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 over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin-and his world-forever.
A Court of Thorns and RosesFeatured
A retelling of "Beauty and the Beast," A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES holds some similar storylines to "Cupid and Psyche." But Sarah J. Maas never fails to amaze me, despite the familiar subplots and tropes used. Feyre is a dangerous girl, who has a stern heart of gold and the spirit of a true huntress. Tamlin, who is a dangerous faerie with awful skills for courting and deathly ways with a weapon (or no weapon at all), is full of layers and slowly becomes someone understandable.
The plot circles and circles around a single point. It goes very fast, and though the book is long (four hundred or so pages), the pacing is perfect. Every moment is amazing, every scene is absolutely splendid, and every page is worth a reread. (I admit I reread A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES at least four times because of how good it is.) The book is told from first person, and Feyre's voice reminds me very much of Katniss Everdeen and other tough huntresses of legends and myths.
The romance between Feyre and Tamlin is great and amusing to watch, and it has a surprisingly large role in the story. The conflict and the villain of the story makes their romance even more difficult and simpler, all at the same time. Of course, the love between Feyre and Tamlin would never happen if it weren't for the cunning and dangerous villain, who I admire very much. She is a tricky character with horrible servants hanging onto her every world, a sharp mind, and an even sharper streak of cruelty. Her bloodthirsty ways are quite shocking and graphic.
The ending of the book is one of the best parts. The last chapter or so is so satisfying that readers would probably read it over and over twenty-two times in the row. In one sitting. It is that satisfying. Despite obvious loose ends, the conclusion to this book can be seen as a strong ending to a standalone. Still, I'm rather eager to see where the author will take the trilogy and hope that she doesn't turn the romance into a love triangle. (The "romance into a love triangle" is a discussion for another time and place.)
In conclusion, A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES is a whirling fairy tale retelling. With a tough and strong heroine and a lovable beast, this story is totally worth a reread. Every time. Many can probably live and breathe on the words of Sarah J. Maas.
Rating: Five out of Five
A Court of Thorns and Roses is a very engaging story, throwing us into a new world of faeries and humans. The writing style of the author is captivating, making it hard the book down. I happened to be at work when I started reading this, and the more I read, the more I got into it, leaving behind reality to put myself into Feyre's shoes. This resulted in me rushing my customers out the door so I could continue!
Let me just start off by saying that I personally love Ms. Maas' stories. I read her Throne of Glass series quickly and fully captured in that world (I'm eagerly awaiting the next book)! What I love about the author's writing is that she really knows how to world-build, pulling you right in and making it really easy to visualize it with her descriptive words.
I absolutely loved the romantic build-up between Feyre and Tamlin. It's very realistic in the sense that if a monstrous creature stole me from my home barking about some treaty needing to be fulfilled on my end of the bargain, I'm pretty sure I would be both scared and full of hatred for quite some time, too -- not like other books where it's all "Oh, I hate his guts, but I fell for him anyway in just three chapters." With that said, the drawn out romantic build-up between the two really made me long hardcore for things to work out for them!
As the story went on and I hit that big epiphany, I was nearly mind blown. Normally, when reading, I usually can tell where a storyline is headed, but this one... Ugh, this one had me completely all like "OH MY GOD." No joke, I was walking out of work when I hit that scene and I hated the fact that I had to drive home just to read more (I cheated a bit and sat in the car for five minutes to read more). I really didn't see it coming. Maybe my skills are blinded.
IN CONCLUSION, this was a very epic start to a very epic journey for both Feyre and to be honest, I hated that I got it so soon after publishing, because now, I have to wait again. Great. If you love the Throne of Glass series, or even if you're a huge fantasy junkie looking for your next fix, I highly recommend you get this book. It's great and will not disappoint!
- the storytelling
Maas has delivered again. Honestly, I want to sit them woman down and examine her brain to find out exactly how she comes up with these masterpieces and the incredible worlds she creates from thin air.
Feyre is a nineteen year old huntress who is responsible for the wellbeing of her family, after her father lost his fortune years ago. Without her, her family would surely starve. One day, Feyre kills a wolf in the woods and a Fae, a terrible creature from another land, comes to demand retribution. Feyre is offered the chance to go with this creature to the lands she has heard so much terror about, and live the rest of her life on his lands. Her captor is Tamlin, the High Lord of the Spring Court and Feyre slowly begins to feel something for him. But, in the background of her new, beautiful life, a dangerous, ancient power is growing stronger and stronger and only Feyre can stop it and save the world of Faerie from destruction.
