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

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

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.

So apparently my purpose in the blogosphere is to naysay the hype. Let me start by saying that I did like this book. The hype monster didn’t completely ruin it for me. However, it was a pretty middle-of-the-road book for me. I can’t for the life of me understand all the 5-Star Perfect reviews it gets.

A Court of Thorns and Roses is loosely inspired by Beauty and the Beast. This time the beast is a faerie and the curse involves masquerade masks, not enchanted housewares. Most of the book was pretty different from Beauty and the Beast, but there were a few moments where Tamlin and Feyre start to grow closer where in my head I started singing, “Newwwwww, and a bit alarming…”

beauty and the beast silhouette - Google Search

Some random thoughts, since I’m not feeling a whole review…

-I was often a little confused by a lot of the faerie going-ons and politics – and the curse, but for the most part the world building was pretty well done.

-Feyre was pretty well developed and she grew throughout the story, but I found myself annoyed by her sometimes. Her attitude at the end of the book, while understandable, makes me dread how whiney she’s going to be in the second book.

-The Great Rite…it sounded like an erotica subplot…This book had some graphic moments that puts it firmly in the NA genre – cover your eyes kiddos!

-Tamlin was a pretty good leading man and I liked him, but due to the curse where he couldn’t always be straightforward, he kind of came across as a liar. And in the second half of the book we barely get to spend any time with him and the love story I was starting to get into was kind of forgotten.

-While Feyre & Tamlin’s relationship was supposed to be a hate to love situation, I didn’t think Feyre really ever hated him that much and the shift to love wasn’t that dramatic. That said, I was a fan of the romance, though my shipping waned once we got Under the Mountain

-Lucien was a perfect side character – friend to both Tamlin and Feyre, comic relief, tragic backstory.

-I have to say I kind of loved Rhysand. Don’t get me wrong, I’m dreading the inevitable love triangle to come, but Rhysand is by far the most compelling character of the book. He’s strong and clever and devious and thoughtful and broody and mysterious. More Rhys, please.

-The story was pretty slow-paced. There were a couple faster-paced, action-packed scenes towards the end, but it wasn’t enough to make up for the overall slow-paced, dragged out feel.

-The writing was good enough, but there were some times where the imagery, dialogue, or situation made me roll my eyes a bit.

Overall, A Court of Thorns and Roses was a mostly enjoyable book. I liked it enough that I plan on reading the second book. I really, really disliked Throne of Glass by the same author and had no intention of reading any more from her. So while I definitely don’t think this book deserves all the hype it gets, if it wasn’t for that hype, I never would have given this book a chance and I’m’ glad that I did.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3 Stars

3 stars

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12 thoughts on “Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

  1. COMPLETELY AGREE WITH YOU! I don’t get the perfect reviews for this one! I really enjoyed it (I gave it a 4/5 because I love faeries and I loved this world) but it didn’t blow me away. Tamlin didn’t have me swooning (like you said, his inability to provide the truth rubbed me the wrong way at times) though I did like him with Feyre. There relationship just left something to be desired in my eyes–all their great moments seemed to happen behind the scenes.

    I’m actually a little disappointed that there is going to be a sequel in a way because I know there is going to be a love triangle. I love Rhys but I don’t think I like him with Feyre. Maybe Maas will surprise me like she did with the relationship developments in Heir of Fire and I’ll jump ships but I don’t think so. Like you said, I’m worried Feyre is going to lose her great development and become annoying but I’m still going to be picking up the sequel.

    Great review!

    • Right?! I mean, it wasn’t a bad book by any means, but it was far from being perfect. I’m glad I’m not the only one who was a little underwhelmed by the Tamlin-Feyre love story. I think a couple of tweaks would have made this a pretty good standalone, instead of a series. Or – even though I generally hate this concept – it could be a series that shifts focus with each book and the next book could be about Rhysand and a new love interest (and we could still see Feyre and Tamlin during her “one week a month” deal).

      • I’m hoping for a focus shift personally in the sequel but I don’t think that is going to happen.

        But I’m hoping Maas can pull it off. With Throne of Glass, the sequel book was 20x better than the first one so I think she can pull it together in the sequel *crosses fingers*

      • Yeah I think it will still be from Feyre’s POV. I’ve heard that the Throne of Glass series got better as it went, but after the first book I just wasn’t interested in continuing it. I will be reading the next book in this series, though.

      • Fair enough! I totally get why that first Throne of Glass book doesn’t work for a lot of people. It was a little disappointing considering I had read all the novellas prior and had high expectations.

        I guess we will have to wait and see how ACOTAR turns out!

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  3. Great review! I agree with so many of your points. I thought the writing was good, and the story was enjoyable as well. It was very slow and confusing at times. I’ll probably read the next book. Maybe.

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