Thursday, 7 May 2015
Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J Maas
Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price.
Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.
A Court of Thorns and Roses
A Court of Mist and Fury
Future titles to be confirmed
Visit Sarah J Maas' website for more information
I absolutely love Sarah J Maas's Throne of Glass series so I added A Court of Thorns and Roses to my wish list without even reading the description then I found out that it was a Beauty and the Beast retelling in a fantasy setting and I was even more excited to get my hands on a copy. I had high hopes for this book it turned out to be even better than I could have hoped for, in fact it absolutely blew me away! This is the first book in a long time that I have completely lost a whole day to, I literally couldn't put it down and once I'd started reading there was nothing that could have dragged me away until I was finished. There is one thing I do feel I should mention before I continue with my review though which is that this is aimed at an older audience than her other series and I would recommend parents read it for themselves before deciding if it's appropriate for younger teens, in fact I'd probably label it as NA rather than YA. That doesn't make it any less brilliant but I do think it's something you should be aware of before picking up the book.
Feyre may be the youngest of her sisters but since the death of her mother she has been the one who has held the family together. Her father isn't able to work because of an injury and her sisters refuse to get their hands dirty so it is up to Feyre to try to scrape a living together and to hunt for their food. When she kills a magical wolf to protect herself and her prey she has no idea how high the cost will be. The treaty between humanity and the fae mean her life is now forfeit and she is offered two choices by the fae beast who tracks her down - she can die immediately or she can return with him to Prythian where she will be allowed to live as his guest. Taking the only real option available to her Feyre finds her whole life turned upside down. Initially she had planned to escape and return to her family as quickly as possible but the more time she spends with Tamlin the more she realises that she doesn't actually want to leave. There's just the small matter of a curse that she needs to deal with first though.
A Court of Thorns and Roses is a completely captivating read, the world building is stunning and I loved learning more about Prythian, the various fae courts and the detailed history that Sarah J Maas has created. What I loved most were the characters though, Feyre works so hard to provide for her family because of a promise she made to her mother but they never appreciate what she does for them. She doesn't complain though and she is the kind of girl who knows what needs to be done and just gets on with it. Her life changes completely when she arrives in Prythian and she doesn't really know what to do with herself, she's not used to having free time and she finds it hard to trust Tamlin and the others because of the way they forced her to leave her family. One of the things I really appreciated was the slow build of the romance, so many stories are full of insta-love and that definitely isn't the case here. It takes a long time for Feyre and Tamlin to become friends and even longer for them to fall in love and I enjoyed every minute they spent together.
I don't really want to say too much more about the characters you'll meet or what happens but I will say that I absolutely loved the nods to Beauty and the Beast, it's always been my favourite fairy tale so I was happy to see a new take on an old favourite. While this story has hints of the original it definitely stands out in it's own right, Sarah J Maas has used Beauty and the Beast as a stepping stone but she's created a world that's entirely her own that I loved spending time in. A Court of Thorns and Roses has the perfect balance between world building, character development and an action packed plot. The first half of the story moves at a slower pace as you spend time learning about the world and getting to know the characters but the second half is absolutely explosive and had me on the edge of my seat. I'm also happy to report that it doesn't end on a major cliffhanger, yes, we're left with some unanswered questions and yes, I'm desperate for the next book but the wait isn't going to kill me.
I already mentioned that I'm a huge fan of Sarah J Maas but A Court of Thorns and Roses is now my favourite of her books by far and it's definitely going to be a contender for my NA book of the year.
Source: Received from Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review
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