“The first snow of winter had begun whipping through Velaris…”
A Court of Frost and Starlight starts out a few months after the events of A Court of Wings and Ruin, and Feyre, Rhysand, and the Inner Circle are preparing for the Winter Solstice. The entire gang is also suffering in their own ways with the trauma they are enduring from the events of the war.
“But it had been a long, brutal winter that had brought me so deep into the woods that day nearly two years ago. A long, brutal winter that had made me desperate enough to kill a wolf, that had eventually led me here—to this life, this … happiness.”
But there are so many lighthearted moments! Like, honestly, just picturing myself shopping for Winter Solstice during the first snow in Velaris? Talk about dream goals! And just in general, seeing this found family come together and be able to enjoy a holiday with one another after everything they’ve been through feels really nice.
My favorite thing about this story was easily the emphasis on the power of healing through art. This book beautifully showcases how important it can be to express your feelings through art, especially when you have no other means. This book truly is a love letter to artists everywhere, and it really meant a lot to me to see this topic be in the spotlight of this novella. Especially talking about the importance of kids learning to express themselves and giving them an outlet to do so, especially after trauma and/or dealing with depression. Seriously, the message was really touching and important. I only wish more schools took note.
“I have to create, or it was all for nothing. I have to create, or I will crumple up with despair and never leave my bed. I have to create because I have no other way of voicing this.”
My least favorite thing about this story is easily how it sort of feels like not a lot happens. I mean, this is a novella, and Sarah J Maas does gives us a lot of content inside of 224 pages, but at the same time I feel like a lot of that content is just about a group of people shopping for each other. Again, there are for sure important themes and discussions about trauma, loss, PTSD, and depression, but there is also a whole lot of fluff.
Trigger and content warnings for some sexist comments (always contested), talk of loss of a loved one, talk of abuse, talk of past torture, talk of past abandonment, depression, alcoholism, and talk of war.
I for sure think that SJM also gave her fans a lot of what they were after. Like, she gave you all the wall sex scene you all constantly hounded her for. So all you little pervs can look forward to that. And there is a lot of sexual tension in general, even though there is only one (really long) sex scene. I love Feyre and Rhysand, and I’m so happy they got their happily ever after, but I’m just kind of sick of reading about them. How many times can Rysand smell Feyre’s heated core? How many times can Feyre want all the naughty, terrible things from Rhysand? At this point, it feels like SJM is beating the deadest of horses that have ever died.
“Never enough. Not to paint him, know him. Eons would never be enough for all I wanted to do, see with him. For all I wanted to love him.”
ACOFAS is mostly in the point of view of Feyre and Rhysand, but Cassian and Mor get points of view too, and even Nesta gets a mini one! And I know I sound a little negative about a few things, but I really did enjoy being back in this world for a little bit! And I absolutely cannot wait to see what comes next, with new main characters!
The rest of my review is going to contain MAJOR SPOILERS for both ACOTAR, ACOMAF, ACOWAR, and this book, ACOFAS! Please, do not proceed to read any further unless you have read this book and its predecessors or you wish to be spoiled!
I have done this in the past reviews I’ve written for this series, so I’d just like to break down each character and talk about the way they made me feel.
“I think my heart knew you were mine long before I ever realized it.”
➽ Feyre – Okay, so her and Rhys are finally going to try to start a family. I was a little shook to remember that she turned 21 in this book, but to each their own. I have honestly thought Feyre was pregnant since the end of A Court of Mist and Fury, so I’m happy I no longer look as ridiculous. Also, I loved the selflessness of opening the art studio for kids in need. Again, best part of this story, hands down.
➽ Rhysand – What is there really to say about Rhysand at this point? You’re either going to love him for his big heart and empathy, or you’re going to love him for his big wing-span and ability to knock pictures off the wall. Hell, maybe you’ll love him for both.
➽ Cassian – Again, I’m so damn happy that he is going to be a part of the next story! He is such a kind soul, and I may have shed a few tears when he bought all those warm clothes, just to have the girl donate. He also always fights for women to be viewed as equal warriors to men, and I’m here for it, always. Best boy, and best boy deserves the next book.
