Book Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

If you’re a YA/fantasy book reader, you’ve likely already read this (and others in the series) by this author, but for those of you who haven’t……..This is book 3 of 5 in the series. While they are often billed as YA, I’d really categorize them as NA. They contain more violence (battle-related mostly) and sex in them than what I’d consider true YA, but they are definitely in the fantasy genre. If you haven’t read books 1 and 2 in the series but are interested by the synopsis below, I’d highly recommend starting with book one (A Court of Thorns and Roses) and reading them in order. The story will make much more sense that way.

Synopsis: 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.

Things I Loved:
1. As always, the characters. Not only our main character, Feyre, but the other characters who populate the Night Court – Rhysand, Cassian, Azriel, Amren, Mor, and now the story has expanded to include more information on Feyre’s sisters, Nesta and Elain. I was really happy to have Nesta be a much more prominent character in this book; I like her despite her prickly personality.
2. A few “I didn’t see that coming” moments. Just when you think you’ve got a character figured out, Maas slips in a little something (or several little somethings) that stops you in your tracks while you get that detail sorted in your mind.
3. Kind of related to #2, I was happy to see some redemption for Tamlin (yes, go read books 1 and 2 for more on that).
4. Also as always, the world-building. I’d move into the artists’ neighborhood in Velaris tomorrow if I could.

Things I Didn’t Love:
I really loved books 1 and 2, but I’m going to admit that I found 3 a little hard to get into. I know when an author has a series, they need to catch up readers who haven’t read books 1 and 2, but the first third of this one dragged for me, and if I wasn’t anxious to continue on to read books 4 and 5, I’m not sure I would have continued. I found it really slow-going without a lot of plot advancement and more a recap of prior events for a while (although I’m glad I stuck it out because I read the last 50% of it in a day and a half and it’s a LONG book.)

I really don’t have much negative to say about this one. I am totally invested in the series and immediately moved on to book #4 because I couldn’t wait to continue the story. I love the characters and the setting and the epic/high fantasy themes mixed in with relate-able characters with flaws and bad days in amongst the good. If YA fantasy with a bit more adult approach is your thing, Maas’s writing should be right up your alley.

Star rating: 4+/5

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