Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

16096824Title : A Court of Thorns and Roses

Author : Sarah J. Maas

Publisher : Bloomsbury Children’s

Release date : May 5th, 2015

Rating : 4/5

Synopsis (from Goodreads) :

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.

Review :

**Note: this review is quite long, so I bolded each aspect of the book that I will be talking about. If you don’t particularly care about one aspect, you can always skip to another one, because they’ll be easy to find!

It was long due I read this book, but it didn’t quite meet my expectations. However, I did greatly enjoy it, if only for the male characters, hahahah! Keep reading to know exactly what I liked/disliked about this popular novel!

Let’s start with the writing style. It wasn’t exceptional, ok? But, it was slightly better than most of the YA fiction I’ve read in the past, so it was still very, VERY entertaining. It’s precise and concise, except when it’s to land a punch line to amplify something (an event, a discovery, a decision, etc.). Maas sets up a mood very well. If the story takes place in a poor, desolate house, the readers will feel how desolate it really is. If it’s in a beautiful clearing, readers will know the beauty of it. Talking about beauty, the imagery is fabulous. Feyre has a passion for painting, and it sometimes takes over her mind in most inappropriate moments. But she sees the world around her in shades of color and shadow games, and Maas transcripts Feyre’s imagination to the pages. It’s a really nice and refreshing touch, reminding readers that it’s not all about Prythian, land of the faeries, but also how Feyre is literally brought to a new world and how different this new environment is to her.

The way Maas writes is like when you’re having fun: you don’t see the time pass by, but when you look at the clock, you see that it’s so late already. Similarly, the book’s pace seems really good at first. There’s no dragging, no empty spaces, there’s always something happening that would take our hero further on in her story. But after a few hours, the reader has to put down the book to go eat or to study, and then they come back and realize… “Wow, have I already read the first half??” And the second realization dawns: they have barely met the danger Prythian is supposedly facing, and Feyre’s role is, as of the first half, irrelevant. Needless to say, I was expecting the action to come a little sooner (just a little, eh), since the summary clearly stated a “wicked shadow” and that “Feyre must find a way to stop it”. So, after another few pages, when the action does come, it comes as a blessing! Maas writes action very well (wow!), but there weren’t enough of it! I’m hoping (and fairly sure) that the second book will be better on that aspect!

However, despite the slow beginning, I really enjoyed being taught about the faeries’ world. I really like faeries, I do, no matter what kind the author chooses them to be: little and Tinkerbell-y, tall and sumptuous, beautiful but wicked. Maas had to set the pieces on the board before making a move and, though she took her time, I understand that. She carefully set up the social issues: faeries’ reputation, High Lords, rivalries, etc. A nice history surrounding relations between mortals and faeries was offered, and the world building was sufficient for me to like it. It’s a nice imaginative world, especially when thinking about the kinds of faeries in ACOTAR’s world!

Now, I’m bringing you to meet the main character. Feyre, the protagonist, is cool. She’s not an awesome hero like I expected, but she’s a survivor, determined and street smart. Her thoughts are well explained; she thinks clearly and always acts for a reason. That is, until she’s been staying with Tamlin for a few days. Starting then, she makes irrational decisions. I couldn’t always decide if she was reckless or stupid. Of course, she still does have some clear-thinking moments, but there were some moments when I was incredulous at her recklessness/stupidity. I lost count of the times that she knew something was dangerous, but didn’t care. I mean, honey, you said it yourself: you’re just a human, in hostile territory. Do you have a death wish? From what Alis, her maid, told her, it’s better to keep quiet and observe her surroundings, which I agree with. But no. Instead, she pounces on every occasion to provoke her “hosts”, and does things against words of caution without any valid reasons.

Clearly, Feyre isn’t afraid enough of the faeries. She thinks a hooded cloak will conceal her from faeries’ heightened senses? Thinks a bow and arrow will have the better of faeries? It seems like once Maas established the faeries’ reputation, she has no problem diminishing their supposedly higher powers when it’s convenient for Feyre.

About the romance, now… Am I smelling insta love? It seems like it, at first. But it all makes sense at the end of the book. Think Beauty and the Beast. Still, when I think about it, Tamlin falls in love with the first mortal female he encounters in decades. How convenient. There wasn’t much romantic chemistry between Feyre and Tamlin. There were no real challenges to their relationship; it felt as if the love was given on a silver plate. The way I see it, lust was more prominent. There were scenes that, well, made me hot under the collar, if you know what I mean. But, if I don’t think too much about their easy love, I greatly enjoyed the romance. Who wouldn’t want a man who desired you so deeply?

The ending felt rushed, as if Maas compensated for all the time she wasted at the beginning. But I’m really looking forward to reading the second book. I can’t wait to see Lucien, Rhysand and Tamlin again!

All in all, it was a great book, despite its flaws. The story is very interesting, the writing style is good and well-paced, and the characters are mostly a joy to read. Recommended!

Picture sources : 1, 2

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

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