A Court of Wings and Ruin – more like A Court of Tears and Questions

The longer I have sat on this review since I have finished A Court of Wings and Ruin, the more problems I find with it.  Trust me, I didn’t want it to be this way, yet here we are. 

Let me just say that when I read ACOTAR two years ago, I was… unfulfilled. Yes, I liked it. But I genuinely did not understand the hype. I think Sarah J. Maas is a brilliant writer, and her stories of fae and powers and warring kingdoms are wholly addicting BUT, I still didn’t get the hype. Then ACOMAF came into our lives, and I was blown away. The character development and growth of Feyre and her story has resonated with me to my very soul, and I am not sure if that book will ever be knocked out of my top 5.

However, ACOMAF and ACOWAR are two completely different types of books that happen to reside in the same series. While Mist and Fury was a story of discovering and healing, Wings and Ruin is truly a book of war. Did I like it? Yes. But when you compare it to its predecessor, I think you are going to be mildly disappointed.

There were lots of aspects of this book that I absolutely loved, and the main one being the war scenes / intricate battles that SJM painted. Holy shit. Even with Feyre’s limited first person point of view (more on that in a few paragraphs) I was seriously so impressed with the how visual all of the battles were of this war. The scope was…enormous, and I felt like SJM put us on that hill with Feyre, or on the field with Cassian as she wrote. My heart was in my throat, my palms were sweaty, I felt physically nauseous reading these scenes. So, I guess you could say she did a damn good job with that.

The introduction of new characters was so much fun, and I am glad that SJM started to flesh out some of the older ones. For example, we learned SO MUCH about the Bone Carver and the Weaver, and encountered little plot twists with Lucien, Mor, and Jurian which made me have to put the book down and walk around my apartment. And, we are finally starting to scratch the surface of what/who Amren is, which is relieving, but not quite satisfying if you know what I mean. Also, getting to meet all of the new High Lords and their courts gave me actual goosebumps; I love them all and I can’t wait to learn more about them.

And a list of new characters that JUST GAVE ME LIFE: (because no review is a good review without a little list 😉)img_1134

  • Brayxis
  • Helion
  • Eris
  • Brayxis
  • Vassa
  • Brayxis
  • Viviane

Did I mention I am obsessed with Brayxis?   Well, I am.

While I could go on and on about certain scenes that I loved or which characters I adored, at the end of the day my favorite aspect of ACOWAR is how many real and raw emotions it brought out in me. I laughed out loud in some parts, I gasped, I cried, I paced my apartment in a panic, and I sobbed. While of course there are things about the book I didn’t like, that doesn’t take away from this reading experience; it was simply magical. And for that feeling alone I will continue to read SJM’s books because there is emotional magic in her words. (Well, that and the fact that there is so much potential in this world, it’s astonishing.)

Now, unfortunately, it is time for the things that I didn’t really like. I don’t think it would be fair to just write out a bulleted style list, so I will try to flesh out these ideas as much as possible. There is no way to do this without spoilers, so proceed at your own risk!

I mentioned earlier that I really appreciated how well SJM wrote a war through only a single first person POV. And while I do feel like she did a fantastic job with that, I think ACOWAR would have benefited immensely from either multiple POVs, or a third person POV to really capture everything that was going on. Trust me, while I type this up, I know it’s ultimately a Catch 22, because while I am saying the story would have benefited with a third person POV, I know I would have complained about the inconsistency between the three books if that were the case.

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this chapter…jeez

This is a harder issue to explain, but I feel like there were quite a few “GOTCHA” or “SIKE” moments that rubbed me the wrong way. The first being that the book opened with a chapter from Rhysand’s point of view. I was expecting there to be a flip-flop back and forth between Feyre and Rhys, but that wasn’t the case at all. Instead, we had the opening chapter, and one single chapter at the end of the book from Rhys’ POV that served absolutely no purpose in furthering the plot.

There were a couple other fake out moments towards the end of the book that bothered me as well. The almost betrayal of Amren, the almost deaths of both Rhys and Amren, and the almost ending of Cassian, it was all… pointless. There was no reason for Amren to have ‘come back’ from wherever she went in the cauldron. Her leaving the story whether in death or some other mysterious way would have been way better for her character than what actually played out. I felt kind of duped because of COURSE I was happy that everyone lived, but again, I don’t think they should have.

img_1110Talking to others non-stop about this ending and the characters made me realize something that I didn’t immediately pick up on, and that was the lack of fun banter between Rhys and Feyre that I felt was significantly lacking in ACOWAR. I adore them individually as their own characters, but also I loved their relationship and closeness in ACOMAF.  But there was a definitive spark missing in this book. I love that Rhys respects Feyre as her own person, and lets her make her own decisions, but he shouldn’t just take a back seat to everything she wants or decides. They are supposed to be equals. I hate to say this, but in her quest to make Rhys the ultimate book boyfriend, SJM made him so perfect he ceased to be interesting. Another Catch 22 dontcha think?

Lastly, the ending was too clean and too happy for a book that has the word “Ruin” in the title. This book was about war, the preparation of that war, and the death / havoc that war brought upon Prythian. Yet every single person that was important to this story was able to walk away alive? I don’t know. I didn’t want any of my favorite characters to die, but I would have accepted if they did you know?

