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.
AUTHOR: SARAH J. MASS
PAGES: 757 Pages
PUBLISHED ON: 16th February 2021
GENRE: Adult Fantasy, Romance.
BOOK 4 OF A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES SERIES
CONVINCING YOU TO READ THIS IN 6 WORDS:
Healing, Found family, Finding & mastering own powers, Smut, Mental health rep, Overcoming past abuse.
CONTENT WARNINGS: Abuse, Explicit adult content, triggers for war survivors, Drinking and sex as a coping mechanism, death.
A Court Of Silver Flames promised ‘healing’. The book picks up exactly from where it ended in the previous novella, A Court of Frost and starlight. Nesta is still dealing with the horrors of the war. Everything from becoming a fae to facing Hybern, to losing her father and witnessing Cassian almost die, from almost dying herself and losing her sisters. That’s a lot. And so, Nesta did whatever she could do to forget everything. She isolated herself and indulged in a few pleasures of life, drinking, music and sex.
When Feyre came to the conclusion that she had given her sister enough time to spoil her life, she decided to step in. She had Nesta’s belongings packed and shipped to the townhouse. From that moment on, Nesta was to stay in the townhouse, train with the Illyrian warriors and work with the Priestesses. The townhouse where she could easily enter or leave if you had wings or climb up and down 10,000 steps. The whole idea was nothing but a nightmare for Nesta.
After lot’s of reluctance, Nesta finally began her physical training, refusing outright to train for her powers. Spending her time in training and working with the priestesses, Nesta slowly started to come out of the world she had created for herself. As she began to face her horrors, she accepted that training did help and she arranged for other Priestesses to train as well. The training generally involved Cassian and Azriel and Nesta found herself close to the two.
Every step of the way, we could see Nesta changing. At times, coming to terms with her feelings for Cassian, at times facing her fears of seeing her loved ones die, at times facing her nightmares- she constantly grew. With an unexpected friendship with Gwyn and Emerie, Nesta finds herself among people she feels safe and content with.
While Nesta was engaged in her post-war state, the world around her was still moving on. The Queens who were underground gathered their powers and were more powerful than before. And when Nesta realised that it was up to her or her sister to undercover their motives, she knew she had to step up. Despite her reluctance and fear, Nesta knew it was her who could do what was needed. She teamed up with Cassian and Azriel and set in search of the Cauldron-made items. The search forced her to acknowledge her powers and learn to control them and master them.
But will mastering that power be enough? Will her training as Valkerie with Gwyn and Emerie be enough to prove the Illyrian warriors that they are worthy too? Will finding the Cauldron-made items be enough to fight against the Queen who is dead set to destroy her? With everything happening around will Nesta be able to forgive her sisters? And will Cassian and Nesta find their path towards each other or still play along the line? Will Nesta finally be able to breathe again?
“Keep reaching out your hand.”
Summoning my thoughts for A Court of SIlver Flames is like a beating heartbeat. Full of ups and downs. I loved some scenes while I wanted to scream into oblivion for some. A Court of Silver Flames was one of my most anticipated reads for 2021 and I read it within 2 days of the release date. But at the end of the book, I was so disappointed. Over the course of reading Mass’s books, I have realised something- if you are reading just for pleasure you may enjoy them but if you are someone who loves to over-analyse things, I think there are going to be some problems. I also think that the fine line that Mass created toeing on the sides of YA and Adult did lead to some problems. (I’ll talk about it below).
First, let’s start with something that I really enjoyed. I honestly love how Mass creates bonds between friends, the kind where they become your family. That was the highlight for me in the previous books for this series and in that aspect, she didn’t disappoint at all. We still see amazing and well-written friendship bonds just with different characters and an altogether different shade to Inner Circle. And I loved it.! Nesta, Gwyn and Emerie became an inseparable trio and reading about how their bad experiences connected them, was really interesting.
“I am worthless and I am nothing, Nesta nearly said. She wasn’t sure why the words bubbled up, pressing on her lips to voice them. I hate everything that I am. And I am so, so tired. I am tired of wanting to be anywhere but in my own head.”
