Elain was her entire world and basically the sister Nesta always focused all her energy and attention on, and now she’s kicking that with her feet? I hate Elain so much, I think at this point not even a redemption arc like the one with Nesta would make me like her more and I don’t get why everyone seems to love her. Pff… #IHateElainAndI’mNotSorryAboutIt
”Absolutely not,” Nesta spat, fingers curling at her sides. “Absolutely not.”
“Why?” Elain demanded. “Shall I tend to my little garden forever?” When Nesta flinched, Elain said, “You can’t have it both ways. You cannot resent my decision to lead a small, quiet life while also refusing to let me do anything greater.”
Nesta & Azriel:
Azriel said coolly, “I don’t need to resort to threats.” The shadows coiled around him, snakes ready to strike.
Nesta gave him a smile, holding his stare. “Neither do I.”
She leaned back in her chair and said to Cassian, who was frowning at both of them, “I want to train with him instead.”
One of my favourite things about ACOSF was definitely their blooming friendship. It was unexpected but I really loved their interactions and I’m glad Az and Nesta got along so well. I think they both needed someone who understood them and they both came to some sort of mutual understanding. I loved that so much because they didn’t even need words, they just got each other. Also Azriel’s present for Nesta was so thoughtful and ahh the way she hugged him warmed my heart so much. ❤ I totally ship their friendship and I hope we’ll see more of it in the next books. Their mutual respect and the way they deal with boundaries is just EVERYTHING. Also I genuinely hope we’ll get more of Az’s background because he’s still such a mystery.
”Even Feyre had been hesitant around Az initially, but Nesta considered him with the same unflinching assessment she laid upon everyone. Maybe that was why Azriel had never said a bad word about Nesta. Never seemed inclined to start a fight with her. She saw him, and was not afraid of him. There weren’t many people who fit that bill.”
”I’d be careful when you’re fucking her,” Amren added, lips curling in a sneer. “Who knows what she might tansform you into when her emotions are high?”
“That’s enough,” Azriel said, and Cassian turned grateful eyes to his brother. Az continued, “I’m with Cassian on this. It’s not right to keep the knowledge from Nesta.”
Shadows darkend his eyes, full of enough pain that she couldn’t stop herself from touching his shoulder. Letting him see that she understood why he stood in the doorway, why he wouldn’t go near the fire.
His secret to tell, never hers.
Azriel’s face remained neutral.
Nesta touched the glass ball, no bigger than her thumbnail, and faelight flickered within, casting a bright, easy glow upon her lap. She tapped it again and it turned off. And then she jumped to her feet and flung her arms around Azriel. The room went silent for a beat.
But Azriel chuckled and squeezed her gently. Cassian smiled to see it – to see them. “Thank you,” Nesta said, quickly pulling away to marvel at the device. “It’s brilliant.”
Amren & Nesta:
”It landed like a physical blow. Rhys came as no surprise. But Amren, who had always understood her more than the others; Amren who’d been unafraid of her; Amren with whom she’d quarrelled so badly… Some small part of her had hoped Amren wouldn’t hate her forever.”
Now that was weird and kinda anticlimactic. The way those two argued and were at each other’s throat all of the time I expected there to have happened something huge and horrible between them, but then we find out what actually happened at that night and I was like: Huh, that’s it?! The way Amren spoke about Nesta and despised her I would have thought something truly extreme happened but nope. Just wow. Was Nesta wrong for acting the way she did? Sure, but some of the things Amren said?! Either she’s extremely petty or I dunno. Not gonna lie, it made her shine a little bit less in my eyes. I mean alone that comment about Cassian better being careful when he f*cks her?! WTH? You don’t say that about a friend even if you’re mad at them. That was such a low blow and uncalled-for. *shakes head* I’ll keep a close look at Amren’s character from now on. Why is Sarah J. Maas making me dislike so many of my favourites with this continuation of the original trilogy?
”How dare you assume you know what is best for me?”
When Amren didn’t answer, Nesta hissed, “You were my friend.”
Amren’s teeth flashed. “Was I? I don’t think you know what that word means.”
