A Court Of Thorns and Roses


Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Year: 2015

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

A Court of Thorns and Roses is the first novel in the adult fantasy series by Sarah J. Maas, known by the same name or the initials ACOTAR. 

ACOTAR has been a huge series all over social media for a while now so I did want to see what the fuss was about and when it was selected for my book club read I was very happy to finally get the chance to read it.

Feyre is a young woman who lives with her family in the human realm. Her family have lost everything so she is forced to hunt for food to survive. One day whilst out in the woods she encounters a faerie in the shape of a wolf and kills him.

The next night a terrifying creature comes to claim retribution and tells Feyre that she must come with him to Prythian, the faerie realm or be killed there and then. She agrees and goes with him and discovers he is not just a faerie but a High Fae named Tamlin – one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled the human realm.

As she settles into her new surroundings, her icy hostility towards Tamlin and his emissary Lucien begins to thaw and turn into fiery passion, but something isn’t right in the faerie lands and a dark sinister force is brewing. Also by killing Tamlin’s sentry, what chain of events has Feyre set into motion.

I have to admit given the books very significant fanbase (and I hope not to get too much hate on this post as a result) that I really struggled to get into this book for a significant portion of it.

The books opening is very strong and was probably the best part for me and having Feyre suddenly get whisked away by a beast to a place away from her family and friends is very dramatic and exciting. However once she arrives at Prythian the pacing really slows down to a crawl and it becomes very monotonous as Feyre tries different ways to escape, doesn’t succeed and then decides she won’t try to escape again before trying to do so anyway. I read the bulk of this section on a 2 hour train journey and the truth is when I reached my destination the story had barely moved forward.

Also her character development in this section for me is very all over the place – she does begin to trust Lucien and Tamlin but even when they tell her not to do something, she goes and does it anyway and sometimes for what seems to be very little reason.

The book does have small glimmers where it tries to be exciting in this section, for instance Lucien and Feyre are out riding and encounter a faerie which will kill them if they acknowledge it which is a tense small scene. However the fact I can’t remember this faerie’s name shows how little it really affected me.

Once Feyre does return to the human world and decides to go back to Prythian to rescue Tamlin, the book does pick up somewhat and I did enjoy this part for what it was, even though it is just a role reversal of the fairy tale trope where the prince has to rescue the princess, although in this case it is Feyre rescuing Tamlin.

Here the main villain Amarantha is introduced, but she is very hammy and campy and though the trials are suitably macabre and quite exciting to read, it is pretty obvious how the book is going to end and it does end pretty much as you would expect so it isn’t really a surprising outcome.

I have heard the second book is a significant improvement on this book so I may give this one a chance at some point but unfortunately I personally can’t really recommend this first entry due to it’s very slow middle section and also the quite tropey storyline.

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