A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

16096824Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s

Publication Date: May 5th, 2015

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4/5 

After seeing the popularity of this book in the blog-o-sphere and all over Instagram, I figured it was high time that I found out what all of the hullabaloo was about. And I must say, now I can why everyone is making such a fuss.

I read this book as fast as I could. And part of me isn’t quite sure why.

A Court of Thorns and Roses is a retelling of beauty and the beast. Feyre is a mortal young woman whose family has fallen from wealth into poverty, forcing Feyre to learn how to hunt in order to provide for her two elder sisters and her crippled father. One winter day, she kills a wolf who turns out to be a Faerie in disguise, one of the enemies of the mortals who rule the land to the north. A horrific beast arrives at her home, demanding her life as retribution. The beast takes her across the wall into Faerie land where she is to live out the rest of her days, where she discovers her captor is Tamlin, one of the High Lords of Prythian.

From there the story follows the typical Beauty and the Beast format. She discovers that maybe Faeries aren’t so bad, they fall in love, there’s a curse to break, and so on and so forth.

Let me make myself clear. This book is not perfect. In fact, there are several elements that I didn’t like at all:

  • Feyre is a little too much like Katniss Everdeen. A huntress whose has astonishing skills with a bow an who is a bit snarky and unlikable but must provide for their family and find themselves in extenuating circumstances. Sound familiar? Unlike Katniss though, I wasn’t sure what made Feyre tick. Katniss is all about survival no matter the cost. Feyre, I’m not sure. Feyre is also more of a martyr than Katniss is and that tended to rub me the wrong way after a while.
  • The author’s use of ellipses. This drove me crazy, especially during narration, not dialogue. It may not have bothered me so much if the story had been in 1st person. But since it was told in past tense, third person the use of ellipses for implication grew irritating.
  • There’s quite a bit of hanky panky in this book. I don’t mind sex when it’s relevant or realistic. But many of the sex scenes felt like they were there for the sake of it, and that annoys me. It also seemed like a lot for a young adult book. Not sure I’d want my daughter reading this as a sixteen year old. At least all of the characters are adults.
  • The answer to the riddle Feyre has to answer is so obvious it makes me sick. It takes her several chapters to finally figure it out though. The whole time I was reading it, I couldn’t believe that she hadn’t figured it out.
  • Maas tended to repeat herself in the narration quite a few times, and I got sick of hearing the same information for the 100th time.

 

And now that I’ve said what I didn’t like about it, let me tell you why it deserved 4 stars regardless. The book first of all just has that “it” factor that sets it apart from other works. It moved at a nice clip and compelled me to keep reading. I had to know what happened next. There were some beautiful bits of imagery and dialogue, and I happened to think that this retelling was quite imaginative despite having all the plot elements you might expect. For instance, I loved the villain of this story. As a matter of fact, I’d say most of the supporting characters were well written and constructed.

Furthermore, despite the fluff and romance, the book is still quite dark. Tortures,83ce87ba5b09bdcb14a48af6bed76076 beheadings, blue woad. It’s quite gruesome and gritty. Not that I like gore per say (I actually don’t) but I do like the gritty. I also liked that Maas took fairies and made them dark. When I think of fairies, I think of mischievous yet light and bright creatures, kind of like Tinkerbell. Mass’s faeries are fearsome and even cruel. It’s kind of like what Stephanie Meyer’s did by turning bloodthirsty vampires and making them shiny and sparkling, but you know, the opposite (sorry Twilight fans- I couldn’t help myself).

All in all, I’d recommend giving this book a go if you haven’t read it yet. I’m excited because I bought the 2nd book when I purchased this one, and I’ve heard that it’s even better than the first. That makes me excited.

Have you read this book? Why or why not? What do you like or don’t like about it? Are you horribly  offended by my Twilight remarks? Who is your favorite character in ACOTAR?

Tootle loo, darlings!

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9 thoughts on “A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

  1. Lol! I may be in the minority, but I totally agree with your Twilight comments! That was not one of my favorite series!

    I did try this book…kind of liked parts of it, but overall it flopped for me. The premise was good, the characters kind of fit the fairytale — except for Katniss, er. Feyre (know exactly what you mean) — and the world building was pretty good. But for me the bawdiness is so not necessary, period, and I certainly wouldn’t want my kids reading it. It bothers me that there are so many teenagers reading it, and their parents don’t seem concerned (like they were 20 years ago).

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    1. Agreed! The Isaac Hale subplot bothered me because it was completely unnecessary. I’m not a prude and want my kids to be educated on sex. I don’t think it should be a taboo topic, but yeah, I think this book had way too much in it for a teenage book. My brother saw me reading it and wanted to know if he could have it when I was finished, and I said no way Jose.

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      1. Yeah, there’s a huge difference between wanting your kids to be well-educated on where babies come from…and finding it unnecessary to expose them to the more graphic nature of some “explanations.”

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  2. I get what you mean about all the sexy parts, it made it feel kinda… fanfic-y? If that makes sense? I love the Throne of Glass series but this one I just couldn’t get into. I started ACOTAR last year and still haven’t finished it but I will one day. I’m sure.
    As a side note, I liked the darkness of the fairies, it felt very old celtic/icelandic.

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  3. This was my first Sarah J Maas book and I fell in love with it. IDK if you’ve read Throne of Glass but it was weird going back to her first book. I could see her writing improve over time including her descriptions of different things in the books. I can’t wait for you to read ACOMAF- it’s her best work yet! Also, this book is labeled YA/NA; it’s borderline both but ACOMAF is def NA not YA.

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    1. It’s my first Sarah Maas book as well! So I haven’t read TOG yet, but I plan on doing so. And I agree with you on ACOMAF! I’m about halfway through and I’m loving it so much! I’m almost tempted to lower my score on this book just because I feel that the sequel is such an improvement.

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