Book Review: A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J. Maas

cv_a_court_of_mist_and_furyAvailable in bookshops nationwide.

Disclaimer: Please do not read this book unless you are experienced in extreme emotional rollercoastering. I suggest you buckle in tight, because A Court of Mist and Fury will take your breath away.

To start with, if you have not read the first instalment of Sarah J. Maas’ new fantasy series, A Court of Thorns and Roses yet, what have you been doing with your life? Stop reading this and go and find it immediately. You can thank me later.

For all the old-timers, you are in for a treat because Feyre is back but this time she is High Fae… and not adjusting well. Tamlin has taken overprotective to a whole new level and Feyre finds strange comfort in the company of Rhysand, High Lord of the Night Court who she once couldn’t stand. After saving the land in book one, Feyre now faces an even bigger challenge in learning to save herself.

I believe it is a rare feat to find a second book you love better than the first. Second books are a sly species that tend to draw out the plot much longer than necessary just because the first book was a hit. This one however is clearly a breed of its own because although I would have laughed if you had told me pre-ACOMAF that I would like it better, you would have been absolutely right. Maas truly knocks it out of the park with this one.

One of the most satisfying things in books is a bit of good old character development. And Feyre’s transition from a Bella Swan into a Katniss Everdeen is about as satisfying as it gets. Broken and terrified to stand up for herself at the start, she walks out of this novel like the powerful ninja-warrior you always wanted her to be. And can we just talk about the title. A Court of Mist and Fury. I mean come on, I’m not advocating judging a book by its title here, but how intense is that?

If you thought you loved the characters in the last book you will love these ones even more. Rhysand and Feyre are kind of the best combination ever. Endlessly witty and cheeky but somehow still raw and vulnerable, they make the book what it is. The sass is so real I couldn’t get enough of it. Days after reading this book, the characters are still running through my mind while I wonder desperately what will happen to them next.

Irresistible, heart-pounding exhilaration, A Court of Mist and Fury is hands down my favourite book of the year so far. I went in expecting great things and somehow it was better than I ever could have imagined. I can’t wait to see how Maas will bring it with the next one.

Reviewed by Alex Thompson
As part of the Allen & Unwin YA Ambassador review team.

A Court of Mist and Fury
by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury
ISBN 9781408857885

Book Review: Queen of Shadows, by Sarah J Maas

Available now in bookshops nationwide.

‘Be prepared to lose yourself in the most dangerously captivating series ever.’cv_queen_of_shadows

Sarah J Maas’s writing has never let me down. Her books, filled with elaborate, twisting plotlines and the best-developed characters, seem to come with a guarantee of being unputdownable. Queen of Shadows was no exception.

Queen of Shadows  is the highly anticipated fourth book of the ‘Throne of Glass’ series. In this book, Aelin Galathynius returns to claim what is rightfully hers, embracing her destiny as the Queen of Terrasen. Gone is her past self: Celaena Sardothein, the enslaved assassin trying to hide from her past. This time round, it is Aelin who returns to Adarlan and she does so prepared to fight for her friends, her people and her country. Yet, her evil foes are not as weak as she would like them to be (Of course, since one of them is the King of Assassins and the other, the King on the Glass Throne). The only question is, will Aelin be able reap vengeance from her previous masters or will she be the one to pay? Read it to find out and once again, be drawn into our favourite badass heroine’s story as she battles for the greater good.

Although I preferred the intrigue and romance of the first and second books more, I nevertheless enjoyed Queen of Shadows with its brilliant characters, vivid fantasy universe and racing plotline. If you are looking for a book with a strong, sassy female protagonist, a heart-pumping narrative and a beautiful yet dangerous fantasy universe to lose yourself in, then look no further than Queen of Shadows.

Warning: I advise you to wait until the weekends to read this book because once I picked it up, I found myself unable to put it down.

Reviewed by Elinor Wang, as part of the Allen & Unwin Ambassador programme.

Queen of Shadows
by Sarah J Maas
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN 9781408858615

Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses, by Sarah J. Maas

Available in bookstores nationwidecv_a_court_of_thorns_and_roses

New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas begins her new high fantasy-romance series with this novel, A Court of Thorns and Roses. Set in the fictional realm of Prythian, a land divided between the humans’ territory and the courts of the dominating faeries, this story explores love, selflessness, pain and desire.

Nineteen year old Feyre is unexpectedly plunged into a violent world, riddled with nightmares and whispers in the dark. The young huntress, whose family depends on her for their survival, is responsible for killing a magical creature named Andras. This wolf was the sentinel of Tamlin, a High Fae, and Lord of the Spring Court of Prythian. After committing this deed, Feyre is taken from her village into custody in the Spring Court by Tamlin and his companions, Lucien and Alis. There, she begins to fall in love with the captivating High Lord himself, a faery blessed with shapeshifting powers, military prowess and an exceedingly attractive physique.

No one is safe in the forests of Prythian. Danger lurks perpetually in the ‘labyrinth of snow and ice’. Feyre is eventually forced to choose between Tamlin and her duty to protect her human family and herself. Her fiery passion for her loved ones never ceases to grow. Playing with fire, however, can have dangerous consequences. The time will come when her emotions will have her answer to Amarantha, the tyrannical Faerie Queen of Prythian.

This book makes for an enjoyable read. Written in first-person, the story allows us to delve into Feyre’s inner thoughts and longings. I particularly admire Sarah J. Maas’s ability to engage with the reader’s senses. The novel flows with descriptive language, which conjures up images and sounds in the reader’s mind. We grow conscious of Feyre’s quickening heartbeat and anticipate each moment of her new life with bated breath. From blissful birdsong at dawn to the warm woven hues in Feyre’s paintings, beauty and magic illuminate and bring hope to the otherwise cold and perilous world of Prythian.

Sarah J. Maas’s first fantasy series, Throne of Glass, has been widely acclaimed, and I have no doubt that her latest novel too will attract readers of high fantasy, paranormal romance and young adult fiction, of the likes of Kresley Cole, George R.R. Martin and Cassandra Clare. Keep an eye out for this new novel if you dare. Books like these will always sweep you off your feet to some otherworldly place.

Reviewed by Azariah Alfante

A Court of Thorns and Roses
by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury
ISBN 9781408857861