A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Genres: New Adult, Romance, Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s
Publication Date: May 5th 2015

4 OUT OF 5 STARS

“Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.”

Where Feyre kills a wolf in the woods she’s unaware of the consequences. Tamlin – a faerie – demands she give her life in exchange. She’s forced to cross over the wall with her captor and live out her days in his manor. Feyre, however, feels less like a prisoner and soon discovers herself developing feelings for the handsome faerie. But a dangerous sickness plagues Tamlin and his land – if Feyre doesn’t act fast not even the mortal world will be spared.

Despite being an entirely new series with no relation to Maas’s other series Throne of Glass – this novel doesn’t escape it’s shadow entirely. Feyre in particular seems to have shades of Celaena all over her. They have some base differences (a love of painting vs. a love of music) but I didn’t feel like I was meeting someone entirely new.

That being said the rest of the cast was fascinating. Tamlin and Lucien are fantastic together. Rhysand in particular is an interesting character, though it’s a shame he didn’t get more page time. Between Tamlin’s sweetness, Lucien’s wit and Rhysand’s mystery there’s a well rounded out male cast. Feyre’s has sisters who are a little involved as well and Nesta in particular is a good female character. It would have been nice to see more female friendship bonds though.

Beyond the characters Maas has built a brilliant and interesting world. The faerie are all interesting, the different species really make the world colourful. It’s interesting to see how they all react to a human. The courts are also fascinating – four seasonal, three time – although I would have preferred to see a little more of how the citizens of each court differ. It would have been nice if magic had been given a set of rules or more explanation but otherwise the world building was well executed.

There are several references to fairy tales. For the most part A Court of Thorns and Roses is a loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast – however, there are references to Cinderella and a few other stories if a reader is observant. Though these might not be intentionally they’re fairly close to the original texts (ex. Cinderella/Feyre picking lentils out of ashes). Just little nods to older tales made the story charming.

Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the novel was the tasks and riddles that the reader gets to experience with Feyre. The tasks are certainly the most exciting parts of the story but the riddle is something else entirely. It’s a joy to be given a riddle and then be allowed to work on the answer for several chapters before it’s handed to you.

It’s a good book – in fact I believer that A Court of Thorns and Roses has the potential to start a series even better than Throne of Glass.

BUY THE BOOK

Read this if you’re a fan of: Cinder

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