A Court of Wings and Ruin: A Court of Thorns and Roses, Book 3

Book review by
Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media
A Court of Wings and Ruin: A Court of Thorns and Roses, Book 3 Book Poster Image
Popular with kids
Gore, sex, epic battle against evil in twisty faery tale.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 20 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Some quasi-biblical references, such as a scene much like the parting of the Red Sea, featuring a character called Miryam. Set in faery version of British Isles.

Positive Messages

Strong messages of family, friendship, courage, teamwork, self-sacrifice, and trying to do the right thing when there aren't any good choices.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Violent, sexed-up protagonists trying to do right in bad situations as rulers, leaders, friends.


Ever-growing piles of corpses, body parts. Hand-to-hand combat, mass annihilation, mutilation, slaughter-happy heroes and villains. Magic used as a deadly, soul-destroying weapon.


More violence than sex in this one, but a few sexy scenes. Affairs, one-night stands, opposite- and same-sex relationships.


Plentiful "f--k," "s--t," "ass," "piss," "prick," "hell," "damn," and other crude language.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adult characters drink beer, wine, and so on.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that, as with previous books in this series steeped in lust and gore, A Court of Wings and Ruin features lots of sex, murder, dismemberment, monsters, crude language, and people behaving badly as our morally conflicted heroes wage epic conflict to save their world from dark magic. That, of course, is a big part of the appeal for author Sarah J. Maas' huge fan base as they eagerly turn the 699 pages through intrigue, dark magic, epic clashes, mortal combat, and corpse-strewn battlefields. Along the way, characters develop and form bonds that play a crucial role in the outcome, and there's a fair amount of redemption mixed in with the blood and betrayal.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byZisha7 April 22, 2020

Pure bad. Garbage.

The protagonists are all self-absorbed, entitled, violent to anyone that's not their friends, shallow, selfish people.
There's no merit to this series... Continue reading
Adult Written byLia C. December 19, 2017

Excellent finale to a brilliant series!

This is one of my all-time favorite series and I was so happy with ACOWAR! Many reviews point to the amount of graphic sex and violence, but while those are cer... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byalways7snape August 26, 2018


ACOWAR was a great book that featured heartwarming characters with an intriguing plot. The book did include explicit sex scenes. Even though there were scenes w... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byjessica28341 February 14, 2021
It does contain lots of smut though, these chapters are easily avoidable if you feel uncomfortable reading them. Though, if a child of age 11 feels comfortable... Continue reading

What's the story?

Following the events in Book 2, A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN opens with Feyre, having allowed herself to be "rescued" from her mate Rhysand in the Night Court, back at the court of former lover Tamlin, playing a dangerous game as a spy. Rhysand, meanwhile, is trying to rally the quarrelsome, intrigue-ridden faery courts into joining forces against the evil king of Hybern, who, one way or another, has  been responsible for most of the previous books' troubles and is now preparing to violate an ancient treaty and enslave humans (like Feyre's birth family). Murderous rampages, bloody battles, treachery, redemption, and tangled relationships ensue.

Is it any good?

Series fans will be in heaven as the hot faery romance of Feyre and Rhysand continues, an epic battle against evil forces looms, and lots of action and plot twists keep the 699 pages turning. Along the way, many intriguing characters continue to develop -- and while the Feyre/Rhysand tale winds up, at least for the time being, the stage is set for more tales from the world of Prythian, starting in 2018. Author Sarah J. Maas is a compelling storyteller with a lively narrative style and an imagination that's won her lots of fans -- but readers should know that violence and brutality are constant here and accepted as routine, as in this passage:

"No, even as my body hesitated in the kills, my magic did not.

"The two soldiers nearest me had feeble shields. I tore through them with a sizzling wall of fire. Fire that then found its way down their throats and burned every inch of the way.

"And then sizzled through skin and tendon and bone and severed the heads from their bodies.

"Mor just killed the soldier nearest her with a good old-fashioned beheading."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the faery world in A Court of Wings and Ruin. Why are fairies a popular storytelling subject?  What's the appeal? And how does the version presented here compare with others you know about?

  • Many stories, including this one, deal with human characters transformed into some other type of being, often immortal. If you could change into something else, what would it be?

  • Do you think series like the Court of Thorns and Roses have any relevance to our real world, or are they just an escape?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy romance and adventure

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