This review is spoiler free.
“I love you,” he whispered, and kissed my brow. “Thorns and all.”
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Published: 2015, by Bloomsbury Children’s
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, New Adult, Romance
Contains: Death, Violence, War, Torture, Blood/Gore, Abuse, Prison, Trauma, Anger, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Threats
‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ tells the story of huntress, Feyre, who lives her life daily surviving on what she catches that day. She thinks nothing when she slaughters a wolf in the nearby woods, yet later discovers that taking its life comes at a high price. Imprisoned in an enchanted court of her enemy’s kingdom, Feyre must find a way to break a spell, or lose her heart forever.
I’ve been putting off reading this book for a while now, intimidated by its high ratings, but I finally dug into it and found myself pleasantly surprised.
Feyre isn’t like many of the other protagonists written about in romantic fiction, especially within YA; she’s resourceful and mature. She alone managed to save her family from starvation whilst other characters within the book spend money of material things. She saved her family once more with the agreement to live her life in imprisonment, proving her bravery, without second thought. Although, she had her fears, she did so willingly in the hopes of protecting her family. However, she isn’t without flaws, making a few mistakes along the way due to pure stubbornness, yet that’s fairly a given with a character like Feyre. Regardless, her narrative was easy to read and sympathise with on numerous occasions.
Tamlin, Beauty’s Beast in this retelling, is another character you can sympathise with. Alike the original tale, he has a short tolerance with mortals, which gradually simmered down revealing his gentle and caring nature. His interactions with Feyre were beautiful, enjoying their blossoming romance whilst proving his kindness by providing for Feyre’s needs. He becomes less alike a monster the more the protagonist got to know him, becoming more princely with every page. Plus, his relationship with Lucien, another lovable character, could be the reason behind this high rating alone.
Rhysand, however, was a character I could not stand from his first introduction. He’s cruel, abusive and domineering, meaning I could not understand why fans of the book speak about him as much as they do. I couldn’t handle the way the narrative headed towards the end, gradually hating him more and more; needless to say, I’m not on Team Rhysand.
The narrative itself was beautifully written and incredibly descriptive. Every word had its purpose, and the language Maas uses really places you in her world. The world-building was cleverly crafted with a illustration on the front page of the land, whilst also providing a pronunciation guide at the end for any confusing character names, which I believe all authors should provide!
Overall, I highly enjoyed this novel. It’s gripping, cleverly crafted and a wonderful retelling. I’m looking forward to reading more of Feyre’s story.
Are you Team Rhysand or Team Tamlin? Or maybe a different team altogether?