The long-awaited third book in the Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas has arrived.
Maas picks up Feyre's story right where she left off — back in the Spring Court of the fairyland Prythian, where her old lover Tamlin thinks he has rescued her from Rhysand's evil Night Court, when in reality Feyre is putting on a show to act as Rhys' spy, since she is now his wife and mate.
As she lays her plans to collapse the Spring Court in on itself and prepares for battle against the diabolical King Hybern, it is apparent how much Feyre has changed since the first book. She is no longer a weak, struggling human, but is now the conniving High Lady of the Night Court who can outsmart and out-fight almost everyone around her.
Unlike Victoria Aveyard's "King's Cage," Maas does not leave Feyre imprisoned and away from her mate for 300 pages, but actually gets her out in the first 100 or so, and keeps the story moving along at a surprisingly brisk pace for a book that is so long.
This third book is different from the first two in that there is no romance to develop for Feyre — her and Rhys get plenty of moments early on, but most of the back half of the book is about war with Hybern. Stakes get higher and higher as Rhys and Feyre and their court seek to find allies and some way to defeat Hybern with his enormous army and the all-powerful Cauldron at his bidding. Some sections of strategizing are slower, but Maas does well at breaking them up with action and unexpected twists and turns.
This story also focuses heavily on Feyre's sisters, Nesta and Elain, and their adjustment to becoming Fae. The best romances of the book are theirs, and they also see the most character development by the end of the book.
As with any major, best-selling author who's writing her ninth book, "A Court of Wings and Ruin" could have used additional editing and cutting that likely didn't happen in the rush to get it published, but Maas' intricate plots and attachable characters are still there, and the explosion of an ending definitely pays off.
This book contains descriptive, graphic violence, explicit scenes of sexuality and several instances of strong language.