A Court of Mist and Fury 

Reviewed By  April Slomiany       July 22, 2016


Author  Sarah J Maas

Distributor:       Booktopia/Amazon 
ISBN:                 9781408857885
Publisher:         Bloomsbury
Release Date:   May 2016  

Website:    http://www.allenandunwin.com 

New York Times Bestseller Sarah J Maas returns to the world of Prythian with the second book in her Court of Roses series, A Court of Mist and Fury. Dealing with the fallout of her ordeal Under the Mountain, Feyre is irrevocably changed by the events of the first book, immortal and broken.

Maas creates an unsettling atmosphere of her emotional turmoil before throwing readers an emotional curveball with shades of Hades and Persephone when Rhysand, High Lord of the Night Court returns to claim her from Tamlin, calling in the bargain they made.

The new Court is as beguiling as its Lord, and Prythian. As the mortal realms edge towards the war that begins to feel inevitable, Feyre learns to master her new powers, alliances and agency.

Maas’s ‘new adult’ series works along familiar fantasy lines of mortal in a faerie world, but carves out its own groove of character and place well enough that it makes addictive reading.

A Court of Mist and Fury stands in stark relief against the recently acclaimed Uprooted by Naomi Novik, with Maas’s heroine proving more believably flawed and exploring romantic developments in more organic way.

Maas continues to give Feyre an engaging narrative voice in this second instalment, a style both lively and propulsive, with its increasingly complicated politics and emotional relationships. A slight propensity to slide into anachronistic dialogue patterns or ticks doesn’t detract from the fun of the characters.

Some of the most delicious passages of the book are where Maas creates dangerous and imaginative monsters like the Bone Carver and the Weaver to challenge her heroine, crafting elaborate and vivid settings for them to inhabit.

Her secondary cast of characters are well fleshed-out and interesting, and we continue to learn more about returning faces, turning the enigmatic into the familiar and compelling. Rhysand is a particular delight, a charismatic flirt of a character in whom we find new depths; a dark horse hero with motivations surprisingly more noble than expected. His rapid-fire dialogue with Feyre is skilfully observed fun.

The phenomenal world building and clear system of magic are integral to the success of Maas’s fantasy world, with details of powers and orders of faerie carefully constructed elements of her immersive universe.

The eagerly anticipated third book is due for publication in mid-2017, and poses a difficult wait for readers of this escapism of the finest sort.