27 November 2016

Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses


A Court of Thorns and Roses Book Review

Rating: ✭ 

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Romance, Fairies, Fiction
Publication: May 5 2015
Format: Paperback, 416 pages
Source: Self owned copy

"Be glad of you're human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don't feel anything at all."
- 414.

Nineteen year old Feyre kills a faerie in the woods and is then dragged into their magical land as retribution for the fairies death. Feyre learns that the world she only knows about from legends and stories is as treacherous as it sounds and that the beast who captured her isn’t an animal, but a faerie named Tamlin.
Whilst in the other world, Feyre begins to develop feelings for her captor who isn't the dark and treacherous faerie she perceived him to be. But an ancient evil lives in the faerie world, threatening Feyre and she must find a way to stop it, before Tamlin's world is turned upside down.

A Court of Thorns and Roses easily made its way into my list of favourite novels and authors - it was so good, I wanted to re-read it right after I finished it. The novel is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, a very loose retelling though which was good because it gave the story more originality and depth. Event the faerie element made the book Sarah’s own. 
Sarah J. Maas writes fantasy so well, each word is adorned with a magic and beauty and I loved how she put so many twists and turns into the novel. The writing was filled to the brim with a certain wildness and magic that makes you just want more and more. Each character was perfectly flawed and contained the perfect amount of give and take that characters need to keep you interested. Sarah even wrote the whole character dynamics well and I was especially interested in Feyre and her sisters relationship. 

The plot was well though out and although it was slow paced in the beginning, it built strength as it progressed and only got better. I felt like Sarah was holding back a little bit and that the action at the end of the book could have been done earlier in the story as the book almost lost a bit of momentum during the middle and started to focus too much on romance. Something that really annoyed me was the riddle that Feyre had to solve during the trials (which is all I’m going to say about that so as not to spoil anything). I though it was silly and that Feyre was too smart to not have guessed it straight away just as easily as I’m sure everyone else did whilst they were reading it.

Now on the topic of romance. It just didn’t feel tangible and lacked the believability that it really needed. Perhaps that was a result of Tamlin being such a flat, lack lustre character. Unfortunately, it made Feyre’s motives at the ending (which I won’t spoil) somewhat hard to really believe or agree with. However, on the other hand, I do applaud Sarah for writing a sensual relationship between the two which developed at an understandable and realistic rate. I liked how they weren’t afraid to voice their feelings to each to other. Plus, I smell the hint of a love-triangle in the making and I don’t know how I feel about that.

Moving onto the characters… 
I didn’t like Tamlin and was extremely unimpressed with him as I mentioned before. I was extremely disapointed because I had heard so much about the great male characters that Sarah J. Mass writes. I can’t even write what I didn’t like about him because he didn’t have any facets to his personality. But, I did love his close and over protective friend Lucien. He was so snarky and cynical which was so just so charming and fun. At first I was hoping that he would be Feyre’s love interest (which I think would have been so much more interesting and entertaining to read about). His backstory was even better than Tamlin’s (did Tamlin even have one? If he did, it was so insignificant I can barely remember it. Sorry that was harsh) and I really want more of his character.
Rhysand was another story, he was selfish and darkly funny yet it was definitely only a shell so perhaps we’ll get to know more about the cause of that hard exterior in the sequel (especially now that Feyre is ‘bound’ to him). Also how about that ending on the balcony? I wonder what Rhys saw or felt. I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel, have I mentioned that yet?
Feyre, our MC, was smart, strong-willed and pragmatic, which made her such a good main character. She wasn’t a princess. She was her own person and she didn’t need Tamlin to save her and be her knight in shining armour and I loved that aspect. Feyre was the definition of bad-ass and even though she had her weaknesses, she never let them show and used them to her advantage. It was good to see such a  strong female lead, as Sarah J. Maas is known for writing.

Straight from the beginning, I knew A Court of Thorns and Roses was going to be a good book because of the depth of the descriptions and the imagery it created and my hypothesis proved to be right. I liked almost all characters and the good ones were developed well and easily differentiated. The plot had really great potential but personally, Sarah just missed her target on it by only a millimeter. However it's unique originality and magical element made up for it. Overall, A Court of Thorns and Roses was a dark, intense and magical novel that I recommend to lovers of fantasy, bad ass heroines and Sarah J. Maas. The romance does almost venture into the new adult genre but it would still be suitable for young adult readers. A Court of Thorns and Roses definitely deserves it’s five stars.

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