My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Do you remember how I was thoroughly annoyed with the first book in this series? You’re not the only one shocked by this rating, I assure you.
I had this long debate with myself about how high to rate ACoMAF. I still am debating it, and there’s no telling, I might change my mind in the future. This is sort of how it goes:
Me: Looks like we’re doing another divided opinions review again.
Myself: Uhuh. We can’t do this without actually having conflicted feelings about a book, you know.
Me: It’s kind of difficult to discuss this without majorly spoiling everything.
Myself: Let them eat cake and live with it. (shrugs)
Me: To sum up, this is like Heir of Fire because it’s an entire book dedicated to character development as Feyre recovers from the traumatic events of the Court of Thorns and Roses, while discovering herself and new love.
Myself: Alternatively, it’s an entire book of moping and feeling sorry for oneself while being incredibly stubborn and obtuse about romance for no reason.
Me: Aaaand there’s the evil one again.
Myself: What? It’s forgivable in Feyre but not Celaena? How does that work?
Me: BECAUSE. Celaena didn’t have an excuse for two reasons: one. she was proper moping, not grieving and two, why was she doing it after all that time? She had years to get over it.
Myself: Yeah, I have to agree.
Me: Moving on to the major plot twist of this book. Feyre and Rhysand aren’t just a couple, they’re true mates. How freaking cool is that?
Myself: Very. We’ve been shipping them since forever. Should have seen this coming though. Why give Rhys so much screen time in the last book?
Me: Indeed. You have to applaud the genius, the author set up this giant trap for us. She gave it a great deal of thought.
Myself: Did she though? It could be that she saw the occasional unhappy review and decided to put a new spin on it.
Me: Well. she did a brilliant job either way. My faith is restored. Also, I’m leaning towards deliberate planning, since Rhys brings up small details that couldn’t just have happened overnight. Also, his general behavior was weird, from a wider perspective.
Myself: I suppose so. Either way, I feel justified liking him more than that useless Tamlin now. Bleurgh.
Me: Good job, Ms. Maas!
Myself: (looks up from notes) Topic 3 is Feyre’s newfound superpowers.
Me: She does have some cool ones.
Myself: The problem is that she has too many of them. As many as the plot demands.
Myself: That whole battle at the end was an exercise in convenience. It might been the stuff of movies, but how on earth am I supposed to believe that she can suddenly winnow like that X-Men character? And if you can winnow multiple times without effort, would there be battles between Fae at all?
Me: (imagines a game of hide and seek)
Myself: Also, the whole I-inherited-Rhys’s-convenient-mind-reading-power-thing, along with her “instincts” about the High Lords…it just reeks of special-snowflake-ness.
Me: There’s a rationale though. It’s a bit Captain Planet, I admit, but Celaena is probably worse.
Myself: Probably, yeah, considering how much of an assassin she is not.
Me: (ignores the comment, too busy reminiscing)
Myself: Earth to self. The final issue is the most important one. The romance.
Me: Huh? I thought we agreed we ship them and this is all win?
Myself: I was speaking of it as a plot device, not in terms of the relationship itself.
Me: I don’t think there was anything wrong with it.
Myself: That’s because it only is a proper relationship for the last third of the book.
Me: They have a long-standing friendship before that. I think it counts.
Myself: I wasn’t too much a fan of the shape-shifter like mating either. And the general de-evilizing of Rhys. I liked his ruthlessness.
Me: Yeah, the whole we-can-now-bond-and-send-emotions-thing was a bit cringey. Rhys was humanized well, I thought.
Myself: We must agree to disagree, I think.
Me: Whatever. The whole just made me super happy, like so:
Myself: Shall we get to the verdict? I say 3.5 stars for readable writing, expanding on the wordlbuilding, a non-irritating cliff hanger ending and general evidence of planning ahead.
Me: It’s going to be 4 stars because cheesiness aside, it was enjoyable. Which we weren’t expecting it to be. Also Rhys. So much Rhys. All the Rhys.
Myself: (huffs) Fine.
Me: Come on, I’ll make it up to you with a nice picture of what Rhys could look like:
Myself: (blinks) Not bad.
So that’s how I felt about it, and I am going to read the third book now. Predictable it may be, but it was entertaining so this series will go on.
Thanks to my friend who lent me her Kindle and encouraged me to read this one! I might have never bothered otherwise.