A Court of Wings and Ruin

A Court of Wings and Ruin

Title: A Court of Wings and Ruin

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3

Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens Books

Release Date: May 2nd 2017


Five Stars

Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’smanoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit—and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords—and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

There may be slight spoilers for A Court of Wings and Ruin in this review. If you haven’t yet read the third book in the Court of Thorns and Roses series I’d recommend skipping this review until you have.

As always this review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“What we think to be our greatest weakness can sometimes be our biggest strength. And that the most unlikely person can alter the course of history.”

When it came to A Court of Wings and Ruin my expectations were sky high. While this last book in the series more than met my expectations I am struggling to review it because I don’t know where to begin, or how to properly express how much I loved this book without my review being hundreds of pages long.

After coming face to face with King Hybern and being forced to retreat Feyre is once more back at the Spring Court, only this time she is determined to tear it to the ground, hoping that will make it easier to defeat Hybern. Every move Tamlin and Ianthe make only play into Feyre’s hands but it’s not enough; not when Hybern has sent his niece and nephew to inspect the wall, not when he still has the Cauldron in his hands and not when war between them is more of a certainty than a far off threat to try and avoid.

“But this is war. We don’t have the luxury of good ideas—only picking between the bad ones.”

Feyre and Rhysand need all the allies they have gained, need to convince all of Prythian’s other Courts to fight alongside them, but Hybern’s forces are much more vast than their own. Feyre, Rhysand, Nesta, Elain and all of the inner circle find themselves making some bad, though necessary, decisions in order to have even a hope of facing Hybern on the battlefield.

It felt like everything, even the first two books in the series, were building up to the climax of this third book. Amarantha in the first book was only a taste of what was to come when Hybern starts his approach on Prythian. There is no easy path for Feyre to walk in this book, instead she has to make the best of what she has and hope for the best. Sarah J. Maas did an amazing job of writing her characters and setting the scene to show how the war was affecting all of their lives. The danger in this book is very real, and every single page in the run up to the end of this novel was tense.

…The Characters

“I repeated their names silently, over and over into the darkness. Rhysand. Mor. Cassian. Amren. Azriel. Elain. Nesta.”

Feyre is forced to make some hard decisions in this book, not just for the good of her people back in the Night Court but also for the good of Prythian and the good of the humans on the other side of the wall. She makes some mistakes, errors in judgment that could end up costing them something valuable in the fight against Hybern, but she holds her head high and accepts that. She simply turns and tries to find another way to keep moving forwards.

The development Feyre’s character has gone through since the very first book has been amazing. She still suffers after the events Under the Mountain at the hands of Amarantha but you can see her healing a little more in this book. She still has nightmares and flashbacks, only made worse by some of the things she sees during the war, but she fights through them knowing it’s not just her own life she needs to save but plenty of others now resting on her shoulders.

“I would have waited five hundred more years for you. A thousand years. And if this was all the time we were allowed to have…The wait was worth it.”

Rhysand, despite the facade he presents to the world, has scars that run just as deep as Feyre’s do. His past is a dark one and the things he did while Amarantha ruled still haunt him the way Feyre’s actions haunt her. Rhys believes that he has to protect the world, and he is willing to throw himself into any danger that comes along if he thinks it will save his people. There is a lot more to Rhys than meets the eye, as the other High Lords discover, and it was interesting learning more about him in this book.

The relationship between Feyre and Rhysand is perfect. Honestly there are no other words for it. While they don’t live completely in one another pockets, there are things Feyre keeps from Rhysand and vice versa, they make a strong team and know when they can rely on the other when needed. Rhys gives Feyre the space she needs to grow, the space to heal and the space to call him out on his bad decisions. In turn Feyre gives Rhys peace, she accepts his past without question and is fiercely protective over anyone who tries to throws Rhysand’s past in his face.

“When you erupt, girl, make sure it is felt across worlds.”

After what happened to them in the Cauldron at the end of the last book both Nesta and Elain are suffering. Nesta is angry at the world and the fae, she is closed off and at first chooses to attack the people who reach out to her rather than accept their help. In comparison Elain is almost catatonic, she doesn’t eat or move or speak. She lost everything when she was turned into a fae and doesn’t accept her new life or what she lost in her old.

