Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas

on Oct 13, 2015
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods,
 a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution. Dragged to a treacherous magical land
she knows about only 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 Feyre dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility to 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 over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy / Romance / Fairy-Tale Re-tellings

Review: Let me start by stating that I am a fan of Sarah J. Maas. I love the Throne of Glass series (Shout out to Elisabeth Wheatley, I honestly started reading this author because Elisabeth was and I don't regret it) I'm also a huge fan of Beauty and the Beast, the original fairy tale and the Disney version. Seriously Belle is my favorite disney princess. From the huge library in the beautiful gothic castle, to the prince, and the talking dishes, I wanted to be Belle. Anyway you can imagine my excitement when I found out that this re-telling was in the works. So much squealing!

A Court of Thorns and Roses is an exciting, unique fantasy re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. Maas has expertly crafted her own tale while keeping the essence of a beloved story alive within this world she has created. The Fey have claimed most of the island of Prythian for their own leaving the much weaker humans to cling to life in a dying land. The land of the Fey is divided between the different courts each with their own ruling Lord/Lady. I found the Fey to be the most interesting and well thought out part of this novel. Maas writes these otherworldly creatures with great skill. 

Feyre has lead a difficult life, poor and starving she is her familys only means for finding food. She has been hardened by life and isn't very friendly though she does indulge her family. I liked Feyre alright, on occasion (much like Maas' other leading lady, Celaena) Feyre has a tendency to strut right past "I'm a strong independent woman" into "I have a chip on my shoulder and the whole world must suffer along with me because of it" territory. I'm not sure if that makes sense. There's only so much sympathy I have when characters act self destructively. 

High Lord of the fey and Feyres love interest, Tamlin was good, but not as good as he could have been. I feel that the author was holdng back with Tamlin. Trying to balance him being bad, as in scary to Feyre at first, but also have him be good because later on another fey comes into the picture and he fills the role of the "bad boy". So poor Tamlin ends up being sort of ordinary, he does have a somewhat troubled childhood, but really he just sort of hangs around while other much more interesting creatures do things and engage with Feyre. On a side note I really wouldn't mind if Feyre ends up with "bad boy" Rhysand instead of Tamlin. 

What held this back from five stars for me ultimately was the complete lack of chemistry between Feyre and Tamlin. I was not feeling their love story at all. Which sort of breaks the whole fabric of the story itself apart. They hardly spent any time together and then they jump into bed together before Feyre even says she loves him. I know this is YA but do we really have to do the we're-adults-everyone-sleeps-around-and-hates-everyone-thing. Can we pretend that people only have sex when they're in love, and then stay together forever? Do we have to be all cynical and jaded now? Do we really have to read about Feyre and the local farm boy getting busy in the haystacks? I think not. Also the book ends in a way a little over halfway through and then we go to a new place and a new set of circumstances occur. It was very strange. Just a warning for people who don't like multiple endings and that sort of thing.  

In spite of those last points, A Court of Thorns is good read. For fans of Beauty and the Beast its certainly worth giving it a try. 

About the Reviewer: M. A. Bronson is a bookworm, book reviewer, and aspiring author. Since 2012, she has been reviewing indie and traditionally published books at She spends her time reading, gaming, drinking tea, writing, and shopping for fandom merch. M lives in Upstate New York and works at a library, happily surrounded by thousands of stories. Connect with her on twitter and instagram @theprincessmab


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