A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – ⭐⭐
The fact that so many people rave about this book and list it as a favorite series is absolutely baffling to me. Maybe they’re taking the series as a whole and not just this first book? I’m not sure I see it.
I’m surprised… but also totally not at all surprised.
Recommended: not really
Stay away if you want drama and action and conflict and pressure. If you’re okay with just learning about the daily life of a person learning about a world of fairies then you might like it
Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price. Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jeweled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.
This book came out years ago and even then I thought to myself that it didn’t sound quite like something I would like. Despite the fact that I had loved the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Mass, I just had a bad feeling about her sophomore series and, well, I wasn’t wrong.
Frankly the first 70% of this was pretty boring. I feel like that’s completely blasphemous for a Maas book, and in fact maybe if I hadn’t read her other series this wouldn’t have seemed so painful in comparison! The majority of this book was just about Feyre living at the manor, wandering around and having random conversations and thinking about art. While the world was promising, nothing was happening. I just kept thinking, what does any of this matter? Part of the plot hinges on the fact that Feyre herself doesn’t know what’s going on, but since I also then didn’t know what was going on as a reader there was no excitement or push to keep reading.
My other main issue here is that when we finally did get some motivation and story for things that were going on, it was just plopped out there by a side character telling a story over the course of a few pages. It wasn’t delicately woven in; there were no hints; it was just “here’s all your exposition and background in one convenient block.” I almost felt like the book could have started there and I would have been able to read it just fine.
Now, okay, the ending was exactly what I had been looking for the whole time! The last 25% was exciting and clever and had fascinating characters in a world that I was dying to see more of. If the rest of the series is more like that, I will totally continue to read it! However, at the moment I definitely need a break because this one was pretty disappointing overall. I would like to see more of Rhysander, though…
Which brings me to the point of the relationship between Tamlin and Feyre. the development felt weak and nonsupporting of where they ended up at. Their conversations and actions together felt like they were missing some steps between beginning and end that made it hard for me to buy into their relationship or, really, to care about it.
Final issue: that riddle WAS SO OBVIOUS, FEYRE. 😑
Thanks to NetGalley for a free copy in exchange for an honest review!