A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas
Updated: Jan 24
A Court of Silver Flames
by Sarah J Maas
Published by Bloomsbury
Book #4 in the Court of Thorns & Roses Series
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.
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Very Steamy #Fantasy Thrilling
Violence #Adult Emotional
*TRIGGER WARNING* - Mental Illness, descriptions of sexual assault, and abuse
A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas is her fourth full length novel in her Court of Thorns and Roses series, and switches focus to the prickly, and most controversial character in the series, Nesta Archeron, Feyre's oldest sister, and Cassian, general in the night court, and one of Rhysand's and Feyre's closest friends. The war with Hybern is over, but the scars inflicted are still painful. Nesta, forced into a world she didn't want to inhabit, struggles with her haunting memories, driving her to self-destruction. In an effort to help her, her family gives her an ultimatum: go into seclusion in the House of Wind, cut off from all her vices, training with Cassian, and working in the library with the priestesses, or live in the human lands. Knowing she will not be welcomed among humans, she is forced to face her demons, along with the one person who infuriates her more than anyone: Cassian. Of course, he is also the person who makes her feel things she never thought possible. While training her body, and trying to heal her mind, she starts to open up, and let people in. But the world is once again on the edge of a knife. The human queens have set their sights on war, and have a dangerous new ally. And the only person who might be able to do anything to stop it is Nesta.
Did everyone get their books? I know there were a lot of shipping delays, and a lot of upset Maas fans out there. I preordered a special edition from Indigo months ago, that hasn't arrived yet, but thankfully, my trusty Kindle came to the rescue. I waited too long for this book, and I refused to wait a day more. And I am SOOOOOOOOOOOO glad I didn't.
I have seen quite a few people say they were not going to read this book because it centers around Nesta. I need to say this. You are wrong to not read this. Wrong. I love this series. Like most fans, when asked which book is the best in the series, I would say A Court of Mist and Fury. Well, I would have. Until this one. Is Nesta a difficult character? Yes. No one can say she is perfect. No one can say she isn't a total bitch. She is. Sarah does a masterful job writing a heavily character driven novel, centering around a journey not excusing Nesta's behavior, but accepting the consequences of it. It centers on healing. On familial bonds, chosen and blood. In a high-fantasy, it's incredibly real, with its depictions of mental illness, and the true struggle of, if not fully overcoming it, at least trying to. It is wonderfully original, it's plot and characters are rich with depth, and it still maintains the same feel as the past books. I'm just ... wow. I loved it. I loved it.
I was always intrigued by Nesta. I didn't really like her because of the things she says and does. But once I read A Court of Wings and Ruin, I just knew - her story was going to be good. I wanted to know what happened between the Nesta who stepped up in Wings and Ruin, and the Nesta we get in the novella, Frost and Starlight. And we do. Again, I need to say, Sarah J Maas does a fucking amazing job not excusing Nesta's behavior. She doesn't shove it aside. Everything Nesta has said, and done (and hasn't done) is brought up. Her journey in healing throughout this book is absolutely breathtaking, and brutal. And let's not forget about Cassian. I've loved him since we met him in Mist and Fury. His character usually makes me laugh, and his sense of humor is needed as a balance in a story such as this. But we see a different side to Cassian, and I am so for it. Cassian, for all his sarcasm and strength, is also wise. Some of the best lines in this book come from Cassian's talks with Nesta, about healing from the past, and many of them, applicable in real life. Let's just say that I loved him so much in this book, that he has beat out Rhys in this world for book boyfriends.
Before I continue, I NEED TO BRING UP THE SEX. Yes, it happens. We KNEW there was going to be sex. Sarah said in one of her insta-live's that it was the sexiest to date.
If you have been on this site before - you KNOW I read A LOT of romance. I'm no stranger to smut.
But holy fucking shit.
I had no idea you had it in you! Even I was blushing at some parts!
AND I FUCKING LOVED IT!
And, in case you were wondering - the threesome scene she was told to cut out - it's obvious who it was with - and I stan. (I can't actually believe I said stan.)
