Also by this author: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1), Crown of Midnight, A Court of Thorns and Roses, Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3), Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4), A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2), Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5), A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3), A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3.1), The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass, #0.1-#0.5), Catwoman: Soulstealer (DC Icons, #3), Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7), House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City, #1), House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City, #2)
Published by Bloomsbury on February 16, 2021
Genres: Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 757 •Format: E-Book •Source: Overdrive
Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she's struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can't seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.
The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre's Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta's orbit. But her temper isn't the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.
Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.
Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other's arms.
In some ways, I can’t believe this book is here. It feels almost too good to be true, to get to revisit Prythian, the Night Court, the Inner Circle…to learn more about the fantasy world that Maas completely captivated me with. I will admit, A Court of Mist and Fury to this day remains one of my favorite books, and I was beyond ecstatic to learn that the series would continue through Nesta and Cassian’s POVs. I happily devoured the fluff that was A Court of Frost and Starlight and eagerly waited to pick up the threads that were teased in the novella in A Court of Silver Flames.
Being as big of a fan as I am of this series, did the book live up to my expectations? Yes and No. Cassian and Nesta’s journey to find each other emotionally was as fraught and dramatic and passionate as I thought, and I think Maas did a good job at very slowly but surely diving into Nesta’s character development, from having her cling to her brutal, cold cruelty to finally being able to open up and face her trauma (and honestly, her healing coming more from friendship than romance if you ask me). Her journey paralleled Feyre’s when she first entered the Night Court in some ways, but it also highlighted the differences between her and her sisters. I actually think Nesta is a much more complex character than Feyre and it was fascinating to be in both her head as well as Cassian’s (who was pretty much exactly how I expected him to be- a big teddy bear deep down lol).
However, this book didn’t contain the pull that kept me from being able to eat, sleep or concentrate on anything until I had finished it, which was the case with the original series. There were definitely sections that I devoured quite quickly, but there were also moments that dragged (especially the training scenes- probably the most in depth Maas has gone into trainings in any of her books, and while interesting at times I grew bored eventually). There wasn’t really a whole lot that happened in the books plot-wise, and while I enjoyed seeing a realistic portrayal of the issues that the courts are encountering after the world (rather than us just believing everyone lived happily ever after), the plot had a very Deathly Hallows vibe to me View Spoiler »with the three objects having been Made by the Cauldron that they were searching for…I know JKR isn’t the first author to use that concept but it felt very familiar especially the whole “whoever wields it will be the master of death” bit. Also, it would be nice to see a conflict that didn’t rely on just searching for missing items all over Prythian… « Hide Spoiler There also wasn’t a whole lot of exploration of Prythian beyond what we’ve already seen, and I NEED to see the Winter, Autumn and Day courts in more depth!!!
While this story predominantly focused on Nesta and Cassian, it was fun seeing the rest of the characters still featured, especially seeing them from Nesta’s perspective (especially how she sees Rhys since she’s much more objective than Feyre- he’s really not THAT nice of a person because he’s still sort of a morally gray High Fae Lord, I personally feel like he got written a little too nicely in the last few books but that is a rant for a different time…). I think Gwyn and Emerie were wonderful friends for Nesta and I loved that friendship outside of her sisters/the Inner Circle was a big part of her healing process (I would argue the most important part, honestly). I secretly want a book just about Gwyn because I adore her so much! I also was intrigued by Eris’ rather large role in this story (I need to know more about his reasonings behind the Mor situation) and I enjoyed the hints of Elain we were given- she really seems to have become much more resilient and sure of herself and I like that she stood up to her sisters!
Other Things I Enjoyed:
- The House of Wind becoming BFFs with Nesta and catering to her requests (and its love for romance novels)
- Positive depictions of the priestesses and their customs (to wash away the tang of Ianthe!)
- Seeing more of the beautiful River House
- Seeing Gwyn, Nesta and Emerie View Spoiler »kick but in The Rite! « Hide Spoiler
- The focus on restoring mental health as well as physical health
- Learning more about the Archeron sisters’ previous mortal lives
- View Spoiler »BABY NYX! I need more of him in future books! « Hide Spoiler
Of course, I did have my qualms with this story. As I mentioned earlier, it dragged a bit, and personally everything wrapped up too nicely in the end (which tends to happen in SJM’s stories but hey, I can’t fault her for wanting happy endings, especially these days!) I also feel like some of the conflicts in Nesta and Cassian’s I feel like this book left a lot more to be desired when it comes to a lot of key characters, such as Lucien, Mor, Azriel, etc. I have so many questions still! Will Lucien find out about his true parentage? Will Mor and Eris every speak the truth freely between them? Is Tamlin going to pull himself together? Is there now a High Lady of the Winter Court? So far on Goodreads it looks like there’s going to be at least 2 more books and 1 more novella and you can bet I will be reading them ASAP!
Overall: A solid installment in the series that adds a bit more texture to the world but really serves to focus on Nesta and Cassian’s development. It doesn’t have the same magic as the first two books in the series (which are still my favorites by far) but this has left me excited to see what Maas has in store next for this world!
[…] From Blood & Ash | I have seen so many folks comparing this to the ACOTAR series so I’m excited to try this out, especially since finishing A Court of Silver Flames! […]
I saved your review to come back to after I also finished and having done that, I totally agree with you! I absolutely loved seeing Nesta’s healing both physically and mentally. And her relationship with the House was amazing (also Cassian and Rhys’ reactions to learning that the House has a personality are both hilarious). I felt the same way about the plot, as well. It felt like what would typically be the ‘main’ plot (the whole scheme with Briallyn [I cannot remember for the life of me how to spell her name] and the Trove) was secondary to Nesta and Cassian’s relationship and the Valkyrie training. It just felt like there were so many things happening which is great because it filled the space of a 750 page book, but it also overstuffed it a bit at times. And there wasn’t a whole lot of additional worldbuilding although the information on Prythian’s past was great. Also LOVED seeing Rhys from someone else’s eyes and while he is a valued member of the Court and everyone loves him, he isn’t a perfect person and can be quick to judge and condemn people. I’m still eager to read the next one but yeah I also have a few mixed feelings about this one. Really hoping that the next book with get us outside the Night Court a little!
Thank you for the thoughtful comment, Laura! I agree, it was very much a character driven book (which was fine!) but I feel like in this series I’m SO focused on our main characters that the antagonists never really feel that fleshed out/important to me? Like when the inevitably show up at the end for the final showdown I’m like “oh yeah” because I’ve been too distracted by our heroes and their personal drama lol. Still overall an enjoying read but I am DYING to spend some time exploring the other courts!
Haha yes SO MUCH personal drama. The Night Court could seriously be a soap opera or like Desperate Housewives or something!
Hahaha you are so right!
[…] A Court of Silver Flames | ACOTAR #4 | I am a huge fan of this series, so no surprises here. It was actually pretty refreshing that it focused on Nesta rather than Feyre/Rhys (whom I used to love but started becoming annoying in later books, TBH). I enjoyed seeing how Nesta’s healing journey from her immense trauma looked very different from Feyre’s, and the friendships she cultivated with other female characters was interesting to read, especially toward the end of the book where they all had to face a particular challenge together. I also just loved having the opportunity to explore the ACOTAR world further! […]