Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.
Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.
As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places.
In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.
READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Wow, where to begin with this one? It’s not many times that I can say an author lived up to my expectations—and that they followed through with nearly everything I wanted to happen. I’ve been let down so many times in “final books” or shows.
Maas did not let me down.
This book is very appropriately named ACOWAR, for this truly is a book of war. From start to finish. Even though I would say I enjoyed ACOMAF better, that’s not because it was necessarily a better book. This book is IMPRESSIVE and probably Maas’ best book. It’s not just everyone twiddling their thumbs until the end of an anti-climactic battle. No, there are plenty of small battles that lead to the final, epic one.
Which ultimately means this book was very different than the first two. Much of this book is dedicated to planning, being in war camps, training, and leading up to the battles. Which at times can be a bit taxing, but that’s what war is. It’s not meant to be glamorous and sunshine and giggles. Maas did manage to mix in plenty of humor and romance though, which I thought was balanced perfectly.
She really went for it. She made it feel epic and larger than life—a WAR. Which is super impressive considering this is told from Feyre’s perspective. We only get Rhysand’s POV twice. Maas very cleverly placed Feyre throughout the story so that we as the reader wouldn’t miss the action. She brought in characters from the first two books and it honestly felt like I was watching a movie. This is a book you want to SEE made into a movie or TV show. I had tears in my eyes, more than once which doesn’t happen to me often, but this book is EMOTIONAL. You feel that exhaustion, that despair, that hope, with these characters.
So let’s talk about them.
Feyre, our darling heroine. I absolutely loved her journey, her growth. She transforms into a true High Lady. She’s the type of heroine you want to read about. I absolutely loved everything about her story. Now looking at the covers…this is so interesting. ALL covers feature Feyre in back with her tattoo. We have plaything Feyre on the cover of ACOTAR, barely on the cover. Then we have soldier Feyre on ACOMAF’s cover, and she’s more prominent on the cover. Then we have High Lady Feyre, front and center, on this cover. It’s just so beautiful. *sobs* Feyre makes some bad calls here and there but I can’t help but love her anyway. She’s so REAL.
And because I can’t talk about her without talking about Rhysand—wow, what a pair. This is how romance should be written. Their love did not falter in this book. It only grew, and we got to see them working together as High Lord and Lady. (I can’t explain how relieving it is to have a heroine WANT power, use it, wield it, and not be ashamed or villainize herself, or villainize the “love interest” for doing the same.) They are that power couple you crave in every fantasy book.
He is just perfect. I can’t say a single negative thing about him. He’s everything I want in a male lead character. ( and everything I want in a life partner myself.) Seeing how far Feyre and Rhys have come…it’s just stunning. Makes my chest ache with its perfection. Their equality, their trust, and respect, their belief in the other…I don’t think I’ve ever read a better romance.
And spoilers but…yes, the Bone Carver was, in fact, their future son. *sobs again*
Speaking of family…Mor, Cassian, Azriel, Amren.
They were so, so wonderful. All of them. I loved how Feyre got to spend one-on-one with each of them. There were some very critical scenes with each one. Azriel got much more time in this book and I loved getting to know him a little more.
Speaking of Azriel…DO I SHIP HIM AND ELAIN OR WHAT. YES. When I read ACOMAF, I just…couldn’t get into Mor/Azriel romantically. I actually thought Mor connected better with Cassian, and Azriel connected almost instantly to Elain. And when Lucien ended up her mate…I couldn’t get on board that with either. As much as I love Lucien, they felt like two pieces of a puzzle that don’t really fit.
Maas did not disappoint me. There were more Elain/Azriel moments by far than Lucien/Elain. Which leaves my heart in a dilemma because Lucien is one of my favorites and I’d hate to see him hurt. But…I can’t deny that there’s really not much connection between Elain and Lucien. Not yet at least. If anything, it feels like he’s trying to do what he thinks he should be doing with a mate.
We do meet Elain’s fiancé, Grayson. There’s a moment when Feyre suggests Elain was hoping love could triumph over the mating bond and to me that’s a bit of foreshadowing. Not with Grayson, but Azriel. I’m going to call it now: Elain and Lucien will be like Tamlin and Rhys’ parents: mates, but not necessarily right for each other romantically. I’m predicting Elain/Azriel as endgame, with Lucien possibly with Vassa—a new character we meet in the end.