Coming to talk about the plot of A Court of Silver Flames. I believe this book is divided into two plots. One where we see Nesta and how she faces her fears and a sub-plot between Rhys and Frye. I am going to say just one thing. The sub-plot was one of the biggest problems that I had with A Court Of Silver Flames. (Will be discussed below with spoilers). Now, the main plot or rather the storyline of Nesta. I think I enjoyed her story but more than anything I enjoyed how there were so many shades to Nesta. We witnessed a struggling Nesta, an inspiring Nesta, Nesta who was reluctant to accept her powers to someone who learned to master them, an angry, frustrated, broken Nesta to someone who found her calling, who found her family. That was a highlight for me. But the plot? It was predictive and at times too convenient.
“Cassian leaned to whisper in her ear, “The first time I saw that look on your face, you were still human. Still human, and I nearly went to my knees before you.”
And since we are talking about Nesta, I don’t think we can talk about her without mentioning Cassian. Since the brief introduction and previous encounters between the two of them, I was invested in seeing more about them. And again this book had that balance. The moments between them that I enjoyed were far more than some that I didn’t. I do believe that Cassian’s character could be portrayed a little better. I was somehow missing something in him that I witnessed in A Court of Mist and Fury and A Court of Wings and Ruins. I am still not able to point out what exactly is it? Is it his carefree demure? His attitude? I don’t know. Overall, I loved reading about the two of them and I think they complement each other well enough, despite how cliché it looks. (2 blood brothers for 2 sisters.)
“Nesta had loved Cassian since she’d first laid eyes on him. Had loved him even when she did not want to, even when she had been swallowed by despair and fear and hatred. Had loved him and destroyed herself because she didn’t believe she deserved him, because he was all that was good, and brave, and kind, and she loved him, she loved him, she loved him”
I have always enjoyed a good Fantasy book. I love the simplicity (though at times repetitive) nature of YA and at the same time the complex world-building questions and discoveries in Adult Fantasy or even Epic Fantasy. I think as we shift the genre for this series from YA to Adult, I expected more. I mean, more world-building, more questions to be explored. Just the addition of sex or smut doesn’t make it Adult Fantasy, right?
The pace of this book was also a big problem for me. There were scenes that were so powerful and well-written that I wanted to know more about them. That I wanted to explore Nesta’s hidden power. The book felt so underinformed and then we had the last 150 pages, where I am ignoring the last 20 pages where I felt like the dumping of information. And the last 20 pages where I pretend that they don’t exist.
I realised, one thing of thing that bug me is the open over-possessiveness. A bit of possessiveness is fine and attractive at times but damn. I cannot stand the idea of mates being over-possessive. And while I think this book didn’t have a lot of possessive scenes, I was annoyed at a point and that feeling stuck with me.
“Power lay in her hand. Death gripped her by the other.”
I was ecstatic to see mentions about Valkerie and how they trained themselves to become something equivalent to the Illyrian males. I just think I would love it more if something more about it was mentioned. But I am hoping that we will see more about them in the next books.
If it wasn’t clear enough, I really did hate the ending of A Court of Silver Flames. That changed my whole mood. I was engrossed in the book, looking for answers and then bam. No. Just No. A big no for me.
“Busybody.” Az took a bite. “You let her suck your cock in the middle of the dining room. At a table I’m currently using to eat my dinner. I’d say that entitles me to an opinion.”
A Court Of Silver Flames did fulfil some of the things that were promised. It gave Nesta a chance to heal and at the same time showed us that everyone can heal from even the deepest wounds that you don’t think you can. It gave us some beautiful friendships and proved that your abuse doesn’t define you.
Rating A Court Of Silver Flames was difficult because it isn’t the worse book out there. I have some tabs that I do go and re-read. But the things that bugged me, bugged me so much. I know that I will be continuing with this series and I can’t wait to know despite everything how Mass picks up the story from here.
“For every Nesta out there- climb the mountain.”
The sub-plot, A.K.A. the pregnancy plot. I don’t know how this was a good idea? When the two of them discussed pregnancy before, Feyre said that she wanted to wait. That she wanted to explore before becoming a mother. And I was ecstatic because that is how I see it. She is hardly in her twenties and already faced a life-threatening war and other horrors. And so, taking her life to settle in when she has a lifetime (literally) ahead of her was a smart choice. Not at all, something I enjoyed.
