Book Review : A Court of Silver Flames

This review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk.
Book Review : A Court of Silver FlamesA Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #4) by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury on February 16th 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Love & Romance
Pages: 757
Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Bookshop.org
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one-star

Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she's struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can't seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.
The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre's Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta's orbit. But her temper isn't the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.
Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.
Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other's arms.

Well, I definitely overhyped myself for A Court of Silver Flames. After years of waiting for Cassian and Nesta to get together, I found the reality of it was extremely lacking in comparison to my imagination. Though I initally enjoyed visiting old friends from the Night Court in this series, I found myself disappointed with how little actually happened, the route Nesta’s healing went, and the treatment of Feyre in this novel. 

 

Feyre’s eyes blazed. “But I’m done paying for you to destroy yourself.”

 

To my complete horror, as well as Nesta’s, she is shipped off to warrior training with Cassian to get over her self-destruction. Before long, the two shack up, Nesta quits drinking, sleeping around, but luckily, never quite stops being a raging bitch. As part of her recovery, she also works in the library of Velaris, where all the priestesses/librarians have also been through traumatic incidents. Many of the traumas the prestesses have been through makes Nesta’s own trauma look like a walk in the park in comparison. Nesta somehow befriends one of priestesses, named Gwyn, and an Illyrian shop owner with clipped wings named Emerie. They soon begin training with Nesta and Cassian and determine to become Valkyries. I had to roll my eyes at this random goal.

 

Why is someone like Nesta, with unimaginable magical powers, doing physical training? Yes, I get that she has rage issues and it’s a great way to work out some of those aggressions. But a literal massive chunk of the novel is devoted to Nesta learning how to plant her feet, balance, and breathe, and suddenly, she’s a freaking swordswoman Valkyrie?  It still baffles me. I would have much preferred seeing her train in magic with Amren, despite the two of them being on horrendous terms. But most of all, I couldn’t believe what a missed opportunity A Court of Siler Flames was for healing between the three Acheron sisters.

 

Yes, Nesta finally somehow comes to terms with how awful her behavior was towards her sister and friends through sword training and befriending Gwyn and Emerie,  but I don’t really see it demonstrated how the sword training and new friendships opened her eyes to realize she was in the wrong in all of her past behavior. Plus, during her healing process, she continually wounds her sisters again, demonstrating how much she still has to learn. They also have very few conversations throughout the process, and spend little time together. I just wish that instead of Gwyn and Emerie, who still seem like pretty random and convenient characters to me, that Nesta could’ve gone through the emotional healing process with her sisters. 

 

“Illyrian females have a pelvis shaped specifically for children with wings to pass through. High Fae females do not. And when a child has wings, they can get stuck during labor.” His face had gone pale beneath the bruises. “Most females die, the babes with them. There’s no way for magic to help, short of fracturing a female’s pelvis to widen it for the birthing. Which might kill the babe anyway.”

 

That being said, the one nice thing Nesta does in this novel is for her sister is done purely out of spite. She tells her sister Feyre the truth about her pregnancy, which all of her found family has banded together to hide from her, that she and her baby will most likely die during childbirth, as her son has Illyrain wings and Feyre doesn’t have the Illyrain genetic traits that will allow her son and his wings to pass through her birth canal. And apparently any attempts at a C-section will still result in both of their deaths, for unexplained reasons. I was so relieved that Nesta told her sister, even if it was only because she was out to hurt Feyre, because I was absolutely horrified and furious that her husband and friends hid from Feyre just how serious her pregnancy was. I get that it was out of misplaced concern to keep Feyre calm during a high risk pregnancy, but seriously, it’s Feyre’s body and her child, and she deserved to know that carrying a child with wings was a death sentence for her and for the baby. The fact that they all knew what it meant for a High Fae to give birth to a child with wings, and that they willfully hid it from her, a former human who would have no idea of what these birth circumstances meant, still burns me up. 

 

But maybe, at this point, I’m just tired of Fae in general. If I had a dollar for every time a Fae character smelled another Fae being aroused, I’d be able to buy a whole other series of books. And don’t get me started on the copious sex scenes in this book. I assumed that A Court of Silver Flames was still a young adult fantasy series, like the other novels in the series, but turns out this one was intended for adults, and should have been classified as a romance novel, as it has more sex scenes than actual romance novels I have read in the past. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for people who like to read this type of books, and I myself do like fantasy romances, but there were just so many sex scenes in this novel that I literally started skimming them, only to start completely skipping them altogether. And this skipping was not only due to the sheer frequency and graphic descriptions, but also the fact that the descriptions of them actually made me physically cringe and laugh, which I don’t think is what the author was going for:

 

“Release blasted through her, obliterating every last bit of that inner wall, razing mountains and forests, wiping the world clean with light and pleasure, stars crashing down from the heavens in a never-ending rain. Cassian roared as he came, and the sound was the summons of a hunt, a symphony, a single clear horn playing as dawn broke over the world.”

