Fantasy, New Adult, New Adult Romance, YA Fantasy

My Review: A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2): by Sarah J. Maas

Publish Date: May 3rd, 2016
Number of Pages: 626 Pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Genre(s): YA Fantasy, Romance, New Adult

***Warning!! This review contains spoilers from the previous book in the series, so continue reading at your own risk! You’ve officially been warned!***

To see my review for book #1 – A Court of Thorns and Roses – Click HERE

To see my Fancast/Dreamcast for the series – Click HERE

Total Star Rating: 4.75 Stars

I was not a pet, not a doll, not an animal. I was a survivor, and I was strong. I would not be weak, or helpless again. I would not, could not be broken. Tamed.”

— Sarah J. Maas, “A Court of Mist and Fury

So, I don’t care what anyone else says…this book is the greatest book ever written by Sarah J. Maas — fight me if you disagree! It seriously has it all in what makes an amazing fantasy novel: a vast and intriguing world, a plethora of memorable characters, exciting adventure, rich character development for the both protagonist and others, lots of twists and turns, and a scorching romance. This book is thiccc with all of that, and yes, it’s a thiccc book in general, but it’s truly a masterwork I’m sure no one expected after reading the previous book.

I personally wasn’t as thrilled with A Court of Thorns and Roses as other readers had been: for me, it was a much slower paced story than what I’d become accustomed to with SJMaas as an author, and romance was more centric to the overall plot of the book than usual. I could tell the author had spent more time in creating the world it takes place in, and it did have a lot of aspects of which I’d loved from her Throne of Glass series — one of my all time favorites! — but it’d felt like something was missing.

This book changed all that.

This book made me fall deeply in love with the characters, the world, and is an excellent example of reasons why I love to read. There was so much character development, there was a whirlwind romance, there was witty banter and a found family group dynamic, there were dark secrets revealed along with some twists with the secrets revealing to be a huge lie!

The book had almost done a complete 180, and had completely changed where I’d thought the story was headed. A lot of what happens in this book was not foreseen from Thorns and Roses — except for one action at the very end — and seemed like the previous title had seemingly barely set the scene for the overall series. While part of me is frustrated and thinking to myself “great…now if I ever want to read this series again, I have to get over the hump that is the first book,” but I also understand that you need to read it to understand Feyre more: what she’d gone through to get to where she was, her relationship with Tamlin, and Rhysand to gain the overall background knowledge that would in fact still come into play, maybe just not the way you’d expected it to.

What It’s About:

To the stars who listen — and the dreams that are answered.”

— Sarah J. Maas, “A Court of Mist and Fury”

Mist and Fury takes place at about three months past the climactic events of Thorns and Roses: Feyre had (sort of) survived the horrors she’d faced under the mountain — except not really: she’d been murdered, but brought back to life by all the High Lords of the Fae courts and made Fae herself — Queen Amarantha was slain, peace was brought back to the realm, and so Feyre could have her happily ever after with Tamlin!…

Oh honey, it’s actually funny how wrong that sentence was…

Feyre is back with Tamlin in the Spring Court, engaged to be maried, but she has been suffering from severe PTSD that gives her nightmares and makes her physically ill. Tamlin pretends to not notice, but keeps her by his side on a short leash. He also refuses to train her and help her learn the ways of her new abilities she’d gotten with her resurrection; he just wants to protect her and keep her safe, but also reveals she will never become a High Lady of the Spring Court — such things are just not done, so Feyre really starts to question what future she has there, and why haven’t they’d gone through the Fae mating bond yet.

Ianthe, one of the 12 High Priestesses of Prythian, comes to their Chateau to help plan the wedding and act as Tamlin’s personal assistant and create an alliance with the Spring Court. On the day of the wedding, Feyre makes the startling realization she’s not ready — at least not in that moment — and panics at trying to figure out a way to get out of it.

Cue being saved by the bell…or in this case, the High Lord of the Night Court, Rhysand.

Rhysand interrupts the wedding and decides then and there to whisk Feyre away with him to the Night Court, as per the bargain they’d struck back under the mountain in order for him to help her.

From then on, the real adventure begins!

Feyre is opened up to more of the world of Prythian, meets many new and interesting faces who’ll become friends and enemies, learns about a sinister plot being carried out by the King of Hybern, a vicious High Fae ruler who plans to reclaim the lands of the humans, kill them all off, and reclaim it for him and the other High Fae, and plans to collect several magical items that have been lost in time that would help him carry out his plans.

As Feyre carries out Rhysand’s bargain, she learns she may be the key to stopping the king, so she’ll need to quickly master her new abilities and overcome the trauma that’s fractured her soul, and put her trust in unexpected allies. All of that is required in order to keep the world she’s come to love from being torn apart!

