A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas Book Review
Updated: Jan 24
A Court of Wings and Ruin
by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury
Book 3 in the Court of Thorns and Roses series
Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear
in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.
Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.
As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places.
In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy #Fantasy Thrilling
Violence #Adult Action-Packed
A Court of Wings and Ruin is the third book in Sarah J Maas' A Court of Thorns and Roses series, and once again features Feyre, High Lady of the Night Court, her mate Rhysand, and her chosen family. This book starts a few weeks after the last book ended, with Feyre now playing her part as spy at the Spring Court. When war is imminent, Feyre must not only align with allies and foes alike, but also look in unexpected, dangerous places for any hope at all for both the Fae and Mortal realms.
Wow. Just wow. I have read a lot of books that involve war, but it usually isn't war as much as some squabbles between the hero and the enemy. This is probably the first time in a long time where I felt there is an actual war. A Court of Wings and Ruin has many elements in it. Secrecy and carefully laid out destruction. Alliances and friendships being forged. Bargains and compromises. Revelations. We get a lot of that. Power and destruction. Violence and brutality. And on the personal front, love and passion, broken hearts, redemption, denial. This book has it all. It's a big book, and not one of those pages is wasted. A Court of Wings and Ruin ties a lot of loose ends, and leaves some unanswered questions for the future of the series to tackle. Specifically regarding Nesta and Elain. I'm fairly sure there is a mating bond not yet made, but there between Nesta and Cassian, and I am all for it. Elain, I predict that there will be a love triangle. She seems to have a connection with Azriel, and he with her, and I so want that because Azriel has pined for Mor for 500 years. He deserves happiness. But Lucien, her mate, does too. After years of heartbreak after his family killed the fae he loved, he deserves it too. UGH!
Where the first book was Feyre and Tamlin's relationship, and setting up Feyre in Prythian to eventually become Feyre Cursebreaker, and the second book is Feyre healing from Amarantha's torture, and eventually learning to live again, to forgive herself, and finding her mate in Rhysand, this third book is really Feyre, in her element. A strong, intelligent, compassionate woman, but no push over. Not any more. She is a blend of her human self, and fae self, and while I feel like her story is really complete now (although I know this isn't the last book in the series), I do wish we got a proper farewell of her and Tamlin. Don't get me wrong. Rhys is perfect. I love him. Tamlin was a jerk in the last book and Feyre was right to leave him. BUT Tamlin's actions in this book really showed that while he is so angry with Feyre, he still loves her. And I just wish that we could have gotten a moment where they could look at one another and decide that one day, they could become friends. Tamlin really came through in this book, but it ends with him alone. His court is in shambles. His best friend Lucien won't stay with him now that he knows his mate resides with Feyre, and Feyre is in love with Rhys (rightfully so).
I have enough empathy left for Tamlin to want his character to get a happy ending.
Rhys ... oh Rhys. What a perfect specimen. What can I say about him that I haven't said before. I really feel like now, he has given enough, and like Feyre, his story has ended. It makes sense that the next novel (that comes out in January 2021), centers around Nesta and Cassian. And much like Rhys and Feyre, I am ALL. FOR. IT. Come on. Think of how intense their relationship will be, with Nesta's and Cassian's personalities. It's going to be insane.
In the end, A Court of Wings and Ruin was brilliant. Truly brutal in many ways, as war is in real life. Characters really coming into their own. I think the only flaw is that the book ended a little too ... perfectly. And I was really trying not to spoil, but, here we go ...
Spoiler ahead. You've been warned.
I think if Amren remained gone, it would have felt a little less perfect. The inner circle is mostly unscathed, while so many others died. It just felt too convenient. But what do I know. Sarah Maas has other twisted ways of breaking readers hearts (I'm still bitter over Tamlin, despite being 100% in love with Feyre and Rhysand.) And let's be honest ... I don't think I would have ever forgotten Sarah Maas for killing off Rhysand, Cassian, or Azriel. So even if it ends a little too perfectly, it's fine, because I know the story is continuing. There is still more to go.
A Court of Wings and Ruin is kinda ... perfect. You need to read this series!
Where to Buy
Jurian: "They're curious. It's not every century that the contested possession of a female launches a war. Especially a female with such ... talents."
Feyre: "Perhaps if you'd bothered going to war over Miryam, she wouldn't have left you for Prince Drakon."
Feyre: "I wish I had been there to stop it. I should have been there to stop it."
Lucien squeezed our linked arms as we rounded a hedge, the house rising up before us.
Lucien: "You are a better friend to me, Feyre, than I ever was to you."
