”To the stars who listen – and the dreams that are answered.”
I’ve said it about a thousand times and I’ll say it again and again: This book is one of the best – if not the best – sequel I ever had the pleasure to read! There I said it and I’ll stand by it no matter how old I grow or how often I’ll hear that Sarah J. Maas is overusing the word “mate”. *lol*
Yes, it’s true, but damn she can write and she creates characters that stay with you long after you closed the book. They are unique, they are complex and they have amazing character arcs that involuntarily cause you to root for them. Even her side characters are intriguing and well-thought-out and the fact that she’s not only able to write great fighting scenes but also kicks some serious ass when it comes to the world building department is definitely the delicious topping on my book cupcake!
To be entirely honest, I think there’s only one thing Sarah J. Maas can’t do and that’s to write a decent and convincing LGBTQ+ character who’s not a side-charrie but one of the MCs! *lol* If she ever manages to pull that off her books will go into my shopping cart without a second thought. ;-P
(Who am I kidding? They already end up there anyway. XD)
Still, for now I’m just glad that I was able to read all those other amazing books she wrote and ACOMAF will always have a special place in my heart! This book was nothing but awesome and even after reading it for a second time I’m still as devastated as I was when I read it for the very first time. This book destroyed me in the best way possible and no matter how often I read it, I’ll never get over chapter 54!!!! <333 I’m still reeling from it and I think I’ll always have to wipe away tears while reading it. >_< The emotional overload that happens in this one is real! XD
And because I’m charged with emotions right now this is going to be a super long review! This said, let’s go for the good stuff! 😉
For all of you who are new to this: Welcome to my spoilery spoiler section! I’m pretty cruel and relentless when it comes to spoilers (faerie heritage) so if you decide to ignore my warning be aware of the fact that you brought this on yourself. ;-P
”I had a long list in my head of what places I could and couldn’t endure at the manor, ranked by precisely how much they made my body lock up and sweat.”
Poor Feyre! This sentence alone tells us enough to know that she isn’t the girl she used to be at the beginning of ACOTAR. But then again this is what happens when you endure captivity and torture, when you fight for your life, die and then still come out of it alive again. At the beginning of this book Feyre is thoroughly broken and after everything that happened to her this felt more than just realistic. I loved how Sarah allowed her to be this broken thing, how she didn’t shy away from portraying a character that has gone through hell and back. A girl that somehow managed to dig herself out of the abyss, just to realize how much she lost along the way. Plus her character arc is amazing! ❤ One of my favourite scenes in this book is Feyre flinging a shoe at Rhysand! Not only because it’s hilarious but also because you can see that there is still some fight left in her! It gave me hope to see that spark and this moment actually kind of initiates the beginning of her healing process. Of course it takes time and a lot of courage on her part but the end result of her journey is masterly done! =) This said I’m so ready to see the Feyre of book 3! *lol*
”That girl who had needed to be protected, who had craved stability and comfort… she had died Under the Mountain. I had died, and there had been no one to protect me from those horrors before my neck snapped. So I had done it myself. And I would not, could not, yield that part of me that had awoken and transformed Under the Mountain.”
”I killed them.” I hadn’t said the words aloud since it had happened.
Cassian’s lips tightened. “I know.” Not condemnation, not praise. But grim understanding.
My hands slackened as another shuddering sob worked its way through me. “It should have been me.”
”You are no one’s subject.”
