I finally was able to read my copy of ACOSF and I loved it. I connected with Nesta’s journey a lot and found ways to help myself heal through her story, so if you’re not a fan of SJM and were planning on coming to my blog to harass me for reading this book, please don’t. I know SJM is a polarized author, I know not everyone supports her, but her books have really helped me face my own trauma and mental health and I appreciate her writing about those experiences.
Please remember to be kind and that everyone has their own story to tell. Thank you.
A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas
Published: February 16, 2021
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
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 copy of this book arrived several days after release date, on Friday the 19th to exact, and I was not letting anything stop me from reading this. I read the first 211 pages that night and the remaining 557 the next day, finishing at the 20th hour mark. Excluding sleep, it took me about 8 or so hours to read this book in its entirety while also making sure I was reading slowly, not unconsciously devouring it. I honestly couldn’t have read this faster if I wanted to – I savored each detail, each line, each paragraph for as long as I could.
And oh my gosh I love this book!
As a huge fantasy nerd, and a big SJM nerd, I knew I was going to love this book. Nesta has been a favorite character of mine since ACOWAR (A Court of Wings and Ruin) because I could relate to her experiences with trauma and how she ultimately handled it. I could see the struggles I have experienced myself and gone “wow, that’s me!” in Nesta and so getting to see her work through her struggles made me so happy. It gave me hope that I could do it too.
One thing I did have trouble with in this book was the smut. I am not a big smut reader, well I’m not a smut reader at all really, so all of the smutty sex scenes had me blushing hard. I honestly contemplated skipping past them, but I wasn’t sure if there was any relevant information to the plot, so I suffered through them – hint: there was no relevant information to the plot. SJM mentioned that this was her smuttiest book yet, and while I’m sure there are many readers who appreciate that, I was not one of them. This book is 60% plot, 40% smut – about 300 pages could have been knocked out if you took out all of the sex and was just left with the plot.
I don’t mind romance and sex in books, I mean, come on, I’m an engaged woman! Sex and romance is the way of the world. But reading in depth about the sexual escapades of Nesta and Cassian was a little too much for my poor heart. If you don’t want to read the smutty scenes, good news, you don’t have to! There’s nothing that you will miss other than the progression of Nesta and Cassian’s relationship – all of the other major plot points occur outside of those scenes.
In terms of the actual plot, I am obsessed. Nesta’s journey to recover from her trauma during the war was like pulling a tooth – you’re cringing during the process, seeing the person resisting and in pain, but once it’s been pulled free, everyone can feel the relief. I was rooting for Nesta the entire time, excited to see her slowly recover and when she made some friends and decided to help them too, I was cheering even louder from my bed! It was difficult to see Feyre as the bad guy from Nesta’s eyes though, knowing that Feyre isn’t trying to upset her sister, but help her. I found myself having to fight the urge to hate Feyre as Nesta fought the urge to get help.
But, ultimately, she does find some inner peace and tranquility and love! The friendships she makes made me so happy and wow, these girls are badass! To overcome your fear and trauma, building strength and resilience, and learning to overcome hard times was so awe inspiring. I was getting teary eyed more than once as Gwyn and Emerie learned how to heal alongside Nesta.
Plus, the scenes with Cassian and Azriel added some much needed comedy to this story. I loved getting to switch between Nesta and Cassian’s POV and see how the Night Court is holding up and what other difficulties they’re going through. I’m pretty sure there was even a mention of Aelin’s journey across the night sky in there (if you’re read Throne of Glass, you’ll know what I’m talking about). And Sarah lays down a lot of hints for other storylines and future books!
Overall, I loved Nesta’s journey and I can’t wait for more from the Night Court. I’m hoping we get an Elain and Mor novel because I need to see how their journey goes!
If you like ACOTAR, be sure to check out From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout!