Book Review of “A Court of Wings and Ruin” by Sarah J. Maas

Book Review of “A Court of Wings and Ruin” by Sarah J. Maas

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This review is part of a series of book reviews where, instead of providing a star review for each book, I provide the top three things I like about each book and the top three things I dislike about each book. This means that even if I adore a book, I’m still going to find three dislikes to list and even when I despise a book, I’ll still find the three things that I enjoyed. Then you get to decide based on these things if the book is right for you.

Because of the nature of this review, there will occasionally be some spoilers, though I do my best to minimize them so as to not completely ruin the story for those who haven’t read it.

*Some Spoilers Included*

Here are my thoughts on the third, and somewhat final, story of Feyre and Rhysand. (Or, I mean, I feel like it really should be the final story for them because I feel like the next two books were a detriment to their characters.)

Hopefully, if you’re reading this review, you already know that the love interest changes for Feyre during the second book, A Court of Mist and Fury. If not, hopefully, you don’t mind spoilers too much since you’re reading a book review of a third book in a series without having read the previous books. I also feel like it would be nearly impossible for me to say anything even nearly particular about this book without acknowledging the change in relationships.

So, without further ado, here are my thoughts on the third book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series:

Top Three Likes:

1. Lucien and Feyre time. Lucien was one of my favorite parts of the first book, so I was glad to see him back with Feyre working their way across the courts together. I also enjoyed that it was Az and Cass who came to their rescue, and not Rhys as expected.

2. The Suriel’s death. Not that I’m happy he died, but I loved that he knew he was going to die and still showed up for her. As a bonus, it led to Ianthe’s fun demise, which made up for Feyre letting her off so easy earlier. Check and mate.

3. The story coming full circle. It was a lovely, final touch.

Top Three Dislikes:

1. The book’s treatment of Tamlin. I understand that Feyre and everyone were mad and that Tamlin sucks, I wasn’t a fan of him from the beginning. However, I still feel like SJM was trying really hard to have us fully hate him without any alternative, and to do it I felt like she made him incredibly out of character and dumb. In reality, I feel like he’s a flawed character that could be more in the “you suck, but we feel bad for your realm.” Which I think would’ve made him a much more interesting character than the two-dimensional character she just wants us to hate on.

The things he’s done were done to protect his love, even if he went too far, like locking her in the mansion to keep her safe. Rhysand had her dressed like a slut, black-out drunk, dancing and acting like a fool for the enjoyment of the folk and he still got a pass just for explaining that he’s actually a nice guy. He didn’t have to do that, still decided to do it, and got an immediate pass. Seems like a bit of a double standard, which frustrated me.

2. Feyre’s attitude while she’s back with Tamlin. I felt like she was all about getting petty revenge and wasn’t being smart or empathetic towards the other people Tamlin dragged into his mess. I felt that she should’ve known things weren’t as fully as they seemed and used this opportunity more to help the upcoming war efforts. Maybe worked to turn him back to their side. Maybe by doing spy work and gaining useful intel.

But, no, she once again decided to be selfish and ruin everything. I would’ve loved to see her play a really effective double agent. Imagine a scene where she was pretending to be with Tamlin while they had to meet with Rhysand or something. That could’ve been a fire. Not these weak first few chapters that we got instead.

3. Lots of build-up, little war. I felt like there was a lot of talk about how awful the war was going to be and how Amarantha was just the beginning for it to be over in like a day. week? Amarantha had them imprisoned for 50 years and it was supposedly just a trial run, so I was expecting some serious shit to go down and definitely expected it to last longer than it did.

Bonus dislike: Is in the middle of a war camp surrounded by wounded and dying men really the most necessary time for a roaring loud, earth-shattering orgasm? Yuck. Poor soldiers.

Overall Thoughts:

I don’t usually feel like a series should be drawn out longer, but in the case of A Court of Thorns and Roses, I did. I feel like a longer series could have had a more serious plot and more realistic character growth, which would’ve made what was an okay series with a few really good parts, a really great series overall.

This last book, A Court of Wings and Ruin felt a little too clean, convenient, and cheesy for me. It was a letdown from the second book, A court of Mist and Fury.

I still enjoyed reading this series overall, and do recommend it. However, I usually caution people to lower their expectations. People talk about this book like it’s the best book in all of history and completely life-changing, but I just didn’t feel that way. And perhaps that’s why I’m so critical of it because I was expecting it to blow me away.

It’s a good, fun read. But it’s not deep. It will get stuck in your head for a while, but not forever. You’ll find it entertaining, but only if you don’t think too critically about what’s actually happening.

That was my big mistake. Reading the series like it was going to be a deep, epic fantasy when in reality it was just an entertaining one.

So if you’re looking for a fun fantasy read, with an emphasis on romance, you’ll probably really enjoy this series. If you’re looking for something a bit more serious, with a focus on world-building and intense plots, probably not the best book for you.

You can check out the entire series here.

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