A Court of Wings and Ruin – A Book That Should Have Been Shorter


31451174Ok, how do I begin this rant.

My relationship with this series, as with all other Sarah J. Maas books, has been a bit rocky to say the least. The Throne of Glass series started off really high for me, went down hill, hit rock bottom, and then bolted up into the skies once again like a phoenix reborn. (I have the reviews of Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows and Empire of Storms if you want more details on that.)

This series was a bit different. It started it bad for me. I found little enjoyment in ACOTAR, and then got a little better, but I still didn’t really like ACOMAF (I know, how dare I), and then finally got pretty good here in ACOWAR. Still, I didn’t love this book. I wish I could have, but I didn’t. Yet, I must admit that I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would so that has to count for something.

My first problem with this was the pacing. It felt off to me. This is a 700 page novel when it really didn’t need to be.

The entire first part of this book was just awkward. It featured Feyre giving herself peep talks about how sneaky she was and how no one was going to discover her awesomeness. All the while, her enemies were plotting behind her back because she’s too busy hating on them to see it.  To make it worse, this part should have been tense. It should have been epic, seeing the intrigue and the secrecy and all that, but frankly, I was kinda bored.

The rest of plot was just boring also. More than that, I wasn’t even sure where that main plot was going. This story went everywhere. It’s like Sarah didn’t know what to add in this book so she decided to add everything. She decided that this, the end of a trilogy, would be the perfect time to add 100+ characters we’ve never seen before, each with their own story lines and complicated relationships and love triangles and problems. There was too much going down, and then to top it all off, {SPOILER ALERT} at the end all these random people that we have no connection to, randomly decided to show up and save the day like in a freaking Disney Channel movie. The whole ending was like a Disney movie. Down to the part where Rhys was magically brought back to life literally 5 minutes after dying. {SPOILER ALERT}

Then there were the sex scenes. I don’t like sex scenes. I mean, I don’t mind a sex scene, so long as it’s relevant to the story. What does it bring to the plot? Does it add tension? Drama? Does it reveal something about the characters and their relationship? Basically, does it have a purpose other than just being present in your novel? If not, and you aren’t writing erotica, I don’t see why you need to add a sex scene, especially multiple sex scenes. And it’s not just mentioning that sex happened. No, it’s going into explicit detail, and using words like “own” and “branding” and “claiming” and “mate”.

Which brings me to the fact that SJM needs to get herself a thesaurus or something. If I see the word “mate” one more time I’m gonna lose it. Also the words “vulgar gesture” and “prick”, among others. Get new words, Sarah. Please. This is the 9th book you’ve written. I expected better.

And now the characters. I don’t know how I feel about them. They were so bland in this book. Rhys was bland, Mor was bland (and annoying, but more on that later), even Amren was bland. There was too much unnecessary drama. There was too much stupidity for me to fully care about them. I liked them better in ACOMAF, and I only gave that book two stars. The only person here I kinda enjoyed was Nesta. I liked seeing her growth and development. Everyone else sucked. Especially the king of Hybern. He couldn’t be more of a Disney villain if he tried. {SPOILER ALERT} Especially the stupid way in which he died. There he was completely dominating the battle. He brought down Cassian, the best fighter in the Illyrian army! The badass general that completely slaughtered half a battle field like a 100 pages previous. And then comes little Elain, who has never used a weapon, and stabs him like it’s nothing? No. Screw you. That didn’t happen. It’s way too Disney. {SPOILER ALERT}

The one thing that SJM does well is make the most intense romantic couples. I ship so many people in her books. The woman should write romance novels for a living because the sexual tension in her novels absolutely kill me. Nesta and Cassian were giving me anxiety the whole time with the will they, won’t they situation they had. Also, Elain and Azriel is my new OTP. That ship needs to sail, especially after finding out about Mor.