So in summary, I finished this book with a gigantic head ache and completely drained of all emotions. I rushed to Goodreads to mark it as finished and just knee jerk reaction gave it 5 stars because that was the only rating I had really EXPECTED to give it. But after days of discussing the book with my sister and with my BFF Kori from @_livelaughread, I realized that I was being totally unfair to myself. I couldn’t force myself to love this the way I loved ACOMAF just based on expectations. And there were too many things that just nagged and nagged and drained my emotions even more.

I hate doing this, I hate it; but, ACOWAR was a solid 3.5 star read.

*cries forever*

November FairyLoot Unboxing!

Why is FairyLoot so amazing?  How do they do it?!

When the theme for November was announced, on Instagram in early October, I scheduled a reminder in my planner to hop online and purchase one as soon as they became available.  “Royals & Rogues”?!  “Perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas”?!  Count me in.

I have gotten a few FairyLoots before and have loved them infinitely, but since they are based in the U.K. and I live in the US, I never wanted to commit to a subscription because DAMN YOU SHIPPING!!  The November “Royals & Rogues” box may just change my mind though…

Continue reading “November FairyLoot Unboxing!”

September Wrap Up!

Considering how much Empire of Storms destroyed my life, I had a really good reading month in September!  I read six books, and listened to one, which is above average for me.  I think after I finished EoS, I just kept grabbing books, trying to devour everything in sight to erase/drown my feelings in.  (For the record, this certainly increased my reading count in September, but was not successful in erasing the feelings).

I even managed to review 5 of the 6 books I read, so the full posts are linked if you are interested!

Continue reading “September Wrap Up!”

Empire of Storms

Sarah J. Maas

Published September 6, 2016 by Bloomsbury

Throne of Glass #5

28260587I guess I should start of this review by saying that Empire of Storms is/was probably my most anticipated release for 2016.  So, with that being said, I think I should review this book from the inside out:

When the cover was revealed back in May, I was in awe.  I love the attention to detail: Aelin’s hair is growing back and the cover reflects that. She is also wielding Damaris, her fire is controlled and gorgeous, and the Eye of Elena is around her neck.  Then, as if her sassy travelling/fighting outfit isn’t enough, flip the book over and she is wearing a gorgeous open-backed purple dress that shows off her tattoos.  It is amazing how psyched the outside of this book makes me.

Bloomsbury also published this book on thinner pages, since the story is so long: 693 pages long to be exact.  The thinner pages actually make the book deceivingly heavy, like it’s a dense little brick, but I like that it’s not larger than Queen of Shadows physically.  I loved the feel of these thinner pages, and I found myself almost petting them at times.  I have heard some people said they experienced easily ripped pages because of thinness, but I didn’t personally have that problem.  Aesthetically, I think it looks lovely the size of the physical books vary throughout the series, rather than just moving from smaller to larger.  Also, it should be briefly noted that the Throne of Glass chapter headers, give me life. Ok, moving on.  Continue reading “Empire of Storms”

Sarah J. Maas Signing!

img_4921I have actually seen Sarah J. Maas before and gotten my copy of A Court and Mist and Fury signed when I went to BookCon in Chicago back in May of this year.  It was a pretty quick process: we got to chat with Sarah for about two minutes, she signed our books, and then we moved on so the line could continue to flow.

I left that signing thinking how adorable, kind, and funny Sarah was; just based on those two minutes of interacting.  So, when I saw that her US tour for Empire of Storms included Jackson, MS (only two hours away from my parents house) my sister and I decided that Queen Sarah was certainly worth that drive and bought tickets to the signing.

Continue reading “Sarah J. Maas Signing!”

10 Books to Read Before the End of 2016

Photo Aug 21, 12 34 38A week, or maybe two weeks ago now, I saw that Christine from @weereader made this lovely blog post based off a photo that @pollyandbooks  shared on her bookstagram, listing out her must read books for the rest of 2016.

I thought it was such a good idea to hone in on, and narrow down the seemingly endless amounts of books that I own – and ones that I am sure to buy between now and December 31st.  As we are going into the final stretch of 2016, I wanted to pull aside some books that I have bought throughout the year that I SWORE I would get to soonish but just haven’t yet.

Continue reading “10 Books to Read Before the End of 2016”

Empire of Storms Prediction Survey

Hi everyone!  If you don’t already know, I am a huge, HUGE Sarah J. Maas fan.  I am so stoked for the release of Empire of Storms in only a few weeks!

EMPIRE OF STORMS 1
*faints*

So in celebration of book 5 in the Throne of Glass series, I thought it would be fun to take a quick survey of some predictions for the upcoming release of Empire of Storms!   I threw together a quick 5 question survey so we could all pitch in our two cents and predict some major happenings.

I even wanted to raise the stakes and include some prizes!  Who ever gets the most predictions correct will win an awesome set of Throne of Glass bookmarks from @behindthe_pages Etsy store!

il_570xN.1062052751_bae4AREN’T THESE BOOKMARKS AMAZING?!

To cover all of my  bases though, I will let you know that if there are multiple people who get the same amount of predictions correct, those names will go into a jar and I will pick one winner.

Also.  I think this may be the most important point: please allow me to finish the book before I pick the winners. This is supposed to be fun, so don’t take it too seriously!  I don’t need anyone asking me if there is a winner for the bookmarks when I haven’t finished the book yet.

So with that being said, you can click HERE to take the survey!  I am super stoked about this, I hope you all are too!  Good luck my friends!

EMPIRE OF STORMS PREDICTIONS DOC <— Here too, just in case you missed it 😉

EMPIRE OF STORMS 2
RIP death amirite?