A Court of Silver Flames
- Author: Sarah J. Maas
- Genre: Fantasy
- Publication Date: February 16, 2021
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
- Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #4
CONTENT WARNING: alcohol abuse, trauma, misogyny, mention of rape, attempted rape (flashback), violence, domestic violence (flashback)
Nesta Archeron has always been prickly — proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she’s struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can’t seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.
The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre’s Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta’s orbit. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and it only burns hotter as they are forced to work closely together.
Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.
Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance — and healing — in each other’s arms.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am 100% a basic bitch who is absolutely trash for Sarah J. Maas. This series was basically my introduction to fantasy, so it’ll always have a soft spot in my heart. And while Nesta is one of the more difficult characters throughout the series, I’ve always wanted to get to know more about her. This was my chance, and I couldn’t wait to jump right in. However, I had to wait until I could literally drop everything to read it, because I knew that I would be unable to put it down once I got into it.
It was slow at first, and Nesta was her usual obnoxious, bitchy self. I got that she was dealing with severe trauma, but it still made her difficult to like. It was clear that she was suffering and in pain, but if you’ve read any part of the series, you’ll know what I’m talking about with her being a character it’s hard to fully empathize with. But as time went on, we get to learn more about what’s going on in her head, and what makes her the way she is.
“They had thrown them all, mere children and a crumbling man, to the wolves. So Nesta had become a wolf. Armed herself with invisible teeth and claws, and learned to strike faster, deeper, more lethally. Had relished it. But when the time came to put away the wolf, she’d found it had devoured her, too.”
Everyone deals with trauma in their own way. While everyone in the Night Court (or the series, to be honest) has been traumatized, they’ve all managed to find their own path to healing, but they also have the support of each other. Nesta has worked so hard to push everyone away, that she’s wound up trying to do this alone, but it hasn’t been working out for her so far.
“She had failed in every aspect of her life. Utterly and spectacularly failed, and keeping others from realizing it had been her main purpose. She had shut them out, had shut herself out, because the weight of all those failures threatened to shatter her into a thousand pieces.”
Enter Cassian. He’s a character that I always loved. At first, I was so upset at the prospect of a Nessian pairing, because I thought he deserved better. But as the story unfolded, I realized how well suited they were, and the pairing grew on me. They’re a perfect match, and no one in the series understands her like Cassian does, not even her family. He’s the ideal person to give her the time and peace to regain control of her life and work through her issues.
“Feyre at last took her hearty bite of food. ‘Nesta is a wolf who has been locked in a cage her whole life.’ ‘I know,’ Cassian said. She was a wolf who had never leaned how to be a wolf, thanks to that cage humans called propriety and society. And like any maltreated animal, she bit anyone who came near. Good thing he liked being bitten.”
The story itself picked up in pace and became more complex, weaving in a tenuous political climate with a slow-burn romance. Since this has firmly left the YA arena behind, the sex scenes are much more graphic in nature, amounting to smoking-hot smut in places. I definitely wasn’t complaining though. It lived up to the promise that was left off in the earlier books, and it also changed my perspective a lot. I started reading with my thoughts made up on Nesta and a couple of other characters, and by the time I finished this book, I was looking at them totally differently. But I am eager for the next book, and plan to continue being SJM trash.
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: 20
Categories: Book Review