A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas: Book Review

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Synopsis: Feyre is immortal.

After rescuing her lover Tamlin from a wicked Faerie Queen, she returns to the Spring Court possessing the powers of the High Fae. But Feyre cannot forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people – nor the bargain she made with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court.

As Feyre is drawn ever deeper into Rhysand’s dark web of politics and passion, war is looming and an evil far greater than any queen threatens to destroy everything Feyre has fought for. She must confront her past, embrace her gifts and decide her fate.

She must surrender her heart to heal a world torn in two.

Publisher: Bloombsbury

Date Published: May 3, 2016

Date Read: May 24, 2016

No. Of Pages: 624

Source: National Book Store

REVIEW

A Court of Mist and Fury? more like A Court of Serious Case of Book Hangover and Too Much Attachment over Fictional Characters.

Warning: Welcome to the world where everything is not what they seem. If you want the agony of liking a character and then cursing them in the end or vice versa, or possibly running the risk of being attached to a ship that could sink any moment, then be my guest. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Oh my Cauldron! This book totally outdid the the first, I could not even begin to fathom how the third book would be like. I’m tingling with happiness, and some emotions I can’t quite name, and a tad bit sad all at once. It was as surreal as it could get. It has been a long time since I felt like this reading a fantasy book. I’m latching on to every idea of the book, I could not let go of it just yet, I want to savor it over and over. I had my issues, still (which I will talk about a little later), but the way SJM concluded the book was just truly amazing, hats off on this one. I hope I could give this book justice. I’ll try my best.

I have to admit this now, I had a change of heart. In ACOTAR I was Team Tamlin through and through, who could blame me? It didn’t actually sit well with me the fact that Rhysand’s actions were painted in a romantic way, which to be honest I found very alarming and wrong in so many levels as I have mentioned in my review on A Court of Thorns and Roses. But then, the book took a 360 degree turn and changed everything. My change of heart wasn’t instant, no, it was not like how Feyre instantly fell in love with Tamlin in Book 1. But it happened gradually. I had to convince myself that there was something more under all the facade of Rhysand. To say the least, I was trying to convince myself, I was looking for all the redeeming qualities, I was looking for great character development – and I got it, it was served to me in a quilt box with beautiful ribbon tied around it.

First, I have to say this book floored me. It was beautifully crafted, the complexities of the plot was presented in an engaging way, gripping its readers from the first page to the last. And oh what a satisfying feeling to finish this beast of a book. It is a well-thought-out sequel. I am going to say this now, this book did not suffer the proverbial Second Book Syndrome, this book surpassed the first book’s greatness and even beyond it. The story really came together, making it more solid and more polished. I commend how SJM weaved all the intricate details and make all its connection unto each other. The world was painted in a beautiful light, with the abundance of great imagery and on-point descriptions of each scene, it sure served my imagination well. , SJM sure knows how to set the mood for every scene. Reading this book was definitely a journey.

Second, the characters. Well, Feyre still annoyed the shit out of me. Still hated her for being indecisive and stubborn to a fault, and probably too caught up with herself – as if every damn thing is about her. Wake up woman, NOT everything is about you. Haha if it is not too obvious that she gets under my skin, then I don’t know what will make it obvious. I know a great deal of the book sprung from what happened to her during the last chapters of the first book, but she was just a part of a bigger picture. I wish her character wasn’t too self-centered? (for lack of a better term). There are things that have been convenient, case in point: Feyre’s powers. Then Rhysand, o Rhysand! As I have mentioned Rhysand’s character didn’t instantly win me over, I wasn’t exactly the proverbial moth to the flame. His character definitely needed some getting used to on my part, well, this is my observation, it is like ACOTAR Rhysand (which was douche, for me at least) and ACOMAF Rhysand are two very different characters. It was a complete shocker how his character turned from worst to best. He was literally zero to hero. I was Team Tamlin, if you haven’t noticed already (operative word here: WAS), but then all this great backstory and explanation why Rhysand is what he is actually made so much more sense in this book. I’m not saying I instantly forgave what he did in book1, but book 2 served as enlightenment to his true character and how “noble” he is, in the most “noble” Rhysand could possibly be. ACOMAF was indeed a revelation, not only of Rhysand’s character but of the whole back story. Rhysand’s history is rich and thoroughly explained, which I appreciate a lot. I appreciate how SJM took her sweet time to lay out everything, how each and every detail was explained down to the very dot. And then Tamlin, again ACOTAR Tamlin and ACOMAF Tamlin can very well be two different characters. Tamlin went from hero to zero. I lost him somewhere between him losing control of his rage and the too-controlling/too possessive high lord that he secretly was. I didn’t expect his character to be lackluster, and I tell you, more than half of the book he isn’t even there. This could very well be one of my issues, it felt like one of the main characters was just ignored a great deal if not entirely. It’s like the book could actually do away with his character, which was a little disappointing since Tamlin’s character was brimming with potential, but was not brought to its full capacity. There could have been so much to do with his character, so much room to play around. And all we got was few chapters in the beginning and even fewer chapters in the end. I don’t know if it was a writing technique, but I was not buying it.

