Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Book Review! A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1) by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1) by Sarah J. Maas
Publication Date: May 5th, 2015
Genre: New Adult, Fairytale Retelling, Romance
A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Timesbestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about 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 grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.
I have to start by saying that I was really nervous about ACOTAR. I've never read the Throne of Glass series and my experience with really hyped up authors has not been too great. Sarah J. Maas is extremely popular in the book community and ToG still to this day has a ton of buzz surrounding it. I've put off reading them mainly because if I don't like them I'm ever so slightly worried a mob of fans will torch my house down. All that being said I am very happy with my choice to read ACOTAR as my first Sarah J. Maas book because I loved it fiercely. I'll admit it took me a little while to get in to it and used to the new words and types of fae but it didn't take as long as I thought it would. I think that's the main reason I don't read fantasy, from past experience I've been too focused on remembering who is who and what is what to enjoy the story. Also, I don't read about fae but I went in to ACOTAR knowing next to nothing. I'm not sure I would have picked it up had I known the sub-genre so that'll teach me to judge books before I read them, right?

Feyre, which my fickle mind pronounced as 'fair' and sometimes 'Fey-ree' (both were wrong, it's pronounced Fay-ruh, thank you to the handy pronunciation guide at the end of the book! Suggestion: Maybe put it at the start next time...) was a kick ass main character, one that I was able to connect with quickly which in my opinion is key. If I hate the main character I'm generally going to dislike the book more. She was probably one of my favourite main characters to date. She started off not liking the fae at all after hearing stories of their tumultuous relationship with humans ever since she was born. She had no reason to doubt these stories as rumor and took them as fact which in turn made her slightly prejudiced towards all fae. She learned a lot in the months she was surrounded by them and through that she developed as a character, she become more complex. She stuck to her morals and, although at times she was unnecessarily stubborn, I really came to understand her. She was very easy to like and respect.

"The sky was an eddy of molten amethyst, sapphire, and ruby, all bleeding into a final pool of onyx. I wanted to swim in it, wanted to bathe in it's colours and feel the stars twinkling between my fingers."

Tamlin was an amazing male main character. He was both ends of the spectrum which made him unpredictable. He was sweet and then rough, soft spoken and then gruff. I was utterly spellbound by him and the things he would do, and had done, for his court. I completely fell in love with his character. Now, I love everything Beauty and the Beast related, which this is. However, in no way is Tamlin the beast, not on a physical level and not on a mental level. He's ethereal and unnaturally beautiful, the only thing marring his appearance being a mask that conceals a good portion of his face. Then again, even that is described as beautiful. So in the respect, he has nothing to do with the story of Beauty and the Beast. But in other respects he is... I wont say much else though, I don't want to take anything away from your experience!

"Don't feel bad for one moment about doing what brings you joy... the way you experience things, in your life span, so wildly and deeply and all at once is... entrancing. I'm drawn to it, even when I know I shouldn't be, even when I try not to be."

Rhysand was... unexpected. I'm still a little perplexed by him and he's one of the main reasons why I need book two to hurry along. (May 2016 *sobbing*) He was a total douchecanoe, don't get me wrong here, but towards the end things got a little blurred for me. I feel guilty even saying that but I just know  what SJM is planning and I'm not sure that I'm totally against the idea now. I'm curious and would like to see how that plays out. Call me crazy. Also, that last part of his in the book really made me want to know more about him. It's hard to explain without spoiling but it was a little confusing which in turn intrigued me.

It's custom in SJM books to need a pronunciation guide, even just for the names. I went through the whole book pronouncing Feyre wrong and I'll probably stick to my own pronunciation otherwise I'm just going to pause at every mention of her name until I say it right. I also, surprisingly, pronounced Lucien wrong. Seems like a pretty simple name right? Well it is unless you belong to a Sarah J. Maas book. The simplest name in the book (that I remember) and I get it wrong. It's pronounced Loo-shien. But of course I pronounced Amarantha, Rhysand and Alis perfectly along with the names of the creatures and places. BUT OF COURSE I GOT THE SIMPLEST NAME WRONG. I'm gonna post the guide below for those who want to/have read it. Tell me if you got all the names right, no shame ;)

Ugh, the romance. That was a good ugh. The romance was such a slow burn and I adore that sort of build because the end result is just that much sweeter. This book was sexier than I thought it would be, just a little warning there. The genre is listed as YA and  NA but it's definitely leaning more towards NA. I'm pretty sure Feyre is nineteen so that's sort of middle-ground between those two age categories. But, yeah, definitely more NA, YA for an older audience. There was nothing SUPER explicit though. But I digress (as usual). Romance is a fickle thing in books, it can be cheesy and cringe-worthy, hot and fast and ripped clothes, instantaneous, or the ever-building, heart racing explosion of FEELS. That last one is how I'd describe Feyre and Tamlin's relationship. I loved how absolutely unashamed they were when they finally acknowledged their feelings. There was barely any um'ing and ah'ing about it. They put it out in the open and didn't care who knew about it. It was refreshing.

The world building is something I've heard SJM is incredible at and, from this book alone, I can whole-heartedly agree. I want the Spring Court to be real, maybe not all of Prythian because some of it was terrifying, but where Feyre was taken? Stunning visuals created by the author brought it right to life.

"Mesmerizing - the lethal, gentle beauty of snow."

I was so, so worried about the ending. I didn't know if it was going to be a massive cliffhanger or not and with the next book an entire year away I don't think I could handle a year-long book hangover. But alas, no cliffhanger. Isn't that music to your ears?! The ending was perfect to me. It rounded everything off in a way that made me simultaneously pine for the sequel and be content enough to wait.
Still... I'm pining for that sequel with all my heart. There's just so much potential for this next one and I'm ridiculously excited to see how things with Tamlin and Rhysand pan out. I'll be stalking NetGalley for both this and The Winner's Kiss. SO many good books coming out spring 2016 *heavy breathing*.

*This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influences my opinion.*


  1. I just got mine in the mail and can't wait to read it :) The FEELS <3