Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Published by Bloomsbury on 2015-05-05
Length: 416 pages
Reviewing eBook, Audiobook from My Book Shelf
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.
The first time I read A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas I devoured it. I read it so fast that I knew I wanted to read it again. Fast forward to now and I finally got the chance to do so. If you haven’t had the chance to read this yet, I highly suggest you grab a copy and do so ASAP! ACOTAR is a fantastic, high fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast about a young woman who unknowingly kills a Fae which sentences her to a life in the Fae lands.
Feyre is a bitter character when she is first introduced. As the youngest daughter in the family, you would think she would be the one cared for not the other way around. It was left to her when her father became crippled to take care of her family. She taught herself to hunt so they wouldn’t starve and this changed something fundamental about her. She became the character that is introduced: bitter, callous, and uncaring. Yet she is so much more. She dreams of a life where her sisters are wed and it is just her and her father and she can paint. Feyre is becomes complex as the book progresses. I loved reading as her character came out of her shell. She’s fierce, loyal, and actually cares too much which is why she seemed bitter, callous, and uncaring in the beginning. I love Maas’s ability to create such layered characters!
In the first chapter, Feyre kills a wolf, but it isn’t just any wolf. It is a fae in disguise. According to the treaty laws that keep the fae off the human land and vice versa, Feyre’s life is forfeit or she must go live in their lands. She rightly chooses to save her own skin and live with the Fae. Enter Tamlin. I know I’m going to get some hate mail for this BUT I didn’t like him. Tamlin was not my favorite character. He seems cold, out of reach, and to be honest not what I expected from my beloved Beast. It’s almost like he is above it all, but then he lets his curse and everything in his lands weigh him down at the same time. He’s controlling and manipulative and I never felt as the reader that I could trust his actions and intentions when it came to Feyre. His second-in-command Lucien however I loved. Basically what you see is what you get when it comes to Lucien. He’s brutally honest in his dislike for Feyre and yet that is somehow comforting. Don’t ask me to explain it, read it for yourself 😉
Now the plot of this book could really be split into two. The first half when Feyre kills the Fae and must learn to live with them, and the second half when she goes Under the Mountain. It really is like reading two different books with entirely different characters. The first half is about the budding romance between Tamlin and Feyre. It is almost reading about a courtship. He takes her on tours of his land, he forbids her go to certain areas, she develops feelings for not only Tamlin but the creatures in his land. The second half is all action. Feyre goes Under the Mountain to save Tamlin from the “she” that is referenced many times in the first half and the curse that plagues his people.
My favorite character (and my ship if I’m being honest) is introduced during briefly in the first half but plays a larger role in the second. Rhys is the lord of the Night Court. He’s tricky. I’ve yet to decide if he is acting in Feyre’s best interest or his own. But regardless of his reasons, one thing is clear: if not for him, Feyre would be doomed. Maybe I’m reading too much into his character but I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.
Overall I really enjoyed this story. I’ll be honest the first half is a little hard to get through unless you are invested in the Tamlin-Feyre ship which I wasn’t. It’s a little on the slow side as it sets the stage for the second half of the book. The second half however is fantastic and IMO totally makes up for the boring romance. I love Maas’s writing! Her world-building is unlike any that I’ve read and her characters have more layers than an onion. I love reading as she slowly reveals more about each character. If you enjoyed her Throne of Glass series or love high fantasy, I highly recommend this read.