Hi everyone! Today is my first review of 2021, which is kind of crazy because I’m supposed to be a book reviewer. But that aside, I’ve got a review of A Court of Silver Flames for you all today! This will be mostly spoiler free, however I will have a section at the very end to talk about some spoilers!
A Court of Silver Flames
by Sarah J Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #4
Release date: February 16th 2021
Genre: Adult, 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.
I was a little skeptical going into this one because I was never really a big fan of Nesta, but I’m happy to say that SJM changed my mind about her! I ended up giving this book 5 stars (I mainly rate on emotions), but it’s entirely possible that after some time has passed I might lower that rating or remember things that I didn’t really like all that much. But for now, I LOVED this book.
Reading about Nesta’s struggles and how she managed to pull herself out was honestly really inspiring. I loved how her journey was not perfect, and by the end she still wasn’t 100% better but that just makes it more believable. I loved her interactions with everyone around her and how we got to see everything from her point of view – how she says these hurtful things because she herself is hurting and she just lashes out. It’s definitely going to take Nesta much longer than one book to fully heal herself, but she’s started down a path to being truly happy.
I especially loved the dynamic between Nesta and her new friends, their banter and the way that they supported each other and helped each other find their way was honestly so heartwarming. I loved learning about Emerie and Gwyn’s histories, and the way that they didn’t treat Nesta like she was about to explode. The contrast between how they treated her versus the inner circle was interesting to see, especially now that we are seeing it through Nesta’s eyes.
I think a lot of people aren’t going to like seeing Feyre and Rhysand through Nesta’s eyes because she (obviously) sees them differently than what we saw from Feyre, but seeing a different side of them knowing what their thoughts and feelings would most likely be was heartbreaking. I just wanted Nesta to know that they were there for her, but she wasn’t making it easy to support her and it was hurting them as well. It definitely hurt a bit seeing Feyre portrayed as patronizing and Rhys being, well, an asshole, but knowing that this is how Nesta is perceiving them made it understandable.
Getting things from Cassian’s point of view was interesting, because with him it kept us involved in the politics of the Court while Nesta was so isolated. I felt so bad for him every time someone would insult him because after 500 years of being called a brute and a bastard, he’s truly started to believe that he isn’t worthy of anything when clearly that isn’t true.
The romance between the two (because let’s not pretend that that isn’t what everyone was waiting for) was interesting. It was clear throughout the other books in the series that there was some serious sexual tension between the two. I didn’t mind that they went almost exclusively into having no strings attached (or so Nesta said) sex, because when it started she was still in that headspace of using alcohol and sex to dull her pain, and Cassian was just an extension of that. I think she knew on some level that she had strong feelings for Cassian, but didn’t think herself deserving and so continued with whatever she could get, while wondering at the same time if he was even interested in her for more than just the sex.
We didn’t get to see much about Nesta’s powers, but knowing that she had this trauma from the war and almost refused to use or acknowledge the power that she took from the Cauldron it didn’t bother me too much. She didn’t want the powers that she took, which was clear throughout the book.
Before we get into the spoilers, I’m going to wrap up some last thoughts here. I think it was a little risky for SJM to go from such well loved characters in this series to Nesta, and only because I can see a lot of people being angry and upset about how those loved characters are portrayed within this story. I however think it worked beautifully (for me at least) because we needed to be reminded that those characters are not perfect, and not everyone views them as these all powerful beings who can do no wrong. I think Nesta’s journey was important to show and I’m glad that we were given the opportunity to see this world through her eyes and watch her start to heal and become someone who wanted to participate, rather than be a bystander.
Okay, now to talk about some spoilers! These are probably going to be a little jumbled, because I have lots of thoughts that touch on some of those spoiler filled moments.
I mentioned above how Nesta’s powers weren’t something that she wanted, and she did make that abundantly clear throughout the story and the way that she ended up giving those powers back to save Feyre, Rhys and their baby was the perfect way for her to let go of that immense pressure of her powers while also saving the people that she loved. The sisters all ended up forgiving each other, and honestly, it was a scene that almost made me cry!
Part of Nesta’s abilities was to Make other items, which she unintentionally did throughout the book. The one that really made me emotional though was finding out that the House was Made by Nesta, meaning that it was a part of her. It also helped show Nesta that there were good parts of her, that she wasn’t so terrible because the House was good and kind to her.
I loved that Cassian knew they were mates the entire time, and we were even able to see the moment that the mating bond slipped into place and DIDN”T EVEN REALIZE that was what was happening! I definitely think Nesta knew from the beginning as well, but as she said, admitting they were mates meant she would be losing the last of her humanity and that wasn’t something she was ready to give up. I loved that by the end, Nesta allowed herself the happiness of being with Cassian, and honestly I was so happy for the two of them to finally have that happiness.
I am however, a little disappointed that the entire issue of Brialyn was solved so quickly with Nesta unmaking her when she threatened to kill Cassian during the Blood Rite, because it felt a little anticlimactic. And I’m sure that we will see more with that particular plot line and the consequences of what happened, but it felt a little rushed and then was brushed aside and was never addressed. Of course, right after the Blood Rite everything with the birth happened, so of course there wasn’t really a good time to discuss strategy when all that chaos was happening.
Now I’m just wondering if the next book will be from Nesta and Cassian’s POV, or if we’ll get a book from Az, Mor, Elain or Lucien next….
Did you read ACOSF yet? If so, what were your thoughts? I’d love to chat!