Book Rant: “A Court of Mist and Fury”

SPOILER ALERT:  Do not read any further if you don’t want to be spoiled on Maas’s new book, A Court of Mist and Fury.

CourtI hate to do it, my friends, but I’m banning an author from my reading list.

Sarah J. Maas, you done me wrong!

I’m soooo bummed about the turn of events in her newest book.

I’ve read Throne of Glass, which was entertaining, and I’ve read A Court of Thorns and Roses, which was awesome. But when I read the ending (It’s a sickness! I had to know if she did the same thing that she did in the Throne series!) to Mist and Fury, guess what I found? That Maas, yet again, changes the love interest of the main female character by instilling a hatred for the former love of her life.

Why does she do this? Because I think it sucks.

I liked Tamlin. But she made me want to hate him.

Here’s the thing:  I don’t mind a love triangle. It’s exciting, and when done right, an excellent addition to a looooong series (ahem, Throne of Glass). But she doesn’t do the triangle thing right. She makes me want to hate, and I mean haaaaate, a character I used to love. I’m not totally sure why Maas (repeatedly) makes me love a character (Chaol, Tamlin), only to replace him (repeatedly and somewhat unexpectedly) with another dude who’s even more preternaturally beautiful (because looks are super important in these worlds!), while turning the original into a, well, let’s go with not-nice-guy to justify it. But it rankles. And the thing is that she’s a talented writer, so I’m sure she could create the tension a love triangle would require without making one of the characters despicable. But she doesn’t.

Damn it.
Also wasn’t loving Feyre, either, in this one. She kind of lacks understanding and empathy for people who are in her “no” column. She either loves or hates them; she’s not one of those characters where there’s ever any gray. She’s more like Nesta than she even realizes, but we’re supposed to like her more for her suffering. (Maybe I’m being mean here, but she is a fictional character. She’ll live if I don’t like her.) I dislike characters who lack perspective on others thoughts and feelings, and Feyre is not exactly a reflective character. She tends to jump into trouble with both feet, not really considering who might get hurt in the process.

I’ve decided to think of her books as stand-alones and wipe the idea of A Court of Mist and Fury from my mind.

I know this statement will probably tick some of you off; I read Goodreads’ comments. People loved Rhysand from the first book, which baffled me. He was kind of a jerk in the first book, and in the second, there are a ton of inconsistencies that don’t seem to match up with the first book. For example, Rhysand claims in Fury to know from almost the first moment they met that he knew he and Feyre were mates. But I thought it was the end of their discussion in Roses where he realizes that they are mates. Check this quote out:

“‘Well, good-bye for now,’ he said, rolling his neck as if we hadn’t been talking about anything important at all. He bowed at the waist, those wings vanishing entirely, and had begun to fade into the nearest shadow when he went rigid.

“His eyes locked on mine, wide and wild, and his nostrils flared. Shock–pure shock flashed across his features at whatever he saw on my face, and he stumbled back a step. Actually stumbled.”

Isn’t this where he realizes? But in Fury, he claims to know much earlier. Roses just doesn’t support this, in my opinion.

Here’s the thing: I know it’s not right to ban a writer from my list. (Who really cares though? This book is already a New York Times bestseller just after a week! No help needed from me!) And I want to like Maas. She writes well, her descriptions of the fantastical places in both of her series are off-the-charts awesome, and her stories are pretty darn entertaining. Plus, her secondary characters! OMG! So good! I sometimes love them more than I love the actual main characters!

But I read these kind of books for fun because I’m an English teacher who reads classics and discusses with students the major significance of totalitarianism or intolerance in the world of literature. I can’t justify the risk of heartbreak and the anger I feel when a second book in the series ruins my first love from my previous reading. (Here, let me date myself really quick: I always wanted Joey to end up with Dawson, not Pacey! Buffy with Angel, not Spike!) And, yes, I know that in reality, our loves lives change like a roll of toilet paper, but it doesn’t mean I have to read it.

So, I know I promised a review, but I decided this bitchfest would be more my speed right now.

That being said, I will take note when the third book comes out so that I can see if she’s redeemed Tamlin at all. ‘Cause she kind of has to. If she does, I still won’t read any of her books, but I’ll definitely read more of the Goodreads’ comments than I currently am. (Seriously, why are people rhapsodizing about Rhysand? I just don’t get it. I also don’t get why more people aren’t perturbed by the whole switch-a-roo Maas pulled. Again.)

So, if a weird and abrupt change of love interest rankles you, too, then don’t read this one and consider Roses the only book in the series, just like I’ve decided to do with this one and have already done with Throne of Glass.

Anyway, sorry if this made some of you angry. I would be mad, too, if someone talked massive dirt about a character or characters whom I loved. But it’s kind of the thing about literature: We’re all allowed to have our opinions. Mine, or yours, is just one of many, and we’re allowed to voice them in whatever forum we wish. That sounded sanctimonious, but I don’t care. This is my rant, and I can sound how I want. “And cry if I want to. You would cry too if it happened to you….” Just for fun, ya know? 🙂

Oh, well, thanks for letting me complain for a bit. It’s cathartic, yes? Hope your reading is going better than mine has been lately. I can’t wait for Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas to come out at the end of May. I’ll be out of school and ready to dive into some romance!

Until then, my lovelies, hope your reading adventures are charming and delightful!

Ta-ta,

HMichaele

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