Tag Archives: Sarah J Maas

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas

 A Court of Wings and Ruin
by Sarah J Maas

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.

Rated: ★★★
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens Books
Publication: May 2, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Personally purchased title

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas

Finally, the end, and boy what a surprise I got! A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas might be the book I disliked the least out of the series. Of course, we got more Nesta, but more importantly, we got more action, more everything else. Though, I must warn, the reason I enjoyed this the best out of the series might also have to do with the fact that I wasn’t invested in it anymore. I stopped hoping this would be amazing, read a million spoilers, was convinced it would be horrible, then skim-read the entire thing, finishing in 3 hours.

Maas finally cut out the pity party starts she’s had with the first two books, delving straight into subterfuge and revenge instead. Such a refreshing change of pace that just continues through the book. The focus seems to have changed from being Feyre and Rhys, to hey, there are other characters and people here too and maybe we should give them some page time. This made the story quite fast-paced and much more enjoyable.

The characters… were interesting. Nesta is back and better than ever. She’s still the only reason I don’t regret this series. Still the saving grace for me. I might consider borrowing a book about Nesta from the library if she gets a spin-off (never buying a Maas book again after this series). What boggles my mind is how Maas can develop Nesta so well, yet stumble so horribly with other characters. Namely, Mor. Mor, who has been a strong, independent character that does have vulnerabilities but fights with elegance, was now reduced to a shadow of her former self. Indeed, her character felt so different from what she was in the previous book, it was jarring. Then, there was what she was put through by her so-called ‘family.’ Yes, I’m talking about the inner circle. She was put in situations where her well-being was a not even an after-thought. The situation with Az is squicky for the main reason that we have a ‘best friend’ who makes Mor so uncomfortable she will sleep with random men. We have someone who became That Guy™ but are still supposed to like him? Be okay with him? Feel sorry for him? No, thank you.

The ending, not a letdown since I already had low expectations, but not amazing either. I think one of the biggest flaws is that Maas didn’t want to tie everything up. Not that she necessarily needs to, but it very much felt like the way it was written was simply to set up the spin-off novels coming next year. It didn’t feel like the focus was on the current fight, the current struggle.

There’s a lot more I can say about A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas, and expect to hear it during the Pages and Pause Screen podcast for it next week, May 17th. That said, this book is sure to polarize fans of the series, though I’m sure there’s nothing that I, or anyone else, can say to keep the rabid fangirls from picking it up.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

 A Court of Mist and Fury
by Sarah J Maas

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

Rated: ★★★
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication: May 3, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Personally purchased title

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

I honestly don’t know what to make of A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas. This being the second book ever I’ve read by Maas, it seems a pattern with her to have slow, excruciatingly boring starts that eventually builds up at the very end. How did this book manage to get four stars out of me then? Easy. Nesta Archeron, the saving grace of this series for me.

Maas continues the pity party for Feyre, though this time it is completely deserved. That said, the way Maas treats her PTSD does not feel real. It feels as though it’s just a cheap plot point to get her away from Tamlin, instead of something very real for Feyre. The fact that we could have gotten an amazing book just dealing with Feyre coming to terms with what she did, and what she did for Tamlin, and Tamlin coming to terms with what he couldn’t do, and then instead we got a book that swept all of that quickly under the rug for the sake of a rushed romance was so incredibly disappointing. I wanted better for everyone involved.

For me, everything felt flat, from the characters, to the missions, everything. At least in the first half. Then, things changed towards the end, as seems to be Maas’ style, which leaves me wondering if perhaps she doesn’t have enough story to carry out the page length she’s looking for so she drags the start. Or again, it’s probably just me.

So again, why the four stars? Minor character Nesta Archeron, Feyre’s sister. The only thing I found likable about this series so far. She’s horrible and she doesn’t apologize for it. She has passion and fights and is sure of herself. She felt like a character that shouldn’t have been, but fought her way to the front, starting as a stock evil sister in A Court of Thorns and Roses, and evolving to potential major player. She made the book exciting. The Target exclusive, Wings and Ember, made the book worth it and really made me wonder how Maas could do such a lovely job with Nesta and Cassian, with a short story, yet seems to struggle with the longer, actual books themselves.

If Nesta hadn’t been in A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas, there is no way I would ever pick up the third in the series, or bother reading more Maas. But, seeing her character gives me hope that things will pick up in A Court of Wings and Ruin.

This book was read for the Pages and Pause Screen podcast (part 1 and part 2). 

 

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

 A Court of Thorns and Roses
by Sarah J Maas

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin–one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin–and his world–forever.

