Book Review: A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas

Last edited on November 24, 2023 by Sarah Pereira

To say I’ve waited ages for this book is a complete understatement. But was it actually worth the wait? Keep reading this A Court of Silver Flames book review to find out. If you don’t want spoilers, skip to Should You Read A Court of Silver Flames below!

A Court of Silver Flames Summary

Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she’s struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can’t seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it. The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre’s Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta’s orbit. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other. Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts. Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other’s arms.

A Court of Silver Flames Book Review

Before I actually get into the review, I want to preface and say, I’m not a SJM hater. I absolutely adore Throne of Glass, so I’m not baselessly hating this book. This review contains spoilers!

For one, in the A Court of Silver Flames, Sarah J. Maas tends to stick to her favorite five words: purr, roar, growl, snarl, and mates. They appeared way. too. often. Purring was mentioned eleven times, roaring seventeen, growling thirty-five and snarling forty-one and mates thirty-five.

Don’t quote me on this but didn’t Feyre want to wait to get pregnant? A year later, when there is a possibility of war, she’s pregnant. There could be a literal war but SJM gets Feyre pregnant to further the plot later on (aka Nesta losing her powers at the end to save Feyre).

Then there’s just no high stakes to the plot. Sarah J. Maas, is capable of more than this, she’s literally written Throne of Glass. Everything just felt so frustrating, not entertaining. The 800 page plot was solved in less than a chapter. The plot wasn’t even solved though, like Koschei and Beron are still out there. How did Beron not find out about Eris and his betrayal, is he not working with one of the most powerful sorcerers? Does anyone know why the inner circle keeps meeting Eris at the spring court? Can they just let Tamlin suffer alone? 

Finally, Nesta has god-like powers, pure death. Rhysand pales and Amren shudders at the thought of it. But then it all disappears at the end. What a plot twist. 

The Romance

There was no genuine romantic connection between these characters unless you count sexual tension. If I’m being completely honest, I’ve read romance books with more plot and better chemistry. In the first part of the book, Cassian surveys Nesta’s body and how they would feel on him. He objectifies her 90% of the time when she’s literally at her lowest point in life. Also SJM’s writing is terrible. There’s no reason to write, “He was devouring her, melting her body like a piece of chocolate on his tongue.”

Cassian is literally Rhysand’s lap dog. He explodes when Nesta insults the High Lord. She says stuff like, “oh-so-powerful Rhysand”, “He is arrogant” and proceeds to tell him she hates Rhysand. In response, Cassian says, “‘Good. He hates you, too,’ Cassian shot back. ‘Everyone hates you. Is that what you want? Because congratulations, it’s happened.'” There is then a very real apology, when Cassian says he didn’t mean to say what he said. 


None of the characters feel like themselves. Nearly all of their character arcs depleted. Elain is perhaps the most irrelevant character ever. She’s annoying (when all she’s gotten was nothing but love) and always crying. Moving on, Mor told Cassian Nesta deserves to be in the Court of Nightmares. As for Amren, she became so unlikeable. She was always giving orders to Cassian and bossing Nesta every single time she saw her.

Azriel didn’t disappoint. Let’s just hope SJM doesn’t make his character terrible like the others. Update: The bonus chapter ruined everything. Gwyn and Azriel is the only things I’ll except. Elain doesn’t deserve Azriel. I will not read a book where Elain and Azriel are endgame (even though I know they will be). Gwyn and Emerie were the best characters in the book.

My first problem with the books is Rhysand, High Lord (nearly High King). He’s constantly held to this god-like persona without actually doing anything. I already didn’t like A Court of Wings and Ruin because I felt like it was rushed and there was too much Rhysand and romance (and not enough plot!). Unfortunately, I don’t think any redemption arc can save him, I genuinely can’t see myself enjoying Rhysand as a character again. Only when Nesta gave up her powers (that made her stronger than Rhysand) did he appreciate her and shower her with gifts and kindness. Clearly being a person is not enough to be treated with kindness and have a say in what goes on in her life.

When Nesta blames Rhysand for bringing her into this mess and place, his “rage became palpable, a pulse of night-kissed power.” The way that trauma is handled in this book just leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I don’t think this is how Rhysand treated Feyre when she felt the same. Oh wait, it’s because Feyre’s your mate and Nesta’s not.

“Is Feyre going to kick your butt for what you said earlier?” “I already told the servants to clear out for the rest of the day as soon as you take Nesta up to the House.” “I think the servants hear you fighting plenty.” …Rhys threw him a wicked smile. “It’s not the fighting I don’t want them hearing.”

I can’t comprehend how Rhysand has no consideration for other people, especially those who work for him.  He’s also described in the novel as arrogant and vain but at the same time honorable, fair ruler who always protected the innocents. Yet none of his actions reflect this. His encounters with Feyre and coercing her to become his mate completely contradict this. He wasn’t understanding of Nesta in the slightest and it shows that he’s never understood how to properly help someone struggling with a mental illness. I’ve never seen Rhysand even remotely interested in any of the innocent people. During this entire book, I genuinely don’t know what Rhysand was doing other than getting Feyre pregnant and giving orders. Second, he has to fight wars, that’s not honorable, that’s just decency, he’s the literal High Lord of the Night Court.

My final problem is with Feyre. She tells Nesta she will go to Windhaven even if she have to be tied up and hauled there. At this point in the book (chapter two), Nesta is still afraid of fire, feels the cauldron, and hears the sound of her father’s neck snapping. She’s struggling with PTSD, anxiety and depression due to trauma from violence and has no love from anyone around her, even herself. Feyre asserts her dominance when her own sister is clearly telling her she’s uncomfortable with the methods she’s going to use to solve it? Feyre throughout the entire novel acts with an air of superiority even though she’s not self made queen she thinks she is and it’s only because of Rhysand and his money.

Feyre also reveals everyone in the inner circle had conversations about Nesta. Guess who was missing in these conversations? Nesta. Feyre has struggled with mental health, so for her to not be understanding in the slightest was shocking. Not to mention Feyre and the Inner Circle didn’t give her time and space at all and forced her to be with Cassian. Nesta should’ve been able to live with Feyre for a while so she could feel loved, it shouldn’t take her new friends to be the only source of love she has.

“Every piece of art had been picked by Feyre herself, or painted by her, many of them portraits and depictions of them—her friends, her … new family. There were none of Nesta, naturally….Even their…father had a portrait on the wall along one side of the grand staircase: him and Elain, smiling and happy, as they’d been before the world went to [chaos]”

So only after Nesta saves the day, Feyre going to hang photos of her. And people still say Feyre cares about her sister. What sister would ever leave another sister out because they’re struggling? And I suppose Feyre may harbor some contempt about Nesta’s treatment of her prior to the whole ACOTAR and Tamlin stuff but Nesta never traumatized her.

Should You Read A Court of Silver Flames?

Life would’ve been better without this book. I’m just frustrated I’ve been waiting for A Court of Silver Flames, for nearly two years is terrible. Hopefully Azriel’s book is better.

Page Count: 768 | Publisher: Bloomsbury | Publication Date: February 16, 2021 | Genre: NA Romantasy

About Author

Lover of all things books, cats, and art, Sarah is currently a student in high school. When she is not reading, Sarah is usually writing and can be found in libraries and bookstores. Sarah is always looking for new adventures to write about (her Hogwarts letter didn't come so she's waiting to turn 50 for her adventure to the middle earth).

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