Book five and the final book in the series to date, and possibly the spiciest one yet. Transitioning directly on from a court of frost and starlight and leaving Feyre and Rhysand in the background we dive right in to the blossoming love story of Nesta and Cassian.

Up until this book I have really disliked Nesta, she is just not likable and she is well written I guess in that way. If you’re hoping for some redemption of Nesta, I don’t think you’ll necessarily find that in this book. What you will find, is greater understanding of her personality and her character. Does that really excuse some of her behaviour….I’m not sure, but that is for you to decide.

Nesta starts off this book in a rather bleak and dire situation. She’s moved herself away from her family into the seediest area of Velaris. Drinking nightly and taken different males to her bed on the regular she has fallen into a slump. Family intervention incoming, she’s given a motivation: move into the house of wind with its 10,000 steps separating her from the city, or, return to the human realms. She is of course free to leave the house of wind….if she can tackle those stairs.

Nesta chooses to go to the house of wind, and those aforementioned stairs become an ongoing metaphor for her gradual healing. Nesta’s character development in this book certainly shows some growth in the character, she still remains Nesta to her core but she is making progress. Emerie and Gwyneth (Nesta’s own found family) make their debut in ACOSF and the characters are exactly what I’ve come to expect from Maas. They are fully fledged and are well developed, they soften the blow of all of the other characters we have grown to love taking a back seat. Emerie is an Illyrian and Gwyneth is one of the priestesses in the library, both with their own harrowing backstories. Maas’ storytelling is very good and it’s easy to see why these three become fast friend. Nesta even describes the trio as sisters (which I do feel is a kick in the teeth to her actual sisters who she has been frankly terrible to). They set their hearts on becoming Valkyries, an all Female Fae warrior unit which in this world are long gone.

Of course, the looming danger from those remaining enemies of Pyrithian and unfortunately Nesta is in their sights. In the background Feyre and Rhys are hoping to find the dread trove, a collection of Fae items with unsurmountable power. As we’ve seen before like calls to like, and whilst Elain offer to step up and search for them initially Nesta in her undying protective (some may say over protective) instincts for Elain decides this should be her task instead. This puts her directly in the line of fire. Maas does an excellent job of weaving in the overarching storyline and Nesta’s personal storyline seamlessly and it’s so easy to read.

Now on to what you all really care about, Nesta and Cassian. When I said at the beginning of this article that this was the spiciest yet OH BOY did I mean it. If you thought the scenes between Feyre and Rhysand were steamy, you have another thing coming. The pure smut of this book will 100% have you reading it in private. I would highly recommend not reading this in front of family and friends, unless you like feeling highly uncomfortable. Nesta and Cassian are far different to Rhysand and Feyre. There is a lot more frustration, passion, trauma and anger that makes the dynamic between the two far more interesting.

I found myself really enjoying this book despite not being overly enamoured with the protagonist which I think is a testament to Maas’ writing. The next book is not due until next year and I really can not wait. I understand Maas has other series that I may dip my toe into whilst I am waiting. I don’t know what I’m hoping for the next book, I think I’d like to learn a little more about Elain, to this point a more elusive and timid character who started to come out of her shell a little in the short snippets we saw of her in this book. I can’t help but feel that the focus on Nesta is not quite over yet! Either way I’m excited and I would highly recommend this series to anyone out their that likes their spicy books mixed with a little fantasy and fantastic world and story building.

Written by Clarissa.