Title: A Court of Frost and Starlight
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series? A Court of Thorns and Roses (#3.1)
My Rating: ★★★
Genre(s): Fantasy, Romance, Fiction
Age Range: Young Adult
Publication: 1 May 2018 (Bloomsbury YA)
CW: sex scenes
Well… I can’t say that I wasn’t warned about this one.
After reading all three A Court of Thorns and Roses, I came to respect Sarah J. Maas as a young adult author. I think she is a great world-builder and a master storyteller for YA fantasy. That being said, this was not her best work.
I understand why A Court of Frost and Starlight is a novella and why a lot of the elements of the story were… meh. Sarah J. Maas tried to bridge the gap between A Court of Wings and Ruin and A Court of Silver Flames, which will be the next instalment in the series. Regardless, I have to put my personal feelings for the series aside and focus fairly on the elements of the story that didn’t work for me.
I personally don’t think shorter novels—especially novellas—are Sarah J. Maas’s forte.
She can write a killer 700-page novel with minimal filler, where every page is thrilling. These 229 pages didn’t capture my attention nearly as much as nearly 1,000 pages of her writing normally could. I think there wasn’t enough space for the story to grow and breathe on its own. It was suffocated and stifled within the boundaries.
Do I think that this particular story would have captured my attention as a full-blown novel? No. But with a longer book, Maas could have had more of an opportunity to craft a great novel to bridge the two stories.
I’m not sure there was a discernible plot here.
At its core, this book was about the Inner Circle as they prepared for Feyre’s first Winter Solstice at the Night Court and as High Lady of the Night Court. But there were so many random sub-plots occurring simultaneously, and a lot of them felt so unnecessary. For instance, while I was happy to see Feyre rediscovering her passion for creating art and using it almost as a therapeutic tool, it felt out of place in the context of this novella. It seemed as though Sarah J. Maas tried to throw as many details into this short novel as possible.
The pacing and narration of the novella were super weird to me. I found the constant back-and-forth of the narration to be distracting. As per the synopsis, A Court of Frost and Starlight is narrated by Feyre and Rhys. That description leaves out the fact that many other characters narrate the story, too. What’s weird to me is that Feyre and Rhys’s chapters were told in first-person narration, while everyone else’s were told in third-person. I found it so difficult to get in and out of the different styles and voices, especially since each chapter was only a few pages long.
I tried so hard to reserve my judgment on Nesta until I read this novella.
That being said, I heard a lot of negative things about her character in this book prior to reading it for myself. In my honest opinion, my prediction for Nesta’s bad behaviour in A Court of Frost and Starlight is that Sarah J. Maas intends to do something with Nesta’s character in A Court of Silver Flames. That’s really the only explanation.
Obviously, the plot of the new novel requires Nesta to be a complex character and Maas had to set that up in this book, much to my own chagrin. But that’s okay! I’m telling myself it’ll all be worth it to read what happens next.
Not-so-great novella aside, I’m very much looking forward to the new sequel coming out in 2021!
Synopsis: 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.
Were you a fan of this novella? Or did it disappoint you? Let’s talk about it in the comments!
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