Nesta couldn’t imagine spending a day in this place. A year. She didn’t know how Amren hadn’t gone mad. How she’d found the strength to survive.
She’d treated Amren badly. The small thought wedged into her mind. She had sued her, exactly as Amren said, as a shield against everyone.
Elain & Lucien & Az & Gwyn:
”Nesta met the shadowsinger’s stare and he gave her a nod. Then his gaze shifted to Elain, and though it was utterly neutral, something charged went through it. Between them. Elain’s breath caught slightly, and she gave him a shallow nod of greeting before brushing past, leading Nesta into the room.”
Okay, I’m going to be completely honest here so WHAT THE HELL IS THIS WEIRD LOVE QUADRANGLE?! I don’t get it and I have absolutely no idea where Sarah wants to go with this. Like is there something going on between Az and Elain? In ACOFAS it looked like they were attracted to each other and we got some hints in ACOSF too. (see quote above) But then Gwyn is introduced and there obviously is some chemistry between her and Az too. That quote about him being her new ribbon, her teasing him and him being amused by it. Plus he saved her and is the only man she seems to trust. And let’s not forget about the fact that Elain is actually Lucien’s mate. Uff! So let’s speak some truth here: I would totally board the Gywn/Az ship and I’d ship them both so much you’d never see the end of it. *lol* But that would leave Lucien with Elain and I just CAN’T ship him with her because she’s so damn horrible to him it even hurts Cassian and Az when they see how she treats him. And that says a lot because he isn’t exactly their favourite person either, but at least they seem to have more sympathy for Lucien than Elain ever will. She treats him so badly it always causes me to wince when I read about their interactions. Small as they might be. My Lucien deserves so much better than that and I’ll never ship Elain with Lucien. NEVER! Sarah can try to come up with the most genius character arc for Elain but she won’t be able to save that ship. Period. For a while I actually thought there might be something going on between Lucien and Vassa but as it seems Jurian and Vassa are more likely to end up together? I got the impression Lucien is sort of third-wheeling with those two? I swear if Sarah doesn’t create a worthy love interest for Lucien in her next book I’ll riot! To be honest the only two people I’d ship Lucien with right now are actually Vassa or Az. Yes, you read right. *LOL* I’d ship Lucien with Az because I think they would work well together, but knowing Sarah she won’t go for an m/m couple. Her LGBTQIA+ characters are always side-characters that have a couple of lines. I mean just look at Mor. She made her bi, just to NOT explore her character even more. We’ve known Mor is bi since the third book, but nothing ever happened ever since. No love interest, nothing. Pff… The day has yet to come when Sarah J. Maas actually goes for a queer main character representation in her books. I mean if she doesn’t want to write them, okay, but please don’t lead us on. It’s not fair. Anyway! I really don’t know where Sarah wants to go with this love quadrangle, but I guess we’ll find out one day…
”He and Lucien did not exchange gifts, though the male had brought a gift for Feyre and one for his mate, who barely thanked him after opening the pearl earrings. Cassian’s heart strained at the pain etching deep into Lucien’s face as he tried to hide his disappointment and longing. Elain only shrank further into herself, no trace of that newfound boldness to be seen.”
Gwyn threw Azriel a withering stare as she strode past him. “See you tomorrow, Shadowsinger,” she tossed over a shoulder.
Az stared after her, brows high with amusement. When he turned back, Nesta grinned. “You have no idea what you just started,” she said. Az angled his head, hazel eyes narrowing as Gwyn reached the archway.
“Remember how Gwyn was with the ribbon?” Nesta winked and clapped the shadowsinger on the shoulder. “You’re the new ribbon, Az.”
”Azriel slaughtered all of them within moments. He didn’t hesitate. But I could barely move, and when I tried to get up… He gave me his cloak and wrapped me in it.”
Nesta, Gwyn & Emerie:
Cassian’s eyes softened. “Which of the healers clipped you?”
Emerie’s chin lifted, color stealing across her face. She met his eyes though – with a level of directness that Nesta could only admire. “My father did it himself.”
