So I have finally fiished A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas today and I have a lot of feelings. I give this book a good, solid 3/5 stars because though I loved Nesta and the world Sarah creates, I also have some issues with the book. (Spoilers below!)
So I have finally finished silver flames and I have feelings about this book and still undecided on how to rate this.
I enjoy Feyre character but she and Rhysand were super unnecessary in this book and how they dealt with Nesta trauma was iffy considering the trauma Feyre went through in mist and fury. Also did not like Rhysand and Nesta making up-kind of wanted them to still hate each other as that would have been more interesting imo. And that bargain Feyre and Rhysand made for them to never be in the world without the other is fucking stupid. I kind of wished they weren’t involved in this book as that what made me drop the stars a bit. I don’t know if it’s because we’re reading this from Nesta’s perspective but I also didn’t like Feyre that much in Frost and Starlight.
I love the focus on Nesta in this book and especially her friendship with Gwyn and Emerie and the House. I honestly think they were the best bit about it and seeing them train together and help each other face their own darkness.
I did enjoy Cassian and Nesta story and Eris. They make an interesting trio and Eris needs more love and support. I hope for more Eris character development and I hope Tamlin gets a character redemption arc. He needs one.
Also, Feyre and Rhysand scoffing at the Band of Exiles annoys me so much-especially when their court is called the Court of Dreams. And Feyre completely forgetting to help Vassa out of her curse after Jurian, Vassa and Lucien saved their butts in ACOWAR is annoying.
Kind of also tired of the Feyre-Nearly-dying-death trope. Feyre, I like you and all but this is once too many times.
The climax to Briallyn was a little disappointing as I expected more but perhaps with Koschei still around we might get more in the next book?
Im glad i reread the series as I appreciate Nesta more as a character and I feel for her.
So yeah, over all, 3/5 stars on a positive note. My favourite bits were with Nesta/Gwyn/Emerie and the House. They were incredible together.
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I'm not ashamed or disappointed about this but I used to ship Nesta and Azriel together and still do.
let me give my reasons
1: azriel never gave nesta shit "Maybe that was why Azriel had never said a bad word about Nesta."
2: azriel minded his business when it came to nesta
3: he didn't lash out when nesta spoke shit about rhys (as she should) like cassian but instead kept quiet and listened. "Azriel sat back in his seat, eyes simmering with anger, but said nothing."
4: nesta was never afraid of azriel which is rare according to everyone in the ic "Even Feyre had been hesitant around Azriel initially, but Nesta considered him with the same unflinching assessment she laid upon everyone....She saw him, and was not afraid of him. There weren't many people who fit that bill."
5: he never forced her or pushed her to talk but if he did want to talk he didn't demand it and was patient "Azriel took a calm sip of his water 'Why aren't you training Nesta?"
6: he understood her pain and trauma "Azriel watched her cool quiet, keeping utterly still. Like he saw everything in her head. Her bruised heart."
7: he cares for her "Did someone....push you?"
8: Never fought with her "Never seemed inclined to start a fight with her."
9: never pulled this bs : cassian was able to give elain a kiss on the cheek at the solstice dinner, showing just how affectionate he is, but then ignores nesta the whole evening and night and could only acknowledge her and talk to her in private?
10: or this "Mor took a sip of her tea, the picture of elegant innocence. " We could have done better to send Nesta to the court of nightmares. She would have thrived there." Cassian's jaw stiffened for those words were an insult, BUT ALSO THE TRUTH."
honestly there are some reasons to why I still love nessian but these just makes me adore nezriel and hate nessian lol. But if sjms doesn't give us more nesta and azriel in the next book then I am truly going to lose it
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Why? Why? WHY? Rant 2.0
ACOSF is very interesting to me, because there was absolutely no reason to have any of them be so antogonistic to Nesta when she was at rock bottom unless it’s to set up that they’re still going to be problems with Nesta in later books. That’s what SJM set up whether she meant to or not and only time will tell. But If the IC and the sisters had said nothing and were more neutral and the plot stayed the same... it would have been a better book. If they showed an ounce of compassion, it would have been a fantastic book. If there was a mixture of different views on the matter, it would have been a realistic book. Except in the narrative we got, the amount of antagonism is too strong for what didn’t happen to negate that, which is also why I have such a bad feeling about this healing arc. Let me explain.