I'm rambling, I know. It's what I do.
Before I end off, I am going to post my thoughts on some things, but it will be hidden due to it's spoilery content. If you have read the book, highlight to check out my thoughts. If not ... don't do it. Spoilers are no fun.
Nesta and Cassian -----------------> I fucking knew it! I called it! I knew they were mates, and I LOVE IT! Cassian's character needs a partner that is just as strong as him, and Nesta needs someone who won't put up with their bull. And can I just mention the sex again? Because WOW! <---------------
Nesta and her family ------------> One of the things I love about this series, is that it really hits home that family is what you make it. Nesta had blood family, and by the end of the book, she knows she loves them. But one of the best things, is her chosen family. Just like Feyre loves her blood sisters, she acknowledges she is closer with her chosen family - the night court. Nesta's bond with Gwyn and Emerie is phenomenal, and I love her friendship with Azriel. It's quiet, and calm, but they understand each other, in a way. <-------------
Nesta's purpose ----------> Who else is obsessed with the Valkyrie. I am OBSESSED with it. We see it in Wings and Ruin - her want to fight for what is right. I love that when she finds out about the Valkyrie, as she trains, it eventually turns into a desire to reform the Valkyrie (which was a band of strong and brave female warriors, who died out a long time ago). It's just ... perfect for her. And her encouraging other women who have been traumatized, not to train to fight and become Valkyrie, but to just exercise the body, and learn to defend themselves? Ugh. Love it. <-------------------
Feyre and Rhysand ------------> I was VERY surprised that Feyre ended up getting pregnant so quickly. Was also surprised by the complications of the pregnancy, and it wasn't something that I, as a reader, truly thought about. Thanks to Nesta, it turns out good. But I wonder ... Nesta said the Mother changed Feyre's anatomy to be able to birth future children with wings, and even mentions herself, for when Cassian and her eventually decide to have children. But she doesn't mention Elaine. This is either because we need to assume that it happens to Elaine as well, or, she doesn't bother, because Elaine is mated to Lucien - who doesn't have wings. The problem with this, is that if Az and Elaine do end up together, will they be able to have children? Or is this foreshadowing that Elaine actually gives her mate a chance? hmmm. ASIDE FROM THAT ... how freaking adorable does that baby Nyx sound? <---------------
THE SOLSTICE GIFT -----------> I shit you not, I was not expecting that, and I don't think I saw anyone else guess it either. But what a thoughtful gift. I'm partial to a man who gifts a woman a book. <-----------
Those special edition scenes -------------> I did a bad thing. I looked up pictures on the internet of the special edition stories. My copy, that has yet to arrive, has the Rhys and Feyre story, but to be honest, I just didn't want to wait. The Rhys and Feyre one is okay. It's right after they tell Nesta, Cass and Az about the pregnancy. It's a nice moment between the couple, happy about their son, and still blissfully in love. The one I was interested in, was the Azriel one. It. Was. Good. It confirmed my suspicions that he was falling for Elaine. That gift he gave her was wonderful, and I love that her gifts to him have been so wonderfully odd and thoughtful. And while I understand why Rhys, when catching them about to kiss, is angry, and concerned about the political problems, I hated how he treated Az here. Just ... ugh. I want to hug him. That being said ... I think that Azriel and Elaine are NOT end game. I'm throwing my chips in with Azriel and Gwen. There is just something there ... <-------------
Crossover? --------------> If you've read Sarah Maas's Throne of Glass series, you know there there has already been a bit of a crossover. When Aelin was falling through multiple worlds, she see's a couple, a winged male, and a pregnant female, on top of a mountain (Rhysand and Feyre). Rhysand uses his power to slow Aelin down. She travels through another world, and see's Crescent City, Sarah Maas's other book series. The possibility of different realms was mentioned a lot in this book. Sarah could do a lot with this. A big crossover, where character's actually meet? Just teases of her other series'? But I always wondered, how did Rhysand know to slow Aelin down? Is it possible that Merrill's research opens up all these worlds? <---------------
Okay. Judging by the word count here, it's obvious I loved this book. Don't wait. Read it ASAP! Let me know if you loved it as much as me.
