A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas


A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
New adult, fantasy, fairytale, romance
May 2015; Bloomsbury
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A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

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. 



I'm always wary of Beauty and the Beast adaptations because the potential for unintentional Stockholm syndrome vibes is so significant, but A Court of Thorns and Roses made that concern irrelevant. Sarah J. Maas delivers everything you could ask of a new adult fairytale: sumptuous worldbuilding, a scorching love story, and a high octane third act that had me almost beside myself with tension.

The transition from Feyre's initial focus on escape to her developing physical and emotional attachment to Tamlin was perfectly paced and entirely satisfying. In the week or so since I first read A Court of Thorns and Roses my opinion on the love triangle between Feyre, Tamlin and Rhys has done a one-eighty. At first I was so distracted by my prediction of a New Moon-esque secondary-love-interest-centric second book that I couldn't enjoy the love triangle for what it was in this book, but upon reflection the love triangle plays is central to the story and the conclusion of the central conflict.

There was one niggling issue that kept this from being a five star read for me, and that was Amaranth. The evil queen is a familiar trope in fairytales and A Court of Thorns and Roses did nothing to push that stereotypes further, for me. My slight dissatisfaction with Amaranth's characterisation and depth, though, did nothing to minimise my enjoyment of the final showdown.

I highly recommend A Court of Thorns and Roses for any fan of fairy tales or fantasy. Even if you're unsure of the new adult category, perhaps if you've had bad experiences in the past, I urge you to give this a try, as it retains the youthful attitude of young adult literature while pushing the sex and fantastical darkness to new post-YA heights.
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6 comments

  1. I just finished this, and the Stockholm vibe was pretty strong for me. I agree that Amaranth was just not complex a villain enough for me to enjoy, and Rhys just baffled me out of the nine Hells. Only saving graces were Lucien, Nests and the prose.

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    1. Oh, interesting. Where were the Stolkholm vibes for you?

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  2. I completely agree with the new adult fairytale feel of Acotar. The story had a great balance between the younger fairytale aspects and the new adult perspective. I also enjoyed growth and complexity of Feyre's relationships with her sisters. I actually wish the trials were a bit longer but I'm looking forward to the sequels (in addition to exploring the magic of the other fae courts). *Attempting to comment with my paperwanderer.wordpress account - hopefully it works.*

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    1. I agree about Feyre's relationships with her sisters! I could have done with more of her sisters, actually, but Maas did take Feyre's family life somewhere that I didn't expect. I'm very interested to see where this series goes - the worldbuilding has been enthralling so far so I'm intrigued to see what else Maas has in store.

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  3. I felt exactly the same Soph, the Stockholm Syndrome wasn't an issue for me at all, I think it was because it wasn't presented as a romantic sub plot at first, but she really did fear for her family. I haven't read a Beauty and the Best retelling before, so only have the original to compare to. But I loved it, even though the 'evil queen' was a bit too pedestrian. Lovely review Soph, so glad you enjoyed it <3

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    1. I thought the whole issue of Feyre looking after her family was well done, and generally the pacing for how she fell for Tamlin helped with diffusing the Stockholm potential. I was a bit frustrated because it was a bit like, 'buddy if you really don't want to adhere to this rule, can't you just.... not take her?' but that was explained by the curse further into the story. I'm nitpicking though, it's a super worthwhile read, definitely! I was vaguely interested in reading this at some point but then your lovely review convinced me to fast track it to the top of my TBR pile, so thank you for the rec! :)

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