So, a couple of weeks ago, the highly anticipated ACOFAS was released, and I definitely got swept up in the hype. I’ve avoided reviewing books from this series, but I’m going to try my best to write up a review for this novella!
note: I will be reviewing this for what it is – a novella bridging the first trilogy to the next set of books set in this world. When ACOFAS was announced, we knew it’d be a novella, not another huge novel – and at 270 pages, it’s still a fairly long novella!
PS. this review WILL contain spoilers for ACOFAS.
To me, ACOFAS read like a sitcom in the best possible way. We got to see the Inner Circle just hanging out, doing day to day tasks and activities, but at the same time learning to live with what they’d endured during the war. Although the book does help to wrap some things up, it still leaves a few questions which I’m sure will be answered in the upcoming novels.
Feyre’s healing through her artwork was a big theme within the book – I’m so glad she’s painting again and able to find solace through it. She also starts growing close to another artist, Ressina, and is gifted an abandoned studio on the Rainbow. By the end of the book, the two of them have started teaching art classes to the children of Velaris with the hopes of helping them begin to heal after the war too. I absolutely love this and love the idea of the High Lady of the Night Court teaching kids whilst covered in paint!
Rhys seemed a bit less present in this book to me despite him having POV chapters, but one of my highlights was definitely him gifting Feyre a manor for solstice and telling her to build it for their family – that is, the inner circle and any future family members… He’s also just so supportive of her throughout the book, encouraging her to go and paint with the other artists she’s met when she’s hesitant, and just constantly being there for her without being overbearing. One thing I will say though is that he’s just really horny throughout the entire book for some reason?
Mor, again, didn’t appear too often in ACOFAS and I hope she’s there more in the next books. We did learn that she has her own house away from Velaris though, and something sinister is brewing there. Maybe a subplot for the next book?
It’s also pointed out that Mor buys the worst Solstice presents. I think she did pretty well with buying lacy red underwear for Cassian, though.
Amren is getting used to being in a permanent high fae body, and she seems to be settling in well, as well as settling into her friendship/relationship/ship with Varian (who the inner circle basically accept as one of their own in the book). She’s also really into jigsaws now, and wearing coats that make her look, according to Cassian, like an ‘angry snowball’. I loved Amren, as always, in ACOFAS and I’m definitely excited to see her and Varian develop (as well as her jigsaw skills).
Cassian seems to be really active in this book. He’s fighting relentlessly for the female Illyrian’s to get the same combat training as the males, which I loved. Another Cassian highlight was when he met Emerie, an outcast in an Illyrian village who took over her father’s shop after his death in the war, and then buying all of her supplies to be handed out to Illyrian families who couldn’t afford them. I love how the two of them bonded over being outcasts in their own community (a theme which follows Cassian around a lot in this book). It’s also confirmed that the next book in the ACOTAR world will be a Cassian & Nesta novel, and Cassian’s character development was definitely building up to that.
Azriel is his usual quiet self, but his friendship with Elain was definitely developing throughout ACOFAS. Elain actually buys him a Solstice gift, and when he opens it to discover medicine “for his headaches” he bursts out laughing. He’s also a true gent, making the rest of the inner circle wait before starting their solstice meal until Elain has sat down, as she prepared all of the food.
Elain is definitely still struggling to adapt to her new fae life, but is healing in her own ways, through gardening and cooking. As well as Azriel, she’s become close to Cerridwen and Nuala, and I love their friendship. Since Solstice also happened to be Feyre’s 21st birthday, Elain has a cake prepared for her – three tiers, the top with flowers, the middle with flames and the bottom with the night sky, just the way that Feyre painted the girls’ drawers in ACOTAR. Elain said she’d had it designed that way as Feyre had always been the foundation of the three sisters – I definitely teared up a bit at this part!
When ACOFAS begins, it becomes clear that Nesta has been avoiding any contact with her sisters and the inner circle, choosing instead to live in her own apartment in Velaris. Nesta’s new lifestyle is something that Feyre is constantly worried about, and definitely sets the scene for the next book. It turns out that Amren and Nesta have developed a friendship that Feyre doesn’t know about though, and we start to find out a little bit more about the powers that Nesta took from the Cauldron when she was made.
I also loved how the whole book was essentially this band of seasoned warriors preparing for Christmas, worrying about what gifts to buy for each other, and (in Feyre and Cassian’s case) decorating the townhouse whilst drunk on Rhys’s expensive wine. There was just so much character development, as well as hints at future storylines – ACOFAS is literally the perfect fangirling book. In the future books set in this world, I’m looking forward to reading more about Lucien and his band of exiles, Feysand babies, more Mor, Elain and Nesta’s continuous development, and Cassian’s fight for equality in the Illyrian camps.
Overall, I really enjoyed ACOFAS. It was great to see the Inner Circle both getting to relax after the war, but also still see how they are recovering and watch new storylines begin to emerge.
lots of love,