(warning: spoilers ahead)
The novel starts of slowly, but this is important. It reflects Feyre’s life before Tamlin roared his way into it, and, most importantly, that she is not privy to the truth behind the gates of Tamlin’s lands. However, when we do find out what is really going on, everything picks up and my face was practically glued to the pages of the book. Maas has an innate gift for world-building, and the history of Prythian (land of the Fae) is amazing. Humans were once slaves to the Fae, until a massive war arose and separated the lands forever. One of the rulers of a Fae land, the King of Hybern, was not happy with this decision, and sent his general, Amarantha, to Prythian to charm, bribe and cheat her way up the chains of command and power, until she turned against her master, and took control of the entire country by enslaving the leaders, the High Lords. The last High Lord to resist her is Tamlin, but a curse was placed upon him through trickery: he has 50 years to find someone to break the curse, or he will be forced to join her and become her lover. The only issue I had with this book would probably be the curse, as it felt a little too exact and specific. In my experience, curses/prophecies are never that specific but perhaps Amarantha made it that way because she knew Tamlin was incapable of breaking it.
The characters in this book were amazing. Feyre was my favourite, especially when it comes to her treatment of sex. I have not read many YA books that deal with sex the way Maas does, as something natural and enjoyable for women as much as men. I mean, this should seem obvious, right? And yet, it is the one issue with YA fiction that I easily anger over. Feyre distorts YA’s tendency towards sex: the girl is not a virgin and the boy is not there to ‘teach’ her. Feyre already enjoys sex and has a friend she regularly meets up with. Feyre is comfortable with sex and her desires. We need more representations of this in YA fiction and I am so thankful to Maas for pioneering it.
Tamlin was an interesting character. When we first meet him, he is in his Fae form, and I was terrified of him. We see him through Feyre’s eyes, so we too, distrust him. He has all the power and she is just a frightened human. As Feyre begins to trust him, so does the reader. He goes far to protect Feyre, even if it means abandoning everyone else, including himself. I was angry, though, that Under the Mountain when Tamlin and Feyre are alone for the first time, he does not use the opportunity to save her, rather try to have sex with her. Bad move, bro.
I really enjoyed Rhys’ character. I have a soft spot for villains and I can spot a misunderstood bad boy with a tragic backstory from a mile away, and I got that feeling whenever Rhys was on the page. I look forward to reading more about him in the second book, and I hope he and Feyre hook up, even briefly.
The final half of the book was simply incredible. Feyre really grows into her own, from a frightened but putting on a brave face young girl, into a powerful and strong saviour. Her actions had me bawling my eyes out and I just know there will be repercussions in the next book.
This was a very strong first book in a trilogy. Maas sets up the world of Fae from the get go, something that takes her several books to do in her Throne of Glass series (not that I’m complaining). Even so, there is plenty that is set up for and needs to be explained in the next novel, which I immediately picked up after the first. I don’t even think ACOTAR hit the ground before I was opening ACOMAF. As usual, Sarah J. Maas has outdone herself in the best of ways. If I haven’t said it enough, the woman is a genius.
If you look at my 5 star ratings lately it’s mostly a bunch of Sarah J. Maas books, she is just a fabulous writer and never fails to interest me in the story she tells. While this book took me much longer to finish than it normally would have, that is not because it was bad, rather because as we all know life sometimes gets in the way. If life hadn’t I would’ve read this book in one sitting and been raving about my love for it a week ago!
So Beauty and the beast has always been my favorite fairytale; I love it as much today as I did when I was six. And I think Maas did a wonderful job turning the story I loved so much growing up into something beautiful now that I’m grown. This is a lot more romantic than most of my reads but I was never put off by that. A mixture of great writing and fantasy made me interested in reading whereas most romance novels tend to lose me.
Maas paced the character development well, made you warm up to the setting and the story before getting to the main conflict (something several people complained about but if she rushed in her worldbuilding would have been criticized), and told this great story that got more exciting to read page by page. I’m sure I’m not alone, but I’ll be on the list with everyone else buying every book Sarah J. Mass releases.
