This is where things get absolutely ridiculous. A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas was defined “lush, romantic and ferocious” and even “spellbinding” by another NYT bestselling author and I am trying to figure out if they’ve read the book.

Image from Amazon

⭐⭐/5: it was okay (or was it?)

I guess this was a longer epilogue than one would normally go for?

I see a pattern in these books where there is one ending and then in the next book there is a jump and everyone’s depressed or having the same problems they were supposed to have solved in the previous installment.

I guess ACOFAS is a published Christmas fanfiction of ACOTAR. There’s not much going on here other than the introduction of some other POVs told in the third person instead of Feyre and Rhysand’s first-person narrative. I am assuming the author wanted to use this book as a transition for the next part of the series.

This honestly felt like just a book for Tamlin slander (because God forbid the reader can decide who to like and who to dislike in this book – like, can we stop already? Tamlin was given less dialogue than the Attor or the Bone Carver at this point, I can’t take him seriously as the villain in Feyre’s narrative), and the confirmation that the “women empowerment” bit from previous books was just marketing. Feyre is happily mated and at 21 she decides she wants to *spoiler alert* have babies with Rhysand despite the fact she said in the previous books that they have time and that she wants to experience life and life with him first. So much for that! Decorate us a house with a nursery, Feyre! You heard your man! Go do it!

I give this 2 stars instead of 1 because at least Feyre’s arc is over and we can move on… Sorry, not sorry.

But let’s talk about Maas’ writing style for a moment

I am a little concerned, to be honest. While there was some improvement in the previous books, this novella has Maas revert to the good old budget fanfiction-y writing and plotting. Honestly, there is no plot. There is no story and there is no real conclusion to Feyre’s arc. The characters shop and lollygag around because it’s Christmas in their world and that’s about it. Still, I got to give Maas credit for crafting side characters that make me stick around despite the poor quality of the story itself. I mean, the last few chapters of ACOFAS contain what has to be the weirdest and slightly creepiest sex scene that the author could ever try to romanticize.

What do I think of the ending of this first arc?

There’s a lot that can be said about ACOTAR and Feyre but I feel like nothing will ever come out as positive. The main character, Feyre, started out as a famished girl who hunted anything in sight to feed her family. She ends up in the fae world because she killed Tamlin’s sentry, she fights all kinds of evil and breaks the curse that imprisoned all the High Fae, and then it turns out Tamlin’s her villain and so she escapes with her *badum tss* mate, Rhysand. Feyre’s journey was supposed to be this epic adventure where she goes from damsel-in-distress (sort of) to the badass Made Fae that is so important she is the only one worthy to be at Rhysand’s side because he is “the most powerful High Lord of Prythian” (except we never got to see it).

I am down with badass heroines and feminist writing but it has to be exactly that and Feyre is the opposite. Everything she is has been defined by Rhysand’s actions and ideas and by the time the war is over, ACOFAS transports us in this alternate reality where Feyre, the High-freaking-Lady of the Night Court, is wondering how to pay for stuff (while Rhysand apparently owns uncapped credit cards and wealth that lasts for x lifetimes) and why nobody has a secretary. The pinnacle of her epic journey is to have a painting school for children traumatized by an attack on the city and while it could’ve been a cozy ending for Feyre, the novella further confirms that Feyre is a self-insert character when the MC decides it’s time for her to have children (while she didn’t want them so soon) because the author found out she was pregnant while she was writing the book (see the acknowledgment page).

The other chapters of this novella, the ones written from other characters’ POV, are even more lacking. We see a clear setup for Cassian and Nesta, but there are chapters from Mor’s POV and I couldn’t grasp their meaning. They were pretty monologues for a character that disappeared from the story after coming out about her bisexuality. Just–what?

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