Lucien: "You know Tamlin can be ... sensitive about things."
Feyre: "He can also be a pain in my ass."
Feyre: "Don't ever tell Tarquin you know me well."
Her brows rose.
Feyre: "There is a blood ruby with my name on it."
Alis squeezed my hand
Alis; "Blood rubies or no, you will always have one friend in the Summer Court."
Feyre: "And you will always have one in mine."
Lucien: "You were right. That girl I knew did die Under the Mountain."
I wasn't sure if it was an insult, but I nodded all the same
Feyre: "At least we can agree on that."
Lucien: "My father will hunt you for taking his power if he finds out, and kill you for learning how to wield it."
Feyre: "He can get in line."
Lucien: "Elain loves this lord's son."
Feyre: "She says she does. Nesta - Nesta thought the father and his obsession with killing faeries was bad enough to raise some alarms. She never voiced the concern to Elain. Neither did I."
Lucien: "My mate is engaged to a human male."
Feyre: "I'm sorry if -"
Lucien: "I want to see her. Just once. Just - to know."
Feyre: "To know what?"
Lucien: "If she is worth fighting for."
Lucien leaned his head back against the rock wall behind us.
Lucien: "And then I'll ask your mate how he survived it - knowing you were engaged to someone else. Sharing another male's bed."
Feyre: "I am High Lady of the Night Court."
Even Eris stopped sneering. His amber eyes widened, something like fear creeping into them.
Lucien's brother: "There's no such thing as a High Lady."
A faint smile played on my mouth.
Feyre: "There is now."
I caught Cassian's gaze, finding pride glimmering there - and relief.
Feyre: "Take me home."
Then to Azriel
Feyre: "Take us both home."
I said to the Autumn Court's scions
Feyre: "We'll see you on the battlefield."
Cassian: "Hello, Feyre."
My throat tightened to the point o f pain, and I threw my arms around his neck, embracing him tightly.
Cassian: "I missed you, too."
Lucien: "What is this place?"
We all looked at him.
Feyre: "Home. This is - my home."
I could see the details now sinking in. The lack of darkness. The lack of screaming. The scent of the sea and citrus, not blood and decay. The laughter of children that indeed continued.
The greatest secret in Prythian's history.
Feyre: "This is Velaris. The City of Starlight."
His throat bobbed.
Lucien: "And you are High Lady of the Night Court.
Rhys: "Indeed she is."
Rhys: "Ianthe ..."
Rhys lifted his brows
Rhys: "I assume her hand is courtesy of you, and not the commanders."
Feyre: "She fell."
I said sweetly
Rhys: "Must have been some fall."
Rhys: "You declared yourself High Lady."
Feyre: "Was I not supposed to?"
He released my arm to brush his knuckles across my cheek.
Rhys: "I've wanted to roar it from the rooftops of Velaris from the moment the priestess anointed you. How typical of you to upend my grand plans."
A smile tugged on my lips
Feyre: "It happened less than an hour ago. I'm sure you could go crow from the chimney right now and everyone would give you credit for breaking the news."
His fingers threaded through my hair, tilting my face up. That wicked smile grew, and my toes curled in their boots.
Rhys: "There's my darling Feyre."
Feyre: "Where. Were. You."
Rhys: "With Az only recently back on his feet, I took it upon myself to do some of his work."
I clenched my jaw
Feyre: "Such as?"
He leaned down, nuzzling my throat.
Rhys: "Don't you want to comfort your mate, who has missed you terribly these weeks?"
I planted a hand on his face and pushed him back, scowling.
Feyre: "I want my mate to tell me where the hell he was. Then he can get his comfort."
Rhys nipped at my fingers, teeth snapping playfully.
Rhys: "Cruel, beautiful female."
Rhys: "I missed you every moment."
Rhys said, leaning down to kiss the corner of my mouth.
Rhys: "Your smile."
His lips grazed over the shell of my ear and my back arched slightly
Rhys: "Your laugh."
He pressed a kiss to my neck, right beneath my ear, and I tilted my head to give him access, biting down the urge to beg him to take more, to take faster as he murmured
Rhys: "Your scent."
My eyes fluttered closed, and his hands coasted around my hips to cup my rear, squeezing as he bent to kiss the center of my throat.
Rhys: "The sounds you make when I'm inside you."
His tongue flicked over the spot where he'd kissed, and one of those sounds indeed escaped me. Rhys kissed the hollow of my collarbone, and my core went utterly molten.
Rhys: "My brave, bold, brilliant mate."
I'd opted for my Illyrian leather pants and a loose, white shirt - and a pair of embroidered slippers that Cassian kept snorting at as we flew.
