4 out of 5 stars
Thoroughly satisfying. Emotionally exhausting. Only a story this epic could make you feel like you’ve spent Rhysand’s 500 years living it.
SPOILERS everywhere, y’all. If you haven’t read this series and want a review, here are my thoughts on A Court of Thorns and Roses (Book 1) and A Court of Mist and Fury (Book 2 – and the BEST one). Start there, read the books, come back here.
This series wiped me out. I started it just a few months ago, and listened to the audiobooks of ACOTAR and ACOMAF back-to-back. (My only gripe about the audiobooks here. Otherwise, they’re flawless.) Without planning, I finished those just days before ACOWAR released! You can’t get luckier than that, unless you a) live in Prythian and b) are Feyre.
So, ACOWAR. What did you guys think? There is a LOT going on – most of it A+, with a few rogue, D- airballs tossed through the middle. Feyre gets the Ouroboros and frees the Bonecarver? A+. All that complicated stuff with Eris? A+. Suddenly I’m shipping Azriel and Elain so hard I’m like the iceberg that got hit by the Titanic? A+ A+ A+. But Daddy Archeron finally shows up, leading an army from a ship called the Nesta? D-. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too hokey there. Dad loved you all along, Nesta, here’s your “special and important” trophy. Delete.
The best part of the book: Rhysand. Obviously. All the characters of his inner circle were perfectly unique, clearly drawn, likeable and relatable. Maas’ talent really shined through them. Five was the right number too – they all played different roles and I never got tired of them.
I did get a little Feyre fatigue by the end, but that’s most narrators. Spending elevently-billion hours of audiobook inside someone’s head will do that. Ultimately, Feyre was an excellent foundation for the ACOTAR story.
My main issue with the book is many things were resolved too neatly, with zero umph. Like all those mysteries you tried to solve (or just remember) in the first three seasons of Lost – then the writers forgot about them too, and they just disappeared from the story.
I really – like book-rippingly, steering wheel-punchingly – wanted an epic, final, Feyre/Tamlin showdown. There was so much meat on that bone! The way Tamlin behaved in the meeting at the Dawn Court? Three books worth of build-up and tension, betrayal on both sides, lies and love and sex and death… and then nothing. We find out Tamlin wasn’t so bad, or so dumb, and then he saves Feyre’s life. “Be happy,” he says. WE CAN BE HAPPY AFTER YOU GUYS BREAK SOME FURNITURE, okay?
Poor Tamlin. He’s out like Gale, whose pat little exit from The Hunger Games was a weak, half-page write off that I’m obviously still not over.
WHAT – there are THREE more books? And two novellas? Good thing I don’t research this stuff before I read it – I’m so tired! But also excited. According to Maas, via Entertainment Weekly in 2016, three more novels are on the way, set before and after the events of the ACOTAR trilogy.
Now I need a nap, then I can start reading the Throne of Glass series.