Review: A Court of Frost and Starlight - Sarah J. Maas
Hope warms the coldest night.
Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve.
Yet even the festive atmosphere can't keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated--scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.
Please note, this is a re-read review. I tried very hard to keep out any opinions I knew were influenced by the fact that I know what happens in the story. Thus, spoiler warning ahead. Please don't continue if you don't want to be potentially spoiled.
"Three Illyrian warriors," I said. "The greatest Illyrian warriors. Are having a snowball fight."
A Court of Frost and Starlight is a lighthearted, feel good novella that is set a few months after the events of ACOWAR and sees the Inner Circle celebrating the Winter Solstice. It's a good transition novella, and we can see the family celebrate the end of the war and just get to spend time with each other in a more carefree environment. It's an easy "happily ever after" story. It sets up future novels extremely well, leaving tidbits here and there of strings that can be pulled and turned into full length novels later.
This is the first book of the series that really had true multiple POVs. It was AMAZING. I really enjoyed that Feyre and Rhysand's POVs were in first person, but the others were in third person. It kept still centered on Rhys and Feyre, while still giving us a glimpse of the others. It never felt hard to follow, like some multiple POV books can. Each character had such a distinct inner voice that it was very easy to distinguish who was talking.
Not everything is sunshine and rainbows though. Everyone is still reeling from the war, and it shows. The inner circle, especially Feyre are helping the city to rebuild, and it brings up emotions that aren't as pleasant as one would think around the holidays. But they are needed. The development of how Feyre deals with these feelings while helping Velaris to rebuild is both powerful and empowering.
I really enjoyed getting to see Cassian's more serious side, especially when it came to the training of the Illyrian females. It's obvious it means a lot to him, and it provided some strong character development for him. Cassian is more than just the General with a heap of killing power and an even more killer sense of humor. He cares deeply, and it's so nice to get to see more of that in this.
It was also fantastic getting to see more of Azriel's sense of humor. We got a taste of it in the past few books, but he really gets to shine in this one. Making jokes with Cassian and Feyre, teasing Amren, enjoying the snowball fight with Cassian and Rhys, it was just very nice to see him relax a little and make jokes. I'm very interested in seeing more of Azriel and learning more about him.
We even got some Mor POV chapters in this! I love Mor. She's so resilient and empowering. I want to read more about her and how she deals with Keir and Eris, and the Court of Nightmares coming to Velaris. She's such a strong character, and it's interesting to read about her insights and learn more about her other than just what we've seen from Rhys and Feyre. I also want to see more of her estate! That was such an interesting little nugget.
I also want to know more, a lot more, about Lucien, Jurian, and Vassa! The Band of Exiles is fascinating and I want to see how they work with the humans and try to end Vassa's curse. I need it actually.
Tamlin is finally seemingly regretful for his actions... and I do feel bad for him in this book. But I still think he's deserving of what he's brought on himself. A redemption arc for his character would be really cool to see though.
Okay, you've all been waiting patiently. Cassian and Nesta. The angst in this book, oh my goodness. I have many thoughts and feelings about this. So Cassian and Nesta had some ~moments_ in the war... yet neither have approached each other now that the war has ended. Cassian doesn't seem to want to talk about it, and it seems like Nesta is seriously suffering from the trauma she experienced.
And that brings us to my biggest bone of contention with this book. Why the hell is everyone treating Nesta like shit for how she's dealing with her trauma. No one pushed Feyre, no one pushed Elain, but Nesta is taking longer to get over her trauma than they think she should, so suddenly, she's a terrible person? She has every right to deal with her trauma however she sees fit and to not be judged for it. No one judged Feyre or Elain, yet they're all so quick, even Cassian, to jump at Nesta and make her out to be a bad person. Cassian even admits that it took years after his first war to feel okay, yet they won't even give Nesta a few months???? It annoys me.
Nesta is obviously suffering, and while the rest of them seem to understand that, they don't really see just how MUCH she is suffering. They instead judge her for being a recluse and for drinking and for having casual sex. An no one ever stops to think that she just needs help and more time to come to terms with what has happened to her. She beheaded Hybern after watching him kill her father. Give the girl some space and time to process.
My one hope for A Court of Silver Flames is that Nesta is not villanized and that she gets the same understanding and patience that the Inner Circle gave to Feyre when she first came to them. I also want Nesta and Cassian to figure out their feelings, but I'm flexible on that. I like a good slow burn.
If you've read ACOFAS, what are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments! Only 4 more days until A Court of Silver Flames releases!