 

To be honest, I felt that the only things that really happened in this novel were sex scenes and Nesta feeling sorry for herself, continuing to make spiteful decisions that hurt the people who care about her, all while she did boring physical training, which consisted of countless, tedious descriptions of her walking down (this is not an an exaggeration), 10,000 flights of stairs. Which I really just need to ask, how does anyone keep track of counting that many stairs? She never loses count, or stops to mark her steps or anything—it’s just plain unrealistic, on top of interminably boring. A Court of Silver Flames did try to throw in some magic and court politics too, but those attempts were short-lived, shallow, and went pretty much nowhere. 

 

For instance, there’s all this build up of Nesta having to flirt and dance with Eris for some attempt at an alliance (which they already have, by the way, as Eris is already spying on his father and reporting back to the Night Court), in order to make Eris think Nesta might marry him in a cementation of this alliance. They somehow get Cassian’s stupid Fae scent off of her (because they’ve been at it like rabbits and literally any Fae can smell it on her, which quite frankly, grosses me out and makes me think of ownership rather than a loving partnership between two equals), and teach her the proper dances for months. Again, this would have been a great time for a sister to step in, to have some bonding between Nesta and Feyre or Elaine, but sadly, Mor is the one given the duty of teaching Nesta court dances. The novel gives this dance training very little page space in comparison to all that stair stepping, and of course everyone is shocked by how amazing of a dancer Nesta is, including Eris, who is smitten. 

 

To my dismay, Nesta puts on a show, only for Cassian to immediately cut in, unable to bare his woman dancing with another man for a five minute song. The icing on the cake is that then Nesta turns around and insults Eris quite soon after and makes it quite clear she’s never had any intention of marrying him. I really don’t get what the point of this whole ploy was for everyone to turn around and essentially say, “just kidding, we weren’t serious!” All this dancing scene depicted was  Cassian jealous and attracted to Nesta. To me, this really went without saying, as readers are already intimately acquainted with their attraction from the gratuitous amounts of sex they are having and the fact that Cassian is a Type A alpha male who can’t stand any other man even looking at Nesta now, even though he was apparently fine with it at the beginning of the novel when she was at rock bottom and sleeping with any guy that would have her. I felt really annoyed at how superficial this plot line was, which seemed to only exist to show a jealous main male character and a pretty lead character in a nice dress when it had zero effect on the over all plot—much like a high school dance has very little repercussions for life after high school. 

 

Amren’s eyes glowed with a remnant of her power. “The Cauldron Made many objects of power, long ago, forging weapons of unrivaled might. Most were lost to history and war, and when I went into the Prison, only three remained. At the time, some claimed there were four, or that the fourth had been Unmade, but today’s legends only tell of three.”

 

The most magical thing that happens in A Court of Silver Flames, is the hunt for The Trove, three magical items Made from the Cauldron that could turn the tides of a future war against a vengeful human queen. Of course, Nesta is the only one who can wield these items, as she too, is Made by the Cauldron, and took a big hunk of its magical essence with her on her way out. One of these items consists of a Death mask, which allows her to raise the dead. Again, why couldn’t Nesta have become something more suitable to what the series has been building up to over the years, like a necromancer? Instead, all of this build up of her being more powerful than any other being in the world, and having the power of Death at her call, culminates in her giving it all up. ?

 

“Nesta glowered, but it was a human expression, and he’d take that any day over that silver fire. Over the being who had walked on water and commanded a legion of the dead. He wondered if Nesta would agree.”

 

On a purely logical level, I get why author Sarah J. Maas chose this path for Nesta. That being said, I hate that she chose to have Nesta give up her powers on literally every single level.  Nesta gives up her stolen powers in a selfless act, which yes, shows that Nesta is capable of love and life, but boy, was I disappointed. I love Nesta as a raging, homicidal bitch queen of Death. That is the whole point of her character to me. I didn’t want her to give up her anger, I wanted her to channel it into her magical powers. And then, if she chose to use those powers to save her sister, without giving them up, that would have been fine. 

