I’m keeping this one to a quick mini-review because, frankly, I don’t have much that’s interesting to say.
I have mixed feelings about this series. There’s a lot to like–I see why the Rhys/Feyre relationship is so beloved, and it was a fun ride to discover Velaris and cheer for them getting together in A Court of Mist and Fury. On the other hand, I’ve always found the series overwritten but the world underdeveloped, and there’s a real lack of tension in the actual non-romance plot, which frustrated me in A Court of Thorns and Roses.
I was excited for the third installment, but, unfortunately, A Court of Wings and Ruin leaned away from all the things I liked about the series and straight into all the things I hate about it.
I’m sure that the finale was very satisfying for readers who were deeply invested in the little Velaris gang and just wanted to see everyone happy. I just don’t care about their happiness enough to enjoy the trite, fanfiction-esque resolution. This series makes such pretensions of being so ~~dark~~ and I was disappointed that there wasn’t more character death and real loss. I would call the story predictable, but I was actually surprised by just how simple and basic it was.
There were so many opportunities for tension–I was on the edge of my seat at the prospect of Feyre infiltrating the Spring Court, the reunification of the Archeron sisters, and the eventual conflict between Rhys and Tamlin. All of those things happened, yes, but only to be popped like a balloon. Maas seems to have a Rick Riordan-like reluctance to allow her sweetheart characters to be unhappy with each other long enough to actually build dramatic tension and find something interesting in the relationships.
With the uncertainty taken out of the Rhys-Feyre relationship, no new worldbuilding to speak of, and a quick resolution to the uninteresting battle against evil, there just wasn’t anything in ACOWAR for me to hang on to. I read hundreds of pages, always thinking something must be about to happen, but I was left feeling like those hours were wasted. Two stars.