Ohh do I love this man!!! I swear Rhysand is one of THE book boyfriends every girl secretly craves for! Seductive, sexy, sassy, easy on the eyes, caring, gentle, cunning & witty! I probably could go on and on with those adjectives. *lol* Suffice it to say that he’s a perfectly done character! Mind you: perfectly done, not perfect! He has his rough edges as well and you’ll love him even more for it! Still, just like Feyre he endured a lot. He suffered, he got tortured and raped, he sacrificed himself in order to protect the people he loves and cares about. He’s such a complex and multi-layered character that it’s already a pleasure just to read about him. Plus what I probably love the most about Rhys is that he always, really A.L.W.A.Y.S gives her a choice!!! He doesn’t decide things over her head, he allows her to make her own mistakes, her own decisions, he always wants her to give him her consent and THIS is everything!!! If there’s one thing I don’t like about Rhysand then it’s the fact that he doesn’t like Lucien and always talks about him badly! He respects him but he doesn’t like him and I hope this will get better in the books to follow. >_<
Rhys said quietly, “I was a prisoner in her court for nearly fifty years. I was tortured and beaten and fucked until only telling myself who I was, what I had to protect, kept me from trying to find a way to end it. Please – help me keep that from happening again.”
”He had stayed. And fought for me.
Week after week, he’d fought for me, even when I had no reaction, even when I had barely been able to speak or bring myself to care if I lived or died or ate or starved. I couldn’t leave him to his own dark thoughts, his own guilt. He’d shouldered them alone long enough.”
”Because you’ve only started to look at me like I’m not a monster, and I can’t stomach the idea of anything you see tomorrow, being beneath that mountain, putting you back into that place where I found you.”
”You think I don’t know how stories get written – how this story will be written?” Rhys put his hands on his chest, his face more open, more anguished than I’d seen it. “I am the dark lord, who stole away the bride of spring. I am a demon, and a nightmare, and I will meet a bad end. He is the golden prince – the hero who will get to keep you as his reward for not dying of stupidity and arrogance.”
”So she began to trust me more than the others. Especially when I proved what I could do to her enemies. But I was glad to do it. I hated myself, but I was glad to do it. After a decade, I stopped expecting to see my friends or my people again. I forgot what their faces looked like. And I stopped hoping.”
”Your sister died – died to save my people. She is willing to do so again to protect you from war. So don’t expect me to sit here with my mouth shut while you sneer at her for a choice she did not get to make – and insult my people in the process.”
Cassian is so precious! He’s really an amazing guy and I loved him for being the buffer everyone relies on! I swear if it wouldn’t have been for him they’d have all been at each other’s throats a long time ago! *lol* It’s kind of funny how my perception of him changed after reading ACOMAF for a second time though. The first time around he was just a part of Rhys inner circle, this time however I began to see the many different facets his character is made of. Most of the time he hides behind his humour but every once in a while we get a true glimpse of his character and see his caring and more serious side. I really want to see more of him and I hope that Sarah will grant my wish! ;-P
”None of us… we don’t think it’s a joke. What you did was a hard call. A really damn hard call. It was just my shitty way of trying to see if you needed to talk about it. I’m sorry,” he repeated, letting go.
“If he pisses you off, Feyre, feel free to shove him over the rail of the nearest balcony.”
Ahh Mor!!! She’s my book girlfriend and I adore her so much! That’s what I call a strong woman! It’s kind of intriguing how everyone seems to know THE Morrigan, but seems to fail to see Mor. I think deep down within her she’s still insecure and has her own demons that haunt her in her dreams. She’s just better at hiding them and even admitted as much to Feyre when they spoke about her going back to the Court of Nightmares. You’d think that she’d be afraid of seeing her family after everything they did to her and I guess some part of her is, but that certainly doesn’t stop her from defying them by breathing down their necks! *lol* Such an awesome woman! <333 *swoons*
”I landed at the Night Court, right as Mor was waiting for me, and I was so frantic, so … unhinged, that I told her everything. I hadn’t seen her in fifty years, and my first words to her were, ‘She’s my mate.’”
”For what it’s worth, I’m the most powerful High Lord in Prythian’s history, and merely interrupting Amren is something I’ve only done once in the past century.”
