With A Court of Thorns and Roses, Sarah J. Maas gives us a mash-up of Beauty and the Beast and the legend of Tam Lin, a Scottish tale of a heroine who must fight the faeries to save her love. Readers who persevere through a slow wind-up and head-scratching logic are rewarded with an action-packed and lusty third act.
The story begins with nineteen-year-old Feyre (pronounced “fay-ruh”) hunting for food à la Katniss Everdeen, her family reduced to living in a tiny cottage after her mother dies and her father loses their fortune. When Feyre kills a fairy-wolf in the woods, beastly Tamlin shows up demanding retribution. This is where the first leap in logic must be overcome to continue reading the story. Tamlin’s version of retribution is either to kill Feyre or…to take her back with him to fairy land to be spoiled with all the food she can eat, a mansion to live in, and all the paints her painter-heart could desire.
But at this point, Tamlin admits that his land has been cursed. The connection to Beauty and the Beast is hard to miss, so we know there is more to the story than what Tamlin shares with Feyre. What that more is, unfortunately, takes so long to be revealed that it will take all of your strength not to slide this book into your DNF pile.
Stick with it, dear reader. It gets better!
After an information dump when Maas probably realized she needed to speed things up as well, we get into the action. Feyre must save Tamlin from a powerful, evil Fairy Queen, who sets for her a test like the Goblet of Fire, minus the magical wands.
Yes! This is where it gets good!
If you’ve made it to this point, you will be treated with intense action, lusty romance (definitely a more mature read), and characters you both love and think you should probably hate. Of particular note, Rhysand, as villainous King of the Night Court, is one of those sexy bad guys Feyre must partner with to stay alive, but at her own peril.
Overall, the last third of the book makes it worth the read. If you start now, you’ll have plenty of time to get through the series before a “companion” book, A Court of Frost and Starlight, is released in May 2018.
My Rating: 3 Stars (I liked it)
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A Court of Thorns and Roses (Book #1)
Published May 2015
Other Titles in the Series
A Court of Mist and Fury (Book #2)
Published May 2016
A Court of Wings and Ruin (Book #3)
Published May 2017
A Court of Frost and Starlight (Book #3.5?)
Expected May 2018