Book Review: A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah.J Maas, ACOTAR #5
Ok, so first thing I'm going to address is my rating of four stars. I don't actually think this is a four star book, for me it is definitely a five, but instead I decided to do my rating in comparison to SJMs other books - otherwise I'll just be rating them all as five stars until the end of time! I did really enjoy ACOSF and devoured it in less than a day, but it wasn't quite as good as the other ACOTAR books in my opinion, hence the slightly lower rating. It was still amazing though, and I loved diving back into the work of Prythian where I secretly wish I lived!
I do think that the anticipation and hype in the lead up to publication day did get to me a little. ACOFAS was published in 2018, so its been nearly three years since the last instalment, and really ACOFAS was more of a filler book than a full on story, so it's been more like four years of waiting. And oh my goodness, has it been a long few years! Because this has been such a highly anticipated book, for me and for everyone else, it meant I went in with very high expectations that were pretty hard to live up to!
The first thing I found strange was the narrative. When SJM writes from Feyre's perspective it's in first person, whereas for Cassian and Nesta's story she chose to go third. We all know that SJM slays regardless of how she writes, but having been used to first person in the previous books it took me a little bit of time to adjust. We did get a preview of this in ACOFAS with the few Cassian chapters there, so I was slightly prepared.
ACOSF focuses on Nesta and Cassian's story nearly a year after the war with Hybern. Nesta hasn't been able to cope with her trauma alone, and her family finally decides to step in and give her some tough love, which was long overdue. I'll be honest, Nesta hasn't been my favourite character in the SJM world. She's fierce, which I do like, but her personality was a little too grating for me. She did thaw out in this book which I was happy to see, but I wouldn't say that she'd completely redeemed herself to me by the end of this book. However, she's now on the right path to it so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the future books.
I love Cassian, but I did feel like his perspective got a little bit overshadowed by Nesta. I would have loved to see a bit more of Cassian interacting with the rest of the Night Court. It felt at times like the majority of the book was Nesta and Cassian arguing or fighting, and I missed my other favourite members of the inner circle.
What I did love though was Nesta's friendship with Gwyn and Emerie! Their ambition to restart the Valkyrie was what carried the plot for me, and I was so excited when they all completed the Rite! I'm really hoping we see more of those two in later books. I also loved how they used each other's strengths to help them heal, it was very touching and almost empowering to read.
There have been subtle hints here and there about something between Elain and Azriel which I am all for! I just want Az to fall for someone and be happy as I'm feeling pretty sorry for him, being the only of his brothers without a mate.
All in all, a pretty darn great book!
Read the summary below:
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.