A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (Spoilers)

A Court of Wings and Ruin

Information

Goodreads: A Court of Wings and Ruin
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #3
Source: Purchased
Published: May 2, 2017

Official Summary

Review

The Court of Thorns and Roses series has been a roller coaster of emotions for me as a reader.  Maas knows how to keep her audience on their toes and consistently bring out drama and surprises.  A Court of Wings and Ruin is no exception.  I do think this book is more muted than its predecessor, but that also means that it’s more consistent, in everything from pacing to plotting to character development.

Although this book opens with sort of a sub plot featuring Feyre at the Spring Court, once she returns to the Night Court, there’s a focus on getting Prythian prepared to deal with a war, and I liked that there was a clear overarching plot with a clear stated end goal.  A Court of Mist and Fury was fun but a bit chaotic, and this is a nice break for readers and a good chance for Maas to show off her skills writing a more unified book.

I’ve made it clear that Feyre has been irritating to me throughout the series, though, interestingly, for different reasons in all three books.  Here, Feyre has finally grown into her powers and confidence (though perhaps she’s so powerful and unique that it’s a bit overkill), and that’s really great to see.  She has had a clear character arc over the three novels.  However, I found her fairly hypocritical in this book.  She looks down on her enemies using tactics and powers that apparently are perfectly fine for her.  Somehow, when she’s doing it, it’s different.  (Example: She is horrified that the enemy would break into priestesses minds and make them see something that was not true.  She thinks it’s an abominable violation.  But she does this all the time.  To friends.  To enemies. To neutral people she embroils in her plots. And generally concludes that it’s fine. )  I thought Rhys was a magnificently complex character in A Court of Mist and Fury, but he too starts to fall off into a bit of a trap of thinking “Well, I do what I must, so no point dwelling on it.”

I complained in my review of A Court of Mist and Fury that Tamlin really got the short end of the stick when it came to character development, and I think that remains true here.  To be frank, I don’t even know what’s going on with his character, and Maas seems determined to make him do and believe whatever is most convenient for the plot.  He becomes just sad in this book, rather than a straight-up villain, but the change seems fairly abrupt and probably could have used more development.  It’s a 700 page novel; I think Maas could have worked it in.

In reality, it’s the secondary characters that shine in this installment: Feyre’s sisters, the Night Court, Lucien.  All of these people have layers of personality and history that are slowly unfurled during the course of the novel, and while much of the plot was neatly wrapped up, it’s clear there’s more to learn here, about Elain and Lucien especially.  I would love to read more about them in the future.

I have minor issues with this book, but they’re issues I’ve had with the entire series.  The bottom line for me is that Maas seriously knows how to entertain.  I just need to know what happens next in this series, and to me, that’s a very successful form of writing.  I’ve loved watching the characters grow and the plot unfold for these three books, and I’ll be interested in reading more about Prythian.

Aside: If you want to know my take on the question of “Are there too many sex scenes in this book?” my answer is yes.  Though Feyre does have a kind of sexual development over the series (which seems weird to say, but her attitude towards sex really transforms over time), I think there was a bit much here.  It’s realistic to note that some couples do have a lot of sex, but I think Maas could have gotten the feeling that Feyre and Rhys are really passionate about each other with fewer sex scenes.  To me, the real problem is that they seemed to bog down rather than forward the plot in a few cases.

4 stars Briana

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19 thoughts on “A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (Spoilers)

  1. littlebookynook says:

    Great review!!! It’s interesting, because I have never liked Tamlin from the start. However I do really agree that he really lacked depth as a character. There could have been reasons why he was over-protective and so very angry, we never found any of this out. The other thing is that while Tamlin did some pretty terrible things, Feyre wasn’t really there for him either. I think they were both pretty terrible to each other and Feyre definitely isn’t all innocent like SJM makes out.

    I can’t wait to see what the following books are going to be about, I could tell while reading ACOWAR that things were left out so that they could be brought up at a later date…something to keep us wanting more I guess.