Cassian swore, low and nasty.
Emerie said, voice cold, “I fought him, so his work became even sloppier.”
The friendship bond between those three was so amazing and I’m very glad we finally have a female counterpart to the Rhys/Cassian/Az trio. It was about time Sarah tackled the topic of a strong crew of girls and I was totally ready to explore their friendship. I’m sure they will bring the Valkyries back to glory and each and every single one of those women is a force to be reckoned with. They are strong and feisty and they will never ever back down again. They all had their own trauma, whether it was Nesta’s Cauldron experience, Emerie’s abuse through her father or Gwyn getting raped after witnessing her sister’s death… I hurt so much with those women, because knowing what they had to go through, what caused them to hide from the world was so heart-breaking and horrible. To see them fight back and make room for themselves, the way they got through their trauma and tackled every challenge head-on, it was truly inspiring and I loved all of them so much. They totally grew on me and them talking about smutty books and men was so much fun. *lol* I really hope Emerie and Gwyn will both find true love one day, because they deserve it and I want nothing but happiness for them. Plus them going through the rite and fighting against all those brutes, actually winning the thing despite all the odds, WOW! Talk about strength! They kicked those men’s butts and I can’t wait to see what they’ll do in the next book. =) They’ve come such a long way and they haven’t reached their limits yet. Also is it just me or did anyone else also catch some queer vibes from Emerie when she spoke about Mor? *lol* Just saying… Anyway! Sarah did well with those three and their character arcs. They fought for their place in the world and I expect great things to happen! There were so many moments I had goose bumps and I’m ready to see them change the world! The Valkyries are back! And they are ready to kick some butts! XD
”Tell me you at least had a week’s worth of sex,” Emerie muttered.
Nesta choked on a laugh as Cassian stiffened across the ring – but he didn’t turn. “There might have been some.”
Nesta read a line at random on the fifth page. Whether the sun beat hot on their brows or freezing rain turned their bones to ice, Nesta, Emerie, and Gwyneth arrived at practice each morning, ready to…
The back of her throat ached; her eyes stung. “We’re in a book.”
Gwyn’s fingers slid into hers, squeezing tight. Nesta looked up to find her holding Emerie’s free hand as well. Gwyn smiled again, her eyes bright. “Our stories are worth telling.”
”I wish for us to have the courage to go out into the world when we are ready, but to always be able to find our way back to each other. No matter what.”
Gwyn whispered, “I am the rock against which the surf crashes.” Nesta straightened at the words, as if they were a prayer and a summons. Gwyn lifted the blade. “Nothing can break me.”
Cassian’s throat tightened, and even from across the ring, he could see Nesta’s eyes gleaming with pride and pain.
Emerie said, “Nothing can break us.” The world seemed to pause at the words.
Gwyn said hoarsely as they moved into the wilderness, the snow mercifully lightening, “You two came looking for me.”
“Of course we did,” Emerie said, interlacing her hand with Gwyn’s, then Nesta’s, and squeezing tightly. “It’s what sisters do.”
In some ways “A Court of Silver Flames” was exactly the kind of book I wanted to read, but in other respects it wasn’t. I’m having a hard time to rate this book because there were so many things I loved and enjoyed to read about like for instance Nesta’s character arc, the strong friendships and family bonds, the character growth of Gwyn and Emerie, the Valkyries etc. There were so many good things in this story, but unfortunately there also were some things and situations that didn’t sit well with me. Some character developments are getting more and more detrimental the longer the series continues and sometimes I just can’t help but wonder if the author is aware of what she’s doing to our beloved characters. The fact the plot was as thin as paper and didn’t add a lot to the overall storyline was clearly something I didn’t like as well so I’m feeling a little bit conflicted about how to rate this. I think at the end of the day the good outweighed the bad and I’ll go for 3,5 stars rounded up to 4. I just hope Maas will be able to turn the tide with book five and will focus a little more on the plot again. All told I still enjoyed “A Court of Silver Flames” and I’m ready for the next book. Fingers crossed it will be a good one.