A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas

A ​Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #4
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing on February 16, 2021
Genres: Fae, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 757
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Purchase on: Amazon// Barnes & Noble// BookBub
Add to: Goodreads // StoryGraph

Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she's struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can't seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.
The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre's Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta's orbit. But her temper isn't the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.
Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.
Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other's arms.


If you read my previous review on A Court of Frost and Starlight, you already know that I am continuing this series against my will. I picked up A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas years after it was published because I love my best girl Nesta Archeron and BookTok started to show me so many Nesta positive things I thought surely it can’t be so bad. Well, it can be!

I have so many thoughts and feelings about this book that I am struggling to put them in a cohesive flow, so please bear with me. I think before getting deep into my Nesta/Cassian feelings, it’d be best to talk about the plot and other such things first. Plot wise, this is so much better than Frost and Starlight in that there is actual story. There’s a threat and Nesta has to deal with it, while also dealing with her PTSD from the war and cauldron, as well as dealing with childhood trauma. We see the depth and layers that were only hinted at earlier in the series. More of the world is revealed and new characters introduced – Gwyn and Emerie were lovely to read about. Their friendship with Nesta was so important.

Now, let’s get to the issues. Tamlin, whom I will hear no slander on, was villainized earlier in the series for enforcing a tax??? and trapping/locking Feyre up in the manor. How despicable that Tamlin, who thought that Rhysand was out to harm Feyre, try to protect her while also dealing with his SEVERE PTSD (I mean, not even from just what happened under the mountain, but how about finally getting to process the fifty years he spent sending friends to their deaths?? Fifty years of loneliness finally coming to an end as the rest of the courts are freed.) Why do I bring this up now? Because Feyre and the Inner Circle do to Nesta what was done to Feyre by Tamlin. What Maas used to vilify Tamlin is now used to praise the Inner Circle and Feyre. Nesta is in a bad place, and instead of being patient and kind and understanding, the Night Court decide she needs to be locked up and forced to train despite having been very vocal against wanting to become a warrior or a fighter. Nesta, so incredibly traumatized by the war and yet they want her to train for a fight. They take away all of her choices and expect her to be happy about it. Despite having every choice taken from her her entire life.

I was so ride or die for Nessian. I loved them and after A Court of Wings and Ruin, I thought okay, Cassian will work to make up for dropping her hand in front of Mor and actually give Nesta the time he promised. Then I read A Court of Frost and Starlight and saw that no, that wasn’t the case. Okay, cool. Maybe in Silver Flames he will grovel and show Nesta that he really does care for her. Absolutely not. This is marketed as a some great romance between Nesta and Cassian but I do not see it. I see a girl who is hurting and desperate for affection, and a grown male centuries her senior taking advantage of that situation. Cassian ridicules Nesta alongside his family but also gets to be with Nesta in private. He gets the best of both worlds and is confused that Nesta doesn’t give in and accept him. Hell, even after she accepts him, Cassian still mistreats her. It makes me sick.

One of the biggest things I disliked was the way sex was treating in regards to Nesta. There is such a world of difference between sex to empower and sex as punishment. All of the sex in this book reads as punishment than empowerment or love. It is something done to Nesta. Nesta is a character that has had everything ripped away from her – quite literally even her life. She is desperate for connection. Desperate to be seen and loved. She is willing to do anything and treats the scraps of affection given as a banquet. Nesta has sex with strangers (which is a whole entire can of worms I’d love to dive into given her characterization in earlier books, but won’t.) That gets taken away when she’s placed in a home she cannot escape from with a male who feels entitled to her, who makes it very clear he wants her. So Nesta, desperate for affection and connection, wanting any kind of reprieve, she gives into Cassian. And Cassian, a fae five centuries her elder, what does he do? He takes it and leaves showing not even the tiniest scrap of affection in exchange. The scene that perfectly encapsulates everything I despised about this book is the scene after Nesta and the kelpie. Here she is, having escaped an assault, physically injured, mentally scarred. Again, desperate for comfort. She and Cassian have sex and what happens afterward? Absolutely no aftercare. He gets up and leaves with a scathing remark that literally haunts me to this day View Spoiler ». It physically sickens me. It disgusts me. This is supposed to be the male we’re supposed to root for, to swoon after. I don’t know how. If the idea of mates is that you’re supposed to do anything to help alleviate your other half’s suffering, even at the cost of yourself, then I don’t know how Nesta and Cassian fit that bill because we see time and again all Cassian cares about is himself over Nesta.

I guess, to throw this all down to a single concluding paragraph on whether or not you should pick up A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas, if you’re a fan of Cassian and the Inner Circle only, and someone able to overlook glaring world building problems, sure pick this up and enjoy. If you care about Nesta, world building, romance heroes actually loving their heroines, steer very clear. This broke my heart and confirmed every reason I originally had for refusing to read. Will I pick up another book in this series? Literally only if Nesta leaves the Night Court and Cassian. My heart holds out for Nesta and Eris.

PS If you want a better Nessian experience, I highly recommend Embers & Light by duskandstarlight (sadly unfinished) and AU Where We Pretend ACOSF Didn’t Happen by Theladyofbloodshed which is completed and so great.


Leave a Reply