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Ever since reading Throne of Glass when I was 15, I have been a massive Sarah J. Maas fan. I stormed through her second series, A Court of Thorns and Roses, not once but twice last year. Three books of steaming romance, vibrant magic, and a massive cast of sexy characters – it was all I had ever wanted. So with the release of the 4th book in the ACOTAR universe, of course, I binged all 750 pages in about 3 days.
A Court of Silver Flames focuses on Nesta Archeron, the sister of the previous main character Feyre. In the months following the war with Hybern, Nesta has fallen apart, drowning her trauma in wine and sex, until her sister puts her foot down and sends her to train with Cassian, a winged warrior with whom she shares an intense connection. Over the course of the novel, we see Nesta begin to process her trauma and make new friends, as well as become a formidable fighter within her own right, using her strange powers to keep herself and the ones she loves safe.
Twined within the main plot is Nesta and Cassian’s developing relationship. Maas knows how to write the most intense romances, complete with pining and miscommunication, and Nessian (as fans have fondly nicknamed them) is no different. Every scene between the two is electric, and the number of sex scenes they share was enough to make me, a seasoned romance reader, blush. The whole book is ridiculously sexy and far more graphic than any of Maas’ other books – but it works. It’s refreshing to find high fantasy like this that’s actually written for twenty-ish-year-olds rather than teens, something that Maas has cornered the market with, especially with her third series, Crescent City.
By far, this is Sarah J. Maas’s best book. She writes about trauma in such a compelling way, something that I hadn’t previously seen in fantasy worlds. Nesta begins to deal with her issues in healthy ways: through exercise, breathing exercises, and the friendships she develops with other women along the way. I wasn’t a fan of Nesta in the previous books – I thought she was bitchy, cold and unnecessarily harsh to Feyre. But Silver Flames turned that impression on its head. By being able to see into Nesta’s inner world, to see what she thinks and feels and why she does what she does, lets me understand her motivations and fall in love with her completely, and I was rooting for her the whole way through the book.
Silver Flames has definitely knocked the Throne of Glass series from my series top spot. Maas is also apparently planning to write more books with Nesta as the main character, or possibly Elain, the third of the Archeron sisters. The fact that I have to wait another year minimum for another Sarah J. Maas book is absolutely criminal – I need it NOW. If high fantasy is your thing, A Court of Silver Flames and the previous three books in the series are for you.