Which brings me to something else. I feel like the whole Mor thing came completely out of left field. Like SJM said, “crap, I forgot to add any diverse characters again“, and gave us that. Then, Mor’s explanation seemed faulty. Her friends are literally the most supportive people alive. They would kill and die for one another. They would guard each other’s secrets with their lives. Mor had nothing to fear in revealing her sexual orientation. And if she didn’t feel comfortable doing so, I get it, but maybe, don’t string Azriel along for 500! She could have just told him she wasn’t into him like that and Azriel would have handled it like the grown, caring, and understanding adult that he is. Instead, she decided to leave him hanging for half a millennia. I lost so much respect for Mor for that. Azriel did not deserve that. No one deserves that. She also had no reason to act all jealous about Nesta and Cassian. It’s like she won’t have either Cassian or Azriel and refuses to let them be with anyone else. How selfish are you Mor?

Also, now I’m gonna backtrack and talk about ships again. I love the ships. Nesta and Cassian are awesome, they work well together. Elain and Azriel both work well also, they compliment one another fairly well, despite only seeing a few of their interactions. That said, NOT EVERYONE NEEDS A MATE!! I have spent the past 20 years of my life without a love interest. You know why? I never really felt like having one. And sure, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have one if you like. It just means that not everyone needs to be paired off. Like Amren and Varian. Where the heck did that even come from? That is not a ship. That is a dingy that SJM is trying to convince us to sail and it just ain’t flowing.

Also, just ’cause, let’s talk about Tamlin for a second. In ACOTAR, I was indifferent to him. In ACOMAF, I was still indifferent, but I guess I disliked him more. Here, I don’t know how I feel. I think Sarah was trying to redeem him, which I like, I just don’t think she succeeded. I mean, sure, he saved Feyre’s life, but that was days after calling her a slut and humiliating in front a whole bunch of people. Sure, he came to their rescue during the battle, but that was after having been the reason the battle was happening in the first place. And sure, he did wish Feyre would be happy, but that was after having both physically and emotionally abused her, a thing for which he never apologized and never repented for. So, no. That’s not redemption. Tamlin could still get hit by lightning and I wouldn’t care. Then again, any of those characters could get hit by lightning and I don’t think I’d care.

So, why did I rate this with three stars? Because it entertained me. Simple as that. And now there are going to be four more books in this series? I don’t know how I feel about that. It’s so unnecessary. Please, Sarah, don’t pull a Cassandra Clare on us. I can’t do that. And yet, knowing me and my masochistic reading tendencies, I’ll probably end up reading them all.



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8 thoughts on “A Court of Wings and Ruin – A Book That Should Have Been Shorter

  1. Yaaaasssss Angelica! You have captured my thoughts exactly, so perfectly! This book was a mess: All the characters were bland; there are other ways to show that people love each other without graphic sex scenes; Tamlin was used as a Dues ex Machina; and the end was ridiculous. Always knew she loves her characters too much to actually kill one of them. I’m so over SJM and her books now.
    Fantastic review Angelica!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Glad you liked it! This book would have been better if it had been more simple I think. SJM wanted to add all the action, all the intrigue, all the drama, and of course, all the sex into it and it just made everything feel bland. Totally agree about being over her books. Sometimes I think I just read them because everyone else is reading them too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed reading this review. It was an eye opener. I would say I’m a bit biased when it comes to SJM probably because her throne of Glass series and the Vampire Academy got me into reading YA books
    However the whole Mor thing was just shocking, I ve read more than 200 comments on FB with people saying the same thing “it was total shit”, though I didn’t read the whole 200.
    SJM has already told the whole reading community that this is going to be a trilogy, so I think that’s why she added a lot of new characters, pulled a lot of strings because she was trying to put the book to an end a nd make ground work to a sequel. Though she could have done better.
    And yes, its kind of silly to start pairing everyone, its the same thing she’s trying to do with TOG. Hello SJM, it isn’t a matchmaker series. Its unreal.
    That’s been said, I think she’s a great writer. And I love your genuineness in the post. Keep it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I am glad you liked my review. And I totally agree that SJM is a pretty good writer, I just honestly haven’t been feeling this entire series. I much prefer her ToG series to this one. And I think that if she had just focused on this book and not on leaving it open for future sequels that it would have been better. You need to end one story before you start a new one, and here it seemed like she tried to do both at the same time. I think I’m gonna need a SJM break for a bit, but I’m curious to see where the new sequels will go. I hope there is a lot of Nessian going on. They are probably my favorite thing in ACOWAR

      Liked by 1 person

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