A Court of Thorns and Roses series recap (books 1 – 3.1)

I don’t know about you, but it’s been a hot minute since I’ve read the ACOTAR series. In honor of the newest book, A Court of Silver Flame, coming out next week, I thought I’d summarize what has happened in the last three books (and one short story) for anyone who needs a refresher before book 4. I’m going to yada yada a lot of the series, but that being said…


You have been warned.

─────────────────── ●⚫● ───────────────────

A Court of Thorns and Roses

a.k.a. the book that started it all

─────────────────── ●⚫● ───────────────────

Feyre is out hunting and kills a wolf with interesting eyes (turns out it was a shapeshifter and not your average four-legged creature). Tamlin comes in and demands compensation for the death of one of his people, and Feyre goes to Prythian. He wants her to fall in love with him to break the curse that basically glues a mask on his people’s faces (among other things). A bunch of things happen, and eventually Rhysand bumps into Feyre.

Tamlin, the Spring Court, and Feyre are taken by Amarantha. If Feyre is able to either complete three tasks within three months or solve a hard riddle, Amarantha would free everyone Under the Mountain. Feyre completes the first task, but gets injured while doing so. Rhysand heals her in exchange for a week of her time every month for the rest of her life. He tattoos her hand to seal the bargain. The second task is a riddle. The problem is Feyre doesn’t know how read. Rhysand helps her once again and bada bing bada boom another task done. The third task is to kill three Fae (yikes). Feyre kills two Fae, and stabs Tamlin in the heart (he survives this because he has an actual heart of stone).

Amarantha throws a temper tantrum, refuses to release anyone, and starts killing Feyre. At the very last moment, Feyre solves the riddle that instantly frees everyone but then promptly dies. Because everyone is freed from Amarantha’s magic, Tamlin is able to kill her and all the High Lords come together to resurrect Feyre into a High Fae.

Everyone goes back to their respective Courts and lives happily ever after… right?


─────────────────── ●⚫● ───────────────────

A Court of Mist and Fury

a.k.a. the spicy book

─────────────────── ●⚫● ───────────────────

Feyre is back in the Spring Court with Tamlin. Tamlin is being an overprotective d-bag while Feyre is having frequent nightmares and generally unraveling. They’re about to get married when Feyre (mentally) begs for someone to save her. Cue Rhysand’s iconic “hello, Feyre darling.” Rhysand whisks her away to the Night Court, where he teaches her to read, write, and shield her mind. Tamlin basically locks her up when she returns (which is a big no-no after what happened Under the Mountain). Feyre breaks down, and Mor frees her and brings her back to the Night Court.

War is brewing. The King of Hybern wants to resurrect Jurian and needs to find the Cauldron and a book. The book is split into two parts as a fail-safe (one is in the human world and the other is in the Summer Court). Amren and Feyre steal the Summer Court’s part of the book, and Amren starts to translate it. Rhysand gets an audience with the human queens, and he shows them Velaris in exchange for their part of the book.

While all of this is happening, Feyre is training to fight. Rhysand gets poisoned, and Feyre captures a Suriel to learn how to cure him. The Suriel reveals that Rhysand is Feyre’s mate (and how to cure the poison), and Feyre doesn’t know how to feel. She cures Rhysand, and immediately hides in a secret cabin to figure her emotions out. Eventually, Rhysand finds her, and cue THAT scene. You know the one. Huzzah, they’re officially mates (and she’s the High Lady of the Night Court)!

Amren finishes translating the whole book. The human queens betray the Night Court (they’re working for Hybern), and an army attacks Velaris. The Inner Circle tries to destroy the Cauldron but fail. Turns out, Tamlin was also helping Hybern in hopes to “save” Feyre. Feyre’s sisters were captured and turned Fae against their will. In order to save everyone, Feyre asks Jurian to break her bargain with Rhysand. She goes back to the Spring Court, acting as a spy for the Night Court.

─────────────────── ●⚫● ───────────────────

A Court of Wings and Ruin

a.k.a. I mean… it’s called acoWAR for a reason

─────────────────── ●⚫● ───────────────────

Ok, peeps! Hold on to your pantaloons because there is a lot to unpack with this book.

So! The Hybern twins (Brannagh and Dagdan), their forces, and Jurian move into the Spring Court. Feyre is slyly turning Tamlin’s people against him, using everyone’s hatred (and Tamlin’s support) of Ianthe. During the Summer Solstice, Feyre uses her powers to mark herself as blessed instead of Ianthe. Ianthe yeets out of there, saying that she needs to check on her dying lands. The Spring Court has been checking out the wall that separates the Fae and human lands. When Feyre learns that the Cauldron will be used to destroy it, she leaves for the Night Court. On her way, she saves Lucien from Ianthe (what Tamlin sees in her, idk), and then they’re on their merry way. (Also, it turns out the Hybern twins were poisoning Feyre so she kills them.)

Feyre and Lucien’s journey to the Night Court is… rough. They’re rescued by Cassian and Azriel and taken to Velaris. Turns out, Lucien is Elain’s mate. Feyre goes to see her sisters. Nesta is angry (more than usual) and Elain is not handling her Fae-ness very well (both emotions are understandable given what they had just gone through).

