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Dear Sarah J Maas - Please Don't Sink the Ships

I'll be the first the admit it, I was late to the party. I had not even considered reading Sarah J Maas's wildly popular A Court of Thorns and Roses or it's companion, A Court of Mist and Fury.

I'll be honest, I'm a superficial thing and I did not find the covers of these books appealing or the synopsis all that interesting. But after being berrated at the last book signing I attended for not having read them I decided I had better give them a shot. Better to know, don't you agree?


So far, these have been two of my favorite books this year and I am highly anticipating the next and final installment in the trilogy. My pre-order trigger finger couldn't help itself and I am impatiently waiting for May 2. So good news readers, if you haven't read either of the first two books you have ample time to read them before the last one comes out in May!

Now is the fun part where I start my review:

Shall we start at the beginning with ACOTAR?

A Court of Thorns and Roses:

Dangerous things lurk in the woods - faeries with the ability to slaughter and terrorize mortals have been crossing the wall from their realm of Prythian into the mortal lands in which humans dwell.

Feyre is the sole breadwinner for her impoverished family. Once part of the wealthy merchant class of their town, the family has lost everything and struggles to survive in poverty. Hungry, cold and motivated by survival Feyre shoots and kills a wolf while hunting in the woods on a dark winter's day. The pelt from such an animal could fetch a good price, giving Feyre and her sisters the money they need to survive another week.

What Feyre doesn't know - she's just murdered a faerie beast and is about to pay for her crime.
In retribution for shooting and killing one of his own, a great beast like faerie darkens the door of  Feyre's home demanding she serve him for the rest of her life in Prythian. The beast whisks her off to the Spring Court of Prythian and to his estate. When the beast turns out to be the High Lord of the Spring Court - a high fae with frightening and powerful abilities Feyre finds herself conflicted between learning to live among the faeries and the mysterious world around them or returing to her father and sisters on the other side of the wall.

This is partially a beauty and the beast type story. There's a beast, a curse and a human girl. And that's where the similarities end. In the first installment of this trilogy, Sarah J Maas crafts a captivating world complete with whimsical and complex characters. Feyre is akin to many other female YA heroines - she's fierce, sassy and a survivor. But she's also just another teenage girl and makes many mistakes which I believe gives sense of relatability to her.

The world building is magical. Maas develops the Spring Court and the darker parts of Prythian so well that I had no trouble envisioning them. The rituals, politics and history of the world in which the book takes place are developed well enough to garner a sense of the place. I appreciated that.

There are romantic elements in this book - some readers have questioned whether the love scenes are appropriate for a YA audience - I have this to say on the matter: if you're a mature young adult who can tell the difference between fantasy and what is real, you'll be okay. Also, if it makes you uncomfortable to read graphic sex scenes - skip ahead. You won't miss out on much.

If you love fantasy with a good dose of romance you'll like this.
If for no other reason, read this one so you can get to the second one, because it's SO MUCH BETTER.

A Court of Mist and Fury

I was afraid that ACOMAF would suffer from second book syndrome and I'm so happy to say that it was far superior to the first book of the trilogy!

ACOMAF begins a few months after ACOTAR ends. Feyre and Tamlin have returned to the Spring Court. After the brutal events that occured under the mountain, Feyre is left reeling and trying to come to terms with the acts she committed while saving Prythian from Amarantha's rule.

She's still indebtted to Rhysand - the wicked High Lord of the terrifying Night Court and their bond requires she spend one week a month with him for enternity. Outraged, Tamlin is willing to do anything posible to save Feyre from Rhysand's clutches and break the bond between them.

Also, it seems a war between Prythian and Hybern is inevitable. So there's that.

People - I'm not going to go into specifics here because I don't want to give anything away.
Here's what is so much better about the second book without spoilers:

  • Continued world building. Prythian is expanded so much more in this book. It's a huge world, unique its own way and all encompassing. I loved it! The reader experiences more than one realm in this book and it is so much more fun. Can I go live in the Night Court?
  • Character development is on point. In ACOTAR, Feyre was mortal. She was inexperienced and naive. In ACOMAF she's really coming into her own as a strong primary character. The character development of the supporting cast is so much better than the first book. Finally, we have some great supporting characters that readers can root for.
  • All the Ships! I'm not naming them - you have to read to decide which ships you're about. All I can say is please please please don't sink the ships, SJM!!!
  • Better plot development. I felt so much of the first book was world building that the plot came second. The second book allows the reader to catch on to the main plot of the story (along with all of the subplots) a lot faster in the second book. 
If you're looking for a good fantasy trilogy to sink your teeth into, I cannot recommend this series enough. Unless I read the third book and SJM sinks all the ships. In which case, I will be forced to retract my review. Please don't make me do it, SJM.

Keep the ships afloat and save Prythian.
Can't we all have what we want?

If you've read ACOTAR and ACOMAF what did you think?! 
I haven't read the Throne of Glass series, someone tell me if it's worth it.

PreOrder A Court of Wings and Ruin available May 2, 2017

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