A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3.1)by Sarah J. Maas Published 01 May 2018
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|Publisher||Bloomsbury USA Childrens|
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Months after the explosive events in A Court of Wings and Ruin, Feyre, Rhys, and their companions are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can't keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated--scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.
"A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3.1)" Reviews
Ok, it's time for an unpopular opinion. I'm sure I'll get nasty-grammed all the way until next year for this but..... I didn't enjoy this. Not in the slightest. Granted, this is all opinion based; there's nothing inherently wrong with this book, I just found myself bored from beginning to end. In fact, I felt like the chapter excerpt for book #4 in the back had more to offer than this entire "novella" provided in 220+ pages. If you loved this one, I truly am happy for you, but I felt the need to provide some honest feedback in case there are others who may have the same expectations that I did here. I'm going to keep this as spoiler free as possible, but if you haven't read the previous books in the series I would stop here.
I'm actually having trouble writing anything about the plot because nothing really happens in the story, aside from one decision that is made between Feyre and Rhysand. I did appreciate that the author was trying to offer a brief entrance back into the world she had created, and if this had been the beginning to a larger, 700+ page novel then I would have looked at this in a completely different light. I hate that I was expecting something to happen because it detracted from my ability to just enjoy being with these characters again as they shop for presents for each other and describe the food they are eating and recap everything we just read in the previous novel. But truly, if all you are looking for is atmosphere then you will likely enjoy this much more than I did. The descriptions of Velaris and the Illyrian war camps are breathtaking and exquisite.
I did wholly appreciate the bit of backstory we get into Cassian initially, and my heart bled for Mor as she kept having to deal with her father and Eris and the Court of Nightmares, but every time I thought we were finally getting somewhere it would switch back over to shopping and food discussions. So I have to give credit to the fact that I was engaged in those moments, regardless of how the flow affected my absorption of the story. I was so disappointed in this disjointed lack of connection that I couldn't believe I was reading about the same inner circle I had once held so dear.
Have I possible "outgrown" this series? I would hope not, because it's one of my favorite escapes, so I've come to the conclusion that a big factor is this: I'm tired of Feyre and Rhysand. It's not like I never want to hear about them, but I am so done with their narrative. It has come to the point where it feels repetitive and stale and dull and every single other character in this book, aside from a little bit of Cassian/Mor/Nesta was mostly left out. I wanted to hear more from all these other characters, from other courts spread across the continent, from ANYTHING BUT FEYRE AND RHYS.
You know what I think the strongest point this novella has going for it? SJM actually made me feel a bit of conflicted sorrow for Tam Tam. I will never excuse abuse or the things he did wrong previously, but she managed to touch a tiny place inside my heart that wished for more for ole Tammy, that he could find someone to accept his brokenness and help heal him into a functioning member of fae society.
I'm sorry as I'm completely aware that this review is just a bundle of disjointed thoughts (how's that for irony?), but it's the best I could do under the circumstances. Guys, I'll still read the next book, as I'm interested in the Nesta/Cassian deal, but I sincerely hope that we see more Elain/Lucien/Azriel, because I missed my precious babies. I really did. Ok, NOW you can throw your pitchforks and knives at me, I'm done! ;)
we were all played like a violin in investing in this book. It’s $18 for lazy, messy fanfiction. This is 200+ pages of complete emptiness. There’s no purpose to any of this other than a money grab and longwinded, unnecessary epilogue to the original trilogy.
This literally reads like someone from Tumblr wanted a scene with all the ACOTAR characters having christmas together so sarah whipped out her laptop. There was no substance or set-up to a new series at all. 90% of this book—and I wish I was kidding—is just the characters all going shopping for each other's presents--multiple times. The other 10% is Feyre and Rhys speaking in each other’s heads through the bond about how much they want to fuck each other. Additional scenes include the characters getting drunk every 30 pages, weird side POVs from characters who add nothing to the story, and a snowball fight between warriors. I honest to God am not joking when I say if I read this on fanfiction.net, I would laugh at it and say it’s unrealistic and poorly done. It’s just pure stupidity and vapid smut for the fans’ wish fulfillment.
