Title: A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses #4)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: February 16th, 2021
Genre: Adult – Romance – Fantasy
My rating in stars:
My rating in words:
I loved it!
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
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.
MY THOUGHTS (spoiler-free):
“So Nesta became a wolf. Armed herself with invisible teeth and claws, and learned to strike faster, deeper, more lethally. Had relished it. But when the time came to put away the wolf, she’d found it had devoured her, too.”
I have to admit that for a while there, I wasn’t super excited for this book. Even though I loved the original Court of Thorns and Roses series, I was very hesitant for more. Partly because I felt like I’d had enough of fae and mates and all that jazz and partly because I just wasn’t super interested in Nesta. But then I re-read the previous books in preparation of A Court of Silver Flames and it’s like I fell in love all over again. I rediscovered why I LOVE Sarah J. Maas’s stories and that excitement was the perfect state of mind to start ACOSF.
A Court of Silver Flames was, to me, a shining example of everything I love about SJM books. To me, she delivered on all of the below:
This book is about Nesta’s journey and character development, no doubt about it. At the beginning of the book, Nesta is in a very hurt, painful place. She’s been through a lot in the past few books and she is obviously suffering from her trauma, PTSD and guilt. She’s lashing out and is not a very pleasant person. But throughout the book, we see her work through it, bit by bit, with ups and downs. And while I didn’t care about her so much when starting, I found myself rooting for her more and more throughout the book and wanted to scream at other characters (that I previously loved) for how they treated her. Overall, though the start was very painful, Nesta’s journey is so hopeful and empowering to read about.
SJM creates some of the best found families and this one is no exception. After Feyre found her family, her court, in the original trilogy, it was painful to see Nesta reject them all so completely. But I should have trusted SJM, because Nesta found her own “family” and did it all her way. And it was just as epic. I loved the characters of Gwyn and Emerie and I loved the idea of these women, all broken in their own ways, by their own pasts, who found each other and saw each other as they were and as they could be. The Valkyrie trio was easily my most favorite part of this entire book. Reading their scenes made me laugh, made me cry, gave me hope and made me feel ready to take on the world.
The romance. I mean smut.
I love a good romance and Nesta and Cassian were certain to bring all the bantery chemistry. I was so looking forward to seeing their romance enfold, as I knew it would be glorious and sizzling. And I was so rewarded. Though I have to state the obvious here: beware of the smut. SJM warned that this is the dirtiest book she had written so far and I wholeheartedly agree. If the previous books were too smutty for you, I don’t think you’ll like this one. I was a little smutted out myself by the end there and would have liked some more gooey, lovey scenes instead. But then again, that wouldn’t feel right for Nesta and Cassian.
Though some may say SJM’s ending tend to be overdramatic, I believe they have just the right amount of drama for me. Her ending chapters always keep me on the edge of my seat, unable to set my book down, gasping and crying and just so immensely entranced by the story that I had to mention it here. This was another epic ending and I am so here for it.
Some tiny things though.
As much as I LOVED this book and will definitely re-read it many, many times in the future, I still have a few nitpicks that kept me from giving it a full five star rating. I’m trying to keep it vague so I don’t give spoilers. Mainly, I did not like the choices some characters made. One of my favorite characters made a choice that made me dislike them quite a bit actually. Also, like I said before, I REALLY didn’t like how everyone treated Nesta. Yes, she was nasty but some of those comments were completely uncalled for. Another thing is, I know there are more books coming, but I felt like the ending left too many questions open. And I’m also not certain how I feel about a certain trope coming back AGAIN here.
Overall though, I highly enjoyed A Court of Silver Flames. I’d highly recommend it to anyone who loved the original ACOTAR trilogy, anyone who loves SJM’s writing of character journeys, found families and romance, and anyone who doesn’t mind a lot of steam in their reads.
“Gwyn whispered, “I am the rock against which the surf crashes.” Nesta straightened at the words, as if they were a prayer and a summons. Gwyn lifted the blade. “Nothing can break me.”
“That’s the key, isn’t it? To know the darkness will always remain, but how you choose to face it, handle it… that’s the most important part. To not let it consume. To focus upon the good, the things that fill you with wonder.” She gestured to the stars zooming past. “The struggle with that darkness is worth it, just to see such things.”
“Cassian leaned to whisper in her ear, “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.”
“I want to take the road that no one dares travel, and I want to travel it with you two. No matter what may befall us. Not as Illyrians, not for their titles but as something new . To prove to them, to everyone, that something new and different might triumph over their rules and restrictions.”
“I am going to tell you that you will get through it. That you will face 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 still feel that tinge of pain, but there is another side. A better side.”