Saturday, May 5, 2018

Novella Review: A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.1)

Release Date: May 1, 2018
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Length: 229 pages
Source: Purchased Book

Narrated by Feyre and Rhysand, this bridges the events in A Court of Wings and Ruin and the upcoming novels in the series.

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 a far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.



Protagonists: So, while the synopsis says that this book is narrated by both Feyre and Rhysand, that's not (technically) true. See, while all of the first person POV chapters are from Feyre and Rhysand, there are chapters, and parts of chapters, that are told in a limited third person POV that follow other members of Feyre's Night Court family. First off, I have to say how amazing it was to see these characters again, and even though it's been a while since I read A Court of Wings and Ruin, the minute I sat down to read this book it was like I never left and that's very much due to how these characters fly off the page. Honestly, there aren't that many characters that have internal conflicts that get even a little bit resolved in this story. Mostly this book felt like a set up for where certain characters will be when the series officially resumes. As you would expect it's Feyre who has the most internal conflict and character development in this story, mostly relating to the aftermath of the war with Hybern and how she'll deal with not only being the High Lady of the Night Court but also someone who suffered the loss of her father at the hands of the King of Hybern. When it comes to Rhys, I loved seeing from his POV, even if he is a big horndog from time to time, it was great to really see what he's going through in this story and really see how much he loves his family and Feyre. When it comes to the other characters, well they all have rather small arcs in comparison to Feyre and Rhys, but even with that third person POV, there's a lot of information about these characters revealed in this story, which is definitely another reason why these characters feel like they come to life when reading this story.

Romances: I was going to start this section about how, while I love the romance and relationship between Feyre and Rhys, it almost seems too stable, as much as I don't want anything bad to happen to this couple, I kind of wish there was some sort of conflict with their relationship, nothing major or threatening, but something normal, something that made their relationship a bit more relatable, however, this is just a short novella and with it not have that much conflict within well, I couldn't fault the author on that. Besides, I did love every freaking minute between those two, it's more that I barely have anything to write when it comes to their relationship, other than how strong it is in this book. As for the other characters in this story, well you'll see where Nesta and Cassian are at, and possibly have a hint at where that tumultuous relationship is headed and I can't wait to see how that all plays out. Then there's whatever is going on between Az, Elain, and Lucien, which again, I feel is more set up in this story than it actually having any development, we sort of see where things lie for these other relationships, but the author's intent is clearly to go deeper into those romances in the upcoming books.

World Building: With this not being a full installment in the series I wasn't exactly sure what to expect out of not only the story but the world building as well. I know this novella is described as a story to "bridge the gap" between the two the last book and the next, but honestly, that's pretty vague since we don't really have a concrete idea of what the next book will be about. In the end, the world building in this book is all about the ramifications caused during the war with Hybern, specifically the fact that the Wall is down and that there are Illyrian warriors who blame the heavy losses of their warriors on Rhys and Cassian. However, I was sort of disappointed to see that there isn't all that clear of a view for where the series is heading from here on out. Sure, we have a few plotlines teed up for the next few books, but I was kind of hoping to see a bit of a bigger picture, and instead, it feels like I got tiny glimpses but nothing close to the full thing.

Predictability: Since this story is so short there isn't a lot of time for big twists, and for most of this story it felt like I was just following along rather than picking up pieces of foreshadowing and trying to figure out some big twist. With that being said, there are a few surprises in this book, but usually, they're very obvious if you're good at picking up foreshadowing it's not hard to see where certain plotlines will go, but that never ruined the fun for me. I still relished every moment of this story.

Ending: Again, with this not being a full installment, there wasn't really much of an external conflict for these characters to overcome, so the ending of this story isn't as climactic as one of the novels in this series, so there isn't a whole lot I feel I can comfortably write in this section without spoiling something. All I'll say is that the last chapter feels a lot like an epilogue and wraps up some of the plotlines in this story while still leaving a lot to be resolved in the upcoming books. Oh, and the last few sentences melted my freaking heart.


Have you ever wanted to read a story about your favorite characters (assuming the ACOTAR characters are some of your favorites) having fun and interacting without a whole lot of conflict getting in the way? Then this story is for you. Seriously, there isn't all that much conflict in this story and I didn't think it could be done, as I feel conflict, and its resolution, can lead to an even sweeter ending, but here it really works.


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