    And yes, way to much sex. We could already tell Feyre and Rhysand love each other…it doesn’t always have to be expressed through sex, sometimes it was very unnecessary .

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  2. TwinBookmarks says:

    We kinda knew that SJMaas would explore the mature content, one time should be enough – but she *really* wants to continue. Other than that her imagination is just brilliant!! We can’t wait to read this!! P.S. Don’t know if you’ve noticed or not but you wrote ‘wrath’ instead of ‘wings’ on the title…😁

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  3. Literary Weaponry says:

    I completely agree that Tamlin needed more page time to develop his story. Maas used him as a tool for her final purpose instead of a character that can grown, learn, and change. Drove me nuts. I felt that way about most of the story line though. Things didn’t feel true to character and instead were just convenient ways of moving the story along. As you mentioned, Feyre hating the idea of invading someone’s mind and then doing it herself with little more than a shrug. Just a convenient plot ploy.

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    • Briana says:

      Yes, that’s my one issue with Maas in general. She knows how to entertainment, but she seems willing to do anything, even if it’s not logical or in keeping with someone’s established character, if the end result will be dramatic.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. KrystiYAandWine says:

    This was a four star read for me too. I love the series actually, but Rhysand just felt TOO perfect in this book. His dialogue just didn’t seem authentic or real, and he lost all of the complexity that he had in the previous books. Plus the battle at the end really bothered me, but I won’t say why for the sake of spoilers.

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  5. Ellen @ Quest Reviews says:

    Well said! I just adore how you are so thoughtful about what you read. You bring up some great points that I hadn’t considered. I, too, haven’t been the huge-est fan of Feyre throughout the series, mostly because she seemed rather indistinct to me. I’m not sure if that is me, or Maas. But I think it’s interesting how each book brought up a different issue with Feyre for you. I agree that she was rather sanctimonious in this book. That’s something that always bugged me about Celaena/Aelin in Throne of Glass.

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    • Briana says:

      I think that’s fair to say about Feyre. One of Maas’s biggest flaws, to me, is just making characters whatever they need to be to make the plot move forward in the way she wants. The worst are Feyre and Tamlin, in my opinion.

      Definitely, I think Maas confused confidence with a more negative quality. I love that Feyre has grown into her powers, but she seems full of herself.

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  6. Zoe says:

    OMG I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS. I absolutely love this series and am so glad you found this to be a great sequel. I can’t wait to read it for myself! Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ❤

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  7. booksandreaders says:

    COWAR was a let down for me . Idk ..I guess EoS and ACOMAF were so much better and ACOWAR just couldn’t compete . That’s probably because my expectations were pretty high :/

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      • Harini says:

        True . Less drama made more sense …but the thing is , the characters just turned a 360 degree turn . I’m not sure about you , but I absolutely hate Nesta . I have a feeling Maas wanted Nesta to be bad when she started the series and then changed the route and it didn’t work for me . And Tam..well , Sarah didn’t give us the’why’ of his behaviour . I have a feeling Tamlin could have pulled off as a good complex character if there had been a bigger explanation for what he did . Btw I agree with almost everything you said , including the ‘Feyre isn’t so great ‘ part . I’ve never been a Feyre fan either 🙂

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        • Briana says:

          I think Maas in general has a bad habit of making characters be and do whatever is most convenient for her plot, with little regard for consistency. I agree that, especially while Feyre was still at home, Nesta came across as mean and basically useless while Feyre supported everyone. It’s not 100% clear why she’d become this amazingly strong, if sometimes grouchy, woman after Feyre left.

          I really think Tamlin was thrown under the bus for the whole series. He was the only one in book 2 who didn’t get the excuse of “But being Under the Mountain broke me!” that everyone else seemed to get for their sketchy actions. And I think Maas could have made him overly protective and such without going into full abusive/evil villain territory, except that ensured the love triangle died for the readers and no one would be said Feyre chose Rhys. I have literally no idea what he was doing in book 3 because it just wasn’t explained at all.

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