The Mud and Stars Book Blog

thoughts from a girl who spends her days in other worlds…

Here’s why I think ‘A Court of Mist and Fury’ deserves ALL the stars

on July 15, 2016

Spoiler alert: this review will contain spoilers for the first book, A Court of Thorns and Roses. Cover your eyes!!!

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A Court of Mist and Fury. Sarah J. Maas. Bloomsbury. May 2016.

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.


I finished reading A Court of Mist and Fury about a month ago now, and I’ve been struggling to review it ever since. Mainly because the most accurate description of how I felt about this book would probably be 10,000 lines of heart-eyed emojis…

giphy (48)

As you can probably tell from my emoji review, I ADORED this book! When I finished A Court of Thorns and Roses, I rated the book 5 stars, but if that book was 5 stars, we need an entirely different rating system for this one, because it was infinitely superior. If the third book in this series is BETTER than ACOMAF, I am going to lose all ability to even.

I had my reservations going into ACOMAF because I was worried about the potential love triangle with Rhysand. I liked Tamlin in the first book, and found Rhysand to be a very shady character indeed. However, barely 60 pages into ACOMAF my opinions of both characters had changed dramatically, and I ended up switching allegiances THOROUGHLY.

At the beginning of ACOMAF, Tamlin is acting like a controlling, suffocatingly possessive douchebag. As I think I mentioned in a previous book tag, there’s a sex scene early on in the book, and the word ‘branding’ is used. UGH. That pretty much sums up Tamlin’s behaviour. He may as well be pissing all over Feyre and marking his territory. He frankly disgusted me. My dislike for Tamlin continued to grow throughout the book, and by the end I really was feeling quite violent towards him.

Some people who felt less favourably about this book than myself felt Tamlin had some kind of personality transplant in ACOMAF. Personally I felt his character development made a lot of sense. There’s no way that you can go through what Tamlin and Feyre went through ‘under the mountain’ and come out the other side the same person. Tamlin was powerless whilst he was being held captive by Amarantha. He witnessed unspeakable scenes, saw the woman he loved tortured, and couldn’t do a thing to help her. It’s understandable that he would become possessive in the aftermath of something so horrific. NOT THAT THAT MAKES IT OKAY.

Tamlin’s character development didn’t come out of thin air either. Tamlin *was* overprotective in the first book, and he did sometimes treat Feyre like a child who wasn’t allowed to know what was going on. I gave him the benefit of the doubt in the first book, but what their relationship evolved into in this book was abuse pure and simple.

What I liked about this book is that Tamlin’s behaviour was *not* romanticized. Feyre recognised that her relationship had become unhealthy and that she didn’t deserve to be treated that way. I’ve waited so long for a book to actually portray abusive relationships for what they are, so I give nothing but the biggest rounds of applause to SJM for doing so!

I liked Feyre in the first book – I found her to be a courageous character, but not a flawless Mary Sue – she had to really fight for her survival and it didn’t come easily for her. My respect and admiration for Feyre skyrocketed in this book – she really comes into her own, and has so much more agency than before. She doesn’t let anyone boss her around, she’s completely her own boss, and a badass one at that.

Feyre’s character development in this book was one of the most realistic and impressive things for me. I’ve read so many novels where the protagonist has to kill someone and it barely affects them afterwards. I liked that SJM showed how what Feyre was forced to do under the mountain affected her psychologically, and changed something inside of her. Feyre is suffering from PTSD and depression several months after her ordeal, and this plotline was not wrapped up quickly and brushed aside, but was treated realistically instead – as something which continued to affect her, especially when confronted with situations which reminded her of that experience.

My favourite thing by far about this book was Rhysand. As I mentioned previously I had my reservations about his character, but he completely blew them out of the water. I’ve never been so thoroughly won over by a character. And I now have the most almighty of book crushes, because dear God that man made me swoon.

giphy (50)

I don’t want to go into too much detail about Rhysand, because it will be far more rewarding for you to get to know the real Rhysand yourself. So for now, let me just do some more superficial fangirling and swooning. Rhysand for me was Tamlin’s polar opposite in this book. He let Feyre be her own person and make her own decisions (not that she needed anyone to *let* her but you know what I mean…) Rhysand charmed the pants off me, and I loved his flirtations with Feyre, particularly when he was teaching her how to read and he would make her write things like this as practice:

Rhysand is the most handsome high lord.

Rhysand is the most delightful high lord.

Rhysand is the most cunning high lord.

Etc. etc.

