Hi guys ^^ Today I'm very excited to share my non-spoiler review of ACOWAR with you. I finished the book in roughly two days and I absolutely loved it. Was it perfect? Nope. Do I love this book to bits anyway? Hell yeah!
I'll also be posting a full spoiler discussion of the book on the 20th of May. So if you've finished the book already and want to discuss about it with me, you can look forward to my upcoming spoiler discussion. Also, please note that while this review does not spoil ACOWAR, it does spoil the first two books in the series.
Still here? Let's start ^^
Without spoiling anything, I'll just say that Feyre totally delivers as High Lady. The story starts with Feyre back in the Spring Court and while I can't tell you much about what happens there, I'll just say that Feyre didn't disappoint at all. You know, I didn't even like Feyre in the first book but when I look back on the trilogy and see how much she has evolved as a character, I can't help but seriously root for her. Usually, in YA and new adult fantasy stories, I tend to prefer the male lead over the female main character. But Feyre is one of those very few female leads to have totally won me over. Rhysand is still my favorite character of the entire series. Not to mention my favorite book boyfriend of all time. But Feyre is definitely my second favorite character in the series.
Tamlin the Tool
Tamlin the Tool
It was announced by Sarah J. Maas well before ACOWAR was released that Tamlin would be offered a shot at redemption of some sorts in this book and like many people, I had my reservations about that. Again, I can't give specifics without treading into spoiler territory but I'll just say that I was very happy with Tamlin's character arc in this book. He wasn't villainized, which I personally appreciated as that's something I had been dreading to see and which had kind of started to happen in ACOMAF. I feel like Sarah did justice to Tamlin in ACOWAR by giving him a character arc that isn't just realistic but which is also true to his character. Is he still a jerk? Has he redeemed himself? You'll have to wait for my spoiler discussion to learn more about that. I'll just say though, that I never considered Tamlin to be evil, not even after the shocking reveals in ACOMAF. For me, Tamlin is just as broken as Feyre and Rhysand by the events of Under the Mountain. He just didn't really do a great job getting over it unlike these two.
I have so much stuff to say about Tamlin though. Be sure to check out my upcoming spoiler discussion if you also want to share your thoughts about him with me ^^
The Fae Courts
Again, it was announced before the book's release that in ACOWAR we'd get to see the other Fae Courts and their High Lords. Plus, that's literally on the blurb at the back on the book. Of course however, I can't really tell you the circumstances in which we visit the courts and what happens there. I'll just say though that while we do get to see them, I feel that we didn't spend as much time there as we could have. It was fun getting to know the other High Lords, but again, we didn't really get to spend a lot of time with them. The plus side to this is that it leaves a lot of opportunity for future books to expand on the Fae Courts. That being said, the Night Court and Velaris are still my favorite places in all of Prythian <3.
We go into this book rooting (or not) for quite a few ships following the events at the end of ACOMAF. Feyre and Rhysand don't even count as a ship at this point because their relationship is just that great. With regards to our other ships though, mainly Nesta & Cassian, Azriel & Mor and Lucien & Elain, without actually revealing anything, I must say that overall I was very satisfied with how everything played out. And yes, Sarah did manage to pull some stunts I didn't see coming with regards to these ships. So, have all ships sailed? Hmmm, I guess I'll let you find out for yourself XD. Or you can tune in when I post my spoiler discussion because trust me, there's A LOT to discuss about!!!
So, what about the characters themselves?
I liked all the story arcs linked to the members of the Inner circle. Some didn't get story arcs as developed as others but since we know we're getting three more books starting from next year, I don't really mind since I know we'll see more of these characters in the future.
With regards to the Archeron sisters, I will confess that I was a little scared to see how things would unfold after the super unexpected Fae transformation of Feyre's sisters. I was very satisfied with how things turned out though. And while Elain is fleshed out a bit more than in previous books and gets her own very promising storyline, one which is sure to be continued in future books, it was Nesta who had the best character arc in my opinion. I hated Nesta in the first two books and I still kind of have a little bit of a grudge against her for being such a bitch to Feyre. But Nesta as a Fae is, simply put, Nesta at her best. Again, I can't say much without spoiling some stuff but to put it bluntly, in ACOWAR Nesta pretty much gets her shit together and undergoes quite an interesting character evolution. Hell, by the end of the book I realized that I had even begun to like her. LOL.
Another character whom I was really looking forward to see was Lucien and while his storyline caught me a little by surprise, overall I was happy with it. Lucien is basically Feyre's first friend in the entire series and just like with Tamlin, I feel like Sarah really did his character justice in this book. I know we'll get to see more of him in future books and quite frankly, I'm really looking forward to seeing more of our russet-eyed Clever Fox.
Loose ends and future books
While I liked the ending of the book, which I think rather nicely concluded this first trilogy with Feyre as our main character, ACOWAR did have quite a lot of loose ends. Now, we know we're getting three more books in this series and Sarah J. Maas has also recently announced that each of these books will be focused on a different couple. So personally, I'm quite excited to see how these loose ends are developed and resolved in future books. Personally, I feel like not only did the first trilogy come to a satisfying end, but the unresolved subplots give us some new stories to look forward to and be excited about in the upcoming books.
Final word and rating
Like I said at the beginning of this review, this book is by no means a perfect one. It does have its flaws, including some that have come to be quite recurrent in Sarah J. Maas's books. And yes, I will be expanding more on these in my spoiler discussion. Overall though, I was very satisfied with the turn the story took, as well as the various character arcs. Rhys and Feyre are now two of my favorite characters of all time. Also, the sheer excitement of anticipating the book's release, the frenzy that came with finally getting the book and later participating in group chats with fellow fans... All these things, as well as the merciless roller-coaster of emotions that came from reading the actual book... All these things will make ACOWAR forever be one of my favorite books of all times. Or perhaps I should say, one of my favorite reading experiences of all time. ACOWAR was not just a book. It was an event. One that I got to share with a bunch of equally crazy and passionate fangirls. And for that alone, as well as the pure enjoyment of reading it, I can only give ACOWAR 5 stars. I might reduce that rating once my excitement over it has dampened and I finally reread it. Until then though, I'm going to keep my rating at 5 stars 💗
Enter my giveaway for a chance to win a paperback copy of A Court of Wings and Ruin (Open Internationally!)
I'm currently also hosting a giveaway for a free copy of ACOWAR. And yes, it's even open internationally ^^ If you haven't already done so, you can click here to enter for a chance to win a copy of this book.