A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas Book Review
Updated: Jan 24
A Court of Mist and Fury
by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury
Book 2 in the Court of Thorns and Roses Series
Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost.
Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.
Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.
With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy #Fantasy Thrilling
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas is the second book in her Court of Thorns and Roses series, and centers on Feyre, a newly turned high fae, suffering from the mental scars of what she did and went through during her three months of torture under Amarantha's watch. What was supposed to be her happy ending is tarnished, and she still has that bargain she made with Rhysand, High Lord of the Night Court, in exchange for saving her life. As Feyre tries to heal and figure out who she is, she learns of a dark new force that threatens everything she holds dear, and the only way to stop it, is if she learns to control her new gifts.
I say this with as much sweetness as I can, but, what the fuck Sarah Maas? Why you gotta do that?!?!? Haha. That being said, I can't write further without getting into slightly spoiler-y territory. Here is you warning
Seriously, spoilers below.
Okay. So A Court of Mist and Fury was thoroughly thrilling, and somewhat unexpected. I was predicting a love triangle. But nope. Sarah Maas doesn't dangle Feyre's heart in the arena, forcing her to choose. Not at all. I had this theory at the end of A Court of Thorns and Roses, that Rhysand, when he got all wide eyed and saying "shit" before disappearing, was that he realized Feyre was his mate. And I was so right. But how we get to the point where Feyre also knows ... I had no idea. I love it as much as I hate it, because this book ruins my opinion on Tamlin. A Court of Mist and Fury is fast paced, exciting, full of new characters you will love, and a beautiful woven arc, from a woman who is suffering from severe depression and PTSD, to a fierce, strong woman who learns to accept her new life.
A Court of Mist and Fury made me reflect on some things from the first book. Some things, I was kinda surprised I was okay with. Other things, I think Feyre was being a bit too tough. I do hope that Tamlin's actions are because he was broken by Amarantha, and not because of his actual nature. But looking back, he did just stand there while Feyre was being tortured. He may have begged for her life, but he didn't fight, like Rhys did. That one moment that Feyre wasn't being watched, he didn't try to get her out of there. He tried to sleep with her. So it's not looking great for Tamlin's character. It just sucks to see the Tamlin Feyre fell for turn into a beast. This being said, Feyre's thoughts and feelings on Tamlin are valid. She is a changed woman now, and while she needed and loved Feyre before, she doesn't anymore. I DO think she is being too tough on Lucien. Lucien might follow Tamlin's orders, even when he doesn't want to, but Lucien is ultimately a loyal person and friend. Tamlin saved his life, and gave him a home and purpose when his family tried to kill him. That would be hard to put aside. He did try to help Feyre Under the Mountain, unlike Tamlin.
That being said, I now understand WHY we didn't get too many moments between Tamlin and Feyre during A Court of Thorns and Roses.
Let's start with Feyre. I love that Sarah Maas didn't just throw Feyre into the next part of her story, just being okay with what happened. Feyre might be immortal now, but she was human. A human heart. A human mind. She was tortured for three months. Her suffering was very real. Brutal and raw. Her progress throughout the book is beautifully written, and while one can argue it was because of Rhys, it was really because Rhys gave Feyre what she needed the most: time, support, and freedom to discover who she is and how to put the past behind her, while showing her she is strong. Which brings me to Rhysand. I knew I liked him for a reason. His sacrifices for him home and chosen family shows the kind of man he is, and I could see why Feyre falls for him before she even knows he is her mate. His compassion and love isn't only for Feyre, but his people. The two of them together ... their friendship AND romance, is full of passion, fun, and deep affection and love, and I knew, that was why I felt like I was missing something in the first book between Tamlin and Feyre. They didn't have what Rhys and Feyre have.
Rhys's inner circle was a delight, and by the first meeting between Cassian and Nessa, I have this feeling that something is there. Now, with what has happened to her sisters, I know something will happen. And Lucien discovering Elain is his mate, is a clever way of "saving" Lucien from whatever Feyre has planned for the spring court. I do have a soft spot for him.
In the end, A Court of Mist and Fury left me excited. If you are looking for a high-fantasy story, with well thought out characters, intriguing and unpredictable plot, excitement, romance and intense passion, you will love this book/series. I can't wait to start the next book!
