A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas – DISCUSSION

***SPOILER ALERT: THIS DISCUSSION CONTAINS SPOILERS. IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE BOOK AND DO NOT WISH TO BE SPOILED, READ MY SPOILER FREE REVIEW HERE.

As I mentioned in my review, this book was a bit of a disappointment for me. Not that it was bad. It was by no means bad. I loved it, of course. However, it did not live up to the awesomeness that was ACOMAF. And there were actually a few things that I didn’t like about it at all, that I felt were not executed very well. This is going to be both a rave and a rant in one. I have a feeling it will be very long. So prepare for gifs.

I’m going to fist start with things that bothered or annoyed me. Some are more significant than others, mostly it’s just me being an irascible old lady, but anyway. One thing that really annoyed me were the sex scenes. There were just so many of them particularly in the first half and I found them to be boring and unnecessary. Like, we get it. You two like doing the hanky panky. Can’t blame you. However, I do not need to know every single instance when the deed is done, or when you think about doing the deed. Especially that it’s so repetitive. Feyre’s toes always curl in her boots, her “core goes molten” all the time, Rhys’ ding dong is always proud and velvety and just ugh. WE GET IT. Now let’s talk about something more interesting please.

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The word “mate” was abused so much, it probably needs counselling. Can’t you just refer to people by name. “My mate” here, “my mate” there just… get a goddamn dictionary and find some other words.

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That’s about it in terms of writing. In terms of plot… I thought the book wasn’t very well paced. I feel like it would have done better as two 500 page books instead of one 700 page one. Some things were very rushed, particularly in the second half. Like… the whole ending with her dad and Drakon and the Phoenix queen was just dropped pretty much out of nowhere and just seemed like a convenient way out of the shit they were in. There wasn’t that build-up to it that Sarah can do so well. And I feel like that’s because there just wasn’t time. There was so much going on with Feyre and the squad, that there wasn’t time to focus on Lucien and what went on beyond Prythian. I would have really liked a few chapters from Lucien’s POV throughout to sort of learn what went on there properly, instead of having it explained in two pages at the end. The whole ending seemed very rushed and not that well executed, particularly knowing what Sarah is capable of.

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Her dad suddenly becoming useful and with enough foresight to go out and seek reinforcements before he even knew what had happened with Feyre… I didn’t really buy it. It didn’t seem very plausible to me and just… meh.

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I didn’t like Feyre as much in this one. I felt like she was becoming Aelin. And I like Aelin. But Feyre is not Aelin, you know. It felt like the two characters were sort of merging with each other and I didn’t like that. It’s like writing both series at the same time kinda took its toll and they’re bleeding into each other.

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I did like the scene with Feyre looking into the Ourobouros and accepting herself at last. That felt very empowering.

This is probably the thing that bothered me most in this book. Mor’s “secret”. Just no. It felt so wrong to me, so completely out of character. It made no sense. I hated it. I absolutely hated it. I was so angry reading that part. I mean… you’re telling me that Mor, who is so completely unapologetic, was afraid to tell the people who love her beyond everything for 500 fucking years that she was into girls more than guys? And why? So her family wouldn’t find out and make fun of her? What? What? Just… What?

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How the hell does that make any sense? First of all, she has free reign from Rhys to slaughter her entire family if she so chooses, so why the hell would she care if they don’t approve of her proclivities? Secondly, she lived in a city that had been hidden from the world for a thousand years. Her family would never have found out. Rhys and the others would sure as hell not have told anyone if she had asked. It just makes no sense and it’s so unlike Mor.

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What’s more… she strung poor Az along for 500 years because she didn’t want to tell people she was gay? What the fuck? I mean… okay… keep your secret, but don’t be an asshole and string along the poor guy. At least have the balls to tell him no. Instead of dangling shreds of hope in front of him for centuries, and then whenever he inches a bit towards you, sleep with another guy to remind him that you don’t want him? What. The. Fuck. That’s such a cruel, douchebag thing to do and I was so angry. That took down Mor in my eyes so much and I’m so pissed, because I really loved Mor.

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Also… I’m kind of confused about the whole Elain-Lucien-Az thing… is it even a thing? I can’t tell.

Okay, I think I’ve exhausted the things that I didn’t like about the book. Now let’s move on to some of the awesome things that happened.

Feyre learning how to fly! Loved that. Particularly that we got to see more of Az, and I love him to bits. Something that I really liked about this, and it seems insignificant, but I really liked that it was so hard for Feyre to learn how to fly. So many times in books, heroes learn of a new ability and then instantly master it and that just seems so unrealistic. But Feyre absolutely sucked. And Az volunteering to teach her because he knows what it’s like to learn how to fly later in life… just… GAH. My feels!

