About the Book:
Title: A Court of Silver Flames
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Page Length: 757
Publication Date: Feb. 16, 2021
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Synopsis: Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she’s struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can’t seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.
The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre’s Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta’s orbit. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.
Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.
Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other’s arms.
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My Review: Warning! Spoilers!
For every Nesta out there- climb the mountain.
I finished this book the day after it was published, and like every other SJM book I’ve read, I needed time to process. Now that it’s been over a month, I finally had a chance to make sense of my jumbled thoughts.
This book was nothing like I expected and everything I never knew I needed!!
Like many others, Nesta was not my favorite character at the start of the book. She’s snarky and prickly and intolerant. I disliked how she treated Feyre in previous books, and her harshness so often felt unwarranted. I didn’t understand her. But as I read A Court of Mist and Fury, I began to understand the tormented and hurt woman battling so many inner demons. I understood the woman who never felt like she was good enough, who never felt like her life was her own, who used sarcasm and hurtful remarks to push people away and protect herself, who did everything she could to dull the pain inside.
The story examines Nesta’s past as well as her present and offers insight into her actions when she and her siblings were younger. Though I still don’t agree with or condone her behavior, especially her treatment of Feyre, I can understand her anger and frustration and why she acted the way she did. Again, Nesta went through childhood trauma, first by the unrealistic expectations put forth by her mother, and again after the death of her mother and the ruination of the family, and this affected her profoundly.
Nesta knew well how invisible wounds could be. How they could scar as deeply and badly as any physical breaking.
Nesta is so good at pushing people away, and there are so many reasons for her meanness, coldness, and vitriol. The bitterness and anger that she feels are palpable, and the self-loathing and guilt define her actions. Nesta fears losing those she loves, losing herself, and feeling trapped. In many ways, she feels like she deserves poor treatment and bad things happening to her, but above all, she fears being controlled and often feels like her life is not her own. Nesta can’t admit how deeply she feels because that would completely break her and leave her vulnerable.
Everything in her life, from the moment she was born, had been controlled by other people. Things happened to her; anytime she tried to exert control, she’d been thwarted at every turn-and she hated that even more than the King of Hybern.
This book really made me think about the series as a whole and the way that Maas explores how different people respond to trauma, grief, tragedy, and death. It also examines feelings of worth and acceptance of love (familial, romantic, friendships, and community). Everyone grieves and heals differently. Some use art, some use physical activity, some isolate, some pretend like nothing ever happened. Others might seek out unhealthy ways to numb the pain, like trying to have complete control over everything. Some find solace and comfort in others, while others might prefer a more solitary road. On this week, the eleventh anniversary of my mother’s death, this topic resonates strongly with me. I still grieve my loss, and I grieved differently from other people in my life. It’s so hard to work through the pain and loss and trauma, and I thought Maas showed that beautifully.
I love Nesta’s continual attempts to master the stairs of The House of Wind and how it paralleled her healing process. Going down 10,000 steps seems like an insurmountable task, but even Nesta’s small successes were….well, successes. As she tackled the stairs and began training with Cassian, she became physically stronger, which gave her more confidence. Nesta shows not just physical strength but also emotional growth. I think the training with Cassian, her time in the library, and her new friendships had a profound effect on her emotional growth and well-being, and her determination to master the 10,000 stairs serves as a powerful symbol of her journey.
The friendships that Nesta develops are another favorite part of the story and contribute immensely to her transformation. Each woman has their own battles to face, and their unfailing support of each other is fantastic. Gwyn, Emerie, and Nesta are strong, brave, and smart and at a point where they want to take control of their lives. They don’t want to live in fear, and their training and friendship help give them the strength and confidence they crave.
“Gwyn whispered, “I am the rock against which the surf crashes.”
Nesta straightened at the words, as if they were a prayer and a summons. Gwyn lifted the blade. “Nothing can break me.”