“Don’t feel bad for one minute about doing what brings you joy.”
So this having been my first taste of Sarah's writing, I love it. Everything flows well, sounds nice and has a kind of special way... I don't really know where I'm going with this but I like the way she writes.
Also for the story, it was amazing! I loved everything about it and wouldn't change a single thing. This book is a wild ride of passion and love. But more importantly, it's about a girl who really grows into herself. She is set free from the vow she made to her mother and after that Feyre is actually allowed to be a person and not just spend all her time caring for what at first seems like ungrateful people.
I usually don't feel something for every character in a novel but not this one, I hate and love each one strongly. This author made them feel so real, none of them are perfect and I love that. They have good traits and bad ones, just like everyone else, like us.
I can't say enough how much I freaking love this book, I already went out and bought my own copy after getting halfway through with the copy I borrowed, it was that good.
My only down side to this novel is that it does start out slowly, building the world and characters and such, but once it takes off, it never stops. Also, Tamlin is so hot and strong. How could anyone not fall in love with him? But Rhysand..... I mean... sexy stuff right there. A lot of people have said that it could end up in a love triangle and I am perfectly okay with that! So, if you haven't read this book yet, do it now. You'll love it.
2) The author has an amazing and easy to follow writing style that I love.
Maas didn't disappoint. She painted another beautiful world even though it is shadowed. The main character Feyre and her family, as well as most of her town are living on little food in the midst of their winter. That is what led her even deeper into the woods, and closer to the border of the Fae world. The villagers live in fear of the Fae. They spend what little money they have on iron and on charms that claim to keep them away.
Feyre's family is pretty dysfunctional. Her dad is disabled and the only money he brings in is very little from the wood carvings he makes. Her sisters don't help hunt or prepare the food that Feyre brings in, and they complain a lot. Feyre feels the burden of caring for them because of a promise she made to her mother on her mom's deathbed to watch over them. I felt for her, and wished that she wasn't put in such hard situations even knowing that without these trials there would be no story.
On the day that would change nearly everything about her future, she was lined up to kill a deer who had desperately came south looking for food, when she spotted the wolf. She had the dilemma of killing the deer and risk the gigantic wolf coming for her, or killing the wolf who she couldn't put aside the thought that he was more than just a mere animal. But it was basically kill one or the other, and probably both and face possible death or kill neither and face almost certain death of starvation. From the synopsis we know that she kills the wolf, and that is the catalyst for the Fae coming after her, and taking her to their lands.
It was neat to get to see Feyre experience the Fae kingdom for the first time. The rumors that were true and the others that were only halfway so, and others outright wrong. It was hard for her to be in a new land of magic not knowing what to expect, and then there is the mystery of Tamlin. He brings her there, and provides for her in his estate, but says she can leave if she wants as long as she stays in the Fae world. There are the little things though, like he is straining to be kind to her, and Feyre finds out he is providing for her family since he knew that she was pretty much sole survivor. So I can understand how the hatred of his kind develops into falling for him. Because there is kindness to him, and he is different from some of the other Fae she encounters. And there is the fact that he spared her life to begin with instead of killing her for killing one of their kind as the law allowed.
She bides her time, and tries to learn as much about Tamlin, the kingdom, the blight that is affecting their magic and will one day spread. She is smart, listens and plans for all sorts of scenarios. Through this and Feyre and Tam getting to know each other, we discover the depth of their characters. They both show each other things they thought contrary to humans and fae respectively. The kindness in their hearts resulting from huge pain really helps to understand their actions.
I am a little concerned with the possibility of a love triangle in the next because of an alliance made and help found in the least likely places. But maybe it will turn out differently because the character surprised me in more way than one. I am hoping that there won't be because I adore the romance that develops between Feyre and Tam. It is hot and steamy, they have such attraction as well as the element of fate. Feyre had to prove so much with the way the last third of the book went, and it tested her physically and mentally.
There were a lot of unexpected twists both in character development, allies that were gained, as well as plot turns that I never expected coming. I didn't want to put this down, and I will for sure be continuing this series. The ending was well placed and it ended a major thread, and left a lot of others for anticipation.
Bottom Line: Wonderful start to a new series by a fantasy author I already loved. Surprising turns with great character building and one hot romance.