Thursday, 11 June 2015

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas


Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre(s): Fantasy, Romance, New Adult
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Release Date:  May 5, 2015
Date Read:  June 11, 2015
Buy This Book: Amazon | Book Depository
My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ✩ ✩
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.

Okay, I'm finally getting around to reviewing this and I have to say, I'm torn between 3 stars and 4 stars. The last 40% of the book is no doubt a full "heLL YEAH" out of 5 but the first 60% was so slowly paced and devoid of action that I was on the verge of DNF-ing this and moving on. Luckily, I didn't and there was one single reason for this...it was a picture that someone shared from Sarah J. Maas' Pinterest...and it was...captivating...


(Original Artist: credit)
No shame, people, I have no shame. My reading speed increased by 3000% just to meet this Rhysand character and boy, was it worth it. He's sassy, cunning and downright evil scum but everything he schemes has underlying reason, "the ends justify the means" and all that morally ambiguous jazz. He's a well-written antihero and I haven't read about any of those in ages so I hope he lives a long life in this series.

But what about the other characters? Well, I adored Feyre, our huntress and painter, for being so human. She had such relatable feelings of lostness, worthlessness, freedom and passion. She was vibrant from the beginning but it's only in the last few chapters that she really imprinted on my mind and I truly cared so much for her and her stubborn struggles. Tamlin the "beast" and his loyal servant Lucien (aka everyone's punching bag) were just as important to me by the end of the story, although there was one scene that made me really uncomfortable and Tamlin's response to it was very...un-Tamlin. But apart from that, you could feel all their pain and passion in everything they did and I guess this is all thanks to Sarah J. Maas' writing.

Speaking of which, tired of monotone grey voices that forget that there are 5 senses to experience? Then you should read ACOTAR because Maas' writing uses all those underused stimulating adjectives and weaves them into something that you feel, not just be told. Everything from the decrepit hut, the forest glades and the fancy manor were visible in my mind's eye.

The worldbuilding, like the plot, could have been better. I was interested with the many High Courts concept for the Fae but it didn't go any further than that and we didn't personally get to know anyone from the other Courts apart from one obvious person. There's also the fact that a lot of crucial things that I always thought were the essence of Fae lore did not apply for these Fae and that was kind of sad. I know it's only book one and the nature of the plot is purposely secretive about the world but I was damn thirsty for more.

In the end, this never felt like a fairytale retelling to me, apart from the Cinderella vibes in the beginning. It's more of an individual fantasy novel, heavy on the romance, light on the action and worldbuilding but filled with very strong characters and a hot damn antihero whose brain you will appreciate.

3 clouds for lovable characters and that amazing climax and pretty visual writing.

29 comments:

  1. FINALLY I've found someone that loved Rhysand as much as I do! Like are people crazy to not see the beauty that this man is! I've noticed other readers had a slight problem with the pacing of the first half, but it worked for me. I guess I just felt like the first half was going to be all cutesy, then the second half is where shit hit the fan lol. The only MEH moment of the story was that damn riddle. Even though I didn't figure it out, when it was revealed I was like, " Uhh girl, that was it?? " But other than that, ACOTAR was a great read for me! I'm glad you enjoyed it fellow Rhys lover! Here's to hoping I get a love-triangle in the sequel :))

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    1. YES, Rhysand is beautiful in the most twisted way haha. I don't know why I was expecting to jump into action with this story but it was probably the hype train that crashed into me and confused me >.< THAT RIDDLE THOUGH? I guessed the answer as soon as it was said but I kept thinking "nah, it can't be that cheesy" but it was asdfgjhkrbn! This is the first time we're actually hoping for a love triangle to happen wow

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    2. How in the hell did everyone figure out the riddle but meeeeeeeee! lmao. I pondered on that damn thing ever since that evil wench gave it to her lol.

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  2. Well, you rated it less than me LOL I agree about this book, it was VERY hard to rate this one since it sounded fantastic when I finished reading it. The slow pacing really bothered me as well, the second half is much stronger than the first half. I could have liked Rhy if he weren't abusive, there are a few scenes where he attacks Feyre and twists her arm and parades her around without her will. I can stand evil and dark but vile isn't really my thing. Atleast you liked him more than me though :) Awesome review.
    <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

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    1. Exactly! I wanted to rate it high because I felt great when it finished but the slowness from the beginning wasn't something I could forget. And, yes, Rhys is really abusive. I'm not going to sugar coat that at all and that's why I don't ship him with Feyre yet. But as a character, he's interesting to read about :)

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  3. Awww only three stars? At least you found Rhysand and he took your breath away lol. The beginning of the book was definitely slow, but how amazing was that last 40%? I agree there was a lack of in-depth world building, hopefully more of that comes in the next installment. Lovely review!

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    1. Thank you! I'm still unsure about my rating to be honest but oh well, I still felt great after I closed this book! So far, the High Courts thing is interesting but there are so many weird Fae species that pop up and I'm confused how they're like that while the High Fae are look super-humans haha. I guess I just wanna know more ;)

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  4. Great post - I really need to get around to reading this book! On another note: I nominated you for the Beautiful Blogger Award :)

    http://ellesbellesbookshelf.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/beautiful-blogger-award.html

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    1. OMG OMG Thank you! :"D That just made my day!

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  5. I am ashamed to admit I have never read a Sarah J Maas, I think I really need to especially reading about Rhysand! Great review!

    Heather @ Random Redheaded Ramblings

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    1. Thank you :") And yes, I recommend giving this one a try first.

