It’s been too long! I’ve been away from the blog for quite a while now and I’m sorry for that, but life got in the way. I have managed to get some reading done despite the busy time. One title that has been getting a lot of hype and general buzz around various media platforms is A Court of Thorns and Roses which I read this month. Today I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on the book.
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.
This book summary really drew me in, especially as I’d heard it was a Beauty and the Beast retelling. My interest was piqued as fantasy elements would fit into a story based around a well known story. But I had faith in Maas’s writing.
As per usual, I’m going to start with the characters in this book. So, of course you’ve got your lead, Feyre. For the most part I liked her. She’s quite headstrong and sacrificial but also very realistic. However she definitely was not without her flaws. I couldn’t one hundred-percent connect with her. I feel as though because she was a mortal surrounded by faeries her lack of power and strength as a character really stood out. I also think that Feyre grasped this too which was why she was so easy to give up at some times. And whilst this didn’t make me dislike her, her flaws were easy to stand out which made it more frustrating as a reader to see her struggles. Now, there is also (apparently but I don’t see it) a love triangle between Feyre, Tamlin and Rhysand. The males are both High Fae of various nationwide courts. I really liked Tamlin. He really stayed true to the whole Beast trying to learn the ways of mortals thing and I thought the scenes between Feyre and Tamlin were really cute and yes, a little steamy as this is a New Adult book. He had a great loyalty to his people and equally his own heart that I loved exploring. Rhysand was really intriguing. He was portrayed as sort of a dark, untrustworthy, charming male lead and initially I hated him. But as the story went on I definitely began to see the light as his decisions became clearer. In the end I also really began to see the redemption in his character too. I’m interested to see where his character ends up in the sequel.
If you want to know, I’m still team Tamlin.
Ok, so the plot. Obviously, you’ve got the Beauty and the Beast storyline that drives the plot. At times, this made some things quite predictable and I could see whole scenes coming before they even happened. But Maas managed to put twists and turns in the story to keep it mysterious. Something I really noticed was the ‘inspirations’ in the story from other YA books. It’s hard to say anything big without spoiling so I’ll just say a little thing. At one point Maas describes a three fingered salute where the faeries touch the fingers of their left hand to their lips and then raise the hand into the air. Hmm…sounds very familiar. There were a few times where I thought I’d seen things in this book that I’d definitely seen elsewhere. This disappointed me a little bit but luckily nothing hugely major interrupted the uniqueness.
Maas’ writing is really a pleasure to read. It’s very addictive and I have definitely noticed an improvement between this book and her other book Throne of Glass (the only other SJM book that I’ve read) which I was delighted to experience. I found it to be a lot more descriptive. She really dives deep into scenery and does a wonderful job of allowing metaphors to describe beauty. If I had to have a snipe it would be for her over-excessive usage of ellipses. Seriously she was obsessed with them, there were at least two per page! But seriously, I really enjoyed the writing. It complimented the flow of the story almost perfectly. There was only one place where the flow was disrupted and that was when we were presented with a huge info-dump about three quarters of the way through where there was a lot of history to take in. After that, the story continued on rather seamlessly.
The world building was for the most part quite good. We understand basic political differences between the courts and how rivalry comes into play. I understand that we really had to focus on the Spring Court in this book to get the development between Feyre and Tamlin and it was nice to get a change when we went Under The Mountain (those who’ve read will understand) but as usual I would have liked to see the other courts. Especially the Night Court, that sounds very captivating. Perhaps we’ll dive deeper in the next book/s.
Thank you very much for reading and I’ll talk to you in my next post.