I’ve got a very, very long spoilerish review for Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses. This means that the review has very minor spoilers scattered throughout and and spoiler section at the end. So if you haven’t read this book, I think it’s okay to read most of the review. Just skip the last section.
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses (#1)
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Publication: May 5th 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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.
I really enjoyed the concept of this world and different courts that Sarah J. Maas has created. However, a lot of the events were way too unrealistically easy. I wanted to enjoy it but I just couldn’t fully.
I really enjoyed the beginning. It had a real strong and intense start. However, the blurb kind of told first quarter of the book. There were some exciting parts but it wasn’t a very surprising novel. It’s difficult to say but the plot was… boring and cliché at multiple times throughout the book. I really tried to like it but it didn’t really work out for me. SJM is usually pretty consistent with the plot and stuff she puts out there in her books. Things always tie together and I’ve never recognised any plot holes in her books. However, revelations are usually made until the near or very end so a lot of the time, things don’t make sense. It does eventually come to full circle but I think you have to wait way too long. Since Tamlin withholds a lot of information from Feyre for a large portion of the book, we readers are kept in the dark for a long time. It got to a point where it wasn’t mysterious, it just didn’t make sense and it made me more annoyed than anything.
Feyre: but I heard that fae…
Tamlin: lol no
Feyre: fae are so powerful and I’m so weak but yolo bro
This was basically the book.
There was a whole lot of off page action and major plot points. Major threats or enemies didn’t feel present until the last 25% of the book which was the best part of the novel. YAY violence umm I mean violence is very bad… The little amount of pages at the end made me panic because so much needed to be resolved. But don’t fret my child because no cliffhanger exists!
I thought the worldbuilding was done well but it was pretty slow. We find a very rich and intriguing world framing this story. I felt the dynamics and customs of this world were explained rather than shown especially with Feyre’s restricted point of view. As amazing and vivid as the worldbuilding was, I felt rather confused about the system. The story is set in the fictional world of Prythian which is separated by humans (in the mortal lands) and the fae. The fae land are separated into the different courts of Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring, Day, Dawn and Night. We spend most of this book in the Spring Court. of I appreciated the attention to detail though. The politics didn’t feel fully fleshed out until that huge infodump.
The majority of characters fell flat for me. I couldn’t connect with them. Literally everyone has to be attractive, don’t they? This annoys me more than slightly.
Feyre’s sisters and father infuriated me. I could not stand them at all.
Feyre: her perceptiveness and dimness at different parts of the novel was so convenient. In fact a lot of plot points seemed too convenient. She was such a Mary Sue who just walked around the grounds all day. I found her to be a pretty typical fantasy protagonist; fierce brave, stubborn and loyal, but wants more in life and acts tough whilst shielding her vulnerability. However, her illiteracy added an interesting facet to her character and demonstrates how important education is. I didn’t understand her reasoning for most of the book though. She was infuriatingly ignorant. She’s supposed to be a hunter with good survival instincts but she’s so stupid a lot of the time ugh. She ignores all advice even as she knows how deadly and deceptive the fae are. She also felt extremely naive. Why bro?
One of the most irritating things about Feyre was the fact that she could not keep her mouth shut at the right times. But then again, being in a world where she’s seemingly powerless to everyone around her, there are no negative repercussions. I had so much doubt and head shaking behind Feyre’s decisions. What part of DON’T DRINK THE WINE do you not understand? Realistically, she had no chance ever. She doesn’t figure anything out for herself. Literally everything she knows is from being told. She’s as observant as a brick. Her survival could be questionable. I think a lot of people have said this but Feyre is reminiscent of Katniss especially at the start of the novel. Not just her archery skills.
I was confused and still am as to what is a high fae and what is a normal one? I’m pretty sure only high fae were featured in this novel? Did I miss something? The fae were portrayed as gods in comparison to the peasant human mortals as they were described. So Feyre’s attempts to escape the faerie land felt so useless and futile. Why try? Also I didn’t like the way that Feyre would emphasise on the phrase high lord or high fae. She was romanticising them from the beginning. This is really random but I didn’t really understand what the masks looked like besides their colours or how much they covered up the face.
Tamlin is the epitome of brooding. Nothing about him really spoke beast. Just his shapeshifting abilities. That’s the only impression I got of his so-called beastly nature. I thought his character arc felt fake. The change in his persona was much too quick and unnatural.
