Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas


A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publishing Date: May 5, 2015
Page Count: 416 pages
Summary: 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.
When I first learned about this book I wanted it in my hands INSTANTLY. So, the wait for May 5th to come was the slowest of tortures! Thankfully, I was able to get it in my hands on it's release day and began to read it immediately. The start to a new series, A Court of Thorns and Roses tells the story of Feyre, who finds herself having to cross the border that separates the fae people from the mortal, into the fae lands, after killing one of their own. Because of this, she finds herself stuck in the sprawling mansion of Tamlin, in the Spring Court.

First off: this book was amazing. And I'm sure you've heard this so many times you might be rolling your eyes. 

I really love Sarah's Throne of Glass series as well, so I had just a little itsy bit of worry in the back of my head about whether I would enjoy this one anywhere near as much as I love her first series. But the worry was for naught!! Maas spins a dark fairy tale that represents her and her writing so well. She was so in her element with this one. The writing was more elegantly worked into the plot, the story line and the fae folklore all worked cohesively to make something so explosive on the page. I'm pretty fond of the use of fae in fantasy, especially if it's combined with darker elements. I've only been able to find very few instances of this (such as Holly Black's Tithe, and Karen Marie Moning's Fever series) so I was beyond pleased to see the darker and feral powers of the fae trope in Acotar.

The spin on the beauty and the beast aspect was so beautifully done as well. Sarah was able to take a very well loved story, using the specific and well known aspects of it while also creating something so new that had me on edge through the entire story. It didn't have one bit of predictability in how it played out, for me. Also, as fellow readers have also said, the first 30% or so are more slow paced, but once I was further into the story I felt how well that shaped the story and it's characters. I believe that the slower transition wouldn't have worked any other way. Sarah is a magnificent fantasy writer and the queen of hot male characters.

Speaking of hot characters: Tamlin. He was so hesitant and sweet to Feyre while simultaneously so clueless as how to handle her living with him. I loved how he was such a dominant character, and as Jess points out in her review, still had this very amazing respect for Feyre. His dominance wasn't toxic and demeaning, or mean in any way, considering many can argue these points of the original Beauty and the Beast story, and many have. But don't underestimate for Tamlin is still just as deadly and dangerous as the more darker of his kin.

Plus, the chemistry between him and Feyre. *fans self* These two were on the verge of killing me. I really wasn't expecting just how hot, even with the what everyone was saying beforehand!! And they worked so well together in other ways too. As Feyre grows to know Tamlin better,she is able to better understand Tamlin and his duties to the Spring Court and how the responsibility has shaped him similarly to how taking care of her family has shaped her.

Feyre was also a wonderful protagonist. I know many have heard this but she was such a beautifully strong character. And not just in brawn, and definitely not in skill the way one thinks of with Celaena. But she had vulnerabilities and fears, ones anyone could have in these situations and ones that were personal to her character and how she grew up; and these vulnerabilities are used against her. But she challenges them and she gets through the most difficult trials, so wonderfully. I loved her. She's just as multi-faceted as the rest of the characters.

That's one of the things Sarah does so well: her characters, no matter how small their page time. Such as Feyre's sister, Nesta. I liked her most of her family, actually. You almost never keep your original opinions of a character because you're always given more as the story goes and it changes your views and surprises you.

Then there's Lucien, Tamlin's right hand man. He's abrasive and witty, challenging Feyre's preconceived notions of the fae from the very start. He was such a funny character, one that was just as important as the main two, and one you come to care for just as much. I loved the way his eventual friendship with Feyre grew and I so need more of these two in the next book!!

The last male character that stood out for me was Rhysand. Oh Rhysand. He was definitely intriguing from the first introduction of his character. Then I felt ashamed of how intrigued I found him because QUIT A FEW THINGS HAPPEN!! But his character was fucking fantastic to read and explore, I was loving him by the end of the book, even through all his little underhanded tricks. I definitely look forward to how his character continues to be explored in the sequel.

Overall, this book was everything I needed and more so I was very sad to have reached the end. I love the Throne of Glass series but personally, I think I actually loved this one more (with Heir of Fire very close behind). I wanted to reread this book only seconds after finishing it! Sarah created something dark and seductive that had me enraptured from the start and this book has solidified Sarah as a favorite author of mine.