Author: Sarah J. Maas
Provided Synopsis: 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.
Review: I knew I was in for a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but I in no way anticipated also receiving Twilight vibes and what I began to refer to in status updates on Goodreads as That Katniss Everdeen Flow. Curious as what I mean by this? Read on…
When we first meet Feyre, she is in the woods in search of a meal to feed her starving family. Her weapon of choice is a bow and arrow. Her family consists of two sisters, and a father, who is pretty much rendered useless. To protect those she loves, Feyre shoots and kills a wolf she recognizes to hold traits of faeries; she goes on to skin the wolf and sell the fur for money to hopefully keep her family fed and supplied for a few weeks.
Unknowingly to Feyre, there is a law in place in the treaty between humans and faeries which details that if a human is to kill a faerie their life is forfeit to either immediate death or to live out the remainder of their mortal years in the magical realm. At the urge of her father, Feyre chooses the second option, and is whisked away by Tamlin to live in his home or on his lands until the life-debt is paid.
Tamlin is immortal; he is beautiful. He is a hunter; he is tortured. He can bite Feyre in a rage of feral lust; her scent can drive him mad. He is a musician. His kind want to harm her. Sound familiar yet? Get why I am frustrated yet? I went into this book expecting the Beauty and the Beast aspect, and I must say that I did appreciate the nods to that story as they took their own forms to include when the wolves attack Belle, or the library moment. As for the rest of what I just mapped out for you? It left me reeling in the vast sea of disappointment. I had already read those stories and characters with those traits and circumstances.
And the love story? I felt nothing. To me, there was no chemistry, and even the sex scene did nothing to ignite some sparks. I have never read a Sarah J. Maas book before, but I have heard so much praise for her first book series and this book in particular that I think I was led astray by The Hype Monster. I expected more than I was given, and that is why I am laying out my woes with this book so readers can lower their expectations if they overlap with mine.
So I’m sure you’re wondering: If A Court of Thorns and Roses gave you so much disappointment, why are you still giving it three stars? Well, for that I contribute entirely to the final third of the book, where the beast’s curse is finally revealed and Feyre is forced into action. Sarah J. Maas writes engaging action scenes, and I enjoyed reading the trials Feyre must face in front of a live audience (That Katniss Everdeen Flow…). There were aspects to the time spent in The Court Under the Mountain that dragged on, but for the most part those shortcomings could be ignored thanks to Rhysand, whom I found to be infinitely more engaging than Tamlin. The conclusion of this book also flicked my interest as well, since I look forward to visiting The Night Court and due to my hope the faerie world can be explored further in the next installment along with some good action.