A Court of Frost and Starlight~ by Sarah J. Maas
Bloomsbury, 2018~ 272 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
My Rating: 3.5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve.
Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.
This novella is really hard to review because there is not much of a plot. It is a really fun, little window into the lives of Rhys, Feyre, and the rest of the Inner Circle, but there is no conflict, climax, or resolution to critique. There were some issues with the novella, but there were also some really funny, lovely moments of normalcy that we don’t get a lot of in a full-length book. After the trauma that all of these characters experience at the end of book 3, it was really great to see them just trying to be normal, and enjoy the simple things in life. Below were some high points and low points for me:
- “Normal” issues that come with running The Night Court-It was great to see Rhys and Feyre deal with normal, everyday aspects of being High Lord/Lady, such as: listening to people’s complaints, dealing with alliances after the war, and trying to keep the Illyrians inline while still trying to train their females.
- Everyday moments with The Inner Circle- I loved the casual conversations while the characters shopped for Solstice gifts, ate dinner, decorated, did puzzles, and walked through the festive city streets.
- Feyre’s mysterious dressmaker – I loved that Feyre’s mysterious dressmaker was finally revealed to be Rhys’ mother. “Long ago, when I was still a boy, she made them – all your gowns. A trousseau for my future bride.” I loved this and I thought the connection to past, present, and future through the dresses was a nice touch.
- Cassian and Feyre drunk decorating- this moment was just simply hilarious. I loved how Azriel had to come in and try to fix the mess they made.
- Feyre painting again- The connection between creativity/art and healing was a really prominent theme here. I loved that Feyre opened an art studio as a form of therapy for kids who were affected by the attack on Velaris. The weaver who has lost her husband states: “I have to create, or it was all for nothing. I have to create, or I will crumple up with despair and never leave my bed. I have to create because I have no other way of voicing this. Her hand resting on her heart.” I really love the idea that something beautiful and enduring can come from suffering and pain.
- The description of The Night Court in Winter- Maas always does a great job of vividly describing her settings, and the winter wonderland atmosphere of the Night Court was no exception.
- Feyre and Rhys’ Cosmic-Sex-Magic (my name for it) – Ok, I know a lot of people had reservations about this scene, but I’m not gonna lie, I loved it! These two people are linked in every possible way, it only seemed natural that magic would start to play a role in their connection.
- Nesta- ok, despite everything, I like Nesta. I am fully committed to sticking with her through her trauma and hopefully I’ll get to see her eventual growth. But I don’t think that her trauma and her reasons for seeking solitude are ever fully explained. At the end of book 3 she seems to be finally coming around to Feyre, Prythian, being Fae, and to the other members of the court, Cassian in particular. Her and Cassian share a very profound moment on the battlefield – she is prepared to die for him/with him, and he reveals that his greatest regret is that they didn’t have more time. I felt that their relationship might finally be going somewhere. But in this novella, Nesta has retreated even further into herself. I understand that she has lost her father, and the experience of the battle itself was traumatic, but I was really scratching my head through this book asking why she is so upset. This was especially surprising because I thought that she had finally turned a corner at the end of book 3. One example of this is when Rhys states: “Nesta had made it clear enough she had no interest in Cassian- not even in being in the same room as him. I knew why. I’d seen it happen, had felt that way plenty.” Ok- I have so many questions here. He saw what happen? Her becoming Fae, losing her father, protecting Cassian? What is he referring to? And why did he also feel this way at one point in his life? If I am missing something here, I would love for someone to explain it to me. Overall, I would just have liked more insight into her, so that her actions lined up with who I thought she was and where I thought she was going as a character.
- Lack of a plot- As I said, there is no real plot in this novella. It seems to more or less setup potential conflicts for future books to solve. Other than seeing the members of the court prepare for Solstice together, finally celebrating together, and seeing them deal with minor issues of state, not much else happens plot-wise.
Overall, it was really fun to spend more time with all of these characters. I really do love them all and I will blindly follow them where Maas takes them. It was nice seeing the moments of normalcy and watching them deal with the everyday issues that come with running the court, rather than a full-blown war. I feel that it is unfair to compare it to a full novel because I don’t really think it was meant to have that kind of scope. But based on my own enjoyment and my love for these characters, it was still a 3.5 star read for me!
As always, I would love to hear from you!!
Happy Reading! ~ XO
For more information of Sarah J. Maas and her books, check her out on Goodreads: Sarah J. Maas