When he did so for the third time in two minutes, I pinched his arm
Feyre: "It's hot. Those boots are stuffy."
His brows rose, the portrait of innocence
Cassian: "I didn't say anything."
Feyre: "You grunted. Again."
Cassian: "I've been living with Mor for five hundred years. I've learned the hard way not to question shoe choices. However stupid they may be."
Feyre: "It's dinner. Unless there's some battle planned afterward?"
Cassian: "Your sister will be there - I'd say that's battle aplenty."
Feyre: "Why do you bother, Cassian?"
Cassian: "Because I can't stay away."
Amren: "We are the same, you and I. Not in flesh, not in the thing that prowls beneath our skin and bones ..."
Amren's remarkable eyes narrowed
Amren: "But ... I see the kernel, girl. You did not fit - the mold that they shoved you into. The path you were born upon and forced to walk. You tried, and yet you did not, could not, fit. And then the path changes. I know - what it is to be that way. I remember it, long ago as it was."
Nesta: "I don't know what you're talking about."
Amren's red lips parted in a wide, serpentine smile.
Amren: "When you erupt, girl, make sure it is felt across worlds."
I slumped in my chair, resting my head against the back.
Something thumped in front of me. A bottle of wine.
Mor: "It's fine if you drink directly from it."
Rhys: "But I want you to feel comfortable pushing me, calling me out -"
Feyre: "When have I ever not done that?"
Feyre: "I want you to do the same - for me."
Rhys: "Deal. But amongst our family ... call me on my bullshit all you want. I insist, actually."
Rhys: "Because it's fun."
Cassian: "I hope you didn't exert yourself too much already, because this is really going to hurt."
Feyre: "Two Illyrian males making me sweat in one morning. What's a female to do?"
Cassian barked a laugh
Cassian: "At least you showed up with spirit."
Cassian: "Care to join?"
Nesta: "It doesn't look like you're exercising anything other than your mouths."
Cassian extended a wrapped hand, his fingers curling in a come-hither motion
Nesta: "Why should I be scared of an oversized bat who likes to throw temper tantrums?"
I choked, and Cassian shot me a warning glare, daring me to laugh. But I felt for that bond in my mind, lowering my mental shields enough to say to Rhysand, wherever he was in the city.
Feyre: Please come save me from Cassian and Nesta's bickering.
Rhys: Regretting becoming High Lady?
Feyre: Is this part of my duties?
A sensual, dark laugh
Rhys: Why do you think I was so desperate for a partner? I've had almost five centuries to deal with this alone. It's only fair you have to endure it now.
Cassian: "Seems like you're a little on edge, Nesta. And you left so abruptly last night ... Any way I can help ease that tension?"
Feyre: Poor baby High Lord. Having to run away to find solitude perfect for brooding.
Rhys pinched my behind, and I clamped down on my lip to keep from yelping.
Feyre: "And I suppose, that it's a miracle I can actually read these things."
Rhys's answering smile was lovely - and just a bit wicked.
Rhys: "I believe my little lessons helped."
Feyre: "Yes, 'Rhys is the greatest lover a female can hope for' is undoubtedly how I learned to read."
Rhys: "I was only trying to tell you what you now know."
My blood heated a bit.
Rhys: "I'll take that hmmm as a challenge."
His hand slid down my thigh, then cupped my knee, his thumb brushing along the side.
Rhys: "Maybe I'll haul you between the stacks and see how quiet you can be."
His hand began a lethal, taunting exploration up my thigh, his fingers grazing along the sensitive inside. Higher, higher. He leaned in to drag a book toward himself, but whispered in my ear
Rhys: "Or maybe I'll spread you out on this desk and lick you until you scream loud enough to wake whatever is at the bottom of the library."
Feyre: "I was fully committed to that plan, until you brought in that thing down below."
A feline smile. He held my stare as his tongue brushed his bottom lip.
My breasts tightened beneath my shirt, and his gaze dropped - watching.
Rhys: "I would have thought that our bout this morning would be enough to tide you over until tonight."
His hand slid between my legs, brazenly cupping me, his thumb pushing down on an aching spot. A low groan slipped from me, and my cheeks heated in its wake.
Rhys: "Apparently I didn't do a good enough job sating you, if you're so easily riled after a few hours."
His thumb pressed down hard, circling roughly.
Rhys leaned in again, kissing my neck - that place right under my ear -
Rhys: "Let's see what names you call me when my head is between your legs, Feyre darling."
Feyre: Where the hell are you?
Rhys: Two levels below.
Feyre: And why are you two levels below?
