In the first book, ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ of the ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ Series we’re led to believe that Tamlin is the near-perfect character that Feyrah is destined to be with. It is only in the second book, ‘A Court of Mist and Fury,’ that we discover how damaging the trauma that Tamlin suffered was. That he has been damaged by the trauma inflicted by Amarantha, the villain of the first book, and that it is because of this damage that he is smothering Feyrah with his need for complete dominance and control over her existence. He is being manipulated by outside forces and ignoring those who were his friends. This leads to the downfall of their twisted romance and Feyrah is saved by Rhysand in her darkest moments, first through the excuse of their bargain, but then by taking her away when Tamlin resorts to using his magic to trap her within the boundaries of the house leaving her to suffer from her mental instability.
In this book, I found myself unwittingly falling in love with Rhysand and his character which is marked by a dark backstory filled with unspoken trauma. By the end, we learn that Feyrah is his mate and she accepts the mating bond. While the enemies to lovers trope is nothing new I found myself falling into the romance of Rhysand and Feyrah in ways I wouldn’t usually within this plot. Tamlin tries over and over to steal her back not believing that she has left of her own accord but instead torturing himself with the idea that Rhysand is evil and must be holding her against her will. While I find it noble that he thinks she needs saving and would go to the ends of the Earth (or Prythian in this case) to save her, the ends that he eventually goes to nearly cost her her love, her family, and costs Tamlin his kingdom. While I don’t want her to go back to Tamlin after the damage that he has wrought I think it is one-sided to not weigh the actions of Rhysand’s manipulation of Tamlin and the rest of Prythian into believing he is evil in his staunch belief that she is in mortal peril to be left with him. Taking into consideration Rhysand’s ability to manipulate minds and bend people to his will I don’t find it that surprising that Tamlin would believe Rhysand was forcing Feyrah to say and do the things that she did to appease Tamlin. It is because all of the characters, save the true villains such as Hybern and Amarantha, are not simple that makes the book so riveting.
My favorite part of this book was the discovery and development of Feyrah’s powers, within the fantasy realm, which come from all seven High Lords and when she was made High Lady of the Night Court, an equal to Rhysand and his throne. Once again Feyrah is established as the strong female protagonist. I was waiting for a moment when she was going to unleash her newfound talents on one of their enemies and she did have a few instances where she showed off her skills to unwitting opponents that underestimated her but not with the lethality that I was thirsting for, especially after hearing about the putrid men lurking in the Autumn court.
The young adult fiction or adult fiction second novel is followed by two more: ‘A Court of Wings and Ruin,’ and, ‘A Court of Frost and Starlight,’ with the fifth and final novel ‘A Court of Silver Flames,’ coming out in January of 2021.
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