A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, # 1)
By: Sarah J Maas
Published: May 5th 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Fae, Faeries
Source: Borrowed from Holly
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Goodreads description--Feyre's survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price ...
Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre's presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.
After loving the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas, I knew I'd want to check out this series as well. My friend Lacy read all three books really quickly, and with each passing book she kept telling me and Holly how good it was and that we needed to pick it up immediately. I had a few review books that I had to read first, but Holly and I both ended up reading A Court of Thorns and Roses at the same time. Overall, I'd say that my experience was similar to Throne of Glass in that I enjoyed the book, but I can't say that I loved it. However, I see potential for the plot and story to grow over the series. And if Sarah J Maas does this series with the same quality as she has Throne of Glass then the best is definitely yet to come.
Lacy warned me that the beginning of A Court of Thorns and Roses was slow for her and it wasn't until the later half of the book that she felt things begin to pick up. Knowing that, I was prepared for the pacing. Yet I didn't feel like things were too slow. Maybe the first 30% dragged a little, but after that I was hooked and didn't struggle with the speed of events. I did, however, struggle a little with Sarah J Maas's over-description at times. This was particularly so in the last 20% of the book when stakes were high. I wanted her to cut out telling me what things looked like and just get to the action already.
Even though both series are about faeries, I really felt like A Court of Thorns and Roses is more true to the faerie folklore that I'm familiar with (not that I have extensive knowledge)--not being able to tell a lie, tricksters who use specific wording to their advantage, dancing and drinking and spiked food and drink, etc.
Feyre (pronounced Fay-ruh) lives with her father and two sisters. Her mother charged Feyre on her deathbed to take care of her family and keep them together. And everything Feyre's done since has been to honor that vow. The biggest thing is that she's learned to hunt to provide food. But there are dangers in the woods--wolves, High Fae, and worse. Feyre kills a wolf not knowing whether he is a normal wolf or whether he might be a faerie in wolves' clothing. And it turns out that he was more than a normal wolf and the price for killing him is that she's taken captive to live out the rest of her life with Tamlin--the High Lord of the Spring Court.
Feyre endures a slow transition from being angry at her new life to feeling more at home in Prythian than she did with her family. She slowly learns to trust that Tamlin has her safety as a top priority, and things begin to build from there. I really, really, really cannot express the love that I have for slow building romances. And Tamlin and Feyre have a truly slow building relationship that is built on substance above the physical. Relationships of substance are also my favorite.
Yet one of my pet peeves is when everyone else knows the critical information but won't share it with her the main character. This was explained in a way that I couldn't hold it against them, but going through it without knowing the reason isn't always fun.
I can't say that I was entirely surprised with the twists or major plot points. And I do have some predictions for the future of the series that may or may not be right. Lacy and Holly know one of those predictions so we'll see if I'm reading too much into things or if they play out. Yet Sarah J Maas has blown me away with twists that I wasn't expecting in Throne of Glass so I have faith that she can do the same here as well.
I feel like I have much more to say about A Court of Thorn and Roses, but I think I've probably said enough. I loved the slow building relationship between Tamlin and Feyre. And the secondary characters, though I haven't discussed them at all here, were complex and layered. I'm looking forward to more to come with the series. (Although where the book ends, Feyre isn't in the best mental space, and I can't say that I'm looking forward to trudging through what she must go through in the next book even though it will be necessary.) A Court of Thorns and Roses gets 4 Stars from me. Have you read A Court of Thorns and Roses? What did you think? Let me know!