The A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J Maas is probably my favorite series of all time. And I recently re-read the last two books and the novella so I wanted to write a post about it.
The first book, A Court of Thorns and Roses, follows Feyre Archeron, a 19 year old girl who hunts in the woods to help feed her family. During one of her hunts, she spots a deer being pursued by a wolf. She has to kill the wolf before she could have the chance of getting the deer. However, what she didn’t know was that the wolf was a faerie. Feyre gets dragged to the faerie world because of this murder she unknowingly committed. Her captor is wearing a jewelled mask and he is hiding more than she can perceive. Her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and she must fight an ancient curse or she will lose him forever. This series is a loose Beauty and the Beast retelling.
Content Warning (for the whole series): explicit scenes, trauma, PTSD, depression/mental health, abuse.
This series is definitely new adult high fantasy romance. But this series is part of what helped me fall in love with high fantasy stories. Even though it’s high fantasy, the world doesn’t feel overtly complex. The world building is beautiful without it being really dense and complicated.
Alright, from this point on, there will be things from all the books that have been published mentioned. So, if you haven’t read A Court of Wings and Ruin, then go and read through that before continuing on. 🙂
My favorite book in the entire series has to be A Court of Mist and Fury. The slow burn Feysand was written sooooo well in my opinion. I love everything about the Night Court, especially the city of Velaris. Something about the way Velaris is described reminds me heavily of Europe, specifically Italy.
I’ll mostly be talking about events in A Court of Mist and Fury and A Court of Wings and Ruin because they’re my favorite out of all the A Court of Thorns and Roses books.
Feyre really grows throughout the series. I think I really connected with her because of the aftermath of the trauma that she endured. While I’ve never experienced the same level as her, I can definitely relate to the depression and anxiety that she experienced in the first part of the second book.
When Tamlin locks her in his estate in the Spring Court, her reaction really felt like a physical representation of a panic attack. The area around her went dark and she unintentionally wouldn’t let anyone near her, except Mor, with invisible wall around her. Panic attacks in my experience do feel like shadows closing in and feeling like nothing should come near because of the fear/terror that is felt. I did really appreciate the fact that Rhysand and Mor cared so much about Feyre that they were able to get her out of the toxic environment Tamlin created.
Throughout the second book, we see Feyre begin to love herself more and learn more about what it means for her to be High Fae. Since she was revived from death at the end of the first book by all seven of the High Lords, she in a sense inherited a piece of their powers. And in the second book, Feyre learns how to manage and use said powers. She really becomes her own person who can think for herself without a fear of being demeaned by the people around her in the Night Court.
Rhysand became such a favorite character in A Court of Mist and Fury. In the first book, I remember being very annoyed by him because of how he acted. But, the second book showed how much of that was a mask that he put on. The Night Court was perceived as cruel and wicked and Rhys had to keep up that mask around those not from the Night Court. I think Rhys is truly a cinnamon roll, but has the ability to kill you. Lol
The way that Rhysand helps Feyre feel more comfortable shows, to me, how understanding he is of the trauma that she felt. During the first “visit” to the Night Court, he left her alone so that she wouldn’t feel coddled or pressured. And for someone who was being essentially pressured in the Spring Court, it probably felt like a relief to not have anyone but Nuala and Cerridwen (her maid-servants in the Night Court) around her.
I know everyone in the fandom loves chapter 55 (trust me, I do too), but chapter 54 was so heart wrenching. Hearing Rhys pour his heart out about his past and all his trauma to Feyre after accepting the mating bond between them really gets to me. Their relationship was so slow burn but oh so worth the like 400 pages of it. I love the way that the relationship between Rhys and Feyre developed. It felt so real and like true love.
The Inner Circle
The Inner Circle includes Mor, Amren, Azriel, and Cassian. All four of these characters are amazing. My favorite is probably Azriel because I feel like I can connect with several aspects of his character. I love the Inner Circle so much because they all had dreams that wouldn’t necessarily be able to come to fruition without Rhysand as the High Lord. Azriel and Cassian probably would still be under the Illyrian general’s command and who knows if they would be able to move up the ranks. Mor is able to live her own life without her parents arranging her to be married in the Court of Nightmares. Amren is not in the Prison, and continues to be free. The Inner Circle’s other name, the Court of Dreams, feels extremely accurate because of the dreams that have or will come true as a part of Rhys’ court.
Honestly, Tamlin is a great character. He truly feels like someone who doesn’t have much regard for Feyre’s feelings and mental health in A Court of Mist and Fury. He’s mentally/emotionally abusive and the abuse that he causes feels very accurate. I don’t like Tamlin at all but his “badness” is written very well.
“To the stars who listen and the dreams that are answered”
“Only you can decide what breaks you”
“Don’t feel bad for one moment about doing what brings you joy”
“Don’t let the hard days win”
“Remember that you are a wolf. And you cannot be caged”
This series quickly became my favorite of all time because of the amazing characters, writing, and the magical world. I became so attached to these characters, and I know that Sarah did too (this was originally a trilogy but she is now writing spin off books within the same world about some of the other characters we already know).