Book Review: A Court of Mist and Fury

If I could distill this book down into one word, it would be romantic. And you know, it isn't just because of the love scenes that occur in the latter third of the book. Maas does a wonderful job here of painting a picture of the city of Velaris, its people and its Court of Dreams. Rhys, Cassien, Morrigan and the rest all become real characters in this book that I really felt attached to. They became not only the friends, but also the family that Feyre was longing for.

We really got a deep dive into the mind and actions of Rhys as a character as well and he opens up to the reader in a very touching way, and I really felt connected to him and his motivations. I can see how it would be hard for Feyre or pretty much anyone who knows him, not to love him.

I really only have a couple of real critiques of this book. 

<--Warning Spoilers below-->

The first is perhaps in part because my male perspective, at least that is what my wife says when I describe to her some of my frustrations. There were so many moments in the book where Feyre's emotions or actions seem so counterproductive, in a way that really broke me out of the narrative. The biggest one came when Feyre discovers that she is Rhys' mate. The amount of anger and resentment she showed here just didn't seem to make sense to me, especially in light of the fact that Rhys almost died and she almost lost him forever. Both characters were clearly moving towards a direction of falling in love with each other. Feyre even admits to herself that if she had found out sooner that she would have not accepted the concept or been open to it, so I really don't see what the other options were for Rhys. And the revelation that she is his mate if anything I think provides a bit of clarification and release to the various feelings and emotions that she is experiencing. It helps to solidify the "family" that she is striving for.

The sex language also at times threw me off. Very touching and intimate scenes, which really drew me in, were abruptly interrupted with very coarse and descriptive sexual language. Again, perhaps this a product of me A) not reading these types of books normally and B) being a husband who is having this book thrown in their lap by their eager spouse.

All of these items though were fairly minor. Frustrating, but at least understandable from a character perspective. They were character faults, not writing faults. The only other major issue I saw with the book was the ending. I understand what Maas was trying to do with the ending, but it seemed like it setup to many narrative conveniences without the proper level of setup or foreshadowing. For example: Feyre plays out this scenario where she pretends to be under Rhys' spell and then asks the king of Hyburn to break her bond with Rhys. First off the series sets up such a high level of importance of the concept of a mate, that even the proposition that the king of Hyburn could do this, without any sort of indication that he even has the power to do it, is ludicrous and made me want to throw the book across the room. Also, why would any of the other high fey in the room also believe that this is possible?

Now when it is said and done, he can't actually break the mating bond, but why does he even think that he can? If the book provided a bit more lead up as to what powers he has, perhaps I could've been convinced it was possible. But we literally meet him for the first time in this same scene.

On top of all of this Feyre (or perhaps it was Rhys himself) divulges that her and Rhys the night before the mission to Hyburn went to a priest to consecrate their bonding. What? Where did that come from? A simple sentence or two in the previous chapter that said something to the effect of "Rhys invited me out to walk the city of Valeris one last night before we left for Hyburn" would've been enough to establish the idea that something may have occurred. But that came completely out of nowhere.

And then finally, Lucien and his mating with Elain? Again, What?! It just reeks of too convenient of a narrative mechanism to get Lucian to the Court of Dreams at some point in the future.

Overall, Maas' writing was vastly matured over the first book and save for some foibles and the ending, this really had me drawn in and I enjoyed it immensely.

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