The writing in this is so messy. “Gentlemales” brought me to a depth of hell I haven’t seen before, so thanks for that, Sarah. Every time a female character says something “softly, but not weakly,” I feel like plunging a knife into my chest. Take a shot every time Sarah’s written that into one of her books. The sex scenes have so much potential to be steamy or whatever but Sarah ruins it by having the characters CONSTANTLY horny for each other, so it dampens any tension or angst. And the amount of times that sex is referenced in Rhys’s POV is utterly repulsive. At one point he just looks at a table and is like “mmm I’d fuck Feyre on that” ... [john mulaney voice] FUCKING WHAT?? Even in Feyre’s POV when I could get away from his gross thoughts, he’d always talk shit to her down the bond and try and get in her pants or say something “sexy” but it’s just so corny and stupid and gross and it ruins the scene and I wanted to throw my book it was so irritating.
I just think it’s funny how Feyre is the high lady and in Velaris, apparently women—oh, i’m sorry, FEMALES—are toootally equal to men *ahhem* males, and yet this entire book, Rhys is traveling to different courts and talking treaties and strategies with people and going off on business and Feyre does what? Cleans their home, goes shopping (no less than 4 times), cooks meals, and maybe if she’s feeling frisky, paints a little or has sex with her husband—oh, i’m sorry *ahhem* mate …. Sarah, don’t pretend that women are so equal to men but then literally only have female characters who love jewels and shopping and cooking and serving men and having sex. Even Amren didn’t slit a throat in this—she just complained about pooping and then had sex with Varian. Nesta and Lucien are the only vaguely interesting characters in this and I don’t like either of them. Their anger and distance made them more interesting than the characters in this getting shit-faced, making lame sexual jokes to each other, and referencing characters from the original trilogy I don’t care about.
I wanted there to be something good about this because I genuinely loved ACOMAF and I’m waiting to feel a glimpse of the mastery that went into that book, but these new books just fan wish fulfillment at this point. This book was COMPLETELY unnecessary and the fact that Sarah is only extending the world to exploit the characters people like and get more money is just low. Let this series die, the world is done. The characters have exhausted their arcs and their humor is dumb and dry.
Gave this book a star because Azriel deserves better than this bullshit.
"To family old and new. Let the Solstice festivities begin."
1) A court of thorns and roses ★★★★☆
2) A court of mist and fury ★★★★★
2) A court of wings and ruin ★★★★★
A perfect, fluffy and heart-warming novella, from the first to the last page.
A court of frost and starlight focuses once more on Feyre and Rhysand and I couldn't be happier about it. I know many people weren't happy about getting another book about them but they still hold a special place in my heart so a new whole canon book about them? It felt like Christmas morning for me lol.
Besides that, from my point of view the book is more about seeing the inner circle heal after the war than feysand. Some dealt with it better than others but everyone has its own scars.
I loved seeing the progression of Feyre and Rhysand's relationship, they're my all time favorite fictional couple and seeing them happy and making plans for the future was amazing, after everything they went through they deserve it and no one can convince me otherwise. Plus, it was good to see old Rhys coming back, he was kind of less funny and flirty in acowar (understandably).
It's true, the plot was basically non existent but I mean ... uhm what were you expecting? I lost count of how many times Sarah said the whole book's purpose was giving a deserved ending to the feysand arc and creating a bridge between the two series. That's exactly what she did so I don't get the amount of hate I'm reading about this topic.
Plus, the final excerpt confirmed that the next book is gonna be nessian's and I liked how Sarah set up the two of them (especially Nesta, her story arc in acofas is soooo dark). And I know that many people weren't happy with her arc but for me seeing her hitting rock bottom was the perfect set up for the next book, she has her own healing to go through (Cassian does too).
RAISE YOUR HAND IF
you would rather read about Mor accepting herself entirely and unconditionally and growing comfortable in her sexuality; Nesta finding her way towards healing and self love and getting her revenge on the queens; Elain focusing on her personal growth and learning to healthily cope with being Fae and slowly getting used to her new found abilities.........instead of yet another uninspired, drab, unnecessary smut scene between Feyre and Rhysand
✨Hardcore SJM fans need not engage, kindly move along without reading this review.✨
Me after finishing the book:
IM FREEEEEE!!!!!!!! WORST EXPERIENCE OF MY FUCKING LIFE
So let’s start by saying this book was almost entirely useless. Things this book has:
• lots of walking around Velaris
• shopping for presents
• lots of bad innuendos
• me physically rolling my eyes every two pages
• way too much internal monologue about who had fucked whom, where and in which position
• one really long and really cringy sex scene
• somehow galaxies were involved in the sex scene and that’s not even the weirdest thing that’s ever happened in a sjm sex scene
• mate mate mate mate mate m a t e ma te ma t e mat e m ate mAtE mATe MATE matE M a te
• I repeat: g e n t l e m a l e s
• a few cute moments
• a few funny moments
• a tiny bit of actual fucking foundation for the next books
Basically Feyre and Rhys need to retire and let secondary characters finally have the spotlight.* The only POVs I genuinely enjoyed were Cassian’s and Nesta’s, which, surprise surprise, will be the focus of the next book. Fucking finally.
