Monday, June 20, 2016

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

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses  
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1 
Author: Sarah J. Maas  
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children 
Publication Date: May 15, 2015 
Format: Hardback 

Page Count: 416


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.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down! (taken from

Now, before you guys start freaking out, please prepare yourself for the shock of the next statement: before reading A Court of Thorns and Roses, I had never picked up a Sarah J. Maas book. I know, I know, I'm ashamed. With her ever-rising superstardom in the YA genre, you'd think I would have already read one of her hugely popular novels. 

I've read quite a few contrasting reviews about this book. Some felt that the plot was slow and that Feyre's character was a failed Katniss-wannabe. Others simply adored Tamlin and his fairytale land, stunning good looks, and gorgeous manor. My opinions fall somewhere in-between the two thoughts. Yes, Feyre has her issues. She's fairly immature, self-centered at points, and her skill with a bow and arrow definitely reflects a bit of Hunger Games inspiration. However, I didn't hate her. She grew as the novel progressed, and her character definitely didn't hinder me from enjoying Maas' story. 

I've always been a huge fan of fantastical other-worlds as a plot setting. From Narnia to the world of faeries in this novel, it doesn't take much to make me fall in love with a magical world. I'm also a huge fan of political schemes, so the various courts and relationships in the faerie world intrigued me. I hope to see further development of the faerie world in the sequel, A Court of Mist and Fury

As for Tamlin and the romance... meh. I've heard so many readers say that Tamlin was swoon-worthy and that the romance was passionate. Passionate it may be, but well-developed? I'm not so sure. As much as I tried (and trust me, I did try), I never truly fell head over heels for Tamlin. Even the most romantic scenes left me wanting. 

The take on Beauty and the Beast definitely interested me, and I was glad to see that Maas takes it in a new, more original direction. You can clearly see the fairytale's storyline underlying the new plot, but the tale was still entertaining and unpredictable. Two thumbs up when it comes to Maas' style of retelling. 

So, I've expressed both positive and negative opinions on Maas' second series. As I turned the last page, I tried to tie my thoughts together into a cohesive opinion. Overall, I really did enjoy A Court of Thorns and Roses. It was original and entertaining, even if I didn't love the characters as much as I thought I did. 

(I had to use a Beauty and the Beast gif, right?) 
My first experience with Maas' work was a good one, and I'll definitely be checking some of her other stories out soon.