The Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Narrated and adapted by a full cast. I have mixed feelings about this series but I will keep reading. This is a longer review than usual because I have thoughts. Also spoilers.
I really enjoyed the full cast Graphic Audio audiobook. I usually only listen to fiction if it’s narrated by a well known actor, sometimes the author, and these full cast versions. As with Daisy Jones and the Six, I feel like the book was a lot better because of the full cast. I like these audiobooks better and will continue to listen to them. They had music and sound effects. This was the perfect way to occupy my time through two flights. I started it on one and ended it on my second. I used 1.25x speed. I did read along on ebook a couple times, but I was so tired, I decided to listen and enjoy it.
Let’s get the more negative things out of the way. The writing for these books is not that great especially in dialogue and character work. These books are too long. I did like this one better than the first book. I find Freyre a bit annoying here as I did in the last one. The male characters are not that well defined but the author has a way of making most of the characters likeable. I’ve said before that I don’t often like love triangles and this book proved it. The author made Tamlin really unlikable in this book so to prop up the main ship between Rhysand and Freyre. I liked Rhys in the first book and knew he would have some depth here so not too surprised. I do really like the platonic friendship especially between Freyre and Lucien. I missed Lucien in this book. Also, the whole thing with Tarquin doesn’t make sense and they should have told him. There’s a few plot holes and questionable actions because the night court makes another enemy for almost no reason.
As someone who has read a lot of fantasy, there’s a reason I don’t always gravitate towards high fantasy. I found some of the wold building on the boring side because it was excessive at times. The plot was a bit predictable because of course they would be betrayed. The book also felt very similar to Throne of Glass which makes sense but all these books are the same: good looking every folk with interpersonal relationships and also lots of violence. Don’t care about the violence or the smut but I have to accept that. I sort of glaze over those parts. All in all the writing is questionable.
Let’s focus on the good though. The books are oddly cozy at times. Freyre takes at least several baths in this book and SJM always describes these cozier moments really well. It can be lush when she describes the magical settings. As a cozy fantasy person, I really liked being immersed in a faraway setting even though the next day there will be war stuff. She is able to balance these moments which is a testament to her pacing. There is an entertaining story here but not sure if the other things make up for. The ending was a bit convoluted but I was interested. The books aren’t high brow and they don’t claim to be so they can be fun in some instances. Overall, decent story and pacing, great audiobook, and everything else was okay to meh. I will continue slowly.
3.5/5 stars. 1.25x. November 26-27, 2023 North American time.