Synopsis

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 jewelled 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.

4 of 5 stars for A Court of Thorns and Roses!

I love YA fantasy novels. I love reading about vampires and fae and sirens. Whatever mythical creature you have on your plate, let me have it. This book opened a new door for me and I loved Maas’ portrayal of the fae courts. The world building was good, the supporting characters were interesting, but the protagonist made me want to rip my hair out.

Let me explain.

Fayre was just so damn naïve and so deeply enthralled with Tamlin that she missed so much going on around her, despite being given so many warnings and seeing so much evidence with her own eyes. Her love for him was truly blind and that made this book incredibly difficult to read at times, but I think this is also one of the reasons why I loved Fayre as a character (much to my surprise.)

Loyalty is the one character trait that Fayre had throughout the entire book, whether that was loyalty to her mother, to the town, her father, sisters, Tamlin, or the Spring Court itself. Fayre was loyal to a fault and was so forgiving even when she shouldn’t have been.

It’s taken me some time to think through this book before I could write this review because I’ve realized that I’m the same way. Loyalty is perhaps my strongest character trait and it’s also the trait I value the most (to the point that it is also my biggest weakness.) So all of the betrayal and mistreatment that Fayre experiences in this book wasn’t immediately apparent to me because I connected with her character so strongly that I fed into the same excuses she was led to believe.

I don’t want to give away too many details, because it’s important to read her story as it’s told even though it’s frustrating as all hell, but there was a significant portion of this book that dealt with abuse and being mistreated by those you love the most.

I threw myself into that fire, threw myself into it, into him, and let myself burn.

A Court of Thorns and Roses, Sarah J. Maas

And this does seem to be a theme in Fayre’s life. Yet despite all of the mistreatment and complete lack of appreciation for how much she sacrifices, she still gets the short end of the stick over and over and over again.

The most frustrating part of this book, for me, was after I would put it down and I had time to think about what Fayre was going through without feeling so much. For a while I really thought Maas was going to let Fayre be yet another heroine who falls into the deep dark abyss of abused housepets despite being previously portrayed as a badass feminist warrior, but I was left with a cliffhanger that gave me hope for Fayre.

And even more important than that, I think this book shows how easy it is to make excuses for people when you love them. It’s easy to look the other way and make up a quick excuse for bad behavior, as if all of the good things can pay for the damage caused by the bad. As long as this is something you realize while reading this book.

If you finish reading this book and you’re still rooting for Fayre and Tamlin, girl we need to talk. (I’m not joking.) And if you’ve finished reading this book and you’re hesitant about moving onto the rest of the series precisely because of Fayre’s questionable relationship with Tamlin, don’t be. 

If I’d read this book as a standalone I would probably be disappointed, but I picked up the second book in this series quite quickly after finishing this one and, without giving too much away, I am much happier with that book and this series as a whole after reading it.

Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.

A Court of Thorns and Roses, Sarah J. Maas

So, while this book was a really good read, it was also a really difficult for me to process afterwards. However, the (kinda) cliffhanger ending gave me some much needed hope for Fayre and the rest of the ACOTAR series.

And as it turns out, sometimes the villain is just a hero in disguise. Dun. Dun. DUUUUNNN. 

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