BOOK REVIEW: A Court of Thorns and Roses {A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1} by Sarah J. Maas

"He smiled at me still, broadly and without restraint or hesitation. Isaac had never smiled at me like that. Isaac had never made my breath catch, just a little bit."

It's probable that Sarah J. Maas' A Court of Thorns and Roses had caught my eye prior to the end of September 2023; in fact, I'm sure of it. Perhaps it simply wasn't the right time, however, for me to discover it; therefore, it didn't officially enter my world until that fateful day. But that's the way all good book love stories begin. They enter your life when you need them most; and perhaps I needed a good, strong romance just then. But I digress...

Feyre is just nineteen-years-old when she kills a wolf in the woods. The killing itself isn't an anomaly - far from it in fact; after all, Feyre is a huntress. An illiterate, yes; but the only individual able to keep her family afloat with a skill learned all her own. Unfortunately, this kill is unlike the others; for unbeknownst to Feyre, this is no ordinary wolf. The wolf in question is none other than an immortal faerie occupying the land between the mortal realm, and Prythian, a magical land where High Lords roam amongst ethereal faeries, shapeshifters, and frightening creatures one want not even to dream of.

Though at first things seem fine following the killing, Feyre is soon visited by Tamlin, another faerie {this one the High Lord of the Spring Court wearing the mask of a beast} who arrives at Feyre's doorstep to take her to her fate. You see, by killing the wolf, Feyre has broken a centuries-old treaty between the mortals and the faeries. Feyre must now give her life in exchange for the one she took in coldblood. Though another might have demanded Feyre's blood; Tamlin has just one request: that Feyre live out her days on his estate in Prythian. And so she bids her family farewell, and heads over the wall.

Upon arrival, Feyre is convinced that this is a prison sentence come to life. After all, wouldn't it be easier to be dead than to live out one's days surrounded by a literal beast as well as the emissary and best friend of said beast, Lucien? As time passes, however, Feyre's heart begins to thaw towards both members of the Spring Court. Soon she has developed feelings for Tamlin, and can't picture herself separated from him even for a day; but the more time she spends in Prythian, the more she realizes that all is not right in the land of Fae. In fact, with each passing second, an ancient wicked blight is spreading further across Prythian; and if Feyre, as someone with a human heart, doesn't do something to stop it, Tamlin and his world will be doomed forever.

Originally I picked up A Court of Thorns and Roses because I had heard that it was a retelling of my favorite fairytale, Beauty and the Beast; and while it shares elements of that wondrous romance, it is not, by any means, a retelling. Rather it is its own tale that, at times, feels like two stories woven into one: Feyre in Prythian, and a fiercer version of Feyre returning to the magical lands to save Tamlin and the Spring Court once and for all. Yes, there are times it feels as if the two halves don't make a whole; but they are done well enough to keep one invested in reading. And, in all honesty, are very necessary in order to pave the way for Rhysand.

Yes, some of you will fall head over heels for the supposed Prince Charming, Tamlin; whilst others will be drawn to the quintessential bad boy, Rhysand. While Rhysand makes a brief appearance in the first half of the book, he does so in a manner that makes him instantly unlikable. It is only when he returns as an MC in the second half that he redeems himself in his unique fashion, making him swoon-worthy. Who I am rooting for in this love triangle remains to be seen; but I will be picking up A Court of Mist and Fury sooner rather than later to explore further. After all, bad boy vs. beast is never an easy decision to make.

Star Rating: ***1/2



ellie said...

This is the author everyone loves at our library. Thanks for the great review!

Caitlin&Megan said...

A great novel to hibernate with!

Ivy's Closet said...

Some heavy-duty reading, but well worth it!

R's Rue said...

I think I will pass on this one. Happy Friday friend.

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