Welcome back to the Night Court, reader darling.
A Court of Frost and Starlight is the first novella and fourth installment in Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy. ACOFAS acts as a tie-in to the upcoming books in the series, and follows the Night Court’s first Winter Solstice together after the events in A Court of Wings and Ruin.
While there was some confusion over if ACOFAS was technically the fourth book or just a novella (after all SJM’s Tower of Dawn was supposed to originally be a novella…), the size of ACOFAS alone indicates novella status for SJM! Not including the sneak peek, ACOFAS clocks in at 229 pages, which is pretty short in the ACOTAR world—ACOWAR was 699 pages itself. Despite everyone talking about its length on bookstagram (*insert angst about my copy not coming until 6 days after release date when I preordered it back in February HERE), even I was shocked by its size! However, I have now have plenty of room to give it in a home (aka squeeze it amongst my SJM books) on my shelf.
There will be spoilers for ACOFAS and the series overall in this review. However, before I jump into spoilers, here’s some non-spoilerly info about ACOFAS.
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Cover Lust?: This is my second favorite Feyre dress, right after the gorgeousness that is Charlie Bowater’s dress on the A Court of Wings and Ruin cover. However, the detailing on ACOFAS’s cover, aka Charlie’s border, blows the other three books to shreds (those poor Illyrian babies). Before ACOFAS was in my hands, I didn’t understand why everyone was freaking out over the border. But when I opened up my Barnes and Noble package and saw ACOFAS staring back at me, the border is the first thing that popped out! Reminder to never ever doubt anything that Charlie Bowater creates (how did I in the first place??).
Is it necessary to read ACOFAS to read the upcoming ACOTAR books? Obviously, we don’t have any of the latter books just yet, but I’d say that it is necessary to read ACOFAS to continue on with the series. Based on the sneak peak at the end of ACOFAS, the slight plot development and character mindsets in the novella are necessary for going into the next book. And if you’re a Feysand fan, it seems that ACOFAS is the last time we’ll be getting first-person POVs from Rhysand and Feyre. I’ll let you find out if ACOFAS is the last time we’ll also be seeing them in this series…
Spoilers will start below, so goodbye non-spoiler people, courtesy of Ben Wyatt in his own fantasy realm:
As you may expect from this massive Sarah J. Maas fan (puns and rhyming can be fun for English majors, okay?), I really enjoyed ACOFAS. It was just fun to be back with the Night Court. While my best friend and I thought that ACOFAS would be one giant Friends episode, there is a decent amount of plot and character exploration. I know that’s not an ordinary term to use, but ACOFAS reveals a lot about our characters post-war. While we primarily get Feyre’s perspective, we do get first-person POV from Rhysand and third-person POV from Cassian, Mor, and Nesta. I didn’t mind having these latter three perspectives, but it did feel sort’ve out of place at times since they were third person POV.
But no worries, there are quite a few Friends moments in ACOFAS, snowball fights and family dinners included.
And apologies to all who only have eyes for Rhysand, but Cassian is the true fictional bae of this series (even though I wouldn’t have minded a spinoff following the mysterious Azriel either). As per usual, Cassian has so many funny moments, especially when it came to Amren and her um, snowy, appearance:
“Only her chin-length dark hair and solid silver eyes were visible above the collar. She looked-
‘You look lie an angry snowball,’ Cassian said.” (101)
BUT LET’S NOT FORGET THAT THIS ANGRY SNOWBALL ALSO ENJOYS FINE JEWELS AND PUZZLES:
“I took a seat across from her at the long, dark wood table, examining the half-finished puzzle of what seemed to be some sort of autumnal pastoral. ‘A new hobby of yours?’
‘Without that odious Book to decipher, I’ve found I miss such things.’ Another piece snapped into place. ‘This is my fifth this week.’ ” (140).
I also enjoyed exploring Rhysand and Feyre’s life together as High Lord and High Lady, even in some of its mundaneness. Honestly, I didn’t realize how much I’d forgotten about ACOWAR/ the war (I spent way too much time than I should have trying to remember who Jurian was), so I enjoyed the moments where the two are shopping in Velaris or discussing their future. I’m sort’ve happy to SJM didn’t try to jam pack Feyre and Rhysand’s happily ever after in this installment—we don’t know if a mini Feyre or Rhysand are on the way. I think it would’ve been giving fans too much of what we want right away, and now there’s plenty of opportunity to do so with the focus of the upcoming books…
But I am also here to admit that like my A Court of Wings and Ruin feels, A Court of Frost and Starlight is not perfect. Maybe it’s my fault for not really refreshing on ACOWAR beforehand, but I forgot so much of what happened regarding the war. I couldn’t have told you who Jurian and Vassa were before I read an ACOWAR recap, and I’m still a bit confused about the whole Tamlin and his borders thing and the possible revolt from the Illyrian army??
And yes, while the point of ACOFAS being a novella is that there’s not enough story for a whole book, but I wish that the sneak peek for ACOTAR #4 would have been included in it. The sneak peak is not included in ACOFAS’s 229 pages, instead taking up 30 or so pages after the novella. I think I just didn’t like how separate it is from the novella, and its two chapters could have worked well within the novella. But then again, these are probably the first two chapters in ACOTAR #4., which follows… NESTA AND CASSIAN!! While I am still shipping Azriel and Elain and wouldn’t mind a story all about them, I AM SO HERE FOR CESTA OR NESSIAN OR WHATEVER WE ARE CALLING THIS THING.
I really wouldn’t have expected the spin-offs to follow this duo or anyone in the Night Court at all! I thought it would be following other High Court members or explore more of the ACOTAR gods, like Drakon and Miryam. Nesta and Cassian were my favorite ship in ACOWAR and I’m really excited to explore them as characters and their relationship.
Overall, I enjoyed ACOFAS for reuniting us with the Night Court, and yes, the sneak peek did make me excited for this series to continue on
Have you read A Court of Frost and Starlight? Are you excited for the upcoming books? Share in the comments!