Where to Buy
Tamlin: "You are - you're everything to me. I need ... I need you to be all right."
Lucien: "He's terrified. Terrified of seeing you in his enemies' hands. And they know it, too - they know all they have to do to own him would be to get a hold of you."
Feyre: "You think I don't know that? But does he honestly expect me to spend the rest of my life in that manor, overseeing servants and wearing pretty clothes?"
Lucien: "Isn't that what all human women wish for? A handsome faerie lord to wed and shower them with riches for the rest of their lives?"
Feyre: "Good to know you're still a prick, Lucien."
Feyre: "I don't want to marry a High Lord. I just want to marry him."
Lucien: "What does not exist without the other. He is what he is. He will always, always seek to protect you, whether you like it or not."
Feyre: "How dare you -"
Rhys: "I certainly missed that look on your face."
Mor: "You look like you were getting under Rhys's skin. Good thing I came along. Though I'd enjoy seeing Rhy's balls nailed to the wall."
Feyre: "You're a High Lord - don't you have better things to do?"
Rhys: "Of course. But none as enjoyable as seeing you squirm."
Feyre: "You're a real bastard, you know that?"
Rhys huffed a laugh
Rhys: "I've been called worse. In fact, I think you've called me worse."
Feyre: "What, exactly, is your stake in all this? You said you'd tell me if I worked with you."
Rhys: "I didn't specify when I'd tell you."
Rhys: "Maybe I resent the idea of you letting those sycophants and war-mongering fools in the Spring court make you feel inadequate. Maybe I indeed enjoy watching you squirm. Or maybe -"
Feyre: "I get it."
Rhys: "Try to read it, Feyre."
Prick. I snatched the paper to me, nearly ripping it in half in the process.
Feyre: "Y-you ... look ..."
Feyre: "I didn't ask for your approval."
Feyre: "Ab ... Absolutely. De ... Del ..."
I deigned a glance at him, brows raised.
My brows now knitted. I read the next two words, then whipped my face toward him.
Feyre: "You look absolutely delicious today, Feyre?! That's what you wrote?"
He leaned back in his seat. As our eyes met, sharp claws caressed my mind and his voice whispered inside my head
Rhys: It's true, isn't it?
Feyre: "Stop that!"
Rhys: The fashion of the Night Court suits you.
Feyre: "You're a pig."
Rhys: "Oh, most definitely. But look at you - you read that whole sentence, kicked me out of your mind, and shielded. Excellent work."
Rhys: "Start copying the alphabet. Until your letters are perfect. And every time you get through a round, lower and raise your shield. Until that is second nature. I'll be back in an hour."
Rhys: "Copy. The. Alphabet. Until -"
Feyre: "I heard what you said."
Prick. Prick, prick, prick.
Rhys: "Then get to work. And at least have the decency to only call me a prick when your shields are back up."
Rhys: "You have a skill set that I need. Rumor has it you caught a Suriel."
Feyre: "It wasn't that hard."
Rhys: "I've tried and failed. Twice."
Feyre: "There have to be at least a dozen other hunters more experienced and skilled - "
Rhys: "Maybe there are. But you're the only one I trust."
Feyre: "I could betray you whenever I feel like it."
Rhys: "You could. But you won't."
Rhys: "You are no one's subject. I will say this once - and only once. You can be a pawn, be someone's reward, and spend the rest of your immortal life bowing and scraping and pretending you're less than him, than Ianthe, than any on us. If you want to pick that road, then fine. A shame, but it's your choice. But I know you - more than you realize, I think - and I don't believe for one damn minute that you're remotely fine with being a pretty trophy for someone who sat on his ass for nearly fifty years, then sat on his ass while you were shredded apart -"
Feyre: "Stop it -"
Rhys: "Or, you've got another choice. You can master whatever powers we gave you, and make it count. You can play a role in this war. Because war is coming one way or another, and do not try to delude yourself that any of the Fae will give a shit about your family across the wall when our whole territory is likely to become a charnel house. You want to save the moral realm? Then become someone Prythian listens to. Become vital. Become a weapon. Because there might be a day, Feyre, when only you stand between the King of Hybern and your human family. And you do not want to be unprepared."
I lifted my gaze to him, my breath tight, aching.