That’s exactly the way Amren is introduced to us and I loved it! XD I know she’s supposed to be scary and intimidating and she is all of those things, but despite everyone claiming that she has no heart and is an entirely different creature than the faeries she lives among, I still got the impression that she feels more deeply and more truly than most of them. She sees things the way they are and she’s not prone to deception. Amren knows Rhys true nature and she decided to become a part of his inner circle so I think that says a lot about her. Also the way she talks about him – no matter if it’s done nonchalantly and absent-minded – tells us everything we need to know. She admires him and his cause and she loves him for who he really is. And this is the only reason she’s decided to join his court! Period! No one can persuade me otherwise! 😉 Tiny, deadly and scary Amren has a BIG HEART!!! And she’d probably rip mine out of my chest if she’d see that I wrote this. *lol*
”The Court of Dreams is founded on three things: to defend, to honor, and to cherish. Were you expecting brute strength and obedience? Many of Rhysand’s top officials have little to no power. He values loyalty, cunning, compassion.”
”Tempting, but no. The prick can’t decide if he hates or wants me.”
“Why can’t it be both?”
A low chuckle. “Indeed.”
”Touch me, Cassian, and I’ll remove your favourite part. Small as it might be.”
”We are lucky to have him, Feyre.” I turned from the door. “I have known many High Lords,” Amren continued, studying her paper. “Cruel ones, cunning ones, weak ones, powerful ones. But never one that dreamed. Not as he does.”
Lucien held his gaze. “Worse things have happened, worse things can happen. Just relax.”
Tamlin’s emerald eyes were feral as he snarled at Lucien, “Did I ask for your opinion?”
My poor, poor, precious fox boy! T_T I love this book but boy do I hate what happens to him in here! I mean Feyre is his only friend and he really tried to help her! Hell, he even pleaded for her, tried to persuade Tamlin to loosen the reins and yet everything he gets is a Feyre that turns away from him, a Tamlin that hurts him and an Ianthe that abuses him! This is NOT fair!! I think everyone only sees what Lucien didn’t manage to do and therefore forgets what he actually TRIED to do. He tried to be there for his friends. He was caught between a rock and a hard place and he had no choice whatsoever! I hate how Tam treated him in this one and I’m pretty sure he even hurt him physically! I mean he almost hurt Feyre and the only thing that saved her was her protective shield. Lucien doesn’t have one of those and I’m sure he suffered a lot of abuse while Feyre was away. Not only from Ianthe but also from his own friend which is cruel on so many levels! >_< I love Lucien and I’ll defend him with my life! Fight me if you want to, but he is precious, innocent and he deserves to be loved!!! <333
”Lucien had gone on, his tone pleading, Tamlin. Tam. Just let her train, let her mast this – if the other High Lords do come for her, let her stand a chance …”
Feyre & Tamlin:
”He never woke when the nightmares dragged me from sleep; never woken when I vomited my guts up night after night. If he knew or heard, he said nothing about it.”
Okay, I’m going to be honest here. In some way I even feel sorry for Tam. He did a lot of bad and horrible things in this one and yes, he acted like an – excuse my crude language – asshole! I’m sure he had to endure horrible things under Amarantha as well, but in contrast to Feyre and Rhys he decided to ignore them. He couldn’t deal with the things that happened and therefore suppressed his pain and anger until it quite literally exploded out of him. I don’t know why he acted that way, maybe it was misguided pride or he never learned to talk about his feelings but to keep them to himself certainly was the wrong way to deal with them. Instead of supporting Feyre he decided to shut her out completely and it’s no surprise that things eventually ended the way they did. There was no trust left between them and if you can’t trust the person you love, that love is already doomed. The one time she tried to reach out to him he almost killed her by shattering the study so I don’t blame Feyre for backing out of this destructive and abusive relationship. Maybe Tamlin will get over it one day… but I’m convinced this won’t happen all too soon. >_<
”I’m drowning,” I managed to say. “I am drowning. And the more you do this, the more guards… you might as well be shoving my head under the water.”
”I’ll try to be better,” he said again. “Please – give me more time. Let me… let me get through this. Please.” Get through what? I wanted to ask.
Feyre & Lucien:
”Lucien had gifted both to me – the dagger during the months before Amarantha, the belt in the weeks after her downfall, when I’d carried the dagger, along with many others, everywhere I went. You might as well look good if you’re going to arm yourself to the teeth, he’d said.”
