Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publication Date: 5th May 2015
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.
Better late than never I suppose? I have a sad history of jumping on the hype train and being left bitterly disappointed, which is probably why I’ve managed to avoid reading this until now. But at the end of the day, I am a hopeless sucker for fairytale retellings and there was only so long I could resist!
I was left pleasantly surprised by a court of thorns and roses, although I encountered my fair share of eye-roll worthy moments too. I’m not the biggest fan of Maas’ Throne of Glass series and assumed I would have similar feelings about this, but overall I believe aCoTaR stands its ground much better, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
One thing to note before reading this is that it is a very loose retelling of beauty and the beast. I wouldn’t say this is necessarily a bad thing, it was nice that the plot and themes of the book didn’t rely heavily on the fairytale but it did leave me deflated by my expectations for Tamlin’s character (The ‘beast’).
Feyre’s ‘punishment’ (First eye-roll) for killing a fae was to leave her poverty stricken home she shared with her ungrateful family, to be waited on hand and foot by handmaidens and a ‘cruel’ fae (Who turns out to be about as cruel as a bunny rabbit), where it is constantly Spring and where she will never have to worry about her or her family going hungry again. Doesn’t sound too bad right? That’s because it’s not.
The plot felt a bit forced and basic at the beginning because of this, but it got so much better as the pace really picked up in the last ~150 pages, leaving me staying up until the early hours of the morning, desperate to find out how it would end. The middle of the book on the other hand is much more sluggish, and whilst the growing relationship between Feyre and Tamlin was spaced out throughout the book with some nice scenes, I couldn’t help but feel it was still too much of an instalove romance. Perhaps this is because Tamlin’s character didn’t go through any behavioural changes, and Feyre’s change from hating to wanting him was so quick and sudden.
As for the other characters, Lucien and Rhysand were hands-down the most enigmatic and interesting. Lucien had a heartbreaking backstory whilst Rhysand was complex with questionable and unclear motives which made everything less predictable and exciting. Although some of Rhysand’s actions were kind of problematic, I’m sure he’ll be an interesting and pivotal character for the rest of the series and I’m interested to see him develop.
Overall, I can understand and appreciate the hype for this book, there’s some interesting themes and Sarah J Maas’s writing makes this an easy and enjoyable read.
I was going to do a whole post on why I’m a crap book blogger and haven’t really posted since June but I thought I’d just get back into it with a review instead! I wont dwell on it too much, but my hiatus was due to reading slumps and university but I’m determined to start afresh this year with a new blog design and a posting schedule as I’ve missed everything about the book community so much!