Is A Court Of Silver Flames Really Worthy Of Being A Best-Seller?

Sarah J. Maas is one of the most well-known Authors to ever roam the Earth. With two bestselling series by the names of A Throne Of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses and even more on the way, it’s clear to see why she’s so beloved. As an incredibly picky reader, I must say that I have indeed enjoyed many of the books she’s produced over the years, too enthralled in their pages to put them down. But, there are quite a few  I did not find any pleasure whatsoever in reading. I found it difficult to push past the first chapter in most of her books and found myself quitting them altogether after approaching the tenth chapter. As you can see, my experience with these writings has been either love or hate. So when I saw that she was releasing a new book in mid-February, just two days after Valentines Day, I was intrigued. Would it be another favorite worth the rave or end up on the same pedestal as Anxious People? I believe that this is another journey I need to take, to figure out if yet another best seller is worth the title it’s been given. Let’s begin, shall we?

To begin, let’s discuss what people think of A Court of Silver Flames thus far. I went to Goodreads, as one does, to see what all the highly opinionated readers had to say. As always I read both the good, the ugly, and the mediocre reviews of the book to see what exactly you should expect upon reading this novel. After hours upon hours of scrolling, there was only one huge concern readers had. The biggest and most worrisome aspect of the book was that the main character, Nesta, was treated terribly throughout the book for very selfish reasons. It’s made very clear through the reviews themselves that Nesta is severely depressed from the very start. Despite all this, the other people in the book treat her like it’s her fault and that she shouldn’t bother them with her problems. This does seem to be a huge negative, should it be true of course. Now while this is a major concern of mine I find her motivation to be quite inspirational.

At the very end of the novel Sarah J Maas gladly and openly shares her inclination for writing such a dark and deeply emotional novel. She states that the book was “a companion during my own journey through the valleys and mountains of mental health”. She also states that while Nesta’s journey with her own mental health is in no way a reflection of her own, there are certainly parts of her story that she relates to and had to write down. She continues on to state that she hopes people can relate to what she’s written and that for at least someone what’s contained within the thin paper of her novel will strike close to home.

Now before we begin the review itself I think it only proper that I inform you of what the book is actually about. The series known as ACOTAR (standing for A Court of Thorns and Roses)  is thus far about a girl named Feyre Acheron. She gets abducted by a faerie after she kills one of their kind in the forest while hunting. The first three novels in the series titled A Court of Thorns And Roses, A Court of Mist And Fury, and A Court of War And Ruin, describe her life from this moment on and how she adapts to this new life she’s been thrown into. In those books, we are formally introduced to her eldest sister Nesta. In the previous pieces of fiction, Netsa has been….. sacrilegious to say the least. She holds a deep and irregular hatred for her sister and treats her as terribly as she can physically manage. When you consider the fact that Feyre is a kind and thoughtful girl who sets aside her discomfort to provide for her family, Nesta ends up on the very high level of my “characters I absolutely despise” list. This new novel Maas has released is advertised to be her redemption arc so despite my utter distaste for her, I’m willing to push that aside and keep an open mind as I read the book.

To begin my review I shall say this, there are no words I can use to adequately describe how much I adore this book. This novel had it all, from immaculate character development to a jam-packed plot. I read half of the 758 pages in just the first four hours of acquiring the book and finished it very soon after. There were definitely sections of her book that hit close to home and had me on the brink of tears. It was incredible to read and there were only a few downsides I could find after my many yet few hours of reading. The first was that the end felt a little rushed. At the last 150 pages, it appears as though everything happens all at once and explained a little too quickly for my personal liking. There were also a few plot holes in her story that were too big and flawed to be ignored. The whole “everyone treating her like trash for no valid reason” thing was indeed a huge flaw in the book; however, there will always be outrageously conceited people in this world so this didn’t bother me too much. Not everyone understands how depression works as it does work differently for different people so while the way they treated Nesta was unacceptable it is also understandable. However, with that being said, from my own personal experience, those few flaws took nothing away from the impeccable storytelling that the rest of the story provides. 

The book focuses heavily on PTSD and its effects on one’s personality. I found that Maas did an incredible job making sure that the way everyone portrayed theirs was accurate and correlated to who they are. I appreciated that the author made a point to show that the journey to overcoming something of this magnitude is never easy or simple. That even though you may be improving you will still struggle and have just as many downs as ups. The author also did excellent work in illustrating how abundant outlets are and how they can help you overcome your struggles even if they may not be healthy. The fact that she was able to portray Nesta’s addictions as an inherently destructive force but was also able to explain why it helped was fascinating to me.  She also did a shockingly good job of describing how even when you’re at your lowest, even when you hurt and seemingly fail those you love and care for, they will still love you and care about you through it all. 

So, was this book as wonderful as was advertised? Has Sarah J Maas yet again released a best-selling novel that I don’t absolutely loathe? I’m incredibly glad to say that it is. Nesta Acheron has gone from being one of my most hated fictional characters to one I love more than any other. Her redemption arc is definitely a top contender for the position of first place and was perfectly worthy of the time it took to indulge properly in this wonderfully complex collection of pages. Not only that but the rest of the characters, both new and old, were just as joyful to read about as Nesta’s redemption.  

I’d like to say that I am immensely surprised to find myself ranking this book higher than the others from this series. The character development is so unexpectedly spectacular that I find myself in awe. The advancement in personalities in the last three novels were…pleasant, however the evolution of the characters in this particular book has left me speechless. Not only that but the plot itself was intricate as well as  entertaining in a vastly different way. It was engaging in a way I have never experienced before and has left me yearning for more whereas I was perfectly content  to wait for the others in the series. I’m giving this book a 4.5-star review as it was my favorite of the series but not my favorite book in general, though it is definitely a top contender. I will also be recommending this book to anyone and everyone I know who enjoys even the slightest bit of fiction literature.