Friday, May 13, 2016

Review: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury

Author: Sarah J. Maas
Release: May 3rd 2016
Genre: Fantasy, Faeries, NA
#2 in the Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses (#1), A Court of Wings and Ruin (#3)


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.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.


I don't even know where to start. Honestly, all I feel right now is endless bliss and happiness at finally having finished this shit-fest of a book. Bear with me for a minute here. WHEW. Beware, extreme swearing and some mild spoilers ahead.

Okay, so. This novel, this sequel, is literally nothing more than a soft porno. Believe me. There is no plot aside from flirtation between Feyre and Rhysand, getting them together (which is no big fucking surprise, tbh) and throwing in sex/lust moments in between. Seriously. There's this tiny side plot involving war with some ancient king and also a feud between two of the other courts, but it's maybe 5% of the overall book. IF AT ALL.

Feyre is a whiny, self-deprecating little shit. She hates herself so much it's really, really getting annoying at about 40% through. It's not making me sympathetic to her cause, or make me empathize with her, or pity her. It just makes me hate her.
“A fitting end would have been me in a grave, burning in hell.”
And you know, after some time, I started to agree with her. If she'd stayed dead, at least I wouldn't have had to endure this shitty sequel. She does start to get better towards the second half, but it's only because of fucking Rhysand, because someone else CONSTANTLY has to remind her of her worth and coddle her, and it's by a fucking guy. Sorry, but I've had it up to HERE with guys being the only significant factor in a girl's journey to finding her own worth. Fuck that noise. Guys are so irrelevant in girls' lives, get the fuck out of my face with this hetero nonsense shit. Girls are goddesses and pop media shouldn't encourage us to only NOTICE we're goddesses because of some fuckboy. Shit. I am so angry.

Yes, I loved that women were men's equals in the Night Court. They were indeed treated like the ethereal beings they are and Rhys respects every and any choice Feyre ever makes and doesn't push her to do anything, nor does he leave her behind if she wishes to come with, and stuff like that. But, you know what, this was probably the only thing about this book that I actually ended up loving/liking. 

The fact that SJM redeems Rhys so much, like she's digging up any excuse to make him seem like the good guy after all, she's just reaching so much. Every single little thing Rhys has ever done which was kind of shitty is brought up again with a neat and nice explanation for why he did it out of the good of his heart and so on, bla bla bla. I get it. Okay. Rhys is the golden boy who can do no wrong, everything he's ever done has been out of love for his friends and Court and so on, he's forever being haunted by his shitty decisions to do shitty things. Good for you. I just didn't buy it. Or, I didn't want to. Every character has flaws, and I LIKE characters with flaws. I love characters who have good intentions, but still do shitty things. Maybe even shitty things that can't be nicely explained away and stuff. Instead, Rhys is so easily absolved of his sins and his guilt, I felt like I was slapped in the face. I liked him in the first novel because he did problematic things, but he in and of itself wasn't problematic, and that created intrigue. But, as I said, everything that made him a compelling, interesting character was taken away from him in this novel. Ugh. Sorry, now he's just way too "Mr. Perfect" for me, and he's literally fulfilled every single alpha male archetype that there is. Which is boring and annoying as hell.

And on this point, I hated how much SJM demonized Tamlin. It just goes to show how far she had to go, how far she had to reach to be able to excuse the story she's telling now, and make it so much more distanced from reality. Like, it's totally okay to fall out of love and choose to be with someone else. It's human, and it's life and that's the way things are. But no, let's make Feyre's first love a completely out of character douchebag in this novel, make her hate him for all the villainous things he does and that will excuse her from jumping from his bed into Rhys'. It literally undermined the feminist aspect of the Night Court so much because Maas is implicitly telling us here that if Tamlin wasn't an ass, it would be morally questionable for Feyre to leave him for Rhys. Which it isn't! Even if Tamlin had stayed decent, Feyre choosing to be with Rhys wouldn't have been an issue. She wouldn't have been a slut or a whore. But SJM apparently thinks otherwise. Seriously, fuck her. I hate this woman.

And you know what else? I hated that, because of Tamlin's now evil nature, she had to tear apart Feyre's friendship with Lucien as well. As much as I resented the fact that special snowflake Feyre™ even got mistrustful Lucien to end up liking her in the first novel, I liked their friendship. It was a nice nod towards the stereotype of "men and women can't be friends," because, hey, <i>they can.</i> But she destroys this, and in this novel there is not a single relationship between a male and female where at least one has romantic feelings for the other. It was disgusting. You know that I <i>hate</i> when writers need to desperately pair up any and all characters with love interests, because without love, their arcs couldn't ever be fully complete. Bullshit. There are tentative hints of strong female friendships between Feyre and both Amren and Morrigan of Rhys' Court, but honestly, hints is all it is. There are a couple scenes here and there where they're having each others' backs and such, and Feyre talks about how she thinks Morrigan could be her first actual female friend ever, but that's all talk. Not to mention that we have the good ol' female rivalry with Mor and Amren hating each other. Did I mention already how much I dislike SJM?

What else, what else... Oh, yeah, the plot. This seems to be a trend with her, too, because I've seen it in Throne of Glass and in the first novel. There's mention of an action-packed plot, but it's never really written about in great detail. I am not kidding when I say that 80 fucking percent of the book is "preparing" for said war, gathering clues and means to destroy their enemies, yaddi yaddi yadda. Some would say that that IS indeed a plot and all, but I disagree. Especially because at least another 80% of all of those scenes were mere excuses to build the relatioship/sexual tension between Rhys and Feyre some more. Okay, so she needs to prove she can find this thing that could give them the edge in the battle. So Rhys sends her out on a pointless mission to retrieve something as practice, which gives them a great opportunity to bicker and flirt, not to mention that the thing she retrieves comes back way later in the book to bite me in the ass about, yup, their fucking romance again. It's ALL tied back to their romance in some way, to develop it, to build it up, etc. And I can't even say that it was that well developed, if I'm being honest, because while Feyre keeps on flirting with him the whole novel, she never delves deeper into her feelings until one day, click suddenly she loves him. What a big motherfucking surprise. Please just kill me.

This is probably a good way to end this rant. I'm not calling it a review, I'm not so arrogant as to think that I viewed this in froma a neutral, objective perspective nor did I write about it from one. Obviously. But yeah, these are my two cents. And I probably won't be coming back for more when the third book comes out. 

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