One of the main things I loved in this book was the amount of representation we saw, and not just in terms of the PTSD Elain and Nesta, and even Feyre still, suffers through. There were plenty of POC characters and characters of different sexual orientations in A Court of Wings and Ruin, and what’s more their diverse aspects weren’t their whole character. Each had their own personalities which made them more than their skin colour, culture or sexual orientation, which is how I think diversity should be portrayed in books.

…The Setting

“This is—my home.”
I could see the details now sinking in. The lack of darkness. The lack of screaming. The scent of the sea and citrus, not blood and decay. The laughter of children that indeed continued.
The greatest secret in Prythian’s history.
“This is Velaris,” I explained. “The City of Starlight.”

A Court of Wings and Ruin took us all over Prythian. We saw the Spring Court again, in turmoil after Tamlin’s deal with Hybern and what it meant for the people that made their home there. Unlike in the first book the Spring Court is not seen as a place of beauty, but a place where there is something dark and rotten at its heart. We go back to Velaris, the City of Starlight which has always been my favourite setting within this world, a city healing from a horrible attack but still a place of peace and sanctuary for anyone who needs it. We even get small glimpses of some of the other Courts as Feyre and Rhysand travel through Prythian on their journeys. Sarah J. Maas wrote the approaching war really well. The battles the characters fight aren’t something that happens to one person at a time depending on whose eyes we’re reading the story though. They’re something that happens to everyone, and something that touches people’s lives in dark ways even long after the fighting has ended.

Like pretty much everyone else who loves Sarah J Maas’s writing and this series my expectations for A Court of Wings and Ruin were sky high, and I ended up loving every single second of this book. The action started at the beginning and didn’t slow down, there was a masterful build up to the ending which you can see hints of even in the first book of the series.

All in all I could not have asked for anything more from A Court of Wings and Ruin, and if I could rate this book more than five stars I would in a heartbeat.

What did you think of A Court of Wings and Ruin? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

