a court of silver flames

Hi friends! I hope you all are having a great June so far! I don’t have much in the way of updates, I just hope you enjoy this review! I’ll be back soon with more reviews and YouTube videos.

Synopsis & Quick Thoughts

A Court of Silver Flames is a the fourth novel in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas. This novel follows Feyre’s sister Nesta and her relationship with the established cast of characters after the war with Hybern. After Feyre decides her sister needs to get back on her feet, Nesta is confined to the House of Wind to recover and train with Cassian. We follow her journey as love and friendships develop amidst a backdrop of looming war.

This is the first A Court of Thorns and Roses novel that I actively disliked. Of course there were a few enjoyable elements, mainly stemming from some decent female friendships. Most of this book was just silly, from the rampant sex scenes to some nice guy vibes from Cassian to the lack of a plot to the destruction of previous character development to the heavy-handed mental health inserts. This was enjoyable as a hate-read, and that’s mainly it.

Positives

Contrary to what one might think, there are a couple of things I enjoyed about this book. The most prominent of these positives are the female friendships built between Nesta, Elain, and Gwyneth. I don’t like the girl-on-girl hate as a trope and I was happy to see that there wasn’t much of that present here. I liked that there was more development to the characters than them simply existing to forward the plot (most of the time).

The other positive here might be considered a negative, but this book was really run to hate-read. I had a fun time complaining about it to my fiancé, I never fell into a reading slump or wanted to DNF it. It was a fun and silly read in between the heavier horrors I was reading at the time.

Negatives

I want to keep this section to a reasonable length, so I’ll just do a short numbered list and explain each one as briefly as I can, because there are a number of issues with this book, in case you couldn’t tell by my review thus far.

  1. Rampant sex scenes. I’m no prude, but these scenes were far too frequent and far too cringey. If you’ve read the other books in this series, it’s like that but more and somehow also worse.
  2. Cassian. In this book, for whatever reason, sucks, when I used to like him. The only thoughts that run through his head are about having sex with Nesta, and he continues to pursue her relentlessly despite her outward attitude that she is uninterested in him. It just doesn’t come across as the character that was developed in previous novels and this odd nice guy persona that Cassian takes on is really unappealing.
  3. There’s no plot. I mean, there kind of is, concerning an upcoming war, but nothing is really done about it more than it merely looming in the background. There’s an internal conflict between Nesta and her trauma, but her facing and overcoming that trauma doesn’t occur until most of the book is already over. This read felt like it floundered for the first 550 pages, which is a long time to not know what direction to go in.
  4. The mental health theme is way too heavy handed. There are good ways to handle trauma and the discussion of mental heath in a book; moreover, I think it’s an important theme to touch on. The Gilded Ones is an example of a book that does this very well. This book does not. Much like the strange gay monologue from the prior book, this book has a bonding moment where the words “our feelings are valid and we are more important than our trauma” might as well have been said verbatim. Those are good messages, just not when you state them out loud so blatantly and expect praise for it. These themes were woven in okay during the story, but the blunt call-out felt wrong to me.
  5. All the characters I liked now suck. Rhysand is a dick. Cassian only thinks about his dick. Mor, despite her long and odd gay speech, shows no interest in women at all throughout the plot. Amren and Feyre are hardly present, and when they are they aren’t portrayed in any sort of favorable light. The only people with likeable qualities are Azriel and…Nesta? I still don’t like her but she does gain some sympathy from me over the course of the novel. Other than that, fuck this development. Every character I liked has been ruined.

Rating & Final Thoughts

I’m giving A Court of Silver Flames 2.5 out of 5 stars, which might surprise some given that I just gave it a hot roast. The thing is, this book was fun to hate read and my expectations were low in the first place. It pretty much lived up to what I imagined and I had a fun time disliking it, so it wasn’t a total absolute waste of time. If you’re already reading the series, I understand wanting to continue with this one, but I’d recommend stopping after A Court of Wings and Ruin before everything is lit aflame.

Buy A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas here.*

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