Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Format I Read: Kindle eBook
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, New Adult (?)
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Synopsis from Goodreads
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.
As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it… or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.
I’m so upset that I waited this long to read this book. It was honestly fantastic and I regret every second I wasted not reading it before now.
I read Throne of Glass years ago and honestly don’t remember anything, so I didn’t really know what to expect with Sarah J. Maas – other than the hype that everyone else gives her. But the hype didn’t disappoint! A Court of Thorns of Roses was a heart-stopping romance with strong characters and a deliciously evil villain. Not to mention that it was a wonderfully creative and unique retelling. Intriguing, captivating, and mysterious – a spectacular novel!
Maas expertly explained the world – from the different territories to the high lords, from the different types of Fae to the magic, from the human side of the wall to the blight on the Fae side. It was so well-developed and so fascinating!
Yes, there was definitely a little confusion, but that just added to the mystery and intrigue. It was never confusing to the point of disarming. It was just a puzzle that was totally worth figuring out. And when that puzzle came together, it was a great Eureka! moment. The big reveal at the end was so interesting and totally caught me off guard!
Also under worldbuilding, I’m going to include the retelling aspect. Which I totally adored! It was so creative and fresh, but still surprisingly fitting to the traditional Beauty and the Beast tale. Tamlin (and all of the other Fae in the Spring Court) have masks stuck to their face – that’s what makes them “beastly.” Which was very interesting, especially looking at it from Feyre’s human eyes. As for the rest of the parallels to the classic fairy tale… I won’t go into it. I’ll leave them for you to find out!
The characters were awesome. I loved Tamlin, Lucien, and Feyre – their banter in the manor was so endearing and entertaining. All three of them grew on me. Especially Lucien. His unending loyalty and biting sarcasm made him one of my absolute favorite characters. And of course, our two leads were great MCs. Tamlin was powerful and fierce, but also kind and empathetic. And, from the start, Feyre was a strong heroine. She constantly put her life on the line to provide for her family and protect them – even when they didn’t exactly deserve it. And even in their poor, desolate existence, she found beauty, graced with an artist’s mind and eye. I loved the quirks of her personality!
Not to mention, the antagonist was deliciously evil. I won’t go into that though because that’s a huge spoiler and I want to keep the reveal a surprise! But I also loved the multifaceted personalities of all the characters. One of my favorite break-out characters was Rhys, who you don’t meet until the end. He was so intriguing and I loved the different sides of him. Honestly, every character has more depth than you can even imagine. The characters were constantly surprising me!
The romance was completely swoonworthy. I adored Tamlin – he was so strong and tense, completely intimidating. But that just made all of his attempts to be kind even more endearing. At first, he seemed to just be going through the motions of playing nice with Feyre, his unwilling captive. But then their relationship started its slow-burning development, building up to a scorching romance. Gave me all the necessary butterflies and heart clenching!
My one complaint is the hint of a love triangle toward the end of the book. It seems like Maas might be leading toward a love triangle between Tamlin, Rhys, and Feyre. I love Rhys, don’t get me wrong. But I have no desire for him to break up my new OTP. So a love triangle would be a big disappointment, but let’s hope that A Court of Mist and Fury (the sequel) proves me wrong!
The writing was beautiful – the hype of Maas is well-deserved! She’s spectacular. I particularly loved the way she described the colors in Feyre’s mind. As an artist, Feyre sees the world differently than everyone else. She sees it in colors and textures and potential for painting. Which was utterly captivating to read about. I loved it.
The plot was insanely complex but somehow never confusing. I was invested enough that I never questioned the complexities, but just rushed to the next page in eager anticipation of the big reveal. The complicated plot just added to the suspense of the ending. And it all came together with time!
More specifically, I really enjoyed the split between Feyre’s personal plot and the broader plot of the blight. Like I mentioned earlier, the Spring Court is stuck wearing masks, which is part of the blight. This wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but the blight is spreading. And it might be on its way to threatening the human side of the wall. So that was obviously a substantial part of the plot. But there was also the simultaneous plot of Feyre’s personal struggle – her struggle with releasing the burden of her family and developing as her own individual person.
And then all the other complexities of the mysterious villain, the growing tension between the High Fae and the courts, and the breaching of the walls between the territories. Sounds complicated, right? Trust me, it’s so ridiculously interesting!
This book was a pleasant surprise, completely living up to its hype. It was a fresh take on a classic fairy tale. The romance was well-developed, progressing from slow burning to scorching hot. The characters were strong and endearing. And the plot was completely captivating, constantly keeping me on my toes. Definitely worth a read!
With lots of bookish love,