38 thoughts on “A Court of Wings and Ruin

  1. Love your review, Beth! I didn’t love ACOWAR as much as I loved ACOMAF but I adored getting to see more of the other courts and Prythian, Maas has such a talent for world building! Totally agree with you on Rhys and Feyre too – they are PERFECTION. So sad that their story ends with this book but can’t wait to see where she goes with the next 3! PS. Hope you’re doing good! 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Sammie. 🙂 Oh that’s a shame, but you still liked ACOWAR right? I do wonder if I’d have re-read ACOMAF before starting the third book I’d have had the same opinion on it.
      Yeah the world building was beyond brilliant, and so where Feyre and Rhys too. I can’t get enough of them but I’m sure we’ll see them again in the later books.
      Yeah I’m good, thanks Sammie, I hope you’re doing well too. 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahhhhh I still haven’t read this book AND I KNOW I WANT TO but I’m soooo not ready for all the feels haha. 😀 It sounds amazing though!! I absolutely have to read this omg. I’m not sure yet if I want to reread the first two books though?? Or just read recaps online? NO CLUE. But either way I can’t wait to read this book and I’m so glad you loved it!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my god you need to read this book Analee, and actually I doubt you’ll ever be ready for the feels, no one is when it comes to SJM’s writing! 😀
      It really is, and personally I’d recommend doing what I didn’t do and re-reading the first two books. It can only improve the reading experience when you get around this this one.
      I hope you enjoy this one when you get around to it Analee, though I’m sure you will! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahhhh very true, better to just jump right into it maybe? ❤ Oh very true! I definitely am considering rereading the first two, I have a horrible memory and it would be lovely to dive back into the world from the start ahah. The books are so huge though!! Ahh I have no doubt as well, this book sounds amazing. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have a horrible memory as well, and really wish I’d re-read the first two books before starting this one. I guess that means I’m just going to have to re-read all three at some point! 😀
        I can’t wait to see what you think of this one. I#m sure you’ll love it! 😀 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! When a book meets your sky-high expectations and doesn’t ever disappoint! So glad to see how much you enjoyed this and how much you loved the series. The relationship between those two characters really sounds epic, and sounds like it was built perfectly throughout the whole series. Great review, Beth! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, especially this book which was one of my most anticipated reads and possibly one that could have ended up disappointing me if my expectations ended up being too high. It’s a brilliant series, and yeah if there’s one thing SJM does better than anything else it’s character and relationship development. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I absolutely LOVED this instalment! It gave me all of the feels and I just cannot even believe this is the end of Rhys and Feyres character arc 😦 Elain (by the way,
    You’ve written Elian throughout) actually really bugged me toward the end. I can understand why she was in the state hat she was in, but I ended up wanting to slap her sort of 3/4 of the way through…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh it was amazing wasn’t it? Definitely the perfect ending for the series but yeah I’m a little sad there’s not going to be any more books centered around Feyre and Rhys.
      Ohh, thanks for letting me know, I’ll have to go back and change that soon but it’s pretty much just an example of how terrible with names I am. 🙂 I didn’t mind Elain’s character so much, I guess she was just in shock but it seemed like there was some improvement at the end.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was! I think they will be in the other books, but it won’t be about them, which I’m still pretty upset about 😂😂 she was ok at the beginning, but I felt like, as it continued and she didn’t get better at all, it began to bug me and I rolled my eyes A LOT!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. This is true!!! I’m hoping the next Ines have Helion in them because I really liked his character and I would love to get to know him more!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved reading your review for this so much, Beth! You know I completely agree with every single thing you said in this. ACOWAR was just incredible. Beyond incredible, really. It was such an intense read too! I do wonder if that was in part the anticipation for the ending but it literally felt like the action didn’t stop from page one. I feel like that says so much about SJM as a writer because there was so much character backstory revealed in this one that it could have easily fallen into a giant info dumping trap. But really I love the fact that we saw the effect of the war on each other the characters and how it brought out different struggles in each other. There was something so realistic about it! And then I love how you described Feyre and Rhys’s relationship. You described it so much better than I did, I couldn’t find the words. It really is so perfect! I feel like both of them are exactly what the other needs. I think Rhys needed Feyre’s protective side, needed someone who accepts everything that he is and then for Feyre she needed someone who completely believed in her and the strength she had. It’s such a take and give thing between them, which I loved. And then I completely agree with everything you said about the representation in ACOWAR! It was so effortlessly and naturally woven into the book. I was so happy about that. And we’ve already talked a bit about Nesta and Elain’s part in this book. I’m glad they played a bigger role and that we really saw how everything that happened affected them. Though I think that Nesta had the most development of the two and I sort of wish we had gotten more of Elain in a way. Also, Elain’s power… Did you have it figured out what before Feyre and everyone figured it out too? I felt like it was so obvious! From the first time she spoke and they thought the Cauldron had done something to her I just knew. Oh and everything with Lucien being Elain’s mate. Do you see that working out? Part of me doesn’t and I kind of ship her with someone else… I don’t want to say too much in your comments because spoilers but. 🙈😂 Great review as always!! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Melissa. Ha, yes I know that for sure, we’ve already talked about this book so much it feels like it must have been released a lot longer ago than just a week and a half. God definitely intense, and for me as well it was the fear of what could happen to my favourite characters, I knew none of them were completely safe and a few times it honestly felt like it could be the end for them (that scene with Cassian, Nesta and Hybern was one for sure!)
      Oh her writing and development was beyond amazing in this book. It definitely says a lot about her skills as a writer that the development was as good as it was. Too much would have been info dumping, like you said, but too little would have left the character under developed. It’s a fine line to walk. Yeah, it would have been easy to brush it under the rug and forget about what they did during the war but SJM didn’t let any of the characters do that. I’m glad you liked that part of my review. 😀 Feyre and Rhys are little the perfect couple, and one of my rare OTPs as well simply because of how amazing they are together.
      That’s how I want to see more representation, it doesn’t always need to be at the forefront of every novel, sometimes it’s more natural to have it scattered in the pages like it was in ACOWAR. Nesta and Elian really had a bigger part of the story in this book, and yeah it would have been interesting to see more of Elian but that can be on the wishlist for the next book! 😀
      I think I suspected, but wasn’t 100% sure until it was confirmed by Feyre/the book. I know who you ship Elian with, his name begins with A and ends with L right. I dunno I did get a feeling of something between them but part of me thinks that they simply think of the other as someone safe because he is hung up on someone else and Elian is still hung up on her ex you know? It would certainly be interesting seeing a story where mates don’t end up together, but I want Lucian to have a happy ending as well! 😀
      Thanks so much Melissa. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, Beth!! 😁♥ Right? It feels like it should have been longer since it released. Honestly, I’m surprised I managed to finish it in a week. I was just racing to the ending though, 700 pages wasn’t enough. 😂 Same! I was terrified that one of my favorites would die. And there were definitely times when I thought one would. YES that scene with Cassian, Nesta, and Hybern! Then that one before that whole battle where Cassian was getting overwhelmed by Hybern’s army and then was badly injured. Seems to be a pattern here with Cassian and jumping into the action. 😅 (not to mention the whole Cauldron scene where Nesta screams for him)
        It really does! There was that perfect balance in the development. I know a lot weren’t happy with how she left some characters stories really open but I love how she managed to have it feel like a conclusion (for Feyre and Rhys) while also making it feel like a beginning (for the others) and include that balanced development. Feyre and Rhys really are the perfect couple. I have way too many OTPs but they’re one of my top ones.
        Exactly! That’s how I want to see more representation too. Just having it naturally woven and scattered throughout the book makes it feel realistic. It reflects the real world in that way since the world is naturally diverse. Kind of like how Samantha Shannon does her diversity. Not to say that books that put a big focus on it are bad, because we need those books, but books that naturally put it in like this are great. Definitely! I’m so hoping the next novel is Elain/Lucien. Though for some reason I have a feeling we’ll get a Nesta novel first after how this one ends.
        YES! I ship him with Elain so much. I blame Feyre because she put the thought into my head in ACOMAF and then whenever they met in ACOMAF. All of this being pre-Lucien. I just think they would work so well together. But yeah, who knows it could simply because, like you said, they’re both hung up on someone else and find each other a safe place. That and their powers are similar in the sense that they hear/see things the others don’t. They relate to each other and all of that. But a big part of me ships them and I want Az to have a happy ending so bad, he deserves it. It would be and I feel like Lucien could have a happy ending even if things don’t work out with Elain. I definitely want Lucien to have a happy ending as bad as I want Mor and Az to have one. 😊♥