*except SJM has a talent for ruining main characters so what happens when secondary characters become the main ones? Uhhh we shall find out I guess.
Speaking more generally, this book was just mostly bad. I’m not only talking about the writing, which needed a lot of editing, but the general feeling surrounding it all. Starting from the blurb, which is just a few sentences from the first chapter copypasted together. People, the blurb doesn’t even make sense. That extra sentence about snow? It shouldn’t be there. They obviously needed one more sentence to make the blurb longer and didn’t know what else to pick. It’s just bad. Whoever did that did a very poor job.* And that makes me angry.
*EDIT: oh boy they changed the blurb!!! More than a full week after the book released! But I got receipts. #NeverForgetTheBlurb
Authors, even big ones, still have to fight hard to see their books picked up by publishers, be sold, and then be read and hyped by readers. But apparently that rule doesn’t apply to SJM. The publisher doesn’t even put any effort in pre-release things like writing a decent blurb, because they know her books are going to sell anyway. And I mean, I’m here writing this review because I’ve read this book despite swearing that I was done with this series after ACOWAR, because she has a talent for making you want to know what happens to the characters, even if (especially if) they’re not the main ones.
But the least the author and the publisher could do is put some fucking effort and deliver a product that’s better than this. Instead, it feels like either SJM is a rare case of writer who gets worse every book she writes, or the publisher has decided that she’s still going to sell regardless how many rounds of editing her books get, so they might as well never edit them, thus never delivering a polished book.
Because, folks, we might have started making fun of the word m*te for shits and giggles, but it’s become a big fucking problem, especially in this book. You know the writing advice that says to just use someone’s name when talking about them, instead of saying, idk, “the French girl,” or “the red-haired boy”? SJM has never heard of it. Think about your own internal monologue. Do you think of your spouse as “my spouse” all the time? Or do you simply think about them with their name?
Cassian and my mate’s sister did not speak to each other at all.
This sentence just does not flow. And it’s just one of about 70 times the word m*te was used (and keep in mind this is a 200 pages book). I wonder how many creative writing students failed their assignments for doing exactly what the most hyped YA fantasy author these days does constantly.
Do we also want to have The Talk about the weird connotations and implications that this word has? Oh boy, this conversation is about three years late, but I absolutely Do Not like all this animalistic shit, starting with m*te, moving on to how many times people purr, referring to people as males and females (ah, the good ol’ binary) (YES I FUCKING KNOW SHE CAN’T CALL THEM MEN AND WOMEN BUT JFC JUST STOP), to the weird possessiveness that the whole m*ting system entails. Also!!! Toxic masculinity!!!!!!! Weird unchallenged sexist comments!!!!! Trying to make Rhys sound soooo feminist when apparently his job is being horny 24/7!!!!!! Have Rhys (a literal sexual abuse victim) talk about how he can’t stand to be next to his m*te without, and I quote, BEING BURIED INSIDE HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ohhhh now you've done it, you got me mad. If you read a SJM book it seems like thinking/talking/having sex for most part of your day is the normalcy. Which it can be!!!! But guess what! Ace people exist!!!! People with low sexual drive exist!!!!!!!!!! That’s normal too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh no I’m using too many exclamation points let me hire an editor. When every single character you portray acts the same exact way towards something like sex, you’re telling your readers (mostly teens) that that’s what’s expected of them, that that’s how everyone is like. It’s no secret that diversity doesn’t exist in SJM’s world, and that involves how people view sex and romantic relationships too.
It’s amazing that YA books have sex positivity. But books need to also acknowledge that ace people exist too. Protagonists and love interests that aren’t some sort of sex gods need to be there too. Thin boys, fat boys, trans boys need to be there too. If after >10 books a writer can’t get out of her own self-insert fantasies about what type of men she likes, maybe she isn’t a great writer after all. Maybe she needs to listen to the (still too small) part of her readers that demand More, that demand Better.