Rhys: Because I can't work with you distracting me.
Feyre: I'm distracting you?
Rhys: If you're sitting next to me, the last thing on my mind is reading dusty old books. Especially when you're in all that tight leather.
Feyre: "Are you all right?"
Amren clicked her tongue
Amren: "She's fine. Stubborn as an ass, but as you're related, I'm not surprised."
Azriel: "You are immortal. You are very hard to break. That's what I told myself."
Feyre: "Hard to break, but it still hurts."
Azriel: "Tell that to the tree."
Rhys: "Will it ever stop? Wanting you - every hour, every breath. I don't think I can stand a thousand years of this. Think of how my productivity will plummet."
Feyre: Don't provoke her.
Rhys: Can I provoke you instead?
Rhys: "There's little privacy in a war-camp."
I only straddled him, unfastening the button at the top of his dark jacket. The one below it.
Feyre: "Then I suppose you'll have to be quiet."
Rhys: "As High Lady, Feyre is no longer my emissary to the human world. Want the job?"
Nesta: "Consider this meeting a trial basis. And I'll make you pay through the teeth for my services."
Rhys sketched a bow
Rhys: "I would expect nothing less of an Archeron sister."
Cassian: "No going back now"
Gesturing to his wings
Rhys slid his hands into his pockets
Rhys: "I figure it's time for the world to know who really has the largest wingspan."
Cassian laughed, and even Azriel smiled. Mor gave me a look that had me biting my lip to keep from howling.
Nesta: "You didn't come to -"
The world seemed to go utterly still at that interrupted sentence, nothing and no one more so than Cassian. He scanned her face as if furiously reading some battle report.
Mor just watched as Cassian took Nesta's slim hand in his own, interlacing their fingers. As he folded his wings and blindly reached his other hand back toward Mor in a silent order to transport them.
Cassian's eyes didn't leave Nesta's; nor did hers leave his. There was no warmth, no tenderness on either of their faces. Only that raging intensity, then blend of contempt and understanding and fire.
Cassian: "The next time, Emissary, I'll come say hello."
Helion: "Does Tamlin know what she is?"
Rhys: "If you mean beautiful and clever, then yes - I think he does."
Helion: "Does he know she is your mate - and High Lady?"
Viviane: "High Lady?"
Thesan and Kallias took me in. Slowly.
Rhys: "If he arrives, I suppose we'll find out."
Helion let out a dark laugh.
Helion: "I always liked you, Rhysand."
Rhys: "It's no surprise that you're tardy, given that your own sons were too slow to catch my mate. I suppose it runs in the family."
Rhys: "I'm not in the business of discussing our plans with enemies."
Tamlin: "No, you're just in the business of fucking them."
Rhys shrugged, smiling faintly
Rhys: "Seems a far less destructive alternative to war."
Tamlin: "If you hadn't stolen my bride away in the night, Rhysand, I would not have been forced to take such drastic measures to get her back."
Feyre: "The sun was shining when I left you."
Rhys let out a dark laugh
Rhys: "Well played, Tamlin. You're learning."
Feyre: "That's twice now we've handed you your asses. I'd think you'd be sick of the humiliation."
Helion: "No wonder you made her High Lady."
Rhys: "I made her High Lady, because I love her. Her power was the last thing I considered."
Helion: "You knew of her powers?"
Tamlin was only watching me, my mate's declaration hanging between us.
Tamlin: "It was none of your business."
Beron: "This meeting is over. I hope Hybern butchers you all."
Nesta: "This meeting is not over. You are all there is. You are all that there is between Hybern and the end of everything that is good and decent. You fought against Hybern in the last war. Why do you refuse to do so now? You may hate us. I don't care if you do. But I do care if you let innocents suffer and die. At least stand for them. Your people. For Hybern will make an example of them. Of all of us."
Beron: "And you know this how?"
Nesta: "I went into the Cauldron. It showed me his heart. He will bring down the wall, and butcher those on either side of it."
She looked to Kallias and Viviane
Nesta: "I am sorry for the loss of those children. The loss of one is abhorrent. But beneath the wall, I witnessed children - entire families - starve to dead."
She jerked her chin at me.
Nesta: "Were it not for my sister ... I would be among them. Too long. For too long have humans beneath the wall suffered and died while you in Prythian thrived. Not during that - queen's reign. But long before. If you fight for anything - fight now, to protect those you forgot. Let them know they're not forgotten. Just this once."
Thesan: "While a noble sentiment, the details of the Treaty did not demand we provide for our human neighbors. They were to be left alone. So we obeyed."