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  6. "My reading speed increased by 3000% just to meet this Rhysand character" LOL. I remember reading this one and complaining about Rhys when we first meet him in the book and she's like "Oh, you just wait." And AHHHH now I love him. I also had issues with this one in the beginning, and I was set on giving it three stars as well. But, like you, the last half-ish really blew me away and I know this is going to be an interesting series for sure. Great review! :)

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    1. Yesss, I was like WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE HURTING LUCIEN AND STICKING YOUR INVISIBLE CLAWS IN FEYRE'S HEAD, not to mention the bow thing haha he can be such an asshole but his schemes are interesting to read about. I can't wait for the sequel :D

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  7. OK so I have never read Sarah J. Maas and have seen this book everywhere. I am not super into Fantasy but I can get into if it's really good. The fact that it's slow in the beginning is a downer but this Rhysand and the fact that the last 40% were amazing might be enough to push me to try it - Great review!

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    1. Hmm, this book often felt more like a romance than a fantasy but the exciting second half definitely has more fantasy. If you're interested in reading about a dark antihero or slow Fae romance than give it a go!

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  8. OOOOOOH I quite like that picture of Rhysand *droooools* I'm SO HAPPY you didn't DNF this. I quite enjoyed all of it, but the last bit was definitely more amazing!, even though Amarantha - that BIATCH. Haha. I'm so excited for the sequel! :D
    Rosie // Rosie Reads

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    1. Amarantha was such a BIATCH for sure! Her whole tantrum with Tamlin even came across as juvenile lol she really got what was coming to her.

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  9. I'm very intrigued to find out about this fine anti hero boy. I always love the sassy, cunning, devilish ones. I feel like I'm going to love him when I read this. Great review, Ju! :D

    Blessie @ Mischievous Reads

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    1. Thanks and you will enjoy Rhys's character Blessie! This even has New Adult vibes to it because it doesn't shy away from racy scenes although they take a while to happen ;)

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  10. I am just so amazed when people say they didn't feel like this was a Beauty and the Beast retelling! I felt like I was watching the movie again but for adults!! Until they went into the Night Court, at least. I totally agree with you about Rhysand though! Thanks for sharing that picture!!

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

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    1. Wot?! Guess I should watch the Beauty & the Beast Disney movie again and see if I catch any parallels haha

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  11. I've been seeing more and more average reviews for this book lately! I'm still very much looking forward to reading it, but probably not as much as when I first read earlier reviews that just sang praises to the book. But I'm glad that you enjoyed ACOTAR overall, Ju! Yeah, I think I can understand your indecision -- I'm quite stingy with my ratings, so a book that was slowly-paced for much of the beginning probably wouldn't get 5 stars from me either. Especially since I'm a pretty impatient reader. O_O (Really worried about how I'll push through the beginning, haha.)

    I've heard way so much about Rhysand and Tamlin and I'm DYING to meet them, even though I read in one review that some of the things they do are... questionable. Still. Who can say no to hot boys, particularly anti-heroes? Gah, I have such a thing for anti-heroes. I love them even more than your typical hero because they're so much more complex and multi-faceted. I can already see myself rooting for Rhysand, hehe. ;)

    Boo about the world building, but I guess we still have an entire series ahead of us! You've definitely made me a lot more excited for this book, and I can barely wait to get my hands on it! Lovely review. :)

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    1. On Goodreads, you only see 5 star reviews and I guess that hype may have built up The Perfect Book expectation inside of me and kinda made some things disappointing? Yeah, hype is a double-edged sword for sure. I'm sure you'll make it through the slow bit now that you're aware of it instead of feeling lost and like the action would never start!

      There is a scene where Tamlin does do something rough and beastly and the next day, he just laughs it off which is so not the gentlemanly caring Tamlin 0_0 And don't even get me started on Rhys. He makes Feyre his pet and makes her do things she would probably never do and even if those things have an underlying reason and are all part of his plans, he is definitely no saint and that's why I can't see him as a love interest yet. But an antihero? Yeah, he's compelling there.

      Thank you so much for this long comment, it really warmed my heart aw. :")

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  12. I recently read ACOTAR too and love it, though I have to agree with the beginning being slow paced. Good thing I ship Feyre and Tamlin, because if not I think I would DNF it. And yess I like Rhysand too! He got this bad boy and mysterious aura around him that make me feel intrigued. I can't wait for the next book so we could know him more :D

    Tiffany @ The Bookish Thought

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    1. I don't even know my ships atm but I do think Feyre and Tamlin are the cutest, especially after all the hard trials that Feyre went through for Tamlin 0_0 If their love doesn't prevail then I don't know what love is.

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  13. I understand your pain about it being unbearably slow in that huge middle chunk! Too much romance there, not nearly enough action. The ending seems rushed in comparison, although I did love the ending. Rhys is a great character, but I'm not so sure about him as a potential love interest... What do you think?

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    1. YES, YOU SAID IT! I felt like there was only romance in some scenes and usually I don't mind that if there's like world-building or characterization going on as well but there was literally. only. romance. Luckily those scenes were short heh I don't think Rhys would be a healthy love interest at all at the moment. He was abusive with the whole drugging thing. But as his own character, he's mysterious and interesting.

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  14. Blogger shock: I have not read a Sarah J. Maas book! I have A Court of Thorns and Roses in one of my many reading piles, so it will be my first go at her work. I have heard a variety of opinions, but many fall in the middle like you. I am excited to see what I think of it myself! Great review.

    Bella
    chicandpetite.wordpress.com

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    1. Thanks :) And I recommend this book of her's first because, even though I may be in the minority, Throne of Glass has a protagonist that I couldn't bring myself to like :/

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