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Feyre stealing Ianthe’s moment at the Summer festival thing. Feyre undermining Ianthe and making her look like a fool. Feyre rescuing Lucien from Ianthe. Feyre making Ianthe smash her own hand. Feyre feeding Ianthe to The Weaver. SO MUCH YES!

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Lucien. Just Lucien. I would have been so pissed if he had not come with Feyre. Also, surprisingly… Tamlin. I actually thought he had a very good arc. Probably the best character development in this book. It just made sense and it felt right. I was pleasantly surprised.

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Cassian and Nesta. They were so fjhsgwepruijeknvdswfenvk PRECIOUS LITTLE UNICORNS I CAN’T JUST KISS ALREADY!!! Me every time they were in the same room vvv

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Cassian going all primal warrior and becoming a vortex of hotness and death. Rhys fully giving in to his beast form and becoming a vortex of hotness and death (I wish we had gotten a better description of his beast form. I imagine a sort of black griffon type creature with bat wings). Helion giving in to his beast form and becoming a vortex of hotness and death (I imagine him like a golden white griffon).

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Seeing all the other High Lords and learning more about them. Also learning more about Amren and the Weaver and Bone Carver. Just learning more about the world and characters in general. Amren and Varian. The Weaver, the Bone Carver and Bryaxix being released upon Hybern’s army and Feyre and Rhys watching them like

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Rhys dying and being brought back to life like Feyre was. I thought it was a nice circle. Very satisfying. I wonder if now he has all the different powers as well.

The Suriel. So many feels!

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Elain and Nesta killing the King of Hybern! The viciousness in Nesta decapitating him. So much win. Just Nesta in general, actually.

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Alright, well I think this is more or less what I have to say about it. This post is already gigantic, so I’ll leave it at that. Let me know what your thoughts were.

 

The Pride and Prejudice Book Tag

I was tagged by Angelica @ The Book Cover Girls to do this. Thank you Angelica! I love P&P. This should be fun.

How it works

  • Link back to Laura and Emma’s original posts so we can see all of your answers! (Just copy and paste these instructions)
  • Thank the person who tagged you
  • Answer the questions
  • Tag a maximum of 10 people

While Mr. Bennet silently reads in the study, and Mrs. Bennet’s tales of woe can be heard from miles away, you spend a lovely afternoon in the garden with your dramatic and doting sisters. What is a favourite novel of yours that features a strong sibling relationship?

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Here I’m gonna go with Fred and George Weasley from the Harry Potter series. I just love their relationship.

You and Mary have decided to walk to the bookshop in Meryton to search for the newest releases. Which book or books are you likely to purchase?

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I still haven’t got this, for some reason.

Netherfield Park has been let at last, and the owner, a Mr. Charles Bingley, hosts a magnificent ball at his new estate. What fictional ball gown would you wear?

Hmmm… maybe Feyre’s Starfall dress? (image credit)

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Or Tessa’s Dress.

It is the Christmas Ball and Maria has asked you to join her at the piano. What music or song would you choose as an accompaniment to your current book?

Well, I just started reading The School for Good and Evil, but I’ve only read one chapter so far, so I don’t really know what song would fit it.

You’re helping Jane to take care of her younger cousins whilst staying with the Gardiners. Which fictional children would you include in your own family?

artemis fowl ARTEMIS FOWL!

It’s a sombre evening at Hunsford Parsonage, and after dinner, Mr. Collins stands by the fireplace and quotes from the Good Book, while the party tries not to yawn too obviously. What is a memorable quote from a novel that has always stuck with you?

There are many. In fact, I have a whole series of posts dedicated to quotes, because I am a quotes aficionado (you can check that out here). But I’ll go with the first line of what is probably my favourite non-fiction.

"No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear."
-C.S. Lewis (A Grief Observed)

You’ve been invited to dine at Rosings Park by none other than the infamous Lady Catherine de Bourgh, but the evening ends in disaster as the pompous Lady insults you and your family. Who’s your favourite fictional villain?

Hmm… this is hard. I tend to love a lot of villains. Sebastain Morgenstern from The Mortal Instruments maybe? Oh… Light from Death Note. Or Johan Liebert from Monster. Also, I’ve recently read Illuminae and I really loved AIDAN.

