by Sarah J. Maas
To be published on May 5, 2015
by Bloomsbury Children's
Source: ARC from publisher for review
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.
My take: I feel dumb for putting off reading this book. I had reasons -- which include a terrible cold over the past ten days that made my eyeballs throb.
But the main reason I put off reading A Court of Thorns and Roses was that it is a Fae book. I know I've blogged before about my Fae-averseness. To me, Fae are pointy-eared, sneaky creatures, and in my experience Fae plots typically involve lots of wandering around in forests, which is not my favorite thing to read about.
But I am happy to report that, Fae and all, I really liked this book. A Court of Thorns and Roses is somewhat of a Beauty and the Beast retelling (some have compared it to East of the Sun and West of the Moon, which has a similar plotline.) In any case, the book features a financially ruined merchant with three daughters, the youngest one a plucky girl who, while hunting to feed her family, ends up killing a wolf. When a Beast-like creature comes seeking retribution for the wolf's death, the girl is forced to leave her family.
I thought all the main elements of A Court of Thorns and Roses -- the writing, world-building and plotting -- were excellent. Like many Fae books, this story world features multiple courts (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, Dawn, Day and Night) that promise to offer rich opportunities for future world-building. The second half of the book featured one of my favorite plot elements: Riddle of the Sphinx (though in this case the Sphinx is an evil villainess wearing jewelry made of body parts -- eeuwww...)
As I was reading this book, I was thinking about why Beauty and the Beast is the superior Disney fairy tale. Unlike Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, which feature insta-love and women being rescued by men, Beauty and the Beast has more intriguing story elements: 1) a slow burn romance, 2) a main character who falls in love with a man despite his outward appearance and 3) a heroine who has to save the guy, instead of the other way around.
A Court of Thorns and Roses has all these elements and more. Feyre is a prisoner in the Fae/Beast's estate, but she's determined and resourceful. The love story is definitely of the slow burn variety. My friend Lauren of Love is Not a Triangle (and a person who can't bear even the suggestion of a triangle) wrote a very thoughtful Goodreads review on why she felt she had to put this book down. So let's take a minute to discus the romance. On the one hand, I understand how Lauren feels. At one point in the story I definitely felt the possibility of a triangle, but after finishing the book, I don't see the story going that way. Then again, Sarah J. Maas' other series, the Throne of Glass books, have developed a very complicated love geometry, a triangle that exploded into a pentagon or maybe even something with more sides than that. So I can't say where this series is going, but I'm definitely going along with it.
A Court of Thorns and Roses is compulsively readable and highly enjoyable. I highly recommend it, even if, like me, you're not the biggest fan of Fae. (And if you are, you should definitely read it ASAP.)
I loved Beauty & the Beast as well, it definitely offered more depth in terms of the romance than Cinderella or Aladdin. Glad to hear you loved this book despite it being about Fae! I loved it as well, one of my favourites this year so far.ReplyDelete
I went in with apprehension and was completely won over!Delete
I feel so left out. i want this book badly. I think I will get it this weekend.. So jealous. Glad you loved it. I actually and a very fae king of girl. I like them dark and creepy as well as beautiful and fun. I dont think I have ever read one with this just walking around a forest. Have tried Wicked lovely. you may like that one. Its my favorite.ReplyDelete
I did like Wicked Lovely, actually. I read those years ago. Then my Fae experience went downhill. But this book has inspired me to try again.Delete
I'm actually terrified of the Fae and the only kind of romance I can tolerate is the one-on-one kind. But I'm willing to give this a chance because people have been raving so much, and after all, why not? I'll be a bit more patient than usual and see where it takes me.ReplyDelete
Thank you! Fae are not sexy/charming/hot. They are devious and shifty. But the love interest wasn't, so that made it work for me.Delete
I'm so glad that you liked this one! I did too, I felt that the romance was wonderfully paced, the characters were fleshed out and they just felt real to me...not to mention the wonderfully atmospheric setting ♥ I know a lot of people dislike Fae books but I'm glad that this one seems to be breaking the mould :) GREAT review^^ReplyDelete
Loved the romance too!Delete
I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed this one! I already have it on pre-order and I can't wait until it comes in! I've been hearing such amazing things about it already :DReplyDelete
Yay -- look forward to hearing what you think.Delete
Hearing how much you enjoyed ACOTAR makes me soooo happy :D Can't wait for my copy to arrive!!ReplyDelete
You should have it soon -- hope you enjoy!Delete
I'm not a Fae fan neither! But I like Beauty and the Beast so much (my fav Disney's movies) so I'm very exciting to read this book. I haven't read anything from this author but I think is time to give it a try and enjoy what some people think are wonderful stories!ReplyDelete
Great review!! Thanks.
