Goodreads: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Published: May 5, 2015
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.
I wasn’t a huge fan of Maas’s debut, Throne of Glass, but this was in large part because I thought the book still read like something the author had started writing at the age of sixteen, even after extensive revisions before publication. With this in mind, I decided to give Maas’s new series a chance; after all, fans everywhere are obsessively swooning over the book, and Maas has garnered a lot more writing experience finishing the Throne of Glass series..
As an amalgamation of “Beauty and the Beast” and Faerie lore, A Court of Thorns and Roses isn’t offering something spectacularly original. but it’s still wildly fun and engrossing to read. The main draw is really the romance–steamy, enthralling, and tantalizingly forbidden. That is to say, I’m not sure anyone is here for the plot, which for a long while features protagonist Feyre living it up in her captor’s mansion, doing little while pretending she’s a badass (an unconvincing characterization, in my opinion, which I did my best to ignore). The true attraction are the unfathomably handsome and off-limits Faeries, who do their best to provoke Feyre and reader’s hearts into submission.
However, the plot excels in one particular point. I always hate the part of “Beauty and the Beast” retellings where Beauty goes away and bad things happen to the Beast and “Oh, no, will she go back to save him?” We know she’s going back to save him, and it can seem like a tired and unnecessary plot tangent in uninspired retellings. Maas makes it work, though. This isn’t a pit stop in her plot; it’s when the plot really gets going and Feyre begins to show more of her character. I enjoyed this section more than I would ever have anticipated.
The downside to this section of the book, however, is that love interest Tamlin entirely disappears while Feyre takes center stage. Readers are then introduced to a different male character very much in depth, who quickly becomes far more interesting than Tamlin. When Beauty and the Beast are finally reunited…I found myself not really caring. I wanted the other guy. It looks as if I’ll be getting my wish in the second book to see more of the new guy, but that doesn’t satisfy me. I can’t help docking stars from a book that drops its own love interest and makes the ending super anti-climatic, no matter how much I liked the rest of the book.