“Only you can decide what breaks you, Cursebreaker. Only you.”
This is not a blog post discussing the lack of rep in Sarah’s books, and I’m not going to discuss whether we should be reading problematic books flagged by POC and the LGBT+ community. Personally, I stand by the mantra: If you want to be part of the conversation, then you have to be educated in the source material. But you also need to be aware of harmful tropes and acknowledge when books contain them.
ACOWAR was a step up for Sarah in terms of diversity, but it wasn’t perfect. Do some research, listen to those in minority groups, and be well-read and well-researched in the topics brought up in this series.
The rest of this post will be spoilery, so if you haven’t read ACOWAR yet then I have some brief non-spoiler thoughts in my May reflection.
Feyre’s time at the Spring Court was by far my favourite part of the book. I loved watching her manipulate Ianthe and the rest of the court to her own advantage. It was clever and interesting to read. HOWEVER. Where was the pay off for it by the end? And what was the point other than to get revenge on Tamlin? As the book progressed, the more redundant that opening became, and I was left questioning why it even happened at all. If this first section had tied into the rest of the plot, then it would have been a kick-ass beginning.
“It’s a rare person to face who they are and not run from it – not be broken by it.”
Other than that, I thought the plot was the strongest part of ACOWAR. Sarah threw plot threads into the story that she pulled together by the end of the book. It was clever and I really appreciated it, especially the stories of the bone carver and the weaver.
Lucien had a redemption arc although he became redundant once we were reunited with the Night Court ‘dream team’. When we were at the Spring Court, however, he was such an interesting character to read and I’m glad that we got that time with him. AND that he followed Feyre to the Night Court despite her protests.
Lucien: I’m coming with you.
The Rhys/Feyre reunion was great, even a little cute, until they kicked everyone out of the house to have their incredibly uncomfortable fae sex. I generally don’t mind sex scenes in books but I am so over the Feysand ‘he feasted on me’ sex marathons.
Rhys and Feyre were pretty boring in this book. A lot of their tension disappeared and each had a weak character arc. I wish I could have seen both of them encounter problems related solely to their individual characters.
Nesta was a fantastic addition to this book, and although Elain was a little overshadowed, I still enjoyed her page time. I loved Cassian and Azriel was super appealing compared to his lack of personality in book two. Mor, however, fell flat for me.
“Remember that you are a wolf. And you cannot be caged.”
Why. Is. Rhys. So. Perfect. It. Does. Not. Make. Sense!?!?!!
I get what Sarah is doing. Rhys embodies what a healthy relationship should look like, as opposed to Tamlin—and I applaud that. But seriously, Rhys can be a good guy and have a flaw or two. I want to see Rhys and Feyre fight like they used to. I want to see them disagree and then, unlike Tamlin who would shut Feyre down, watch them work it out or simply agree to disagree. It would make their relationship more believable.
Mate. My mate. Mate. Matey. Matttteeee.
(Not actually a direct quote from the book but might as well be.)
Okay, we get it, Feyre. Rhys is your mate—we don’t need to be reminded of this every two seconds. Rhys is just as guilty at doing this too. The two of them reminded me of Kirk from Gilmore Girls, in the episode where he gets a girlfriend and then goes everywhere like; “Ah excuse me, just me and MY GIRLFRIEND coming through.”
I’m happy that you’re mates, Feysand, just don’t keep telling me.
“It is a new world, and we must decide how we are to end this old one and begin it anew.”
I don’t like how the mating bond means you are predestined to be with one person. I know that Sarah explained that you don’t technically have to be with your mate, but she also basically said that you don’t have much choice in the matter. And this leads me on to the disaster that is Elain and Lucien.
Rhys and Feyre are good mates because there is genuine chemistry between them. But Elain and Lucien are just awkward and it was like everyone was there telling Elain that she HAD to be with him. And then Lucien was weirdly territorial over her and just no. No, no, no. Let the poor girl pick her man (or woman, or no one) in peace.
“But this is war. We don’t have the luxury of good ideas—only picking between the bad ones.”
I like that Mor is bi/lesbian/it doesn’t fully disclose what, and salute Sarah for obviously trying to diversify her books. Although it is important to point out that diversity has to be written well for it to be truly good representation; something I hope Sarah will grow to do.
I want to see more of Mor (haha) and watch her enjoy a healthy relationship with a woman.
Alternative Book Titles:
A Court of Vulgar Gestures
A Court of Poking Out Tongues
A Court of ‘He Feasted on Me’
A Court of MY MATE
A Court of Many, Many Baths
A Court of I am High Lady
THE MEETING BETWEEN THE HIGH LORDS THAT LASTED 84 YEARS. Seriously, the war was done by the time these High Lords got through all the weird tension and awkward small talk. Tamlin came to fuck shit up, and yeah he was mean, but I was kind of cheering him on because I was so ready for Rhys and Feyre to be knocked off their pedestal.
Feyre: You don’t get to rewrite the narrative
Tamlin: ELIZA DISAGREES
If I was one of the other High Lords watching the tennis match between Feysand and Tamlin, I’d be like why do we care so much about this Feyre girl, and how do we put her back where we found her?
Another good thing about Tamlin showing up? ABSTINENCE.
Feyre: I don’t think I can have sex here because Tamlin is practically sleeping next door…
Me: PRAISE THE HEAVENS
The mirror was my favourite artefact in the book and I wish it had been given a bigger spotlight. Also, it would have worked better if Feyre’s character was still developing. The mirror could have been the final piece in her accepting that she is a morally grey character and makes choices to defend her family, despite what it might do to others. I think that Sarah created a really interesting character with Feyre, and wish that she’d been able to play around with her a little more.
SURIEL ROUND THREE.
Get information from Suriel.
Feyre X Suriel 4eva
The final battle scene was SUPER epic and so much fun to read. This is where Sarah’s strength in writing lies: massive, amazing battle scenes. There was heaps going on and I loved all the different sections. Elain and Nesta killing the king was BRILLIANT. The Bone Carver and the Weaver uniting with the fae was THE BEST.
But I did not believe for one minute that Rhys was actually dead. What am I, stupid? Sarah wasn’t going to kill him off in a million years.
And although I loved the battle, I do know that it ended VERY conveniently. No main character deaths except the CONVENIENTLY ABSENT PARENT WE DON’T REALLY CARE ABOUT. That doesn’t count. Amren definitely should have sacrificed herself for everyone, and not returned as a normal high fae. It would have made the book tragic and a lot more believable.
Overall, I enjoyed ACOWAR and even thought it was Sarah’s best book since Heir of Fire. Sarah has HEAPS of potential and although she misses the mark on a lot of things for me, I am still interested to read what comes next.
A big thank you to my friend, Sidney for helping me out with these photos <3