A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling
Release Date: May 5th 2015
Page Count: 432
A Court of Thorns and Roses was probably one of the most talked about books of 2015 and to be completely honest, I had no intention of reading it. Fairytale retellings are something that I stay away from as they’re just not something that I typically enjoy. However, I came across A Court of Thorns and Roses on the Kobo website for the low price of $4.99 and after seeing an endless amount of raving reviews, I decided why not?
A Court of Thorns and Roses tells the story of Feyre, a young woman who kills a wolf while hunting for food to feed her family. She soon finds out that the wolf was no ordinary wolf, but instead a faerie from the land of Prythian. A beast-like creature from Prythian soon arrives at her home to make her pay for what she has done, but rather than kill her, he takes her back to Prythian where she must now live for the rest of her life. And thus begins the fairytale retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
What began as a book that I would read during my lunch breaks at work, turned into a magically entrancing story that I could not put down. Every single character was amazing as was the world that author Sarah J. Maas built and created. Feyre was an extremely strong female lead and she was definitely a character that I can see many young women looking up to. I know we always promote strong female leads and that many do exist, but not nearly enough and not nearly enough that I relate to personally. Feyre was a breath of fresh air and I really did enjoy her character quite a lot. Tamlin, oh Tamlin. You have to understand that I typically don’t relate well to male leads in heroic-type roles, I’m weird and tend to go for the underdog or the sidekick and sometimes even the bad guy. I know, I’m strange, but I will say that I loved Tamlin. He was charming and strong, and best of all, he had a pure heart (this is strangely ironic and you’ll know why if you have read the story).
Lucien, Tamlin’s emissary, was yet another fantastic character that I really hope to see more of in the upcoming sequels. I would really love to get to know more about him and his past. Another character I would absolutely love to learn more about, and I’m sure we will soon, is Rhysand. There is obviously more to the story when it comes to his character and I personally found him very intriguing despite his evil tendencies. And then there was Amarantha, who was probably one of the most awful characters I have ever read. She was down right inhumane and disgusting, but damn was she written well. Sarah J. Maas definitely has quite the imagination.
Now there were a few things that I did have some issues with. Don’t get me wrong, I was obviously pleasantly surprised when it came to A Court of Thorns and Roses and I will definitely be continuing on with this series. Let’s start with the basics. In the original tale of Beauty and the Beast, Belle ultimately falls in love with who the Beast is on the inside as his cursed outer appearance is not considered appealing. However, in A Court of Thorns and Roses, although Tamlin and the faeries of the Spring court are cursed with masks that are stuck covering their faces, they are described as elegant. Regardless of the mask covering Tamlin’s face, Feyre notices his beautiful eyes and lips as well as his perfect physique, making it more of a physical attraction.
Which brings me to another point. Why would you curse someone with a beautiful mask? The whole point was to make it difficult for Tamlin to find true love, so why not disfigure him more prominently? Even if he had a slight defect as Lucien does with one of his eyes, I think that would have made it seem at least a little more like the original tale of Beauty and the Beast. All in all, I think the mask idea is unique and interesting, but maybe not as effective as it could be.
Toward the end of this story, as we learn more about the curse and how it needs to be broken, is where I started to feel as though the story was losing me. Yes it was action packed and exciting, but I think the way in which the curse was originally supposed to be broken was a little far-fetched and too complicated. I can’t really talk about it without giving too much away, but let’s just say there a lot of very specific steps that would rely on one hell of a coincidence to occur. Maybe that’s the point, but I just felt as though it were a bit too complex.
As you can see, I did have a few issues, but none of those issues take anything away from how fast paced, exciting and thrilling this story was. It was action packed and extremely entertaining which made it very hard to put down. I have never read anything from Sarah J. Maas before, I know crazy right, but A Court of Thorns and Roses has definitely made me want to pick up some of her other novels. I will definitely be continuing on with this series and I cannot wait for the sequel to be released in the upcoming new year!