“I threw myself into that fire, threw myself into it, into him, and let myself burn.”
Now, I’m probably the only person in the world who read this book without comparing it to Throne of Glass, because I’m the only person in the world who hasn’t read the Throne of Glass series. I’ve read the first book, but I was a bit underwhelmed. But A Court of Thorns and Roses was wonderful!
What’s it about: First and foremost this is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Feyre (Fay-ruh apparently. Why authors insist on using non-straightforward names is beyond me!) lives in a poor village near The Wall, the magical barrier that divides the human and faerie worlds. One day while she’s out hunting and trying not to die, and have her whole family starve to death in the process, she kills a wolf. Who can blame her? But it turns out the wolf is a faerie and then a giant beast comes to claim her life in payment for killing his buddy, and whisks her away to live in the lap of luxury as some kind of nonsensical punishment. She’s pretty unhappy about the whole situation… for a while.
What I thought: I loved it. It’s a wonderful combination of glitter and shadows, with fluffy, flowery romance, and then moments of dark and bloody horror. Personally, my favourite parts were the dark and bloody ones (what does that say about me?), but I feel this is where Maas’ imagination is at its best. She crafts these incredible monsters that are so vivid and grotesque and I love it! But unfortunately almost all the vicious horridness is confined to the last third or so of the book. Until then, it is mostly a romance (and a large preoccupation with the beast’s corded muscles) and this ridiculous concept of her being punished by being treated like a princess hanging over you whispering ‘pfft. as if!’ in your ear, but all that does get sorted out and explained in the end, so I cant really hold that against it. The romance is also somehow both too fast and too slow at the same time. It takes a long time to get going, but then once it does *poof* they’re in love and there wasn’t really enough for me that drew them together.
Although it had it’s obvious problems, I really did love this book (and for more than just dark and bloody parts). The world created for this series is wonderfully rich and I wish that we could have seen more of the seven faerie courts (I imagine we will in the rest of the series). The characters were also one of this books strengths as well. Mainly Lucien who is an absolute treasure. There are other characters that I loved, but they pop up a bit later in the book and I don’t want to spoil anything.
“Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.”
I really loved this book, and actually far more than I was expecting to. It is richly woven together with a wonderful complement of loveable characters and a fantastic backdrop of these vibrant faerie courts. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves fairytale retellings.
I rate it 4/5 stars.
Thanks to Bloomsbury Australia for providing me with an ARC of this book.