Author: Sarah J. Maas
Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda
Audiobook Length: 25 hours 9 minutes
Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.
As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places.
A Court of Wings and Ruin is the third novel in the ACOTAR series. It is the final full-length novel that features Feyre as the main character before the series changes to her sister Nesta. Series that are set up this way are always interesting to me as I love that, typically, the main character’s story is not stretched out too long, but there is still enough to expand the series based on other characters and plots where it all makes sense. I hope that it is the case for this series, but I will not find out until I get to the next stories.
Feyre Archeron is now the High Lady of the Night Court and married to Rhysand (Rhys) and back in the Spring Court with Tamlin. The war is brewing in Prythian and the King of Hybern now possesses the Cauldron, which means Feyre must hide in plain sight to try and find a way to stop it. There is a little less romance in this compared to the other novels, but Rhys and Feyre continue to be a standout couple. There are tons of moments where Rhys is too perfect as he says and does the right thing a lot, which can be a bit much since I prefer slightly more flawed characters. Despite this, he and Feyre are excellent matches for each other, and their connection makes me love to read more about them as a couple.
The three novels in this story feel very cohesive as they flow nicely from one to the next and read well as a unit, which is not always the case in some series. The exploration of mental health was well-explored in the characters, especially in Feyre, where I liked that her trauma was never glossed over nor was it her defining trait as a character. Along with Feyre, the reader gets to explore her sisters, Elain and Nesta, more as they explore their newfound roles as Fae. While all three sisters have become High Fae, their reactions are different as Nesta is angry and Elain is depressed. It was interesting to explore their transitions compared to Feyre’s in the previous novel. Neither Nesta nor Elaine are extremely likable in this story, but, for me, it is just because they needed more exploration. Nesta will get more in the next novel, so I must hope that there will eventually be more for Elaine.
The story itself moves both fast and slow, which was a little frustrating in a final novel with the build up of the war still occurring. The main characters have their established roles in the story while the secondary characters have theirs set up before the main climax can begin. The beginning of the story begins at a quicker pace, then slows down greatly for Maas to get everything in line for the finale. The war itself becomes the finale within the last 150 or so pages, which felt a little rushed considering this was built-up to be something epic. The battles itself were nicely written along with the twists and turns, but it still felt that something was missing. The aftermath as the stories for these characters, especially the main ones, wrap-up for now was the let-down only because it felt too perfect.
While the story starts simply enough with Feyre entering the world of the Fae, the universe expanded to include many Courts (Velaris is one of my favorite settings ever), characters, and plotlines. As there was a lot to accomplish in this story, I think there either needed to be one more novel in this trilogy portion or some reallocation of pages to make it truly feel complete. Rhys and Feyre get a lot of attention, yet Tamlin does not get as much, despite him having a very large role. I am not sure if adding more POVs would have helped this, but I think it would help readers like me connect a little more. The side characters, like Mor and Lucien, have a lot going on in their own lives, yet there is not a lot of time to explore them. Since the series is still in progress, maybe some of these will be solved, so I will have to see. Overall, I may have some negatives about this novel, but I still loved it and would easily re-read it again and again. I believe this is also being adapted by Hulu(?), so I cannot wait to see how it comes to life.