DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN’T READ A COURT OF FROST AND STARLIGHT
You have been warned! There will be spoilers!
Always a flair for dramatics but now that’s over and done with, we can move onto more pressing matters such as Nesta Archeron and her story!
We have met moody Nesta throughout the series in varying degrees but this book focuses solely on her and her life after the war. We have seen her prickly-proud personality shine through, seen she is swift to anger, and slow to forgive – even family members. Ever since being forced into the Cauldron and being forced to become Fae, she’s struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she now calls home. She can’t seem to shake the events of the war with Hybern, can’t seem to face the reality of all that she lost.
“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.”
There is one person though who keeps coming back. Who isn’t put off by her attitude or her temper. Rather he ignites it.
“The cold of the gaps between stars, the cold of a world before light.”
Cassian has been tasked with keeping an eye on Nesta since she was sent away from the family home and she isn’t a fan of having a baby-sitter. Here she befriends the house which supplies her with food and books, catering to her needs and feelings. She also befriends those working in the library and soon builds up a strong bond with Gwyn and Emerie.
“I cannot survive without reading.”
But it’s not just her temper which is ignited by Cassian and soon enough they cannot keep their hands off each other! There is a burning desire which is undeniable and as they are forced into these closer living quarters, sexual tensions run high. No one is willing to go deep into the darkness to her and gift her a fragment of light that will guide her steps out. No one is willing to go as far as to shatter those chains and spare her from that misery. No one except for Cassian.
“I’ll be with you every step of the way. Just don’t lock me out. You want to walk in silence for a week, I’m fine with that. So long as you talk to me at the end of it.”
On the flip side of the coin, the human queens are making a reappearance after forging an alliance which threatens the peace in this recovering realm. To halt them, Cassian and Nesta must battle the demons in their pasts.
“Power lay in her hand. Death gripped her by the other.”
I loved the fighting and strengthening scenes, I so much loved this in my life and miss it tremendously. I love the girl friends made and the girl empowerment in the book. These women went through hell! Valkyrie ftw! The strength these women showed through the help of Nesta and Cassian and Azriel were amazing. But ultimately they did it themselves. I love finding characters that are like this as I can try my hardest to be the same way.
I will be completely honest – when I saw this was a book based on Nesta, I was nervous. I didn’t like Nesta through any of the previous books – She did nothing, nothing while Feyre provided for them AND STILL, SHE BLAMES EVERY SINGLE PERSON. She was mad that Feyre found a new family but Nesta did everything in her power to push Feyre out of the picture when they were human. I do get it that some people protect themselves by using angry words or whatever BUT to me she just seemed like a selfish bitch. And when everyone finally grew sick of her bullshit she’s like: oh my god everyone hates me. I get that she has PTSD by the time we fully meet her in this book, but she has always been a nasty piece of work from book 1.
I found Cassian’s relationship with Nesta was so well developed and rivals that of Rhysand and Feyre. He knows Nesta as a victim, killer, broken girl, self-sufficient woman, and general badass. He’s seen it all and he keeps coming back for her. Together, these two were the perfect combination for a hot chaotic relationship that had you swooning, cackling, and gasping. This is a steamy book for sure!
I really liked Nesta’s character: her struggle with trauma and depression, her cold rage at her father for refusing to provide for them and the steel pride that prevents her for apologizing to Feyre for her past behavior, the self-loathing and insecurity, the female solidarity with other victims of sexual assault and misogyny. We get a lot of heroes that are as much of a d*ck as Nesta is and they easily get a pass. Or you get an influx or heroes that are all goody goody and not a bad bone and completely unrelatable.
Never again would she be weak.
Never again would she be at someone’s mercy.
Never again would she fail.
Never again, never again, never again.”
Well, I for one want to see more d*ckish women/heroes in my stories.
This book has to be my favourite of the ACOTAR series (I hope there are more books though)! This is a book about redemption and transformation; about battling our inner demons and searching for acceptance and healing both in themselves and in others; about personal growth and self-discovery…oh and it wouldn’t be a Sarah J Maas book without romance now would it?! Don’t get me wrong, the amount of spice in this book did grind on me a little bit but the story took precedence and outshone all of that. It will always have value to me primarily because I found it equally exhilarating and unnerving to see yourself so well represented within a character. Many things about Nesta made sense to me – the negative self-talk, the toxic mentality, her viciousness and cold-hearted nature felt deeply relatable, her depression is relatable! She had an armour of the biggest kind and it was impenetrable. Nesta is a character that’s unique. You have either experienced her in some capacity or you cannot relate and thus, do not understand. Her pain was painted vividly, it was jarring. There’s no saving someone that’s in the business to self-destruct and it was conveyed beautifully. Whilst it was hard to read at points, it felt healing to be surrounded by her. I didn’t want this book to end – it could’ve been longer. I wanted more, needed more! Sarah J Maas, answer our calls!
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Right so that’s ACOTAR done and dusted and we end on a high! I feel like I could talk about ACOSF for an age! Anyway now we move onwards to the Throne of Glass series so stay tuned for that!
Until next time,