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.
Well it’s been three years but Sarah J. Maas is back with A Court of Silver Flames proving once again that nobody writes wounded characters like she does.
Now before I launch into my review, a quick disclaimer. This review is completely spoiler free but there’s no way to talk about A Court of Silver Flames without talking about the rest of the series. So, if you haven’t read A Court of Thorns and Roses [umm…where the heck have you BEEN???] this probably isn’t the post for you.
A Court of Silver Flames is the newest installment of the internationally bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series. But the first thing you need to know is that A Court of Silver Flames is by no means YA. This is a series that always toed the line but A Court of Silver Flames is STEAMY. And, you’ll probably want to throw away any expectations following A Court of Frost and Starlight because this wasn’t the book I thought it would be. Months have passed since that fateful solstice and the rumbling in the camps have already been resolved off page.
But, that only means that A Court of Silver Flames is never predictable. I mean, by the midpoint, this book could have gone ANYWHERE and I loved that I was always left guessing.
A Court of Silver Flames sure as heck doesn’t waste any time. Right off the bat we’re thrown straight in to the court politics so if you find your memory’s a little rusty I’d consider re-reading the original books first. There’s plenty of old familiar faces but Sarah J Maas also introduces some new characters which work to add a new dynamic to the very much beloved series. You can definitely tell the world of Prythian is expanding and I can’t wait to see where Sarah takes us next.
Anyway, A Court of Silver Flames is Nesta’s book. Now, I’ve never really been a huge fan of Nesta Acheron. Nesta is spiteful, vindictive and selfish – I was honestly weary of reading an entire novel from her point of view. But, trust me when I say there’s absolutely no need to worry. By the end of it all, Nesta is sure to become your new favorite character. And her dynamic with Emerie and Gwyn is EVERYTHING.
Speaking of, I loved the focus on friendship and female dynamics because honestly, it’s so empowering. From the very first moment we met Emerie in A Court of Frost and Starlight I knew she was going to be a favorite – and I wasn’t wrong. But putting Emerie, Gwyn and Nesta together? Freaking ICONIC. Literally the stuff of legends. These three females claw their way out of their dark, traumatic pasts, helping each other heal and find acceptance. It was so beautiful to watch their relationship develop and honestly, I think their bond surpassed that of any other SJM friendship.
And don’t even get me started on Nesta’s relationship with Cassian because HOLY FREAKING
SHIT THEY’RE MY NEW FAVORITE SJM COUPLE. Cassian’s patience and willingness to be whatever Nesta needed was so refreshing and sweet. And it’s developed oh so slowly which keeps those pages turning.
Another thing, I really appreciated was how ~adult~ A Court of Silver Flames felt. I mean, it was VERY hot and heavy and I was 100% here for it. Especially because I love the idea of Nesta going for what she wanted.
But, as much as I loved A Court of Silver Flames I did have a couple of issues with it. [And this is a serious first because I’m usually singing nothing but praise for Sarah J. Maas].
First of all, this book kind of puts a dampener on the Inner Circle. Everyone felt as though they were acting out of character and some actually… annoyed me? *Clutches peals*. Maybe it’s because we were in Nesta’s head, but one character in particular came across as especially toxic and aggressive.
The other issue I had was the final act. Without going into spoilers, I just wanted more.
A Court of Silver Flames is a LONG book but said final act felt rushed. Like Sarah J. Maas suddenly had to sum everything up in a hundred pages. Nesta’s journey builds towards an earth shattering climax, and I would have loved another hundred pages detailing that thing with Emerie and Gwyn. I mean, GIVE ME THOSE DETAILS! PLUNGE ME STRAIGHT INTO THE ACTION!
But semantics – A Court of Silver Flames is still EPIC.
Compared to the other novels in the series, A Court of Silver Flames definitely felt more character driven and you can really tell that Sarah J. Maas pulled from some of her own experiences with mental health. There’s still plenty of action and politics but the narrative really focuses on Nesta and her journey of healing. Nesta despises herself and it gets dark. But that’s what makes this book so beautiful – the focus on self-love, forgiveness and overcoming trauma.
In the end, A Court of Silver Flames was an amazing journey and definitely worth the wait. BUT it didn’t ~exactly~ live up to my expectations and it didn’t emotionally destroy me like I wanted it to. Which is why I had to knock off half a star. Is it my favorite book by Sarah J. Maas? Unfortunately no. Am I sad it’s over? Sure, but I haven’t left with a raging hangover like I did with Crescent City. That said, A Court of Silver Flames will always hold a special place for it’s mental health representation alone and I cannot wait to see how the rest of this series evolves with these characters.
Also, be on the lookout for a brief sort-of cameo. Blink and you’ll miss it [if you know you know]. 😉