Book Review: A Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Published by: Bloomsbury USA Children's on May 5th, 2015
Genre: Young Adult // Fantasy // Retellings
Feyre's survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price ...
Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre's presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.
Okay, so finally I read this book after 5 years. Let me explain why it took me that long to read it:
Purchased the paperbacks in 2015, hated them since the size was too small and the text was even smaller, hence selling them.
Decided to buy the hardcovers but the books keep going to the bottom of my wishlist because of the new releases.
Saw the new cover reveal, freaked out, and went to buy the hardcover boxset before they were out of stock, and while checking out, guess what? It went out of stock
Overhype. DNF'd Throne of Glass series and thought it was going to be as bad
And now I finally read it and I have a lot of thoughts. This is a long rant review with a lot of spoilers.
FEYRE & RHYSAND RELATIONSHIP
First thing first, I would have preferred if this book was a standalone and Rhysand was never introduced. The relationship between Tamlin & Feyre was perfect for me. He cared about her and at the end when the deadline of the curse was ending, he sent her away to protect her from Amarantha. Good storyline, right? So why was Rhysand introduced all of the sudden? To cause tension? Drama? I don't get it and honestly by the end of the book I wasn't really a Rhysand fan.
I knew from the beginning because of the hype & the fanart that Feyre and Rhysand would end up together but for me, it did not sit well with me. I was satisfied with how the story was going and with the Beauty & the Beast element (even though it was barely there anyway).
And then there's Rhysand's behavior. He repeatedly violates her personal space and comfort, drugging her and forcing her to "dance" for him in front of a large crowd for weeks on end after stripping her all but naked. Like all Fae males, apparently, he using brute force to get her to comply with his sexual wishes.
“Feyre, for Cauldron’s sake. I drug you, but you don’t wonder why I never touch you beyond your waist or arms?”
Until tonight—until that damned kiss. I gritted my teeth, but even as my anger rose, a picture cleared.
“It’s the only claim I have to innocence,” he said, “the only thing that will make Tamlin think twice before entering into a battle with me that would cause a catastrophic loss of innocent life. It’s the only way I can convince him I was on your side. Believe me, I would have liked nothing more than to enjoy you—but there are bigger things at stake than taking a human woman to my bed.”
"But he didn't actually touch her; he kept his hands just on her waist!" you say. Yeah, but did she say he could touch her at all? Did she actively encourage him to touch her? No, she did not. I was horrified by this admission, and by the fact that even after Rhysand admits to perpetrating a crime, he still attempts to justify it. And the book lets him. While the text never quite condones Rhysand’s actions, it also never condemns him for it.
I pulled away, but his hands were like shackles.
Rhysand made me sick. The last pages were nearly unbearable because I find his character revolting. He behaved shamefully which the book seemed to acknowledge right up until our heroine started thinking about how maybe this guy was helping her and saving her and totally doing her a favor by faerie roofing her. No thank you, please.
The world-building I found to be lackluster in a lot of ways. While I really enjoyed the wide variety of Fae creatures we got to see, I thought that a lot of the back story was revealed in a lazy way. Instead of having Feyre figure anything out for herself, important things are told to her through long monologues from a number of characters throughout the book. This happens numerous times. Show me instead of telling me everything.
I didn't like almost all of the characters we met, including our main character (except for Tamlin and Lucien, they are my babies). Unfortunately, Feyre came across as foolish a lot of the time because other characters told her DON'T DO THIS and then she would run along and do it anyway.
As for Feyre’s family, I could care less about them. They all seem incredibly arrogant and only care about themselves and their fortune. Can we just say that Feyre’s father is the worst fictional dad I’ve ever read about? He really doesn’t give a freak to his daughters.
Have you had the chance to read A Court of Thorns & Roses?
Let me know in the comments!