We’ve been patiently waiting for this book for years, and as soon as I read that first page it felt like I was home.
As I started this series, I thought back to when I first met Sarah at The Hay Festival in 2015. I remember listening intently to Sarah’s passion and love for this series, unbeknownst to the never-ending joy, emotional comfort and magical wonder it would bring me. Fast forward six years, and here I am, once again enamoured and emotionally ruined after experiencing the incredible masterpiece that is A Court of Silver Flames.
There’s something wonderfully familiar and comforting about Sarah’s writing, it takes you by the hand and leads you back into this incredibly detailed and limitless world that many of us readers like to call home. It warmly welcomes you to join these characters on their journeys of love, self-discovery and bravery, and I can’t help but consider them as family. It’s silly, but these characters and the world Sarah has created makes me so emotional and have become apart of my soul. Words will never express how much I adore this series and the wonder and escape that it has granted me. And for that, I will be forever grateful. Thank you, Sarah, truly.
As much as I adore Feyre and Rhys, it was time for them to pass the pen on and for Nesta’s and Cassian’s story to be told. And what a story it was. Nesta is hated and broken. But her journey isn’t about ‘fixing herself’ because, in reality, she isn’t broken, she’s hurt and trapped in her spiral of self-loathing. Sarah explains Nesta’s hostility and fears with grace and understanding. Her character arc isn’t as simple as ‘getting over it’ but is instead one of delicate and powerful determination and acceptance. Her struggle is painful and messy, and it’s not pretty or clear on how she’ll learn to move forward or if she’ll learn to move forward at all. Sarah always portrays trauma and mental health beautifully, she doesn’t sugar coat things instead she shows them as they are which is real, complex and relatable. We see brilliant, vulnerable sides to these characters that we haven’t really explored before, all of which are depicted gracefully from beginning to end. We are not all easily healed. Healing isn’t always a straight journey, it’s a mountain climb, one step forward two steps back and once again Sarah manages to capture that in Nesta’s journey, one which I am honoured to have taken alongside her.
This series has always been about family, and Nesta’s new chosen family and friends are her support system and gives her the strength to fight. She accepts the love she thinks she deserves but, it is through Cassian’s steadfastness and Gwyn and Emerie’s sisterly bond and unified support that helps her tear down the stone barriers from her past to form a loving environment from which she strengthens and blossoms. Like the House of Wind, Nesta finds a home for herself and learns to face the darkness and to focus on what brings her joy, it was a pleasure to witness her grow, and I particularly enjoyed watching her fall back in love with music.
And then we have Nesta’s relationship with Cassian, a relationship that starts with playful and witty remarks and escalates into sexual teasing and mutual wanting. Cassian refuses to give up on Nesta, and it’s his dedication that ignites a relationship that rattles the stars. It’s clear why these two are mates, they are two sides of the same coin and compliment each other beautifully.
The smut. Hot damn. Is it too forward to say that I loved it? I’ve taken my first steps into adulthood alongside this series, and it’s refreshing to see these book mature with its reads and develop into something so much more. Those intimate scenes between Nesta and Cassian are wild and passionate yet controlled and loving, this was different kind of love and one, which I have fallen head over heels for.
I should also mention that addition Azriel chapter, it was EVERYTHING! And I could 100% see him with our little warrior Gwyn. Don’t you just love it when Sarah teases us with new relationships!
As expected, I cried a lot at this book. Every time I read these books, I give my heart to these characters, and they return it broken, battered and yet filled with more love and wonder than before. There were moments, like the Winter Solstice and those final chapters, in which these characters achieve ultimate happiness and found myself crying with joy because everything was perfect. There’s so much more that I want to discuss but I think it’s best if I hold off on the spoilers for now!
Once again, Sarah has crafted an emotionally intense and beautifully perfect masterpiece that has gifted me with a reading experience like no other. These characters mean the world to me, so being able to join them again on another adventure was the ideal escape and one I wished would never end. It was the perfect ending – and new beginning – to Nesta and Cassian’s relationship and a journey that will stay with me forever. I finished the entire book in 24-hours, and I’m honestly considering re-reading it again soon because I loved every page so much. Like us, Nesta has found her way home, and she is a reminder that we all deserved to be loved and to have the courage to go out into the world, face our fears and climb that mountain.