Tuesday, 2 June 2015

A Court Of Thorns And Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Series: A Court Of Thorns And Roses, Book One
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Paperback
Published5th May 2015
Number of Pages: 432
Book: ARC*
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Epic Fantasy, Paranormal, Thriller, Suspense, Fairy Tale Retelling, Mystery, YA, New Adult
Recommended Age: 14+
Contains: Violence, Death, Swearing, Sexual and Alcohol References
Author's Site: Sarah J. Maas

Blurb From Goodreads:
The breathtaking start to a seductive high-fantasy from New York Times bestselling author of Throne of Glass series.
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.

I feel it’s only fair to warn you in advance.  It’s taken me a whole damn month to finally get my obsessed and adoring feels down.  This review will be fangirly and rambly and quite possible incoherent.  How better to let the whole damn world know about the awesomeness of my favourite fantasy book of 2015?  Read A Court Of Thorns And Roses now people!
“I knew – I knew I was headed down a path that would likely end in my mortal heart being left in pieces, and yet...  And yet I couldn't stop myself…”
Once, humans were ruled by faeries, who used them as they pleased.  But following a vicious and bloody war, the humans broke free from the shackles of their enslavement by proposing a Treaty, outlining acceptable and forbidden behaviour on both sides – and splitting countries into mortal and faerie realms.
Feyre is a human, and ever since her family went broke and were forced to live in a small shack, they've struggled to survive.  Her father cannot work and her older sisters refuse to.  And so it comes down to Feyre to keep them all alive.
When you are a huntress and starving, depended upon, and you find a huge wolf in the woods… even though it might be the very species you fear above all else, a faerie, do you still kill it?  Do you have a choice?
Feyre takes the shot, but she never could have imagined the true price of killing one of the fae – until a faerie beast barges into her home and demands a life for a life…
Dragged to the faerie kingdom Prythian for breaking a rule she didn't know existed, Feyre is left in a large house with Tamlin and what remains of his court.
Something is happening in Prythian, something terrible – something dangerous.  It's spreading more every day, and no one knows how to stop it.  
Feyre doesn't know what to do about Tamlin, her captor, who is so different from the vicious faeries she was told about.  Who she is falling for...
When the beast is the most beautiful thing in a land of magic, death and danger, how can a human girl survive?
I absolutely adore Sarah J. Maas' Throne of Glass series and when I found out that she was doing another fantasy series, chock-full of Fae, I almost screamed the house down in excitement.  When A Court Of Thorns and Roses landed on my doormat, I hugged my copy to my chest and just grinned.  And then, once I'd got my fangirly, excited, hyper, happy-freak out under control, I opened ACoTaR up and began to read.  And I fell even more in love with the book than with the Throne of Glass series, something I did not believe could be possible.  And yet, A Court Of Thorns And Roses.  Man, I loved this book SO MUCH!
Feyre was like an epic fantasy version of Katniss Everdeen – but, to me at least, so much more awesome.  She was brave and hard and soft and kind and caring and badass and compassionate.  She was amazing and I just loved her.  She was easy to relate to, but also a real heroine – a balance that is hard to perfect.  Feyre also wasn't perfect, she wasn't some perfect faerie princess; she was just Feyre, she was real.
And then there was Tamlin: I know Feyre wasn't won over right away, but I really was.  Tam... he was so perfect.  I adored him.  He was kind and funny and protective and brooding and sweet and badass and... just everything you'd want from a Fae High Lord and so much more too.  I love him!
I know it's basically the same cover,
but it's so gorgeous!!
His friend Lucien could be a bit of a git at times, but he was also really funny.  Oh, and when you know his backstory, heart-breaking!  Poor Lucien!
But did anyone else kind of totally like Rhysand?  Sure, he was a total prick, but at times... I don't know.  I sorta really liked him.  It was so very confusing, because I really don’t think I should like him so much, and I'm so very excited to see where he goes next.
And as for Her... she scares the hell out of me.  Seriously freaking terrifying.
In the beginning, Feyre's sisters and father kind of reminded me of Cinderella's stepsisters and mother.  In other words, they treated her like crap.  But they grew on me.  Sarah J. Maas is amazing and perfected everyone’s character development to a tee: it was brilliant, how all of the characters changed, deepened and became more loved the longer you knew them.
Just like in Throne of Glass, the world-building in A Court of Thorns and Roses was sublime.  It was so intricate, so fascinating, so beautiful and so perfect.  I felt transported to this dangerous, violent and beautiful land of Prythian, where the faeries lived in their own little world of bizarre rituals, deadly politics and lavish parties.  It was a world that I simultaneously craved to visit and feared, all at once.  If I was under the protection of Tamlin, though, I'd go in a heartbeat.  But seriously: this world... perfection.
I adore fairy tales and always have.  I love the morals, the darkness, the Disney versions, the brutality... I've read a lot of retellings – a lot – but A Court Of Thorns And Roses was, by far, the most amazing, most magical Beauty and the Beast retelling I've ever read.  The plotline and writing... the original tale was twisted, enhanced, complicated, made more magical, more beautiful, more touching and more believable than the story we know so well.  I mean, when you mix the fae with fairy tales, you know you'll get something amazing.  But what Maas has accomplished in this book.... it blew my mind.  Completely.
The writing was beautiful, enchanting and vivid; I felt transported, entranced and totally hooked.  I loved Feyre's voice, loved the beautiful descriptions and loved the world building.  And, just as much, I adored the plot: it was both fast-paced and slow-burning, addictive and suspenseful.  It made the Beauty and the Beast story so much more plausible, because the chemistry between the two was palpable.  I loved watching the plot unfold, loved how Maas never let up on the suspense.
I try not to judge a book until the very end.  But with A Court of Thorns And Roses, I knew before I was four chapters in that it would be one of my favourite books – and that it would get at least four and a half stars.  By a hundred pages, four and three-quarters.  And by two hundred, it had five stars and my eternal love and devotion.  I am going to go mad waiting for the second book and I will never stop telling everyone to just read this book.  It is... by the Cauldron, it's so good.  Beyond belief.  Beyond description – despite this long, rambly review.  (Hey, I warned you.)
I've found my new addiction, people!  I'm so hooked.  And I shall be counting down the days until I can get my greedy hands on the second book in the series.
Sigh.  I love A Court Of Thorns And Roses so very very much...  Almost as much as I love Tamlin and Lucien and Feyre.  In other words: a whole freaking lot.
I have never wanted a year to just freaking finish already more than I do right now…

Star Rating:
5 Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
Gracling by Kristin Cashore
The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

Happy Reading
* This book was received from Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review

** Quotes used are from a proof copy and may have been changed in the finished book


Anonymous said...

I love Sarah J Maas' books, can't wait for the next installment. :)

Marlene Detierro said...

The story is great and like I said towards the end is when It started to be AMAZING, yes it is OUTSTANDING, and YES I want the next one like NOW!! I’m so excited, I haven’t felt like this about a start of a series for a while but seriously this can be EPIC!

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