A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. MaasA Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 5th May 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

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.

I’m just going to get this out of the way: I did not like this book. I did not like it at all. And while it does on some level makes me sad that I was so put off by a book written by an author that has produced otherwise fantastic stuff, A Court of Thorns and Roses is probably one of the worst books I’ve read this year (so far, lawd help me).

So I am not actually a fan of faerie related literature in any way; most of the stuff I’ve read about the fae, and sadly I have read way too much, is either full of cliches, is badly written, involves a romance so ridiculous my eyes have been in danger of rolling right out of my head or worse, all of these put together in one appalling story. ACOTAR falls into the latter category. The deeply tragic part of this is that because of Throne of Glass, I had high hopes for Sarah J. Maas to write a book about fae that I’d actually enjoy reading (me @ past me: lol).

ACOTAR is like supposed to be a fairytale retelling or something, but what it actually is Twilight with Faeries. Feyre, the main character, hunts and provides for her family instead of having a personality – idk, I think she’s like Cinderella? Her family is very ungrateful about everything she does for them and she finds release in having tragic sex with some random guy from the local village while feeling sad about her life a lot. She has two sisters who are described as being irresponsible with money and petty; their father is a terrible parental figure who doesn’t actually do anything, ever. Also I read like thirty percent of the book without even knowing her name, which just goes to show how interesting she is as a character. BUT then, because of reasons, Feyre is taken to the Fae Court to stay. It’s a punishment or something but anyway, we meet Tamlin, who I thought was a) gay and b) called Tamriel for half the book, and Lucien who is a) ambiguously gay with Tamlin and b) definitely not as interesting as Lucien from the Lumatere Chronicles. Tamlin is very brooding and angry about many things, but he has a soft spot for Feyre and is very loyal to Lucien (platonic bros 4 life). Also he is a Prince, powerful beyond reckoning and extremely, supernaturally handsome. Other characters: Amarantha, the ~evil~ Fae Queen (ALL OLDER WOMEN IN FAIRYTALES ARE EVIL IT IS KNOWN), Rhysand, the Damon Salvatore third point of the love triangle that I will complain about in a bit, and literally no one else important enough to mention.

Okay, so, the main story is…well, it’s nothing. There is no story. Feyre literally hunts things, makes a questionable decision and pays for it with her freedom, goes to the Fae Court and then spends the majority of the book thinking about Tamlin. It’s beyond dull. Their love story takes up most of the book, dear god, and towards the end there is an attempt to cram in some plot via the fae version of the Hunger Triwizard Tournament Games. It’s through this that Rhysand and the third point of the triangle that he brings with him becomes a thing. FTR: Rhysand and Feyre are marginally more interesting than Tamlin and Feyre. The bar has rarely been so low.

The romance, which is probably going to be this book’s biggest selling point, is dreadful. At best it is stereotypical drivel a la Edward Cullen/Bella Swan and at worst it crosses over into abusive and controlling, also like Edward and Bella. There are scenes in which Feyre’s misgivings and hesitation are ignored; she has things done to her against her will by a man who supposedly loves her and there is no discussion of it whatsoever. This is one of those stories which perpetuate the very naive idea that anger is a turn on and it confuses real violence with passion. Feyre is tattooed as a sign of ownership, painted so that the man responsible will know if she’s been ‘touched’ by someone other than him, and is kissed and touched against her will. Like, okay. This is all written off as Fae being ~different to humans, and in Tamlin’s case, his actions are romanticized with Feyre swooning over him despite his refusal to take No as an answer.

Also, the ending? I just…no. It was equally hilarious and terrible, and undermined the message of the story; it is Feyre’s humanness that saves them all but what happens to her, without her knowledge (lawd give me strength), effectively strips her of her humanity. I was unimpressed, to say the least.

is ~subtle

is ~subtle

 In summary, ACOTAR was Not Good. Will fae stuff and Twilight-esque romance ever not bore me into a coma? Computer says no.

7 comments on “A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

  1. Maraia April 21, 2015 6:07 pm

    I have read a million reviews gushing about how amazing this book is, so it’s actually refreshing to see a different perspective. I want to love this book, because Sarah J. Maas is great, but…I have a feeling I won’t enjoy the book nearly as much as I enjoyed your review. (It was highly entertaining, I have to say.) I don’t like the Fae, I don’t like Twilight, and I don’t like the New Adult genre so far. I hate books with abusive/controlling “romances.” So, yeah, not feeling super optimistic about this one.

  2. Maraia May 9, 2015 9:21 pm

    I’ve now actually read ACOTAR (I had to see for myself, or maybe I just like to torture myself), and your review is 100% accurate. I’m surprised you gave it 2 stars, to be honest.

    • Tatum May 10, 2015 2:14 pm

      I try not to give one star to anything if I can help it, just because it physically pains me to think that I’ve wasted time on such a terrible book. Hahaha, I am enjoying how ACOTAR is quickly becoming like a litmus test in the book community XD

      • Maraia May 12, 2015 9:09 pm

        Hahahaha, that is so true.

  3. Anon April 8, 2016 5:05 pm

    I’m sorry that you didn’t enjoy the book. I personally found it to be very well written, and while I would concede that it definitely reassembles a fairy tale, this was expected as the idea behind the plot was Beauty and the Beast.

    Also, while I would agree that a large part of the book appears shallow, I can’t help but think you might have missed the deeper conitations and themes that the author touches on, for example the theme of masks being extended to characters outside the Spring court, such as Rhysand, who must keep up a facade of loyalty to Amarantha to save his people.

    This leads me on to the idea of the characters being without depth, something I have to disagree with. A lot of their actions were hard to predict, especially with Feyre and Rhysand, and the characters are set up in a good position to continue the plot line in the next book.

    It’s a shame you don’t agree, but I think this book was really quite good, for this style of writing. Perhaps it just isn’t a genre you enjoy?

  4. Nicky October 11, 2016 7:04 pm

    I completely agree with this post. Another thing that a lot of people fail to notice is that fear is supposed to be an illiterate and yet she uses words such as ‘russet’, ‘baldric’, ‘opulent’, ‘mezzanine ‘ e.t.c. I mean isn’t the first person pov supposed to reflect the state of the characters as shown in books like Push by Sapphire and the curious incident of the dog in the night time? Also I feel like Mass puts too much sparkle on her characters, they’re are always the best at everything and always beautiful especially her male characters. Reading the book I couldn’t help but feel like she was trying so hard to tell us that ‘HEY TAMLIN IS SO AWASOME!’, ‘JUST LOOK AT HOW AWASOME AND POWERFUL AND SEXY HE IS!’. I’ve lost count on the number of times I rolled my eyes.

    • Nicky October 11, 2016 7:06 pm

      I meant ‘feyre’

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