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.
This is a book I was simultaneously so excited and so hesitant to read, mainly because it’s been a while since I finished the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. I also wasn’t planning on reading it so soon, as I tend to read series together, but I gave into the hype eventually and I’m glad I did! Firstly, I don’t think you need to read this directly after the ACOTAR series due to this being from Nesta’s point of view (the sister of the narrator of ACOTAR). It’s been a good few years since I finished ACOTAR and I still fully understood everything that happened in this book and didn’t feel out of the loop.
This book was very much character driven, and focuses heavily on Nesta’s relationships with those around her. I loved seeing her slowly realise she did have the support of characters around her, and discover a found-family of her own. I also enjoyed reading about her relationship with Cassian which was highly entertaining on every level (if you know you know). And even though this book lacked action in some ways, I did fly through it and read it in around 2 days. I had forgotten how purely addictive and immersive Maas’ writing is, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and found it very hard to put down!
It’s common knowledge that Nesta is a bit of a b*tch, and I admire Sarah J Maas so much for taking that stereotype and flipping it on it’s head. The way Nesta is written about throughout this story is so, so clever and I adored it. We see inside her head for the first time and begin to understand all of the darkness she tackles on a daily basis. I just loved the way her mental health is written about, especially as this is something we rarely see explored in fantasy. Although no specific terminology is used, the way Nesta is described includes symptoms of PTSD and depression, which are discussed openly and honestly throughout the book. This made Nesta such a relatable character that I sympathised with easily and quickly grew to like and root for.
Welcome back to the Night Court, Nesta Archeron.
I couldn’t help but compare this book to my opinion of the ACOTAR series, which is one of the reasons why this book didn’t quite reach the full 5 star rating, although it very easily could have done. The first reason is I sadly felt like I was missing out on seeing some of the city itself. I know this is probably due to Nesta’s situation, and I did love any other world-building, but I did miss reading more about Velaris. I also adored the nature of the house itself, which almost becomes one of the central characters in many ways. My other, very small complaint is it did sometimes feel like the relationship between Nesta and Cassian overtook most of the focus of the story. We know by now that Sarah J Maas is famous for her smut, and although I enjoyed it as much as the next person, I did feel like it took some of the focus off the action and plot, which should have been at the forefront in places.
Overall, this was a thoroughly enjoyable journey back to Velaris and I adored it. Nesta really grew on me as a character and the discussions of mental health felt crucial to this novel. I can’t wait to see where this series goes in the future!
4.5 out of 5 stars
May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