A Court of Mist and Fury
is the second book in the series A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. The first book in the series, A Court of Thorns and Roses
, had a touch of inspiration from Beauty and the Beast, a fairy tale many of us are familiar with – at least the Disney version. It rises and builds up like a crescendo. Alluring, beautiful, intricate, stunning and filled with the shadows that have no place in Disney. At the end of it, Feyre saved her Prince Charming (or Beast if you want to stick with Beauty and the Beast reference) and was changed irrevocably in doing so. She is now a mortal soul in an immortal body. Her lover is an immortal High Lord of Faerie and she has saved him, and all of Faerie, from the clutches of evil.
But now the first book is done and Feyre technically has achieved her Happily-Ever-After. Yet, everything is wrong. Because she is not who she was. She no longer needs someone to save her, instead she has already done the saving. She needs a partner, not a protector. Tamlin is wrong for her, and it is so so hard for her to see that, admit that, after going through so much due to her love for him. And Tamlin, he seems to love her, yet he cannot see he’s suffocating her, drowning her in his ‘protection’. Consumed by his own demons, he is letting what he needs take precedence over what can help her.
And then there is Rhysand: the High Lord of the Court of Night. He should be evil. He should be hated. He should be wrong. But he is the only one who seems to understand Feyre. Who is trying to help her be herself, to help her get out of the trauma of Under The Mountain. Who is saving her from herself and from Tamiln.
This book starts on a low note – building from where the first book left – but then it does start building and it is so much more complex, so much more layered than the the first one. Maybe because we know more about the world now and maybe because that is the difference between Rhysand and Tamlin. Where Tamlin is cagey, secretive and treats Feyre as less; Rhysand treats her as an equal, is honest and believes in her being her own person.
It is the difference between an abusive relationship and a real one. The other characters all have depth, have real pain, sorrow and the strength to rise beyond that. They do not overshadow each other but rather exist in a harmony.
Yes, the book is a fairytale. Because after Tamlin, there is a Rhysand. It gives hope that after an abusive relationship which you gave everything, which nearly killed you, there is a chance that you might find the person who is actually the other half of your soul. A person who makes you see not just the good in the world, but in yourself.
And maybe this is what all fairy tales should be: real, bitter, cruel but always with an edge of hope.