Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Review: A Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah J Maas

Publication Date: 5th May 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Length: 416 pages

Huge thanks to Netgalley and Bloomsbury for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

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 am a huge fan of the Throne of Glass series, so like every other fan of Maas’ writing I couldn’t wait to get stuck into this new and intriguing tale. Sarah Maas is a genius at fantasy. She blends fantastical elements with wonderful characters and her books are always bursting with imagination – I love them.

This particular story takes elements from beauty and the beast and weaves them into a different tale to the one we know. It still has the framework of the traditional tale but Maas takes it in a new direction and makes it entirely her own.

The mythology, the ideas, the courts of the High Fae were fantastic. I loved Feyre as a person. She was so determined and feisty and never afraid to speak her mind or do her own thing. Lucien and Tamlin were brilliant too – I think the three of them made a wonderful team and my favourite scenes were when all three were together and bantering.

There were two things that stopped this being a five star read for me. Firstly the pacing. The first half of the book is incredibly slow – I mean borderline glacial at points. I loved the time that Feyre got to spend at Tamlin’s house and the secrecy and withholding of information makes complete sense by the time you reach the end of the book, but without that foreknowledge the pacing of the first half may be enough to put some people off. I wasn’t tempted to put the book down at any point, but I did become a little frustrated with how little seemed to be happening at points. However all of that really pays off by the final third where the tension ratchets up, the excitement kicks off and everything becomes a lot more terrifying.

Secondly the romance. I may be stoned to death for this, but the romance didn’t quite work for me. I loved Feyre and Tamlin, I thought they were great together and definitely steamy, but whilst Feyre was spending months in Tamlin’s company the reader is just getting a few lines about how she’s spending weeks with him – talking and riding and picnicking. I wanted to see that, to witness the depth of affection growing between them, not just have it happen off page and then get to the steamy points.

I would have loved to see more of Lucien, and with a sequel due out next year I’m really hoping we get more of him. Tamlin made a wonderful hero, but I’m always slightly more smitten with the snarky boys and I really want to learn more about Lucien and see him get a bit of happiness.

This is a really fantastic book and I loved falling into Feyre’s world. Maas has a talent for creating magical and wonderful worlds and I really cannot wait to get back into it and see some more in the second book.

It’s a beautifully written tale with Maas offering up another slice of brilliance in this new series. With both this and Throne of Glass on the go she has well and truly cornered the fantasy market and with an imagination like hers I cannot wait to see what stories she spins next.


  1. That seems to be a problem with a lot of books lately - super slow until the last third or so, where it basically EXPLODES. I really wish it didn't have to be that way. Either way, I'm still super excited for my preorder to get here so I can find out what all the hype is about! I always end up liking the snarky ones too, haha.

    1. Yes! So many books are saving the majority of the action until the last section, which is great if you can keep your reader interested until then, but less great if not... Luckily this one is in the former camp and I cannot wait for it to arrive so I can hear what you think of it!

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed this for the most part, Rosy! Maas' writing is definitely what I'm always looking forward to with her books. :) And the pacing was a little slow at first, definitely. I'm typically okay with the author mentioning that the characters "spent a lot of time together"... I just like the knowledge that there isn't any instalove, haha. Oh, but Lucien's definitely one of my favorites from here! I certainly hope there's more of him in the sequel. :)

    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings

    1. Yes I'm definitely more of a fan of 'spent some time together' than hey look I just met you and I think I love you... I just prefer seeing a bit more of the building of a relationship. It was a great book, such a good start to the series. I just have such high expectations of any Maas book now after she's given us so many incredible ones! Oh I hope there's more Lucien, I think he's fab!