Rated: ★★½
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication: May 5, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Personally purchased title

amazon

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

I have heard such amazing things about A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas. Heard about how great Sarah J Maas is at creating great characters and amazing worlds. How gripping ACOTAR is and what a wild ride it is. Told it is everything I could ever want. Well, maybe all of that is true, but I didn’t see or feel it until the very end of the book.

One of the biggest flaws for me has to be the pacing. The first half of the book had me slogging along, ready to pull my hair out. There was so little actually accomplished, I just didn’t know what the big fuss was about. Then, finally at about the 75% mark, things picked up wildly. The last quarter of the book is what saved the book. If Maas was better able to find a balance between setting story up and going through action, this would have made a world of difference.

Then, the second biggest flaw for me were the characters, mainly protagonist Feyre. She fell so flat for me. The first half, and main reason the book was such a chore to get through, sees Feyre lamenting her life and in such a state of self-pity, I had to wonder why I was reading this instead of just living my own life and fretting upon my own depression. People are allowed to feel depressed, to be in despair, but when you’re writing characters feeling these things, you need to do so with craft. It’s hard to spend a hundred pages or so stuck in the mire with them, especially when you’re just getting to know them.

So, with the faults out of the way, how did the book still get three and a half stars? That ending! It was so unexpected and action packed, it made up for the rest of the book dragging. It made me wish we had seen more of that, convinced me that yes, Maas does know what she’s doing, but had me wondering why she saved it for the end.

There’s a lot more I can talk about, and have talked about in a pair of podcasts on Pages and Pause Screen (first half, second half). In general, however, I think my thoughts on A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas can be summed up by saying that it’s an intriguing start to a new series that will hopefully only pick up in the sequel!

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

 Throne of Glass
by Sarah J Maas

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

Throne of Glass series, Book 1

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication: August 2, 2012
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Personally purchased title
Purchase: amazon | b&n | book depo
Rated: ★★★★★

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

I can’t remember if this is my third or fourth time reading the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, but I could read it over and over again, each time finding new things to love and new things to break my heart.

My original plan was to re-read the entire series before the release of Maas’ latest installment, Empire of Storms, but I’m woefully behind and am now hopelessly trying to catch up before my first copy gets here – I’ve already ordered two. It’s not a difficult feat considering I can devour each book in one sitting, which I’ve already done with the first this week so far.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas follows the story of Ardalan’s Assassin and former Queen of the Underworld, Celaena Sardothien. In the events leading up to this book (dealt with in the prequel novellas – which you shouldn’t read first if you don’t want to be spoiled for some major plot reveals in the first few books) Celaena was betrayed and tossed into the slave mines of Endovier, until one day the prince needs someone to compete in a competition to be his father’s champion, and who better than the notorious assassin? What follows is supernatural mysteries, secrets and intrigue, with a good dose of action.

The book is paced well, although I might have liked more action and more of Celaena kicking everyone’s ass when she regained her former strength. The characters are well written and intriguing, and each of them who become Celaena’s closest friends will make you love them for different reasons. (This is especially true of Dorian in my case because apparently I have a soft spot for princes with that name).

I’ve seen (for this book especially) in a lot of reviews complaints about how annoying Celaena is, and how much of a “special snowflake” she is made out to be, but what I think a lot of people are forgetting is that Celaena is an 18 YEAR OLD GIRL, who has already been to hell and back multiple times in her life. She’d have to be pretty special to endure the horrors of escaping death at age 8, training to be the most feared assassin by age 17, and then spending a year in a salt mine as a slave where most who end up there don’t make it past a month or two. And that’s before she had to work for an evil ruler she hates to regain her freedom.
I for one actually like that she complains, because it makes her more relatable.

To be honest, I’m probably extremely biased because I’ve loved this series since I first picked it up, which means I tend to either like or overlook any faults others may have with it, but I definitely recommend fans of fantasy and bad ass heroines pick this up.

Quotes & Excerpts

Still, the image haunted his dreams throughout the night: a lovely girl gazing at the stars, and the stars who gazed back.

Libraries were full of ideas–perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.

Names are not important. It’s what lies inside of you that matters. I know what you went through in Endovier. I know what my people endure there, day after day. But you did not let the mines harden you; you did not let it shame your soul into cruelty.”
The princess traced a mark on her hand, her fingers pressing well into Celaena’s skin. “You bear many names, and so I shall name you as well.” Her hand rose to Celaena’s forehead and she drew an invisible mark. “I name you Elentiya.” She kissed the assassin’s brow. “I give you this name to use with honor, to use when other names grow too heavy. I name you Elentiya, ‘Spirit That Could Not Be Broken.’

You could rattle the stars,” she whispered. “You could do anything, if only you dared. And deep down, you know it, too. That’s what scares you most.”