In A Court of Wings and Ruin, Sarah J. Maas has ratcheted up the tension that has been simmering in the first two books in this series. Just a heads up – if you haven’t read the first two books, you’re going to want to skip this review. While I make it a point to avoid spoilers, there isn’t any way around giving away plot twists from prior books (A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury), and I’d hate to give away vital information before you’ve read the actual books.
TRIGGER WARNING: Sexual content, war, abusive relationship.
Feyre has returned to the Spring Court as a spy, to gather information on Tamlin’s plans and anything she can learn about the king who plans to invade Prythian. But to do so, she is put in a dangerous position where one false move can threaten not only her life, but also the world as she knows it. As the war creeps closer, Feyre has to figure out who she can trust among the powerful and dangerous High Lords. She is forced to take huge risks and seek out any allies she can rely on, even in the most unlikely of places, to save not only Prythian, but the human world as well.
The world that we saw in A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury is further expanded in this book. We get a wider view of Prythian, as Feyre and her companions travel through courts that we have not yet seen: the Autumn Court, the Winter Court, and the Dawn Court. The richly imagined and dramatically different courts are so detailed and beautiful in their own way, with not only the backdrop and decoration setting them apart, but the flora and fauna, magical characteristics, and even the coloring of their residents varying distinctly. Greek mythology continues to play a role in this book, with overlap between character names in this world and Greek myths.
While the first two books showed Feyre’s humanity and inner strength, this book showed how far she has come as a High Fae and the High Lady of the Night Court. She is playing her role as a spy in the Spring Court very well, with only Lucien seeming suspicious of her duplicity. While Tamlin is making an effort to include her more often, the relationship is still not a healthy one, and remains abusive. Through the entire book, Feyre manages to keep her head high, and her focus unwavering. She continues to stay fixated on her goal of protecting her family, friends, and innocents, and goes to any and every length to do so.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were both openly and closeted gay and bisexual characters in this book. I feel that it’s important to have that representation among authors, especially well-known authors, across all genres.
In this book, loyalties shifted often enough so that they were difficult to predict. Plot twists happened so often that I was on the edge of my seat, waiting to find out what happened, reading until way past my bedtime. While the book is a long one, I finished it within two days. It was an emotional rollercoaster, with immense highs and dreadful lows. The book had a lot of action, especially towards the end, where there were some horrific battles. My heart was pounding, and I couldn’t stop reading if I wanted to (which I definitely did NOT). Ultimately, I was happy with how and where the book ended, although I’m looking forward to reading more books in the series.
People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.
Gasp Factor: 30
Categories: Book Review