My July Reading Recap – Lots of ACOTAR this month!

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July was a Sarah J Maas fest, luckily I did manage to squeeze in a few non-ACOTAR books. In July I read:

  • Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross
  • Belladonna by Adalyn Grace
  • The Ashes and the Star Cursed King by Carissa Broadbent
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sara J Maas
  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas
  • A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas

Divine Rivals and Belladonna are quite possibly two of my newest favorite books! The Ashes and the Star Cursed King I quite liked, as it answered a lot of questions from the first book, though I am not sure it is a new favorite.

I’m still quite undecided on whether I want to read SJM’s other series, Crescent City or Throne of Glass for reasons I’ll talk more about in the in-depth reviews of the ACOTAR series.

But with that said, let’s dive right in!

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Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross

Divine Rivals is a historical fiction novel set during wartime with elements of fantasy and romance. This book is written so beautifully and it makes me want to check out more of Rebecca Ross’s work.

This book legitimately broke my heart in half with that cliffhanger of an ending. So please be warned before you dive in. The second book comes out later this year (2023) and it feels like time is purposefully moving slowly.

I loved this book so much, I have already posted my review, which can be found here, where I talk a bit more in-depth about the book than I do in my reading recaps.

Belladonna by Adalyn Grace

I genuinely loved this story more than I probably should have. Our main character, Signa Farrow, is perhaps one of my favorite characters in quite a while. She is strong and logical and very clever and retains a sense of humor despite her circumstances.

Her relationship with Death is also a bit more complex than what appears on the surface, which I really enjoyed. There was a little part of it I did not like, however, I’ll save that for the review.

This book is also another with a second book soon to be released and I am not patiently standing by for August 22nd!

There are two more books in the trilogy but the ending of Belladonna wraps up nicely and can be read as a standalone.

The Ashes and the Star Cursed King by Carissa Broadbent

The Ashes and the Star Cursed King is the second book in the Crowns of Nyaxia series and the second of the duology that centers around Oraya and Raihn. Which makes me a tiny bit sad.

Oraya is pretty much everything you’d want in a kickass FMC and I thought I was over vampires until I met Raihn. We are not in Forks any more kids.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

Oh, man. After reading all of the books in this series, I want to preface this by saying that if you’re considering reading this series, just know that you have to SUFFER through this nonsense to be rewarded with the second book.

That being said, the first half was confusing and boring and the second half was nothing short of absolute chaos. So do with that what you will.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

Like most readers of the ACOTAR series, Mist and Fury is by far my favorite of the whole series. And yes, you have caught me, I enjoy faerie smut.

But remember when I said you had to suffer first? This book is earned and you cannot change my mind.

A Court of Wings and Ruin

I loved this book almost as much as I loved A Court of Mist and Fury. This book does get quite a lot more political, however, I ate it up like Rhysand did that soup in Mist and Fury. (IYKYK)

The smut train continues on and I am riding it all the way to Velaris. There is also a bit more world-building and character/relationship developments in this book which I really, really enjoyed.

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas

So I was way too invested in the characters to skip this little holiday novella.

However, in my opinion, this is where the series really started to go downhill. SJM repeats herself a lot in this book and we don’t get anything truly new or exciting. War is brewing but there are gifts to be opened, as it is Winter Solstice and Feyre’s birthday.

I think you can skip this book if you aren’t really invested, but it’s still worth a read.

*I started A Court of Silver Flames in July but finished it in August, so it will be included in August’s reading recap!*

Overall, I spent the last three weeks in July, fully immersed in the world of ACOTAR and I do not regret it one bit. I am not entirely swayed to read SJM’s other series. But Divine Rivals, Belladonna, and The Ashes and the Star Cursed King certainly more than made up for the lackluster later books of the ACOTAR series.

Have you read SJM’s other series? Would you recommend them?

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