I know, this book came out months ago – so to some it might seem unnecessary to review it. However, I don’t always get to books right when they come out. There’s just not enough time for me to do that with all the books that I find myself interested in. Further, I just started this series last month – from the beginning. Since I’m now here reviewing A Court of Frost and Starlight – the fourth installment in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, I suppose its safe to say that I’ve enjoyed it. Unfortunately, the benefit of reading a series well after its come out (and received loads of hype and fans…), is that you can immediately proceed to the next book. Like binge watching a series. Only now it means that I have to wait like everyone else for the next installment… boo, hiss.
It also feels somewhat odd to review the fourth part of a series, having not shared my thoughts on the first three, but I still felt compelled to do it. I’ve been meaning to start incorporating more book reviews, and I didn’t feel like waiting until I was done with this series. That just felt silly. The first book pulled me in and opened my eyes enough to have me immediately seeking out the second. The second filled me with so many feelings – anger, intrigue, fear, … to name a few. The third book absolutely wrecked me at so many moments, but in a bizarrely rewarding way. I feel like that sounds awfully weird, but I can’t think of a better way of putting it?? I picked up the fourth book yesterday from the library and made reading it a priority.
I have to admit that when I found it on the shelf of my local library, I laughed. The first book is 400+ pages. The second and third? Over 600 pages (the third book is one page shy of 700)! So finding that the next in the series was only 229 pages felt almost like a cruel joke. Although it did mean I was able to get through it much quicker than the others. At the end of A Court of Frost and Starlight it is announced that the series will continue, so perhaps this book was more of a bridge than anything else? A respite after the intensity and uncertainty of the last. When I look at it that way, I feel more accepting of how brief this book is. Otherwise, I have to admit that part of me feels jipped.
ACOFAS brings us back to the group after the end of the recent war with the King of Hybern. Thankfully, nearly everyone integral (and that I’ve grown attached to) to the story has survived, with the exception of the Archeron sister’s father. Although they have survived, it doesn’t mean that everyone is the same, or that all are well – and we see how everyone is faring. One huge difference in this book, aside from length, is how it is written. The point of view changes frequently with each chapter and we gain perspectives from different characters like Morrigan, Cassian and Rhys. It’s not unique in terms of writing as a whole, but it was definitely different from past books and I honestly didn’t even pay attention to the names at the top a lot of the time and was therefore, awfully confused on numerous occasions. I’m not opposed to when books do this, but did feel that it took away some of the flow of the story. I did enjoy gaining different perspectives though – I think that since the others were written differently it just struck me as odd?
The fourth book is primarily focused on the present and how everyone is carrying on following the war. The focus is mostly personal, with only vague references and dips into the more dynamic aspects like relations with other courts and the connections between the human world and Prythian. We see that Tamlin is full on brooding and even more reclusive and bitter than ever (yes, it’s possible), and that there is tension among the Illyrians. Lucien seems to be roaming without a true home (though, to be fair – has he really ever had one?) and has joined with Jurian and Vassa. It seems that Nesta is the one shrouded under the most mystery though as she has resigned herself to living in a slum apartment away from everyone else, drinking, gambling and having sex. Anger rolls off her like a storm and it appears that the only one able to even vaguely communicate with her with any success is Amren.
I think that in some ways, it was nice to have such a mild book after A Court of Wings and Ruin. There really wasn’t any climax to this book and it was honestly more like a teaser than anything else. However, that is also where the problems, at least for me anyway, lie. It didn’t feel like a true book. It reads as if its incomplete – building and building for no fruition. I’m not naive enough to believe that things are all well now, and I think that there is a lot of foreshadowing in ACOFAS. While I do think they deserve peace and happiness, I don’t think this new Prythian is there yet. This book left far more questions than it answered. Will Rhys and Feyre have a child? What kind of powers will it have – and will it be hunted (a direction I see the story taking if they do reproduce)? What will happen with Tamlin – will he mean more harm, or will he finally heal and let heal? What will happen with Beron and Eris and the Autumn Court as a whole for that matter? Lucien?? Of course I also wonder about Nesta and Elain. I have some theories there as well (especially in regard to Elain and her personal life…).
I don’t think the book was horrible by any means but I do think it caught me off guard. I expected more – both in terms of intensity and length (heh). I couldn’t help but wonder if this book was released if only to satiate hungry eager fans. I can honestly say that I felt even the writing was different than in previous books. Not bad – but more brief as if it was perhaps rushed or less involved (I already feel guilty writing that – I hate giving that sort of criticism, but it’s truthfully how I felt). It’s funny, because you would think that after the emotional turmoil of the last book, I would have welcomed this break with open arms. But it felt too calm – like it can’t be trusted and it certainly leaves me wondering what is to come…
Overall, I’d have to give the book a 4/5…if anything because I am hopeful for what is to come from the next.
If you read A Court of Frost and Starlight, I’d love to know what you thought of it. I know I can’t be alone in some of my thoughts on the book and I’d love to commiserate together. 😉 Or tell me how wrong I am (constructively) – I welcome that as well!
Don’t forget – you can also follow my reading adventures over on Goodreads!