Giova @ Corazones Literarios
If I'd realized this was a B and the B retelling, I might have read it sooner.Delete
Oh wow! What a wonderful review, Jen! I want to read this book even more now.ReplyDelete
I'm so happy you enjoyed it!
Hope you love it too!Delete
I already commented on Goodreads about this but *waves hi!*ReplyDelete
Karen @For What It's Worth
Thanks for your comment and curious to see if you like this!Delete
It definitely gives me relief to know that you enjoyed this tremendously, Jen! I am planning to read this this weekend or early next week for the blog tour and I was anxious about it being Fae as I'm not really a fan of that supernatural creature. Really hopeful that I would love this. And I agree, Maas definitely knows how to make her love geometry work!ReplyDelete
Faye at The Social Potato
I'm very curious to see what you think. To me, this read like a dark fairy tale, and I didn't mind the Fae stuff so much...Delete
I am exactly half way through this book right now and I am enjoying it so much! I am glad about what you say about A love triangle because after Chaol and Dorian I cannot have another love triangle possibly ruining another SJM book for me!ReplyDelete
I'm not one for fae books either, but I'm oddly looking forward to reading this one. One reason, is that I'm determined to find out what the big deal is with this author. I didn't quite like her ToG, so I want to be convinced that I could like her work, too.ReplyDelete
Complicated love geometry - I love that! :) Well, I suspect you're fully recovered, since you managed to write this beautiful review. I'm still behind everyone else, but it's my next read for sure! Reviews have been generally positive, so I know I'm in for an enjoyable experience. I'm really eager! :)ReplyDelete
I'm so happy that you enjoyed A Court of Thorns and Roses! I loved it as well, and I definitely think this novel has Sarah's signature style all over it. Can't wait for book 2!ReplyDelete
Everyone seems to love this one, I need it now :( I pre-ordered it so I hope I love it as much as you have, the romance and fairytale retelling sounds fantastic. Lovely review <3 Benish | Feminist ReflectionsReplyDelete
I'm nervous of this because of the hype, but I'm bummed that there is no audiobook for this... it's so long!ReplyDelete
I love her books, so I am sure I will love this one as well!ReplyDelete
I'm so glad you enjoyed this even if you're not a fan of Fae. I'm not a fan either && I've never even read her other series but I'm really, really excited for this. Great review! :DReplyDelete
czai @ the Blacksheep Project
I am dying to read this book!I am a huge fan of Sarah J.Mass,Beauty and the Beast and faes!Which means,I have no doubt that I'll love it when I read it.Can't wait to get my hands on a copy!ReplyDelete
I'm not a fan of fairy/Fae stories but since it's Sarah J. Maas I can't say no to this book. Besides, I already read the free sample (first 4 chapters) and I'm dying to know how the story continues! I need this book NOW!ReplyDelete
I know you struggled a little with her other series with the fantasy, so I'm so thrilled you loved this one! I'm sure I'll love it even more since I love fantasy. :)ReplyDelete
I have an aversion to fae as well and that's was also one of the reasons why I was scared of picking up the book but my curiosity about the fact that it was a beauty and the beast re-telling won out in the end. I am glad it did because I don't regret it one bit.ReplyDelete
Going into the novel, I didn't expect it to be a love triangle but I've seen the stirrings of one as well and if the book goes down that road, I will be heartbroken! I don't think I'd be able to continue with the series if that turned out to be the case. Basically, TAMLIN FOR LIFE.
I am glad you loved this one too though, Jen!
Lovely review! :)
Rashika @ The Social Potato
I'm also not much of a fan of Fae stories either, or fairy tale retellings, but I'm really looking forward to this one because it's Sarah J Maas and I've loved everything that I've read by her, and also because most of the reviews I've read have been so positive and have commented on things that I'm sure I'm gonna like!ReplyDelete
Great review Jen!