This brings me to a slight gripe: Lucien was sidelined after the beginning. Once he got to the night court, we didn’t get much of him, and then soon he was off to search for Vassa. I was disappointed. It also felt unrealistic to me for everyone in the inner circle to speak so freely around Lucien—Tamlin’s right-hand man. I also can’t stand the idea that Tamlin and Lucien won’t work together. It’s sort of indicated that Lucien might be staying in the night court, but it’s a bit open. Despite everything, I’d hate that friendship to burn.
Speaking of which, let’s talk about Tamlin. I wasn’t entirely happy with how quickly Feyre was to villainize him. She goes as far to wonder how Rhys stomached Amarantha when she’s playing a spy in spring court and I thought…um, you LOVED Tamlin. He loved you. He didn’t destroy your world, take your powers, and enslave you. So not quiiiiite the shame.
When we learn that Tamlin *gasp* was planning to find a way around the bargain with Hybern and work against him once Feyre was safe, Feyre is surprised. Like…really? I sure wasn’t. I called it the moment he showed up in ACOMAF. Tamlin isn’t a monster or the human slaughtering type. Feyre destroyed his court and that somewhat backfired. I was glad because I didn’t think Feyre was right in that regard. I’m not Tamlin’s biggest fan, but he gets majorly screwed over when you consider the whole series. He loses Feyre, he loses Lucien, he loses a lot of his court, he loses his soldiers…I hope Maas did this not to punish him, but to set him in the sequels. Because I do truly hope he finds happiness. I know many people wanted him to suffer, but I didn’t. He made some poor decisions, his lack of communication and guarded nature did not help him in his relationship, and he never learned to face what happened under the mountain.
Hopefully, in the sequel, he will be able to. He fights with our heroes and saves Feyre AND Rhys—again, no surprise there. He was never a villain. He just wasn’t right for Feyre.
Nesta and Elain were pleasant surprises. At first, I was unhappy we’d get more of them but now that I’ve finished…I’m so glad. They both grew so much and have unique, interesting arcs that tie into the plot. Nesta…she thaws a little more. She shares some really nice moments with Feyre and even their father. I wish her shit got called out more—Mor is literally the only one that ever does—but for the most part, her growth is very good. I can say I finally enjoy Cassian and Nesta together.
I loved Elain’s development and GOODNESS AZRIEL GIVES HER TRUTH-TELLER AND SHE SLAYS THE KING WITH IT. I couldn’t even. Nesta will no doubt get credit for it because she twisted the blade, but she was down and Elain is the one who truly deserves the credit. She stabbed him, allowing Nesta to finish him. It was glorious.
We didn’t get quite as much Amren as I would have liked, but she still had a huge importance. She SLAYED. We also got to see Cassian in action as the general. He too was glorious and I loved seeing him in a larger role. I ADORE his friendship with Feyre. He had so many moments in this book to where I was just lkjsfnmskads. I love him.
JURIAN. I forgot to mention him. He was such a pleasant surprise. Reading ACOTAR, I never would have thought he’d have such an important role. Such an asshat but a hilarious one. I’m interested in what’s ahead for him.
We see Rhys in beast form. We see Amren’s true form. We see the Bone Carver slay. We see the unification of the courts. We see all the High Lord’s in action. We see EVERYTHING you can possibly want. (Except a damn wedding. When will Maas EVER write a wedding we want? Lol Okay, this book wasn’t the place, but it could have been the epilogue, damn it!)
Anyway, I could go on and on. This series is something special. This book wraps up well but leaves a lot open for the upcoming installments.
“Stay with the High Lord.”
I think my heart exploded at this point. You’ll know why when you read it. Yes, I cried.\
Prepare yourselves. You will laugh. You will cry. You will rage. You will smile. You’ll feel so much of everything that your chest will ache.
As I said, this book is not perfect. But it will make you FEEL. It will stay with you long after you put it down. And that, perhaps, is more beautiful than perfection itself.
If you would like to purchase this book you can do so by using the link below to purchase it from The Book Depository!
Format: U.K Edition Paperback