Cassian: "I'll be back in an hour to see how things are proceeding."
Nesta: "Don't bother. I'll be there on time."
Cassian: "That's not what I was asked to do, I'm to see you from door to door."
Nesta: "Go perch on a chimney."
Nesta: "I suppose this was your idea."
Cassian: "It was. We're going to have a wonderful time together."
They'd likely kill each other.
Cassian: "You'll be staying in your old room. My room's a level above that."
Nesta: "Why would I need to know that?"
Cassian: "In case you have a bad dream and need someone to read you a story. Maybe one of those smutty books you like so much."
Cassian: "Glad to see you woke up ready to play, Nesta."
Nesta: "If you think this training nonsense is going to result in you climbing into my bed, you're delusional. I'd sooner let in a mangy street dog."
Cassian: "Oh, it's not going to result in me climbing into your bed."
Nesta snickered, victory achieved, and had reached the stairs when he crooned,
Cassian: "You'll climb into mine."
Amren: "Let her dig her own grave, boy. Then offer her a hand."
Cassian: "I thought that's what this past year has been."
Amren: "Keep reaching out your hand."
Azriel: "I hope you're not giving my brother a hard time."
Nesta: "Is that a threat, Shadowsinger?"
Cassian took a long drink from his own tea. Drained it to the dregs.
Azriel: "I don't need to resort to threats."
The shadows coiled around him, snakes ready to strike.
Nesta gave him a smile, holding his stare.
Nesta: "Neither do I."
She leaned back in her chair and said to Cassian, who was frowning at both of them
Nesta: "I want to train with him instead."
She could have sworn Cassian went still. Interesting.
Azriel coughed into his tea.
Cassian: "I think you'll find that Az is even less forgiving than I am."
Nesta: "With that pretty face? I have a hard time believing that."
Cassian: "Doesn't count when you use your hands to do most of the work."
Nesta: "I bet that isn't what you've been telling yourself at night."
Azriel's shoulder's shook with silent laughter as Cassian sat down his fork, his eyes gleaming with challenge.
Cassian: "Is that what those smutty books teach you? That it's only at night?"
It took a heartbeat for the words to settle. And she couldn't stop it, the heat that sprang to her face, her glance at his powerful hands. Even with Azriel now biting his lip to keep from laughing, she couldn't stop herself.
Cassian: "It could be anytime - dawn's first light, or when I'm bathing, or even after a long, hard day of practice."
She didn't miss the slight emphasis he put on long, hard.
Nesta: "Sounds like you have a lot of time on your hands, Cassian."
Azriel: "You're in deep shit."
Cassian: "I know."
Azriel: "You two need a chaperone up here?"
Cassian: "I thought you were the chaperone."
Az threw him a wicked smile
Azriel: "I'm not entirely sure I'm enough."
Gwyn: "I don't need to be coddled. Only spoken to like a person."
Azriel: "I doubt you'll enjoy the way I speak to most people."
Gwyn: "Try me."
Cassian: "The only thing that's obvious is that you're talking to yourself."
Nesta: "I'm talking to the House. Which is a considerable step up from talking to you."
Cassian: "It doesn't talk back."
Cassian: "I didn't mean what I said last night - about everyone hating you."
Nesta: "It's true."
Cassian: "It's not. You're here because we don't hate you. I wanted you to know that. That we don't - that I don't hate you."
Nesta: "And I have never hated you, Cassian."
Gwyn: "I don't with to learn what might come crawling out of that darkness if you, Cauldron-Made, fear it. Especially if it's ... drawn to you."
Cassian: "The first time I saw that look on your face, you were still human. Still human, and I nearly went to my knees before you. Your power is a song, and one I've waited a very, very long time to hear, Nesta."
Cassian: "Do you know what I'm going to think of tonight? I'm going to think of t hat look on your face. I'm always thinking of that look on your face."
Nesta: "The book, is about ... a book."
Cassian: "Interesting. Sounds great."
