A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
A Court of Thorns and Roses is the first book in Sarah J. Maas’ series by the same name. I’m surprised that people are considering this a Beauty and the Beast re-imagining. It only vaguely links to the fairytale. If I hadn’t been looking for the parallels, I doubt I would have made the connection between the two at all.
After Feyre kills a Fae, a great beast shows up on her family’s doorstep. He gives her the option of either coming with him forever or being killed. Not wanting to be killed, Feyre agrees to go with the beast and plots to escape as soon as possible.
When she arrives at the beast’s house, he transforms into a gorgeous Fae. Turns out he’s Tamlin, a High Lord, and just has the ability to turn into a beast at will. His only flaw is a mask permanently affixed to his face, which is the result of a curse that he shares with all of his people. As Feyre settles in, she soon discovers that Tamlin and his people are keeping secrets about a blight that is plaguing the Fae lands. Fearing that it will bleed over into the human lands, Feyre sets out to uncover as much information about it as she can.
Unpopular opinion time! I didn’t really care of this book. Throughout the entire thing, I kept flipping to the end and sighing over how many more pages I still had to go. The writing was fine, it’s just that there were so many things about how the story played out that I found predictable and/or irritating. It also didn’t help that I couldn’t connect with any of the characters. Feyre generally annoyed me with her obtuseness and her constant willingness to run blindly into danger. While I appreciate that she saved herself (most of the time), it was still annoying to watch her run off halfcocked into danger. As for Tamlin, I never really got a good feel for him. He’s kind of just… there. When he’s on the page, he’s usually just doing all the cliched things a love interest is supposed to do. I thought the side character, Lucien was a lot more interesting.
A Court of Thorns and Roses really just managed to push all the wrong buttons for me. For instance, I hate when magic is linked to sex. It’s one of my pet peeves and it frustrated me in this book even more because the scene with it seemed to serve no real point. Also, I did not like how Feyre’s repeated drugging was handled. In one chunk of the story, Feyre is drugged several nights in a row and made to do things while under the influence that she doesn’t recall in the morning. It felt extremely date-rapey and I didn’t like how it (and several instances of non-consensual touching) were brushed aside as being “in Feyre’s best interest.”
It sounds like I despised this book, but I can’t say that I did. Maas has a nice writing style and, if the plot had played out differently, I probably would have enjoyed this a lot more. The side characters and world were interesting enough to keep me reading. I was also curious enough about how they’d break the curse that I was able to finish the last chunk in one sitting.
Will I read the next one though? I’m really not sure. I have a pretty good idea of how it will play out and, if I’m right, there’s going to be a love triangle. I may eventually borrow it from the library, but I won’t be chomping at the bit to read it.