 

The message I got from Nesta giving up her powers was that women should be quiet and subdued, and less powerful than their male counterparts. To me, giving up her powers to allow her and her sister give birth to winged males, at least in the case of Feyre, screams that the purpose of a woman is to bear children, to be a wife, and not to be an all powerful witch that can rend the universe because it makes other people uncomfortable. I know that is not what was intended, it was supposed to be a selfless act from a selfish woman who took powers that weren’t hers in revenge, and her choosing to use them for Life, and not Death or destruction. But for her story to culminate in giving up her Power only for her sister to have a child that should have killed her, was just so defeating to me. It definitely highlights that even though Nesta had the spotlight in this story, it is truly Feyre’s tale, and Nesta was a mere tool in her sister’s story after all. And it was not lost on me that Nesta was not welcomed back into the Night Court until she saved Feyre and her stillborn child. 

 

“You don’t need to become some impossible ideal. You don’t need to become sweet and simpering. You can give everyone that I Will Slay My Enemies look—which is my favorite look, by the way. You can keep that sharpness I like so much, that boldness and fearlessness. I don’t want you to ever lose those things, to cage yourself.”

 

Yes, it was written to be Nesta’s choice that she gave up her powers like this, but I feel like the Nesta I know would have found another way. And what disappointed me the most, was that I feel like I didn’t even get to see Nesta use her actual powers before she gave them up in this sacrifice. Yes, her eyes get silver sometimes, and she has a horrific nightmare that nukes the house with her powers, but the rest of the time, she’s simply demonstrating that she can climb stairs or use magical items from the Cauldron that probably her sister Elain, who is also Made, could use too. Quite frankly, everything that made Nesta special, like her anger, unwillingness to accept life in the Fae World, and her magical powers, is ripped away from her in A Court of Silver Flames. Despite what Cassian and other characters tell her, that it’s okay if she stays angry and mean, or learns how to use her power, they definitely don’t have much to do with her until she gets rid of her magic, and apologizes a whole lot for her behavior. 

 

I honestly don’t understand how Nesta’s healing process went so off the rails and seemed so unsuited to her character. Feyre’s recovery in A Court of Mist and Fury was so much more touching and suited to her character. She formed a found family that appreciated and encouraged her, her love of painting, and eventually her true Mate. It seems to me that these same friends that formed Feyre’s family should have encouraged Nesta to deal with her trauma and anger, instead of forcing her to use a sword, of all things. Heck, they could have nurtured her lost love of dancing that only suddenly existed when she needed to dance with Eris (I’m sorry, but Cassian belatedly giving her a dinky magical music box does not count). This would have served to give her more confidence and perhaps stop her from lashing out all the time. I honestly don’t understand how these are the same characters that saved Feyre from wasting away. Why did they all feel Nesta needed to become yet another sword fighter, when all of her powers, such as Scrying, and calling the dead, are magically involved? Wouldn’t it have been more empowering for her to master these powers instead of walking around afraid of what she was capable of? Why does Nesta have to throw away these powers and her anger, and literally, become someone else to be accepted? And why does A Court of Silver Flames celebrate this as a victory? 

 

And why did Nesta’s recovery involve finding her Mate as well? I was less than thrilled when, at the end of the novel, Cassian and Nesta suddenly admitted that they knew they were mates all along? That confession did not work for me at all for many reasons. The first reason I hated this announcement was because Cassian was one of many who was literally letting Nesta drink-party-sleep-with-strangers-starve-herself-to-death at the beginning of the novel. If he did, in fact, know she was his Mate, that implies he doesn’t care enough to intervene. Yes, I know the novel says that at least Feyre wanted to give her time to come to terms with things on her own, but that seems like a weak excuse and seems untrue to Cassian’s character. The second reason I was so annoyed at this development because it was so similar to Rhysand knowing Feyre was his own mate even when she was human. Could we have some originality? Does it always have to be love at first sight? Rhysand and Feyre are supposed to be unique and special, and this idea that Cassian and Nesta knew each other were mates, detracts from the uniqueness of the bond between Feyre and Rhysand. I think it would’ve been more romantic if Cassian had simply pulled her out of rock bottom and she realized what he was to her then, with no revelation, of the underdeveloped insta-love business. 