As Lydia has gone down to Brighton with the Forsters, and Elizabeth is off on her jaunt to Derbyshire with the Gardiners, you also want to go away for a quick break. Which fictional location would be your perfect holiday destination?

Um… not many of the books I read, that’s for sure. People tend to die a lot in those places. I’m gonna go with Le Cirque des Reves from The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I feel like from all the places, my life would be least threatened there and it would be so freaking awesome.

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You’re running to the fine horse chestnut tree on the green to relive some of your favourite childhood reading memories. What is one that you remember most fondly?

My grandfather used to have this giant collection of stories and fairytales. It was yellow and very old and every time I would go there, he would read to me from it for hours and hours. I know that’s not really me reading, but it’s a very fond memory. And I’ve read the book by myself as well. I’m pretty sure I now have the book at home (I stole it from him muahahah)

You’re on a tour at Pemberley and you come across Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy emerging from the pond, scandalously clad in only his wet underdrawers and shirt. You can’t help but swoon at the sight. Aside from Mr. Darcy, who is your favourite romantic interest?

Rhysand from ACOTAR, Kaz Brekker from Six of Crows, Will Herondale from The Infernal Devices and more recently, Elend Venture from the Mistborn series. There are others, of course, but these are my top ones.

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I tag all P&P lovers to do this!

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – Spoiler Free Review

22819449Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Genre: YA, fantasy

First published: 2014

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Synopsis: The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite – the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfil her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Book Depository | Goodreads


I can see why people love this series. It is really good, has a really cool world and magic system. It’s very Russian, which stands out among the plethora of Western European Middle Ages setting that a lot of fantasies have. I read this after reading Six of Crows and I have to say that it can’t compare. Which is reasonable, since SoC was written further along in the author’s career and she’s had time to grow as an author. However, I tend to rate books on a curve if I’ve read other books by an author, I have certain expectations. Which is why this book in all honesty was probably a 3 star book for me. I decided to give it 3.5 because had I read it before SoC, I probably would have been more impressed with it.

Still, this was by all means a very enjoyable read. I had some problems with it, namely the love triangle. I really do not like that trope and it’s very rare that I actually like a love triangle. So I didn’t really like that. I didn’t think that Alina and The Darkling had much chemistry and I thought Alina and Mal had even less chemistry. So yeah… wasn’t a fan of the romance. But I do think Alina and Mal makes more sense at least at this point in the story.

While I didn’t think The Darkling was very compelling as a love interest, I did really enjoy him as a character. He’s one of those amoral/morally ambiguous characters that are right up my alley and I really look forward to learning more about him. I think it’s safe to say he was one of my favourite things about the book.

My other favourite thing about the book was that it was so Russian. I really enjoyed that aspect of it, it felt authentic and refreshing. The magic system is also a very interesting one, and while I was somewhat acquainted to it from SoC, it was not the main focus in that series and I loved learning more about it.

I would say that the plot was fairly predictable. It didn’t really take me by surprise. It had some cool elements of folklore that I enjoyed, but other than that, it didn’t really feel new. In fact, I often got a strong sense of having read this before. And I’m not sure whether it’s because I actually have read this before or just because the plot had some very common elements. I may have read this ages ago, when I read a lot of ebooks, and not remember.

The characters, once again, were not bad or underdeveloped, they were just not incredibly unique. Other than The Darkling, I didn’t feel particularly intrigued by any of them, but I also didn’t hate them. They were solid characters, but again, after the amazing characters of Six of Crows, these just felt bland.

Over all, I would say this was a very enjoyable, quick read. I do intend to continue with the series. I really love the world and I am curious about the plot as well, as I do feel the ending left a lot of potential for a super cool plot in the next two ones.

Puncture Wounds

Puncture Wounds

Your presence in my life is a series of puncture wounds. Brief. In-out. In-out. But deep. They bleed and bleed. And just as one begins to heal, you come and inflict another. In-out. It bleeds and bleeds.

Every time I ready my armor. I start to slowly put it on. But I’m never fast enough. In-out. Blood. Because I do not want to be. In-out. Blood. For you are a rose, and to have your beauty, I will bear your thorns. In-out. Blood.

via Daily Prompt: Puncture

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May 2017 Wrap Up

May has been a busy, busy month for me. Loads of exams, very little time for reading. As such, I’ve only read 3 books and a poem in May. Here they are.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

108600474.5/5 stars

I really enjoyed this, I can see why it’s so beloved, but I can also see why some people just can’t get into it. It requires a patient reader and if you don’t like magical realism, which many people don’t, you will not like this. But it very well written, very atmospheric and if you do enjoy that genre, it’s definitely a must read. I have a full review of it if you want to know more of my thoughts.