Ahh I hate what happened to their friendship in ACOMAF! I recognize that Feyre had to pull free of her destructive relationship with Tamlin but I hate that Lucien got hurt in the process. It was good for Feyre to get some distance between them, but I can only imagine what it did to Lucien. Yes, everyone only sees Feyre’s POV but did anyone ever stop for a second and think about what this meant for Lucien? No?! I’m sure a lot of people blame him for the things that happened but the bitter truth is this: If Feyre wasn’t able to get through to Tamlin, how was Lucien supposed to do it?! Think about what happened in the first book! Wasn’t Amarantha the person that ripped out Lucien’s eye? Wasn’t she the one that whipped him and kept his wounds open for days just because he helped Feyre with her task?! What I’m trying to say is that they all suffered! I’m sure Lucien is at least as broken as Feyre, only that he had no one that would have helped him to get out of this dark hole. Feyre had Rhys who dragged her out, but who was there for Lucien? How can you expect him to help her if he wasn’t even in a position to help himself?! Even worse, Feyre had a way out! She could escape Tamlin! But Lucien? He was forced to stay there, with no other court to go to, no one that would have helped him to deal with things and he had to endure Tam’s rage and Ianthe’s abuse! So to everyone who judges Lucien for his behaviour in this book: Think carefully about what he had to go through and then tell me that he was able to help Feyre! If you can’t do this then, my friend, Lucien is innocent and deserves our compassion instead of our hatred. #I’llNeverGetTiredOfDefendingAndLovingLucienVanserra, #FightMe!
”Last week, I’d finally asked him if she’d set her sights on him, and Lucien had merely given me a look, snarling softly, before stalking off. I took that as a yes.”
”There’s only so much I can do,” he said hoarsely. “But I’ll ask him tonight. About the training. The powers will manifest whether we train you or not, no matter who is around. I’ll ask him tonight,” he repeated.
”Lucien had hated her. Had made vague, vicious allusions to not liking her, to being approached by her – I was going to throw up. Had she … had she pursued him like that? Had he… had he been forced to say yes because of her position?”
”You saw what was happening to me. But you were too afraid of him to truly do anything about it.” It was fear. Lucien had pushed Tamlin, but to a point. He’d always yielded at the end.
Feyre & Rhysand:
”Let me help you,” Rhys said. “We went through enough Under the Mountain –“ I flinched. “She wins,” Rhys breathed. “That bitch wins if you let yourself fall apart.”
Those two have such a wholesome relationship going on! It’s in stark contrast to Feyre’s relationship with Tamlin and I can’t even put into words how much I ship them. ❤ I never shipped Tam and Feyre but Rhys and Feyre?! Give me all those perfect moments! *lol* What I always liked about their relationship is that it isn’t forced. It happens slowly and unintentionally and it takes them a few months to actually fall in love. With Tamlin it all felt so forced. There was a long time nothing happened and then all of a sudden she loved him and they were a couple, which was pretty insta-lovey if you ask me. Feyre’s relationship with Rhys builds over time, they get to know each other and become good friends before they even become a couple. They listen to each other, they treat each other with mutual respect, they acknowledge each other’s strengths and weaknesses and they complement each other in ways Tam and Feyre never did. I loved that Rhys always watched out for her and was worried about her health. In contrast to Tamlin he let her make her own decisions and he never forced her to do anything though. He didn’t lock her away; no matter how hard it must have been to watch her while she made her own mistakes. With Rhys it was always free will and choice and this is exactly what I loved about him! Chapter 54 though! It’s THE revelation chapter of the century! *lol* I always have to cry when I read it and to find out how much he suffered with her, to see how much he cared and yet didn’t act on it. To realize how much he held back in order to give her the life SHE wanted to live. GAHHHH! It gets me all the time! And to think that he’s so broken himself! That he sees himself as the villain of the story and is convinced that he doesn’t deserve her love! T_T Hold my hand while I cry a rapidly growing ocean of tears! <333 A wonderful and honourable man, beautiful inside and out. And dare I say it: The perfect MATE! Haha! ;-P
Maybe it’d be a mercy to be ended –
A broad hand gripped my face – gently enough not to hurt, but hard enough to make me look at him. “Don’t you ever think that,” Rhysand hissed, his eyes livid. “Not for one damned moment.”