Cassian: "We'll do the warm-up, and then we're moving into some core work."
She gaped. Her ... core?
he clarified, and pink washed across his face.
Cassian: "Filthy mind."
He flicked her cheek
Cassian: "Too much smut."
Nesta: "I am not like you and the others."
Cassian: "That's never bothered me one bit."
Nesta: "Let go."
Cassian: "Make me. Use the training and make me."
Nesta: "You're an arrogant bastard."
Cassian: "And you're a haughty witch. We're evenly matched."
Nesta: "Look who decided to grow claws after all. Maybe you'll become interesting at last, Elain."
Cassian grinned and said to Azriel
Cassian: "We're going to be uncles."
Feyre: "Mother help this child."
Azriel's own grin bloomed at that, but Feyre's gaze slid to Nesta.
Feyre: "Thank you. You'll be an aunt, you know."
Cassian: "Gods help this child indeed."
Cassian: "Turn a blind eye, chaperone."
Nesta's stare seared him from across the ring. Cassian might have flexed his stomach muscles as he approached the chalk-lined circle. Az shook his head and muttered,
Azriel: "Pathetic, Cass."
Cassian: "You're drooling."
Nesta: "If there was anything enticing, it was seeing Azriel punch your face."
Cassian: "Keep telling yourself that, Nes."
Cassian: "Just relax."
Nesta: "You're the one who's fidgeting."
Cassian: "Because you're making me fidget."
Bellius: "Do you know who I am?"
Nesta: "A drunk fool wasting my time."
Cassian: "Thanks for that."
Azriel: "I don't know what you're talking about."
Az said, even as he smiled down at his food.
Azriel: "Don't show your hand all at once, Cass."
Cassian: "What's that supposed to mean?"
Az nodded toward the doorway.
Azriel: "Save something for later."
Az took a bite.
Azriel: "You let her suck your cock in the middle of the dining room. At a table I'm currently using to eat my dinner. I'd say that entitles me to an opinion."
Rhysand: I don't know what the fuck the two of you have been doing in this House, but it reeks of sex.
Cassian: A polite male never tells.
Rhys's laughter rumbled in his mind
Rhysand: I don't think you know what the word polite means.
Cassian: Thank the gods for that.
His brother laughed again.
Rhysand: I told Az playing chaperone would be useless.
Amren didn't so much as blink in remorse, but Varian frowned at her.
The Prince of Adriata gave her an exasperated smile
Varian: "Haven't we talked about this? About ... being nice?
Amren rolled her eyes.
Azriel: "What is her power?"
Rhys: "Death. Pure death."
Nesta: "I have no interest in bedding a male who looks like he's been in a tavern brawl."
Cassian: 'We can dim the lights."
Nesta: "When you're healed and looking pretty again, then I'll let you fuck me wherever you please in this House."
Cassian: "Let go of the stones and bones, and then you and I can play."
Feyre: "I don't like this. You haven't had enough training."
Cassian: "She has two Illyrian warriors guarding her. What could go wrong?"
Rhys: "Don't answer that."
Rhysand: You wear your heart for all to see, brother.
Cassian: "I thought you were dead today."
Nesta: "So did I. I thought you were dead, too."
Cassian: "You must have been happy."
Nesta: "It did not make me happy."
Nesta: "There can be nothing more than sex, Cassian."
Cassian: "Then I'll take whatever you offer me. And I'll take you however you wish me to."
Nesta: "And if I wish to take you?"
Cassian: "Then I'll beg you to ride me into oblivion."
Nesta: "When do we get to do something of use? When do we start on archery or swords?"
Cassian: "You think you're ready to handle a sword?"
Emerie let out a fizzing noise, but kept working.
Nesta: "Only you can tell me that."
His nostrils flared.
Cassian: "Get up."
Gwyn: "Seven years?"
Cassian: "You think children should be swinging around a real sword?"
Gwyn: "No. I just meant - do you plan for us to practice with wooden swords for seven years?"
Cassian: "If you three keep giggling, then yes."