Now to the other characters. ACOMAF introduced new and interesting characters. My new favorites were Amren, Azriel, Mor and Cassian. Damn these guys are all badass in their own ways. Literally #SquadGoals haha! I would love to be friends with them. And hey Jurian, what’s up with this weirdo? Haha. He was unnecessary to me much like Feyre’s father, ooops! SJM, I noticed, has a habit of making a character very likable at first and then as the story went on you will end up hating them or vice versa. Definitely toying with reader’s emotions. I’m not so sure if I like that or not. Let’s just say, there’s not much consistency on the characters, especially the major ones *insert TAMLIN and Rhysand*

The whole plot twist(s), gahhh there have been so many things going on. It was a cobweb of complex plot and even more complex idea as to where the book is leading its readers. There was this war coming, and then the mortal queens, and the cauldron and the book, and everything else. Skip one page and you will be lost. This book sure needed all the attention one could possibly muster. It was convoluted but it was what the book required, if anything the complexities of it all added extra flavor to the book and the whole series. Making the reader eager to know where the story will take them. There’s just so many room to play with, so many ideas to work with. There was this sense of meeting one’s expectation and so much more. The ending though, I know there are still a lot of things to resolve, but the ending sure gave me eh? moments, but something I could easily shrug off because the whole book compensated whatever issues I had. It was not flawless, much like every book there is, but this book definitely made a promise and it definitely delivered. This book was intense and gripping, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It was such a great experience to be completely immersed to the world SJM created, it was so good while it lasted and now I have to suffer a whole year to get the answers I needed, but don’t worry I’ll live. There just so much more to look forward to!

Rating: images

“To the people who look at the stars and wish, Rhys.”
Rhys clinked his glass against mine. “To the stars who listen— and the dreams that are answered.”
Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Mist and Fury

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge: Book Review

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Synopsis: Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl’s journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Date Published: January 28, 2014

No. of Pages: 346

Date Read: April 2016

Source: Fully Booked

REVIEW

Great premise, poor execution.

Oh no, I don’t know how to begin this one.

So when I heard that this one was a Beauty and The Beast retelling I knew then I had to read it. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite childhood fairytale and anything with premise like it appealed to me so much. So naturally, I did expect – a little too much I guess. Well it happens to the best of us, right? When a book sounded that it would be right up your alley, add the fact that it is a retelling of one of your favorite fairytales and all the hype surrounding it, one cannot NOT expect. I mean you’ve been teased enough already, you have no other option but put your whole trust into it. This is why I shy away from reading hyped books, I’m afraid that the hype wouldn’t live up to its promise. And that’s what happened here.

Cruel beauty had the perfect premise, what could possibly go wrong? Apparently, a lot. But let me tell you first about the good points. The mention of Mythology was a plus point for me, thanks to this book for another mythology lesson, some of it I already forgot. I liked how the book revolved into the story of greek gods or how they played an enormous part on the overall plot of the book. This added spice into it. Another good point is the uniqueness of the setting, with all the rooms that changes every time, the Hearts (fire, earth, water, air). The element of fantasy was well played out as well.

Now to the issues I had with this book. Let me tell you first that I was confused most of the time. The book really tested my attention skill. It was the only book that I put down every two paragraphs, I don’t know what’s wrong with me when I was reading it. It just wasn’t able to grip me the way a good book should. I always find myself rereading paragraphs because my mind tends to wander off  in the middle of every page, which gets me so frustrated. I found it really hard to concentrate. I don’t know if it is just a case of bad timing or the book is just not doing it for me.

Another issue, was the love triangle. It was weird, for lack of a better term. Just, no. Im not really digging it. Add the instalove (which by now we are all aware of, but for those who has been living under a rock – instalove is instant love, when characters suddenly fell in love with one another with not much basis, when there was the littlest development on their relationship. Much like instant ramen – it will kill you with all its MSG haha. So there’s that. I didn’t quite sit well with me that at one moment Nyx really hated the Gentle Lord and just like that, at another page she loved him completely. NOPE. Just don’t. She was bound to kill the Gentle Lord and save Arcadia for crying out loud, not go falling in love with that Demon – it could have been acceptable if the Gentle Lord did something so grand and profound to warrant Nyx’s love, but as far I remember there was no such thing. So where does this love come from? And can I say Nyx was the most inconsistent character I have ever come across with. She contradicts herself most of the time, at first you’ll understand that she was torn between saving Arcadia and loving the Gentle Lord but as the story went on, it annoyed the wits out of me. I hated that the first 50 pages of the book was  just Nyx whining how much she hated her father for the bargain he had with the Gentle Lord, how she hated her sister and loved her at the same time, for hating that she’d be the one to marry the demon and not her sweet sister and blah blah blah. All this can be condensed into 5 pages or so, but no it went on and on and on.

The book had loose ends, it wasn’t as polished as I hoped it to be. It was very noticeable that the author was in the process of trial and error, testing what works and what doesn’t. I cannot say that this wasn’t my cup of tea, because it is. Fantasy and retelling will always be my favorite, but this book fell a little short. Would i pick up another Rosamund Hodge book? Well yes, I heard Crimson Bound is better than Cruel Beauty so I will still definitely give it a try. Who knows, I might like it. It really had a potential, but the execution wasn’t as solid as I have expected. Based from the issues I had you may think that this is a bad book, but no it isn’t, I enjoyed it nonetheless, it just wasn’t for me I guess.

Rating: FiveStarsInline3.svg

“They said that love was terrifying and tender, wild and sweet, and none of it made any sense.
But now I knew that every mad word was true.”
― Rosamund HodgeCruel Beauty