A Court of Mist and Fury: A Court of Thorns and Roses, Book 2

Book review by
Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media
A Court of Mist and Fury: A Court of Thorns and Roses, Book 2 Book Poster Image
Dark faery romance sequel filled with sex, gore, magic.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 13 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 49 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

This world occupies the physical space of Northern Europe and the British Isles, but in a very different time. A book with magical powers is written in "no language of this world," which a character calls "Leshon Hakodesh. The Holy Tongue." "Leshon Hakodesh" is a common term for the Hebrew language.

Positive Messages

Strong messages of protecting your loved ones, even at huge cost to yourself, and using your skills and talents for their benefit. Also, discovering who you are and being true to it. An act of kindness early on has important consequences later in the story.

Positive Role Models & Representations

There are no purely good characters here -- even Feyre, already wracked with guilt for all the deaths she caused in Book 1, kills many more and finds herself trapped in bad situations yet again. But she also tries to learn about her new powers as an immortal and to use them for the benefit of those she loves. Similarly, Rhysand has done horrific things in the past to avenge his loved ones and save others and continues to be viciously brutal to enemies even as he's trying to protect his people. Tamlin, Feyre's love interest from Book 1, has taken a turn to the dark side, controlling her and locking her up in his castle, supposedly for her own protection and "the greater good." This installment introduces several of Rhysand's friends and family, who share a strong bond and commitment to one another, in fun as well as combat.

Violence

Murder, mayhem, mind control, imprisonment, torture, and treachery are part of the landscape and often very personal: "I slew Tamlin's brothers on sight. I held their minds, and rendered them helpless while I cut them into pieces, then melted their brains inside their skulls. And when I got to the High Lord's bedroom -- he was dead. And my father ... had killed Tamlin's mother as well." Even sympathetic characters will break bones or otherwise maim people they want to punish. Powerful characters are perfectly willing to abandon entire countries to horrible fates to save their own. Descriptions of gore, body parts, and gruesome fates -- past, present, and imagined -- are plentiful. One character drinks blood; others are often battered and bleeding. Military training, including hand-to-hand fighting, is part of the story; so is sometimes-mortal combat involving both magic and physical weapons. One of the characters is recently freed from decades of imprisonment as a villainous character's sex slave; several characters are tormented by their own dark deeds of killing and betrayal in Book 1.

Sex

There's constant sexual tension and banter between Feyre and Rhysand, along with several vivid, prolonged, explicit sex scenes, and lots of foreplay, licking of body parts, and fantasy. Most involve Feyre and either Rhysand or Tamlin (Book 1's love interest, who seems to have taken a turn to the dark side), but there's also a multi-page scene involving a naked villainess sprawled across the bed of one of the male characters and making suggestive gestures in an attempt to seduce him.

Language

Frequent "f--k," "s--t," "ass," and Feyre's favorite insult, "Prick!" Also plentiful "damn" and "hell."

Consumerism

It's important to understand the characters and events of the first book to understand what's going on here, but there's no blatant promotion.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters, all of whom are adults, drink wine, beer, ale, and the like.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that A Court of Mist and Fury, sequel to Sarah J. Maass best-selling A Court of Thorns and Roses, has lots of sex and gore. It's aimed at 14-and-up readers but includes several prolonged, intense, explicit sex scenes, most featuring protagonist Feyre with two "males" (they're faeries, so they're never called "men") and another spotlighting a villainous priestess sprawled naked and making suggestive moves on the bed of a character she's trying to seduce. The story is saturated with violence, from imprisonment, forced marriage, and mind control to brutal massacres of loved ones and family members, and one character drinks blood. Crude and profane language ("f--k," "s--t," "ass," "prick," "hell," "damn," and the like) is plentiful. On the positive side, the plot's a page-turner (a good thing, as there are lots of pages). There's a strong theme of characters struggling to do the right thing and protect their loved ones, even when all the options are bad; the two central figures, Feyre and Rhysand, have emerged from the events of Book 1 traumatized by guilt, struggling for redemption, and willing to sacrifice themselves to save others.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byKNicole August 24, 2016

As a 23 year old avid reader and, this is my new favorite series of all time. The character development in this book blew my mind. #TeamRhysand

Yes this is a fantastic book. But this is also a very ADULT book. The sex scenes are explicit, long, and vulgar. If i read this as a teen in highschool, I proba... Continue reading
Parent Written byBookmamma August 19, 2016

Parents be aware--This is NOT a book for youth of any age

I have read this author's books in the past and they are always very violent and sometimes have sexual situations, but this one takes it to a whole new lev... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old September 22, 2016

MY FAVORITE BOOK EVERY

if you think your 15 year old can't read this because its to inappropriate chances are she/he have done worse so stop and let people read what they want
Teen, 16 years old Written by[email protected] June 7, 2016

16-17, disgustingly graphic

I have read other Sarah J. Maas books, and they are pretty tame. But upon reading the first book in this series I noticed and slight change, I didn't reall... Continue reading

What's the story?

Following the events of Book 1, heroine Feyre is now an immortal faery who retains a human heart. She's wracked by guilt for the horrible deeds she's been forced to do to save faery lord Tamlin and many other faeries and humans. She's also preparing for her wedding to Tamlin, the love of her life -- or is he? He says he loves her and will do anything to protect her, but that seems to mean keeping her confined in his castle, suffocated in party planning, pretty dresses, and court intrigue. Then, on the big day, Rhysand, the fearsome High Lord of the Night Court sweeps her off to his realm, which turns out be be quite different from what she expected. So does dark, snarky Rhysand, with whom she soon discovers intense sexual chemistry. But an evil faery lord is plotting an invasion that will destroy both human and faery lands, and Rhys and his friends are the only obstacle in his path. Worse, Tamlin is mortally offended by Feyre's defection and plans war. Meanwhile, Feyre discovers she's acquired remarkable powers since her transformation and struggles to learn to use them.

Is it any good?

Sarah J. Maas delivers magical mind melds, hack-and-slash violence, ethical hand-wringing, emotional angst, and lots of hot faery sex in this hefty series installment sure to delight her fans. She also throws both heroine Feyre and the reader a bit of a curve, turning Book 1's romantic hero Tamlin into a control freak and sinister Night Court lord Rhysand into Feyre's new love. Whether the subject is a glorious night sky, a character's gory injuries, or raging lust, the skillfully crafted descriptions grab your attention.

A COURT OF MIST AND SHADOWS will please fans who like their romantic fantasy dark, violent, and convoluted. It's action-packed and loaded with complex, shifting cosmology, as well as real-life issues that resonate with teen: friendship, changing relationships, love gone wrong, family, loyalty, and more. For some, the oft-repeated hand-wringing and internal debate, as well as the dialogue's tendency to veer from medieval to millennial and back, may get old; for others, it's part of the charm.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about stories that put their heroes in impossible situations, where all their available choices have terrible costs. What other examples do you know?

  • What do you think of the level of sex and violence in A Court of Mist and Fury? Is it necessary to the storytelling and the characters, or is it excessive? Is there a different standard for fantasy books than realistic fiction? 

  • If you were suddenly reborn as an immortal being, what would you find the hardest thing to get used to?

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