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.
Synopsis from Goodreads
It's finally here! I only read the ACOTAR series last year and I feel like I've waited forever for A Court of Silver Flames to be published, so I can only imagine how long the wait felt for those who read the original trilogy years ago. So while the wait was long, I felt like it was completely worth it. Maas has given us a massive book worthy of the journey that Nesta (and Cassian) goes on to find herself again.
Quick note: the original trilogy was Young Adult, but ACOSF is fully an Adult Fantasy novel. This is a very important distinction as it allows Maas to write some very smutty scene scenes and I would strongly advise that younger readers not pick up this book until they are older.
So Much To Love: Characters, Training, and Potential Next Story
I told my friend that Maas is the best at writing an entire book where somehow so much and yet nothing really happens...and I still love it! Nesta gains so much in this book, and so do we: new characters courtesy of Emerie and Gwen, Valkeryies and new training, and little tidbits of what might happen in a future book (honestly, how do Cassian and Nesta not realize that Azriel basically falling in love with Elain and doesn’t know what to do about it?!). Her journey brings us into a whole new aspect of the Fae world, and the dual perspective of Cassian and Nesta gives us so much to love. HOWEVER, there are so many things that are unanswered and the climatic scenes between Nesta and one of the human queens is over in a blink. Maas leaves us hanging on what will happen with the other queens, the wizard, Vassa, Lucien and Joren, poor Tamlin in the Spring Court and a slew of other things. Again, only Maas could write a massive tome of a novel and somehow avoid ALL of these other plot lines.
Story About Healing After Trauma
After reading A Court of Frost and Starlight (my review is here), it's clear that Nesta is having an incredibly hard time after the trauma of becoming High Fae and her father's death, so of course this book would need to address that. I thought that her journey was incredibly well written, with us seeing Cassian's perspective and well as Nesta's as she learns to forgive and heal herself. There were so many excellent take-away moments, but what I think was beautifully done is that Cassian never gives up on her. Everything we know about mental health and trauma tells us that we cannot give up on the ones we love, especially when they are clearly hurting. It's not an easy or comfortable journey - and it's clear how the other characters have a hard time connecting with Nesta - but providing that support can make all the difference in someone's life.
Transition from YA to Adult Was Jarring
Yes, I'm talking about the sex scenes again. I think the biggest hurdle this book had to overcome was moving from the Young Adult to Adult genre and I'm sorry to say that I don't know why that move happened. Because the original trilogy was YA (and the sex was already way more graphic than any other YA novel I've ever read) it's safe to assume that it would be the same audience reading this book. Which begs the question, why the change in genres? As a friend and I were saying, it would be like JK Rowling coming out with another Harry Potter book as an Adult book and including intense sex between Harry and Ginny. There's absolutely nothing wrong with sex in novels, but these moments were jarring to read (and I honestly wondered if Maas had pulled scenes straight from erotica novels....).
Overall, I loved this book and can't wait to read it again. It was everything I could hope for Nesta and I loved watching her fall in love with Cassian. However, the sex scenes were jarring (to say the least) and often felt unnecessary in the story. While I'd once again caution younger readers to wait before picking up this book, I think that older fans of the series will love it!
What did you think of A Court of Silver Flames? Did it live up to your expectations?
FINAL RATING: 4.5/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
Follow Me on Instagram