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.
As a lover of all things fantasy, Sarah J. Maas books are insta-buys for me, and I very impatiently await their releases. After the raving reviews for this book, I was nervous about how my anticipation might affect my perception once I got my hands on it.
I can say with great conviction that this is one of the best Beauty and the Beast inspired stories that I have ever read. It’s been a while since I’ve been so entranced by a book that I wanted to just sit and devour it and do nothing else until it was finished. Once it was finished, I suffered a week long book hangover (these things do exist).
This book was much more than a retelling. The framework was there, but Maas was able to turn it into something completely different with just enough of the original Beauty and the Beast aspects, while still abundant in completely new story ideas and development.
I did not like the main character, Feyre as much as I had hoped, though I understood why her character was who she was (stubborn, slow to trust others, bitter). Feyre came from a difficult life of poverty and survival. This is important. I feel that the reader needs to know why the character is the way she is – it’s a very key piece in character that I find some authors leave by the wayside.
There was a whole lot of this coming from Feyre,throughout the book, which I could appreciate:
The book starts with our main character, Feyre, hunting in the woods outside of her town in order to feed her family when she mistakenly kills a Fae in wolf form. This triggers a chain of events where Tamlin, the delicious High Lord of the Spring Court, comes to retrieve her as payment for a treaty forged between humans and Fae – a life for a life. Feyre is expected to spend her remaining years at Tamlin’s court in Prythian (one of the Faerie lands).
The world building in A Court of Thorns and Roses is wonderful. From the village where the book begins to the land of Prythian where Feyre ends up, there was so much wonderful imagery and detail. I loved all of the different types of Fae, the culture they had, and the history of their land.
The characters were amazing (aside from me not being Feyre’s #1 fan). Feelings aside, Feyre’s characterization was still good. Tamlin was wonderful and gentle and ferocious and swoon-worthy. Lucian, the perfect side kick: loyal dark humored. Rhysand – dark and beautiful and cunning and mysterious and…and…(I may be crushing on him a bit). And of course there is the villain who has layed the curse – she’s pretty cruel.
I just loved it all. The plot. Maas’s version of the curse on the household. Everything was amazing and beautiful. Feyre was Belle but made of much sterner stuff – she is nothing like Disney Princess Belle. There were some steamy scenes for romance-lovers as well, but any romance in this book was a slow development and did not feel forced.
I will also say that I got some Twilight feels towards the end (and not in a bad way).
Also, something like this salute happened. Not sure if it was intentionally inspired by the Hunger Games or just coincidence:
The only real complaints that I have are
1: The pacing at the beginning was a bit slow, but I didn’t really mind it, although some might.
2. The answer to a riddle that needed to be solved was immediately obvious to me. To the point where I was like “Nah can’t be that. Too easy.” (Though apparently not easy enough for our heroine, Feyre.)
This book could have worked as a stand alone, but I can certainly see where the plot will be headed in book 2.
I highly recommend ACOTAR to basically everyone. If you like Beauty and the Beast, faeries, attractive men, magical curses, and kick ass heroines, then read on!