A Court of Mist and Fury: A Review of Character Development
I recently read Sarah J. Maas‘, A Court of Mist and Fury, the second novel in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, and I have to say that I loved it! Being a complete and utter fantasy book lover, I was surprised that I hadn’t had my hands on this series sooner. This novel is also one of my favourite’s in terms of character development. Maas is clever and precise with her revelations about characters, and their development helps push the story forward. I loved seeing the characters unfold throughout the series!
I would like to put a massive SPOILER ALERT, do not keep reading if you don’t want this novel spoiled!
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Behold! The US cover for A COURT OF MIST AND FURY! So, sooo thrilled to finally be able to share it with you guys!! And I can't wait for you all to read it this May! (You can see the gorgeous/slightly different UK/ANZ cover at http://worldofsarahjmaas.com ) Yay!!!! 😍😍😍 #acourtofmistandfury #acourtofthornsandroses #sarahjmaas #throneofglass
We left A Court of Thorns and Roses after Feyre, our main character and heroine, had just saved the Prythian world from Amarantha, a devilish leader who tortured and trapped a large population of the Prythian faeries Under the Mountain. Feyre was killed during her time with Amarantha but was revived by the power of the High Lords and is now a High Fae. She returned to her home in the Spring Court with her lover, High Lord Tamlin, where they promptly got engaged.
Despite her victory, Feyre starts this novel in a deep depression. Her character clearly lacks the vibrancy and fight that she had in the first novel, as Maas cleverly paints her. Gray, dull, depressed. Through this intended style by Maas, I did find her character to be less engaging during the beginning of the novel.
“For him, I had done this – for him I’d gladly wrecked myself and my immortal soul. And now I had an eternity to live with it.”
Feyre is swiftly removed from her home in the Spring Court after we discover that Tamlin is actually more villainous and repressive than was first led on. A revelation that I was truly shocked by, ‘Team Tamlin’ from the start! After this revelation, I realised just how cleverly Maas built up Tamlin’s said villainy. The reader begins this novel rooting for the couple, and because of this belief, the suppressing acts of Tamlin seem a little un-noteworthy. That is, until Feyre reaches her breaking point, for which Maas has used almost explosive imagery to paint Feyre’s blinding panic across the mind’s of the reader.
Feyre is then settled into the Night Court, which is ruled by their High Lord, Rhysand. Maas created and moulded Rhysand’s character in the first novel; dripping with power, cunning and cruel, and full of mystery. We really don’t know much about this person who Feyre now resides with, other than the glimpses we caught of him Under the Mountain in A Court of Thorns and Roses.
“Rhys gave no warning as he gripped my arm, snarling softly, and tore off my glove. His touch was like a brand, and I flinched, yielding a step, but he held firm until he’d gotten both gloves off.”
Feyre’s writhing hatred of Rhysand allows Maas to re-ignite some of her old fire, bringing some of her strength and resilience back. Maas is essentially reviving her heroine.
“Red exploded in my vision, and I couldn’t breathe fast enough, couldn’t think above the roar in my head. One heartbeat, I was staring after him – the next, I had my shoe in a hand.
Rhysand then starts to reveal bits and pieces of himself, showing how he is actually filled with love and passion, especially when it comes to his inner circle (his cousin, Mor, two Illyrian warriors, Cassian and Azriel, and the mysterious Amren). He lets Feyre into his rag-tag family, and shows her his best-kept secret, Velaris (also known as the Court of Dreams). The recurring theme Maas uses of ‘dreamers’ and ‘dreaming’ is one I adore for these characters.
“The Court of Dreams. The people who knew that there was a price, and one worth paying, for that dream. The bastard-born warriors, the Illyrian half breed, the monster trapped in a beautiful body, the dreamer born into a court of nightmares… and the huntress with an artist’s soul.”
By this point I am completely and utterly on Team Rhysand! I love how Maas slowly and unexpectedly reveals parts of his character. She gave him just the right amount of time to reveal these traits, allowing the reader to ‘open up’ to this new hero.
“He thinks he’ll be remembered as the villain in the story. But I forgot to tell him that the villain is usually the person who locks up the maiden and throws away the key. He was the one who let me out.”
Maas also gives Feyre the return she deserves to her new Fae self, demonstrating how she is now able to cope with her trauma alongside her new family in the Night Court.
“I was not a pet, not a doll, not an animal. I was a survivor, and I was strong. I would not be weak, or helpless again. I would not, could not be broken. Tamed.”
Then the most shocking and unexpected revelation; Feyre and Rhysand are mates. Rhysand finally reveals his true character, explaining how all of his actions thus far were out of the love and desire to protect Feyre and his family. It really cements him as the good guy, the right hero for our heroine. Maas’ style of writing for Rhysand changed throughout the novel, allowing him to be softer and kinder, especially for this part. I loved Maas’ technique of retelling the critical past event from Rhysand’s point of view, seeing the pure and raw emotion pouring out as he shows Feyre (and the reader) who he truly is.
““I want you to know…” His lips trembled, and I brushed away the tear that escaped down his cheek. “I want you to know,” I whispered, “that I am broken and healing, but every piece of my heart belongs to you. And I am honoured – honoured to be your mate.””
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Ahhhh!! Thank you SO MUCH, @charliebowater, for this GORGEOUS signed print of your Rhys & Feyre art!!! Can't wait to get this framed and hang it in my office!!! (FYI: Limited edition prints of this are available at Charlie's Etsy shop!) 😍😍😍 #acomaf #acourtofmistandfury #holycrap #thelevelofdetailisinsane #actualgenius #careerhighlight
By the end of the novel, I had been through an utter whirlwind of emotions. Ups and downs and new love and unexpected plot twists and revelations. I am really happy with where this story ended, with the pair and their family now readying themselves for battle against their enemy, Hybern. Feyre has infiltrated the Spring Court, returning to Tamlin with a secret agenda. We are left with Rhysand admitting to his friends that he has made Feyre the High Lady of the Night Court (a position that had never been allowed before) and we are shown how Rhys sees Feyre as his equal.
“Not consort, not wife. Feyre is High Lady of the Night Court. My equal in every way; she would wear my crown, sit on a throne beside mine. Never sidelined, never designated to breeding and parties and child rearing. My queen.”
And Feyre is ready to be a spy for her people.
“And so Tamlin unwittingly let the High Lady of the Night Court into the heart of his territory.”
Through Maas’ cleverly planned-out and revelation-dependent plot, and a not-so-straight-forward blooming romance, this novel (and series) has quickly become one of my favourites. Maas’ writing style keeps me coming back for more. I can’t wait to see where she takes these characters in her next; A Court of Wings and Ruin!