April 29, 2015

Through the Mist, Through the Woods...

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury | Bloomsbury Children's
Pages: 432 pages
Source & Format: Publisher; ARC
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
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Summary (from Goodreads)
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.

Thoughts on A Court of Thorns and Roses
When A Court of Thorns and Roses was first announced, I was ecstatic. More from Maas? YES, PLEASE AND THANK YOU. I almost had a heart attack when I opened the mail one day to find a package from Bloomsbury. And then I carried the book around in my purse for a week (despite not reading it for at least two more months) just because I wanted it nearby. So, it seems like an understatement to say that I was looking forward to reading this book. Everything I heard about it sounded promising - a blend of Beauty and the Beast and faerie lore? I haven't been on the fantasy train for long, but I'm fully committed now.

In A Court of Thorns and Roses, huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods... but it's not just any wolf. She's killed a creature far more powerful than she ever could have imagined, and she'll have to pay with her life. She's dragged to a world she's only heard about in whispers and finds herself a prisoner in the home of a lethal, immortal and incredibly powerful fae, Tamlin. But all is not as it seems in his world. As a threat from afar grows ever closer, Feyre finds herself caught up in deadly battle for power - and love.

In a way, this book will feel familiar to Throne of Glass fans. Sarah's writing is gorgeous and gripping, as usual. And yet, you're entering an entirely different world. When Feyre arrives in Prythian, I wasn't sure what to think. There's so much darkness surrounding her, and there's danger in every corner. You can tell something isn't right, but you can't quite put your finger on why. From the frozen masks to the horrible creatures that lurk on the permieter, the Spring Court has retained only a glimmer of its former glory. The book opens with a bang, but then the pacing slows down when Feyre arrives at Tamlin's home. Seeing this place through her eyes made me wary and on edge, but I started to fall for its beauty at the same time she did.

While Maas creates intricate and otherworldly settings, it's her characters who take center stage. I think what I love so much about them is their complexity. No one is every truly good or bad. They embody the contradictions inherent in having both a head and a heart. Feyre is resourceful and willing to do anything for the people she loves, but she can also be reckless and blind to what's around her. Tamlin is powerful and fierce, but he's also been broken and burdened by the weight of his responsibilities. Lucien is sharp and distrustful, but there is humor and warmth underneath the surface. Rhysand is cocky and cunning, but he proves there's so much more to him than meets the eye. Then there's Amarantha and Feyre's sisters and everyone else who populates this world. You can't dismiss anyone because you never know what's going on beneath the surface. Characters can be both victim and victor, hero and helpless, and it makes for a fascinating read.

And it's their relationships with each other that drive the action of the book. The romance was the most memorable relationship for me in A Court of Thorns and Roses. Hello, swoon! It's worth nothing that this book is probably best for more mature readers. It's got more heat than I anticipated, especially for Young Adult. But while the romance is at the heart of the book, it's certainly not the only relationship that's explored. I loved Tamlin and Lucien's friendship, and Feyre's complicated feelings for her family. I'm really looking forward to seeing how all of these relationships develop.

I won't tell you what happens to mark a shift in the novel, but I can say that it ramps up the tension and leaves you breathless by the time you're done. If you think the beginning is slow, just wait until it's time to go Under the Mountain. It's a place you'll never forget! The ending was more resolved than I expected, which makes me even more excited to see what's in store for the rest of this series. A Court of Thorns and Roses wasn't a perfect read, but I loved almost everything about this twist on a tale as old as time!

So Quotable
“Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.”
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review.

1 comment:

  1. I just love your review for A Court of Thorns and Roses, Hannah. It perfectly captures exactly what I, too, loved about this novel! The characters, the story, the setting - all of it worked hand in hand to form a story that was impossible to put down (at least, for me). So glad you loved this one too!

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