The big war is still brewing, and the Inner Circle needs as much help as they can get. Nesta (reluctantly) agrees to help fix the wall. They recruit the Bone Carver in exchange for the Ouroboros Mirror from the Court of Nightmares. The Inner Circle + Nesta go to the Court of Nightmares, and the leader agrees to help once he gains entry to Velaris. Feyre ends up not taking the mirror because of bad rumors. Hybern Ravens attack Feyre and Nesta in the library, where they find a strange pit with something evil lurking in it. In order to save their butts, Feyre bargains with it (Bryaxis) to kill the Ravens in exchange to bring it some company later.

Elain discovers she’s a Seer and has a vision about a mortal queen who turns into a phoenix every night. Lucien sets out to find this queen (we will not see him again until the very end of this book when everything is over).

Hybern slaughters the Summer Court. All the High Lords hold a meeting and decide that the Spring Court needs to be evacuated. The Cauldron is used to break the wall. Jurian admits he’s a spy who has been trying to stop Hybern from the inside and warns everyone that Hybern will attack the next day. There’s another battle at the Summer Court, but it’s a front. Feyre finds the Suriel to get more intel, and it tells her that Nesta needs to destroy the Cauldron. Ianthe kills the Suriel before it can say more, so Feyre leads Ianthe to the Weaver’s cottage for that sweet, sweet revenge. Nesta connects with the Cauldron, but it also links to Elain. Hybern captures Elain. Feyre and Azriel rescue her and as many humans possible.

Feyre finally gets and gives the mirror to the Bone Carver. Turns out, it was a test to see if she was worthy. Everyone they’ve recruited joins the final battle, but it still isn’t enough. Hybern kills Feyre’s father. Elain stabs the king and kills him. Amren “betrays” the group to free herself. Rhysand sacrifices himself to restore the Cauldron and dies. The High Lords resurrects Rhysand, who resurrects Amren. The Cauldron is sent to a land far, far away and everyone returns to Velaris to make a treaty and end this dang thing.

Everyone finally lives happily ever after… sort of.

─────────────────── ●⚫● ───────────────────

A Court of Frost and Starlight

a.k.a. the book to keep fans sated while SJM works on book 4

─────────────────── ●⚫● ───────────────────

Not going to lie, I don’t think you need to read this book in order to understand what happens in book 4. If anything, this short story feels like a service to all the ACOTAR fans out there.

The Night Court is celebrating the winter solstice a.k.a. their version of the winter holidays. Everyone is thinking about their dark pasts and still recovering (physically, mentally, and emotionally) from the war. Everyone is constantly holiday shopping. Tamlin is thinking about letting his people go into the human land (which isn’t a good idea since the humans don’t trust them). Rhysand scolds Tamlin about guarding the Spring Court’s borders and even sends some of his soldiers to help.

Elain is still talking to Feyre, but Nesta wants nothing to do with her and the Inner Circle (except for Amren) and drinks herself to oblivion. Feyre invites Nesta to the winter solstice party. After many rejections, she arrives and everyone exchanges gifts. Cassian walks Nesta home, despite her distaste.

Feyre wants to start her own painting lessons as a way to help herself and others heal from the war. She eventually finds a studio, but the owners refuse to take her money. Instead, Feyre uses that money to donate to charity. She holds her first painting lesson (with the help from another painting instructor). Rhysand arrives after class and promises to love her forever and all that domestic bliss.

─────────────────── ●⚫● ───────────────────

Hope this helps jog your memory a little bit with what has happened so far in the ACOTAR series in time for the release of A Court of Silver Flames! If there are any details I missed that you think that are important, make sure to shout them out!

─────────────────── ●⚫● ───────────────────

Stay awkward and amazing! ❤

7 thoughts on “A Court of Thorns and Roses series recap (books 1 – 3.1)

  1. Marta @ of waves and pages 02/16/2021 / 3:48 pm

    I’m somewhat curious (but still cautious) about the upcoming book, though idk what to expect. I’m pretty sure I’m only gonna read it because I actually like Nesta XD Though I never got around to read A Court of Frost and Starlight!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jessica 02/21/2021 / 6:46 pm

      I haven’t gotten my copy yet, but judging by people’s reactions on Instagram, everyone seems to be enjoying it for the most part. I don’t think you need to read ACOFAS to understand ACOSF, but I think it gives more context to Nesta’s story.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. coffeewithsharu 04/15/2021 / 10:05 am

    I read ACOTAR agesss ago and all I remember is I was in LOOOOUV with Rhysand!! 😛 My memory is somehow magically erased. This was such a fun post to read and have some of the pieces click back in memory (although i dont remember the battle. probably blocked it out – what a mess 😀 )

    thanks!! Onward to read ACOSF!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jessica 04/17/2021 / 12:02 pm

      Glad the recap was able to help a little! ❤


  3. Hayley 02/01/2023 / 2:32 pm

    Thank you for this! Finally getting around to reading this, between grad school, the pandemic, and all sorts of other things I didn’t want to have to re-read before reading this!! (definitely will re-read the series at some point)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s