”You sent that music into my cell. Why?”
Rhysand’s voice was hoarse. “Because you were breaking. And I couldn’t find another way to save you.”
”What about letting your friends see your real face? But maybe it’s easier not to. Because what if you did let someone in? And what if they saw everything, and still walked away? Who could blame them – who would want to bother with that sort of mess?”
He flinched. The most powerful High Lord in history flinched. And I knew I’d hit hard – and deep.
”But then she snapped your neck.”
Tears rolled down his face.
“And I felt you die,” he whispered.
Tears were sliding down my own cheeks.
“And this beautiful, wonderful thing that had come into my life, this gift from the Cauldron… It was gone.”
”Not consort, not wife. Feyre is High Lady of the Night Court.” My equal in every way; she would wear my crown, sit on a throne beside mine. Never sidelined, never designated to breeding and parties and child-rearing. My queen.
Nesta & Cassian:
”He’d given Nesta a mocking bow, and she’d given him a vulgar gesture I hadn’t realized she knew how to make. Cassian had merely laughed, his eyes snaking over Nesta’s ice-blue gown with a predatory intent that, given her hiss of rage, he knew would set her spitting.”
I know not a lot of people ship them but I kinda live and breathe for their hate/even more hate/love relationship! *LOL* Which is actually sort of weird because I love Cassian but have some kind of hate/love relationship with Nesta. On the one hand I love that she went looking for Feyre and tried to save her, that she messed with the human queens and tried to protect her people, but on the other hand I hate that she never helped Feyre and let her carry the burden of their survival all alone. Nesta is really one of a kind and even after reading the entire trilogy I still don’t know how I feel about her. Maybe she needs someone like Cassian to make her a little bit more compassionate and maybe, just maybe Cassian needs someone like Nesta because he loves a good challenge. *lol* I’ll probably never know why, but for some reason they work for me! XD
His voice was rough as he said, “Five hundred years ago, I fought on battlefields not far from this house. I fought beside human and faerie alike, bled beside them. I will stand on that battlefield again, Nesta Archeron, to protect this house – your people. I can think of no better way to end my existence than to defend those who need it most.”
I watched a tear slie down Nesta’s cheek. And I watched as Cassian reached up a hand to wipe it away. She did not flinch from his touch.
Feyre & Tarquin:
”Tell me what that look means,” Tarquin said, bracing his muscled arms on the gold tablecloth.
I said baldly, “I’m thinking it would be very easy to love you. And easier to call you my friend.”
He smiled at me – broad and without restraint. “I would not object to either.”
Okay, I admit it! I have a little crush on Tarquin too! But how am I supposed not to crush on him? I mean he’s so sweet and honest and there’s an innocence to him that is its own kind of brand. I totally agree with Feyre and I’m sure he’ll grow into his role as a High Lord and will be a good leader for his people. It made me sad that Feyre’s and Rhysands actions kind of forced him to see them as their enemies but as a High Lord he had no other choice than to send them the blood rubies. This said I really hope to see more of him when Sarah writes her next trilogy. 😉 Let’s hope Tarquin will be a part of it too!
Tarquin glanced at the ground. “Forgive me if I’ve been forward. I’m still learning how to play the games of these courts – to my adviser’s chagrin.”
“I hope you never learn how to play the games of these courts.”
If you went to the trouble of reading through all of this you might have realized that I loved this book! *lol* Sarah J. Maas outdid herself with this sequel and I’ve no other choice than to give her 5 paws again. “A Court of Mist and Fury” is one hell of a masterpiece and this reread only consolidated my opinion! 😉