What I Liked:

  1. The Worldbuilding! In Thorn and Roses, you only got to see the Spring Court and under the Mountain, which by themselves were full of opportunity for a great setting, but Mist and Fury ups the world-building ante by, like, 5000x. There are so so so so so many additions to the world the author had created: We see Velaris and the Night Court (which is not at all what we expected it to be), the Summer Court, The Court of Nightmares, The Prison, The House of the Weaver of the Woods, The Illyrian War Camp, and even the King’s castle in Hybern. SO many different locations! The author has shown us how deep the world she’d created could go, and that she can create something truly spectacular.
  2. The Slow-Burn Romance! To be completely honest, there was actually a lot less romance in this book compared to the previous one. Oh don’t worry there was plenty of romance, Oh my god, was there lusty, sexual, flirtatious, slowly built romance, but it wasn’t a central part of the whole story this time around because there are so many more things going on now that a bigger plot becomes revealed. There was so much tension that kept building up between Feyre and Rhysand, and a certain iconic scene in the Court of Nightmares literally spills gasoline on the flames, until it’s unavoidable and the two of them need to talk it out and sort out certain secrets that get revealed.
  3. So Many New Characters! There’s literally a list of new characters that you meet in this next installment: there’s Ianthe, who’s one of the 12 High Priestess who’s working alongside Tamlin, There’s Tarquin who’s the Lord of the Summer Court and his sister Cresseida, there’s the Bone Carver: some shapeshifting creature in a magical prison who Feyre and Rhysand seek out for answers, There’s the Weaver of the Woods: a monster who prey’s on anyone who dare ventures into her lonely cottage, and the major villain of the book: The King of Hybern. More importantly, you meet Rhysand’s inner circle back in Velaris. Feyre meets Morrigan, Rhysand’s cousin, who is second in command of the Night Court. There’s Cassian: Rhysand’s general to his army. There’s Azriel: Rhysand’s master of secrets and spy. Lastly, there’s Amren, a being not of their world with a mysterious past, and piercing silver eyes with a thirst for blood. Like I said, there are so many new characters introduced, some who become such a major factors in how beloved this series is to so many readers! I especially loved the dynamic between Rhysand and his friends, and how they’ve all come from tragic backgrounds, found each other and consider themselves their family.
  4. Feyre’s Character Development! Feyre really grows up in this book; she’s a completely different version of herself coming into this book…literally. After the traumatizing events from Amarantha and under the Mountain, Feyre realizes she doesn’t want the world she’d thought she did. She could no longer just settle for just being Tamlin’s wife and nothing more, and learns that her needs have changed as she has changed. Tamlin refuses to accept her for anything other than the dainty, fragile human she’d been when she’d entered into his life, and holds her back — he refuses to train her to learn her new abilities as a Fae, keeps secrets from her, and even traps her within the Spring Court Chateau with a spell. She no longer needs a strong protector, she needs freedom to be who she aspires to be.
  5. Rhysand’s Character Development! Like Feyre, Rhysand has some major changes happen to his overall character in this title. In Thorns and Roses, he was Amarantha’s right hand man, her whore, and a dark & dangerous High Lord of the Night Court. As him and Feyre meet up and figure out what’s going on, you’re not necessarily given a new side of him, you uncover hidden depths of who he really is and what truly matters in his life and drives him. I’m not giving too much away, but let me just say there’s a reason why Rhysand is considered top of the top of the Leading Males in Fantasy.
  6. The Suriel! Continuing his reputation of a drama-loving queen continues to give Feyre the tea, once again makes a short but meaningful appearance and reveals a huge secret that actually flips Feyre’s world upside down!
  7. The Ending! Now, how this book ends is a perfect example for authors to do it in a way that’s not a cheap cliffhanger, leaves us readers satisfied, but is somehow still so cruel and invokes so many emotions and of course: makes us want to get our hands on the next book ASAP! I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it yet, but whoah boy!
  8. That Scene in the Court of Nightmares! Everything about it was just so great, so sexy, so iconic!

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. How It’s Still Considered “Children’s Lit”…So Sarah J. Maas is a YA Fantasy author, that’s nothing new there, but I do find it strange how this title specifically was on the NY Times Bestseller List under “Children’s Literature.” Anyone who’s read this book can probably agree that maybe it doesn’t belong on there, NOT because it’s not a great book, but because the subject matter may be a little mature for younger readers. I’m not trying to be a conservative prude, but there’s some pretty graphic sexual scenes within the book, maybe not the best reading material for that 10 year old who’d just finished Percy Jackson, BUT that’s just me… This may be considered YA, but it’s more on the New Adult (NA) reading level, and it’s a big jump from other YA titles that are more innocent in tone.

