The Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

It’s once again that time of month when I share with everyone what I consider the best “new adult” book that I read this past month. For those of you unfamiliar with what a “new adult book” is let me share a quick definition.  It is a book that has characters who are older than teens but not quite full blown adults (you know people with mortgages, divorces, and progeny).  These books have similar themes as teen books about growing up and going out into the world but they lack parental influence and usually involve a lot of grown-up touching. This month’s selection may seem like an odd choice because it’s published by Bloomsbury USA Children, cataloged in the Teen section at the library, and the character are still finding their place in the world and there is much adult touching.

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It’s difficult for me to put into words my reactions to this book.  After I finished the more than twenty-four hour long audiobook all I could think was “Huh?”. “The Court of Wings and Ruins” begins where “A Court of Mist and Fury” ended with Freya being held captive by Tamlin and her planning to act as a spy for her court.  However, that is resolved in just a few chapters that made the whole storyline feel like an afterthought.  The quick resolution felt as if Maas changed her mind about the trajectory of the series after the second installment’s release and scrambled to undo her cliffhanger which was disappointing and frustrating for a reader who was looking forward to Freya’s acting as a double agent.  This change also made the book fell slightly disjointed between the resolution of the Freya’s story in Tamlin’s court and her return to Rhysand making it feel as if the book should have been two separate novels.  This disjointedness can be seen in many books that aren’t just that well written however “The Court of Wing and Ruin” is incredibly well written.  The entire novel is proof that Sarah J. Maas is a master of world building.  She has created the courts of Fae with a heirarchy and palaces filled with fine furnishing all described in beautiful details.  However, something just felt a little off about the actual story based in this fine crafted world.  To begin with this is a long book.  “The Court of Wings and Ruins” weighs in over 700 pages and that bulk felt unnecessary at times.  Maas told not only the stories of Freya, Rhysand and Tamlin but also of all their friends, family, and acquaintance.  This wide spanning narrative began to feel like a backdoor pilot on a beloved television show.   Throughout the book it felt as if Maas pressed pause on Freya’s story to introduce tidbits about a character that I didn’t particularly want to visit just to set up spin-off novels.  It’s not that these characters weren’t well written ( I would happily read an entire book about Lucien and Elain and their complicated relationship) it’s just that their story slowed the momentum of the book making a long novel feel longer which was a first for a Sarah J. Mass book.  Yet, the most frustrating part of the twenty-four hour listening-a-thon that was “The Court of Those and Ruins”  was the actual path the narrative took.  Maas always brings unexpected elements to her stories however in “Court of Wings and Ruin” the entire book kind of plodded along in the most expect course.  It the unnecessary bulk of the book and the wide spread yet obvious narrative that made this book move from an exciting must read to a slightly disappointing novel that I just finished.  Fans of the series and Maas will eagerly devour this book however speaking as a fan who declared this one of their most anticipated book of 2017 it just doesn’t live up to the author’s past work.

Final Rating: 3 out of 5

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