A few months ago I wrote a brief review of A Court of Frost and Starlight after it had been released. Considering how much I loved the first three books in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, I couldn’t want to read the follow-up novella. Sadly, after finishing the book in barely over a day, I was left feeling like I had been cheated. From all the other reviews I’ve read since the book’s release, it looks like I am not alone in feeling this way.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read far worse books. That being said, I’ve read far better. If this had been a standalone book that I just read on a whim I would have read it and just said “Eh, it was okay.” I think the fact that so many people were disappointed with it, however, is because, after the other three books, there were some pretty big shoes to fill. I didn’t say much in my original review, since the book was still pretty new and was afraid to give too many spoilers away. Now that’s been a few months, I’d like to chime in.
(Warning: Potential spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned.)
ACOFAS lacked the plot that the other books had. I know, I know. It’s only a novella. It’s shorter, therefore, there’s supposed to be less detailed than a regular novel. Still, all the detail and events that were there just felt like fluff. I’ve read shorter books with far more substance than this book had. The other thing that really bothered me with the story was how everyone was coping, or not coping, with the aftermath of the war. They’d all been through some pretty traumatic and f*cked up things. They killed people, watched other people die, etc. You would think they’d all be pretty shaken up, no? It was alluded to a few times, but it never actually felt like anyone was struggling too hard. It was like the war ended and everyone immediately stepped back into their regular places in the Night Court. Feyre was shopping all the time and Rhysand pretty much wanted to do nothing but have sex with her. Ummm, really? Even if they were all coping pretty well, this still felt like a highly unrealistic representation of what would be happening…and it irked me.
The only one who actually seemed to be behaving normally was Feyre’s sister, Nesta. Still wanting nothing to do with being a Fae, she’d distanced herself from the rest of the group and was passing her time drinking, gambling, and having sex. While this might not be the most productive way to spend one’s time, I felt like Nesta was the only one with a normal expression of emotions. Personally, I would have rather read more about what Nesta was up to than to read about shopping.
The way Feyre, Rhys, and the other members of their group treated Nesta was pretty shitty. If they didn’t agree with the choices she was making they could have just left her alone and stopped forcing her to come around (she didn’t want to be there anyway). They also made it pretty obvious that they were not a fan of her multiple sexual partners, which really pissed me off. There’s nothing wrong with the whole “bonding for life” thing that Feyre and Rhys had, but I felt like the author was trying way too hard to push this angle and put down any other sort of lifestyle. I know these are young adult books, but I don’t condone slut-shaming. Considering how much sex was already in the rest of the series, I don’t understand where this somewhat misogynistic stance came from. I was also pissed by the way that Tamlin was treated in his brief encounter with Rhysand. I understand that Feyre has some ill feelings towards him given how he treated her, but at the same time, I don’t feel like his behavior was that awful. Things had gone a little sour between them, but it wasn’t like he was physically harming her or anything. Rhysand showed up and saw that he was clearly not doing well (Can you blame him? He lost the woman he loved and just went through a war.) and pretty much kicked him while he was down. He seems to enjoy rubbing his relationship with Feyre in Tamlin’s face and it’s making him look like a giant douche.
The part that made me want to throw the book across the room was when Feyre decided she wanted to have a baby. Sorry, but the whole story turned to shit at that point. It was like Feyre did a complete 180 in this book, going from the tough, badass High Lady to an overly domestic type. It didn’t fit her character at all and it wasn’t something that I cared for. (I admit, my opinion on this may be slightly swayed by the fact that I am not someone who wants to have children and does not get all gooey-eyed over the thought of babies.) It felt so forced. She was only like twenty years old at this point and she’s a Fae. She has plenty of time to have kids. Shouldn’t she have lived as High Lady and did some “normal” Fae stuff first? Meh.
I’ve seen some people claiming that this book ruined the whole series for them. I don’t think I would quite go that far. I enjoyed the rest of the series, but I don;t think I would include this one in a re-read. What did you guys think? Did this ruin the rest of the story for you?
Out of curiosity, did any of you enjoy this one? (If you did that’s totally cool. There’s nothing wrong with that.) What did you like about it?