Daily Archives: June 5, 2016

A Court of Mist and Fury

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)

Rating: 5 Stars (really, is there even a question to what rating I’m gonna give a Sarah J. Maas book anymore? I think not.)

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

Gosh, where to even start? This was superb, fantastic, out-of-this-galaxy, perfection, gut-wrenching, etc, etc, . . .

The Court of Dreams, A Court Of Mist And Fury:

“I was not a pet, not a doll, not an animal.
I was a survivor, and I was strong.
I would not be weak, or helpless again
I would not, could not be broken. Tamed.”

Goodreads | A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2) by Sarah J. Maas — Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists:

“To the people who look at the stars and wish, Rhys.”
Rhys clinked his glass against mine. “To the stars who listen— and the dreams that are answered.”

Oh, I know where to start! Let’s start with Tamlin.

Or as I like to call him, Tamlin the Tool.

This was probably my one and only issue with this book. Tamlin. Tamlin the Tool.

WTF happened to you!?

The exact thing happened to Tamlin as it did to Chaol in Queen of Shadows. I just don’t get it.

I mean, it doesn’t break my heart or anything that he turned out this way. I wasn’t that attached to the guy. But, seriously!?

I get why Maas did it. I do. If she hadn’t, everyone would have seen this as a new love triangle (God have mercy) between Tamlin-Feyre-Rhys. And no one wants that.

But I wish Tamlin hadn’t turned out this way. I wish it could have been something as simple as Feyre and Tamlin growing apart. I mean, to be completely fair, her and Tamlin’s romance started and ended with a curse. She was taken to the Spring Court by Tamlin for the purpose of falling in love with him and breaking a curse that has been going on for the last fifty years. She was tortured in front of him in the worst possible ways, and she even died for him and all the fae.

“And I realized—I realized how badly I’d been treated before, if my standards had become so low. If the freedom I’d been granted felt like a privilege and not an inherent right.”

Their whole relationship was firstly based on a lie about the curse and the high-strung emotions that come with trying to save all the fae in the Spring Court, everyone Under the Mountain. Obviously things are going to be different between them after all that. There is no shame in growing apart after everything.

I just wish Tamlin didn’t have to become the utter douchebag that he did to accomplish it.

A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas:

But whatever. It is what it is. I was more frustrated than upset, especially with how he was treating Feyre. I understand his desire to protect her at all costs after everything. He – and the rest of the courts – owe her everything.

I was amazingly happy and proud of how the deal between Feyre and Rhys turned out. This could have so easily been something where Rhys basically kidnaps Feyre once every month, her kicking and screaming and whatnot until she slowly feel prey to his seductions. He could have been a total jerk about it.

“He thinks he’ll be remembered as the villain in the story. But I forgot to tell him that the villain is usually the person who locks up the maiden and throws away the key. He was the one who let me out.”

But instead, Rhys only takes her when she wants it. When she needs it to be away from Tamlin and the suffocation around her.

What I was expecting Rhys to be like:

What Rhys is actually like:

Like, really.

He doesn’t shy away from Feyre and her PTSD from her time Under the Mountain. He doesn’t pretend to be asleep every night when she wakes up from nightmares and throws up in the bathroom.

No, Rhys will hold back her hair and rub her back every night. He’ll give her the space she needs and not expect her to be all right. If she wants to go out, she can go out. If she doesn’t want to paint, she doesn’t have to paint. If she wants to put herself in danger, she’ll put herself in danger.

He won’t tell her to get over it. He’ll help her, push her maybe, but never expect her to do anything she doesn’t want to do.

She doesn’t want to meet new people today? Alright. She doesn’t want to go outside today? That’s fine.

God, that was such a relief.

I’m so used to heroines having something like this happen to them and then a new threat arises, and everyone either wants her to stay completely out of it or expects her to get over herself and do what needs to be done to save everyone else. To protect The Greater Good and all that.

But that’s not what we get here. It’s all Feyre’s choice. No one tells her she has to do anything, or subtly guilts her into doing anything.