Let’s say they said nothing. They told her about the intervention. Nesta agreed albeit still feeling a bit betrayed because she wanted more time to heal. Rhys was quiet, not sneering. Mor didn’t say anything. Amren was civil maybe business like. They were a bit pushy about using her powers, but Nesta conceded after learning about the baby. They were never directly antagonist. Elain stayed away, but we’d obviously know why from Nesta’s POV. We would also know why Feyre is not there, because Nesta doesn’t want to see her. Cassian would then be there to segment the romance and be the person she leans on, when she is healing. Maybe she’s a bit mean, but he takes it. He challenges, eventually he shows the more caring part of himself and the romance begins. Everything else can stay the same, mostly Cassian too. IF that all happened, then I would be more inclined to believe that the intervention was necessary, that Nesta had a skewed perspective, that they all might have tried to help at some point but Nesta was the one pushing them all away and did so up to this point. She would have her revelations, her epiphanies, and realize hey perhaps she is mean sometimes, or she would still have her personal hatred, and it would be about accountability, but no one is actively proving her right about her skewed perspective. The consequence is then not that she is being shamed into healing, but that without healing, she would lose her relationships and she wants them. She grows to want them. I would then be inclined to believe that the IC were waiting her out, possibly having Feyre or Cassian in their best interest if not Nesta, and that they were minding their own business until they directly needed Nesta involved. Not hostile, but wary perhaps. And then when Nesta did start healing and opening up, then their reactions would have made sense in that they were lightly friendly but not close, and it was up to Nesta to really fix those relationships. And when she did sacrifice her powers, then it would have been purely internal, that Nesta was proving to herself and to others that she’s open for love and that she loves them, particularly Feyre. The entire healing arc then would have been more internal because it focuses on Nesta and not the IC’s involvement with Nesta, and the outcomes and the ending are still the same.
Opposite wise, let’s say that the IC/sisters were empathetic, as in the arc that would be more external. Healing not just for Nesta but for the relationships. A reciprocal sort of love. Feyre would tell her that they’re intervening, but because they care for her and she’ll learn in due time. Rhys would maybe be more hard-pressed, but we would see instances where he understands the darkness, the hollow feeling. We would have Amren who looks deeply concerned for Nesta, because she had been her friend at some point. We’d have Elain, who would come to the library desperately seeking comradery and even though she cries at what Nesta says, she understands that Nesta is hard-pressed and only recently started healing. Cassian would possibly be getting frustrated, but there would always be this internal monologue of I want Nesta to heal. I want that girl back. I understand as a soldier if nothing else. Having this deep sorrow in his chest from perhaps not being able to do anything but wait. Mor wouldn’t have to be nice, but she would see how Nesta fits in the library, know the pain of growing up in a gilded cage, would perhaps see Feyre and Cassian and feel compassion for her friends and want to perhaps help for them, so she offers to teach Nesta how to dance. Nesta then would slowly open up to them, open up to love, and all of the ugly parts of herself, the hateful, angry parts would then be juxtaposed with the action of everyone else, with the love that she needs to feel for herself, the love that came even at the last moment with her father. And when she sacrifices her powers, it’s just proof again, that she loves, and she wants to love, and she’s willing to be hurt for love, because she wants to feel it all. And then the relationships at the end would then be open to be made, to be healed more completely, but then I would understand this hopeful sort of ending where her story is complete, but also just beginning.