Nesta: "The past is the past. What I care about is making sure no children - Fae or human - are harmed. You have been entrusted with protecting this land. How c an you not fight for it?"
Tarquin: "You saved us Under the Mountain. Losing a kernel of power seems a worthy payment."
Feyre: "I did not take your power. You gave it to me, along with the gift of my immortal life. I am grateful for both. But they are mine now. And I will do with them what I will."
My friends had risen to their feet, now in rank behind me, Nesta at my left. Rhys stepped up to my right, but did not touch me. Let me stand on my own, stare them all down.
Feyre: "I will use these powers - my powers - to smash Hybern to bits. I will burn them, and drown them, and freeze them. I will use these powers to heal the injured. To shatter through Hybern's wards. I have done so already, and I will do so again. And if you think that my possession of a kernel of your magic is your biggest problem, then your priorities are severely out of order."
Feyre: He knows about Elain being Lucien's mate. He makes a move to harm or take her, and he's dead.
Rhys: I'll kill him myself if he does. Or hold him long enough for you do to the job. I think I'd enjoy watching you.
Feyre: I'll keep it in mind for your next birthday.
Feyre: "It feels strange, to share a room, a bed, with you under the same roof as him."
Rhys: "I can imagine."
Feyre: "I don't think - I don't think I can have sex here. With him so close. I'm sorry if -"
Rhys: "You don't need to apologize. Ever."
I looked up, finding his gaze on me - not angry or frustrated, but ... sad. Knowing.
Feyre: "I want to share this bed with you, though. I want you to hold me."
Stars flickered to life in his eyes
Rhys: "Always. Always."
Cassian: "You look terrible - Helion keep you up all night?"
She threw her spoon at him. Then her porridge.
Cassian caught the first and shielded against the other.
Mor: "Helion wanted you to join. Quite badly."
Cassian: "Maybe next time.."
Graysen: "Take it off!"
Rhys: "That's enough. The lady keeps the ring, if she wants it. Though none of us will be particularly sad to see it go. Females tend to prefer gold or silver to iron."
Graysen: "Is this the start of it? You Fae males will come to take our women? Are your own not fuckable enough?"
Nolan: "Watch your tongue, boy."
Greyson: "I am not marrying you. Our engagement is over. I will take whatever people occupy your lands. But not you. Never you."
Tears began sliding down Elain's face, their scent filling the room with salt.
Nesta stepped forward. Then another step. And another.
Until she was in front of Graysen, faster than anyone could see.
Until Nesta smacked him hard enough that his head snapped to the side.
Nesta: "You never deserved her."
Jurian: "I never congratulated you for slaughtering Dagden and Brannagh. Good riddance."
Feyre: "I did it for those Children of the Blessed. Not for glory."
Jurian: "I know. Why do you think I decided to trust you?"
Rhys: "I'm grateful. To have you at my side. I don't know if I ever told you that - how grateful I am to have you stand with me."
I blinked back the burning in my eyes and took his hand. I laid it over his heart, letting him feel its beating while I kissed him one final time, the last of the stars vanishing as the army below us awoke to do battle.
I'd never seen anything like it - the skill and precision. It was like a dance.
Mor: "For him, that's what battle is. A symphony."
Rhys: "We are a pair. If you ever wish to fight by my side, it will be my honor."
Feyre: "I can save you."
It only gripped my wrist
Suriel: "I am already gone."
Feyre: "What - what can I do?"
Suriel: "Stay .... Stay ... until the end."
I took it's hand in mine.
Feyre: "I'm sorry.
Suriel: "I knew. The tracking ... I knew of it."
Feyre: "Then why come at all?"
Suriel: "You ... were kind. You ... fought your fear. You were ... kind."
I began crying
Feyre: "And you were kind to me. Thank you - for helping me. When no one else would."
Suriel: "Feyre Archeron. A request."
I leaned close
Suriel: "Leave this world ... a better place than how you found it."
They all had to think me young and reckless.
Rhys: No. Believe me, if you knew half of the shit Cassian and Mor have pulled, you'd get why we don't. I just ... Leave a note. Or tell me the next time.
Feyre: Would you have let me go if I had?
Rhys: I do not let you do anything.
He tilted my face up
Rhys: You are your own person, you make your own choices. But we are mates - I am yours, and you are mine. We do not let each other do things, as if we dictate the movements of each other.
Amren: "Every time you lot leave me at home, someone manages to get gutted."
Rhys had let out a low laugh as we all gawked in their wake.
Rhys: "I suppose that's how Varian decided he'd tell Amren he was feeling rather grateful she ordered us to go to Adriata."