Book Review | A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas

Note: I have tried to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible, however, A Court of Silver Flames is book 5 in an ongoing series so if you haven’t read the previous books I suggest you stop reading or, at the very least proceed with caution. You have been warned!

Regular readers may have noticed a few changes around here. Most noticeably I’ve changed my blog name and domain with the intention of having a completely fresh start going into 2023. I have so many ideas for upcoming bookish content that I can’t wait to share with you. Today, I’m doing something that I should have done over a year ago, writing a review of a book by my favourite author – Sarah J. Maas.

Why has taken me so long to feature the A Court of Thrones and Roses series (otherwise known as ACOTAR) on my blog? Well, it’s mainly because I read the entire series in one week. Honestly, I became (and still am to this day) obsessed with everything ACOTAR-related. Maas has created such an immersive world with a cast of fully-rounded, fascinating, and complex characters that I truly adore and it’s now very hard for me to separate the events of each book from the other.

That being said, I’m starting my first ACOTAR-related post in a very backward way. Let’s talk about A Court of Silver Flames

A Court of Silver Flames (ACOSF) is the fifth book in an ongoing series. I read it recently so I thought I’d write this review while the events that take place are still fresh in my mind. ACOSF was the first book in this series that I was hesitant to read. All the books prior to this one had been written from the POV of Feyre Archeron, a character I’ve come to love and cherish dearly. ACOSF is written from the perspective of her sister, Nesta Archeron, who, up until the release of this book, had been commonly considered (with a few exceptions) as one of the most unlikeable characters in the entire series. Quickwitted, sharp-tongued, and devastatingly beautiful, Nesta was still a bit of an enigma up until this point. She came across as selfish, conceited and stubborn in previous books and didn’t appear to be a very obvious or endearing choice to replace one of my favourite heroines. That being said I am a sucker for a redemption arc and couldn’t wait to revisit Prythian and rekindle my love of a certain High Lord.

ACOSF was definitely a slow-burner and left a lot of questions unanswered. Unfortunately, regardless of Nesta’s character growth, I still found myself missing the voice of the original POV, especially when huge events in Feyre’s life were happening in the background. At times I felt like I was on the sidelines looking in, although I guess this reflected how Nesta was feeling perfectly. Also, as we’re now looking at characters through Nesta’s perspective, I felt like the intentions and actions of some of my favourite characters become slightly distorted which made me oddly uncomfortable and fiercely protective.

That being said, Maas did a wonderful job at exploring Nesta’s trauma after The War with Hybern. Not everyone copes with grief in the same way and her coping mechanisms were oddly relatable. Her responses, which were often perceived as vicious and confrontational, were some of the most ‘human’ and realistic of any character so far. Her relationship with Cassian is perfection. I was unsure how Maas was ever going to write a relationship that could possibly compare to her previous work in the series (sorry to be so vague but ACOTAR fans will understand why), however, she accomplished it flawlessly. The sex scenes were incredibly spicy and the tender moments were satisfyingly sweet. I think we can all agree that Cassian must be protected at all costs.

To be completely honest, although I enjoyed A Court of Silver Flames immensely, I would have appreciated fewer training sequences and more time with the Valkyries. I loved the dynamics between the girls and I felt like The Rite was almost tagged on to the end. I also would have liked the characters of Koschei and Braillyn to be explored further in order to raise the stakes.

I look forward to re-reading this series and write more ACOTAR-related content. I can’t emphasize how much this series will always have a special place in my heart. I’m currently reading Mass’ other immensely popular series; Throne of Glass and then hopefully I’ll move on to Crescent City in the new year. It has been said that all three series exist in the same universe and that we are building up to some kind of  ‘Endgame’ style event or conclusion which would be all kinds of amazing. However, if anything were to happen to any of the members of the Inner Circle I would be literally inconsolable.