I went on a HUGE tangent and I don't even fucking care. There were parts of the book that I liked. I even enjoyed most of its central part. I enjoyed Nesta’s PTSD portrayal and she’s the only reason I’m going to read the next book because parts of her trauma and her way of dealing with it have the potential to mean so fucking much to me. But I’m going to lower my rating to 1 star because I’m tired of all the things I mentioned above, I'm tired of being treated like shit by an author and her team because they expect me to worship her when she doesn't even try anymore. My 1 star isn't even gonna change anything because everyone’s giving this the usual five stars, but I don’t care. I’m here and as a reader I demand better, I demand the bare fucking minimum, and I don’t think this book even tried.
This was a buddy read with my bon [email protected] (I’m sorry)
Correct me if I'm wrong but shouldn't blurbs, like, tell you something about the book..........why is this one just a recap of the previous ones lmao
Also shout-out to sjm for managing to squeeze the word "mate" within like 100 words of bad blurb
#1 A Court of Thorns and Roses ★★★★★
#2 A Court of Mist and Fury ★★★★★
#3 A Court of Wings and Ruin ★★★★★
#3.5 A Court of Frost and Starlight ★★★★★
First of all, let me just express my total devastation that an entire year of counting down the days until this book’s release is gone in two and a half hours of reading. I mean, I knew it was only going to be a novella, but… *sobs quietly* I didn’t expect it to go by THAT fast! This amazing little series has pulled me through some really dark times and brought so much joy into my life that I know I will treasure it, always. ♥
Even now, with that bond again flowing between us like a river of star-flecked night, the echo of its vanishing lingered.
ACOFAS definitely doesn’t read anything like the 3 main novels; the chapters switch perspectives occasionally, featuring POVs from Feyre, Rhysand, Cassian, and Morrigan. What struck me as particularly odd about this was the fact that Feyre and Rhysand’s chapters were in first-person, while Cassian and Morrigan’s were in third—a slightly jarring writing style, but nothing too detrimental.
In his stare, I could have sworn galaxies swirled. In the shadows between his wings, the glorious depths of the night dwelled.
We do get some really sweet and domestic Feysand moments, but I was actually surprised at how little time they actually spend together during the novella (and how little sex there is—who is this author and what did she do with Sarah?!). We did finally get the infamous wall scene! There are some incredibly sweet moments, at least a few scenes of Rhysand being his lovable cinnamon roll self, and a completely expected but adorable turn of events for their little family.
Shadows different from anything my powers summoned, spoke to. Born in a lightless, airless prison meant to break him. Instead, he had learned its language.
Feysand obsession aside, I loved how much time we got to spend with Cass and Az, learning more about their respective histories and how they’ve healed from the war. With Cassian’s perspectives especially, it felt like this was written to be a legitimate “bridge” between the ACOTAR series and whatever comes next, which I was honestly fond of, even if the next book’s focus on Cassian and Nesta does have me pretty nervous.
Lucien had not come here to make amends during Solstice, I realized as Tamlin opened the door to the dark library. Lucien had come here out of pity. Mercy.
Perhaps the most unexpected bits were the ones in which we visited Tamlin—with a novella this short, I honestly didn’t expect to see him at all, and certainly not in the state in which Rhysand found him. I never thought I would feel sorry for him, and I still think he’s a walking, talking garbage can, but I still couldn’t help being at least a little bit sad to see how far he’s fallen. I truly do hope that Sarah will write more about him in the future, because I can’t help but always feel that, no matter what a jerk he is, there’s something interesting about his potential as a character.
Cassian set me down at last. “What’d you get me for Solstice?” I smacked his arm. “A heaping pile of shut the hell up.”
Was ACOFAS everything I hoped and dreamed it would be? Honestly, no. This is more of a 4.5 rating, but you can believe that I did not hesitate to round up to 5 stars, because at the end of the day, I got to spend a few hundred pages with my precious bat babies, and watch this adorable little family interact and taunt and fuss and cry and laugh with one another, and that was all I really needed this novella to offer me. I have missed the inner court so damn much since ACOWAR ended, and it just felt SO GOOD to fall right back into this world for a little bit longer. ♥
Bonus list of tiny things that made me squeal:
→ the sauna scene
→ snowball fight traditions
→ more “the power of art” scenes
→ Morrigan reminiscing (ow, my heart)
→ Amren’s newfound jigsaw puzzle obsession
→ “Illyrian babies”
→ Rhys cooking Tamlin dinner, like… what even?
→ all the fuzzy scarves and winter holiday vibes
→ Amren receiving a million pieces of jewelry as always
→ Mor’s terrible taste in gifts
→ SHAMELESS reference to Cass’ wingspan
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