“From songs sung to us as lullabies over our cradles, we all knew from infancy that fairies hated iron. But it was the ash wood that made their immortal, healing magic falter long enough for a human to make a killing blow.”
Warning: this post contains spoilers
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
Star rating: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars
Summary: Feyre is a young human woman who is fighting to keep her family fed and survive the winter. She kills a wolf that she suspects could be a faerie that has crossed the wall from their land to the human world. Her suspicions are confirmed when a High Lord fae breaks into her family’s cottage and demands that she repay the life taken by coming to live in his court for the rest of her mortal life. As Feyre lives in the Spring Court she begins to discover the fairies are under a curse and she may be the only one who can break the spell.
Reasons for picking this book: I actually bought this book for my sister for Christmas based on the description. I hadn’t read it and she gave it to me to borrow after she finished saying it was really good.
Review: Wow. Wow-wee-wow-wow. </Borat voice>
I’m so glad this book lived up to the hype that I’ve seen for it. I didn’t enjoy Maas’ other series Throne of Glass so I was a little skeptical of this one since everyone seems to enjoy them both pretty equally. But I really enjoyed this so I was happy it did not disappoint.
There was only one thing I didn’t like about this book so I’m going to go ahead and get it out of the way now. I didn’t like that in the end, Feyre becomes a High Fae as well. I would really have liked to read about a faerie and human love where the human grows old and lives their mortal life. Of course that’s not exactly “happily ever after” but still, that’s what I would have liked to see. That being said, I am eager to read the sequel now and find out what happens next.
I really liked how sexuality was presented in this book, that at no point was it really considered shameful. Right off the bat we know Feyre is not a virgin and that there’s nothing wrong with that. She and Tamlin both equally lust after each other and I really appreciated reading this. It was very refreshing.
I love faeries and I love how Maas portrayed them here, using some folklore and twisting it a bit to make it her own. Also, not all her faeries were beautiful which was really great because a lot of people hear faerie and think of some butterfly winged flower maiden about three inches tall. Faeries are often very ugly and malevolent which Maas captured perfectly in her book. I also liked how faerie magic could be felt, well– tasted? It was very interesting to read her take on Magic, I really love when authors describe how spells feel being cast and such. Really makes it feel like it is more real.
The story is a spin on Beauty and the Beast and I thought it did a great job. It gave it a unique enough spin to the story yet it was still recognizable. I also love how Feyre had to fight with everything in order to break the spell and save Tamlin and his court. It was more than just Beauty returns and the spell is broken, she returned but the still had to fight to break the curse. I really loved this aspect.
My favorite characters in this book were Nesta and Lucian. I loved Lucian for being a grump most of the time but still so devoted to Tamlin. And Nesta was just awesome, that the faerie glamour had no effect on her when Feyre left? That is some strong willpower. Also the fact that she was the one that tried to cross the border and rescue Feyre was so great. I really liked how many dimensions there were to her, that she wasn’t just snotty, yes she was salty but she also cared deeply for both her sisters. I hope the sequel has a good amount of both of them.
One thing I was expecting was for the Suriel to return and assist Feyre in some way since she freed it rather than use her first arrow to defend herself. I don’t know, usually in fairy tales that sort of deed comes back to aid the hero at the end but not here. I kind of would have liked for that to have been the case.
I feel like the writing in this book is a huge step up from Throne of Glass. It is descriptive without weighing the story down. I had a hard time putting this book down at all.
I would like to see Feyre make a friend for herself rather than just befriending Tamlin’s. Hopefully we can see that in the sequel. But other than that I liked reading about Feyre, I like that she is basically illiterate and that she likes to paint. Because this makes sense for the character. She is impoverished and had only a chance to learn the basics but beyond that she had no time to study because she had to keep her family alive.
Recommendation: The hype lives up to the book and I think everyone should read it. If you like faeries, beauty and the beast, love stories… It’s a safe bet that you’ll enjoy reading this.
Up next: Bridget Jones’s Diary – a book from the library