Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1
Release Date: May 5th 2015
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.
The start of a sensational romantic fantasy trilogy by the bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
My Thoughts On…
I’ve been meaning to start Sarah J. Maas’s books for a long time now, Throne of Glass has been on my to-read list since before it was released. And I’ve finally got around to them, starting with A Court of Thorns and Roses. There are plenty of amazing reviews for this book but I wasn’t sure what to expect, whether I’d like it or not. I loved it. A Court of Thorns and Roses is one of the best fairytale retellings I’ve read and considering its based on Beauty and the Beast, a tale that has a lot of retellings already, that’s saying something.
Feyre is a hunter, ever since her family lost their fortunes she has travelled into the woods to hunt game for their food and keep them alive. She has taken onto her shoulders the weight of their survival and she takes that responsibility very seriously. With winter having hit their village hard the game in the woods is scarce and Feyre is forced to hunt closer and closer to the wall that separates her village from Prythian. Eventually she tracks a doe but stalking the doe is a wolf, a huge wolf with glowing amber eyes. With no other choice Feyre kills the wolf and the doe.
However the wolf wasn’t a normal wolf, it was a faerie in disguise and after killing one of them Feyre is hunted down by a beast and demanded to make amends for the life she took. Instead of killing her though the beast offers her a choice; come to live with him in Prythian, spending the rest of her life serving the faerie to make up for the life she took. Feyre is no fool. She takes the bargain and with no time to say goodbye to her family she is whisked away to Prythian and the Spring Court.
Feyre though is not content to live in luxury while her family suffer in poverty; she worries about how they will survive without her. Every opportunity she has she plots and plans an escape; getting closer to Lucian to see if he can speak to Tamlin on her behalf, talking to other faeries and the Suriel to see if there’s a loophole in the treaty she can exploit. After a while though Feyre accepts her life, and accepts Tamlin’s word of looking after her family, but she soon comes to realise there is something amiss in Prythian. All the faeries in the Spring Court wear masks they are unable to remove, magic has turned into a blight, a sickness that affects all the faeries, and a mysterious ‘she’ seems to be pulling the strings of all the High Lords of Prythian.
Feyre needs to decide, and quickly, what side she stands on. She needs to decide what she is willing to risk for Tamlin, her feelings for whom have started to grow the more time she spends with him.
Feyre has spent her life looking after her family ever since she made a promise to her mother on her death bed. She isn’t blind to her sister’s and her father’s faults but she knows they won’t survive without her. She used to dream of the day when her sister’s would marry and she and her father could live out their remaining days in their home, Feyre able to paint to her heart’s content, but now she doesn’t see how that will be possible.
She is a strong character, although she is unable to read and write after her family lost their fortune before she could benefit from lessons like her sister’s, but she has more street smarts than both her sister’s combined. She is a competent hunter though she doesn’t enjoy the task. Like most humans Feyre hates faeries, although the war ended years ago she still remembers the slavery her ancestors fought to free them from and her prejudices colour her views. She doesn’t feel sorry about what she did to Andreas at first but the more time she spends in Prythian with her thoughts the more her guilt started weighing on her.
Tamlin is the high lord of the Spring Court and as such he has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders, more than Feyre realises at first but as she discovers more about Tamlin and more about the curse she sees him in a different light. He tries to reach out to Feyre; offering to teach her how to read and write, taking care of her family for her, showing her the grounds. I really liked Tamlin’s character, he is a leader to his people and truly tries to do what’s best for them.
Surrounded by ruthless, and sometimes cold, faeries Feyre is very aware how human she is next to them. She feels things more deeply and the more time she spends with Tamlin the more she sees a different side to him. In turn Tamlin tries his best to reach out to Feyre even though she seems to constantly throw his offers back at him. I also loved the relationship between Feyre and her sister’s and her father. In spite of the fact that they aren’t present in the book much they are never far from Feyre’s mind and what we did see of them showed them to be well developed characters.
The world-building in A Court of Thorns and Roses cannot be faulted. The conditions in Feyre’s human city, two days from the wall separating them from Prythian, are harsh. She lives in poverty and in the middle of winter times are tough for her and her family. Travelling to Prythian though everything changes. Tamlin’s home, and Feyre’s new home, is large and majestic. Constantly shrouded in Spring everything about the land and the surroundings is rich and lush.
Even the tense relationship between the humans and the faerie was well written. Everything from the history of what the faeries see as their origin story, to the world of Prythian surrounding the Spring Court, to the prejudice on both sides was well developed. After years of slavery at the hands of the faerie, and the war between them and the humans for their freedom, neither side trusts the other. Humans fear the faerie but despise them at the same time; and the faeries, though they despise humans, look down on them seeing them as weak and hateful.
Now that I’ve read this book I don’t know why it took me so long to start it. This is an amazing start to a new series by Sarah J. Maas and I am so excited to read the next book when it’s released. All I can say is that I really, really hope there is no love triangle developed between Rhysand, Feyre, and Tamlin. Really, really, really hope.
What did you think of A Court of Thorns and Roses? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.