Spoilers for the books pictured above only, not ACOSF.
I wasn’t planning on rereading the ACOTAR series ahead of the new release – I planned to read a recap somewhere for each book and just dive right in. However, when I saw a readalong planned that broke down when to start and finish each book, PLUS I found the audiobooks on Scribd… I figured I may as well!
I was a big fan of the first book and was surprised at how quickly I read it. Usually fantasy books take me forever, especially ones of this size! The magic and world-building was very accessible so I think that helped. I loved Feyre and Tamlin and was fascinated by the trials Under the Mountain. I definitely thought, upon rereading, I would hate Tamlin the whole time or see some inklings of what was really going on, but that didn’t happen too much.
If I thought I enjoyed ACOTAR the first time around, I was certainly not prepared for ACOMAF – my favorite of these above. Rhys was immediately captivating yet again. I remember thinking I’d hate him heading into book two but he wooed me right away. Some of her writing started to grate on me in this one, with her constantly making “vulgar gestures” way too often or calling him a “prick” as the only insult. Just made for a lot of repetitive scenes. While I do see why I loved this one the most the first time around, I did miss the structure of the first book. I liked how it was segmented in different locations, events, etc. and this one missed that for me. Still appreciate the feels.
ACOWAR was my least favorite when I read it. I do think it was mostly because I specifically noticed the decline in SJM’s writing style, or editing level done on her books. It’s probably not fair for me to review this one again since it was mostly background noise while I was working. I also read some of the ebook and read a book summary/recap so I knew what happened. I think, half-paying-attention, made me like it more than the first time haha. It’s not logical for me to change my rating or thoughts though so I’ll leave this one as it is. Still repetitive writing and phrases, still needed more editing.
And finally, the cute novella of ACOFAS. I remembered that this was an enjoyable seasonal story, full of winter and art-making. It was very pleasant to have a 6 hour audiobook after the last few! I spent two half-work days listening to it easily. My original review thought this was pretty pointless but did a good job of setting up for the next installments – I stand by that. I enjoyed reading about everyone’s relationships, the Solstice celebration, and getting into the minds of Cassian and Nesta.
A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #4
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, New Adult
Published by Bloomsbury on February 16, 2021
Also by this author: A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury, Throne of Glass, The Assassin's Blade, Crown of Midnight, A Court of Wings and Ruin, A Court of Frost and Starlight, Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows, Empire of Storms, Tower of Dawn, Kingdom of Ash
Format: Audio/Physical (757 pages) • Source: Purchased, Scribd
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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 only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.
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 don’t want to shit on anyone’s feelings on this series, but I really had grown exhausted of SJM’s writing style by ACOWAR (luckily ACOFAS was cute and simple enough to enjoy and rehab my feelings on the series). I wasn’t even sure I would read this one until I was suddenly rereading the series and preordering this.
I’ll admit that this took me a VERY LONG TIME to read. I started it at the end of February when I received my copy and stretched my reading/listening all the way through the end of April. I got to a point where I just forced myself to read 2ish chapters per day (more if I felt compelled and interested in what was happening). It’s not that I didn’t like the book, it’s just that I was tired of reading it or something. I ended up finishing on the two-month anniversary of when I started reading it lol.
I actually liked Nesta and appreciated her journey SO much throughout the story. I was curious to see what would happen with everyone else (Feyre, Rhys, Elain, etc.) as well, so it was nice to see everyone again on the outskirts of Nesta’s story. This book takes place in a more remote house within their area so they weren’t always there – it’s definitely a companion series with other characters making occasional but important cameos.
Cassian was essentially as great as I expected and their inevitable romance was somewhat slow burn and excellent. I appreciated the scenes where they both let their guard down. Certainly a ton of sex scenes – they weren’t the most cringeworthy I’ve ever read, but definitely not my favorite.
I know part of this is my fault because I put off reading it and stretched it over two months, but I couldn’t always keep track of what was happening or even understand what they were all up to. There were fun training scenes and getting to know newer characters like the priestesses, which I appreciated, but the overarching ~conflict~ was a bit lost on me for some reason. I wish I just sat and read two chapters per day when I started the book because it motivated me toward the end AND I would have finished it much faster. I liked the end of the book (part four) and did read a lot to be able to finish it somewhat quickly.
All in all, there wasn’t anything compelling me to sit down and read. I was generally interested in the characters and wanted to know what would happen, but nothing pulled me in. Nothing made me eager to pop on the audiobook while I did dishes or open up the massive hardcover while Chris played video games. I don’t think this is a bad book or anything, but the same pull I got while reading ACOTAR and ACOMAF was just not there for me.