A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

four and a half dragons

A Court of Thorns and Roses series is such an unusual one. It’s rare that a series is this unexpected in ways relating to plot and character development. Most novels and especially trilogies have a very expected way of moving. Each book furthers the story line only so much, whereas with this series I find that it moves in strange leaps and bounds. It seems like nothing happens and then everything happens in a few pages then this crazy twist shows up.

**Spoiler alert** For example, in the second and third books we begin with Feyre at Tamlin’s home feeling unsafe and plotting her escape in one form or another. Then we have the headlong run away from Tamlin and towards Rhysand followed by some sort of battle (personal or otherwise) that takes a small break for normality and happiness which then leads up to a big battle that includes everyone. **end of spoiler**

Technically they follow a formula: it’s just not a formula that most other books follow in the same way. Most books have one central setting, whereas this series has three or four major areas even if they aren’t technically all that important.

I didn’t enjoy this series as much as I enjoyed ToG, possibly because this series doesn’t feel complete yet. There is no real ending with Az and Mor or with Lucien and Elain. I understand that Maas doesn’t want to rush character development, so she won’t push two people together, but still it felt like a throw in for Mor to be bisexual. It was not a well-developed thing, it was more like “hey I know I’ve been hinting that Mor isn’t going to be with Az so I should probably give a reason for that… ooh ooh I know, she’s into chicks… but also dudes… just not that dude. Yeah.” Wow, um that’s exploitative of all LGBTQ+ people. She could have just said she wasn’t into him. Not to mention these have been her friends for five hundred years and she didn’t feel like she could tell them? Wow, that is rough. Why couldn’t she just tell him that she wasn’t interested in him at least? Instead she just makes sure to rub her sexcapades in his face. It made me dislike Mor a little.

One thing Maas did really well was to highlight that women rape, too. Ianthe and Amarantha are rapists, though that word is never mentioned.

I can’t tell that this series was planned to be a series rather than a trilogy and that bugs me. I want to see the flow of the story as it builds, not be suckered into thinking the series is over and will have a happily ever after just to be sucker-punched when so little is resolved. Especially my sweet Elain, she is so broken and so heartbreaking. I want her to heal. Also, six hundred plus pages is too much for the storylines that happen in this one. However, I devoured this book whole and all the others so I can’t really complain.

Also, I don’t know if I like Feyre. I mean Tamlin had some serious issues, but so did she. He was emotionally abusive so she emotionally manipulated him. Who wins here? She made him worse than he was and while that’s not an excuse for his behavior it does explain why he feels so betrayed. For example: was it really necessary to take his army from him? No she didn’t technically make him do anything, but she twisted everything enough to make sure it went badly. He loved her, in his own twisted way, and she destroyed him. That doesn’t make me look kindly on her.

The relationship of Feyre and Rhysand is sweet and while I admit the sex scenes aren’t nearly as steamy I think they’re very sweet. They show more of the emotional connection and less of the physical connection which I personally value (though I still like those spicy scenes).

The creatures in this book were just amazing. They had, at times, deeper feelings than the characters. The Bone Carver, the Weaver, the Suriel, and Bryaxis are all so wonderful. **spoiler alert** Three out of four of these wonderful creatures die in this book. Which honestly seems like a cop out to not have to kill any of the “main” characters, but whatever.**end of spoiler**

I don’t know what Maas is going to do with this series. What is going to be the big bad and should I care? LOL I will almost guaranteed read the rest of the series no matter what I say. I love Maas’ writing, sue me.

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