Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses (book #1)
Author: Sarah J. Mass
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: May 5, 2015
– – –
Quick Synopsis: 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. (Goodreads)
My Review: You may or may not recall, but A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR) was on my list last year of Books I Won’t Read. Ever. I mean, honestly, the hype turned me off so badly, and the synopsis didn’t sound super enticing to me either. Plus, I rarely read re-tellings. In short, I was completely content with letting this one pass me by without a second glance. That is, until the sequel, A Court of Mist and Fury, released last month and eevvvveryooone totally lost it over that book. And it was Whittynovels’s snapchats/review that finally swayed me because we tend to feel the same way about ships and such. The next day, I bought ACOTAR, and a few days after that, I bought ACOMAF. I was ready. Ready to hate them and ready to be the odd one out. But, as I’ve proven time and time and time again, I was wrong. As it turns out, I was pleasantly surprised by A Court of Thorns and Roses.
I’ve never read a book about faeries, but I found I enjoyed learning more about this mythology, which I didn’t expect. That being said, I was totally hooked by the plot. I loved the magical elements and the conflict and all of the different creatures and celebrations. I loved how the world was split into different Courts. It all just seemed to go together so nicely, and I found myself eager to see what would happen next or see how Feyre, the protagonist, fit in to everything.
Speaking of Feyre…I gave a whole bunch of reasons above as to why I didn’t have an interest in this book sooner, but actually, my biggest reason for not reading it was because of all the less than kind comments a lot of people had to say about Feyre. She’s been described as weak and boring in many of the negative or in-the-middle reviews. So I fully expected to hate Feyre. As it turns out, I loved Feyre. She has officially become one of my favorite female protagonists, particularly in a fantasy setting. I don’t know what everyone saw that I didn’t, but I thought she was a fantastic female lead. She wasn’t “strong” in the typical ways that many fantasy females are; she isn’t a warrior who knows exactly who she is and what she wants, and she actually has emotions. Lots of them. She didn’t feel like a carbon copy of every other “strong female protagonist,” and that’s what made her so great to me. And especially after reading the sequel as well, I will defend Feyre to the end! I loved reading from her POV.
As for the other characters, I didn’t feel one way or the other about most of them. The main love interest, Tamlin was the boring one for me. Feyre’s boring? No. Tamlin is the definition of boring. And controlling for that matter. I could tell almost immediately that I was going to find him problematic and annoying, and my opinion of him only got worse as the book progressed, though I know that’s an unpopular opinion (at least for book one). I did enjoy Lucien, Tamlin’s right hand, but I didn’t think we got enough of him for me to really connect with him past the surface level. However, I totally adored Rhysand, High Lord of the Night Court. I won’t say much about why, but oh my, I knew from the moment he was introduced that he would become a favorite, and I was right. All the hype about Rhysand is one hundred percent warranted. Lastly, I didn’t enjoy Feyre’s sisters so much in the beginning, but they grew on me.
I would say my biggest problem with this book (besides hating Feyre/Tamlin, though I could get over that) was the information dumps. Several times in this book, we would have a character give lengthy explanations for some event or moment in history. I wish Sarah J. Mass would’ve found a way to incorporate some of the details in other ways. It was all important information, but the way it was executed could have been improved. Other than that, I really can’t think of any other problems I had. The writing was decent, though the dialogue tags could’ve used some variation, and some of the more intimate scenes were awkwardly worded. Just be blunt, honestly. We know what they’re doing – you don’t need to use code words. But yeah, everything else was great. Because I loved the plot and Feyre, I was content with the book and eager to get to ACOMAF.
I’ve already completed ACOMAF, and I may do a spoilery review so that I can release all of my thoughts and emotions. I’ll just say that if you read ACOTAR, whether you enjoyed it or not, I highly recommend reading the sequel. It’s a million times better! Though be warned: It will leave you with a crazy book hangover and the inability to go five minutes without thinking about it and getting emotional. Read at your own risk. But do read it!
That’s all I have to say on this for now! Please share your ACOTAR thoughts with me in the comments section!
Until next time,