A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

4 / 5 stars
Read in March 2020
Book #3 in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series

This was a long one! *Some spoilers ahead.*

If you’re looking for an action packed, suspenseful, stay-up-late-til-you-finish endling, this is the series finale for you.

Unlike ACOMAF, this book brings the war between Prythian and Hybern to the forefront as Feyre and the gang try to determine not only how they will protect their people and their allies, but also the human lands abandoned by many other fae.

We are introduced to new characters and reunited with others, given tender moments and violent battles and heart-wrenching scenes until you’ve felt every emotion on the spectrum. But in the end, it’s worth it.

I enjoyed the introduction of Nesta, Elain, and Lucien into our #squad, as each character brought their own interesting dynamic to the group (also… Nessian, am I right?). I also loved the return of some of our favorite chilling yet fascinating creatures such as the Suriel, The Bone Carver, and The Weaver, especially when it came to the final battle.

Like many readers, I liked the meeting of the High Lords. Not only did we get an inside look at the Dawn Court (I loved seeing how SJM distinguished each court), but we had the chance to witness just how the seven High Lords conduct business, this time with a badass High Lady in the mix .

Speaking of badass High Lady… it was fun seeing Feyre continue to explore her magic, especially when it came to flying. I appreciated that she needed time to hone her skills and wasn’t a magical prodigy right away. I would have liked to see her use these abilities a bit more in the final battle, as I felt she did a lot of standing on the sidelines, but overall I admired her tenacity.

Along with the sheer page count of the book, which could have been condensed a lot in my opinion, my other main critique has to do with our villain and his army. Unless I missed something, the King of Hybern was what I like to call SuperEvil™ – evil for the sake of being evil, because the story needed a big baddie who loves violence and chaos to threaten our lovely bunch of heroes. Did I cheer when *spoiler* Elain shoved Az’s sword through the evil king’s neck? *end spoiler* You bet I did. But as a villain, he just wasn’t very compelling to me.

Also… how was Hybern’s army so damn big and powerful? *spoiler* Even with multiple deus ex machina moments (the arrivals of Tamlin, Graysen, Beron, Drakon and Miriam, Vassa and Feyre’s father…), Hybern’s army still managed to constantly overpower our heroes. If the arrival of all these reinforcements could do nothing against the might of the Cauldron, including them in the final battle was not very validating. Especially when everyone, even the majority of the side characters, had major plot armor. *end spoiler*

Overall, I’m pleased to say I would recommend this series to anyone brave enough to conquer long books with a wide cast of characters and an expansive world. And after all my fussing about dnf’ing Throne of Glass several years ago, I guess this officially makes me an SJM stan.

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