Lucien was an amazing character and I love him so much. Easily my favourite character in this book. I felt so sorry for him and his history. Also I want to bludgeon his brothers. I greatly admired his loyalty towards Tamlin and I thought it was amazing to see how much faith he placed in Tamlin. Although he was not afraid to speak his mind and didn’t fail to reprimand Tamlin when he was making dumb decisions.
Rhysand intrigued me I kind of… don’t like him. Ahem. I didn’t like the way he treated Feyre at all. We don’t get to know a whole lot about him though so I’ll wait to be judgemental in the next book. I am VERY curious as to the ending with that scene between Rhysand and Feyre. What was that??
I low key admire everything Amanathara as done single handedly. Manipulated, captured, controlled, brutally tortured and destroyed… everyone. No doubt I still hate her but she has accomplished a lot. I wish we got to know her more and earlier in the novel besides the word vomit.
Let’s talk about the romance. Being a Beauty and the Beast retelling of sorts, we all know that the romance was going to develop between Feyre and Tamlin AKA “the beast”. I felt it wasn’t so much a romance as angst. For a book that’s expected to be quite romance focused, it wasn’t there. I enjoyed the subtleness of the romance but there wasn’t enough there to convince me it developed into true love. It felt fake although a lot of time had passed, their time together seemed so little. It felt like instalove.
Feyre went from I’ll do anything to escape to I’ll do anything for you and your fae. Can someone point me to the part where they fall in love? Honestly, I feel like I’m missing something. I didn’t find the romance steamy as many did. There weren’t any real challenges in their relationship. It really made me question was Tamlin really a beast? In fact, I thought the friendship between Feyre and Lucien was developed better than the romance. I didn’t find the romance steamy.
I’m very conflicted as to how original I found this novel to be. In a sense it was unoriginal if we’re talking about the overall story. Yet the individual scenes were unique as well as the world that SJM has created. Some people say that only little aspects of the original tale of Beauty and the Beast were thrown in, but I feel like the majority of the novel was centred around it. This is a very popular book and surprisingly I haven’t been spoiled. Yet I predicted a whole lot of the novel and I didn’t expect the novel to follow the tale so closely. I haven’t read many retellings so I don’t know whether this is standard for these types of books. And yes I was subconsciously comparing this book to her Throne of Glass series as much as I know they’re different.
I enjoyed Sarah’s writing as always. There’s something about it that’s so interesting and addicting. I also love the way that she writes action packed scenes. They’re so vivid and have your hard pounding the entire time. Saying “just one more chapter” doesn’t work with her books. I could not understand the use of the word cauldron. I am 99% sure that it’s the equivalent of god but it felt super strange in sentences. Once again, I couldn’t help but laugh every time someone purred. It will ruin the atmosphere in every book I read now lol. It felt like such a slow paced book until the end.
Skip the spoiler section if you haven’t read the book.
I’m warning you.
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3… 2… 1…
Okay, the moment I realised Lucien was the Beauty and the Beast equivalent of Lumière, I LOLed so hard. At least that’s who I think he is.
And plot twist: there’s a curse! Feyre was pretty dim not to notice there was a curse. I picked up on it miles ahead of her. The whole time I was like of course there’s a twist, of course there’s a curse, of course there’s a loophole. It was revealed in a huge infodump. I know Tamlin and co. only treated Feyre well to break the curse but for the majority of the book, I was like why and this doesn’t make sense. ~Wow~ how big of a punishment that you have to live in luxury and your family is provided everything for adequate survival. I was very confused about how much Feyre was rewarded for her actions killing a fae. She gets good clothes, she’s able to wander on her own, her family gets gold and protection. And this immediately upon her “punishment”. Whaaat?? There’s NEVER any punishment or consequences for her actions. I actually feel like I want to read an expanded version of the info dumping story of the origin of the curse rather than this one. Think of all the epicness and viciousness that would contain.
I was a little let down by the answer to the riddle. It was a tad cheesy. This is not a popular opinion but I’ve got to say it. I did not like the ending. Now Feyre is a special snowflake ugh. Even after those epic faerie battles, nobody important died. I don’t like how the fae overpowers humans so quickly. It made Feyre’s defeating them seem so fake. I actually would be content with her dying to be honest *shrinks into shadows*. Also, is Feyre’s last name being purposely withheld?
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This book was massively hyped up and perhaps my expectations were too high. I am going to continue with this series because I’ve heard how fantastic the second book. I guess SJ Maas is a wizard with sequels then. We’ll see.
What did you think of the book? What was your favourite aspect of this book? Did you love it or were you disappointed? Comment below!
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