Conclusion:

Probably one of the biggest game-changers you’ll ever read in literature, this book was an unexpected mind blowing gem of a book that I had not expected from the previous book! Gone is the loose retelling of “Beauty and the Beast” and welcome in its place is a thrilling , epic fantasy that is rich in all aspects of what we readers consider to be great escapist literature.

I recommend this title to those that love high fantasy filled to the brim with world-building, found family group dynamics, slow burn romance, and plenty of twists and turns to leave you guessing even after you’ve put the book down!

Thanks For Reading!

— Nick Goodsell

Fancasts/Dreamcasts

My Fancast/Dreamcast: A Court of Thorns and Roses Series by Sarah J. Maas

Image courtesy of Instagram profile: @courtofmaas

In Sarah J. Maas’s second bestselling series, a mortal young woman named Feyre Archeron is thrust into the world of the High Fae: a world full of mystique, beauty, political intrigue, and danger. the shadow of War is brewing upon the horizon, and with her newly found allies and inner circle, she must defeat a powerful enemy in order to save the world she already knows comes to love…

This has been such a popular series amongst SJM fans, it seems to be more popular than even her first series, Throne of Glass! I personally prefer TOG, but that doesn’t detract from ACOTAR; I still consider A Court of Mist and Fury to be the author’s best book to date!

Below, I’ve included an image of the main cast created by the extraordinary artist, Charlie Bowater! Her work is simply breathtaking and she is some of my all time favorite digital artists!

To see my book review for book #1 – A Court of Thorns and Roses – Click HERE!

To see my book review for book #2 – A Court of Mist and Fury – Click HERE!

To see my book review for book #3 – A Court of Wings and Ruin – Click HERE!

To see my review of book #3.5 – A Court of Frost and Starlight – Click HERE!

To see my review of book #4 – A Court of Silver Flames – Click HERE!

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Here is my official Fancast/Dreamcast:

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Feyre Archeron: Barbara Palvin, or Josephine Skriver

One thing that grinds my gears with a lot of the other fancasts/fanart I’ve seen is that they make Feyre out to be blonde….um nope, that’s cancelled because she’s brunette! Both of these models have delicate & feminine features, gorgeous smiles, and have a particular look that I believe is the essence of our heroine of this whole series!

Elaine Archeron: Minka Kelly

Minka Kelly has such a soft voice, similar to Vanessa Hudgens’ but much less annoying. You may remember her from Friday Night Lights, the TV Show and the college thriller flick, The Roommate.

Nesta Archeron: Bar Refaeli

Nesta was a hard character to cast, but I believe this supermodel has a look that’s very similar to the cold, intimidating, and oldest Archeron sister. She’s not an actress, but has been on the cover of the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated magazine, and dated Leo DiCaprio!

High Lord Tamlin: Kellan Lutz, or Luke Bracey

Anyone remember Kellan from, like, nine years ago? It felt like he was everywhere thanks to his fame found with being involved in the Twilight movies as Emmett Cullen, but he’s been on the down low ever since he got married. Luke Bracey is another name to add; he was in the Nicholas Sparks movie, The Best of Me.

Lucien Vanserra: Tom Busson

A lot of other fans say that Outlander male lead, Sam Heughan, is their choice for Lucien. I had him too for quite some time too, but now I believe he’d be just too old to play the part. Maybe he’d be better suited for Eris or his father Lord Beron, but I believe this Instagram model has a look much more suited to our beloved Lucien Vanserra!

Alis: Octavia Spencer

Octavia Spencer is just so adorable! She’s cute as a button, but can also go into a serious mom mode in her characters, and I thought she’d be perfect to play the part of Alis, the attendant who looks after Feyre when she’s brought to the Spring Court. It also makes sense considering Alis is from the Summer Court, and if we’re going to talk about Representation, the people from there are typically of African descent!

High Lord Rhysand: Ian Somerhalder, or Sahib Faber

One’s an actor while the other is a model, but both could so easily play the coveted role of the High Lord of the Night Court. If anyone has watched The Vampire Diaries, Ian portraying Damon Salvatore is a dead ringer for Rhysand: same personality, same swagger, same inner turmoil hidden by smirks and wisecracks, and of course the same devilish good looks. Sahib is a more unknown choice, but why not have some more choices? Plus…just look at him! Would you just look at him? Just look at him!

Amarantha: Eva Green, or Deborah Ann Woll

I admit both actresses have such different looks when compared to each other, so as for who might be a better choice? I guess it depends on who you ask…Eva has such a nefarious, villainess look to her, but Deborah matches a lot of the fanart I’ve seen of Amarantha, so either choice works for me!

Morrigan: Maryse Ouellet-Mizanin

Mor was another hard choice! Everyone seems to be going for Margot Robbie for some reason, but there’s two things wrong with that casting: she’s too old for the part, and she doesn’t even have brown eyes. That may sound picky, but whatevs…it’s my fancast, so get over it. I personally envisioned this former WWE Women’s competitor who is undeniably gorgeous and physically fits the description of Mor much more effectively!

