Book Review: A Court of Silver Flame by Sarah J. Maas
This is a reread. Like... my third reread, but whatever. Sometimes when you're going through a lot, you need comfort characters. Nesta and Cassian are mine.
While I acknowledge that SJM has some issues (lack of diversity being a main one), I have to say that I adore this book. One thing she has always been good at writing is mental health. It would have been easy for her to let Nesta fall to the wayside and just become a background character that people tolerated for what she could do for them.
Instead, she allows Nesta the opportunity to heal and my heart breaks and mends itself all throughout.
From the beginning of the novel, there are hints of Nesta's trauma, things she doesn't talk about. Like her inability to tolerate crackling fires. Another is how she lashes out at Cassian as a means of pushing him away.
Cassian is my heart. I love that he could always see beyond the brutal shell Nesta kept and that he kept extending his hand to her.
One of my favorite elements of this book aside from the romance is the friendship Nesta cultivated with Gwyn and Emerie. I am a big fan of the found family trope, and I really like that we got to see Nesta make a place for herself in the Night Court.
The romance is *chef's kiss*.
Things I still didn't like after a third read: Rhys keeping the truth from Feyre. That still feels so out of character. I know this novel is meant to be Nesta's POV, but it really didn't feel natural that Rhys kept the truth about the baby from her. It really felt like that was just an excuse to allow Rhys to go feral on Nesta so that they could have the wilderness scenes where Nesta finally breaks down and admits everything to Cassian.
I have also found that I really hate the trope where a character has to sacrifice their power at the end. Why can't we have both? Why couldn't Nesta have used the Dread Trove to save Feyre? Why did she have to strike a bargain with the Cauldron to save them?
Also, In ACOWAR, I loved the pact between Feyre and Rhys (where you go, I go), but this book really highlighted how dumb they were to make that bargain. Seriously, guys, it's nice to be romantic, but you really didn't think this one through.
All in all, I adore this book even if I didn't like all of the plot points.
I am worried, however, that SJM is going to change plots because the fandom has so many theories. I really want to see Azriel and Gwyn get together, but I worry that she's going to change it because so many fans have guessed it (GOT anyone?).
Always a fun read, I'm sure I'll do it again soon.