Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

77493_originalTitle: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Published: May 3, 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens (first published May 5, 2015)
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, YA/NA, Fiction
Series Information: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Format: Paperback, 448 pages
Source: Personal Purchase
Recommended For: Readers who go for the typical fantasy YA who want to push the limits of the push the limits of the genre with a sprinkling of fairytale re-tellings.
Goodreads Rating: 4.30
My Rating:✰✰✰✰✰

A Court of Thorns and Roses was probably the most recommended book to me – along the lines of the fervor that Harry Potter and Twilight fans encompass. I tried not to do any digging into the plot of the story and was told to stay FAR AWAY from Tumblr until I read both ACOTAR and A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOMAF, book two). Heeding the advice of others, I dove in. I started this book a few months back, but stopped when work really picked up for me – with that came a lot of stress and thusly, I retreated back into the fantasy world of my bookshelf. The one thing I had heard tossed around about ACOTAR was that it was a Beauty and the Beast re-telling of sorts, that obviously was one of the main reasons I picked up the book.
I was pretty thrilled to be sucked into a new book series, one that I wanted to know more about the characters and their lands. Seriously, any free time I had available was filled with reading this and ACOMAF – now I’m on a book hangover waiting until May for A Court of Wings and Ruin. I feel like a lot of people who read this expected all of the faerie realms to be fleshed out and every detail about the characters revealed in book one. I think it did a pretty decent job of setting up the main character, Feyre, and how we moved into why she was brought to the faerie realms. It does have hints of a Beauty and the Beast retelling when you learn about the Spring Court’s high-lord, Tamlin, and his shapeshifting abilities, but I feel there is a bit of a Cinderella tone as well. Feyre had a life where she was considered rich, then her family hit hard times and she did a lot of the work for the family. Enter Tamlin who brings her back to riches and you’ve got a bit of a Cinderella story. I was pleasantly surprised when I found a few more steamy passages in this book – when you pick up a YA novel you don’t expect to come across passages like that, but they were well written without going into a lot of explicit detail (like the early days of smut I was sorta into). A beautiful romance blossomed between Feyre and Tamlin, and I sailed away on my newest character ship.* At this point I need to add that I’m going to try not to bring my thoughts in from ACOMAF because my world was turned upside down on what I thought my ships were and because I read both books so close together * There was consistent action presented with the oppression of Amarantha and trying to hide Feyre from other faeries in the lands of Prythian, whether from opposing courts or just downright evil creatures. Then there’s Rhysand (Rhys)… good lord, I had this inner feeling I was going to be into him (I have a thing for dark, tortured, brooding guys and he reminded me of a character from an RP I used to write with friends in HS), but I told myself that he was bad and it was Feyre x Tamlin all the way.
I need to also add that I did feel that Feyre was a lot like a lot of other YA heroines from some of my favorite books, but I guess that’s something that is almost expected in the genre. She was strong, yet at the same time she was weak. I didn’t necessarily relate to her (or anyone) in this book and while that is typically the driving force of my interest in a book (relating in some way is key), it was more of the interest in the story, world, and crisis that really hooked me.

I know I’m super behind in reading this series, but if you’ve read A Court of Thorns and Roses, what did you think? I’ve seen a more critical reviews from my peers on the book, since reading it, and I wonder if there was too much expectation of it to fit a super unique mold. I think there’s almost this point where you need to step back from what you’ve seen time and time again in the YA Fantasy genre and know that if it works, don’t fix it. I can appreciate how there is a typical trope in the genre, but at the same time look at a work independently.
Purchase a copy for yourself here: A Court of Thorns and Roses


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