On Disappointing Sequels | A Court Of Wings And Ruin No Spoiler Book Review

by - Friday, May 12, 2017

A Court Of Wings And Ruin No Spoiler Book Review | sprinkledpages

Hi friends! I am back with another book review today (it seems all I do these days are book reviews and I’m sorry if you don’t like them as much – I shall try and bring more variety onto the blog!) of most people’s top anticipated release (and mine!) A Court Of Wings And Ruin by Sarah J Maas!

I read A Court Of Thorns And Roses and A Court Of Mist And Fury early last year and absolutely fell in love! Maas had created such a splendid world with such loveable characters and all I wanted to do was to be part of that! 

And so naturally, I was very excited at the release of A Court Of Wings And Ruin! 

THIS WILL BE SPOILER FREE! However, it can mildly spoil you in terms of feelings I’ve had on particular parts! And if you haven’t read the other books in the trilogy, then this will definitely have spoilers for that!

About the book. 

Book: A Court Of Wings And Ruin
Series: A Court Of Thorns And Roses
Author: Sarah J  Maas
Pages: 699
Publisher: Bloomsbury Australia
Published on: 2 May 2017
Synopsis: Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings 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. (source)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Recommended for: Anyone 15+

Thank you to Bloomsbury Publishing for providing me a review copy however this is an honest review and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

{ writing }

The first book/series I had read of Maas’s was the Throne Of Glass series which I am not a huge fan of so I was reluctant about the ACOTAR series when I began! However, I found I really, really enjoyed that when I gave it a try and part of that was for the splendid writing SJM exhibits!
She has this way of describing in such vivid and careful detail and can really paint the picture! She writes stunning and detailed plots and such intricate characters and all of that is great…except for the fact that it wasn’t in this book. 

Maybe it’s because I’ve grown as a reader, maybe it’s because it actually wasn’t the best, but the writing in this lowkey made me C R I N G E. It’s a lot of different things put together but here is a list of a few:

  1.  The ‘growling’ and ‘snarling’ that all the Fae characters do. I am sorry, but it is the most unnatural thing I have ever read and it just makes them sound like animals. I know some people can say she does it to show the ‘animalistic’ side of the Fae but IT DOESN’T WORK IN THE SLIGHTEST. Or the fact that Rhys seems to ‘purr’ at everything. (Please stop, you aren’t a cat)
  2. The possessive ‘Fae male’ trope that makes me want to just throw the book across the room because OMG stop making that kind of behaviour seem acceptable. Jealously to the point of growling or fighting with someone isn’t ‘cool’, it isn’t ‘romantic’, it’s annoying and downright problematic
  3. The noticeable lack of tension. One of my favourite things about ACOMAF was the amount of tension there was in the book and between the characters and SJM wasn’t able to maintain that in this book which made it feel quite flat for me
  4. The fact that her editors seem to spending less and less time editing her books because they know she’ll get automatic sales. I know this sounds harsh and I don’t mean to diss her editors and publishers because I do love Bloomsbury and all the books they publish but it just feels like she’s churning out too many big books too often and the quality has reduced drastically
There were some parts of the writing which I really did love such as the stunning descriptions of the different courts, feelings of the characters etc which I feel SJM still does very well and they just helped me picture the world a lot better but the writing was still worse than it was better.

{ idea }

I feel the idea is something I really liked! It expanded quite well on the rest of Prythian and gave a LOT of answers to the burning logistical questions I had in book 2! I also liked seeing the other characters and what they got up to + seeing their personalities expanded and unfolded. 

I can’t really say too much about the idea as it is a continuation from the other two books but I found that there were times that the idea just wasn’t able to capture my interest. It took me a good couple of days to finish this off which is worrying seeing that this was one of my most anticipated releases! I wasn’t always able to get into it and it just felt quite repetitive during certain sections quite sadly. 

Another issue? The last minute diversity stuffing that happened. I have no idea what was happening there but suddenly you have sexuality being used as a plot device and side POC characters being shoved in just for the sake of not being called racist. It was just some really bland bad representation.

A Court Of Wings And Ruin No Spoiler Book Review | sprinkledpages

{ plot }

The first thing I loved was the fact that it started RIGHT where ACOMAF left off! It was so good to be back in that world and see everything as it was unfolding. The plot in this was quite enjoyable, especially the political aspects of the story. 

I do feel though the book could have been chopped down A LOT. 700 pages and I can count on one hand all the significant things that happened. The middle half of this book could have been chopped down a whole lot as I feel it didn’t add much to the book and made it DRRRRRAAAAGGGG. 

On the positive, there were some super emotional moments towards the ending (but not at the ending) where I was tearing up because it was quite well written and pulled on my heart strings. 

However, I have major problems with the ending! It just felt really half-hearted to me and annoyed me endlessly because it was just too ‘happy’. It wasn’t realistic enough and I wanted something that would be more powerful and memorable rather than a happily ever after. 

{ characters }

I loved getting to see Feyre’s character develop from the person she was in book 1 to book 2 and finally to book 3. I think she grew a lot as a person which is so great to see. But I didn’t feel that I connected with her as much as I did in the first book! 

Rhysand felt downright bland to me! I didn’t really connect with him! But I loved seeing the relationship develop between them and see the married/mated life they lead. (Spoiler: it was very cute!)

There were lots of other characters who also came together in this book! It was so nice to see Feyre’s sisters and Lucien and even Tamlin all coming together and becoming part of Feyre’s world again! I don’t want to give away too much about their interactions because it’s best to read it for yourself and see it unfold! However there was too much of a ‘syrup-y’ interaction between them, especially in front other characters. 

