Book Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Mass

Prepare to have your heart ripped out.


The third book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series is A Court of Wings and Ruin (a.k.a ACOWAR). I had gotten three copies of it: one hardback from Amazon, a paperback from my niece and a special edition hardback from Indigo.

The Indigo version arrived a few days ahead of the release day. When I came home from work that day and saw the parcel, I started screeching (which scared my mum and made her shout at me . . . oops?) because of how excited, happy and terrified I was.

After reading ACOMAF, I was praying Cassian’s wings were ok. I was hoping Feyre would make Tamlin eat dirt.

It definitely lived up to its shortened name. ACOWAR indeed.

Spoilers ahead.


A Court of Wings and Ruin

Summary from Goodreads

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s manoeuvrings 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.

There will be spoilers from now onwards!


So here’s the thing. I loved ACOWAR. I truly did. And it’s definitely a five star but there was something missing. I’m not entirely sure what it is, but it felt almost a little lacklustre compared to ACOMAF–which is the best book in the entire goddamn world. But despite this, oh my god! this! book! killed! me!

I laughed, I was overjoyed and jumping up and down when Azriel appeared and we got back together with the rest of the gang. I was practically hyperventilating because I was so nervous and worried about everything that was to happen. And oh my god. I was sobbing. So much. Ugly crying. Face all red and blotchy and teary and snotty and crying my goddamn eyes out.

“Only you can decide what breaks you, Cursebreaker. Only you.”

This book was just full of so much plot and building the anticipation for it and mystery because of the stupid mortal queens! everything! the king! Tamlin! That scene when Tamlin helped Feyre? *chef kiss* (don’t get me wrong, he’s still a prick and I still loathe him.)

But let’s break it down to my favourites:

  • The Suriel. He was like a cute, gossipy high schooler and I was so so so sad when we lost him
  • Because it was just so sad. And when he said “you were kind”, oh god, my heart broke into a thousand pieces
  • Rhys’ Library! The way this book dealt with the aftermath of Amarantha and the pain and horrors she inflicted on everyone was wonderful. The library being like a safe space for survivors brought me to tears.
  • All The Strong Women
  • Rhysand as a whole. Everything about him is my favourite and I love how supportive, caring, loving and fiercely protective he is of those he loves–those who he considers family, including Feyre. The battle scene, nearly the end, everything, made me sob. I was crying. No, not just crying. I was heaving with sobs, unable to control the tears and I was sending a video on Snapchat to my cousin. She took a screenshot and put it up on her story, captioning it because a character died and replied to me saying I can’t believe you’re crying loooool. Like? Hello? You would be too?
  • “I see all of you, Rhys. And there is not one part that I do not love with everything I am.”

This series has my entire heart. I’m not even kidding. I have raved about this to anyone who will listen, for months and drove my friend and colleague crazy before the release of ACOWAR. I was counting down the days and it was worth the wait.

But the only thing I didn’t like was how it felt like Mor being gay was used as a plot device. Don’t get me wrong, I love that she’s gay, it’s great, but there could have been subtle mentions of it beforehand, instead of it suddenly being thrown in, out of the blue. There could have been hints of it in ACOMAF, but there weren’t any.

Still, I love it and I hope she finds an amazing, wonderful woman to love and be with forever because lord knows she deserves to. I hope it’s explored more in a novella and we get to see her story. (But I absolutely hate how she treats Azriel. The way she is with both Cassian and Azriel made me dislike her a lot — but I still love her.) Other than that minor thing, ACOWAR was incredible and oh my god!

When Feyre called herself High Lady in that meeting? Wow! That was epic. Can we get a round of applause, please? Yes, Ferye darling! Get those men to see you are just as good as them, if not better. Make them all bow down to you!

“Remember that you are a wolf. And you cannot be caged.”


To summarise

I am so glad that I came across this series because it is the best thing ever to grace this dying earth. (Reminder: stop polluting, people. Throw trash in the bin! Recycle! Global warming is real. The earth is dying! NB: wear masks to protect yourselves and others please) — anyway I once did a quiz for which court I belonged to and it’s the Dawn Court, which is super cool and I’m happy about it.

Also, did anyone see that plot twist coming about Lucien and his father?

I’m so happy Sarah J Maas created this magnificent world with all these rich, detailed, incredible characters. I love Feyre and Rhys — their relationship makes me wish I had that, someone, who loves me the way Rhys loves Feyre.

(NB: I now have someone like Rhys and I’m eternally grateful.)

What did you guys think of the books? Tell me!


Originally published on the author’s blog and on Medium.com

Published by Sumaiya Ahmed

Sumaiya Ahmed is a freelance journalist and writer, aiming to break down the boundaries of cultural stigma and shame attached to mental health and sexuality within the South Asian culture, and bringing marginalised topics to light.

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