Nesta stalked toward the two males. She met Lucien's stare as she approached the archway, and said nothing before continuing into the House. As if words were beyond her.
Only when her footsteps vanished did Lucien say
Lucien: "Mother spare you all."
Feyre: "Can you show Nesta how to ward it herself? Something perhaps with a bit more ... oomph?"
Feyre: "Oomph. We can't all be silver tongued like you.
Rhysand: "Good thing you benefit from it, Feyre darling."
Nesta: "I still need more."
Cassian's head lifted, eyes flashing
Cassian: "I know."
Nesta: "How can I need you again so soon?"
His eyes flickered
Cassian: "I've needed you from the moment I first met you. And now that I get to have you, I don't want to stop."
Nesta: "Yes. Yes."
Rhysand: "This is a bad idea."
Cassian: "That should be written on the Night Court crest."
Nesta: "If you want to play warmonger, go right ahead, Eris. I like an interesting opponent."
Tamlin: "You're exactly as nasty as your sister said you were."
Nesta: "I'd hate to disappoint."
Tamlin: "Put that finger down, you witch."
Nesta: "I'm glad you remember what happened to the last person I pointed at."
She was a wolf who had never learned how to be a wolf, thanks to that cage humans called propriety and society. And like any maltreated animal, she bit anyone who came near. Good thing he liked being bitten.
Gwyn: "I think the Valkyries were even more sadistic than the Illyrians. No amount of Mind-Stilling will get me through these exercises. What was that phrase they used? I am the rock against which the surf crashes. A rock never had to hold a lunge, though."
Cassian: "I am going to tell you that you will get through it. That you will face all of this and you will get through it. That these tears are good, Nesta. These tears mean you care. I am going to tell you that it is not too late, not for any of it. And I can't tell you when, or how, but it will get better. What you feel, this guilt and pain and self-loathing - you will get through it. But only if you are willing to fight. Only if you are willing to face it, and embrace it, and walk through it, to emerge on the other side of it. And maybe you will s till feel that tinge of pain, but there is another side. A better side."
Cassian: "Everyone deserves happiness. The road there isn't easy. It is long, and hard, and often traveled utterly blind. But you keep going. Because you know the destination will be worthwhile."
Cassian: "You don't need to become some impossible ideal. You don't need to become sweet and simpering. You can give everyone that I Will Slay My Enemies look - which is my favorite look, by the way. You can keep that sharpness I like so much, that boldness and fearlessness. I don't want you to ever lose those things, to cage yourself."
Emerie: "We slice the ribbon in two, and our training is complete?"
Gwyn: "I'm not entirely sure."
Cassian: "A warrior's training is never complete, but if you're able to slice this ribbon in two, - with one cute - then I'd say you can hold your own again most enemies. Even if you've only been training for a little while. Who's first?"
Again, the three of them swapped glances. Nesta frowned. Whoever went first would get the brunt of the humiliation. Gwyn shook her head. No way in hell.
Emerie's mouth popped open
Emerie: "Why me?"
Gwyn: "You're oldest."
Emerie groused, but stepped up to the dangling ribbon, grudgingly taking the sword Cassian extended.
Gwyn: "Should we bet?"
Emerie: "Shut up."
Nesta: "Go ahead, Emerie."
Cursing under her breath, wings ticking in tight, Emerie lifted the blade in near-perfect form and slices at the ribbon.
The white silk fluttered and bent around the blade. And absolutely did not slice in two.
Emerie: "Let's all admit we knew that would happen."
Cassian clapped her shoulder
Cassian: "Looks like I'll see you at training tomorrow."
Gwyn: "Your story is worth telling, you know."
Cassian: "You lead, I'll follow."
Nesta: "What if my presence would go unnoticed but yours sets off a trap? We can't risk that."
His throat bobbed.
Cassian: "I can't risk you."
Nesta: "Gwyn and Emerie are my friends. But ... I think you might be too, Cassian."
Cassian: "I've always been your friend, Nesta. Always."
Nesta: "I know."
Nesta: "We're in a book."
Gwyn: "Our stories are worth telling."