Title: A Court of Silver Flames
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #4
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Published: February 16th, 2021 (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.
Following the war with Hybern, Prythian is slowly healing and returning to normal. But Nesta has far from adjusted to becoming High Fae and is headed down a very self-destructive path. The horrors of the battle, seeing her Father die and being forced into a Cauldron still haunt her. Sent to train with Cassian by Feyre and Rhysand in a last attempt to help her, Nesta sets out on a difficult journey of healing and acceptance. But the mortal queens who returned to the Continent are plotting, and have formed an alliance with an ancient enemy, and Nesta’s unique powers, which she has kept buried deep, might very well be the key to defeating them.
When I first heard about this book some time last year, I honestly considered not reading it. I didn’t enjoy A Court of Frost and Starlight, and most of the time, I dislike it when a complete story is further dragged out with spin offs or novellas. Nesta has never been my favourite character in this series either, so there wasn’t much motivation to pick up this book initially. However, I really should have known better than to doubt a book by Sarah J. Maas. It took me a while to start fully enjoying the story, but the familiar world, characters and above all, the writing, had me flying through the pages in just over 5 hours. A Court of Silver Flames is narrated through Cassian and Nesta’s POVs, so it was interesting to get a fresh perspective of the characters we know and love.
“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.”
While there is, of course a plot involved, with one of the human queens seeking revenge for what happened to her during the War, Nesta’s journey is the major focus of this book. I’ve never liked Nesta much, but this book really helps in understanding what she is going through and the level of trauma she is suffering from. I loved the friendship that formed between Nesta, Gwyn and Emerie as they train to become warriors. We’ve been given some hints in the previous books that Nesta’s encounter with the Cauldron left her with some serious powers and that is further explored here as well – it was quite shocking learning the extent of what she was capable of. Nesta’s arc was amazing and as a reader, it was wonderful to see the gradual change and growth in her character. Those last few action-packed chapters were phenomenal and I found myself wishing it would have been longer. I’m usually not a fan of books that are overwhelmingly character centered, but I rather enjoyed this emotional journey.
“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.”
Cassian of course, has always been one of my favourite characters, and he steps into a new role as a courtier for Rhys, seeking information about what their enemies are up to. It was great to know more about his history, but what was even better was how he was there for and supported Nesta at every step of her difficult path, always reaching out his hand no matter how many times she refused. I’ve never even been a serious Cassian/Nesta shipper, but even I’ll admit that the whole thing played out beautifully.
The only thing I didn’t like about this book was that the plot, while interesting, felt very peripheral, like it was there to assist Nesta’s transformation, and while it did become relevant to the story soon enough, the way it ended was too abrupt, especially after how gloriously dramatic the Blood Rite was. However, there was a lot of information about Fae history and the nature of the Cauldron and Made artifacts that I enjoyed learning about.
“Your story is worth telling, you know.”
While this book wasn’t as overwhelmingly good as say, ACOMAF, and I certainly won’t be facing a book hangover over it, it was beautifully written and gave me a new appreciation for Nesta’s character. I’m actually rather excited for the next book in the series. This might just be the first spin off novel I’ve ever enjoyed, and if you’re hesitant to pick it up as I was, it’s definitely worth the read and I would highly recommend it!
Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below!