My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Spoiler FREE – but with ‘vague references’
Let me start off by saying, employing self-discipline during the reading of this book was… difficult, nigh on impossible. I could hardly put it down, not to go to sleep, not to go to work, not to write important university assignments – I really picked this book up at the wrong time of my life.
But I couldn’t wait.
I’ll admit to struggling through the first book of this series (which I blame on accidentally reading a spoiler about the plot), but man did I fall for this cast HARD, and after the second book? Wow. I can’t put into words how book two affected me.
ACOWAR had me holding my breath. It had me screaming internally. It had me putting the book down to stare at the ceiling for five minutes while I contemplated the content of it’s pages. I was SO into this book.
That being said, I waited a while before writing this review. I needed to be calm, to collect my thoughts, to reflect on the depth of the content and not just the surface story-line. In this time, I’ve been disappointed, frustrated, and straight up infuriated.
I stand by my belief that this book is an amazing read. But it’s certainly not without it’s faults.
I forewarn YA fans that there IS sex in this book – I would say it’s appropriate for… ages 15+, but then again, I’ll admit to reading books well beyond the realms of YA fiction when I was 14, so what do I really know? There’s sex. That’s what you need to know – I think most of Sarah J. Maas’ books include sex.
Another reader described ACOWAR as “A Court of Fucking and Fighting” which, while a little crude and a little harsh, is accurate. I, personally, have no issues with this. I love me a good romance with some everything’s-on-the-line action scenes.
What I did have issues with was all the loose threads. There were a lot of characters in ACOWAR – a lot of them were new to this book. We learnt a lot of information and backstory about a lot of people… and it didn’t go anywhere.
While SJM apparently IS continuing with the world of Prythian, she will not be continuing Feyre’s story as she has so far. This makes ACOWAR the conclusion of their stories – the conclusion.
As a 3 book series, I tend to think of them as such: The introduction (ACOTAR), the main body (and my favourite of the lot, ACOMAF), and the conclusion (ACOWAR). Much as you would an essay, there are “guidelines” that should be followed. Namely? You don’t introduce new content in the conclusion; you tie together the threads you’ve already sewn.
I felt that both rules were broken. While SJM did a glorious job of bringing much of the details littered through the serious into a dramatic climax, there were too many that were left hanging.
What’s the significance of Feyre’s interaction with the mirror? What’s the significance of Lucien’s bloodline? What’s the importance of the cursed queen? What of Elain and Nesta’s futures? I want to know where these details go, and I’m terrified I will never get answers.
Quite simply, I’m not ready to let go of these people. How can SJM be ready to move on? There’s still so much more to be explored, and by god if I don’t get these answers in whatever spin-off is coming I’ll go mad.
These points aside, I really do adore this series, and I love every second of Feyre’s and Rhysand’s relationship. I’m more or less ready to pick the first book up and start all over again.
At risk of infuriating you all (no seriously, this isn’t a spoiler, but you may want to stop reading like RIGHT NOW) , I just have to complain about one little thing that just… irks me something awful in SJM’s writing. She has this really awful habit (I’m serious if you keep reading, you will never be able to unsee this) of… ‘qualifying’ actions with “a bit”. It’s EVERYWHERE. “She hesitated a bit” “She shifted a bit” – those aren’t too bad, but there’s also “she kissed him a bit“.
It’s a sentence filler, a buffer, a kind of feature found in spoken language that is completely unnecessary in writing and should be avoided at all costs and it’s all. through. Sarah’s. books.
I’m sorry. You can probably never unsee it. Next time you pick up one of her books it’ll likely jump out at you left right and center.
And it completely throws me out of the story. It ruins my immersion every, time, and it upsets me that these amazing stories are losing me because I’m fixated on this little justifying quip.
Overall though, I still LOVED the book, I loved the series (even though ACOTAR was nearly put on a shelf and left there – gods I’m glad I didn’t) and I highly recommend it to any paranormal romance lover.
You can read aforementioned other review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show…
While I feel I adored the book much more than she did, she makes some very valid points and clearly has a more critical eye that I very much lack!