Avast! There be spoilers ahead!
Feyre is now the High Lady of the Night Court with Rhysand as High Lord. After tricking the King of Hybern she has returned to the Spring Court with Tamlin as a spy to get some information on how they are helping Hybern to attack Prythian. She gets info, returns to the Night Court, and begins to work out how they will heal the wall, bring the other courts together as a united front against the king, and defeat his forces.
- I enjoyed getting to know the high lords of the other courts. Prythian is divided into so many courts/regions that it was nice to see them all brought together in this book. (Please note that a criticism that I have is that Maas tried to shove too much into this book. I almost wish that book 3 was just leading up to the ultimate battle, traveling from court to court, introducing us to new characters to flesh out the 2304823658327 people she introduced here that we have little to no connection to.) I want to know more about Helion, the High Lord of the Day Court, he seems interesting and his powers are pretty spectacular.
- I loved the creepy creepers that are willing to help Feyre. The Bone Carver, The Weaver, the scary apparition in the library – all of them are so in awe of Feyre’s power that they’re like “cool, just point us in the direction and we’re there.” I like unexpected allies in a story like this, especially ones that everyone else has written off.
- The only character who I enjoyed learning more about in this book was Lucien AND THEN THEY SENT HIM OFF TO FIND SOME CURSED QUEEN AND HE DISAPPEARS FOR 50% OF THE BOOK. omfg.
The Not So Good
- The Writing: oh man do I have a serious problem here. The writing in this book, especially with the chosen verbs and pronouns, felt very lazy. It’s Sarah J Maas, so I know her to be anything but lazy, but if she doesn’t use “my mate,” “his mate,” “her mate,” “my mate” ALL THE TIME. All the time. Like every 5 sentences. WE GET IT. THEY ARE MATES. Goddamn. Use “he” or “she” once in awhile. Also included here: feasting, “he purred” like purring is a way to say something sexily and there is no other way to convey that, and people sticking their tongues out at other people.
- The Sex Scenes: Now ladies, I get that we want our guys to be more interested in oral sex. I totally understand. But do we really want it described as feasting? Like, Beauty and the Beast not knowing how to eat oatmeal feasting?
Or like medieval times kind of no utensils, fat dripping down their faces, kings and nobles feasting? Grabbing turkey legs in one hand and a sloshing glass of wine in the other feasting? Girl, please.Also I want to make the point here that the sex scenes were not hot. They were boring. In the prior book they were SO smokin’ but in this one they were like “go in to the hilt!” and…idk. I could stare at this gif for 10 minutes and get hotter than these sex scenes got me.
- Patronizing: I love books that treat LGBT individuals as normal. As though they are just a regular part of society. Like hey, it’s that guy and his husband, isn’t it great to see them at this fancy party? Maas did this really well in her Throne of Glass series, but honest to goodness the 3 pages about Mor’s sexuality and whatever at the end felt so…staged. Like SJM wrote the book and was like “shit, it’s been too hetero, let’s make Mor a lesbian” and it was like the book slammed on the brakes so Maas could be like “oh yeah, don’t forget I support this.”
- WHY ISN’T TAMLIN DEAD DEAD DEAD DEAD
This book was so disappointing after ACOMAF that I almost can’t even explain why other than to just gesture at everything. It was too much info with too many characters squished into one book – it was a skeleton of a story. You can follow it but you have so many questions that need answers in order to get invested in what’s going on. Even the sexy time scenes weren’t enough to distract from the fact that this book felt thrown together and the editors hoped we’d be so enamoured with the characters and previous books that we would either forgive them or not notice.
I wish I hadn’t read it. I wish I still had the wonderful, empowering taste of ACOMAF in my mouth. But you’ll want to read it to finish out the series, I’m just sorry it’s not better than it is.