Book Review: A Court of Silver Flames

It’s the book that sent the book community of Instagram (AKA bookstagram) into meltdown over the last few weeks. Today I’ll be offering up a spoiler-free review for A Court of Silver Flames.

What is A Court of Silver Flames about?

A Court of Silver Flames is the fourth book in Sarah J Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses series. The book focuses on Nesta, who is dealing with her trauma following the war with Hybern and her attraction to the Illyrian warrior, Cassian.

The book is a romance fantasy, with definite emphasis on the romance aspects of the book.

What I liked about A Court of Silver Flames?

Character development.

Nesta has been my favourite of the three sisters featured in the series for a while now. She’s cold, but clearly not unfeeling.

I appreciated that Sarah J Maas develops Nesta’s character. Nesta is a dark character in many ways. She takes out her self-hatred and guilt on those around her, driving them away. Her struggle and pain is hard to read, but adds an element of realism to what is otherwise a very fantastical plot.

Ultimately, hope and perseverance are major themes of this book and I am here for it!

I appreciated seeing Feyre and Rhysand (the characters the first three books in the series focused on), from a new perspective.

Cassian, the romantic lead in the book was not a surprise. He maintains much of his character traits from the first three books.

There’s also new characters to root for, some of whom stole my heart when reading. I hope it’s not the last we see of these characters.

What I didn’t like about A Court of Silver Flames?

The book is far more sexually explicit than any of the others in the series. Reading this book, it’s easy to see why the publishers decided to rebrand the series to make it less appealing to younger readers.

While I personally didn’t mind, I think it’s something readers should be aware of going in. The book also depicts an unhealthy sexual relationship for the majority of the book. But this is dealt with for the most part as the book continues.

Some aspects of the ending felt a little rushed, but overall it was a satisfying conclusion.

The book, and Sarah J Maas more broadly have been critiqued for a lack of diversity when it comes to BIPOC representation. As a Caucasian reviewer, I want to acknowledge that other reviewers are able to speak into this space with greater understanding than myself. I encourage you to seek out some of those reviews.

Trigger warnings: Death of a parent, sexually explicit content, self-hatred.

Who would enjoy A Court of Silver Flames?

Fans of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series will get the most out of this book. But it could potentially be read without the rest of the series, as much of what the reader needs to know is covered within the book itself.

If you enjoy a romance with a fair amount of steam, it’s worth checking this one out.

Haters gonna hate.

Lastly on this review, I wanted to briefly address the amount of hate Sarah J Maas and this book have received. It is disappointing to have witnessed the poor reaction to the book cover redesign.

Not that it’s wrong to dislike a book cover, but ultimately, I believe the level of anger people have expressed at the author personally to be disappointing. I have read comments with people cursing at the author, or claiming they will just read a stolen copy rather than purchase. From supposed ‘fans’ of the series. These actions and words speak for themselves.

While the claims of lack of diversity are valid, the hatred voiced by some does not add to having a productive conversation about issues of #ownvoices. Much of this comes back to the broader debate of ‘writing what you know.’

What do you think?

Have you read this book? If you have, let me know what you thought by commenting on this post.

Haven’t had enough books? Come say hi to me on social media by searching @stephhuddlestonwriting or by clicking the buttons below.

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