Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s
Publication Date: May 5th, 2015
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1
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, 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!