Yay for new Sarah J. Maas releases! Even though this one was a novella, and so wasn’t quite as satisfying as the longer books, I still really enjoyed it!
I also read The Rose and the Dagger a while ago, and thought I’d review that, although I unfortunately didn’t enjoy it quite as much as The Wrath and the Dawn.
A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas
‘Stars flickered around us, sweet darkness sweeping in. As if we were the only souls in a galaxy.’
A Court of Frost and Starlight catches up with Feyre and her friends and family a few months after the world-changing events at the end of A Court of Wings and Ruin. As they work to rebuild Velaris after the attack by Hybern, and prepare for Feyre’s first Winter Solstice as High Lady, they must all face the scars of the past, and look to the future.
This definitely was more of a ‘catch up with the characters’ kind of novella than something that massively moved on the story, but seen as my favourite thing about this series is the characters, I loved that!
I found it really interesting with this book that the perspective continually shifted between characters, so we got to see from the point of view of Rhysand, and Mor, and Cassian, as well as Feyre. Whilst I liked seeing how they were personally recovering from the events of the last book, I sometimes find it kind of jarring when authors start putting in multiple perspectives part way through a series. However, seen as this seems like more of a side book than a part of the main series, it didn’t bother me too much.
It was also quite nice to see the characters not rushing about in the midst of a crisis for a change, and to just see them interacting and having fun banter, which is one of the things I love most about the central group of characters in this series. Not that it’s all happy families, what with Elain and Nesta still coming to terms with their new Fae forms, but that simply had me intrigued for the next book, which I think will probably focus more on them, now the threat of Hybern is gone.
This book also started to build up what I suspect will be a central part of the next phase of the series, with the unrest in the Illyrian warrior camp, and some potential troublemakers and traitors rising up. I’m definitely interested to see how this storyline works out, and how they will resolve the potential problem of the border to the human lands now being wide open, and Tamlin not being up to protecting it.
Overall, this book tied up the events of the last book nicely, and started to open up some new plot threads for the next book. Not a lot happened in terms of action, but it was nice to catch up with the characters, and see how Prythian was beginning to change after the events of A Court of Wings and Ruins. The book certainly has its’ flaws – some would perhaps see the lack of action as a flaw, and of course there was the seriously cringey sex scenes that Sarah J. Mass so often unnecessarily puts in (they had sex whilst flying? That sounds more awkward and weird than sexy to me!) – but overall I enjoyed it. Plus the teaser at the end has got me really hyped for the next book…it’s a shame I’ll have to wait another year to read it!
The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
‘It was because they were two parts of a whole. He did not belong to her. And she did not belong to him. It was never about belonging to someone. It was about belonging together.’
Following the events of The Wrath and the Dawn, Shahrzad has been forced from her husband Khalid’s side and finds herself reunited with her sister and father in the desert. Unfortunately this reunion is at the heart of a war camp, where preparations are being made to attack her husband’s empire, and Shazi finds it difficult to reconcile her conflicting loyalties to her family and childhood sweetheart, and to the husband that she loves, and that everyone thinks is a monster.
There was actually a pretty big gap between me reading The Wrath and the Dawn and The Rose and the Dagger, but I can remember really enjoying the first book. I did enjoy this second one, but for me I don’t think it fully lived up to the expectations I had from the first.
I continued to love the character of Shazi, as she’s so bold and knows her own mind, and I liked the development of her relationship with Khalid throughout this book. I grew slightly irritated with the whole ‘love triangle’ thing and the tension between her and Tariq though, and was glad when that seemed to resolve itself. I also didn’t quite get why Shazi let herself become Enemy Number 1 in the war camp, and didn’t just explain that Khalid wasn’t evil and was just cursed…does anyone know if there was some reason for this that I missed?
I really liked getting to see more of her sister in this book too, and I liked the relationship between the two of them, as they were complete opposites in a lot of ways, but clearly loved each other fiercely. However, I wasn’t so keen on the romance storyline between Irsa and Rahim, as it seemed pretty meek in comparison to the fiery relationship between Shazi and Khalid, and seemed to have been purely invented for the purpose of a certain pay off in the ending (I’m trying not to include spoilers!). I also really despised Shazi’s father as a character, and so didn’t have a whole lot of sympathy for him on the whole.
I loved the level of action in this book though, and the many twists in the ending, as it kept me guessing. I also liked the introduction of Artan as a new character, as he was such a spiky, snarky kind of character that every exchange between him and Shazi was like dynamite (and was therefore thoroughly entertaining!).
On the whole, as the conclusion of this duo logy, The Rose and the Dagger was fairly satisfying. The end was full of surprises, and a few bits made me gasp, and I felt like the final scene was perfection, and left me feeling truly satisfied. I didn’t love this book on the same level as I loved The Wrath and the Dawn (due to the problems I’ve mentioned), but I still really enjoyed it.
So have you read either of these books? Did you enjoy them?