In all honesty, I had no idea what I’d think of this book going in. Let’s just say that after the A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy, I was not a fan of one Nesta Archeron. However, I was very curious to see how Sarah J. Maas would approach her story, and so I started this book eagerly on release day. Did I like this book? Did my feelings about Nesta change? Read my review to find out.
Star rating: 5 stars (Spoiler alert, this is my favourite Sarah J. Maas book now.)
I’ll admit I was sceptical about opening up this world again but I was absolutely wrong. Nesta Archeron is an absolute queen and I am officially a stan now. We open the book in a similar place to the end of A Court of Frost and Starlight, with Nesta revelling in alcohol and sex, isolated from her sisters and their new Night Court family. They decide to extract Nesta from her life of seedy taverns (and seedy males), giving her an ultimatum. She must live with Cassian in the House of Wind until she heals.
Don’t get me wrong, the romance in this book is great, but where it really shines is in Nesta’s journey. It was going to take a miracle to make me like her, but I felt her pain almost instantly and was completely drawn into her story. She is far from perfect, but a completely engaging character with so much depth. Nesta’s relationship with the House of Wind is unique and heart-warming, and the friendships she developed with some of the other characters had me in tears at times (both happy and sad).
This is a book about overcoming the self-loathing that comes with trauma, and it does not let the reader forget Nesta’s experiences. It incorporates exercise, mindfulness, purpose and friendship to show Nesta and her new friends’ healing journeys. We also get more insight into the history between Nesta and Feyre and the complexities of their relationship and how fractured their family had become. Sarah J. Maas has grown dramatically as a writer, this was not an easy story to tell and she did it with such care and empathy for her character.
Not forgetting Cassian, who has is own demons to deal with. I enjoyed his arc too, loved the journey Nesta and he went on together. There is so much more depth to him in this book too, giving him a role that distinguishes him from Azriel. I wasn’t that drawn to him in the original trilogy, but that has all changed. (But oh, there is so much smut in this, no holding back from Sarah J. Maas this time).
Overall, I loved this book. It was heart-breaking and heart-warming, and ended so perfectly that I wouldn’t change a thing. Mostly, the empowerment of women is such a strong story and I felt every word.
Will you be picking up A Court of Silver Flames? Let me know! I hope I get to be united with these characters again (Azriel book please?).