Rhys: "Think it over. Take a week. Ask Tamlin, if it'd make you sleep better. See what charming Ianthe says about it. But it's your choice to make - no one else's."
Tamlin: "Do you not want to marry me, then?"
Feyre: "Of course I do. Of course I do. But you ... Tamlin ... I'm drowning. I am drowning. And the more you do this, the more guards ... You might as well be shoving my head under the water."
Rhysand just brushed an invisible fleck of dust off Tamlin's sleeve. Part of me admired the sheer nerve it must have taken. Had Tamlin's teeth been inches from my throat, I would have bleated in panic.
Rhys cut a glance at me.
Rhys: "No, you wouldn't have. As far as your memory serves me, the last time Tamlin's teeth were near your throat, you slapped him across the face."
Tamlin: "Shut your mouth. And get out."
Rhy's face became unreadable as he extended a hand.
Only for Tamlin to appear behind me, and shove that hand down.
Tamlin: "You end her bargain right here, right now, and I'll give you anything you want. Anything."
Feyre: "Are you out of your mind?"
Tamlin didn't so much as blink in my direction.
Rhysand merely raised a brow
Rhys: "I already have everything I want."
Feyre: "Don't you have other things to deal with?"
Rhys: "Of course I do. I have so many things to deal with that I'm sometimes tempted to unleash my power across the world and wipe the board clean. Just to buy me some damned peace. But I'll always make time for you."
Rhys: "Tell me what to do. Tell me what to do to help you. Months and months, and you're still a ghost. Does no one there ask what the hell is happening? Does you High Lord simply not care?"
Feyre: "He's giving me space to sort it out."
Rhys: "Let me help you. We went through enough Under the Mountain -"
Rhys: "She wins. That bitch wins if you let yourself fall apart."
Feyre: Conversation over.
Rhys: "Like hell is it."
A thrum of power caressed my fingers, and then the book sealed shit between my hands. My nails dug into the leather and paper - to no avail.
Bastard. Arrogant, presuming bastard.
Slowly, I lifted my eyes to him. And I felt ... not hot temper - but icy, glittering rage.
I could almost feel that ice at my fingertips, kissing my alms. And I swore there was frost coating the book before I hurled it at his head.
He shielded fast enough that it bounced away and slid across the marble floor behind us.
Rhys: "Good. What else do you have, Feyre?"
Ice melted to flame, and my fingers curled into fists.
Rhys: "Any time you need someone to play with, whether it's during our marvelous week together or otherwise, you let me know."
I waited for the fear to hit; waited for my body to shriek to find a way to get out of this dinner, but ... nothing. Maybe it'd be a mercy to be ended -
A broad hand gripped my face - gently enough not to hurt, but hard enough to make me look at him.
Rhys: "Don't you ever think that. Not for one damned moment."
Feyre: "Take your power back. I don't want it."
A sly smile
Rhys: "It doesn't work that way. The power is bound to your life. The only way to get it back would be to kill you. And since I like your company, I'll pass on the offer."
Feyre: "I'm thinking that I must have been a fool in love to allow myself to be shown so little of the Spring Court. I'm thinking there's a great deal of that territory I was never allowed to see or hear about and maybe I would have lived in ignorance forever like some pet. I'm thinking ... I'm thinking that I was a lonely, hopeless person, and I might have fallen in love with the first thing that showed me hint of kindness and safety. And I'm thinking maybe he knew that - maybe not actively, but maybe he wanted to be that person for someone. And maybe that worked for who I was before. Maybe it doesn't work for who - what I am now."
Rhys: "This bond is ... a living thing. An open channel between us, shaped by my power, shaped ... by what you needed when we made the bargain."
Feyre: "I needed to not be dead when I agreed."
Rhys: "You needed to not be alone."
Feyre: "I heard the crack."
Rhy's head whipped toward me.
Feyre: "I heard the crack when she broke my neck. It was in my ears, but also inside my skull. I was gone before I felt anything more than the first last of pain. And then it was dark. A different sort of dark than this place. Bit there was a ... thread. A tether. And I yanked on it - and suddenly I could see. Not through my eyes, but - but his."
I inclined my head toward Rhys.
Feyre: "And I knew I was dead, and this tiny scrap of spirit was all that was left of me, clinging to the thread of our bargain."
The Bone Carver: "But was there anyone there - were you seeing anything beyond?"
