A Court of Thorns and Roses | book review

A Court of Thorns and Roses

Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 419
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Original Publication Date: 2015
Genre(s): New adult, Romance, Fantasy

Ever since her family lost their fortune , Feyre has been taking care of her father and two sisters. That includes hunting in the forests near her house to provide food—most critical in the winter months when no kill means no food on the table. So when a wolf threatens to steal her doe, she kills both. Only the wolf was actually a faerie, and now Feyre must pay for this life with her own by living in Prythian with the faerie’s she’s been raised to hate. But when she finds herself becoming attracted to a faerie lord named Tamlin, her entire world is turned upside down, and soon she finds herself risking her life to save him—and perhaps all of Prythian.

If you’re on the book side of TikTok at all, then you’ve heard of ACOTAR. I was never interested in reading the series until BookTok convinced me, and on a whim I bought a box set for my birthday last year. Only now did I actually pick up the first book, and I am truly relieved to not regret these decisions. BookTok has not led me astray thus far…and now I’m obsessed.

A Court of Thorns and Roses is told in first person POV from the perspective of Feyre (pronounced fay-ruh). I can only wistfully dream of having such a cool name… Anyway. Feyre and her family used to be wealthy until her father took a risk—one that didn’t pay off. Then her mother died. But before she did, she made Feyre promise to look after her father and siblings, a task which proved to be exhausting and thankless. Her father is basically worthless, and her sisters are lazy and rude. So when she winds up in faerieland with hot faerie lords, tasked with simply enjoying herself and being free, you’d think Feyre would be over the moon. I know I would. Instead, she spends a large chunk of the book trying to escape, trying to get word to her family, etc. FOR WHY? I don’t know. I never understood why she cared so much for a family who treated her like trash.

Things like this kept me distanced from our main character. I was often confused by her decisions, her thoughts. Sometimes the plot confused me too, as well as the decisions the faeries made. Things just seemed…weirdly confusing. This, combined with the slow pacing of the beginning, some boring info dumps, and long trains of thought from Fryre with little dialogue or action, almost kept me from reading onwards. But I promise if you can just trudge through it, you won’t regret it. Once the slow-burn enemies to lovers tension starts heating up between Feyre and Tamlin, reading feels effortless. Throwing Rhysand into the mix? An absolute pleasure. Then with the trials at the end??? I was so entranced I stayed up till midnight to finish the book. And for an old lady like me, that’s saying something—I’m usually in bed by 8PM.

True, the writing wasn’t always amazing. And yes, some of the dialogue made me cringe. But at some point I just stopped caring. The tension, the action, and the romance had me begging for more by the end of the book. And the revelation in the second half of the book made me realize why the beginning was so confusing—why I didn’t understand the faeries’ reasoning and rationale. I never really understood Feyre but that’s fine, I still had a good time. In fact, I had a great time once I got into the story. And now I’m about to sit down and start ACOMAF because I am dying for more.

If you can get through the beginning, I guarantee you’ll be as in love with this story and the characters as I now am. I’m so glad I pushed through and am now on my way to understanding all the TikToks about this series and these characters. And I think the books are about to get a whole lot smuttier, so that’s a bonus too.

My Rating

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