A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Publication: May 5th 2015 by Bloomsbury Children’s
Format: Paperback Pages: 416
She stole a life. Now she must pay with her heart.
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
A Court of Thorns and Roses is a Beauty and the Beast retelling told from the first person perspective of badass huntress, Feyre. ACOTAR is probably the most well-known Beauty and the Beast retelling; it’s backed by a large fan base and rave reviews – so I had very high expectations.
The hunting scene at the beginning of the book did a brilliant job of drawing me into the story. Feyre is the youngest in her family (she has two sisters and a father), but she is the one who puts herself in danger to hunt for food. Feyre’s family was frustrating enough to make me want to throw the book out of my window and watch it get run over by a truck. Many times. I was glad when Tamlin dragged her away from them.
I thought the fantasy elements of the story were creative and exciting, but the main focus was on the romance between Feyre and Tamlin. The romance, in my opinion, was lacklustre and nothing like Beauty and the Beast.
Beauty and the Beast emphasises finding the beauty within someone and truly loving them for who they are, not what they look like. That’s why I got really annoyed at the number of times Feyre went on about Tamlin’s muscles. It got too repetitive. And then ‘high cheekbones’ and ‘slightly arched eyebrows’ were thrown into the mix with a sprinkling of a ‘strong, straight nose’; I feel like this is now the universally accepted description of a ‘good looking’ male character. You know the dude in the story is banging when the narrator drops ‘muscles’, ‘strong’ and ‘high cheekbones’ in the description. What the heck is a strong nose anyway? Does Tamlin lift weights with his nose? Is man benching 50 with his nostrils on nose day? I’m not 100% sure, but I have a feeling I read something about his jaw too. (There’s always something about the jaw.)
I thought Feyre’s character became a little confusing and unlike her around midway. The activities during Fire Night and her sudden sheltered and protected lifestyle as a painter left me confused. Seriously, wut? It was so weird and out of character. It’s hard to talk about it without giving away spoilers so I’ll just shut up about that now. 🤐
I did enjoy the way the story unravelled, though. The antagonist was insane and I was surprised by some of the plot twists. Lucien was another notable character, he was funny and complicated; his character offered more depth and personality than Tamlin’s (but that’s because Feyre focused too much on Tamlin’s appearance). Rhysand was another jewel I wanted to learn more about.
I want to read A Court of Mist and Fury – the second book in the series – mainly because I’ve been reassured of its greatness. The ACOTAR ending was a little predictable and Twilight for my taste (which is why I recommended the book to some Twilight fans), but the action scenes made up for it. Overall, ACOTAR was okay. It wasn’t an amazing Beauty and the Beast retelling, but it wasn’t the worst either.