Title: A Court of Thorns & Roses
Author : Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication Date: 03/05/15
Dates Read: 12/31/17 – 01/03/18
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
“Don’t feel bad for one moment about doing what brings you joy.”
Feyre is a young woman who, upon her mother’s death, was left with the exhausting burden of being the primary caretaker and protector for her family. She lives with her father and two sisters, in a land where mortals fear the faeries that exist north of the wall. Her family is scarce for money and food, so Feyre, a self-taught huntress, has to go into the frigid cold to track, hunt, and kill in order to feed her family and provide an income.
The events of one afternoon in the woods leads to a world of danger, mystery, and adventure for Feyre…
She spots a deer that would be a perfect kill, but is staring into the face of a wolf. In order to protect her kill (the deer), Feyre launches an arrow into the eye of the wolf and takes it’s life and hide. Unbeknownst to her, and unfortunately for her, the wolf was a faerie that had shape shifted into a wolf and when a large, beastly faerie comes pounding at the door, demanding retribution for the life she has taken, her life takes a new path—a path of danger, magic, fear, and love.
When a novel earns five stars.. for me that means that I am unable to put it down, I feel an attachment to characters, I am invested in the storyline…. Basically, I just want to pour you a cup of coffee, sit down, and have a chat about it.
This book (and entire series) is very much hyped up. If you are on #bookstagram at all, you have seen the illustrated fae from this series and you have noticed the massive fandom that encompasses this story. I always dread going into something this popular because, in all honesty, I just like to stand off in the corner and proclaim my uniqueness. No sir, I will not be a sheep in that flock. But eventually, I always cave…
I absolutely loved this novel. Now, if you are thinking of reading this novel and you haven’t already been exposed.. stay off of the internet and reviews of other books in the series. Just from Instagram exposure, I already knew things that I don’t think I should have known going into the first book, so I kept waiting for them to happen and was super confused sometimes because the plot wasn’t what I was expecting. Go into it with a blank-slate mindset.
This novel includes lovely head-nods to many greats of the world of fairy tales and mythology. Beauty and the Beast is the front-runner in these references and readers will quickly recognize the similar features and themes. However, Sarah J. Maas (in an interview) has stated that she pulled inspiration for her creatures and monsters from all types of religions and mythologies. I really admire authors who use research and already-loved stories to build upon and inspire their work.
So… the first half of this novel was a relatively smooth ride. It wasn’t boring by any means, it just had a very easy-going way of setting up the setting, introducing you to this magical world, and exposing you to many new characters. Once I hit the mid-point of the book and our setting changes, my pages started flipping much faster. Readers are introduced to a couple new fun characters and the action starts rolling at a much quicker pace.
I fell in love with so many characters. Not just the typically-likable characters either. The snarky and arrogant Rhysand very quickly became a favorite. Lucian was a fabulous character and I loved getting to expose glimpses of his backstory and his personality. I really hope that he remains one of the front-runner characters in the remainder of the series. And Nesta… I really think that there were moments when I felt like Feyre’s sister, who did not play a large part in the novel, had more of a connection to myself than Feyre herself. Nesta is cunning and smart and I think she has an inner badass that we have yet to see in this first installment. The only character that I wasn’t that impressed with was Tamlin himself… I just didn’t feel like he had much depth. While I understand that he had a lot of things going on, what with crazy curses and whatnot bearing weight over his court, but I just didn’t connect with him. He seemed very dry.
The last 25% of the novel is so packed-full of action and important events, with an overbearing impending sense of danger and doom looming over the pages. Feyre is faced with many challenges, changes, and trials. The ending was a little fairy tale cliche, in my opinion, but it left just enough of a loose-end that I was immediately ready to dive into the next installment to see where this story line takes Feyre.
“Magic–everything was magic, and it broke my heart.”