Feyre: "There was only that bond in the darkness."
Rhysand's face had gone pale, his mouth a tight line.
Feyre: "And when I was Made anew, I followed that bond back - to me. I knew that home was on the other end of it. There was light then. Like swimming up through sparkling wine -"
The Bone Carver: "Were you afraid?"
Feyre: "All I wanted was to return to - to the people around me. I wanted it badly enough I didn't have room for fear. The worst had happened, and the darkness was calm and quiet. It did not seem like a bad thing to fade into. Bit I wanted to go home. So I followed the bond home."
Feyre: "When Amarantha made me kill those two faeries, if the third hadn't been Tamlin, I would have put the dagger in my own heart at the end."
Rhys went still.
Feyre: "I knew there was no coming back from what I'd done. And once I broke their curse, once I knew I'd saved them, I just wanted enough time to turn that dagger on myself. I only decided I wanted to live when she killed me, and I knew I had no finished whatever ... whatever it was I'd been born to do."
Rhys: "You are my salvation, Feyre."
Rhys: "With Cassian, he's probably more interested in fucking you than protecting you."
Feyre: "You're a pig."
Rhys: "You could, you know. If you needed to move on in a physical sense, I'm sure Cassian would be more than happy to oblige."
Feyre: "Then tell him to come to my room tonight."
Rhys: "If you survive this test."
Feyre: "You seem pleased by the idea that I won't."
Rhys: "Quite the opposite, Feyre. I'll let Cassian know you're ... open to his advances."
Feyre: "I could have used some help."
Rhys: "You survived. And found a way to help yourself. "
Feyre: "That's what this was also about. Not just this stupid ring."
I reached into my pocket, slamming the ring down on the table.
Feyre: "or my abilities, but if I can master my panic."
Cassian swore again, his eyes on that ring.
Amren shook her head
Amren: "Brutal, but effective."
Rhys: "now you know. That you can use your abilities to hunt out objects, and thus track the Book at the Summer Court, and master yourself."
Cassian: "You're a prick, Rhysand."
Nesta: "So you can't eat normal food anymore - or are you too good for it?"
Rhy's fork clanked on his plate. Elain made a small, distressed noise.
I laid my hand flat on the table.
Feyre: "I can eat, drink, fuck and fight just as well as I did before. Better, even."
Cassian choked on his water.
Azriel shifted on his seat, angling to spring between us if need be.
Nesta let out a low laugh.
Nesta: "What are you looking at?"
Cassian: "Someone who let her youngest sister risk her life every day in the woods while she did nothing. Someone who let a fourteen-year-old child go out into that forest, so close to the wall. Your sister died - died to save my people. She is willing to do so again to protect you from war. So don't expect me to sit here with my mouth shut while you sneer at her for a choice she did not get to make - and insult my people in the process."
Rhys: "Feyre is whoever she chooses to be."
Feyre: "We'll move things around. This one,"
I added with a glare in Rhys's direction
Feyre: "is only cranky because he's old and it's past his bedtime."
Rhys: "Now I know where Nesta gets it. Honestly, it's a shame we can't stay longer - if only to see who'll be left standing: her or Cassian."
Feyre: "My money's on Nesta."
A soft chuckle that snaked along my bones - a reminder that he' once bet on me.
Rhys: "So's mine."
Rhys: "Give a shout down the bond if you get anything accomplished before breakfast."
I frowned at the eye on my palm
Rhys: "You could try rubbing it on certain body parts and I might come faster."
He vanished into nothing before I could hurl the candle at him.
Alone in the frost-gilded forest, I replayed his words and a quiet chuckle rasped out of me.
Writing a note back and forth
Feyre: Poor baby High Lord. Life is so hard.
Rhys: Life is better when you're around. And look at how lovely your handwriting is.
I blinked. I'd forgotten - forgotten that strength in my panic. Just like with the Weaver. I'd forgotten how strong I was.
Rhys: "Yes, you did. You forgot that strength, and that you can burn and become darkness, and grow claws. You forgot. You stopped fighting."
Feyre: "Isn't that what High Lords do? Whatever they please?"
Rhys: "There are a great many things that I wish to do, and don't get to."
Feyre: "You. You sent that music into my cell. Why?"