Third option, is that we could get a bit of everything, because why does everyone have the same opinion as it seems in the book? Perhaps it’s Feyre and Cassian who completely show compassion, empathy. Elain could still have the problems, but either show empathy, or completely be antagonistic. Azriel is fairly neutral, Rhys is maybe more neutral where they’re waiting it out, but there are no bad opinions towards her. The antagonists could be Mor and Amren. Any of these people could be switched in that role, but the point would be that a few are neutral and more business like or minding their own. A few could possibly have bad intentions and it would be clear. And some would be undeniably empathetic, and I don’t mean to be kind--I mean that they understand, they have viewed Nesta through her eyes, and understand what she is going through and are unwilling to give up on her. The empathy would be the important aspect. But the point would be that none of them change their characteristics. The antagonists would still be fairly antagonistic. The mind your own’s would be open to a friendship, but the friendship would need work but there is a foundation for it. The empathetic would be completely close to the main, because they have stood by her, they have fought, and Nesta would realize this in her own personal journey. They have segmented a bond. The plot would be the same, except we’d now see that some characters suck more than others, and there’s definitely character arcs and growth that need to be made, but it would lead to future books that that might be highlighted and therefore leaves the door open for the rest of the series.
HOWEVER, what we got is very odd.
Because all of these characters start off antagonistic. All of them have some comments that are goading (except for Azriel). We have Feyre who makes the embarrassment comment, Rhys who... is antagonistic in many places. I won’t list them all. We have Mor and her lines. We have Amren and her lines. We have Elain and her lines. And no variation with anyone. Nesta gets proven right about her wrong perspective. She has an internal healing arc that seems to just morph into another odd perception, because she’s never proved wrong about herself, but she’s proven right about how good Cassian is (rolls eyes). She notes that she might like who she's becoming by the end, but how? Why? What has occurred to disprove her irrational thoughts? At the end, she is still very much irrational. Nesta still thinks too highly of Cassian, and she thinks too highly of everyone, and very little for herself. She is ripped wide open emotionally though, but that happens after the solstice scene where life suddenly looks very good. She apologies to Amren, who probably least deserved the apology, and to Cassian who also makes comments, but keeps making comments until the end where he means to apologize but doesn’t get the chance to by plot. Oh wait, she does apologize to Feyre about telling her about the baby, I think, but that situation is just swept under the rug for how dramatic it ended up being. Her not wanting to exist is also one and done. The necessity of the intervention is never highlighted, so the reader questions if it was necessary. I question if she might not need an intervention from them. Some of them stay the same throughout (Azriel, maybe Elain... maybe Feyre). Some of them miraculously change to neutral, even if nothing happens to change their mind (Mor). Some of them just change completely (Amren). Some of the relationships are only really fixed because of the baby plot (Rhys and Feyre). And Cassian is probably the only one who has the most reasonable scenario on why that relationship blooms, but it’s questionable if it was truly satisfying because ultimately the only person who really had growth was Nesta even though there are two POVs. And at the end, no one still has shown empathy. Well actually Gwyn and Emerie showed empathy, so perhaps the motivation in healing with Nesta was just added friends, a mate, and distraction. Which I guess... but why then involve so much of the opinions of the IC/sisters if they don’t mean too much? Why emphasize the danger of Nesta, the badness of Nesta, the problems with Nesta, and not negate any of these in scenes with the people that are perceiving her like that. Especially if the goal of this is not to just heal but to heal relationships, as it seems like that was the goal or should have been the goal if the perceptions of others were emphasized. So the end was almost too happy, too hopeful for an arc that started off with such deep trauma and every relationship seemingly failing to a point where the others are antagonistic, and who the narrator received the bare minimum at best to facilitate change... It’s a balance issue I’m telling you.
And, I am making general statements about what happened for good reason. I am trying to show how this could be more satisfying, if the aspects of the story was changed just a teeny bit. I have never read a book so deep in good and bad things. So easily arguable and all it took was how other people affected the narrative. So, I ask why? Why not make the IC/sisters empathetic or neutral or a strong variation of all three (empathetic, neutral, and antagonist). Why have all of them start fairly antagonist, very obviously antagonistic actually, and then have no major scenes of disproval? Because if you start that dramatic you need dramatic scenes throughout to facilitate the dramatic ending. If you start very low or very angry and the ending is suppose to be higher than rock bottom, the middle scenes should be a tug of war. So where was it? Why do it?
WHy? why? WHY???????
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