The decision to hide the pregnancy risk with Feyre How could everyone not tell her that she could die.! I mean I understand that letting her know would lead to stress but damn it, she is having a baby. That baby is literally a part of her. It is her life, her body, how can everyone hide things from her? I was glad that Nesta told her about it. Though the way she said was wrong but Ferye deserved to know the truth.
“Az chuckled, the wind shifting the strands of his dark hair. “You two need a chaperone up here?” Yes. No. Yes. “I thought you were the chaperone.” Az threw him a wicked smile. “I’m not entirely sure I’m enough.”
I don’t understand the coldness of Inner Circle towards Nesta. When Cassian told his story about how he hunted the people who hurt his mother and what he did. How it took him years to reach the point where he is. How could he judge her for facing her trauma the way she did? Rhys stood by Cassian and helped him his revenge than why did Nesta spending his money on drinks and gambling become a big deal? How despite staying in Court of nIghtmares and knowing how much problematic the place is, Mor suggest that she should be shipped there? How could Armen just give up on her knowing her? I am not saying that what Nesta did was right. Sleeping away, drinking and gambling are not healthy coping mechanisms but in no circumstances is treating someone the way they did ideal.
“I grew up surrounded by monsters. I’ve spent my existence fighting them. And I see you, Eris. You’re not one of them. Not even close. I think you might even be a good male.” Cassian opened the door, turning from Eris’s curled lip. “You’re just too much of a coward to act like one.”
I really enjoyed the plot with Eris. It was a good addition, bringing back the theory that Mass likes to play with your heart. The books before showed Eris in a bad light, then slowly a grey character and now…Wow. I was so intrigued and I want to know more about him and how his story will be told. And since, we are talking about Eris, the scene in Court of Nightmares with Nesta and Eris and the planning by the Inner Circle. How to dangle Nesta for Eris, offer him a dance, see them toe around each other and then have Cassian but in. And say, you know all that was just for show? Cassian not being able to see her dance with someone else? The possessiveness reeking.
The fight on the mount during the Blood riot. I just want to say What the hell. This is what I meant, too convenient. How did it…I just don’t know. And Nesta screaming, My mate taught me well. ( Didn’t work out for me.)
“She turned her head so slowly it was like watching a puppet move. Her eyes met his. Death watched him. But Death had walked beside him every day of his life. So Cassian stroked his thumb along her palm and said, “Hello, Nes.”
The Ending. The Ending? Too many things happening too soon. One moment we were on the mountain, fighting for life and the next we were hugging and accepting the mating bond? One moment Feyre is sick and about to die and the next moment, Nesta saves everyone by giving up her powers. Why? Why? Why? Why do we have people giving up powers? Especially something as different and powerful as being a Death incarnate.
On that note, the scene at the Death grove? Amazing and freaking badass. Loved it.
I didn’t mention Azriel before but his scenes were just good as always. I especially liked the ribbon-cutting scene and teasing that he shared with Gwyne. The bonus scene did make me double-check because we actually have him speaking more than 2 sentences. Anyways, based on interaction in this book, I have to admit, Az and Gwyne seem amazing together. R.I.P to all the Az and Elian fanfictions that I have saved. I know I won’t be able to read them in the same way again.
Armen giving up on Nesta was something that I didn’t like either. First, I am still trying to gauge if I like Armen better alive or dead. Don’t get me wrong I like her character and the story behind her. But her death would have added some amazing twists and plots. Of course, I would be sobbing but that’s not what we focus on. She was someone who even if little could connect with Nesta. And her giving up on Nesta. Well, it didn’t work out for me.
Deciding whether or not to tell Nesta about her powers and what the swords that she made could do. How could they even decide to hide this fact? I mean how can other people sit and decide if they should tell her that she has such powers? How can you make such decisions about people’s life without even involving them? If I have such powers, I would be very well told in advance rather than me finding out about all this in a life or death situation.
I think that’s all. Let’s hope.
On the other brighter note, I am still a big fan of Lucien and I can’t wait to see how his story goes. One thing that I want to know more than anything is how he reacts when he finds the truth about his parentage and how Helion reacts.
“Your story is worth telling, you know.”
You can read other reviews by me here.
You can buy the book here.
If you enjoy my content, consider buying me a Ko-fi.