Hope you are well. It seems that in the past couple of weeks, I have been in a SJM reading mood. I have read all of ACOTAR (review here) and also Crescent City (book one review here and book two here) and now I am writing another review but from the new spin-off series, What the hell.
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.
Published: February 2021
Pages: (Kindle) 768
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Goodreads Star Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
This book surprised me, it hooked from the first page to the end. This book invaded my life and I had to finish it. My brain keeps thinking about this book and I am amazed at how much I devoured in 2 days, 2 DAYS. It has been a long time since I finished a book in 2 days.
I have found Nesta to be an interesting character, while her exterier is cold and rude she could be hiding a lot more than what she is letting on and this was a book that manages to make her shine. In the trilogy, she was looked as mean, protective of Elain but also very couragous through it all but when we find her in this book, she is not great. Secluded away from the Inner circle, she is drinking and sleeping around and is basically lost in this world that she feels unfamilier with. But that is until Cassian and friends give her the ultimatum. I don’t think it is a great ultimatum but something had to be done.
I could not stop thinking that the House of Wind was like Casita from Encanto, I mean I feel like you can pick anything from Encanto and see it in this book. Nesta’s frustration by everyone thinking what is best for her but really she has no idea about herself, she was being pushed by their mother to be a provider and support the family but when their Father lost everything Nesta didn’t know what to do, it might have looked that she allowed a 14 year old to hunt for food but she was trying to find other alternatives to get out of that cabin. Cassian was like the biggest supportive character, he may come off as a goof at times but it felt that he was thinking about her when everyone was just singaling her out. I knew before reading the books that they were going to be together and I cannot think of any better partnership, their chemistry flew off the page and oozed with desire and lust.
I don’t know what SJM was eating or drinking but somehow I really started to hate the members of the Inner Circle, like how the hell can Rhys become such an awful POS? to threated Nesta’s life after hiding a secret that could affectivly kill the love of his life, how the hell is Feyre being treated with kid gloves? but also has zero interest in communicating with her sister that is clearly going through more trauma than Feyre had. And also when did Amern become meaner? because it seems to me that she is not the Amern that was written in the trilogy.
I loved the Valkrie in training, I loved the introduction to Gwyn and Emerie becoming Nesta’s new sisters, their love for smut romances and also their drive to become better through their own trauma. I loved how these three women were able to open up to one another and have that conversation of handling trauma and each woman had a different trauma that every women fears or had in their life, it was very relatable and a great source of friendship/sisterhood, far better that with her real sisters.
I do believe this is far better than the trilogy, and I personnally think that there would be other people trying to change my mind. But it has been set and you can’t change it. I found the search of the crown, harp and mask to be really interesting storyline and I would’ve really loved to see Nesta using the items (dread trove) again because that scene was soo good. I am a little frustrated with the little exploration of Nesta’s powers, while it was connected with death and also was heightened when she used the mask in lagoon with the kelpie’s head (seen soo much fanart of this scene and I love it) OMG, amazing. I would have loved to see her learn her powers, give it a title or something, because it feels like a waste after what she did when saving Feyre. I would have liked less use of the line “Like calls to like” because it was used soo much. Just use something like tether or connected because it was a connection between magic.
I would have loved a scene where the members of the Inner Circle realised their mistake of opinion towards Nesta, I felt that it was never resolved properly, something needed to be lifted from the tension from everyone because somehow it just shows that they never thought of her as fragile. I am also excited for the next book in the series, while I know it has been pushed back due to HOSAB cliffhanger but I am very eager to look forward to a Gwyn and Azrial story. The stuff that was teased was soo good and I am excited for what is set to happen.
I do want to give a bit of a personally theory about the last sibling, Elain. Now we already know that Elain is matched towards Lucian and while many people think it should be Tamlin but I personally feel that, that book would be the last one and I feel that she(SJM) will stretch out their storyline until the very end. I have an inkling that maybe something could happen to Lucian that could spark up the partnership, like Cassian and Nesta in ACOWAR, something that could bring them together at the brink of death. This is just a theory, I highly doubt that it would happen.
I could talk about this book for days, I have pre-ordered the paperback in both exclusive copy and standard because I feel that I would annotate the crap out of the book and I always love buying the exclusive editions.
Have you read this book? What did you think? I would love to talk to someone about it xx