I love Sarah J. Maas novels, and especially her series A Court of Thorns and Roses. I knew going in that this novella was supposed to help serve as a bridge between the last book and the upcoming novels in the series, but despite that, I was a bit disappointed with this one as a whole (I may have had too much wine to drink to really appreciate this one).
The story is set before and during Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year, and a day of celebration in the Night Court. Unlike the previous novels, this one also has some point of few chapters from Cassian, Azriel, Morrigan and Rhysand which I appreciated. After seeing Rhys die, Feyre is once again struggling with some PTSD, and her sisters, especially Nesta, are also struggling with what they experienced and saw. There are grumblings among the Illyrians and potential seeds of rebellion on the horizon, which I expect to play a larger role in the upcoming novels of the series. Mostly, Rhys, Feyre and their Court have thrown themselves into work to deal with their emotions, and are ready for a nice holiday to exchange gifts and spend some time together.
It was nice to spend time with the characters again, and see how they are dealing with the fall out of the previous novel but I don’t feel like there was enough here to justify a stand alone novella. It was sweet, it set the characters up but I feel like a novella should still have a bit more of a stand alone story rather than simply serving as a way to get from one place to another. Most of the things that Maas sets up could have easily been done in a paragraph or two in the next novel, along the lines of, “in the last year, Feyre became involved in the community and started doing …” or “Rhys and Feyre invested in …” or “Nesta became even more withdrawn until …”
In fact, I think I would have enjoyed this much more if this had been released after the next novel, and been a way to get extra details about how their lives transitioned but on its own, it just left me wanting more. It’s kind of like the Throne of Glass novellas – on their own or as introductions to the series, they wouldn’t be that good, but as adding background to a character we already know, they are something I can appreciate it.