My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A Court of Wings and Ruin further expands the fantastic world that Sarah J. Maas has built for us. We predominantly saw Feyre’s life in the human world and Tamlin’s Spring Court in A Court of Thorns and Roses. Then we were given a look into the mysterious Night Court and some time to explore the Summer Court in A Court of Mist and Fury. We are finally able to experience the other Courts in the third book, beyond brief mentions.
The first Court we are given more information about is the Autumn Court, where Lucien hails from. Lucien is developed much further in this book, although we have gotten to know him fairly well throughout the first two books – it was nice to get more backstory and an explanation about why he is the male that he is. We also get to experience more of his father’s personality, as well as his eldest brother Eris’.
She describes each palace, forest and street in Prythian with such vivid detail that the entire land comes to life in your mind. The strongest part of this series is the world building, although that does not mean that any of the other aspects of the series are lacking. I personally believe that her strong suit is illustrating such fantastic lands and that shines in this book.
Each Court has its own way of ruling and they tend to keep to themselves. Although they have relations with one another, their alliances and communication are generally not very strong. This makes convincing them to all join together to face Hybern’s threat much more difficult, especially when all of the Courts don’t even agree that the King is a threat.
Although the main characters were well developed over the course of the first two novels, they continue to grow in the third. Elain and Nesta especially take a more central role in the storyline than they did before, which allows the reader to get to know them better. More of Amren’s backstory is also revealed, which was honestly not something I ever expected to learn about because I didn’t think any of the characters were brave enough to question her – despite desperately wanting to know more about her.
As you’re reading, you actually get chills as big actions are taken or decisions are made. You are that invested in the story, the characters, and the world that it physically affects you. I never felt that the pacing was slow, rather each event and scene built the narrative towards the final, explosive climax. It was a steady, enticing pace that pulled me in and never let go. If the book wasn’t as long as it is (and I didn’t have to leave my house to go to school), I would have sat there for ten hours straight reading.
Each character, good or bad has become real so their struggles, triumphs, and pain resonate within you. It is the book that makes an impact like this that will stay with you. I cheered and cried in equal measure reading this book.
The stunning conclusion to this series left me breathless, and glad that though this story might be done the world of Prythian still had more tales to tell us.