2.5 out of 5 stars
ASDFGHJKL$%^&*! PLEASE stop writing between-books. We can wait, promise! Ask George R. R. Martin!
Presumably no one can fight, f&%$, or have angst in Velaris unless every word of it is committed to page, so Sarah J. Maas brings us a novella of nothing happening. The events of A Court of Wings and Ruin are past: Hybern is defeated, the wall between fae and human worlds destroyed, everyone in tenuous pause as they try to catch their breath. Soon, another war will come. We know because SJM has promised us more books! And while she could – and does – write endless pages of smut, even she will run out of sturdy walls and tables eventually.
Feyre is taking the necessary rags-to-riches approach to her role as High Lady of the Night Court: she’s conflicted about spending money while others suffer. Noble, dull, etc. She ends up using money to help people. Surprise! Wait, no.
Rhysand is still perfect AF. Surprise! Wait, still no.
Cassian is a bro-with-a-heart-of-whatever-Nesta’s-made-of. Nesta is a spoiled, pouty witch. Er, surprise? Nope.
Elain is taking forever to get over her douchebag fiance. Lucien pops up just often enough to remind everyone he exists. Surpri…. nah.
Tamlin is basically a corpse, who probably still thinks that what he did to Feyre was really not that bad and everyone is still overreacting 10,000 pages later. NO SURPRISE! I mean, should she have left him? Yeah. She wussed right out of it, in my opinion, by asking Rhys for help. (But Rhys. Perfect AF for life.) The whole pitchforks-and-townspeople way they hate Tamlin has always had very weak plot support.
So what does happen in this appetizer to ACOTAR #4? There’s some painting, some drinking. Mor rides a horse. Cassian defends gender equality. 90% of the story is our squad deciding what to give each other for presents. SJM stretches it to a slim 229 pages with big margins, chapter breaks, and at least 10 pages of Rhys and Feyre doing it. Even that drags on, because everyone knows that porn and plot don’t need each other.
The end of ACOFAS does include a sneak peak at ACOTAR #4. So read it for that? Just don’t pay $17.99.