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Monday, May 4, 2015

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR #1)
by Sarah J. Maas
YA Fantasy
Amazon  /  Goodreads

Plot Summary


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.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

Review:

Oh my goodness.  This is everything a fairy tale retelling should be!  Enough of the original to get the same emotion and the beloved story, while also introducing new, fresh twists to the world-building and the characters, all with tension, enchantment and danger.  This story is so addicting as well, it captures your imagination from the beginning as the main character, Feyre, is thrust into a situation where the reader can instantly see her ferocious resolve and you know her strength of character will be very important as the story progresses.

Feyre is a gorgeous character.  Nuanced, flawed, but strong and persevering.  And believable - we get to see that she is scared but she does what needs to be done, and she gets put through a lot in this story!  Tam as the fae Beast, is an interesting character as well.  Although there were times when I found it hard to get into him - I suppose it was consistent with his character though, as he keeps himself closed off for quite a bit.  It did make the romance feel a little lacking for me in the beginning though.  It was really good, but I initially found it hard to understand why he fell in love with Feyre so quickly.  I could understand Feyre's love for him (or her fascination with him) much more easily.  But once I got past that, the fact that they would do anything for each other, made the romantic tension very fiery and intense, which was especially evident in the last half of the story.

This book is a combination of two fairy tales - Beauty and the Beast and Tam Lin, and the Tam Lin tale becomes much more evident in the action-packed last half of the novel.  I love the Beauty and the Beast tale, but I thought the last half of this book was so brilliant.  It's dramatic, fierce. full of danger and so gripping.  I could not put this book down!  The strength of the characters were severely tested as well, and new, delightful characters were introduced that made me marvel at the author's skill in creating such varied, intriguing and complex characters!  It would be fascinating to read stories based solely on all the secondary characters in this book.  (Especially Rhys please!!)

The world-building is another highlight of this story.  The fae lore that Sarah J. Maas created is dark, eerie, powerful - a gripping imagining of an other world that lives right alongside ours.  I loved that it felt familiar in a medieval setting sort of way, yet there were were many reminders of how unearthly and strange it could be to live there.  Sarah Maas brought so many imaginative changes to the traditional fairy tale world.

This is a series that can only get better after such an expansive and engaging set-up.  There are so many characters, relationships and plot developments I want to know more about.  The wait for the second book is already interminable, so I'll just have to revisit and revel in this enchanting and suspenseful book again and again.

(I received this book from the publisher or author for a fair and honest review.  I was not compensated for this review.)

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