Book: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Book Design: Donna Mark
I picked up A Court of Thorns and Roses from a Barnes and Noble nearby shortly after I discovered that many people from the book community online were raving about it! I was initially skeptical; I don’t normally read this type of book. But ACOTAR was so much more than I ever expected it to be.
Feyre lives a harsh life doing everything she can to provide for her family. Having been used to living in wealth at one point in their lives, Feyre’s efforts are ultimately thankless. Things are stale and lifeless until one day when Feyre stumbles upon a huge wolf. She quickly concludes the wolf is Fae. Creatures to be feared that once enslaved humans. She uses her wit and skill to kill the beast and returns home to use the pelt and meat to help her family survive another day.
Shortly afterward, however, a huge beast bursts through their door, demanding repayment for the life Feyre had stolen.
“Somehow, I wound up in front of my sisters, even as the creature reared onto it’s hind legs and bellowed through a massive maw full of fangs: ‘MURDERERS!’
But it was another word that echoed through me:
The treaty between their lands– Faerie and human– a life for a life– causes the beast to seize Feyre from her family and force her to return with him to Faerie lands. Feyre assumes she will be enslaved or killed there. To her surprise, she is given comforts greater than she ever felt even in the days of her youth and told to live as she likes within the grounds of the huge mansion she finds herself in.
She discovers the beast who took her is actually a High Fae Lord named Tamlin, and over time their stiff and awkward relationship turns to one of passion and love like Feyre has never felt before.
“How his bow did dance upon the strings, his fingers sturdy and strong, no signs of those claws that I had come to stop fearing… ‘Dance, Feyre,’ he whispered.
So I did.”
But love takes a backseat for Feyre when she discovers a shadow that lingers over the Faerie realms; an old evil that threatens to kill and enslave all the Faeries that she had once hated, but now come to hold dear. In a cruel twist of fate, it falls to Feyre to save all of Prythian– or doom them and Tamlin forever.
“‘Tamlin?’ I shouted. Nothing.
The windows had all been blown out. ‘Lucien?’
No one answered.
‘Tam?’ My voice echoed through the house, mocking me.
Alone in the wreckage of the manor, I sank to my knees.
He was gone.”
• • •
Get ready folks because this book was steamy. It’s a little more intense than a YA novel normally is– bordering on adult. fans self
I really didn’t think I would love this book as much as I did. It was the first book in a while that was extremely hard to put down. Feyre and Tamlin’s relationship is fulfilling and captivating and enchanting and… I could go on. I love them from start to finish and there was a certain magic that I didn’t even know I’ve been looking for.
But along with this enchanting romance is a cast of supporting characters that I came to love equally! Lucien, Alis, and Rhysand were just as complex and interesting, with back stories that gave them the life that many characters in other novels lack. This world feels thought out and full. Sarah J. Maas creates a world that rivals the wizarding world in its attention to detail. There’s so much more to learn and lucky for me, the next two books are out now and I have the next one sitting on a shelf whispering my name every time I turn a corner.
This story was obviously a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, however; it was woven in such a way that it was unique and special and not predictable at all. Just when I would think I was starting to figure out what was going on, something crazy that I wasn’t expecting would happen and I was pulled along for the ride. Tamlin’s ‘beast’ form was of course supposed to represent the beast. Feyre stood up and went with him willingly to the Faerie lands to protect her family. And the servants, though they are not furniture, are cursed with masks that they cannot remove. (Tamlin and Lucien and other Fae are cursed with this as well.) Also, similar to Belle’s love for books, Feyre’s love for painting is how Tamlin reaches her heart. Outside of that, however, this book is it’s own. It owes nothing to the classic fairytale.
Feyre is a strong, brave character with flaws that made me love her more than I ever would have without them. She’s smart and cunning and feels deeply. She’s definitely become close to my heart and is one of my new favorite heroines. Not only this but Faerie books tend to be very hit and miss with me but Sarah J. Maas NAILED the vibe I wanted. It was magical– without being cheesy or silly.
I really struggled to come up with a critic AT ALL for Mrs. Maas, to be honest. I was so utterly happy and enthralled with this book. The best I could scrape up was that maybe in some moments a little more imagery and detail of surroundings would have been nice. But other than that, I have nothing– nada– zip. This book was so fantastic and I cried three or four times reading through it. I don’t even have time to finish this review up fully gosh darn it because I can hear book two whispering my name again and it’s too good to refuse!
Until next time!
About the Author:
Sarah J. Maas is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Court of Thorns and Roses series– A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury, and A Court of Wings and Ruin— along with the award winning Throne of Glass series. She is a New York Native who lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and dog.