Rhys: "Because you were breaking. And I couldn't find another way to save you."
The music swelled and built. I'd seen a palace in the sky when I'd hallucinated - a place between sunset and dawn ... a house of moonstone pillars.
Feyre: "I saw the Night Court."
He glanced sidelong at me
Rhys: "I didn't send those images to you."
Feyre: "Thank you. For everything - for what you did. Then ... and now."
Rhys: "Even after the Weaver? After this morning with my trap for the Attor?"
My nostrils flared
Feyre: "You ruin everything."
Rhys: I might be a shameless flirt, but at least I don't have a horrible temper. You should come tend to my wounds from our squabble in the snow. I'm bruised all over thanks to you.
Feyre: Go lick your wounds and leave me be.
Rhys: I'd much rather you licked my wounds for me
I clamped my lips shut to keep from smiling as I wrote
Feyre: Lick you where, exactly?
Rhys: Wherever you want to lick me, Feyre. I'd like to start with 'Everywhere.' but I can choose, if necessary.
Feyre: Let's hope my licking is better than yours. I remember how horrible you were at it Under the Mountain.
Lie. He's licked away my tears when I'd been a moment away from shattering.
Rhys: I was under duress. If you want, I'd be more than happy to prove you wrong. I've been told I'm very, very good at licking.
I clenched my knees together and wrote back
Rhys: "Try not to moan too loudly when you dream a bout me. I need my beauty rest.
I got up, chucked the letter in the burbling fire, and gave it a vulgar gesture.
I could have sworn laughter rumbled down the hall.
Cassian: "Get back in the ring. No core exercises. Just fists. You want to mouth off, then back it up."
Rhys: "You will feel that way every day for the rest of your life. And I know this because I have felt that way every day since my mother and sister were slaughtered and I had to bury them myself, and even retribution didn't fix it."
He wiped away the tears on one cheek, then another.
Rhys: "You can either let it wreck you, let it get you killed like it nearly did with the Weaver, or you can learn to live with it."
Rhys: "I have two kinds of nightmares: the ones where I'm again Amarantha's whore or my friends are ... And the ones where I hear your neck snack and see the light leave your eyes."
Rhys: "Will it into being."
I gave him a flat stare
Rhys: "Try thinking of me - how good-looking I am. How talented -"
Feyre: "How arrogant."
Rhys: "That, too.
He crossed his arms over his bare chest, the movement making the muscles in his stomach flicker.
Feyre: "Put a shirt on while you're at it."
A feline smile
Rhys: "Does it makes you uncomfortable?"
Feyre: "I'm surprised there aren't more mirrors in this house, since you seem to love looking at yourself so much."
Azriel launched into a coughing fit. Cassian just turned away, a hand clamped over his mouth.
Rhys's lips twitched.
Rhys: "There's the Feyre I adore."
Cassian: "Keep talking, Amren, and I'll drag you into the ring and see how much practice you've actually been doing."
Amren just continued cleaning her nails - with a tiny bone, I realized.
Amren: "Touch me, Cassian, and I'll remove your favorite part. Small as it might be."
Rhys: "Sorry to interrupt while things were getting interesting."
Amren: "Fortunately for Cassian's balls, you arrived at the right time."
Feyre: "Any more traps I should know about before we go tomorrow?"
Rhys: "Here I was, thinking your notes the other night indicated you'd forgiven me."
Feyre: "One would think a High Lord would have more important things to do than pass notes back and forth at night."
Rhys: "I do have more important things to do. But I find myself unable to resist temptation. The same way you can't resist watching me whenever we're out. So territorial."
Feyre: "You haven't been able to keep away from me since Calanmai, it seems."
Something rippled in his eyes that I couldn't place, but he flicked my nose - hard enough that I hissed and batted his hand away.
Rhys: "I can't wait to see what that sharp tongue of yours can do at the Summer Court."
Tarquin: "Cresseida made many sacrifices on behalf of her people. Do not take her caution personally."
Rhys: "We all made sacrifices. And you now sit at this table with your family because of the ones Feyre made. So you will forgive me, Tarquin, if I tell your princess that if she sends word to Tamlin, or if any of your people try to bring her to him, their lives will be forfeit."
Tarquin: "Do not threaten me in my own home, Rhysand. My gratitude goes only so far."