Let me start this review off by saying I don’t usually go for the epic fantasy young adult genre. As much as I love faeries and the supernatural, I’m more of a John Green fan, but this book kept catching my eye in the stores and it had great reviews, so I decided to check it out.
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas is so not what I expected, but I loved being pleasantly surprised by its romantic setting, vivid characters and inventive plot. From the first chapter I was totally hooked, and I finished the book way faster than I had expected to.
It’s hard to believe that Maas started writing this series when she was 16. Judging by her writing, I had assumed the author was much older and more seasoned, but she’s still only 30 years old today, which I find so inspiring.
The writing is impressive, but I found the plot to be equally clever. A twist on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, the book kept me on edge with plenty of terrifying creatures, juicy secrets and an irresistible love story expertly woven in throughout.
A Court of Thorns and Roses begins in a small village with Feyre, a teenaged huntress fighting for her impoverished family’s survival. Her world is turned upside down after she kills a wolf in the forest and is taken away to a magical land to live with strangers.
One of the things I loved so much about this book is Maas’s vivid world-building. Every time I picked it up to read, the book would transport me to a beautiful land full of magical creatures and gorgeous natural wonders, like a pool filled with sparkling starlight. It was such a treat to be immersed in this supernatural world, and it really reminded me of why I love the fantasy genre so much. There was nothing about it that was eye-rolling or cliché or lame, which is increasingly hard to come by in the genre.
Setting aside, the characters in the book are enough to intrigue me. Feyre is complex with a fierce and strong warrior’s spirit but also a softer, more artistic side. Tamlin is also multi-dimensional and fascinating with many layers to him and stranger-than-fiction quirks. One of my favourite characters, though, is Lucien, a mischievous High Fae with a whirling metal eye, russet hair and plenty of attitude. I loved that he also had a softer side despite his hard, sarcastic exterior.
I won’t give away the ending, but I will say that I wish the book could’ve remained relatively conflict-free throughout (even though I know this is impossible!). Who wouldn’t want to escape into a magical and beautiful land full of faeries and manor houses forever?
Overall, I give A Court of Thorns and Roses two thumbs up. It was a treat from beginning to end, and I only wish I had picked it up sooner (I’m well aware of how late I am to the game on this one!).
Have you read any good books lately? I’d love to hear from you!