A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (Spoilers)


a court of mist and furyInformation

Goodreads: A Court of Mist and Fury
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #2
Source: Purchased
Published: May 3, 2016

Official SummarY

Feyre is immortal.

After rescuing her lover Tamlin from a wicked Faerie Queen, she returns to the Spring Court possessing the powers of the High Fae. But Feyre cannot forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people – nor the bargain she made with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court.

As Feyre is drawn ever deeper into Rhysand’s dark web of politics and passion, war is looming and an evil far greater than any queen threatens to destroy everything Feyre has fought for. She must confront her past, embrace her gifts and decide her fate.

She must surrender her heart to heal a world torn in two.


Spoiler Warning

In which I mostly grump about the romance rather than commenting on the rest of the book. But aren’t we all here for the romance anyway?

I should have seen this coming. I didn’t want to believe this is how A Court of Mist and Fury would go, based on the events of A Court of Thorns and Roses, but I guess deep down I always suspected Maas was going to hang Tamlin out to dry.  After all, here is how I ended my review of book #1:

The downside to this section of the book, however, is that love interest Tamlin entirely disappears while Feyre takes center stage.  Readers are then introduced to a different male character very much in depth, who quickly becomes far more interesting than Tamlin.  When Beauty and the Beast are finally reunited…I found myself not really caring.  I wanted the other guy.  It looks as if I’ll be getting my wish in the second book to see more of the new guy, but that doesn’t satisfy me.  I can’t help docking stars from a book that drops its own love interest and makes the ending super anti-climatic, no matter how much I liked the rest of the book.

And so this is my major issue with A Court of Mist and Fury. I really like Rhysand–I liked him even in ACOTAR–but Maas has to do some major work to convince readers that Feyre’s prancing off with him instead of Tamlin, instead of the man she risked everything for and was willing to die for, is a good idea and a romance we should be invested in.  Because, frankly, it’s a really tough sell to say that the actions Feyre took in book #1 were meaningless or misguided or directed at the wrong man. If someone would do all that for a guy who was completely wrong for her, what on earth does true love look like?

It’s a conundrum, so Maas relies on two major crutches to try to fix it all. 1) Do a bait and switch and suddenly make Tamlin a villain. Sure, she foreshadowed some protectiveness in ACOTAR and used the ending to imply maybe Tamlin’s not as great as we thought he was–but implying Tamlin just isn’t right For Feyre at this point isn’t enough. Maas relies on a time-tested cliche: making the former love interest so villainous that readers and the protagonist simply can no longer consider him a viable option. 2) Maas squeezes the world-specific concept of “mating” for all its worth.  Love, marriage, and mating all all separate things in this place, but mating is binding and surpasses everything else.  Thus, readers are forced into believing Rhys is best for Feyre because they are mates. Anything else she experienced in a romantic relationship before might have been true–she may have really loved Tamlin–but it’s all superficial compared to the mating bond.

Now, my personal problem is that I actually do enjoy Rhys as a love interest. He’s caring, intriguing, playful, complex.  But the cost of making Rhys complex for Maas is making sure that Tamlin is not.  Any characterization Tamlin had in ACOTAR disappears; readers and Feyre are left only with a man who is a selfish abuser and appears to have minimal reason for being one, despite the meaningless speculations Feyre tries to make that maybe he was “broken” Under the Mountain, too. Because in this book, Tamlin’s brokenness doesn’t matter; the references to it have no substance.  Apparently, only the brokenness of Rhys and Feyre is worth being explored.

So, yes. I enjoyed reading about Rhys and Feyre. I’m interested in seeing more (and I can only assume Maas isn’t going to pull a bait and switch on readers again since Rhys and Feyre are mates). However, I think the way the romance was accomplished was a bit disturbing.  Tamlin is being thrown under the bus for the sake of plot, and it seems unfair.

That said, the plot of ACOMAF is breathtaking. One of my major complaints about ACOTAR was that there didn’t seem to be much of a plot at all under Feyre went Under the Mountain (so, you know, for most of the book). Here. Maas compensates for that spectacularly, and I can’t wait to see what happens at the end of the series.

