A Court of Thorns and Roses
By Sarah J. Maas
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 over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin-and his world-forever.
Perfect for fans of Kristen Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!
I wanted to read this book because I love fairy tales retold and I also wanted to figure out if I should order this book for my library's teen collection since it has been described as "New Adult", a genre that I typically purchase for our adults. The book has also received major buzz which made it even more appealing.
Feyre initially reminded me of a Katniss Everdeen like stoic type especially with her hunting skills but she was also like Cinderella within her family. Though they've fallen on hard times, her father and sisters don't do much to sustain themselves. They rely on Feyre for food and trading and other useful life skills they haven't mastered. Feyre knows that her sisters look down on her, especially Nesta the eldest but it comes as a shock when she is taken from their home by Tamlin but her family doesn't really fight for her.
Feyre hates the Fae as most humans do even though she didn't have any dealings with them. She knows they are cruel and deadly so when she suspects the wolf in the woods might be a Fae, she kills it anyway because it is a threat to the deer she is desperate to catch. As she is forced to live with Tamlin her views don't improve until gradually she starts to open her eyes to the truth about him. Even as she falls in love with Tamlin she is afraid of the dangerous blight that is destroying the land and represents a threat to her own family.
A Court of Thorns and Roses is inspired by fairy tales like Beauty and the Beast and Tam Lin. It is a romantic fantasy with magic and a few steamy love scenes though I think adults would find that aspect kind of tame compared to the average romance novel. The first part of the book is set up for the world of the Fae as well as the human world Feyre inhabits. It also establishes the relationship between Feyre and Tamlin and her friendship with another fairy, Lucien who is Tamlin's right hand man. The last part of the book involves more action as Feyre has to go through some really dark times and make hard choices to save Tamlin and her world.
I am not usually a fan of fairy books but I liked this. It wasn't perfect especially in terms of pacing and at times it felt like there was a little more telling than showing. Overall however I thought it was a page turner and a very good start to the series. The world building was decent but the fairy tale and romantic elements definitely delivered. I liked Feyre and Tamlin and am very intrigued by Rhysand, a character introduced in the latter half. Some of the story lines are wrapped up by the book's end but there are still some things to resolve as this is the first in a series. Though I've seen references to this book as "New Adult" I'd say it is appropriate as YA fiction for older teens. Readers who are fans of her books or authors like Melissa Marr or Julie Kagawa should give this a try.
Note: I received an ARC for review purposes courtesy of the publisher and Netgalley