I’ve enjoyed Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses series, so when she announced that she was writing a novella that takes place after the third book and bridges the gap between that first trilogy and the next series of books, I was like 😱❤️! I bought a copy the day it came out, and I couldn’t wait to jump in. But it ended up being a difficult read for me… and it was hard to write this review.
Before reading any further, please keep in mind that there are spoilers ahead. If you have not read any of the A Court of Thorns and Roses books, these spoilers are pretty massive. And if you haven’t read this novella, these spoilers will reveal specific details about the story, as well as what the next series will be about.
**LAST SPOILER WARNING!**
I didn’t really get into this novella until the halfway point, and up until then, I felt bored. Like, really bored. 🙁 This novella is 229 pages, so I didn’t think it would take me long to finish it. But what should have taken me one or two days to read ended up taking me twice as long. And here’s why: I didn’t care about what was happening.
Trust me, I hate to say that. This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. I was excited to be back in this world, with these characters, and I couldn’t wait to see how this novella would set up the next series of books. But while I enjoyed a few parts of this story, I was left feeling very disappointed.
Here are my thoughts, both good and bad:
- There was no plot. Nothing really propelled the story forward, and while we were given hints of things that may come to pass in future books, nothing happens in this novella. Nothing consequential, that is.
- Many of the chapters felt disconnected, sort of like vignettes that could have been expanded into separate short stories. (I actually wouldn’t have minded a book of short stories, not unlike Marissa Meyer’s Stars Above.) And the narrative shifts felt weird to me. I couldn’t figure out why Feyre and Rhysand’s chapters were written in first-person while everyone else’s were written in third-person.
- What kept me reading were the enjoyable moments, like Rhys, Azriel, and Cassian’s snowball fight, Feyre’s decision to open her own art studio, and Cassian and Feyre’s drunken attempts to decorate for the Winter Solstice.
- But I feel like those were few and far between… 😐🤷🏻♀️
- I get it. Feyre and Rhys are very attracted to one another. But I didn’t need near-constant reassurance of this, and I definitely didn’t need that weird sex scene in the cabin. (She puts an image of their future child into his head, and then he immediately climaxes. Uh… What? 😬) While I am totally, 100% in favor of sex-positive books, this scene was poorly written and completely unnecessary. Maybe I’m just over Feyre and Rhys at this point. I didn’t even know that was possible, but here we are…
- Also, Rhys verbally kicking Tamlin while he’s down? (Seriously, waaay down.) Not cool. He doesn’t have to like him. I don’t even like him! After everything that Tamlin has done to both Rhys and Feyre, it makes sense that they’re never going to be BFFs. But an alliance with Tamlin would be politically advantageous, especially considering the unrest in other parts of Prythian. Maybe don’t be a giant dick and then “apologize” by magically slicing and cooking some meat for the guy. Oh, wait, I’m sorry, “male.” On that note…
- “Gentlemales.” REALLY? 🙄
- Some of the writing is just bad. There are certain words and phrases that are repeated so often that they become distracting, and some of the descriptions were just too much.
- I’ll just come right out and say it: I do not care about Nesta. And the fact that the next series of books is apparently going to focus on her — and Cassian — is… frustrating. I was fine with her after A Court of Wings and Ruin. She was never going to be my favorite character, but I didn’t despise her. This novella changed that. She is horribly mean to everyone, even Feyre, who is paying her rent — and giving her a monthly stipend on top of that. I realize she’s been through a lot. They all have. That doesn’t give her the right to act like a vicious, spoiled child. When we get a sneak peek of her upcoming story, it’s been nearly a YEAR since the events that take place in the novella, and she’s still being the absolute worst. Even if she undergoes the world’s most remarkable character development, I just… I love this series, but I cannot tell you how uninterested I am in Nesta-centric books. 😒
I originally gave this novella three stars, but after seriously considering my issues with it, I’ve dropped it down to two. This installment felt unnecessary, and it’s honestly left me wondering if I’ll continue reading this series when the next book comes out. I expected much more from this novella — and from Maas.
Here are my ratings for the other books in this series:
- A Court of Thorns and Roses ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- A Court of Mist and Fury ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- A Court of Wings and Ruin ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
About the Author: Sarah J. Maas
Other Books by This Author:
A Court of Thorns and Roses
A Court of Mist and Fury
A Court of Wings and Ruin
Throne of Glass
Crown of Midnight
Heir of Fire
Queen of Shadows
Empire of Storms
Tower of Dawn
Kingdom of Ash