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It always feels that way with the books we’re really excited for, I think the more we talk about them and the more we analyse them the longer it feels like they’ve been released simply because of how much we talk about them! 😀 700 pages definitely wasn’t enough, but there are still three more novels and two novellas so it’s not like this was the end or anything.
        We had no idea how SJM ends series, it could have been a case where everyone died except the odd few characters, which would have been so depressing. But there were times when I was pretty much 100% sure certain characters would die. Oh god yes, the Cauldron thing, even after Nesta screamed for him for half a second I was sure he was dead as well, that he hadn’t been fast enough.
        I feel like she needed to leave some character’s stories open just so that there was something to go back to in the next book. Can you imagine if everyone got a happy ending, wouldn’t you be wondering what the next book would be about, how she’d even write three more stories set in the same world? Ahh, see I’m the opposite, I don’t have many OTPs so in that aspect characters have to work hard to become an OTP of mine, Feyre and Rhys are at the top for me as well though! 😀
        Exactly, I think sometimes in book like these it’s a better way to have representation. A part of the ordinary where there are bigger things to worry about than the colour of someone’s skin or their sexuality, but they’re still there and present in the story. Samantha Shannon does it really well too, and I agree I love books where the diversity takes the centre stage but it’s just as important to have books like these where diversity is seen as part of the everyday.
        I agree, probably Nesta first, then I’m really hoping Elain and Lucien because I really want to know how Lucien’s story continues, especially after everything that was revealed about him. Ahh, see I’m still holding out hope for Elain and Lucien, but honestly as long as Lucien gets his happy ending I don’t mind who he ends up with, if he ever ends up with anyone. I want all the characters to have a happy ending, especially Az, he really deserves it after everything he’s been through