Let’s talk about Rhys.

@taratjah.tumblr.com: “ Rhysand! I finished a Court of Mist and Fury and I need to pour out my feelings for these characters T.T ”:

I thought he was such an a-hole in the last book. I could totally see that there was more to him than met the eye, that everything he did was being watched closely by Amarantha. I mean, he was known as the whore to Amarantha, obviously I would never expect him to be all sunshine and rainbows.

Rhys expects nothing from Feyre. If she just wants to live out her life in the Night Court or (God forbid) the Spring Court doing absolutely nothing but holding herself together, okay, that’s her choice. But there is a war coming, and Rhys tells her that when Tamlin wouldn’t. And she could help, if she so wished.

And, obviously, Feyre will help, even if it ruins her, because she cannot just lie low when a war is on the horizon.

Even when Feyre puts herself in danger, Rhys never, ever tells her not to. He understands why she does it, accepts that she will never be someone wrapped in finery and told to stay out of a fight. He wouldn’t even want that. Every ounce of his being tells him to protect her – and he will – but she gets to fight her own fights.

My gosh, that’s so hard to find in a YA love interest anymore.

(And, of course, Rhys is still going to be his little attractive, seductive self.)

A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas:

And then there were Rhys friends.

Two words: They’re perfection.

Amren killed me. Mor broke my heart. Cassian made me laugh. Azriel makes me want to cuddle him.

In this world where men are seen as stronger, better fighters than women, Rhys’ second and third in command are both women. Damn strong women who could probably best even Rhys in a fight.

bluesagrnt: “ favorite quotes a court of mist and fury - (2/?) ““I am Morrigan. You know me. What I am. You know that my gift is truth. So you will hear my words now, and know them as truth - as your...:

rowanandaelin:  manonxblackbeakheir:  A Court of Mist and Fury new chracter, Amren, as seen on SJM’s Pin Board xx  I was curious about her too! All of SJM’s pins of her show her features to be almost the same as rhys’, so… sister? Twin??? Or is it always night and that explains why their hair is dark and their skin is pale and so in that way everyone in the night court looks the same? Either way, idk why but the idea of Rhys having sibling/s is just so adorable lol:

They all have their own parts in helping and healing Feyre of her wounds from Under the Mountain. Maas does not shy away from Feyre’s PTSD. It’s there, and it will be there for some time. Same with Rhys. I don’t think it really clicked to me the fact that he had been Amarantha’s whore for the last fifty years in the last book. Just think about what that could do to a person.

“There are good days and hard days for me—even now. Don’t let the hard days win.”

Rhys had to fake his attraction to Amarantha for fifty years. He had to make her believe that he was as cruel as her, wanted her to win and make her believe he wanted Feyre to die. My, God.

And all of a sudden everything Rhys did in the last book makes perfect sense. He was protecting Feyre in every way that he could. Tamlin just sat there next to Amarantha while Feyre was being beaten and killed slowly, not saying any gosh darn thing. Rhys protected her and shielded her as much he could, and he’d been tortured by Amarantha for so much longer. Didn’t stop him. I mean, even Lucien tried to help Feyre Under the Moutain.

“I fell in love with you, smartass, because you were one of us—because you weren’t afraid of me, and you decided to end your spectacular victory by throwing that piece of bone at Amarantha like a javelin. I felt Cassian’s spirit beside me in that moment, and could have sworn I heard him say, ‘If you don’t marry her, you stupid prick, I will.’”

Speaking of Lucien . . . WTF!?

It really says something that Lucien would dare to oppose Amarantha while they were Under the Mountain but wouldn’t ever dare oppose Tamlin while he sees Feyre wasting away. How messed up is that?

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A Gathering of Shadows

A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2)

Rating: 4 Stars

Synopsis via Goodreads:

It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift – back into Black London.

Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games – an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries – a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.

The first book of this series, A Darker Shade of Magic, was difficult to rate for me, since there were parts were I just couldn’t understand the choices some of the characters make. This sequel, however, was perfection.

