A Court of Mist and Fury is the second novel in Sarah J Maas’ hit series: A Court of Thorns and Roses. My review of the first book can be found on my Goodreads here. With regards to A Court of Mist and Fury, I went through several stages. At first I was completely hooked, reading until 4 AM to keep seeing what would happen. How would the relationships play out? However, on second and third look, some things started to bug me.
A Court of Mist and Fury continues after Feyre broke Amarintha’s curse on the land, releasing all the High Lord’s powers. She returns with Tamlin, the High Lord of the Spring Court, back to his hillside castle to rebuild the court and prepare for their wedding ceremony. As we all know though, nothing can pull a couple apart as effectively as WEDDING PLANNING! It is the perfect time to get cold feet and to see all the bad sides of your partner. In this couple’s situation, Feyre finds out undercurrents of Tamlin’s possessive character which suffocates Feyre emotionally.
As their relationship breaks down, along comes Rhysand, High Lord of the Night Court. This love triangle happens with the threat of the King of Hybern in the background, looming to destroy their lands with his massive army.
To be fair to the author, I am in love with Rhysand’s character. The friends he surrounds himself with ie the Inner Court: Amren, Azriel, Mor, and Cassian is a fun collection of characters that provides ample development in the future. Feyre and Rhysand’s relationship is probably now one of my favorite fantasy couples.
However…many of the readers of the first book cried out against the inconsistency of how Tamlin’s character gets broken down in A Court of Mist and Fury. All the while SJM lifts up Rhysand’s character despite the horrible things he did in the first book. I agree with this. It does feel like SJM got sidetracked developing Rhysand’s arc. As such, she decided Rhysand instead of Tamlin to be the ultimate love for our heroine.
Another protest is the word “mate” which gets thrown around quite an awful lot. Many reviewers didn’t like this. Again, I have to agree. It’s extremely cliche.
My last completely subjective disappointment is that everything feels too humancentric. The faeries and other creatures are all humanoid creatures, nothing of a different species flavor. The reason I like the dragon trope in fantasy books is that they remind us that humans aren’t really all as cool as we think we are. A complete world would have billions of crazy wild plants and organisms big and small which make the web of life so diverse. A series which does this very well is Nancy Springer’s Book of Isle.
A universe filled with just humans or human-ish characters ends up being too monotone for me.