This review is a part of a series of book reviews where, instead of providing a star review for each book, I provide the top three things I like about each book, and the top three things I dislike about each book. This means that even if I absolutely adore a book, I’m still going to find three dislikes to list and even when I despise a book, I’ll still find the three things that I enjoyed. Then you get to decided based on these things if the book is right for you.
Because of the nature of this review, there will occasionally be some spoilers, though I do my best to minimize them as to not completely ruin the story for those who haven’t read it.
I finally had to give the A Court of Thorns and Roses series a read between my friends all recommending it to me and the television series announcement. And, I’m torn.
But, first, a summary.
Sarah J. Maas weaves a mesmerizing tale in her novel, “A Court of Thorns and Roses.” Set in a richly imagined world where humans coexist with powerful faerie creatures, this book takes readers on a thrilling journey filled with magic, danger, and unexpected romance.
The story revolves around Feyre, a young human huntress struggling to survive in a harsh and divided world. When she unknowingly kills a faerie in the woods, she finds herself entangled in a web of consequences. As punishment, Feyre is taken to the faerie realm, Prythian, where she must live out her days in the Spring Court under the watchful eye of Tamlin, a powerful High Fae.
What unfolds is a captivating narrative as Feyre navigates the complex politics and treacherous intrigues of the faerie realm. Sarah J. Maas expertly crafts a world teeming with mythical creatures, breathtaking landscapes, and a sense of enchantment that leaps off the pages. Her descriptive prose paints vivid images that transport readers into the heart of this fantastical realm.
The characters in “A Court of Thorns and Roses” are multi-dimensional and compelling. Feyre’s transformation from a hardened survivor to a brave and resourceful young woman is beautifully portrayed. Her relationship with Tamlin is filled with tension, passion, and unexpected tenderness, creating a captivating dynamic that keeps readers eagerly turning the pages.
Maas effortlessly blends action, romance, and political intrigue, maintaining a steady pace throughout the story. The plot is full of twists and turns, with moments of heart-pounding excitement and emotional depth. The introduction of secondary characters adds depth to the narrative and sets the stage for future installments in the series.
While the book is a delightful read overall, there are moments when the pacing slows down, and certain plot elements feel predictable. Additionally, some readers may find certain aspects of the romantic relationship controversial or triggering, as it explores themes of dominance and control.
Despite these minor flaws, “A Court of Thorns and Roses” is a captivating start to a series that will leave readers craving more. Sarah J. Maas’s ability to craft a compelling fantasy world and complex characters is commendable. If you’re a fan of immersive fantasy tales with a touch of romance, this book is a must-read.
In conclusion, “A Court of Thorns and Roses” is a captivating and imaginative tale that transports readers to a world where fantasy and romance intertwined. Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling and vivid descriptions create an immersive experience that will delight fans of the genre. With its compelling characters and thrilling plot, this book sets the stage for an exciting series that is sure to enchant readers until the very last page.
My Review of A Court of Thorns and Roses
As I was reading the first book in this series, A Court of Thorns and Roses. I found it enjoyable. I really did. Sure, it was a bit slow to start out, but once it got going I was pretty hooked. Despite that, I can’t gush about how amazing this book is like you’ve probably seen many others do. It was good and entertaining, but it wasn’t life-changing.
I felt like the author’s characters were well-built, however, I found myself enjoying some of the side characters more than the main characters.
Feyre, the main female character, was sometimes cool, but oftentimes annoying. Since I tend to insert myself into the main character as I’m reading, it made it hard for me to fully immerse myself in the world during the times when I thought Feyre was dull. I loved some of the side characters like Lucien and Rhysand. Tamlin, the main male lead, was pretty much a dud in my books. Definitely not the swooning male lead I was hoping for. Pretty much any other character would’ve made a better male lead.
The world-building was rather good too. However, it felt a bit cliche at times. Other times it felt like minor details were too odd when the main characters and focus remained carefully normalised. I felt like this author wanted to create a whimsical fairy world, but was worried that making it too fairy would turn off some readers. So, if you’re not a huge fantasy reader considering giving the ACOTAR series a try, this is probably good news for you. However, if you’re a big fantasy reader, you may find the lack of commitment somewhat frustrating.
The plot felt a little disjointed to me as well. It almost felt like there were two different stories in this book. Because of this, I almost felt like both stories weren’t fully developed. I would’ve found the second half of the book less cheesy and out of place had it been a larger part of the story with more time to develop.
Edited to say: So many of my friends made me promise to read through the second book in this series before I could decide to abandon it. I will say, after completing the second book, that they were right to do so. The second book seems to be the story the author really wanted to tell. This first book is basically all just story set up for the second book. I was much, much more invested in the second book and at one point during my reading of it, I had to go back through this first book and even the beginning of the second book to reread them with my new understanding. So if you plan to read this series, commit to the first two books.
Here are my top three likes and dislikes of the first book.
Top Three Likes:
1. Rhysand was a fun character. Hot morally conflicted characters guys will always find a place in my heart. You know this, my girlfriends know this, SJM knows this. And his end scene *kisses fingertips.*
2. The bite scene with Tamlin. I thought this scene was pretty hot. Is it because I love press me up against the wall cliches? Absolutely. Although, I didn’t like the way Feyre handled it in the morning, which kind of soured it a little bit.
3. I think character-building was the strongest part of this novel. I enjoyed several of the different characters which all seemed to be vibrant and interesting in their own ways.
Top Three Dislikes:
1. Disliked Tamlin greatly. Am I really supposed to want him to be the main love interest? Feyre literally had more chemistry with every single other character, including snarky Lucien and the not-so-sexy Suriel, than she did with Tamlin. No wonder she wanted to up and leave with all his money. She should’ve.
2. Thought the whole trial bit was cliche, amateur, and—dare I say—cheap. Love? Is that the best we can come up with?
3. The beginning was slooooow. Found it really hard to get into initially.
Overall, I thought A Court of Thorns and Roses was a fun read, but it kept reminding me of the Twilight rage from my youth. I loved those books in the moment, but when I tried to go back to them years later I couldn’t remember why I’d liked them so much. This book seems to read about the same way. I enjoyed it in the moment, but as I’m looking back on it to write this review, I’m not fully sure what made it so great.
Despite saying this, I would still and do recommend this book. It is hard to write fantasy. I feel like almost all of the fantasy books that I recommend come with some slight disclaimers.
My friends tell me the second book is really where it’s at. Shall I see if they’re right?
Check out the full series here.
What about you? How’d you enjoy this book. I’d love to hear and discuss in the comments.
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