A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I feel like I won’t be able to write a decent and meaningful review without discussing the events of the book in detail, so, WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD! Read at your own risk ✌
This is the first book that I’ve read by Sarah J. Maas, and OMG, she didn’t disappoint! I read ACOTAR twice last year, and I’m still amazed by how good she is in telling stories. She doesn’t use fancy and flowery words to describe things. Instead, she relates details in such a way that I can easily transform the words into images in my mind. It almost feels like watching the story rather than reading it.
A Court of Thorns and Roses is a fairy-tale retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and like any other fantasy retelling, it comes with very interesting twists. The protagonist, Feyre, is a huntress. She lives in a land divided into two: the Mortal Lands and the realm of faeries called Prythian. After killing a wolf, Feyre is brought to Prythian to pay for the life of the faerie she killed.
First of all, I really hated Feyre’s sisters in the beginning. Feyre was the youngest of three, but she was the one who had to provide food for their family. The other two girls, Nesta and Elain, just waited for food to come. They couldn’t even chop wood, for goodness’ sake! However, I somehow warmed up to them as I learned more about their personalities and the reasons why they acted that way. It was a little heartwarming when Nesta said that she came looking for Feyre after she was taken to Prythian and nobody couldn’t remember anything except her, and also when Nesta told her not to come back because she knew that Prythian was now Feyre’s home and that she would be happier there.
I really loved the world-building. I found Prythian very interesting with its lands divided into different courts: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Dawn, Day, and Night. The different creatures were also fascinating (and terrible), especially the Suriel. I wonder what I would ask if I ever caught it (and survived the encounter). It was also interesting to find out that there were two types of faeries: the High Fae and Lesser Fae.
Let’s talk about Tamlin, the High Lord of Spring. I am writing this review after reading A Court of Mist and Fury, but since this is only a review for ACOTAR, I’ll reserve my current thoughts for my review of ACOMAF…which is really hard. Haha. Okay, so Tamlin. He was really kind to Feyre, and I really appreciated that he took care of her family when their only provider was brought to Prythian. I also liked that he attempted to talk to her nicely, even though he was kinda awkward about it…which was cute. Also, I liked that he gave her a chance to live her life the way she wanted after years of having no choice but to hunt food for her family and keep her promise to their mother.
I was frustrated when Tamlin sent Feyre away days before the deadline of the curse. It was clear that Feyre would confess her love soon, but what did he do? He sent their only hope of breaking the curse back to the mortal lands! They couldn’t guarantee that she’d be safe there. The Suriel even told Feyre that she just had to stay with the High Lord. It was really stupid to send Feyre away!
My heart broke for Feyre because she had to go through a lot of pain Under the Mountain to save her love and break the curse. I really admired her courage and bravery in accepting Amarantha’s bargain, even though it looked foolish to others. I was frustrated that her inability to read almost killed her and Lucien. Hmmm, come to think of it, it was an interesting turnabout to Beauty and the Beast. While Belle loved to read, Feyre could barely understand written words.
And then, there’s Rhysand, the mysterious High Lord of the Night Court. Again, it’s a struggle to recall what I thought about him before I read ACOMAF. ACOMAF changed everything! Anyway, before reading this book, I had already heard of his name countless of times. He’s famous in the Bookstagram community. I personally didn’t know what to think of him. I didn’t hate him, but I also didn’t like him that much. I was glad that he helped Feyre at times when she badly needed help, but then, he also treated her terribly. Also, when I think about it, it might have been just an act so that Amarantha would not notice anything fishy…I was confused! He was just so mysterious. I didn’t really know what he was thinking and what his agenda was in helping Feyre. But I kinda liked Rhysand when he attacked Amarantha even though he knew that he had no chance in defeating her without his full powers back. He was shouting Feyre’s name and risking his own life, while Tamlin, on the other hand, just remained in his spot, doing nothing. What is wrong with him??! His love was being tortured but he was just watching her die! ASDFGHJKL!!
My favorite character in ACOTAR was Lucien. He was very mischievous, but I could tell that he also cared for Feyre, not just because his High Lord told him to do so. Feyre and Lucien’s playful banter was one my favorite things in this novel. I would’ve shipped them together, were it not for the fact that there were Tamlin and Rhysand to think about. If Lucien was also involved, things would just be more complicated.
To end this lengthy review, I would like to say that I really enjoyed reading this book. It was easy to read, the characters were interesting, the world was fascinating, and everything else was very engrossing. I highly recommend it!