Book of the month: 'A Court of Wings and Ruin' by Sarah J Maas
I know, it's the third month in a row with a book from the ACOTAR series as my book of the month, but what can I say: I'm a woman obsessed. I promise though, next month will be a whole different kettle of probably-not-fantasy-based fish.
Anyway A Court of Wings and Ruin is the third book in the 'A Court of Thorns and Roses' series, so if you haven't read the first two and don't want them inadvertently spoilered, then this is your warning to look away. I'm also going to totally spoiler this book too because I want to delve into the juicy bits in this post.
This is the longest book that's currently published in the series so far (do we know how long the new one is going to be yet?!), and it felt like the real climax of the series. This is where we really get to know the family of the Night Court in much more detail: Cassian, Mor, Azriel, Amren; as well as Feyre's sisters. We left the last book with Nesta and Elain having just been Made into Fae against their will, and with Feyre agreeing to go back to the Spring Court with Tamlin so that she can work out how best to pay him back for all the damage he caused to her family.
In this book, Rhys is trying to gather all the High Lords of each court to unite against King Hybern who is threatening war upon them and the neighbouring humans. I'm not usually one for being interested in big battle scenes and war drama in fantasy novels, but I got completely wrapped up in this one. The glimpses into the other courts were things I loved, as well as the politics of it all. With Rhys being the ultimate High Lord of the bunch I feel like as a reader you almost felt a sort of pride in being on his side and knowing that not only can he deal everyone a LOT of damage, but you're in on the secret of him being a kind person rather than the prick he presents himself as.
I LOVE a good back story, and learning more about Mor's, Cassian's, Azriel's and Amren's was a part of the book I totally devoured, and I definitely think it made the actual battle a lot more dramatic and poignant. Cassian's determination with Nesta and Azriel's quiet support of Elain were both relationships I adored, but for different reasons. Before these all felt like secondary characters, and I'm really glad they were given the room to grow. And let's just talk about the ending of the battle scene because let me tell you I was tearing up for a whole lot of it. Cassian and Nesta's protection over each other made my heart bleed, and Elain finding the power within herself to kill Hybern was just an incredible scene. I think building everyone up made me care about them way more and I could NOT handle it when Papa Acheron turned up to save the day for his daughters (I still can barely think about that without wanting to cry).
I could honestly bang on about this book for days: the tattoos, Tamlin's sort-of redemption arc, Lucien's character development, the Autumn court, Mor's bastard ex, the new LGBT element, the cursed Queen, the fact that I *still* cannot stand Nesta; but I feel like this post is already long enough. I've read A Court of Frost and Starlight now, the fourth in the series and a novella, and I *almost* wish it had ended with this book because I felt like everything was wrapped up so nicely. However, that definitely felt like a bit of a bridge between ACOWAR and the upcoming book, so I'm pretty excited to see where that goes.
This was obviously a 5 star read for me, and now I definitely need to get on to reading Maas' other series'.