 

Honestly, it pains me to say this, but by far my favorite parts of A Court of Silver Flames was whenever Cassian and Nesta were visiting with other members of the Night Court. Experiencing Feyre, Rhysand, Mor, Elain, Amren, and Azriel again was like coming home, even if most of them were being stupid and misogynic in their treatment of both Feyre and Nesta. I missed all of them. Heck, I even found seeing Tamlin and Lucien again better to the disappointing directions Nesta and Cassian’s stories went. I was constantly disappointed at how shallow their character development was, with Cassian being demoted to a jealous Alpha male with more brawn than brains, but a heart of gold, and Nesta being treated as mostly a lost cause and a threat until she gives everything up. The deal breaker for me was when Nesta gives up all of her universe altering powers in this novel. 

 

I didn’t think it was necessary for Nesta to even have to save Feyre and Rhysand’s child. I have never tried to become pregnant or suffered a miscarriage, but I can only imagine what it is like for women who have experienced these life altering, devastating losses to read of a deadly pregnancy being avoided by magic. I imagine it’s something akin to my hurt when a character’s disability is simply magicked away in a novel, instead of the character managing and fighting to overcome it.  I literally can’t imagine my partner hiding from me how bad the risks were for my own body and baby. I can only imagine how triggering all of this was for people who have actually dealt with these types of situations, especially the descriptions of the stillbirth. The fact that it is all swept under the rug and dealt with the wave of a wand does a disservice to the real struggles and tragedies of women that often aren’t spoken about and is almost taboo. I think Maas really missed an opportunity with her story to bring more awareness to miscarriages and high risk pregnancies, and the very real, shattering sadness it leaves behind. Imagine how seen these woman could have felt if Feyre, a powerful High Fae and the selfless heroine of their favorite series, had gone through the same devastating loss they had, and survived it—without magic.

 

The giant disservice to women aside but this handling of pregnancy complications, from a plot standpoint alone, I think the handling of Feyre’s pregnancy could have been dealt with better. I think it would have been more realistic, well as dramatic,  if Rhysand, with Nesta’s magical help, had to choose between saving the baby or Feyre. Perhaps, they would have realized that the vision the Bone Carver had shown Feyre of their future child, was not the winged one she was carrying now. Perhaps Nesta, with her magical powers, could have saved Feyre, only to lose the baby. And perhaps, Feyre could have been angry for her at this decision, in a giant role reversal, and the two could have worked through their grief together. I just feel that there have been far too many magical saves in this series, and as A Court of Silver Flames is an adult novel now, it shouldn’t have to sweep everything tragic under the rug with magic.  Reading that Nesta just fixed Feyre and her own wombs to carry winged children, instead of being faced with real difficult decisions that many women make and feel they can’t talk about, made me feel like I was reading Twilight or something. 

 

Unfortunately, as a result of how these pregnancy issues was handled by the characters and the novel itself, A Court of Silver Flames irrevocably made me like all of the characters less, even my beloved Rhysand. Despite being an adult book, A Court of Silver Flames seemed to take the easy route at every turn, and was much more simplistic than the other young adult book of the series. I don’t understand the directions that the novel went in and would have gladly traded sex scenes and training scenes, especially the stair stepping ones, for more actual fantasy plot or character development that made sense. I could sum up this entire novel as Nesta trains to and becomes a warrior (actually a Valkyrie, which correct me if I’m wrong, as it’s been awhile since I’ve read the last books in the series, that we’ve never even heard of until Nesta decides to become one), in matter of months and also screws warrior-who-was-actually-her-mate-all-along to find healing, saves sister in one nice gesture, and throws out all of the unholy magical powers that have been built up throughout the other books of the series, terrifying many of the strongest beings in the universe by the mere thought of what she would be capable of doing. 

 

“Our stories are worth telling.”

 

Sadly, I have never felt more let down by Maas book than I was by A Court of Silver Flames. Despite what the novel tells us, not all stories are worth telling. That is not to say that Nesta’s story was not worth telling at all, but the manner in which it was told was a disservice to all of the characters and the message of female empowerment that the other novels in the series pushed through its main character Feyre. For fans of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, I recommend skipping this novel entirely, or at most, borrowing it from the library or a fellow reader to find out what happens to the characters if you really must experience it firsthand—I honestly wish I hadn’t.

one-star
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Book Review : A Court of Silver Flames - Blogging with Dragons

Posted February 26, 2021 in Book Reviews, Fantasy, Romance

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17 responses to “Book Review : A Court of Silver Flames

  1. CC

    Oh my goodness, this book seems wild. I’m bummed that the author handled things so poorly. I hope it didn’t upset a bunch of readers. I bet it could have. This one will not be for me! Haha!