Azriel: Nick Bateman, or Shiloh Fernandez

Both of these male actors are tall, lanky and can pull off the moody, brooding look: so for me, both of them could be excellent choices for our Lord of Shadows, Azriel! Nick does small acting jobs but is mostly an Instagram model, but Shiloh starred alongside Amanda Seyfried in Red Riding Hood.

Amren: Jamie Chung

Jamie is a fan favorite among others who’ve shared their fancast for this series, and I agree with it! She’s given her voice acting chops for Big Hero 6, and was also a wonderful Mulan in the show, Once Upon A Time, and if I don’t have you convinced yet, check out this image of her below with total Amren eyes:

Cassian: Santiago Loker

This guy is probably unknown to a lot of you, but oh my goodness, is he easy on the eyes! He’s an Instagram model, and looks great with a manbun which was a must to play our favorite charming, cocky general for the Night Court’s army.

High Lord Tarquin: Michael Ealy

I loved this man in Think Like A Man, and seriously…look at those eyes! They’re so hypnotic and I could so easily get lost in them for days! He never does anything even remotely close to Fantasy-genre, so it’d be cool to see him broaden his horizons and play the High Lord of the Summer Court!

Ianthe: Laura Vandervoort

Ianthe needs to be played by an actress who’s obviously attractive, but also looks like she could have a stick up her ass the entire time, and Laura looks the part 😂…She was in the show Bitten and was even Supergirl back when Smallville was still a thing!

King of Hybern: Jason Isaacs

I mean…Do I really need to justify casting the man who magnificently played the evil and elitist Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies? Nope, I didn’t think so either!

High Lord Beron: Mads Mikkelsen

He’s so great at playing villains! I’ve known this ever since he starred opposite Daniel Craig in 007: Casino Royale, and the guy played Hannibal Lector too! He’d also be another great choice to play the part of Big Boss Villain, the King of Hybern…It’s funny how Maas literally has her villainous kings just named “King of _______” from her books.

High Lord Helion: @rathekendoll

Another harder one to cast; most of the actors that would be eligible—or were fancasted by many others—were either too old or too young. Someone posted a video of this gorgeous specimen speaking on a Facebook group page for the ToG books, and “Holy Mufasa, Batman!” His voice is so deep and full of bass, I instantly thought of him playing the High Lord of the Day Court. Don’t know what his actual name is, just going off his Instagram profile username, FYI!

High Lord Kallias: Heath Hutchins

Kallias, High Lord of the Winter Court, is a character I liked but him and and his mate, Vivianne, were barely in the dang books! I wished we got to see more of the other high lords, but maybe that’ll happen in later books; according to Goodreads, there are supposed to be, like, three more titles for the series!

High Lord Thesan: Hamid Fadaei

He’s an actor and model, even if I haven’t seen him in anything. He’s a pretty gorgeous Persian man, so I thought he was an excellent choice for playing the role of the High Lord of the Dawn Court!

Eris Vanserra: Ryan Cooper

He’s an actor who’s actually played a corpse in Rough Night, starring Scarlett Johansson, but also starred in a Colleen Hoover novel-turned-movie Confess. Dye his hair red, and with that wicked gleam in his eye, he could definitely be an option to play Lucien’s devious older brother!

Prince Varian: Jesse Williams

This man is in Grey’s Anatomy while it goes into its 15000th season, and I like casting him in Fantasy roles, so I’d like it if he played Lord Tarquin’s younger brother and subtle love-interest to Amren.

Princess Cresseida: Logan Browning

She has the similar features of other actors I’ve casted for the Summer Court’s royal family. She’s got gorgeous darker skin and mesmerizing eyes, so she’d look great playing the young princess!

Jurian: Taylor Kitsch

I’ve been a fan of his since he played Tim Riggins on the TV Show, Friday Night Lights, and he was decent in Vince Flynn’s movie adaptation of American Assassin, so he’d be my pick to play the interesting role of Jurian!

Priestess Gwyn: Emma Stone

Image courtesy of the actress’s IMDB profile

Now some people may think of someone younger like…Lily Collins to play this character (even though they’re both close in age but whatevs…), but this is my fancast and as soon as I read that Gwyn had red hair, for some reason I just really pictured Emma Stone! She’s an amazing actress and would portray Gwyn amazingly

Emerie: Lindsey Morgan

Image courtesy of superstarsbio.com

I don’t know much about this actress, but she’s in the CW show “The 100” and that seems really popular, so her face popped up and I thought she looked like what I imagined the Illyrian shop-owner turned Valkyrie!

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HERES THE LINK TO MY FANCAST OF THRONE OF GLASS, SJMAAS’S FIRST YA FANTASY SERIES

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell