A Court of Thorns and Roses – Review

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Book 1 in the A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy
Genre: YA fairytale retelling
Pages: 416
Format: hardcover, owned
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

I don’t think Sarah is capable of writing anything less than utter perfection, because that’s what A Court of Thorns and Roses was. I feel like slapping myself for not reading it sooner, but I’m also glad I waited because I’m much closer to getting my hands on the sequel. ๐Ÿ˜‰

the plot

This is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. The story was so similar to the original fairy-tale, and yet it contrasted so much. It was a perfect balance, and it made for an equally perfect story. I never thought anything was too fast or too slow: there was just enough of a slow start for me to get adjusted to Feyre and the world, but not to the point of dragging. There were plenty of incredibly intense action scenes and suspenseful moments, but between those there was also a lot of time to see development in other elements of the story. I loved it. ๐Ÿ˜€

I also want to briefly mention one thing some people have complained about: Feyre’s treatment in the Spring Court. They say that it doesn’t make sense that her punishment was to live in a grand mansion with complete freedom, savory food, and gorgeous clothes at her disposal. While I respect their opinions, I do disagree. First, it wouldn’t fit with the conditions of Tamlin’s issue (which I won’t mention), and second, he did it so that no other High Fae / faerie could harm her. It wouldn’t be any better for Feyre if he treated her the same way. Again, it wouldn’t work the way he needed it to. I have no problem if people think differently, but that’s how I think of it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (I’m sorry if this doesn’t make sense – I don’t want to spoil anything.)

the characters

All of the characters in all of Sarah’s books are brilliant and fabulous, no matter how major or minor they are. โญ

Feyre was an amazing main character. She was tough like Aelin and had gone through an equally difficult time in her life, but adapted to become a completely different person. She provided for her family entirely, which made me instantly admire her. She could hunt, cook, trade, and take care of a cottage from a fairly young age, which is immensely impressive. Especially since she taught herself. And while Aelin and Belle loved to read, Feyre loved to paint. She was always thinking about colors, light, and angles, even though she could never find the money to spare to get supplies and thought that part of her mind was useless. She stayed passionate about it despite never being able to practice, and I loved that. I also really liked that she couldn’t read – it was realistic, and a flaw that I’ve never read about before. It was an embarrassment for her and actually a fault later in the story, and I thought it was nice for something refreshing like that. I liked that it wasn’t something she learned or grew out of as the book progressed. It made the issue even more realistic. Honestly, if I had read this before Throne of Glass, I think I would easily love Feyre more than Aelin. However, since I didn’t, I’ll just say that she’s tied. ๐Ÿ˜€

I also want to say that Sarah is great at writing male leads. So far in Throne of Glass, she’s created four, and here there’s three. They’re all unique, and that takes talent. I’ll admit, though, that I did see bits of Rowan in Tamlin. It could’ve been the strong, immortal Fae aspect, or how awkward they were when they tried to flirt, or maybe I just read between the lines too much. XD

I loved all of the guys in this book, though Tamlin was my favorite. Like I said, he reminded me so much of Rowan, but he was also totally different. He was an all-powerful High Lord of the Spring Court, but also really awkward. I enjoyed his different personalities: his tense strictness, his loving gentleness, his sullen indifference, and his deadly beast, all rolled into one. ๐Ÿ˜€

Lucien was Tamlin’s snarky emissary, the immortal embodiment of the big-mouthed, dangerously skilled sidekick. I thought he was awesome from the first page he was introduced, and he was definitely a fabulous form of comic relief throughout the story. ๐Ÿ˜€

Rhysand was definitely the one I’d heard most about, and the one I was anticipating most. I knew he was the dark, morally ambiguous one, and that everyone loved him. I did like his character, but I wasn’t quite sure what to think of him for most of the book. I jumped between loving him and hating him, but by the end I was steadily liking him. I’m nervous to see what trouble he’ll cause in the sequel, but I also look forward to seeing him again. That applies to all three, though. ๐Ÿ˜‰ So again, I have to say that Sarah has enormous talent.

I won’t say too much about Amarantha because I don’t want to spoil anything, but I will say that I positively hated her. She was a fabulous antagonist, and I hated her down to my core. She was twisted and cruel, and deserved what she got. That is all. ๐Ÿ™‚

the setting

A small portion of this book takes place in Feyre’s nameless mortal village, but mostly everything goes down in Prythian, one of the lands for the Fae: specifically the Spring Court and Under the Mountain. No matter where Feyre was, the descriptions were mesmerizing. I could imagine the cold, bitter winter of her village, the luscious, blooming meadows of the Spring Court, and the chilling, damp caves of Under the Mountain. The imagery was absolutely gorgeous from beginning to end. Prythian is now tied with Terrasen for my favorite fictional world. I would love to live in the Spring Court. โค (Can anyone give me directions?? XD )

the relationships

Tamlin and Lucien had a deep, long-lasting but still easygoing friendship that I don’t think could ever break. They understood each other and wanted what was best for the other, and took punishments so the other wouldn’t have to. Their connection was evident from the very first scene they were together, and it only strengthened from there. ๐Ÿ˜€

I also loved Feyre and Lucien’s friendship. It started off really rough, but warmed up enough to become one of my favorite platonic relationships. They could always keep up a steady, amusing banter, and they loved teasing one another. In the end, though, when too much was at stake for humor, they stood up for each other too. They worked together to accomplish their goal, and I loved it just as much. ๐Ÿ™‚

But I have to say that Feyre and Tamlin’s romance was my absolute favorite. I’m a hopeless romantic at heart, so this should be no surprise. XD True to the fairy-tale, it started off one-sided and rocky, but grew to a stage of awkward crushing before becoming real and passionate. Feyre’s love for Tamlin became her reason to do everything she did in the last half of the book, and the same could be said about Tamlin. I adored reading about it. If I’m honest, I was entertaining the thought of them together literally from the first time Feyre had dinner in the Spring Court. โค

the twists

If I had to choose one word that could never describe this book, it would be “boring.” The story was an absolute roller-coaster! Feyre always had a new challenge to overcome or riddle to solve, and I never saw it coming, even though I know the original fairy-tale by heart. I was constantly on the edge of my seat, and got annoyed by anything that required me to stop reading. If it had been an option, I would’ve lived in a bubble and stayed up all night so I could finish the book as quickly as possible. But since I couldn’t, and school was demanding, I used it as a treat for myself whenever I accomplished something. ๐Ÿ˜€

I also want to mention that the last quarter of the book destroyed me. I needed to know what happened next more than I ever had before, and the last few chapters had me wanting to cry more than any book I’ve read. That is an accomplishment! *praising hands emoji*

overall

I give A Court of Thorns and Roses all the stars. It was brilliant, gripping perfection, and I will definitely be buying A Court of Mist and Fury on May 3rd so I can see how Sarah could possibly top this. If I had to choose between this book and Throne of Glass, I would actually choose this. While I adore Throne of Glass, the first book had an ever-so-slightly predictable ending, and nothing about this was ever even remotely predictable. If that doesn’t convey how much I adored this book, I don’t know what will. (But Throne of Glass is only behind by about 0.1%) *heart eyes emoji* โค

my rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Have you read this book?ยน Is it on your TBR? If you have read it, what did you think? I’d love to know! ๐Ÿ™‚

ยน If you haven’t, you definitely should!

I’ll be reading The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey next! I don’t think it could possibly be as good as this, but I’m giving it a chance. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Until next time…

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6 thoughts on “A Court of Thorns and Roses – Review

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