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

My review of this book was originally posted on Nerdy Book Club. Some details about the book are below:

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy

Format: eBook

Pages: 416 pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children

Publishing Year: 2015

2015 Reading Challenge: A book with nonhuman characters

It’s been a while since I’ve heard the classic story of a Beauty forced from her home to live with a Beast in order to save her family. And never have I heard it quite like this.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas beautifully paints a world in which faeries and humans are divided. Humans once lived as slaves to faeries, but a terrible war many years ago forced the humans to the southernmost part of the land. An invisible wall separates them from the faeries in the north.

The faerie land of Prythian is also separated by seven courts; the Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Dawn, Day and Night courts. Humans have been taught to fear the faeries, who are considered deadly immortal creatures, and no mortal would dare to enter Prythian, “not unless they had a death wish.”

Nineteen-year old Feyre is not your classic Beauty. She lives with her father and two sisters in poverty, although most of the humans are poor and starving. She helps her family to survive by hunting in the woods.

When Feyre kills a wolf in the woods (which was actually a faerie), a Beastly faerie man named Tamlin, demands retribution for the killing. She is forced to either die, or join him in his home in the faerie lands to live out the rest of her days. Forced to leave her family to enter lands that she has only heard about from stories, she fights against her captor and refuses to lavish in the luxuries of the faerie lands. But her previous prejudices about the world of the Fae slowly begin to change, and she realizes that everything she had known had been a lie.

If that hasn’t intrigued you quite yet, just for good measure, Maas throws in another twist. At the same time that she is adjusting to life with the Fae, Feyre realizes that a great evil plagues the faerie lands, and she must find a way to stop it before it reaches the mortal world, where her family still resides. I wish I could tell you so much more, but then I would be spoiling the entire book. Just know that what I explained to you is only in the first 100 pages.

The Court of Thorns and Roses is a fast-paced, action-packed novel that is extremely difficult to put down. My mouth was open from the moment I started to the very end. The minute I thought I knew what was going to happen, I was immediately proven wrong.

The story is about love and survival, fighting for your family and what’s in your heart. Also there is this theme of overcoming one’s pride and prejudice to release oneself from the “thorns.” Feyre is an amazingly powerful female character, but Maas also shows her at her most vulnerable. Stripping all of that toughness away, you are able to see both sides of her. Feyre sheds her “thorns” and releases her hatred for the Fae.

Maas beautifully constructs her characters so that one minute you hate the character, you think that they are awful, evil and beastly. And then Maas reveals a layer, another side to them that you haven’t seen, and your heart begins to soften. Maybe they aren’t as bad as you initially thought? It begins this love/hate relationship with every character. Even Feyre displays these qualities, these moments where she has to choose between right and wrong. If it’s in the name of love or survival, does that make it just? Feyre contemplates this question several times in the novel, and it’s her decisions and their consequences that shape the outcome of the novel.

I have been a fan of Sarah J. Maas for a while now, having read her Throne of Glass series. But I have to say that she has taken it to a whole other level with this book. A cross between Beauty and the Beast, Pride and Prejudice, and Game of Thrones; this book is sure to entertain both teens and adults. There is no shortage of creepy crawly creatures, evil sorceresses, possible love triangles, magic, and beautiful gowns. It’s everything that I love in a young adult book.  By far one of my favourite reads of 2015! I’ve heard that Maas is already working on the sequel to this book, due out in Spring 2016. This novel ended on such a great note that I am not sure where she is going to take it in the follow-up/sequel, but I can’t wait to find out.


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