4 stars Briana

8 thoughts on “A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (Spoilers)

    • Briana says:

      Oh, definitely! I agree Maas did some good foreshadowing with how over-protective Tamlin was in ACOTAR. I just think she could’ve amped up the protectiveness a bit more and still made the point he wasn’t right for Feyre and it wasn’t really going to work out. Instead she went full throttle “He’s controlling and abusive and BTW he allied himself with the evil guy.” Just so we would all be very clear that he is no longer the love interest here and we are not allowed to like him anymore. :p


  1. Ellen @ Quest Reviews says:

    ” If someone would do all that for a guy who was completely wrong for her, what on earth does true love look like?”

    That’s a great sentence and a pointed criticism! Although more and more, I’m beginning to think that Maas intended Feyre’s sacrifice Under the Mountain to be more about Feyre’s growth as an individual, and less about the strength of her relationship with Tamlin. I think Maas wanted to show how Feyre, previously closed off and resentful, was able to make herself vulnerable, open her heart, and give her all in a relationship.

    HOWEVER, then that relationship fails abruptly… leaving me and everyone else, it seems, quite bemused.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly, Maas used poor characterization to exit out of Feyre’s relationship with Tamlin. He becomes quite villainous, and backtracks in all of HIS personal progress, all to treat Feyre like a possession made of glass. This is a move Maas has done before in her other series, with another character. What, I wonder, are her thoughts on this maneuver? She comes back to it time and again. Why?!

    Your words on the plots of Thorns & Roses and Mist & Fury align with my thoughts EXACTLY! Like you, I thought most of book one had a very elusive plot line. Until the events of Under the Mountain, it just bobbed along aimlessly. In Mist & Fury, there is an overarching plot line that unified all the scenes in the book in a more skillful way.

    Anyway, this was a wonderfully thoughtful review. Since you mentioned on my blog that you were posting this on Tuesday, I’ve been stalking your website, waiting for it to pop up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Briana says:

      I do think it was interesting that Maas reoriented the experience to make it about Feyre’s growth. I can definitely see why it would have changed her. I’m just baffled because the whole of ACOTAR was really focused on the idea that she was doing everything “for Tamlin.” And though I guess the prophecy didn’t really specify anything about true love, everyone seemed to be interpreting it that way! :p

      I would have loved to see more of Tamlin’s “brokenness” get played out. Maas kind of just throws out “well, he’s overprotective and abusive now” and leaves it when she puts so much attention into showing what “brokenness” means for Rhys and Feyre. I could buy into the fact that the experience made Tamlin not a good man, but I think Maas could still have shown some sympathy for that–that he was made into someone he didn’t want to be by the experience?


  2. paperluster says:

    Great review! I totally agree about the bait and switch. Tamlin became so villain-ess that how could I possibly ship him any longer. I do prefer Rhsyand though because he is a much more complex character. Love his inner circle – I want more Azriel!


  3. rosazazules says:

    I thought I was the only one who felt that Tamlin had changed. He wasn’t the “cool” guy anymore and Lucien… well, what happened to him? I liked him, but now… he is just Tamlin’s puppy. And what about that priestess? And honestly, I was completely taken aback. Tamlin was cute during ACOTAR, but wait! Was he cute towards Freyre because of the prophecy or because he fell for her?


    • Briana says:

      Yeah, I’ve seen arguments that Tamlin was overprotective during ACOTAR and obviously kind of passive Under the Mountain. But I think that could have led into a “Ok, they had a great relationship, but Feyre and Tamlin have both changed as people during their time Under the Mountain so the relationship isn’t sustainable at this point.” I don’t see how Tamlin suddenly became an abuser and then a political villain. That seemed forced. And Lucien had basically no personality in ACOMAF!


  4. Lois says:

    I like the review also. However, before I knew there was a second book and the awesome reactions from fans almost everywhere; I felt something missing in Tamlin’s love towards Feyre. For once, the Fire Night part where she is treated like a child and just TOLD to stay in her room, as if any sensible and reasonable woman wouldn’t understand the risks of the ritual. And this happened right after they seemed to be getting closer. He just seemed less into her when you compare what she did for him. Regardless of his physical passion for her….his feelings weren’t as mature or even truly profound. You see this, more importantly feel it when you read how Rys treats her. Specially her last scene with Amarantha when every bone in her body breaking, who risked the most and felt the most was NOT Tamlin. And Rhys reacted that way even though the girl was someone’s elses and would not give him any immediate benefit.
    I’m sorry for the spelling, punctuation, for know I’m working on my language barrier.
    By the way, I might be a bit biased toward her real connection with Rhys because I know exactly how it CAN happen and sometimes the first guy you love and believe in, etc,etc , can change and drastically even regardless of what you have done.


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