Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: 1st May 2015
Rating: 3/5 stars
Feyre is a huntress.
She thinks nothing of slaughtering a wolf to capture its prey. But, like all mortals, she fears what lingers mercilessly beyond the forest. And she will learn that taking the life of a magical creature comes at a high price…
Imprisoned in an enchanted court in her enemy’s kingdom, Feyre is free to roam but forbidden to escape. Her captor’s body bears the scars of fighting, and his face is always masked – but his piercing stare draws her ever closer. As Feyre’s feelings for Tamlin begin to burn through every warning she’s been told about his kind, an ancient, wicked shadow grows.
Feyre must find a way to break a spell, or lose her heart forever.
Working in a bookshop definitely has the most amazing perks! My amazing colleague managed to get her hands on this advance reading copy through a lovely sales rep, and then sped-read it so that I could read it too! I absolutely adored the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas and this was therefore one of my most highly anticipated reads of the year.
The story is a weird twist on the Beauty and the Beast fairytale. Feyre’s family has gone from riches to rags, and Feyre is the only practical one, feeding her family while her sisters merely whine about what they have lost. She kills a majestic wolf in the forest, which later turns out to have been one a faerie. In revenge, she is taken to the faerie lands to live out her life in exchange for that she has taken. Tamlin, Feyre’s captor, is a High Fae, a ruler of the Spring Court.
I really liked it, though not quite as much as the Throne of Glass series. There is significantly more sex, so it is probably for an older audience – don’t go giving this to twelve-year-olds, no matter how mature! There is a lot more romance too, which is the reason for the four-star rather than five-star rating. Like the traditional fairytale, the romance is a pivotal theme and I am not the biggest romance theme out there. That said, it isn’t too cringe-worthy and mostly enjoyable – there was just a lot of it, to the detriment of the world-building, I felt.
I found Feyre a little bit flat as a protagonist, which did cause problems as the book is narrated by her in the first-person. Tamlin was almost too perfect, but with the scary outbursts we see in a lot of romantic heroes. Lucien was a great character – loyal, funny and for the most part, kind. Just to be clear, there is no love triangle between Feyre and the two men, which is a saving grace in the romance genre.
Rather than being enchanted domestic objects, Tamlin’s household have been magicked into wearing masks which hide their features. I rather liked that idea – a slightly more subtle way to show that appearances aren’t everything. There is a blight on the magic protecting Tamlin’s kingdom and he has to fight it. His desire to protect the people in his care endears him to Feyre, and she eventually comes to terms with her fate.
While the romance is predictable, there are some intriguing plot twists related to the blight on Tamlin’s land and the reason he brings Feyre to live with him. The last quarter of the book is fast-paced and adrenaline-inducing. There is an awesome character lurking inside Rhysand, but I can’t say too much here without spoiling things!
I was a little annoyed at the ending – some things weren’t explained in enough detail for my liking – but I am still looking forward to the next instalment in May 2016. I am already an addict to this series and would recommend it to all young adult fantasy fans, particularly those who are fans of romance or just fairytales in general.