A Court of Thorns and Roses

A Court of Thorns and Roses

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Release Date: May 5th 2015


Five Stars

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…

…The Plot

“What is the payment the Treaty requires?”
His eyes didn’t leave my face as he said, “A life for a life. Any unprovoked attacks on faerie-kind by humans are to be paid only by a human life in exchange.”

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.

“If he wanted to break her curse, he need only find a human girl willing to marry him. But not any girl—a human with ice in her heart, with hatred for our kind. A human girl willing to kill a faerie.”

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.

…The Characters

“All those years, what I did for them…And they didn’t try to stop you from taking me.” There it was, the giant pain that cracked me in two if I thought about it too long.

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.

“This beast was not a man, not a lesser faerie. He was one of the High Fae, one of their ruling nobility: beautiful, lethal, and merciless.”

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.

“I love you,” he whispered, and kissed my brow. “Thorns and all.”

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 Setting

“It told a story…the story of Prythian. It began with a cauldron. A mighty black cauldron held by glowing, slender female hands in a starry, endless night. Those hands tipped it over, and, from it, golden sparkling liquid poured out over the lip. No—not sparkling, but…effervescent with small symbols, perhaps some ancient faerie language.”

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.

12 thoughts on “A Court of Thorns and Roses

    1. Thanks Marie 😀 I did love this book, and I’ve recently started her Throne of Glass series and I’m really enjoying that so far as well. I’d recommend either series to be honest. I just started with ACoTaR because it’s the only book of that series that has been released and it seemed like a good one to start with, plus I love fairytale retellings 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well I have finished reading Throne of Glass and as far as first books in the series go I did prefer ACoTaR, but that could just be because I picked it up first 😀
        Yes, retellings are like an addiction for me, I will pick up any and all of them 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I spend so much time reading, and honestly I’m a fast reader anyway if I enjoy the book so it’s easy to speed through this series at least!
        No not yet, I will be creating a Goodreads profile soon though, probably next weekend, when I do I’ll definitely post a link on my blog for you 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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