Friday, June 5, 2015

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Release: May 5, 2015
Source: ARC (gifted)

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.
Sarah J Maas has done it again! And she keeps getting better and better. When I found out that Sarah J Maas was writing a New Adult Fantasy trilogy, partly inspired by Beauty and the Beast, I could not contain my excitement. I knew I had to get my hands on this book ASAP. As with anything that Maas writes, this book did not disappoint. Dare I say, it was better than Throne of Glass. 

In a world divided by an invisible wall, there are two major races: Faerie and human. Rumors and history have poisoned 19-year-old Feyre against the Faerie race, until she kills a wolf disguised as Fae and a Faerie beast comes to her home demanding life for a life. That's what the Treaty dictates. Rather than submit to death, Feyre agrees to leave her father and two sisters, to live amongst the High Fae and his court. It's a world that is both magical and terrifying. She learns that there is a "blight" spreading across the Faerie court, that it may bleed through the invisible affect her family. But the High Fae, Tamlin, likes to hide behind his masks and his secrets. And soon hate turns into curiosity, into desperation, and then into love. 

Feyre is such a unique heroine. Fiercely determined and loyal, but also very self aware of her own limitations, she manages to be self sufficient. And what can I say about Tamlin? I love his sacrificial spirit and his awkwardness. I love his loyalty to his court and those he loves. I just love Tamlin and how he compliments Feyre in so many ways. Unfortunately, Maas doesn't shy away from putting her characters through Hell. It made my heart break to see both of them suffer. 

Despite this fantastic romance, though, I have to say my favorite character is Rhysand. He has such a commanding presence, a sort of arrogant charm to him that I probably would find off-putting in real life. And yet, I love him and his little black heart. 

As can be expected, A Court of Thorns and Roses has rich world-building--filled with new and traditional Faerie lore. And Maas somehow manages to submerge readers into this world without resorting to "info dumping". It's a world that's more difficult to understand than in Throne of Glass, but there's nothing too complex or too simple. Prythian is beautiful, wild, and I cannot wait to return to it for the sequel. 

I also appreciated that this book had a distinctive story arc. The ending resolved many of the conflicts, but leaves a lot of room for further exploration. Feyre's contract, the Island, her human world...all with questions still left to the imagination. I honestly don't know how I'm going to wait until next May for the sequel.