Title: A Court of Silver Flames
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Pub. Date: February 16, 2021
Pub: Bloomsbury Publishing
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she’s struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can’t seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.
The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre’s Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta’s orbit. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.
Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.
Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other’s arms.
This will be a spoiler free review. I listened to the first part of this book on audio via Audible and read the second half via hardcover. I don’t think I can accurately explain all the reasons that I loved this book. But I loved it and the way Sarah depicts trauma and mental health and pain just hits so hard and in such an emotional way – I’m always astounded. She makes you care so deeply.
Like most people (probably) when I was first introduced to this world, these characters, I couldn’t stand Nesta. Even in my second read through after A Court of Wings and Ruin came out, I couldn’t stand her. Then last year I did another re-read, though I listened to the audiobooks and I started to see Nesta in a different light. She wasn’t just Feyre’s hateful, spiteful, nasty sister.
That’s when I started to care for her.
Somewhere along my reading journey, I started to care a lot more for the “broken” characters – not that they’re actually broken, just hurting. But those characters who have been through so much, and just don’t know how to take the first step to help themselves.
Then Sarah gave us Bryce last year in House of Earth and Blood and I just knew that she was going to give Nesta the story she deserved. Because after everything she’d been through, suffered, she needed a redemption arc. I wanted to see her come to terms with everything that was roiling around in her head. In my third re-read, I started to see Nesta as an incredibly strong character, and Sarah delivered.
This book, Nesta’s journey…
I don’t have words for how good it was.
The repetition, the burning of emotions (good and bad), the reconciling and everything in between. The realizations as those around her catch glimpses of what her trauma actually was. Nesta’s steps in dealing with it, rising above, coming to terms.
Beyond just Nesta dealing with the events of the last war, and everything superseding it – a lot of the characters go through some big changes, some big realizations. But those moments where they get a look at what Nesta is dealing with, the moment with Rhys, the moments with Feyre and Elain, and the moments with Cassian…my heart wanted to break. Knowing that Nesta was so lost in herself, berating and scolding and keeping everyone at arm’s length because of what she thought and felt…you don’t get that insight in the other books. She just comes across as a cold bitch and you don’t like her.
Apart from the characters – I’ll get back to them in a minute – Sarah gave us more about the history of Pyrthian and I loved it. While this book takes place primarily in the Night Court, we get to see some familiar places, as well as some new ones. The world of Prythian opens up. More history and Fae lore, beasts of old, new powers…
I can’t explain how much I enjoyed this expansion of this world. Having now the Crescent City series and the final book to Throne of Glass out, we know that the worlds are so much bigger than any of us could have imagined. The skill that Sarah has in linking them together, making the reader pick up on hints and clues, and now with this book…
If you’ve finished it, you know – the introduction of a certain object that basically (in my opinion) solidified my theories that they’re all connected.
One thing I’ve always loved about this series is how all the courts seem to be inspired by different places/cultures, so I love that Sarah kind of pulls lore and myths from them as well. Being a purely fantasy world, it’s easy to do and I think it just enriches the world. So, with the introduction of an elite female fighting force, lost to history – omfg I’m so here for it.
I loved the Cassian was game to train them as well. And speaking of – um, Sarah had no right to make him that…*cough* attractive…attentive…sexy?
Jfc, the spice in this book…the smut…the explicitness…
House of Earth and Blood had spice. A Court of Mist and Fury had some spice, but Sarah said fuck it, and I mean fuck it.
I’ve read some books that leave little to the imagination, but I honestly, for the life of me cannot think of a single book that left less to the imagination than this book. I know we all joke about how we’d let the Bat Boys wreck us…thoroughly (and omfg I can’t believe I just wrote that line, because I know family members will read this) but oh my fucking god, Cassian!!!
Boy likes it rough.
Not surprised, but damn Sarah. You held nothing back…except maybe that threesome scene.
Which, I think I speak for the fandom when I ask if you might…I dunno, leak it.
Because after that one thought Nesta had, now I’m hella fucking curious to find out who was in that scene. AND after that offhand thought Cassian had about the Bat Boys in their younger years.
Again, if you’ve read, you know.
Nesta and Cassian though…jfc. I know that I say I want a show adaptation, or movie, but all that on screen…It would be everything 50 Shades of Grey tried to be and then some. I thought Rhys was bad with Feyre, but um, Feyre, your sister…LOL
I listened to a lot of this book at work, and if any of my coworkers caught on to what I was reading…some of the scenes – I probably shouldn’t have been listening to it at work. I expected spice, and I expect roughness, because I can’t imagine Cassian any other way, tbh, but I didn’t expect all that, and everything else Sarah provided. But seriously, that threesome scene – can we have it?
I loved this book. I loved Nesta’s journey, her self-discovery and everything she goes through in this book. It’s deep, raw and so emotional. I honestly didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did, but there were just so many moments that spoke to me.
Like with House of Earth and Blood, the ending to this book was cinematic. Nesta was incredible and the whole big last encounter was so vividly clear in my mind. Nesta went from one of my least favorite characters – I wasn’t really thrilled that the fourth ACOTAR book was going to be about her – to probably one of my favorite characters ever. Which blows my mind, because never did I think that would be the case. There are moments in this book that keep replaying in my mind, where Nesta is just so incredibly amazing and I can’t believe we got to go on this journey with her.
I highly recommend reading this book – reading the whole series if you haven’t yet. It’s truly so enjoyable, with great characters, hold your breath plot moments and just an amazing journey. You definitely get so wrapped up in the characters and the world.
I’m definitely thinking about doing a “Spoiler-y ACOSF Thoughts” post – so if that’s something you’d be interested in, let me know. It would definitely have a bunch of reactions in it, and probably some bigger spoilers. To be honest, I probably would need to read it again to get my full spoiler-y thoughts, but there are some things that I would love to just get off my chest and put out into the world so that maybe someone will comment lol. So, if that’s something that you’d like to see, let me know, and I’ll get that up in the near future!