Published: May 2, 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #3
Pages: 705 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 4.0/5.0
A nightmare, I’d told Tamlin. I was the nightmare.
Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit—and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords—and hunt for allies in unexpected places.
“Remember that you are a wolf. And you cannot be caged.”
― Sarah J. Maas,
Well everyone, as far as I’m concerned the main part of this series is now complete. I think there a couple novellas in the works, but thank goodness I don’t think this will be transforming into some ridiculous 5+ book travesty like some other series. If you think it’s already a travesty or a blight upon the literary world, you just keep that to yourself and don’t ruin my fun… just keep reading, you may find the following mini-rant entertaining. I think SJMaas writes really fun books and it’s a fact that they’re tremendously popular amongst those that read YA SFF, but that certainly doesn’t mean the books are perfect.
SPOILERS AHEAD FOR ALL BOOKS!!!!
ACOWAR picks up immediately following the events of A Court of Mist and Fury, meaning Feyre is now actively infiltrating the Spring Court to gather information on the standing of Hybernian forces and strategies. This, fortunately, is a short portion of the book since I really didn’t want to carry on for 300 pages without Rhys and company because without them the book really shouldn’t bother existing at all. Feyre, Rhys and Co. are basically trying to save the entire continent of Prythian by themselves (a little ridiculous, no?), there is some cooing about how much they love/miss one another, Feyre is at odds with her newly fey sister Nesta, and everybody is in love with someone that’s oblivious to that fact or doesn’t reciprocate. There was some small amount of character development for Feyre and the important secondary characters, but mostly they’ve remained unchanged from how they were presented in ACOMAF.
I loved this book- it makes your emotions topsy-turvy like you wouldn’t believe- but it has flaws that cannot be overlooked. The biggest one in my opinion was the abruptness and convenience of certain events that points towards what I call “lazy writing” or “the quick wrap-up”. In the final battle our characters are certainly doomed- they are outnumbered a bajillion to one, their magic is waning, and OH SNAP, THE KING OF HYBERN HAS THAT MAGIC CAULDRON THAT MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE CREATED THE WORLD N HE ‘BOUT TO USE IT. Yah, well, all of a sudden all those allies that were hoped for, or quested for, or whatever suddenly show up with their downy-soft angel wings, a cursed flaming fire bird queen named Vassa (gee, where’d you pull that from I wonder?), and an armada from good ol’ daddy Archeron who was useless and invisible for every other part of the series. AGHHHHHHH WHY!!!!? This was SO painful to read- how absurdly convenient, now our beloved heroes won’t die because our troop numbers have swelled three fold. Did I mention how turd bagels like Tamlin and J-name human general all of a sudden have redeeming qualities? *Barf* Also, characters can’t just disappear on quests without some description of their quest even if it’s just “he rode a horse until he got saddle-sores, ate moldy cheese for 3 weeks, and lo’ there was the magic fire-bird that then agreed to help his cause after he said please”. Did I mention that SJMaas decided to throw in some slap-dash diversity in the last 200 or so pages and made the bargains with powerful, menacing beings/objects way too simple? This type of thing makes me SO mad because the author has just cheapened their book by making things easy!
Anyways, enough of that rather cathartic rant. Aside from my serious frustrations, I enjoyed ACOWAR quite a lot. It was a really fun book with a cutesy ending that made my heart go all fuzzy and it blessedly had more plot than the previous books that had Feyre + Tamlin Rhys Forever vibes on every other page. Feyre at least developed into a strong, capable character even if she did have a temper that needed to be kept on a shorter leash. SJMaas’s female MC’s tend to lean towards crazed rage-machines with fire shooting from their hands/eyes/orifices. There are some obvious parallels between series and I’d kinda like to see a crossover throw down between the characters. I’ve given this a star rating, but more accurate would be liked it, but with some reservations.