Sunday, 4 September 2016

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas - non-spoiler review.

Hi booklovers

Today I'll be reviewing A Court of Thorns and Roses. I read this book for the first time when it came out last year and I reread it in July before moving on to A Court of Mist and Fury.
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: YA/NA, fantasy
Format: paperback


Feyre is a mortal huntress who - like almost every other mortal - fears everything faye and fairy-related. One day, while she is out hunting to feed her starving sisters and father, she encounters a wolf. She doesn't hesitate to kill it, but she'll pay a high price for it. As punishment she is taken to the Spring Court, one of the 7 kingdoms of Prythian to live with her captor Tamlin and his emissary Lucien.

I both liked and loathed Feyre. On the one hand she is a determined character that goes to great lengths to help her family although they don't really appreciate it. She goes through a bit of character growth, which is good, but it's not a major growth. One thing I did like was that she wasn't a virgin. Sometimes the heroin in a story becomes more human because of that. I don't really know how to explain it, but I thought that was one of the strongpoints of Cleo in Falling Kingdoms too. Maybe in ACOTAR it was because it shows that even though Feyre usually only thinks about taking care of others, she sometimes lets her own needs and wants be more important. Another thing I liked a lot was her bantering with Lucien.
On the other hand she made some really, really stupid decisions. How many times can you put yourself in harm's way by doing things or going places you're not supposed to? A great many times, apparently!
The summum of her stupid decisions was when she leaves Tamlin, even though she has been warned not to. There was only one occasion where you can applaud her for risking her own life and that's when she goes 'Under the Mountain' to save Tamlin.

Talk about a fickle guy! One minute he comes barging in Feyre's hut to take her to the Spring Court and the next he's trying to make Feyre like him by giving her compliments.
I get why he's trying to be friendly to her and wants her to love him, although I don't like that we find that out very late into the story. (More about that later.)
I have to admit I was rather intrigued by him and his permanently attached mask and the curse that was put on him and his entire court.

I liked Lucien from the start. He is such a feisty character and like I said, I really enjoyed his bantering with Feyre. I also liked how his sympathy towards Feyre goes from absolutely loathing her to actually caring for her and being her friend. I would, however, have liked to get more of his backstory.
We find out that he left his scheming father and brothers behind in the Autumn court after they killed his lover. We also only find out how he lost his eye until very late in the story.

At first I thought he was a true villain because he is portrayed that way. He sometimes is an absolute prick, but you soon realise there's so much more to him.
Why did he 'stumble' when he left Feyre behind at the end after Amaranthe was defeated?

Even though I hated this character with a passion, she was also very interesting character. I kept wondering why she was so evil. Unfortunately, we don't really find that out.

I find the idea of a world divided into a mortal and immortal realm fascinating. I also really enjoyed the different courts. However, I would have liked to see more of the courts, and it that regard I found the worldbuilding to be lacking and that's a pity. Even the Spring Court isn't shown completely.

It took me about 100 pages to get into the story the first time I read it because I found it to be a bit slow at first.
The last part of the story, when we are 'Under the Mountain' was very captivating, however. This was an emotional rollercoaster with Feyre being beaten up, almost dying, striking the bargain with Rhysand, having to kill those faeries. My heart almost broke at that point.

*Overall rating:
When I read this when it first came out last year I rated it 4.5 stars, but now I'm giving it 3.5 stars, because this time around Feyre got even more on my nerves at times. I also felt like some things didn't add up: Feyre is illiterate - she only knows her letters - but Maas sometimes uses words that I think Feyre would never use or think of.

I have to admit I wasn't expecting the steamy scenes. I didn't mind them, I just found them unexpected and rather explicit for a YA book. I only recently found out that ACOTAR is sometimes categorised as NA, so beware of that.
Have you read ACOTAR? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments.

Bye for now


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