Genre: Young Adult, Fairy-tale Retelling
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Published: May 2015
A Court of Thorns and Roses
After many stressful hours of furious reading, at 2am in the morning I finished what is quite possibly one of my favourite books. Ever. This book needs a warning with it: WARNING – Serious bookhangover may ensue . . .
The Best Book You’ll Read All Year
And just when you thought Maas couldn’t get even more awesome, she does. OH. MY. GOD. Is this book amazing or what?! I’m sure from all the glowing reviews you’ve already seen this book does anything but fall short of the standard Maas has set in Throne of Glass – and I really mean it. ACOTAR is a delightful mix of fantasy, Disney, the fae, and kick-ass characters kicking ass.
Feyre is the youngest of three girls whose merchant family has fallen upon hard times and their mother has passed away. They’re left in the incapable hands of their father who doesn’t even seem inspired enough to lift a finger to help them. The other two, Nesta and Elain, seem like a delicate daisies with no hope of surviving alone. So Feyre, with her promise to look after them that she made to their mother, is left to fend for them all alone. And it’s bloody hard work.
Each day she treks off into “the forest” to hunt down some food in the hope that this won’t be the week that her family starves to death. But! When she spies a deer she doesn’t hesitate to aim for a killing shot . . . but a wolf appears. So. The story takes off when Feyre murders the wolf (and skins him!) and he turns out to actually be a faerie. A big bad wolf (heh heh) comes to her house and demands she pays for the wolf’s life with her own, either by death, or by coming to live with him across the wall. No big deal, right? . . .
So let’s take just a few baby steps back here.
The fae are mythical creatures (fairies essentially) who appear in a magnanimous number of YA fiction these days. Why? Because they’re fan-freaking-tastic. The court that we get to predominantly deal with in ACOTAR is the Spring Court – however, depending on the author, there are many different courts. I think I’m semi-obsessed with this book purely because I have such a big thing for the construction of the fae world – I LOVE IT.
There’s almost always a Summer and a Winter court but the rest tend to vary. Here, we have the Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Dawn, Day and Night courts (I’m pretty sure I remembered them all . . .) and they all play a big part in the mysterious events that are only just visible to Feyre’s eyes as she explores the world of the fae. Because not all is as it seems. Tamlin, the big bad wolf guy (who’s actually a High Lord – a fancy important fae) is the super sexy, melt-worthy, draw-droppingly handsome male protagonist of the story. And Feyre’s “captor”. Cue: girl-power heroine!
I really, really like Feyre. She definitely adheres to some of the amazing characteristics of Katniss (from The Hunger Games) – she’s a hunter to start with, but just all round she a solid character with a good heart and strong will in a very difficult and trying situation. She’s really torn up about keeping her promise to protect her family which I find so honourable – the first month or so she spends in Tamlin’s company she’s trying to contact them and warn them about this “blight” (which I’m not going to say any more about because you’re going to read about it anyway). I think she’s just a really fantastic character and I can’t wait to read more about her in the sequel (BECAUSE YES THERE’S A SEQUEL).
INTERRUPTION: Beauty and the Beast
So let’s take one (very quick) moment here to address the fact that Maas has loosely based part of this off the infamously good Beauty and the Beast *drools* I loove Disney and I don’t think I’ve really stopped squealing over the fact that she’s utilising this global obsession everybody has with it. In short, 10 points to Gryffindor there.
Okay, back to Feyre
Her relationship with Tamlin is intense to say the least. It’s really tricky to review this without giving anything away, so if you haven’t read it yet, DON’T click on the spoiler. If you would like to see the spoiler section this review click here where it’s ‘hidden’ on Goodreads. What has to be one of the most heart-breaking elements to Feyre’s character, though, is the fact that she’s illiterate. It also makes you want to cry because we all love Belle and her love of books, but this is something that’s denied from Feyre’s character. The amount of frustration that her “shortcomings” caused her made me feel so sad with her. It’s not her fault that she can’t read or write, which is sad, yes. But, Maas likes to have fun with cruelty in this book – so I’ll let you ponder over the possibilities there.
On a side note, I really like Nesta. Fullstop.
Alis, Attor, and Lucien’s brothers
Just a quick mention of these three. One: I love Alis, I want her to have a huge and awesome role in A COURT OF MIST AND FURY (book two) THAT COMES OUT MAY 2016 so badly! And I would love to see more of her nephews, because aww. I also love how blunt she can be with Feyre – especially with the whole glamour thing. Two: I couldn’t help but imagine Attor as anything but one of the gargoyles from The Hunchback of Notre Dame (maybe not intentional? *waggles eyebrows*). And three: Lucien’s brothers, I hate them. I hope they die and really horrible and miserable (and slow!) death at some point.
Tamlin & Lucien
Oh my goodness, I love these boys. They’re such a brilliant element to the story and I honestly could not get enough of them if I tried. Lucien’s story is super-duper sad and I so, so wanted him to have an intense love interest too (and there better be one in BOOK NUMBER TWO). I thought his golden orb-like eye was magnificently cool. Tamlin is such a mysterious character, and I love how we find out about a good percent of this plot over awkward dinner conversations. I was dancing around my room with glee every time there was a link to Beauty and the Beast. I honestly can’t express how much I love Tamlin – he’s so, ugh, dream-worthy to say the least. I have to admit that I was slightly concerned at some moments that Lucien would develop a love interest for Feyre. But that was completely obliterated when you actually discover the true plot in the second half of the novel – seriously, you won’t even see it coming. Or maybe you will, but just gasp anyway, will you?
Rhysand & Amarantha
After quite a few hours pondering over certain aspects about this mysterious character, I’ve managed to come to a grand total of no conclusions whatsoever about how I feel about him. In fact, I’m afraid if you haven’t read this book you’re in for a disappointment – because I cannot review Rhysand without spoiling things. So. Spoiler section.
Uhmm, Amarantha is a
bitch horrible person. Spoiler section. She’s actually just so horrible, I don’t know where to begin. So I think I’m just not going to. Perhaps I should say, she’s not for the faint-hearted? Spoiler section.
Everyone needs to read this book. Seriously, I mean it. The sexual tension is to die for and I’ll bet your bottom dollar that you won’t get through it without blushing (there’s some veery blush-worthy moments in this). I would give this infinite stars out of 5 if I could, but I can’t, so I shall stick to my dismal 5/5 and pretend that that’s a satisfying rating for this masterpiece of a novel. I really hope time travel is invented soon – I simply cannot wait a WHOLE YEAR for the next instalment. Thank god for Throne of Glass.
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