A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Mass – My Review

“Don’t feel bad for one moment about doing what brings you joy.”

― Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Thorns and Roses

My Quick Review: I had been holding off from reading the ACOTAR series, simply because I was nervous that the books had been over hyped on BookTok. Part of me still thinks that’s slightly true after reading A Court of Thorns and Roses. I did enjoy many elements of this book, such as the mystery and world building, and who doesn’t love a good enemies to lovers romance? However, that being said…I found certain elements lacking, that just didn’t live up to a 5 star read for me. I’m genuinely excited to carry on with this series, and am hoping that the rest of the books will finally live up to the expectations set by BookTok!

Category: YA Fantasy, Retelling

Age Rating: 15+

Pages: 432

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Characters:
Amarantha
Feyre ArcheronTamlinLucien VanserraRhysandNesta ArcheronElain Archeron

Literary AwardsLincoln Award Nominee (2017)Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction (2015)

Trigger Warnings:

Drugging, Emotional Abuse, Kidnapping, Manipulation, Murder, Physical Abuse, Sex Scenes, Sexual Assault, Sexual Abuse, Torture, Violence.

Synopsis:

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. 

“Magic – everything was magic, and it broke my heart.”

― Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Thorns and Roses

My review (may contain slight spoilers):

A Court of Thorns and Roses follows the story of Feyre, a strong willed and independent female protagonist, as she is struggling to survive the harsh winters, with her father and two sisters. Since no one else in her family are striving to help keep each other alive, it is left to Feyre to go hunting in the woods everyday to bring food to the table. On one particular winters day, she spots a gigantic wolf prowling through the woods, and proceeds to kill it for its hide. It turns out, however, that the ‘wolf’ she shot and killed, just so happened to be a faerie from the spring court, and a friend to the spring court’s high lord, Tamlin. For retribution of the murder of his friend, Tamlin demands that Feyre be taken from her family and friends and be forced to reside in Pyrnthian for the rest of her days. A life for a life, so to speak. And this is the start of Feyre’s journey into the Faerie land of Pyrnthian.

I won’t go into further detail on the plot points as I don’t want to spoil anything for those who have yet to read this series. So instead, I will talk about the world building, which has to be my favourite element in the book. Sarah J. Mass certainly has a knack when it comes to creating enchanting and magical worlds, that a reader can literally lose themselves in. The spring court is idyllic and beautiful, and the history is fascinating. I did find however, that I was increasingly frustrated that there seemed to be an information dump on the world building behind Pyrnthian, but we only saw one small section of the world Sarah J. Mass has created here. Hopefully in future books we will visit all of the other destinations we have heard about! The people of Pyrnthian (or should I say Faeries) range from the beguiling high fay, to terrifying monsters that wouldn’t hesitate to murder anyone who crosses their path. I honestly loved the diversity of the Fae so much, and the descriptions of each species was incredibly immersive. I also loved the variety within the magic system that the Fae use, but definitely wanted to explore their abilities more.

I found the character growth and development to be somewhat lacking in this book. I wanted more of Feyre’s character to truly shine, but found that it was more focused on the romance between her and Tamlin. I wouldn’t have had an issue with this, but unfortunately I couldn’t connect truly to the romance between Feyre and Tamlin as it felt forced right from the start (just my personal opinion please don’t hate me). I loved Lucien’s character as a humour reprieve, and I thought he balanced out the awkward romantic scenes nicely.

Conclusion: Overall, I did really enjoy A Court of Thorns and Roses. The character development was underwhelming, but was made up by the spectacular world building and witty writing style. I’m truly excited to see what the other books have in store for me!

4/5

“But while her ebony eyes shone, there was…something that sucked at her beauty, some kind of permanent sneer to her features that made her allure seem contrived and cold. To paint her would have driven me to madness.”

― Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Thorns and Roses

Interested in this book?

Find it here / Add it to your GoodReads shelf here

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