"Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from stories, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin, a High Lord of the faeries. As her feelings toward him transform from hostility to a firey passion, the threats against the faerie lands grow. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose Tamlin forever" -- ‡c Provided by publisher.
Featured Series4 primary books5 released books
A Court of Thorns and Roses is a 5-book series with 4 primary works first released in 2016 with contributions by Sarah J. Maas.
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What can I say--this book opens like Hunger Games with a strong, hunting-savvy female lead and then dives into full Beauty and the Beast mode with the addition of fairies and dark fairy bargains.
The story is very straightforward with minimal surprises and uses dark fairytale tropes to its advantage. The first half lags with aimless palace wandering, although gives Feyre a chance to process and settle in.
Some bits were clunky; repeating that fairies were unable to lie too often, the event in the middle of the book, and asking the hero to set snares outside her palace room like fairies wouldn't notice.
I especially enjoyed the beautiful and emotional writing during the blue fairy scene that furthers Feyre's character arc.
Then, the pacing picks up and is maintained through the end with some interesting tension-building challenges. The romantic bits are cute, well-placed and elegantly fade to black. Yet, I wish there were more sister-to-sister scenes with no-nonsense Nesta in the second half.
Best of all: It has an actual natural ending in spite of being a series. Solidly enjoyable read.
This review is also featured on Behind the Pages: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Feyre is the only reason her family is alive. Having lost all their wealth, she and her family live in a small cottage out in the woods. Her father is a broken man, longing for the days of wealth. Her sisters do nothing to help and squander whatever coin Feyre can make from the animals she hunts. But Feyre made a promise to her dying mother, she will take care of the family no matter what they do.
With a stomach caved in from hunger, Feyre must go deeper into the woods to find game. And the farther into the woods she goes, the closer she comes to the borders of the fey. Said to be horrid creatures who once enslaved and tortured humans, Feyre must be careful as she hunts. Some fey are rumored to shape shift, and any animal could be one of them. As she sets her sights on her prey, and loses her arrow, Feyre will forever change her life.
After Throne of Glass, I never thought I would read Sarah J. Maas again. Thanks to my book club convincing me, I decided to give her another try.
I had my doubts when starting A Court of Thorns and Roses. There was a large amount of blunt and repetitive foreshadowing. Feyre mentions that she risks hunting a fey creature way too many times. On top of this other people mention it as well. Foreshadowing can be a powerful tool when used sparingly. Unfortunately, I grew impatient with the constant reminders and just wanted the plot to progress.
I will admit Feyre was a great character to follow. She was strong and independent, willing to do whatever she had to in order to survive. I would have liked to see her internally struggle with some of her choices in fey a bit more, but for the sake of the story moving forward they were quickly made. She did have moments where even the fey called her out on her actions, which I appreciated because she did make bad decisions. But there can't be a story without conflict. I just wish there had been more build up.
Sarah J. Maas has a tendency to add long trends of filler in between highly addictive action parts. I don't understand this, other than to make more pages out of a book. If you cut out all the filler in this book, I could have given it a higher rating. But for the sake of making time pass in her novel, she adds days of Feyre doing much of nothing other than wandering around in her surroundings. Even when we are introduced to the Blight on the fey, instead of back to back action, we are faced with days of Feyre doing nothing.
I'm willing to give her a try with one more book. Given how Feyre's character developed by the end of this novel, I want to know more of what happens to her. We also have the chance of seeing what the other fey courts are like, and I very much want to see Maas' twist on them.
Thank God that T*mlin lovefest is over and I can move on to more important books. Aka ACOMAF. I only read this so I cam read ACOMAF.
This is the first book in a while that has me screaming into my pillow. I have known about it for a while, and have heard good things, but was skeptical. I really like the beginning of Throne of Glass, but the ending got a little too complicated and the relationships convoluted, and generally unenjoyable and I didn't want to go though that again. I'm glad I did though because this book is amazing. I really like how the characters are really diverse in their motivations and back stories. There are no cookie cutter characters, and even the background characters like Alis have fully flashed out stories. The story doesn't feel rushed, and I like learning the magic system from Feyre because she has a warped understanding because she is human, so learning it through her perspective is really interesting. The romance also doesn't feel overbearing, and is definably the B plot to the whole magic debacle and the blight/Amarantha.
Lucian is my favorite character because he is just so snarky but can still hold his own in a fight despite the fact that Tamlin is the all-powerful one. I also like the relationship that Feyre and Lucian develop because it feels very playful and brother sisterly, but he really does care about her. During the rite, and when Rhysand visits, he protects her from a danger that she may or may not even recognize herself. He truly cares about her past Tamlin being his bro and him tolerating her for his sake. I also like his tragic back story because it makes him relatable as a character and he may be this snarky and standoffish character, but he has walls built up because of the trauma, which is a very human thing, despite being fae. Also the fact that he can stick it back to his family by being Tamlin's ambassador and dealing with them is such a power move. And he has a whole development arc where he genuinely starts to like her and tells her that he would protect her even if Tamlin didn't insist on it because she risked her life to save him by giving up her name to Amarantha, even though he had been an asshole to her in the past. One of my favorite scenes in the whole book is when Lucian blows up at Feyre for making the deal with Rhysand to heal her because he would have healed her as soon as he was able to move after Amarantha made Tamlin punish him for helping Feyre in the first trial. They have a really good sibling relationship, and I'm excited to see that develop as the series goes on, especially since Lucian's bio family is full of assholes that tried to kill him, and Feyre made sure to give them some murderous stairs.
I originally wasn't a fan of Rhysand as a character because he was on the side of villainy for no apparent reason, which I suppose was the point because he is the high lord of the night court and is supposed to be all mysterious, so he did a good job of that. But as the book went on and he started to develop more of a relationship with Feyre, and told her about how Amarantha was actually punishing him for his father killing Tamlin's father and brother, who she liked because they also hated humans, I started to like him more. I think his fascination with Feyre, and his rivalry with Tamlin is super fun, and an interesting dynamic that puts Reece in a weird gray area between good and bad, which I think suits him perfectly. He definitely fits the type of tall dark and handsome, and I haven't really looked into the fandom for this series, but I have a feeling the Reece and Feyre is a popular ship, as opposed to Tamlin and Feyre which is the canon main ship going on right now. I would not be opposed to a love triangle, but I like that Tamlin and Reece's rivalry seems entirely separate from Feyre, and Reece is just kind of using her to get to Tamlin, but Feyre seems to understand this, and no real feelings seem to be developing, which is always good.
I really like Tamlin as a character, but on the whole, I was underwhelmed by him in particular. I thought he had a really interesting character, but since he had to keep a secret during the first half, and in the second half under the mountain he had to remain distant for Feyre's sake, I feel like he didn't get as much characterization as many of the other characters, making him a little underwhelming as opposed to Reece or Lucian or even Amarantha.