Before I begin, considering all the controversy surrounding ACOSF recently (A Court of Silver Flames for those who don’t know), I felt it necessary to give a personal statement and disclaimer at the beginning of this review. I did buy ACOSF. I’m not going to claim I’m not supporting her because I feel that is performative (and hypocritical).
So then why am I buying her book? By talking about her characters and books I’m already supporting her. Pirating the book or waiting for a second hand option won’t change that.
In these reviews I’m going to continue to point out the problems as any good reviewer should. Maybe one day, I’ll grow out of her books and stop reading them altogether. However, I don’t know if that will happen. ACOTAR helped me survive the most difficult surgery of my life. Throne of Glass helped me survive my severe anxiety freshman year of high school.
I’m never going to stop buying and supporting books with well written, diverse representation from other authors. For those wondering why I’m also continuing to buy Maas’s books, I hope this explanation helps.
I forgot a lot of the events that happened in this series. Maas’s world building could be a lot better. Many of the rules of the magic system are unclear and the ones that aren’t are broken constantly. I mean Feyre, Rhysand and Amren are all resurrected. During the High Lords meeting, there are wards put in place to keep people from using their magic without some injury but somehow, Rhys, Azriel and Feyre manage to work around that with no explanation made except that they are different. It’s clear the main characters are too powerful for their own good.
Did I still enjoy all the magic? Yes. I’m the type of person to not care if all the characters ‘sacrifice’ but still end up fairly well off at the end, which is the case with these books.
On the reread, I realized I liked certain characters a lot more and others, I understood them a little bit more and by them I mean Lucien and Nesta. I will not stand slander for either. Lucien did just as much as Rhys was able to Under the Mountain and after Feyre left to the Spring Court. He healed her and risked warning her during the Middenguard Wyrm trial. Meanwhile Tamlin just tried to have sex with her. I swear for an originally Young Adult novel these characters are so horny. And Tamlin is a piece of shit. Yes, he does some good things later on but he still is horrible. Some people seem to think he will get a redemption arc. I doubt it.
As for Nesta, she did her best to help out during the war, attempted to go after Feyre, and she’ll do anything for Elain. I’m glad ACOSF is about her because I’ve wanted a book about her.
I can’t find anything to hate about Cassian and Azriel (especially Azriel I love him). They’re loyal, sarcastic, and hot. What more could I want?
Rhys is a different story. I noticed there were some times where he made some questionable actions, even when it was told from Feyre’s point of view. The age difference between the two is one of the problematic elements in general. To me, I see him more as a twenty year old guy because otherwise it just gets messy. Every time people near Rhy’s age (or younger like one of the old human queens) calls Feyre a child, I cringe inside. Age aside, he has his moments. In ways he’s hornier than Tamlin. I mean they thought about having sex (thankfully didn’t actually do it but still) in a library created for sexual assult survivors and in the middle of the warcamp. I can’t forget about his temper. He and the Circle were not the nicest to Nesta in the beginning. They avoided her, at the dinner with Feyre they made constant jokes about Nesta’s understandable temper. No wonder Nesta was so fiery all the time. Not to mention he goes behind the back of his Circle a lot of the time. He made a deal with Eris, who he knew had a dark history with Mor, and didn’t tell her about it. Shit like that is not cool. Overall, he’s great for Feyre but I still need to bring up these issues.
On to Mor. I like Mor. But, from what I understand, she’s one of the reasons people have problems with this series. She’s bisexual with a preference for women, which we don’t find out until very late in book three and while she does have a backstory, there are parts to her that are underdeveloped compared to the other members of the Inner Circle. She’s Rhys’s third but she barely fights in the books. She has a power of Truth but I’m not sure what that means? She can lie pretty easily so it’s not a power that makes her tell the truth and she doesn’t seem to be able to tell when others are lying, because during the war, Feyre was able to sneak off to find the Suriel. I’m not sure what else she does besides wear revealing clothes (clothes that I want but that’s beside the point) and that is probably the root of the diversity problem when it comes to her.
I realize these are quite a few problems to have with the books. As I said above, I think you can still enjoy and read problematic books as long as you learn and discuss what the problematic elements are. On an entertainment level, the books are incredibly entertaining but if I was critically rating this, it would lose a few stars for all the issues with the plot, world building and character development.