Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses (Book 2)
Released: 2016-05-03
Publisher: Bloomsbury

First and foremost: I am now insanely invested in Feyre, her relationship, and this story. I am also ragingly angry about being so invested, because this book didn’t need to be six hundred pages.

I have to read the next three, which are 700 pages, 229 pages, and 751 pages respectively, because I’m invested in the story and because I told the person who encouraged me to keep reading book 1 I would finish. But I’m honestly not excited or happy about it, because the author made this book such a godawful slog of a read. In fact, I may have to set them aside and come back, because this series feels more like a chore I have to do and am dreading than a way to unwind.

I could have read two books in the time it took to read this, and got twice the story and twice the payoff. Instead, I spent that time skipping anywhere between 3 and 10 pages at a time, feeling like I was in a video game and kept getting pointless side quests. In some places, the sex gets so involved and long-winded that not only is it no longer romantic or sensual, but if you’re reading mainly for the “relationship” you may as well be an adult about it and just go buy some porn.

Rhysand spends a chapter being a jerk with Feyre on his lap just for the optics, and I guess so we can be reminded that Rhys is all powerful and scary? I can only assume it wasn’t enough to write him as a decent guy who most women and some men would be all over, SJM had to shoehorn in some of that weird Abusive Villain ™ fetish so many tiktokers in blatant need of therapy are into. Feyre spends a chapter painting a house. There’s a lot of meals.

The biggest problem with this meandering style of writing is that it made the ending feel like it almost came out of nowhere and was rushed. Important elements of the plot leading up to the ending are almost too few and too far between, with simply too much slice-of-life filler taking up the rest of the pages. While it’s all very interesting and some very fun world-building, the fact is that SJM spends 10 words for every 2 that are necessary in these parts.

This book probably could have been cut down to a much more doable 400 to 450 pages if the non-plot stuff was better edited word-wise, without losing any of the content or impact. While I give the main story five stars, the dragging writing gets it one star, so I’ll split the difference at three.

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