A darker shade of magic // a gathering of shadows // Kell, Lila, Rhy and Alucard // THESE DRAWINGS ARE AMAZING AND PERFECT:

“She bent most of the rules. She broke the rest.”

Obviously, I enjoyed this sequel much more than the first book. Mostly, this had to do with Lila.

In the first book, she’s everything I’d want in a heroine: sassy, cutthroat, out for her own well-being and survival, and isn’t about to make choices based on a guy . . . or anyone for that matter.

But I never really connected with her. Not sure why, but there just was never that spark that made me actually care about her.

That changed here. I felt this book was more about Lila and her crazy adventures and how even though she may not always think things through, she’s smart and clever enough to get herself out of any situation than it was about Kell.

Don’t get me wrong – Kell is still a major player in all this. I’d be very disappointed if he wasn’t.  However, this was more about Kell and Rhy’s relationship after what happened in the last book. It’s about their demons and their friendship, and how one is a blood-born prince and the other is not. It’s about how happiness is not all about having people at home waiting for you or having a hot meal always in front of you.

I was very glad to see how Kell grew up in this book. He understands the consequences for his choices in the last book, for smuggling items over into the different Londons and for putting the whole of Red London in danger.

But that wasn’t all on Kell. Some things were going to happen no matter the choices Kell made, and Rhy is also responsible for a lot that went on, the danger to Red London.

“Why are you defending her?” he snapped, rounding on his brother. “Why am I the only one in this fucking world to be held accountable for my actions?”

But while Kell is the most powerful magician left in any of the Londons, he is not a prince. Not by birth. He may have been raised in a castle and grown up the same way Rhy did, but it is made abundantly clear in this book where he stands.

For a while, Kell takes it. He did wrong; he understand’s the king and queen’s consequences. But Kell is not an ordinary boy who can be tied to a castle. There is no way to ensure his imprisonment – however lavish it may be – and it’s time the kind and queen understood that.

I loved Kell’s growth here. It takes a while, but ultimately he cannot be an beacon of power for the king to flaunt around while also keeping him on a tight leash.

Lila makes a lot of decisions here that had me amazed, both for their stupidity and for their ruthlessness. It’s not that she’s so smug in her power or strength, but just that she is physically incapable to not take the highest risks possible. She completely understands that she will likely be hurt and may actually die, but she can’t not be the way she is.

“Everyone thinks I have a death wish, you know? But I don’t want to die – dying is easy. No, I want to live, but getting close to death is the only way to feel alive. And once you do, it makes you realize that everything you were actually doing before wasn’t actually living. It was just making do. Call me crazy, but I think we do the best living when the stakes are high.”

There’s something amazing about that.

We get to see much more of Rhy here, which I was glad for. I thought he was interesting in the first book, and I did want more of him and his past in this book, which is what we got.

Alucard was a very interesting character. He’s both sly and theatrical, hurt and admiring. He surprised me more than once.

Plus, he’s a pirate.

(Well, a privateer. Really, who cares?)

I love Kell and Lila’s relationship. This book is scarce on any romance. I think there may be one or two scenes, tops. And I loved that. Even though Lila and Kell don’t meet up again until nearly the end of the book, both are still present in each other’s lives in other ways.

“Oh yes, your relationship with Miss Bard is positively ordinary.”
“Be quiet.”
“Crossing worlds, killing royals, saving cities. The marks of every good courtship.”

I especially love that Lila’s the one who rushes headfirst into danger and is the ruthless one, while Kell is the one telling everyone to wait, let’s all make a plan, Lila, no, stop, Lila . . .

Doodling in the Margins on Tumblr : A summary of A Gathering of Shadows by Victoria Schwab:

Lila doesn’t ever give herself a limit. She’s traveled from Gray London to Red London to White London, taken on queens, faced down magic she’d never seen before, and lived to tell about it. So if she wants to become as powerful as Kell and as rich as a king, then by God, she’s gonna do just that.

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