Book lovers, myself included, have been waiting for Feb. 16, 2021, for three years. On this day, the 5th installment of the Court of Thorns and Roses book series came out. As an avid reader of fantasy, I was jumping out of my skin in excitement for this book, and it did not disappoint. A Court of Silver Flames, written by Sarah J. Mass, doesn’t follow the main protagonist, Feyra Archeron, as it had done in the previous four books. It instead follows her older and bitter sister Nesta’s story after the war against Hybern.
The beginning of this book was frustrating to read. Nesta had been drinking her sister’s money away and sleeping with any man who would have her to deal with the death of her father as well as her transition from human to High Fae, which I see as a step up considering she hated her life back home. Cassian, the general to the armies in the war and Nesta’s sister’s good friend, comes knocking at her door, he offers her two options; getting help or going back and living with the humans. This gives readers exactly what they want. The painfully apparent sexual tension between the two of them had nothing to do with the audience’s excitement either. I mean, the scary-looking “I-could-kill-you-with-my-bare-hands” guy who’s a giant softie and the woman who hates everyone and everything spending copious amounts of time together? On top of the obvious sexual tension? Sarah J. Mass delivered on the desires of her readers.
In one chapter, we have the edge-of-your-seat fight scenes – battles between mythical creatures, and dealing with insane amounts of magic. In other chapters, we see moments between Cassian and Nesta that are far more steamy. Many fans have taken to social media and referred to some chapters as “faerie porn,” and honestly, that term is not all that inaccurate, not that it’s a bad thing!
A Court of Silver Flames humanizes Nesta, and honestly, before this book, I hated her. She was rude and mean and did nothing to help her family in their most significant time of need, even though she was the oldest sister and should have stepped up. However, her growth and character arc were terrific to see in this book and the audience, myself included, fell in love with Nesta. Readers loved watching her relationship with Cassian, as well as her sisters, which was very refreshing, as was her new friendship with Gwen and Emerie, two other women with damaged pasts who could care less about Nesta’s cold demeanor. As far as ranking the books from personal favorite to least favorite, this book would come in second, just behind A Court of Mist and Fury.
As much praise as I have to offer for this series, I was not too fond of a few things. One was Rhysands attitude throughout the book. Rhys is Nesta’s brother-in-law, husband- and mate to her sister Feyra. In previous books, Rhys has been my favorite character; however, in this story, he was written as an overprotective jerk who wants Nesta wiped from the face of the Earth. I understand he felt like that because his mate, Feyra, was pregnant and in danger, but it made the audience irritated to see him treat everyone so poorly in this book when he has never been like that in the past. The other thing I didn’t love was the entire blood rite arc. The blood rite is a test that all Illyrians must take to become a proper soldier. Cassian had taken this and been one of the few actually to win the tradition. When Nesta, Gwen, and Emerie were forced into this rite, I was pleased first. However, the outcome was rushed and made no sense. Most Illyrians train their whole lives for the Blood Rite and seldom win. Yet the three of them had been training for about six months and won. It was a rushed ending, and they should not have won.
Besides those few criticisms, I was a massive fan of this book and thought it was incredibly successful, and according to most fans online, they are in agreement.