A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Mass – My Review

“Your power is a song, and one I’ve waited a very, very long time to hear, Nesta.”

― Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Silver Flames

My Quick Review: I had a somewhat love-hate relationship with this book at times. I thoroughly loved seeing more of the night court and the characters that I loved from the previous books. I also adored the new additional characters of Gwen and Emerie, and their friendship with Nesta was beautiful to read. However, I found Nesta to be an extremely difficult character to like for the majority of this book… and my dislike for her made the book difficult to read at times.

Category: YA Fantasy, Retelling

Age Rating: 18+

Pages: 757

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

CharactersCassianNesta ArcheronRhysandFeyre ArcheronTamlinElain ArcheronAzrielLucien VanserraMorrigan

Trigger Warnings: abuse (mentioned), assault, death (including relatives), depression, miscarriage (mentioned), PTSD, rape (metnioned), sex, smut (graphic), war (mentioned)

Synopsis:

Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she’s struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can’t seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.

The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre’s Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta’s orbit. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.

Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.

Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other’s arms.

“Power lay in her hand. Death gripped her by the other.”

― Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Silver Flames

My review (may contain slight spoilers):

A Court of Silver Flames is the latest installment in the ACOTAR series by Sarah J. Mass. Following on from the main story line of Feyre and Rhysand, ACOSF focuses on Nesta, Feyre’s sister. Her story throughout this book looks into her recovery from PTSD and has a strong sense of character development intoned throughout. I am extremely happy to see representation of mental health issues in the books that I read, and Sarah J. Mass goes into great detail of the effects a traumatic experience can have on an individual, and the difficult task of overcoming the resulting mental health issues. This book is very character development heavy, with very few plot points within (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). Usually I am all for a character driven story, but I did find the pacing of the character development in this book to be painfully slow at times.

It was wonderful diving into Cassian’s character a bit more, and understanding the way he processes situations. His character growth throughout this book was a joy to read. I also loved seeing further snippets of Feyre and Rhysand throughout (although I just wanted to continue reading their story every time!). There were also two new characters, Emerie and Gwen, introduced in this novel, and I absolutely adored both of them! Their characters were beautifully deep and I found myself easily empathizing with both of them. I enjoyed the trio dynamic with Nesta, and the journey they go through together of their recovery from their individual paths. I thought the relationship between the three was beautifully written.

I did have a couple of problems with this book, which is why I ended up rating it 4 stars instead of 5! Firstly…I really dislike Nesta, like seriously don’t like her. I couldn’t connect to her character at all, and I found her responses to literally everyone else in the book utterly infuriating at times. Many times I would be thoroughly enjoying a scene with the full night court, and then Nesta would turn up and just completely ruin the entire atmosphere!

Secondly, it took me a very long time to feel any sort of connection with the romance between Nesta and Cassian. I find that I connect to romance that is very heavily based on emotions. If there isn’t much of an emotional connection, and the romance is purely physical, I have very little interested in the building of that relationship. This was frustrating for me because the two heavily underlining points of this book was the mental health recovery and the ‘romance’. Also, please note that this book has very intense sex scenes and is not a Young Adult fantasy. This is a New Adult fantasy novel, and as such should be read by an age appropriate reading group.

Conclusion: I did really enjoy this book. It was beautifully written and the character development (albeit slow) was truly inspiring. The recovery of the three women, working together to overcome their pasts really touched me, and again I absolutely loved Emerie and Gwen. However, I did struggle with the plot pacing and the romance. Even though I have a few issues with this book, I would definitely recommend it to others!

4/5

“She would not be mastered by anything again. She was the master of herself.”

― Sarah J. Maas, A ​Court of Silver Flames

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