I had a friend suggest this book to me because she knows I love Disney and romance and fantasy. It’s been compared as a more complex Beauty and the Beast, without the singing, and I would actually have to agree. It was actually really good.
A Court of Thorns and Roses is about Feyre, a girl living right by a wall that separates the humans and the magical Fae that humans hate because of their past together. Feyre is basically Katniss and has to hunt in the forest to get food for her starving family to survive. On one of those hunting expeditions, she ends up killing a Fae in a wolf’s body and Tamlin, High Lord of the Spring Court over the wall, comes to collect the debt she owes: according to this treat made however many hundreds of years ago, they have to trade a life for a life. She can either come to live with him and the faeries or he kills her.
So, obviously, she goes with him to Prythian and lives in this gorgeous manner with all these strange magical creatures who have masquerade masks stuck to their faces due to some magical blight that no one can tell her anything about.
From there unfolds a love story and there are some twists and then there’s some action and it’s actually incredible. I don’t know how to describe the turn of events without giving anything away, but it’s definitely worth the read.
Sarah J. Maas is great. All these characters have such different personalities and I love it. Feyre is stubborn and standoffish but strong and unyielding. Tamlin is serious, sometimes nice, sometimes awkward, a little bit mysterious because we can’t know what’s going on the whole time. His second in command, Lucien, is a sarcastic jerk, but his and Feyre’s banter is so fun.
Not nearly as fun as Feyre’s banter with Rhysand, High Lord of the Night Court. I feel like there’s something more to him than we’re allowed to see. There are a lot of scenarios that he acts like an arrogant jerk, but then he has these unguarded looks or sentences that kind of make you stop and wonder if he meant something else. He’s definitely not what meets the eye.
The villain, Amarantha, is so fun to hate. She’s written absolutely perfectly from her physical description to the way she speaks to her crazy actions.
And the plot is fantastic. Very loosely Beauty and the Beast in that Feyre trades her life for her family’s protection, she lives begrudgingly in this beautiful house, and she ends up falling in love with her captor. (Not really a spoiler there. You’ll see.) But the fact that there are all these secrets that are hinted at, but you can’t know until almost the end, and then you finally know and it all makes sense.
Really all of it is brilliant.
Should you read it?
You should definitely read it. I gave it 4/5 stars on goodreads. The way she builds this fantasy world was beautiful, and I usually hate really long descriptions but the way she words all of it is both easy to picture and not annoying to me. The characters grow on you and you want to jump into this world and live at the Spring Court with everyone.
There’s not a huge cliffhanger, thankfully. It hints at what’s to come in the next book, but it doesn’t leave you crying about where the next one is, that you need to know what happens RIGHT NOW, though you will want to read it soon because you just love the characters so much.
So yes, read it, love it.