A Court of Silver Flames was easily my most anticipated read for 2021. While Sarah J. Maas’s books do have their flaws, I love her world-building and the characters in this particular series, good and bad. Nesta is a controversial character and many readers hate her, but I always have liked her and knew there had to be more to her bad attitude. I was hype to read her story and to also see Cassian’s point of view, as he’s definitely my book boyfriend in this series. While this book was imperfect, it was still a 5 star read for me. This one really tugged at my heartstrings and had me feeling involved with the characters – not to mention the series is marketed towards adults instead of teens now, so there are many 🔥🔥🔥 scenes.
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The summary, from Amazon:
Sarah J. Maas’s sexy, richly imagined series continues with the journey of Feyre’s fiery sister, Nesta.
Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she’s struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can’t seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.
The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre’s Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta’s orbit. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.
Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.
Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other’s arms.
Buy A Court of Silver Flames here.
And don’t miss out on the other books in this series.
A Court of Silver Flames is the fifth (or I guess fourth? one is a novella) book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. While the bother books were almost entirely from the point of view of Feyre, this one is from the points of view of Nesta, Feyre’s eldest sister, and her love interest Cassian. Nesta is a controversial character in the fandom for her bad attitude, some finding her behavior to border on abusive. In this book, we get plenty of insight into Nesta’s mind to see why she behaves the way she does, and whether she feels any remorse for her actions.
Nesta has been dealing with some trauma in a way her family and their friends don’t seem to realize. When she as made fae by the Cauldron, she did not want this change, and feels something was taken from her. Nesta was also the victim of an attempted sexual assault in the months leading up to this. Even before these events she was a thorny person, and though she regrets her past actions, at the time she believed she had a reason to behave that way. Nesta grew up wealthy, and when the family’s money was lost, she resented her father for what she perceived as him not working to ensure the financial security of her family. All in all, it’s clear that Nesta behaved the way she did either because something was taken from her or because she perceived it to be taken from her.
After months of coping with her trauma through drinking and sex, Feyre and Rhys have had enough of footing Nesta’s bill and send her to the House of Wind to train with Cassian. Nesta is reluctant at first, though she can’t deny the pull – more than attraction – she has always felt with Cassian. Of course, these two give into it. A Court of Silver Flames contains lots of sex scenes, almost all of which I found to be erotic. These two have a deep sexual and romantic attraction, even if Nesta is scared to admit the second part at first.
The beautiful part of this book is Nesta’s friendships. While she has pushed her family and friends away (she eventually apologizes, and I was upset some of them who should have, IMO, did not apologize in return), she forms friendships with some of the priestesses from the library at the House of Wind, an Illyrian woman, and the house itself. Her relationships with these women and Cassian are the heart of the book. There is also the “real” plot which involves Nesta hunting down magical objects only she can find in order to defeat an evil queen. Nesta also has powers she took from the Cauldron she has to learn to control.
Overall, I loved this book. It pulled at my emotions, making me laugh and cry, and though it was lengthy and took me some time to read, when I wasn’t reading it, it was all I could think about. It was not perfect. Again, I think some of the characters owe Nesta an apology. Furthermore, Rhys behaves like a complete ass in this. I hate how he initially treats Nesta (though he does wind up essentially groveling at her feet by the end) and I was upset that he kept a particular secret from Feyre for so long. (If you’ve read the book, I’d love to talk to you about this, but I don’t want to spoil some things for those who haven’t read yet.)
Say what you will about SJM’s writing (and I’ll almost always agree), but I think this is the best book in this series yet. I haven’t read Crescent City, but I love the characters in this series for how much depth many of them have. Sure, some are a little too ~all powerful~ or otherwise flat, but then you get characters like Nesta who is wonderfully imperfect. I also adored this book’s stance on mental health, which I think went a step beyond what SJM achieved in the previous books in this series. So while ACOSF wasn’t perfect, it was just about perfect for me, and I have to give it 5 stars for how much I enjoyed it.
Find out more about how I rate books here.
A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
In ACOMAF, Mor says, “There are good days and bad days for me – even now. Don’t let the hard days win.”
In ACOSF, Nesta, after months of getting a handle on her mental health (and physical health) (and also screwing Cassian senseless 🥵) thinks to herself a quote that struck me even more: “Some days might be more difficult than others, but… I want to experience all of it, live through all of it.”
This may be my favorite SJM book I’ve read yet. With a healthy dose of erotica, this is a sweeping fantasy romance with a focus on mental health and the friendships between women.
Note: This is heavy on the relationships (romantic and platonic) and light on the meat of the plot, which is still pretty detailed and involves a ton of world-building. I think even those who hate Nesta going in can appreciate this one, even if it doesn’t sway them into liking her.
Also note: This one was not perfect. I honestly was very annoyed with a number of characters I usually like and their treatment towards Nesta and lack of apology, but maybe we’ll get that in a later book. This was 5 stars for me because of the main chunk of the story, which was lovely.
Book Club Questions
- Why is Nesta able to become such good friends with Gwyn and Emerie, despite strained relationships with her sisters?
- Describe the dynamic of Cassian and Nesta’s relationship. Is it healthy, and has it always been healthy?
- Despite her behavior (or perhaps because of it), was the way the other characters treated Nesta acceptable? Does anyone owe her an apology?
- Which other characters do you see getting together in the future?
- Is Rhys’s behavior towards Feyre regarding her health appropriate given their unique situation?
- How does Nesta change as a character throughout this novel? How do her friends Emerie and Gwyn change? How does Cassian change?
Interested? Buy A Court of Silver Flames.
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