A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses Book 5)
by Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Good question. ACoSF is marketed as Fantasy but if I was a purchasing editor at a publishing house, I’d ship this over to Erotica. Romance, Urban Fantasy, and even Fantasy include sex scenes, but when the sex scenes are so many and so graphic, we need to call it what it is.
Romantic Subplot? I wouldn’t call it Romance. There’s a difference between romance and f*****. Cassian and Nesta have a lot of sex, but she doesn’t let him in enough to call it romantic. Also, he says some pretty crappy things to her.
Steam: Maas herself said that it was the filthiest book she’s ever written. Take her word for it.
Plot: I really, really wanted this to be a redemption arc for Nesta, and it was. Sorta. She has no agency. The entire story she’s reacting to her world and what her family and Cassian want from her.
What I liked: Fans don’t call it a A Court of Feels for nothing. Maas is excellent at writing characters who have experienced trauma and ways of recovering and coping from it. Her prose and world building are top notch, poetic and memorable, and she settles you into a scene like no other.
What I didn’t like: I thought maybe Maas was going with the heroine’s journey, where the hero/heroine collects friends, but it was a hero’s journey style plot with periods of withdraw etc. instead of Nesta relying on the strength of her friends.
Cassian had no arc whatsoever. His soul purpose was to play the muse (hero’s journey love interest purpose) to Nesta’s story. I honestly don’t know why Maas wrote from Cassian’s POV.
I had such high hopes, but the couple remained side characters in their own story and that pissed me off.
Recommend? Ah, here is the crux. There’s so much good thematically, I’d say yes with the caveat don’t expect the characters to have much agency in their choices, but rather they are there to serve main characters of the original series.