June’s review is here!
A Court of Wings and Ruin, by Sarah J. Maas,
A review by editor Jessica Rae Wilson-Smith
“It’s a rare person to face who they are and not run from it- not be broken by it.”
A Court of Wings and Ruin is the third and last installment of Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR) series and Sarah doesn’t disappoint. The overall series takes many old stories such as Beauty and the Beast, the myth of Hades and Persephone and Cinderella and tells them with faerie lore, beautiful imagery and kick-ass characters. The three books follows the story of Feyre, a 19-year-old girl who spends her days hunting food for her family of 2 sisters and disabled father, while dreaming of days painting. After murdering a faerie disguised as a wolf, the High Lord of the Spring Court hunts her down and drags her to the Faerie world Prythian as retribution. What proceeds is a tale of love, sacrifice, friendship, betrayal and survival.
Sarah J. Maas is incredible at developing female characters who don’t need a man to save them but can quite effectively (and in some cases violently) help themselves. What she has created is a series of characters who are beautiful and broken, who help each other to heal their respective wounds. What I particularly enjoy about Feyre and the characters in the ACOTAR, is they demonstrate strength, diversity and complexity without it becoming too overwhelming, or feeling like she’s creating characters to “tick a box”. There are characters who aren’t straight and/or white but that isn’t what make the characters significant, there’s more to them then their sexuality or race. She also demonstrates the complexity and sometimes the abuse you can receive within different relationships and that the most abusive relationships aren’t always the violent ones.
Without spoiling the end of the series, A Court of Wings and Ruin answered a lot of questions and wrapped up the series nicely. Sure there were things that I wanted to end differently and sure there were parts that made me want to bawl my eyes out but you can’t please everyone and I think she killed it. It’s worth mentioning that there will be other books released that are part of the ACOTAR world that will be set before and after this particular trilogy- and I can not wait! In the final installment we see Feyre dealing with her new family dynamic, exploring her new powers, kicking ass in general and navigating complicated relationships.
This series isn’t just about surviving through personal battles, or navigating troublesome relationships but it also feeds into my fan girl habits also. I’m not the type to pretend I’m above Twilight, for goodness sake I have a life-size cardboard cut out of Edward Cullen at my front door. But for the longest time Dimitri Belikov from the Vampire Academy series has been my book one-and-only. It’s an impressive day when Rysand from A Court of Wings and Ruin is catching up on my love for Dimitri.
Like I said, I don’t want to get too detailed into this book because if you haven’t read the first two I could potentially spoil some huge plot points for you, and while I like to spoil things for myself I won’t do that to you. This book, rather this series, is fantastic if you’re a fantasy and romance fanatic like myself. Sarah J. Maas presents powerful female characters, which is refreshing in the fantasy/romance genre. If you love badass characters you’ll love this, if you love magic you’ll love this, if you love a good old-fashioned love triangle you’ll love this. But I love it most for the way that these characters don’t try to save each other but help to build each other up. Overall Sarah J Maas has done it again and I am counting down the days for next books to come out.