    • It was! And not for the reasons it should have been. So far, I have seen a lot of unhappy responses. Better luck next time, I guess. Thanks for reading such a lengthy review ?

  2. Jasmine

    I’m barely on chapter four and I looked up reviews to see if it was worth reading because I was noticing all of the things you pointed out. I feel like S.J.M somehow made her own characters into one dimensional fan-fictions of the first books.

    • That description is so accurate! I completely agree with you. I hope you can get some enjoyment out of the book. I’m sadly still not over my disappointment.

  3. Hailey

    I absolutely agree with pretty much everything above! This was really validating and put into words what I couldn’t! Thank you!

    • Wow, thanks so much! I am glad I am not alone in my feelings about this book, but I’m also sorry you found it disappointing as well.

  4. Emily

    I loved all of this post. Spot on in your analysis. Only issue I took up with was considering Cassian more toxic than the other males. Truly, this is a pattern as well as multiple familiar tropes like the finding of three magical artifacts…um ACOMAF anyone?

    It truly wasn’t much of a surprise. All the males in SJM universe are type a toxic, misogynistic alpha males. Even Rhysand is extremely misogynistic. As a trauma survivor and a #metoo, a Rhysand actually triggered me the most in the series and reminded me so much of my abusive ex.

    One doesn’t get points for one grandiose act of making a woman “high lady”. Narcissists live fir grandiose acts that wipe their slates clean. High lady essentially was a title upgrade, and Feyre becomes a glorified trophy wife who simply shops, gossips with Mor, gets revenge against her ex, and brags about her power. Especially not after Rhys:
    lying to her for months,
    sexually harassing and objectifying her (remember when he said he uses the eye ink to spy on her naked in Acofas? And made comments about her breasts in public),
    manipulating her to read and write (goading her and calling her ignorant vs just asking or suggesting),
    using her for her powers (weavers cottage, Tarquin’s secret hiding place where she almost drowned)
    and using her as a pawn (Remember Feyre was played as a pawn against Tarquin like Nesta was played as a pawn against Eris? These tropes are old),
    re-exploiting her by parading her sexually in his own court where he holds all the power (totally unnecessary why didn’t he just command them to give up the orb? This was also re exploitation and Feyre felt like she was back in Amarantha’s court so she could only cope by dissociating which is the opposite of healing),
    Feeding her sexual vice even though she hasn’t fully healed or gotten over Tamlin – just a benefit to him (allow me the pleasure of distracting you”
    Compares her to a sexual feast (want you splayed out on a table like my own personal feast and same line emphasizes his power “*when* you lick me – um maybe ask for her permission first, creepo, especially since she’s still technically engaged – I will roar loud enough to bring down the mountain)
    gaslighting her (laughing it off when he used her as bait “oh I thought we were over under the mountain stuff),
    playing the “woe is me” card (history will remember me as the bad guy right after she was sexually paraded in his court – narcs are really good at convincing their victims that they are the victims themselves),
    and FINALLY….the longest mansplaining monologue in history at the end of ACOMAF.

    The saddest part was this monologue served solely to prop up Rhys as a poor victim with a dark past and a savior and excuse all his past sexual assault, sexual exploitation and drugging Feyre, and marking Feyre against her will and making her trade away a week’s worth of her life. She was dying and in a vulnerable position in the prison and he used his power against her and painted a target on her back simply because he wanted to make Tamlin jealous. That is trafficking at its core and there was no excuse for it. There was no good plot reason at all. He could have left her in the prison away from everyone where she wouldn’t have been a sexual plaything every night forced to dance for him and vomiting every morning. Another familiar trope for SJM females.

    And notice how patriarchal the mating bond is? Notice how it’s only the females who get sick and weak? How the mating bond serves solely to benefit the male genitalia by forcing a woman to be with her mate if she wants to be healthy? Or how the IC stated a woman could reject the bond if she really wanted to? Well, Nesta was the strongest. And she wanted nothing to do with Cassian who also tried to sexually assault her. If anyone could have rejected, it would have been her. But instead, she still succumbed to growing sicker and weaker and self destructive patterns. Another familiar trope. So, in essence, no woman can truly reject the bond. And don’t even get me started on the fifties sexist construction of serving a male food to accept.