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It really does! And right? Not to mention the more we talk about them, especially with series, the more we want the next book and the wait just feels longer but we can’t stop talking about them. 😂 True. I’m just surprised by how quickly I got through 700 pages. Then again this month I’ve been reading faster than I can write reviews.
        Exactly! That was my biggest worry, not knowing how SJM ends a series. At least now we know she’s one for happy endings. Or, you know, so far anyway. But yes, there were times when I was 100% sure this character or that character would die. Mainly Cassian. Sometimes Az. Then everything at the end tricked me big time. Same! For a second I thought he was done for too. I think I actually looked ahead a little at that point just to see if he was alive. 🙈
        She definitely needed to leave some of the characters stories open. I think the disappointment stems from people having thought this was the last book and then the fact that there’s so little information about the other three. But I don’t think she’s just going to leave them open. We’ll get their conclusions in the future books for sure.
        I completely agree! Plus, in fantasy there are often times bigger things at play and just having the diversity be a natural part of the world works so well. While contemporaries can be more often times be books that cover diversity or issues within the world centrally because they’re more character driven, you know?
        I’m starting to wonder if the other three books will be multiple POVs or stick to single POV. Just because Lucien and Elain’s stories are obviously connected but Lucien also has a bigger part to his story that doesn’t centrally involve Elain because of Helion. It’s not that I don’t have any hope for Lucien and Elain but rather I shipped her with Az first before we found out about Lucien. And Lucien is one of my favorites so if he and Elain end up together I’d be happy. Especially if we get a whole book where it’s actually developed. But yes, Az needs a happy ending too! Which he better get said happy ending. 😊


  6. So glad you loved it! I overhyped it for myself I think, I still really enjoyed it but it didn’t blow my socks off like acomaf did :/ The Night Court crew are my FAVE though I love them all so much Azriel is such a sweetie I just want to be his bestfriend and fly around with him, I really hope he gets his own book but I feel like I will definitely cry during it with his back story.
    Great review! You managed to sum it up so well I don’t even know where to begin with my own review XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Casey, oh that’s a shame. I’ve had books like that where they’ve been too hyped (by myself) and I haven’t enjoyed them as much as I’d hoped. It always sucks but at least you still enjoyed this one somewhat.
      Yeah I loved the Night Court crew, I’m pretty sure all of them will get their own book, at least that’s what I’m hoping. Azriel’s would definitely make me cry as well.
      Thanks so much, and hopefully it won’t be too bad once you start writing it. Good luck with your review. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll need all the luck I can get XD The Night Court are my fave part of this series and I just don’t know where this book would be with out them, the banter is next level hilarious I can’t wait for more books feature them XD

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m not sure if I want to read this series??? I’ve heard great things about it, but I’ve also heard meh things about it. Plus my friend says Sarah is “problematic” — but my friend basically disses every book sooooooo. XD I also am not very fond of fantasy creatures (except for Harry Potter and Keeper of the Lost Cities 😛 ) so maybe this isn’t the right book/series for me. However, this was a lovely review, Beth! ❤ I'm glad you enjoyed the book. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well in my opinion this is a good series, and one of my favourites as well, but I get that it isn’t going to be for everyone. There does seem to be some controversy surrounding SJM’s books, I’m not completely blind to that but I haven’t noticed it in any of her stories so far, not that I speak for everyone on the subject or anything. If you don’t think this series is for you then don’t pick it up, save your time for a book you know you’ll love! 😀
      Thanks May. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Wonderful review, as always, Beth. As much as I loved ACOWAR, I think ACOMAF was the best in the series. I just couldn’t stop thinking about it when I finished it. Although, I was emotionally spent after all the feels crashed down on me after ACOWAR.

    Overall, it’s an amazing series and SJM does write beautifully ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. 🙂 I haven’t read ACOMAF in so long, not since it was released, but I do remember loving that book so much. It was a happier book for Feyre and Rhys to say the least. 🙂 I think I may need to re-read the whole series! 😀
      God yes, the last few chapters pretty much wore me out, so much happened and it was so scary wondering what would happen to all my favourite characters.
      Definitely agree, SJM is one of my top authors for sure! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Well at least if you do get into this series now all three books have been released so there’ll be no agonising wait for the last book in the series! 🙂
      But honestly SJM is one of my favourite authors and this is one of my favourite series so if you do decide to pick it up one day I really hope you love it. 😀


  9. OMG I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS. I absolutely love this series and am so glad you found this to be a great sequel. I can’t wait to read it for myself! Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a book that was well worth the wait, and I hope you love it as well Zoe. Personally I think ACOMAF was the best of the series but ACOWAR is still a wonderful ending to the first half of the series.
      That’s all right, and I’m so glad you liked my review! 😀 ❤


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