Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she knows about only from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.
As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever
Content warning: brief mention of sexual assault and abuse.
I had heard a lot of things about this book before picking it up. Great and terrible things.
I mostly kind of found myself agreeing more with the latter.
There were a lot of problematic elements in this book. From abusive dynamics to use of sexual assault as cheap device to advance the plot. It lacked diversity. The romance had many issues which made unable to enjoy it. Also unlike the Throne of Glass series, this book lacked female characters and dynamics for a good chunk.
The writing style also bothered me at times. Maas tended to drag out moments, which was especially noticeable while I was listening to the audiobook. It would take a minute of description for a character to reply to simple question. There were quite a few sections were the prose turned purple and awkward, especially during the sex scenes. Also it contained the most painfully obvious riddle.
The pacing was also off. Although I get why Maas had to structure the novel that way, the tone of the first half of the book was completely different to the second one. Additionally, there was very very little tension in that first half which was why it took me days to reach the 50% mark while I read the rest of the course of a day.
I really enjoyed it and I can’t really justify it.
The worldbuilding was intriguing enough that I kept reading. The creatures were interested and varied and there is a lot room to expand upon. Honestly, I was expecting much worse from what I had heard. There were, however, a few holes here and there. We saw so little of the world in this first novel so I’m really looking forward to getting to see more of in A Court of Mist and Fury.
I didn’t like all of the characters (*cough* Tamlin *cough*) but the ones I liked, I actually adored. I really liked the way Maas handled Feyre. Her emotions were always portrayed as valid and she was allowed to be flawed. I’ve heard that many people found her annoying but that wasn’t the case for me. Having her as a first person narrator was a great choice for this story. I also loved Lucien and I am very curious about what Maas will do next with the rest of the character. They were probably what made the book work for me.
This novel is definitely not for everyone and I think we have to be critical about many of the choices made here. That said, I will definitely be picking up the sequel soon!