➽ Azriel – You all know I want Elain with Lucien, so unless SJM is really going to go there and give me a polyamorous relationship between these three, then I just get irritated that Azriel is messing with my ship. But honestly, Azriel is a stand-up guy, and a fun character to read about. But please, give me that polyamorous relationship! I would honestly commit a minor felony for it.
“She would rather die here, bleed out here. She would rather die and return—return as something wicked and cruel, and shred them all apart.”
➽ Morrigan/Mor – Every time Mor has to go to the Hewn City, a piece of my heart dies. I love her, I love her so much. I want only good for her. And she is so much better than everything they made her endure. But anyways, the scene with her riding through the spooky, snowy woods at the end had me shook. I wish the entire book could have been about that journey and what was happening. Like, I loved it. Also, I was super let down that we didn’t get to see any glimpses of Viviane. Speaking of which, I really just want to celebrate Winter Solstice with the winter court, holy moly!
➽ Amren – The chapter where she was talking about not caring about what body she took was a little weird for me. I am a cis woman so I’m not going to comment too hard on it, but I am very interested to see how trans reviewers will feel about what she said. But I’ll be honest, it did kind of make me raise an eyebrow. Like, please never say a sentence with “male form” and “be able to whip it out and go whenever” please. It just reads badly and feels gross.
➽ Elain – And to touch on what I just said with Amren, the gross conversation made me think that maybe Elain was thinking about transitioning? And then I realized they mean back to a human, and that’s why I truly thought that the conversation was probably a really gross one that I wish wasn’t included in the book. But Elain as a character wasn’t bad or good, but it irritates me that she won’t even small talk with Lucien anymore.
➽ Nesta – Nesta was damn awful this book. Like, hard to read about awful. And her going down this destructive path isn’t edgy or cute.
➽ Lucien – My poor baby. My heart just bleeds for him. And him making sure Tamlin isn’t alone and is fed? Lucien is always the best friend to everyone. He deserves good things! SJM, give him good things!
➽ Tamlin – Look, I’m never going to sit here and excuse abuse, ever. But I don’t hate Tamlin, I don’t. His parts in this book were the saddest and hardest to read. And he, without a doubt, had the best quote line in all of A Court of Wings and Ruin. I feel very torn about him, but I don’t want people to think I’m a abuse apologist or anything like that. But if she wrote a Tamlin spin-off, I’d buy it.
➽ Ressina – My new favorite fae! Like, what do I have to do to get a book about her and her art studio(s)? Seriously, she had so many good moments in this novella, and I just want more. I love her!
➽ Eris – Someone come end this man and everything about him. Please. I’m honestly begging.
Well, if you all saw my pre-review for ACOFAS, it was pretty much just me wishing that this book was starring Cassian and Nesta. Well, my prayers, wishes, and hopes have been answered, because the sneak peak in the back of the book shows both of these two being swept away on a mission in the Illyrian Mountains. The amount of excitement I have is something I can’t even put into words.
And I shed a few tears at a few things in this book, but they really came when Feyre had to go and bring up the damn Suriel. I swear to you all, the Suriel was my favorite in this series, but now I think I’m just going to cry over him in every book. But as always, he helps Feyre remember an important message that I wish more people would embrace in 2018.
“And from far away, as if it was carried on the cold wind, I heard the Suriel’s voice. Feyre Archeron, a request. Leave this world a better place than how you found it.”
Overall, I’m not saying this was a perfect book, but I had a lot of fun with it. Yes, I’m totally sick of being with Feyre and Rhysand, too, but it was still nice seeing the Inner Circle, especially in winter time, and especially having snowball fights. Like, how precious. And I truly am exited for what is going to come next. (Also, I’m sorry if this review is a little all over the place! I inhale read for three plus hours and then wrote out this review at 3 AM! But hopefully you all enjoyed. Happy reading!)