Another thing I didn’t like is SJM’s way of ‘pairing’ all these characters up. It felt forced and fake and it didn’t work for me. All the characters just got paired up and that ‘happily ever after’ storyline just makes me feel sceptical. 

And the most disappointing thing about this book wasn’t even all of the issues listed above…it was the fact that after I finished it, until writing this review, I did not even think about it ONCE. That’s how unmemorable it was for me. I struggled to write this review even though it had only been 5 days since I finished the book because I can barely remember what it was about and how I felt about it.

{ finally… }

I didn’t hate this book. I know this review has been mostly me ranting and ranting and ranting but I had so many thoughts to share (and there are still so many I have had to leave off because I forgot and because it’s already so long)! I did still think this was a good conclusion to the trilogy and I am excited to see what the other books are about. 

It just disappointed me after the amazingness that ACOMAF had been, especially since I found I had outgrown her books a smidge.


Have you read ACOWAR? What did you think? Are you planning to? 

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22 happy thoughts

  1. Excellent review! I agree with everything you've said--ACOWAR fell flat for me, too. I actually just posted a review of it as well, but I didn't allow myself to get too in-depth because I knew I would just start ranting! I thought about the book a lot afterward, not about how much I loved it, but about all the problems I had with it.

    Ah, well. ACOWAR had a lot to live up to and I probably should've lowered my expectations a smidge before reading. It happens.

    1. Aha so glad to hear I'm not the only one! Maybe you could link me to your review so I could read it? I tried clicking on your name but I can't seem to find a link to your blog!

  2. I only glanced at your review as I've yet to read the series, which I'm planning on doing really soon. I love your honesty though and it seems overall, that you liked the conclusion to the series. Yay! Hopefully her future books will bring back what you enjoyed in ACOMAF.

    1. I do hope you enjoy the series! And yes, fingers crossed she reads reviews and sees the criticisms her readers have and improves upon those!

  3. I agree with the writing part! Seriously, I don't think I could count how many times I found the word 'snarl' and 'stuck out his/her tongue'. It's just kinda childish for me and definitely didn't fit the supposedly-hundreds-years-old fae's personality. Overall I'm also pretty disappointed with this book.

    1. Phew, good to know I'm not the only one! And yes omg I forgot the sticking out the tongue part. Ugh. Did not work for me.

  4. This book just sounds like a mess to me. I loved ACOTAR when I read it, but I haven't read ACOMAF yet because I am very anti-Rhysand after how he treated Feyre in the first book. I want to read it because everyone raves about it, but I don't really want them to be together so I've been putting it off. And after everything I've heard about this book, I don't know if I even want to bother. I'm glad that you enjoyed the book even if it was overly long and not memorable!

    1. Thank you Cyra! I did personally love ACOMAF but yes, I defs see why you don't want to read it!

  5. This book doesn't seem to have that many great reviews! I've read several other reviews also noticing how bad it is considering the writing, but I'm still going to read this book because I NEED the ending of this series heh.. I honestly hope I feel differently than what you said. Some reviews that I read pointed out the diversity as a plus sign, so who knows?

    1. Yes, it is worth reading just to know the ending. And I'm not saying the added diversity wasn't good, i'm just saying it felt quite forced and stuffed in there as a last minute resort.

  6. LOL this has made me really apprehensive to get into the third one. I just assumed that I would love it so so much because of how much i loved ACOMAF. And what's weird is that I haven't been hearing the things I heard about ACOMAF once it came out. Like people aren't as hype as they were for the second book. And all your points seem really valid like how the editors assume she's going to get sales anyway. Honestly, this is my last trial for SJM before I give up on her books completely. I've already given up on the TOG series so...

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

    1. OMG SAME GIRL! I was not a fan of TOG and I really hoped this one wouldn't go down the same road as EoS in terms of the writing and plot and it was sadly disappointing. :(

  7. I think after the incredibleness that was A Court of Mist and Fury, it was going to be hard to beat really but I think she did it justice with tying the series together. Because the world feels very similar to the Throne of Glass series it's easy to compare the two. I prefer Throne of Glass more so though, I think it feels a little more well rounded. Her sex scenes make me a little uncomfortable for some reason. I really enjoyed this one though despite the few issues I had with it and looking forward to the novellas. I'm hoping they'll explore the other couples of the series and perhaps combine both series. That would be amazing!

    1. It's true her sex scenes are quite awkws just because it's written in such an overtly sexual manner that it doesn't even feel realistic and makes me downright cringe! And OMG me too looking forward to the novellas which hopefully tie things together a smidge better than this one.

  8. Totally agree with many of your points! I found the middle section to drag for me and I found that she overused a lot of words and expressions over and over again (TBH though I've noticed this in the TOG series too). I think because I loved ACOMAF so much I was more prone to critiquing this book since my expectations were so high, but I still loved reading it and getting to revisit my favorite characters again!


  9. Fantastic review, thanks for sharing!


  10. A lot of reviews have mentioned the same thing that you did - that this was a bit of a letdown - so I'm sorry to hear you felt the same way. :( Nonetheless, thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! <3

  11. I agree with you on all of the writing points, and on the characters! I cringed so much whenever Feyre and Rhys referred to each other as 'mate'. YES OK WE GET IT. Rhys and Feyre were my favourite in acomaf and in acowar I was just faced with a completely different couple it felt like. Also I definitely agree with your point about editors not editing because they know she'll get automatic sales. There was so much ellipsis and hyphenation used and if you just looked at a page it was rare for a sentence just to end in a full stop, which irritated me immensely.

    Overall, I was disappointed by ACOWAR too, especially considering how intense ACOMAF made me feel.

    Great review Anisha!

    1. YES OH MY GOSH IT WAS SO WEIRD! Thanks for reading and commenting Zoe! <3


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