After everything she has been through, and everything she has faced, it is the return to the Spring Court that nearly undoes her. After finding her mate and finding peace with her 'family' to return to the stifling and controlling world of the Spring Court is almost more than she can bear, especially when Tamlin and his infamous temper have done such an impressive job of reminding her why she fled from him - her old bedroom destroyed beyond recognition. She has to walk a careful line, appearing to be his love, but in reality working quietly against him. It is a dangerous game to play, and one that she must play at all times so that she doesn't give away her duplicity - but if she can discover the plans of the King of Hybern it will be worth the risks.
When she finally has to shed the illusion Feyre does so in her usual discreet and quiet way - striking a blow to Tamlin and his enemies that can not be ignored. In freeing herself Feyre exposes some carefully kept secrets, and discovers just how dangerous the world can be for a fae female in some of the Courts. When she fainlly makes it back to Rhys and the rest of their family she discovers that they have also been busy, seeking out secrets and searching for hints about what the King of Hybern is planning. It is a time of planning for war, but it is also a time of Feyre trying to heal the rift with her sisters - turned into fae by the King Of Hybern against their will, and hiding secrets of their own. Nesta is a force of rage and discontent, while Elaine has withdrawn and refuses to connect with the world. While her heart breaks for the stated of her family Feyre can't let it distract her from the war that is coming.
With the enemy at their door it is time for the fae to leave their petty squabbles behind and join forces, but centuries of distrust and shifting lines of alliance have left them ill prepared to work together - and with the shattered trust that they have left behind them it might be impossible for Rhys and Feyre to forge an alliance in time. As secrets are revealed war is inevitable, and every member of her new family has a part to play in the war that is coming. War means choosing a side - and making sacrifices. While Rhys and Feyre attempt to unit the Courts, the rest of their family tries to find other solutions - but will they find them in time?
I have loved this series - partly because it is so richly imagined, but also because Sarah J. Maas has written a series for teenagers that doesn't talk down to them or treat them like children. Amazing themes have been explored through this series, themes that young people need to know about - but also that they experience anyway so why not acknowledge it and give them a series they can sink their teeth into? I will add that this is a series for older and/or mature teens as some of the themes and violence will be unsettling for younger or less mature readers, but this is a series that deserves pride of place in the teenagers section (although there are a large number of adults, myself included, who have devoured and enjoyed this series).
This series was described as a trilogy when I picked it up, and while the story arc is closed at the end of A court of wings and ruin, Maas has promised more stories from the land of Prythian so this is not the last we have seen of this world. There are some amazing moments in the story, including some that had me going "no, no, no", and there are some moments that are brutal because they are so realistic but this was an amazing ride and Maas is fast becoming a leading voice in young adult and cross over fiction - she has characters with strong voices and incredible worlds, and hopefully she is writing for many years to come!
If you like this book then try:
- A court of thorns and roses by Sarah J. Maas
- A court of mist and fury by Sarah J. Maas
- Arrows of the queen by Mercedes Lackey
- Long may she reign by Rhiannon Thomas
- Throne of glass by Sarah J. Maas
- Graceling by Kristin Cashore
- Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst
- The Fire rose by Mercedes Lackey
- Reserved for the cat by Mercedes Lackey
Reviewed by Brilla