Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) 
by Sarah J. Maas
Paperback, 416 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by Bloomsbury Children's

The breathtaking start to a seductive high-fantasy from New York Times bestselling author of Throne of Glass series.

Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price.

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

"Against slavery, against tyranny, I would gladly go to my death, no matter whose freedom I was defending."

Sarah J Maas' books have become extremely popular so I thought it was about time I read one of her books and see what all the hype was about. Now, the hype is not the reason why I wanted to read Maas' books; I had been interested since Throne of Glass was released, I had just not gotten around to reading anything by her. I chose A Court of Thorns and Roses as my first Maas book because of the subject matter: faeries.

Fairytales are said to be forever, timeless stories filled with magic. However, updating and changing up the classic tales we all grew up with has become very common in the book world. It seems everywhere you turn, there's a retelling of some fairytale and I personally find these retelling to be utterly fantastic and just as timeless. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, manages to maintain the main themes of Beauty and the Beast while adding a mesmerizing journey with faeries, both good and bad, suspense, and some rather steamy romantic scenes. I must add that until said steamy scenes arose, it completely slipped my mind that this was a New Adult novel; I was quite shocked for a moment but quickly got over the shock once my brain started working again and remembered this was not a YA novel so all was good, no big deal. 

Our heroine is Feyre, a young woman whose family took a turn down poverty lane when her father lost all the family's fortune. Her mother also died and Feyre made a promise to her that she would protect and take care of her father and two elder sisters. Feyre feels very bound to the oath she made her mother, which is very admirable but also, I felt her desire to keep this promise just complicated things for herself. Also, her family kind of just uses her. By that I mean, she is the breadwinner of the family and her sisters always want the money she earns for their own selfish wants. However, as the book came to an end, I actually grew to kind of like her sisters, even respect them, especially Nesta. Feyre has become a huntress to feed her family and it is a hunt that sets the story into motion.

It is really hard for me to talk more about the book without revealing too much so I will give a few more brief thoughts on the book and characters. Feyre is stubborn but courageous. Unlike Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Feyre does not find sanctuary in reading, mostly due to the fact that she cannot read. However, she does find comfort in painting, which she does quite a lot. 

Now the "beast" of our story is Tamlin, a fey of the Spring Court of Prythian. Tamlin is charming and very protective. Despite being our "beast", he's not terrible looking. Of course, faeries are generally described as beautiful and irresistible creatures. We get the impression this is the case for Tamlin but we do not really know what his face fully looks like due to a kind of curse that has left the Spring Court all stuck wearing masquerade masks. I will not go into that because of spoilers. However, there is also a beastly element to Tamlin as he can turn into a wolf. 

Tamlin has a close friend named Lucien. He lived with him in the Spring Court and I liked him because he added humor to the otherwise humorless story. I was also pleased that he was not romantically interested in Feyre; love triangles have the potential to kill books in my opinion.

The romance...well, I was glad that it was not an insta-love type of thing. There was some build up. In fact, Feyre absolutely hated Tamlin at first and thought of killing him so that as far from insta-love as you can possibly get. They fought quite often but their relationship evolved and they lusted for each other as the story went on. I have to admit, I do not feel fully invested in their relationship. Feyre went from hating him to lusting for him which to me is not love, maybe more of a strong infatuation.  

This was not the most epic book ever, but it was very good and I enjoyed it. The world building was great and I loved learning about the fey and the history of Prythian. If I had enjoyed the actual romance more, I probably would have kept the rating at 5 stars, but after writing this review, I feel 4 stars is a better rating. I also felt it was a tad slow at parts but it definitely picked up towards the last bit where the action starts. 

“I love you,’ he whispered, and kissed my brow. ‘Thorns and all.”   

4 out of 5

View all my reviews


Cody-Leigh Duffy said...

Yaaay, I'm so glad you enjoyed the book! It really was an awesome read. I completely agree with your thoughts on the whole love/lust front, I'm not sure what to think on their relationship although that might be because I was quite the fan of the anti-hero haha. I'm so looking forward to the next book after that slightly confusing ending :)

Cody @ Literary-ly Obsessed

Danielle said...

I am glad to have found someone who agrees with me! I was a fan of the antihero as well!

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