The sexual tension in this book was EVERYTHING. No spoilers, but one scene was so steamy I had to move seats on the train so the guy sitting next to me couldn’t read over my shoulder or notice the fact that I was literally fanning myself.

giphy (46)

I enjoyed the romantic storylines in this book, but I also felt that ACOMAF had a lot more going on plot-wise than ACOTAR. The first book doesn’t contain very much action until the last 100 pages of the book, and I guess you could say the same about this one, except for some reason, nothing about this book dragged because there was always plenty going on to keep me turning the pages. This book is 600 pages long, which normally I would find intimidating, but I whizzed through it and I never felt bored. If anything, I wanted it to be longer. When I got 2/3 of the way through I had to actively slow down my reading, just so I could delay finishing it. I needed my daily dose of Rhysand to continue for as many days as I could make it!

Sorry, just realised I got a little sidetracked there and made that paragraph about Rhysand and not the plot. OOPSIE! There was much more of a plot in this book, because the characters had a real mission with real goals, and the impending threat of the King of Hybern’s army was a much more visible one than the threat of Amarantha in the first book. We knew very little about Amarantha until the very end of the book, whereas we get glimpses of the dreadful things the King is capable of in ACOMAF and the coming danger feels very real. The stakes are higher than they’ve ever been, because now it’s not just Feyre in danger, but all of Prythian, not to mention the human world beyond.

As you probably gathered, I am very in love with this book! I thought Queen of Shadows was my favourite Sarah J. Maas book to date, but now ACOMAF has stolen that place in my heart! It’s going to be an agonising wait for 2017 when the next book is due to come out. SEND HELP.

Image credit: Giphy

Have you read A Court of Mist and Fury? Do you hate Tamlin as much as I do? And would you like to fangirl over Rhys with me in the comments? YOU ARE TOTALLY WELCOME!

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21 responses to “Here’s why I think ‘A Court of Mist and Fury’ deserves ALL the stars

  1. Aura Willow says:

    This Tamlin guy sounds horrific! I actually thought this was some kind of Game of Thrones spin off when I started reading your review. At least the guy who I now picture as Aladdin ❤ came through! 600 pages!!!!!

    • mudandstars says:

      Hahah yes he really was – I hated him sooo much by the end of the book. But the other guy Rhysand is very swoony ❤ glad you enjoyed the gif haha! And haha yeah he title definitely sounds Game of Thronesey, although I'd say the author's other series (Throne of Glass) is more in that vein (although still very different). Both are awesome 😀

  2. Awww, I wanted to read your review but haven’t read the first book yet. Thanks for the spoiler warning!!

  3. I’ll admit- I skimmed this, cos I don’t want yo spoil anything- but now I’m especially excited to get to this sequel!

    • mudandstars says:

      Oooh I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! I seem to remember you weren’t a huge fan of the first book (was that you, or someone else?!) – I liked it but I think it had a few flaws – the sequel is outstanding in comparison 😀 The pacing is so much better, there’s a lot more going on – I just completely fell in love with it.

  4. Tricia says:

    This is so helpful! I was not won over by the first book, mostly for two reasons you mention here: Tamlin was not an attractive leading man to me – too aloof and “protective” – and the story felt very slow until the last 1/3. I wasn’t planning on reading the sequel, but you’ve definitely changed my mind! Thank you!

    • mudandstars says:

      Thank you, I’m so glad you found it helpful! The sequel was the far superior book in my eyes – the pacing was so much better, there was so much more going on plot-wise, and Tamlin finally gets called out for his douchey behaviour! (You will really, really hate him by the end of the book, trust me.) It took me a really long time to read the first book, and although I enjoyed it, I just didn’t find it very gripping, and I didn’t feel the need to keep picking it up. But I was completely glued to the sequel. It took over my life haha! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did 🙂

  5. Love the review and loved this book!!

  6. Gemma says:

    I tried to skim-read this so I didn’t see too many spoilers, but from your recommendation I’m going to have a read of this – sounds amazing! If you’d like to look/follow my blog, it’s https://myhappycornerblog.wordpress.com

    • mudandstars says:

      Oooh please do! It was amazing, possibly my favourite read of 2016 so far!! 🙂 Have you read any of Sarah J Maas other books? I love her so much.

      • Gemma says:

        Ah I definitely will then! No I haven’t, I’ll check her work out!

      • mudandstars says:

        Hope you enjoy it! By the way, this book is the second in a series, so if you’re going to check them out, the first book is ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ 🙂 I enjoyed both of them, but book 2 is definitely the best!

  7. Rhysand ❤️❤️ There are no words for how amazing he is! And Tamlin….I seriously wouldn’t care if he died!

    • mudandstars says:

      I know, he is perfect – I haven’t had a book crush this huge in a long time haha. And ugh totally agree with you about Tamlin – I kinda liked him in the first book, but now I hate him so much and hope he dies in the last book!!

  8. […] it by 1000%. I’ve never whizzed through a 600 page book so quickly. You can read my review here. Disclaimer: may contain […]

  9. Hey really nice review. 😘 Pls check out my blog for review of this book

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