Title: A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy, 21st Century Young Adult Fiction
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Source: Personal Copy
Format: Hardcover; 978-1-61963-448-0; $18.99
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
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. (via Goodreads)
Review: ACOWAR was a beautiful, gripping, and heart-stopping finale to one of my most favorite series in fantasy fiction. Maas, as usual, writes fully developed, living characters that instantly sweep readers off along on their adventures. Feyre, Rhysand, and their crew are no exception. Feyre has grown a lot over the course of the series, and she’s quite dynamic, fully-realized, and layered. She started out as a timid, shy, and broken girl, but through three books she becomes ruthless, strong, brave, powerful, and great High Lady that commands legions. She has grown to navigate the politics of court, of war, and of nations. She’s flawed, though, which adds to her relatability. She’s not perfect, but she learns from her mistakes; she understands the cost and consequences of her choices, and she really is a character girls can look up to. Rhysand is a real compliment to her, and they are equals in every way in characterization and writing. He is a strong man who sees the value in strong women and a world based on equality, love, respect, and principles. He’s as fully developed and multi-dimensional as Feyre, and he adds such a fun tone to the novel. This is one thing Maas does better than most writers–even her periphery characters are well-developed and fully integrated into her plots and worlds.
The world-building in ACOWAR masterfully continues as we finally get real glimpses into other courts across the land. Each court is unique, has their own customs and characteristics, and the people who populate these territories are as real and unique as the next. I loved finally getting a peek at the Winter court and the other celestial courts. It added the final touches to make Prythian completely fleshed out and a living world. No one builds worlds and characters like Maas, and it’s incredibly rare that I find other books that meet the standards Maas sets for fantasy fiction and story-telling.
As I’ve said before in my other reviews of this series, Maas’s writing style is fluid and engaging. I never tire or get bored with her books, and she’s my top favorite. She knows how to craft descriptions that breathe and live on and off the page. Emotion is palpable, and prime moments come in the deep connections between characters, such as Feyre and Rhysand’s relationship, or the friendship Mor, Azriel, Casian, and Amren have with them.
Overall, this story is a conclusion that epitomizes the phrase “goes out with a bang.” The big battle in this novel is exciting and ruthless, the intrigue and politics of alliances and war is realistic, and the drive to fight evil, save Prythian and their loved ones, and for justice, drives a lot of the feeling here.
I absolutely adore this series, and I’d recommend it to everyone I can. So READ IT. You’ll thank your lucky loins you did, because this series is SEXY AWESOMENESS.