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.
Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!
This book was so fantastically addictive that I stayed up until 2:30am to finish it. I knew if I didn’t I wouldn’t be able to sleep anyways because I was absolutely hooked on the storyline and the characters. THE CHARACTERS! Oh, let’s see…. Feyre and Tamlin and Lucien and even dark, morally ambiguous Rhysand! Sarah J. Maas has written some of the most crushable/ship-able characters I have read about in what seems to be an immeasurable amount of time (or at least since Red Rising). Now, I guess I’ll try to stop raving and tell you something intelligible about this beautiful book.
A Court of Thorns and Roses is typically spoken of as a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast, though I see only the bare shape of the traditional fairytale. The romantic Beauty + Beast aspect is there, but Maas has done so much more by adding dark overtones and the unique socio-political situation of the Faerie courts and the mortal lands. I found the location of Prythian (faerie land) in relation to the mortal lands interesting because in most stories the Faerie realm in kind of a parallel universe rather than physically being in the same world. This detail made Amarantha’s designs all the more threatening since only a flimsy barrier separated the immensely powerful Fae from the vulnerable humans.
The relationship between Feyre and Tamlin was ridiculously statisfying, as was lack of romantic feeling between Lucien and Feyre. I was SO relieved that it wasn’t a love triangle, which would make all parties involved pretty much an embarrassment to read about. Feyre and Tamlin’s relationship did seem to happen all of a sudden due to the way the passage of time was portrayed in the book. There wasn’t an account of every single day Feyre was at Tamlin’s estate and in one portion month’s had passed between one chapter and another but his was alright with me because I didn’t care to read about three months worth of dinner conversations. This style of writing was also great towards the end of the book when Feyre is in the Kingdom Under the Mountain and facing the three trials. I could have sworn that the trials would carry over to the following book, but I was pleasantly surprised that all three were wrapped and that there was a fantastic conclusion. I do think that some sections of the book could have used some additional details or descriptions.
Rhysand, High Lord of the Night Court plays a significant role in the latter portions of ACOTAR and I found myself liking and distrusting him simultaneously. He’s darkly seductive and probably bad news, but there were flashes of a more caring side that I found myself wanting to see more of. He made a deal with Feyre after Amarantha’s first trial and Feyre will reside in the Night Court one week of every month forever after. Feyre was mended and she got a cool half-sleeve tattoo out the deal with Rhysand, but things got a little sketchy afterwards. This arrangement is reminiscent of Persephone and Hades in Greek mythology, though I’ll bet that didn’t turn into a love triangle (or did it?). I’m thinking I’ll like the chapters where Feyre will be in the Night Court since Rhysand seems to be such trouble.
Overall, I think this book deserves a 4.5 out of 5 stars. The pacing was a little fast in some spots and Tamlin could have been a more dimensional character but I LOVED this book! The story and setting was enchanting and Feyre was a strong character without the childish petulance that many young heroines have a problem with. I think that A Court of Thorns and Roses was perfectly designed for a movie adaptation and I hope that that opportunity will arise. While we’re all waiting for the sequel, I would recommend that fans also check out the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr, which is an awesome urban faerie tale.