Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses
I finished A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas days ago and struggled with this review. Before anyone starts spewing hate at me let me preface that I liked it. However, I did not LOVE it. Let me explain.
Feyre is the care-taker of her family. She spends her days hunting in the forest to keep her family alive following a death-bed promise to her late mother. The faeries that live in Prythian have started making their way into mortal territory, making the forest an even more dangerous place according to mortal beliefs. One cold winter evening, Feyre spots a wolf that would feed her family for weeks. Upon shooting and stripping it of its pelt, Feyre returns home to feed her family.
Soon after, Feyre is captured and dragged to the Spring Court, a magical kingdom, by a beast named Tamlin. She is to live out her sentence for killing the wolf, a faerie, for the rest of her life in the Spring Court. As Feyre spends more time with Tamlin and his right hand man Lucien, she learns that the legends have not always accurately described the relationship between faeries and mortals.
Feyre is slow to realize that Tamlin is more than a beast with magic, and he and his people are under a dangerous curse. She must learn to accept love and break the curse, but will she be able to do it without getting herself, or the people she loves, killed?
Why I picked this book:
In all honesty, Bookstagram and BookTok made me do it. I have seen the covers of this series all over the damn place. One of my best friends highly recommended it. I enjoy YA fiction. ACOTAR seemed right up my alley.
Honest Review: (Spoilers ahead!)
Maybe it’s because I read Midnight Sun (check out my review!) recently, or maybe it’s because I have not read a new YA/fantasy series in a long time. Honestly, I think this book as been hyped up so much I set my expectations entirely too high.
I found this first book in the ACOTAR series to be incredibly slow. Hungry for more details and for the plot to move along, I found myself skimming pages. I know, terrible book reader. ACOTAR did pick up, in my opinion, a little more than half-way through the book and had that not happened, I probably would have DNF-ed.
One of my best friends continuously encouraged me to keep going because in her words “the series gets better after the first one.” I really hope that’s the case!
Personally, I found Feyre to be annoying. The whole Beauty and the Beast-style narrative wasn’t really appealing to me here, I think because I could not identify with Feyre in the same ways that I find myself identifying with Belle. Feyre spends her whole life caring for her family (who by the way, sound like the absolute worst) and then all of a sudden she’s whisked away into a castle? And she quickly becomes okay with it?
Additionally, I did not feel a strong pull to love Tamlin. Honestly, I left this book wondering if I should be rooting for Rhysand? And maybe that’s the point. It’s one thing to paint a super pretty picture of what Tam looks like, but I feel like his actions weren’t explained until very near the end of the book. Too long, in my opinion.
On the plus side: SJM’s writing is really great. She grabs the readers’ attention- especially in the Under the Mountain descriptions. I actually found those to be very powerful. If I’m being honest, I expected a little more sexy detail based on what was pitched to me, but I still really enjoyed the “sexier” scenes and their descriptions.
I truly think it’s just the characters for me- I don’t absolutely love them yet.
The Bookish Bronde Rating
This book, the whole series, is a cult favorite and I feel like I am missing out on the obsession. Will I read the rest of the series? Probably. But am I diving in to get the next book off Libby as soon as I can, or rushing to get hard copies so I can turn back to them forever? Definitely not.