Here’s the thing that annoyed me about ACOWAR, as in, I was really hyped for this and ACOWAR was such a huge let down: Amren. Nesta. The Bone Carver. The Weaver. Bryaxis. Hell, even Rhys’ “true form”.
But mostly Amren.
What do all of these have in common? They all have some sort of mystic power or “second skin”, their “true form”, which the reader has not yet seen and which they have not revealed to Feyre. Everyone constantly talks about how powerful and dangerous and scary they are (Amren is supposedly a nightmare they tell children about even beyond the wall). I was really really interested in what Amren’s “true form” would be, and from the popular “Amren’s a dragon” towards my far-fetched “Amren is a Crochan witch”- theory, I was speculating about this forever. Was she a goddess, Pirates of the Carribean style? A giant, perhaps, or something else? Why could she only drink blood? What the hell made her so powerful? She’s like 5000 years old and fucking ancient, so what’s her story?
Feyre always says things like “I knew it was better not to ask”, or “I was not as stupid as to question why she was drinking blood” (which, girl?? are you serious??? thank god for Nesta who actually asks these questions!!!), which gives the impression that Amren must be something reaaally horrible if even her CLOSEST FRIENDS have not even asked ONCE.
And then Amren jumps into the Cauldron (which is so badass!! i love her) and emerges as….giant lightbulb. Oh, she also has wings. She flies around for two seconds, destroys the enemie’s armada, and then she’s gone.
Sorry, but what’s so special about that? Why couldn’t she tell her friends? This world has really powerful fae, magical beings like the Suriel or the Weaver and all of this doesn’t even include what’s going on on the continent. In which way is Amren so much more terrible than the rest? “People died just because she flew close to them”, describes Feyre, and even though that’s obviously very powerful, it’s not really that scary compared to High Lord “I sometimes think about unleashing my power across the world and wiping the board clean” Rhysand.
Is she a phoenix? Is she a dragon with fire wings? We don’t bloody know, because her desription is so vague! We’ve never heard about beings like Amren before. We don’t know her “true” name. We don’t know anything about her original people. It’s just so scrappily written. Not fleshed out at all. There was such a huge build-up about Amren’s true form- and it turned out to be a short and unprecise description. (Here’s Amren’s true form. She’s dangerous and she has wings. Why she dangerous? She can kill many people at once, that’s why. How does it work? How does she kill? Why does she kill? Not important.)
And this goes as well for Nesta’s power (which is supposedly sooo huge and terrible, but I didn’t really understand until the end what she can actually do besides having this connection to the cauldron), Rhys’ “true” form (he doesn’t grow a second head, he doesn’t suddenly have a tail, he’s not suddenly hideous, there’s just a few more shadows and again, only a very vague description which tells us we should be scared of him), Bryaxis (WHYYY is he so scary) and even the Weaver’s and the Bone Carver’s powers. Yes, they are “powerful”. But what does that mean? Are they very skilled fighters? Are they teeth so sharp they can bite better? Do they paralyze their victims before killing? Do they have claws? WHY are they so deadly, why are they the way they are?
In the end, all of these “powerful” beings have only one power: to kill, and to kill a great number of people at the same time. That’s it. That’s why they are mystified, that’s why they are powerful. In the end, they are all the same. Their “forms” simply vary a little.
I loved a lot of things in ACOWAR, and I love the series. I also love when authors make up their own magical creatures. But in ACOWAR, I was just disappointed, especially because none of these creatures had creative, different powers or a background story. They are introduced, they are described as big and scary and then they are gone.
Take the dementors in Harry Potter, for example. JK Rowling made them up. And they are big and scary. But why? Because they can suck your soul away, because they are lifeless, emotionless beings, because they have no faces, blabla…list goes on. We, as the readers, understand why they are scary. We understand why they are powerful. It’s being shown to us on multiple occasions. In ACOWAR, we are told, and that’s it. Nesta has great powers now. She made the cauldron give something back. What? We don’t know, that’s what. But she’s “like” the cauldron now. Make of that what you want.
And Amren, Amren who Lucien is afraid of, who smiles and you think she wants to kill you, Amren who is the “tiny ancient one”, whose name alone stirs fear in everyone around her, Amren who NEVER TALKED ABOUT HER TRUE FORM BECAUSE IT WAS SO SCARY….is simply an Illyrian on fire.
I feel very let down.
I fell I must add that I still love the series. This is by no means “Sarah J Maas hate”. I love so many things about the series- that’s the only reason why I’m so disappointed, because I care about it that much.