I also like that you get to see things from a different perspective because as much as I love Feyre and Rhysand, I wanted to learn more about the other characters. I also thought it was fascinating to see Feyre and Rhysand from an “outsider’s” point of view, especially as they go through some major obstacles themselves. The Inner Circle maintains a tough-love approach to Nesta’s behavior, which seems harsh and unforgiving at times, especially from Nesta’s perspective. Nesta is on the outskirts of the Night Court and has a much different view of the couple and their friends than what we’ve seen in previous books. I do wish there were more Mor, Elain, and Azriel, though the glimpses we saw of them are fantastic and make me super excited for the next book!!
Now, if you are looking for steam, look no further. This is definitely the steamiest of any SJM books! Nesta and Cassian have explosive sexual chemistry, and their sexy scenes leave absolutely nothing to the imagination! Holy hotness, Batman! Their relationship is complicated and messy and filled with sexual tension and passion, and I WAS THERE FOR IT!!
Go Nesta and Cassian!!
This couple challenges each other in the most frustrating and wonderful ways, but what I love the most is that their tender moments are as beautiful as their passionate moments. Nesta and Cassian care deeply for each other, and watching them slowly grow closer is wonderful. I also admire how patient Cassian is. He shows restraint and understanding at times when others don’t, and I think that says a lot about his character and his feelings for Nesta.
I have no regrets in my life, but this. That we did not have time. That I did not have time with you, Nesta. I will find you again in the next world—the next life. And we will have that time. I promise.
There’s so much more that I want to say about this book, but I feel like I’m already going overboard. I barely even hinted at the plot, which was interesting and is definitely setting us up for some major conflict in the next book. New alliances are being made, and new threats have surfaced, and I’m curious to see how Rhysand and the rest of the Inner Circle handle everything. Here are some other things I love:
- The development of the Bat Boys. Rhysand, Cassian, and Azriel have a wonderful relationship, and I loved its development in this story.
- The strong focus on healing and empowerment!
- The side story with Rhysand and Feyre experiencing wonderful and scary (and possibly deadly) news.
- The messages. Like all of SJM books, there are powerful messages about strength, resilience, not giving up, and fighting for what you believe in. The story also highlights the strong bond of a found family and the importance of never giving up on yourself and others.
- The way that it examines mental health, PTSD, and grief!!
- The scene where Nesta threatens Tamlin. I hate Tamlin with a fiery passion, and I loved how powerful and fierce she was in this scene!
- The plot. It focuses on the after effects of the war, as well as some new threats in their near future.
- Valkyries!! I can’t wait to see where this part of the story-line goes!
- Helion! I love him and definitely want to see more of him in the next book!!
This was a five star read for me, as are most of SJM’s books. I still don’t love Nesta. She will probably never be my favorite character. But I respect her and understand her. I’m curious to see how her story progresses as the series continues and feel like her journey is just beginning.
“The first time I saw that look on your face, you were still human. Still human, and I nearly went to my knees before you.” His breath caressed the shell of her ear and she couldn’t stop her eyes from fluttering shut. His smile brushed against her temple. “Your power is a song, and one I’ve waited a very, very long time to hear, Nesta.”
Nesta had loved Cassian since she’d first laid eyes on him. Had loved him even when she did not want to, even when she had been swallowed by despair and fear and hatred. Had loved him and destroyed herself because she didn’t believe she deserved him, because he was all that was good, and brave, and kind, and she loved him, she loved him, she loved him.
Keep reaching out your hand.
So Nesta had become a wolf. Armed herself with invisible teeth and claws, and learned to strike faster, deeper, more lethally. Had relished it. But when the time came to put away the wolf, she’d found it had devoured her too.
Did she count – was she worth being counted?
For it was music between their souls. Always had been. And his voice was her favorite melody.
Amren put a hand above Nesta’s heart. “That’s the key, isn’t it? To know the darkness will always remain, but how you choose to face it, handle it… that’s the most important part. To not let it consume. To focus upon the good, the things that fill you with wonder.” She gestured to the stars zooming past. “The struggle with that darkness is worth it, just to see such things.”
Sometimes, Cassian saw that mating ring, and the portrait behind the desk, and this house, and just…wanted.
We love each other as true brother. and there was nothing that we wouldn’t do, no one we wouldn’t kill, to reach each other. To save each other.
Have you read A Court of Silver Flames? What did you think? Comment below!