    In the end, Feyre fell prey to Rhysand’s monologue of manipulation. Instead of challenging him and drawing up severe boundaries by demanding an apology for his past behavior, she merely accepts the bond, falls into his lap, talks about how broken she is (another self hatred/loathing arc) and credits him with her saving and healing. Only difference was their sex was prettied up more vs the pornified smut of Cassian and Nesta. But there were still misogynistic echoes from Rhysand not bothering to ask Feyre if she wanted to do doggy style and just flipping her over (no communication about what she wants in sex). And Rhysand continues to prove he’s incapable of controlling his sexual urges with how he needs to battle Cassian after a whole day of nothing but sex. This sets a traditional precedent in SJM series that women ultimately belong to the men. Especially with the mating bond.

    Not to mention all the toxic Illyrian racist tropes of darker skinned males being violent rapists and the darker skinned females getting their very hypersexualized wings clipped which is akin to FGM. Or how they are not even allowed to look Illyrian males in the eye. And how Rhysand never does anything about this horrible practice but condones females serving males. And yet, when Feyre gets wings, she is protected and trained. And Rhysand, as half Illyrian (colorism) with his white savior protagonist lady lives in luxury with four estates and only looks out for his middle to upper class Velaris of high fae and not darker skinned Illyrians. The only ones Rhysand protects are those who worship and benefit him like Mor, but anyone who combats or challenges him like Nesta is on the receiving end of his threats or power.

    Cassian seemed like he could have a redemption arc and be open to healthy growth and respect of Nesta. But he merely sexually objectifies her at her lowest point, praises Mor, doesn’t support Nesta’s growth and healing, treats her like a sexual possession, feeds her addictions, and when she says as love you, he can’t even bother to say it back and begins groping her.

    A lot I’ve unpacked here I know. I wrote an in-depth critique including all of this.

    • Thank you for reading and for your in depth analysis! I definitely agree with you that there is so much toxic masculinity in this series, especially in regards to Illyrians, the whole Mate system, and the male leads being problematic while asserting they are different. I wouldn’t say Cassian is more or less problematic than other male characters, as they really all seemed to suffer from their masculinity complex. I hated that Cassian was sexualizing Nesta when she was at her lowest, starving and destroying herself. It made me feel sick. I also really did not like Rhysand’s treatment of Feyre in this novel, and you’ve opened my eyes to other incidents in the previous entries of the series. I’ve always really loved Rhysand, but I now definitely see that none of the male characters are without their flaws and I can imagine these glorified relationships are triggering for a lot of people. I hope SJM listens to her readers and strives to make her relationships more equal partnerships in the future.

      • I apologize for the double comment. I tried to edit my original long-winded one which was all in my indepth critique and submitted a shorter one. So you will see another shorter version, my apologies. My system has been glitchy. But I am so heartened by your openness and willingness to enter into analyses. I tried to write my critique as respectfully as possible. But as an abuse survivor, it’s definitely difficult to walk that fine line without acknowledging the rage of these toxic tropes that are marketed to vulnerable youth! Thank you for the opportunity to connect! You can see my critique fully at http://www.emilybethshore.com – blog section. (the referenced one below is an old one)

        • No worries! I love getting comments, so it doesn’t matter if they’re double posted ?. I appreciate your comments, opening my eyes to what I did not see before, and sharing your experiences with me. I will definitely check out your full analysis!

  5. Christina

    I was overall disappointed in the novel. I, first of all, had no idea it was a romance, and honestly wouldn’t have gotten it if it had been clear about what it felt like 1/4 of the book was about. I enjoyed Nesta in general, until it felt like everything that she was at the core was taken away from her. As if she was just wrong as a person. I see a lot of myself in Nesta, and for that to become something where you have to bite your tongue and sacrifice everything to be “fixed” – that doesn’t sit right with me. Rhysand felt so disconnected, there was nothing in between Cassian and Azriel, and the Cassian/Nesta central with some cameos really just made it feel like a long, smutty fanfic.
    *Internal screaming*

    • I completely agree with you. I’ve read romance novels with more of a plot than ACOSF. I really think they did all of the characters dirty in this novel, but especially Nesta. I was really hyped about her powers, for her to just give them all; really disappointing. Also didn’t get her “healing” process at all or why it was necessary to threaten her with dropping her back in the human realms. Feyre said she wouldn’t pay for Nesta to destroy herself anymore, but she was willing to drop her in the human realms? Make it make sense.

  6. Diana

    I totally agree with you! ACOSF really ruined the entire series for me. I just skimmed through the entire book because it got really boring. I felt like they were ganging up on Nesta the entire time.

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