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

5/5 stars

I don’t read poetry very often, but I always love Poe’s poetry and my reading this was long overdue.

 

 

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

acowar4/5 stars

A bit disappointing for me, I was expecting a lot more from it after ACOMAF. Still loved it, but I did have some problems with the execution, I think it was a bit rushed in places. I also felt like a bit of ToG was bleeding into it, especially in Feyre’s character. I talk more about these things in my review, if you’re interested.

 

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

228194494/5 stars

I really enjoyed this, though it’s not nearly as good as Six of Crows. Which makes sense, since she’s had time to grow as an author between the two. I did still really like it, I loved learning more about Ravka (I love how Russian it was, I wasn’t expecting that) and the Grisha, which is something that Six of Crows wasn’t as focused on. Wasn’t a fan of the love triangle and I thought the “romance” between Alina and The Darking was unnecessary and unbelievable. But all in all, I did really enjoy it and I look forward to reading the rest of the series. Review to come soon.

 

A-Z Quotes – T

"Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one." -Terry Pratchett

I was chatting to someone the other day and I mentioned that I love fantasy. And this person said to me they’ve tried to get into fantasy many times, but always found it so boring and preferred real life. Of all the things they could have said, I expected this the least. How can fantasy possibly be boring? I get that it’s not for everyone. But boring? More boring than real life? I mean… it’s got everything that real life has, plus magic and awesomeness. How can that be more boring? I, of course, said as much and suggested perhaps they just hadn’t tried good fantasy. But that person just said “No. I’ve tried. I simply lack the imagination for it.”

Previous quote | All quotes

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas – Spoiler Free Book Review

acowarRating: 4/5

Genre: Fantasy, new adult

First published: 2017

Author: Sarah J. Maas

***SPOILER ALERT*** THIS IS THE THIRD BOOK IN THE SERIES. THEREFORE, THE SYNOPSIS AND FOLLOWING REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THE PREVIOUS BOOKS

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.

Book Depository | Goodreads


I have to say… I was a bit disappointed by this one. It wasn’t by any means bad, but it failed to live up to ACOMAF and there were some things that I didn’t really like, that I thought weren’t done well or were too rushed.

That’s one thing actually, there were a lot of things that felt rushed, despite this being a 700 page book. I’m generally against unnecessarily dragging out series just to sell more books, but I feel like this could have been two 4-500 page books instead of one 700 page one.

But, first, let’s talk about the things I loved. I still loved the Night Court, of course. They were as fun as ever and I loved learning more about them. I loved seeing more of Prythian and meeting all the High Lords. One of the most surprising things that I loved was Tamlin’s character arc. I think in terms of character development, Tamlin’s was the best and most subtly done in this book. I loved learning about some of the more mysterious creatures, such as Amren and the Bone Carver.

I didn’t quite like Feyre as much in this one as I did before. I felt like she started sounding a lot like Aelin. I love Aelin, but Feyre is not Aelin. I feel like writing the two stories at the same time got Sarah to confuse the two voices a bit and I felt at times like I was reading Throne of Glass instead. Still, I did really like the completion of Feyre’s acceptance and forgiveness of herself that started out in ACOMAF.

One thing that really annoyed me, especially in the first half of the book were the sex scenes. I feel like there was an unnecessary amount of them. Like… we already know that Rhys is a hot hunk of fae High Lord and it’s hard to resist the urge to climb him like a tree, but we don’t need to be told every time it happens, especially not in so much detail. It was repetitive and it just got boring and I found myself skimming over those scenes. Also, the word “mate” was abused beyond reason.

I thought the pacing towards the end wasn’t very good. Everything felt so rushed. It just sort of happened all at once and there was often very little explanation and it felt like those things just happened because they were convenient for the story. And that’s why I think if this were two books, there would have been time to pace it better and properly explain and explore things. There were a lot of elements that were brought in, presumably as a sort of entré for the companions, but it just made it feel very rushed and sometimes confusing. There was just too much happening too quickly. I felt that some of the main cast’s stories were left hanging. And I know there will be subsequent books, but as far as the information we have now, those will not be a continuation of this story.

There are many other things that I enjoyed or disliked, but I can’t really go into them without spoilers. I have a spoilerific discussion  where I will be discussing those in more depth. Overall, I obviously loved the book, but it just wasn’t as good as I expected it to be. It was mainly due to the execution, I feel like it could have been done better, particularly knowing the kind of writing that Sarah is capable of.