Title: A Court of Thorns And Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thornes And Roses
Date Published: May 5th 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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.
This is one of the most hyped-up series out there in the YA Fantasy genre, so I finally decided to take the plunge and start the series!
This book is a beauty and the beast retelling and Maas created a wonderful, very developed new world to get lost in. However, I had mixed opinions about this book as I loved the second half, but the first half was so slow, it took me a long time to get into it.
Feyre has a hard life in the human world, her father is pretty worthless and seems to have completely given up on the family, her sisters are very bitchy and selfish, so when she murdered a fae disguised as a wolf, it’s really a blessing in disguise, as she later realizes. In turn for the life she took, she must repay the debt with her own life and she consequently gets taken to the home of Tamlin to serve out a life sentence. Tamlin does his best to not scare her and to provide her with everything she needs.
This is where it gets very slow for me, as Feyre spends two months at the Spring Court she becomes accustomed to the High Fae, and becomes closer to both Tamlin and Lucian, developing a deep connection with Tamlin. This takes a long time to unfold, which makes sense from a realistic point of view – she needs time to learn to love the land and its people and to fall in love with Tamlin. However, very little really happens of much interest, and their developing love wasn’t interesting enough to keep my attention, especially as Feyre spends a lot of time not actually with Tamlin. The festivals were more interesting and the subtle introduction of Rhysand was well done.
Ultimately, I understand how/why their love developed but felt as though it needn’t have been 200 pages long. I was very surprised that this ended with Feyre returning to the mortal realm, but this did give us more insight into her sisters. Whilst this section didn’t exactly endear me to Nesta, I liked her significantly more than I did at the beginning.
Feyre decides to fight for Tamlin and returns to Prythian - This is where it gets a lot more interesting! We then learn a lot more about the curse put on the Spring Court - and how painfully close Feyre had been to saving them – and then we follow Feyre on her journey to Under the Mountain. I loved this whole part of the book.
Amarantha was almost as awful as she had been made out to be, as demonstrated by some heinous acts and this constant fear that overhung the whole court. Feyre gets sucked into agreeing to complete three deadly trials over three months and these were each very well written and exciting to read. The interim between the trials fit with the pacing of the book, and I was always looking forward to Feyre’s interactions with Rhysand. A lot happens during Feyre’s time Under the Moutain and we experience her struggles and descent when the trials start to break her. I loved the part Rhysand played, even though he was not a good person, she wouldn’t have survived without him – both physically and mentally. Every move he made was purposeful and had a good reason even If that was hard to see originally, he played mind games, but we get to see him with his walls down at a few points which were amazing to read. Suffice to say Rhysand was a highlight for me and added a lot of depth to the story. Overall this section was very well written and a lot of subplots and relationships came together really well here. I loved the premise and thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of this half of the book.
The ending was great, it linked together all the missing pieces and it was great to see Amarantha reacting realistically – based on what we’ve learned about her I would have been upset to see her move on easily. The gift Feyre received was a surprise for me and I’m very excited to see what effect it has on her in the next books. Feyre was undoubtedly affected and I look forward to seeing how she moves on, how this affects her relationship with Tamlin, and how Feyre and Rhysand develop.
This book was such a mix for me – the end half I loved and would definitely re-read, however, the first half was so slow I barely managed to get through it… for that reason I’ve rated it 3.5 stars. However, I am looking forward to reading the next one and am excited to see where it goes.
Rating: 3.5 Star