Book: A Court of Frost and Starlight
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3.1 (Novella)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: YA Fantasy
My rating: ★★★★
Months after the explosive events in A Court of Wings and Ruin, Feyre, Rhys, and their companions are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.
I’m going to split up my review into two sections. First I’ll discuss non-spoilers, then at the bottom I’ll discuss spoilery content. You’ll get a warning before that content pops up, so don’t worry! 🙂
This review might be a bit of a mess because I’m still in that hangover stage after devouring this book after its midnight release. Despite already pre-ordering the physical copies (yes, plural, lmao) I knew I’d have to read ACOFAS immediately in order to avoid any spoilers on social media. So, I pre-ordered it on Kindle and waited for it to auto download at midnight. It didn’t actually come through until 12:20AM, by which point I was sending ranty tweets to Destiny at Howling Libraries, expressing my frustration haha. But, I’m glad I read it so fast because some people have been legit posting FULL PAGES of the book on Facebook and twitter — like, what even? It’s pub day for crying out loud! Why? WHY!?
Okay. Sorry. Rant over.
Getting back on topic! My physical copies have not arrived yet, but I am hoping they will by the time this post goes live. I fully intend to read through it again so I can mark the pages.
Now for my thoughts. Was ACOFAS everything I expected? Yes and no. I absolutely expected it to be short and sweet. Coming in at 208 pages, I believe this is extremely generous of Maas, considering most novellas are less than 100 pages in length. I know there was a lot of disappointment surrounding the length of this book, and I understand the frustration. Just remember that Maas wrote this book during some very high and low points of her life (you can read her newsletter where she pours her heart out about the writing process), and that this novella is intended to help bridge the gap between the original trilogy and the next three full-length novels to come.
Are you going to get a ton of action and plot-driven scenarios? No. Are you going to get more of what the characters are doing in their day-to-day lives? Yes. I do feel there was some fan service involved, but they are such lighthearted moments that I ate it up. We get a glimpse into Velaris post-war and we see how each character is handling the aftermath. The Inner Circle is preparing for Winter Solstice, which is a big celebration filled with gifting giving, family, friends, and food. There are some adorable moments where Feyre and Mor go shopping, Cassian, Az and Rhys having a snowball fight, and Feyre healing through her painting. And, yes, there is the wall scene.
On the flip side, there are some serious topics involved such as PTSD and depression. I also appreciated the “humanized” things that were included such as having to sit down and pay bills! Budgeting! Stressing about holiday gift shopping! All the woes of every day life.
One thing that’s different is the format of this book: It is told from the POVs of Feyre, Rhysand, Mor, and Cassian. Feyre’s and Rhysand’s POVs are told in first person, while Mor’s and Cassian’s POVs are told in the third person. I thought that was a little weird at first, but I got used to it pretty fast. Also, if you’re reading the eBook edition: Be aware that the last page of the novella ends at 89%. The rest of the book is a preview of the next full-length novel.
So, do I recommend this if you’re a die-hard ACOTAR fan? Yes. Being back in the world and seeing the Inner Circle again was like hanging out with old friends. The novella also sets the stage for the next full-length novel, which I am already eager to get my hands on!
Below WILL BE SPOILERS because I’m going to quickly talk about each of the characters. I want to rave/rant about each person, so if you haven’t read any of the ACOTAR books (including ACOFAS) then turn away now.
Okay, you’ve been warned.
My Spoilery Thoughts:
Feyre – Feyre is adjusting to life as High Lady. She’s juggling the responsibilities of rebuilding Velaris and rebuilding her relationship with her sisters. I loved how she started painting again and opened a studio to help kids paint. This speaks to my soul because I used to take painting classes and it’s something I miss doing.
Rhysand – We get a POV from Rhys which is everything I ever wanted! I know Rhys is everyone’s book bf, so I will try to contain my obsession. Honestly I could read an entire book from his POV because I love being inside his mind. And can I just gush about how adorable it is when he was snowball fighting? Or getting kicked out of the sauna? LOL.
Mor– Apparently Mor is notorious for giving terrible gifts, and that just made me smile from ear to ear. Also, I’m interested to see where her journey takes her in the next book. I hate what she endured and I hate that she even has to still deal with her jerk of a father. I’m still a bit salty over how she strung along Az, and I want them to both move on from each other and be happy.
Amren – Amren’s new hobby is puzzles! Puzzles! How hilarious is that? (Nothing wrong with puzzles, guys. I love doing puzzles.) Her obsession with gems is still strong, and she’s still dating Varian. She still says the wrong things at the wrong time. Just our typical Amren.
Azriel – Az will forever be my shy little cinnamon roll. I eat up any parts with him in it because I love all his subtle mannerisms (Azisms? Lol). I still don’t know how I feel about an Elain/Az ship, but it warms my heart when they interact with each other. I can tell it brings him joy, and he really deserves to be happy.
Cassian – My fave! I love any witty words that come out of his mouth. But again, my heart breaks! Why? Because he’s so still in love with Nesta and she is reallyyyyyyy the worst in this book. More on her later.
Nesta – I warmed up to Nesta in ACOWAR. I loved her sharp tongue. But yikes. This time around? She is very depressed and angry. She has totally isolated herself from family, lives in a rougher part of town, and frequents seedy bars. Look, whatever floats your boat. But her shit attitude toward everyone who wants to help her needs to stop. She’s taking Feyre’s money for rent but she can’t even bother to be cordial to anyone. Fuck that. I hope she gets a healing arc redemption because my patience for her attitude is wearing thin.
Elain – I’m glad Elain is coming out of her shell, but I couldn’t help but get soooo frustrated at how she acted around Lucien. Hello! At least speak to him! No one is making you guys date. Just be a nice person. FFS.
Lucien – I feel awful for him. When he talked about not having any friends really broke my heart. It makes me sad when I read about outcasts and I hope he and Elain can find peace with each other.
Tamlin – I’ll preface this by saying I was in an abusive relationship. I dated a Tamlin. But oh man, his parts in this book made me seriously sad. He is a shell of a man. I’m sure people will say he totally deserves it, and yea, I get that. I’m not apologizing for his actions; I just think depression is a cruel, cruel thing and don’t wish it on anybody. I hope he gets help and is able to rebuild his court.
Overall it was a joy to be back in this world. I loved the wintery/coziness I felt reading this book. This would be the perfect holiday read, IMO. Is it the best story out there? No. Does a lot of stuff happen? Again, no. This novella is more about family, friendships, and moving on from loss.
What did you think of ACOFAS?