A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas

Themes: Adult, fantasy, romance

The synopsis

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.

The review

As a big fan of Sarah J. Maas and the ACOTAR series, I had high hopes for this book. I am sorry to say that it disappointed me a lot.

Sarah J. Maas is clearly shifting from a YA audience to an adult one, which is not a bad idea in itself. But it is when it means that 80% (if not more) of the book is just about sex references, sex scenes, and rape/sexual assault.

I liked the fact that the world is becoming darker, with monsters and beings that are a lot more twisted than in the other books. A Court of Siler Flames is placed in the continuity of the action of the last book, with the unsolved issue of the mortal queens, and in the further development of the world. This book is more focused on the characters and their psychology than on the action, which was ok for me since I wanted to know more about Nesta. But to be honest, she and the other female characters were the only ones of any interest. They are showing how humans deal with grief and culpability. I find Sarah J. Maas very skilled in writing emotions and here I was trapped with Nesta in her spiral towards depression and self-loathing. The transition from the waste of one’s capacities to something more useful was well written in the case of Nesta, who is learning bit by bit how to manage her emotions and new powers to help the ones she loves. I also liked to see how the other characters are struggling to understand her behaviour and decisions. The use of transitions between Nesta’s and Cassian’s points of view helped a lot to see the different opinions and reactions to what Nesta was doing.

However, I found the other characters to be shallow and tasteless. Cassian is the copy of Maas’s other male characters and did not bring much to the story (apart from his involvement in its smutty side). The plot was very predictable and lacked the action/development I expected and wanted. Indeed, at the start of the book, I thought it will deal with the mortal queens and Koschei but we only had a bit of spying on them and one of the queens suddenly materialising at the end.

In brief: I think this book is the perfect illustration of a series that is continued because of its success but is losing its flavour. I liked the idea of discovering more of Nesta and I’ll probably read the next books, but with much lower expectations.

My rating: 2.5/5

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