Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.
Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.
With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights. (via Goodreads)
I loved A Court of Thorns and Roses and knew without a doubt that I wouldn’t be able to keep myself from reading this as soon as I got my hands on it irrespective of when the third book comes out. I wanted to finish as soon as possible but decided to savour it instead and for the most part, managed to succeed.
I loved ACOMAF and I prefer it to ACOTAR, mostly because of how much Feyre grows in this one. The writing is evenly paced and while it may a little on the long side, it is by no means dull or uneventful. In fact, so much happens in this that it almost felt like I was reading two books instead of one. The final few chapters were especially engrossing and more than a little painful. All I can say is that I am so glad that it didn’t end with a cliffhanger, that would have been just too much.
My only grouse with the book was that while it is Fantasy, Maas used words that I felt were out of place with regard to the time that this book takes place in. Words like pinkie and prick, to name a few, just felt jarring and we could have done without them. Then there were the flushing toilets. Usually we have chamberpots in the fantasy novels and yet here, flushing toilets, this was probably even more jarring. Did they exist only in Prythian or even among the humans? If not, then why wasn’t Feyre impressed or even a little befuddled by the technology? Just these small things that could have been avoided.
ACOTAR introduced us to Feyre and Tamlin, both as characters and as love interests and made sure that we were very invested in the relationship. Indeed, it seemed like the perfect relationship. ACOMAF turned that relationship on its head. Feyre had changed Under the Mountain. The things that she had to do to free Tamlin and all the other Courts cost her deeply. Not just in terms of her life but also who she was. She was changed into Fae after Amarantha killed her and the other High Lords brought her back by giving her a bit of their power.
Tamlin too, underwent change, he regained his power and became as he was once was, unbound by Amarantha’s curse. But this powerful Tamlin was a far cry from the Tamlin we and Feyre had fallen in love with. He had no problem having sex with her but didn’t wake when Feyre couldn’t sleep and woke up every night from nightmares. She threw up almost every night and Tamlin didn’t even stir. What kind of love was this?
Tamlin was the very definition of an abusive lover. He was controlling and couldn’t see beyond his own selfish needs. When Feyre tried to talk to him, he usually shut her out or lost his temper. Of course, he would then apologise profusely and once again have sex with her, as if that solved everything. Very rarely do I hate a character as much I hated Tamlin and still do. It pains me that he couldn’t see that she was wasting away, that she was barely eating. He wanted to continue treating her like she was a frail human except that as a frail human, she had managed to complete all of Amarantha’s challenges and free the High Lords. She wanted to go for walks, be included in what Tamlin and Lucien were doing and at every turn, he shut her out. He was so condescending and patronizing. And that wedding scene was especially painful, like getting my root canal done without the anaesthesia.
If Feyre was fierce and independent in ACOTAR, then she was doubly so in this one. But she was also suffering from PTSD and without any kind of emotional support, she was drowning in her own pain. Except when she was with Rhysand. He always managed to incite some kind of reaction in her, some emotion that wasn’t full of hatred for herself and what she had done. She was now a powerful Fae in her own right and with him supporting her, she began to discover just what those powers might be. She has a little bit of all of the High Lords’ powers making her something new and utterly unique. What I loved was that she refused to be a bystander, a trophy. She was responsible for herself and after everything that she had sacrificed, she had earned the right to decide for herself.
If you loved Tamlin in ACOTAR, then I don’t have words for what you will feel for Rhysand. He was everything that Tamlin isn’t. He’s dark and the High Lord of a brutal and cruel court, but is he? Just as he presides over the Court of Nightmares, he also rules over the Court of Dreams. The former is a necessity, one that has long existed while the latter is his dream, something he cherishes above all else, even more than himself. More than that, he truly loved Feyre and is willing to leave her be with Tamlin if that was what made her happy. Even though he knew she was his mate. Once he realised that she was not safe at the Spring Court and brought her with him, he never imposed any kind of limitations on her. She was free to come and go as she pleased and more importantly, do as she pleased. He never coerced or forced her into doing anything. Gave her the space and time to heal herself.
He also revealed a past where his mother and sister were slaughtered by Tamlin’s father and brothers after he betrayed Rhys, painting a very different picture of Tamlin. He had always been selfish and weak and that didn’t change with him becoming the High Lord of the Spring Court.
Rhys also had an inner court that consisted of Morrigan (his cousin), Cassian, Azriel (two of the finest and most powerful Illyrian warriors) and Amren, something wholly foreign and one of the most dangerous beings on the planet. And yet, they were free to make their own choices as well and disobey Rhys if they disagreed with him or his methods. This is in stark contrast to Lucien where he refused to help Feyre even though he could see that what Tamlin was doing was killing her. He tried but never very hard.
I also fell in love with this ragtag group of misfits. Mor who had gone through so much and yet was still bright and irreverent, Cassian, who was loud and lovable, Azriel, who was quiet and steadfast and even Amren, who was perhaps the most dangerous of them all and yet still chose to protect instead of destroy. I loved that Feyre shared a bond with all of them independently of what she had with Rhys.
Feyre’s relationship with Rhys also wasn’t instant love. She hated him in the beginning and didn’t trust him at all. That changed over time when she saw the way he treated his friends and the people of Velaris (his Court of Dreams) When she saw the loyalty and love of his friends for him and saw that it went both ways. She saw that he wasn’t cruel and cold but that it was facade he presented to the rest of Prythian so that he could keep his people safe. She saw that he would never hold her back even if he wanted to protect her. Most of all, she saw that he was willing to let her live with another man if it meant that she would be happy. How could you not love a guy like that!?
Now, let’s talk about this thing called agency and how much I love Sarah J. Maas for giving it to Feyre. She was the master of her destiny and everything she did, good and bad, was her choice. And I loved that! It was so empowering to see her come into her own after being in the shadows of pain and nightmares for so long. She wasn’t just powerful, she was a Power and she wasn’t to be trifled with. She could take care of herself and even save others while she was at it. She and Rhys were perfect for each other.
We met Nesta and Elain again and they were, for the most part, unchanged from last when we saw them. I have a feeling that we’ll be seeing a lot more of them in the next book as well and I am looking forward to that.
The big bad this time was the King of Hybern. He wants to break the wall and take over even the human lands. He is ancient, cunning and cruel and a worthy adversary to Rhys and his team. He didn’t feature very prominently in ACOMAF but that will change, I’m sure with the next book .
I can’t wait to get the next book and watch as Feyre destroys those who betrayed her and Rhys. I want Lucien to redeem himself, for the other Courts and High Lords to rally behind Rhys and for Tamlin to get what he so rightly deserves. Sadly, I have a long wait ahead of me and with no cover or blurb, it seems even worse…