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

A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Timesbestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

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.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

4.5 cupcakes

“For a moment, I wished I had it in me to feel remorse for the dead thing. But this was the forest, and it was winter.”

Aside from the Wicked Lovely series, I haven’t had much luck with faery stories. However, because it’s Sarah J. Maas and I’m still not completely over all of the feels that Heir of Fire gave me, I just had to giveA Court of Thorns and Roses a try – and I’m very glad to say that I absolutely loved it.

A Court of Thorns and Roses is a retelling of both Beauty and the Beast (but not the Disney-fied version) and Tam Lin, a tale that I’m only vaguely familiar with because of The Decembersists’ Hazards of Love album and Tithe. My lack of familiarity with the source material did not dampen my reading experience, though; in fact, many of what I perceived to be twists and turns in the story would have been less unpredictable had I skimmed the Wikipedia article beforehand.

This is very much a character-driven story, and I absolutely loved how the slow pace allowed the relationships between Feyre and the fey to develop. Feyre’s character arc, in particular, is a thing of beauty: she goes from a prickly, reserved, cold young woman to someone who slowly lets down her guard. She’s had an incredibly difficult life, so seeing Feyre’s reactions to being treated kindly by the fae she was raised to fear and experiencing moments of joy was a large part of what really sold me on this story.

It’s not a Sarah J. Maas novel without at least one swoon-worthy boy, and in the case of A Court of Thorns and Roses, there are three: Tamlin, the High Lord of the Spring Court; Lucien, his snarky courtier; and Rhysand, the dark and intriguing anti-hero / High Lord of the Night Court. While I’m 100% on board with the relationship progression (hate-to-love is kind of my favourite), I’m also surprisingly okay with the potential for a love triangle. I guess that goes to show just how wonderfully crafted these boys and their chemistry were.

Overall, A Court of Thorns and Roses was a very strong start to a new fantasy series. It’s dark, seductive, and magical, with all the sexy faery boys. As with the Throne of Glass series, I’m sure that the following books will be even better, so I can’t wait to see where Feyre’s story will go.

I received an ARC from Bloomsbury USA and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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  • I’ve had an e-galley of this forever but I haven’t been able to bring myself to read it (grad school and wedding planning and what not). I’ve seen so many positive reviews that I think it’s time to bump it to the top of the pile!

    • Wedding planning sounds so exciting – congratulations! I definitely think it’s worth moving up your to-read pile, even if it can only be read a few chapters at a time.

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