Sunday, August 9, 2015

A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury, 2015 (Hardcover)
Length: 416 pages
Genre: Young Adult; Fantasy
Started: August 3, 2015
Finished: August 9, 2015

From the inside cover:

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she knows about only 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 Feyre dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility to 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.

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sarah J. Maas comes a seductive and breathtaking new book that blends romance, adventure, and faerie lore into her most unforgettable story yet.

This is one of the books that's been receiving a lot of hype this summer, and whoo boy is it well deserved.

Feyre lives in a world separated by fae and mortals. Her family lives south of the the wall that separates the two realms and the human population as a whole isn't faring well. Needing to head out into the woods near The Wall to hunt for food, Feyre kills a wolf knowing full well it is a Fae in disguise. Another fae in beast-form later comes to her home to collect her in retribution for killing his friend, taking her to his home in Prythian (the fae lands) to live out the rest of her days. It turns out the beast is actually a High Lord named Tamlin, who, along with friend Lucien, is trying to protect the Spring Court that he rules over from the invading force that is slowly affecting all the courts in Prythian. Tamlin turns out to be a kind master, giving Feyre essentially the run of the estate except in cases where her safety is threatened by the numerous faerie creatures that could kill her if not for Tamlin's protection. As Feyre tries to discover more about Tamlin, Lucien, and the issues Prythian faces, she begins to fall in love with Tamlin, but she'll need to face the faerie blight head on in order to save Tamlin, Prythian, and the mortal realm.

I really liked how the story was very loosely based on Beauty and the Beast, there were enough elements to recognize but also enough originality to not get bored with the story. Feyre is an intriguing character, very fiery and prickly and doesn't show much vulnerability until closer to the end of the book, she's pretty much a human fireball. Tamlin feels like a cliche fantasy male that starts off cold and standoffish and later kind and likeable, but I didn't really mind that. Lucien is quite entertaining, he's witty and his banter with Feyre is hilarious. I did enjoy the plot with Amarantha, that part spiced up the story quite nicely just when things started to get slow. This is the first book in a series, and this book ended well in my opinion (no obvious cliffhanger), so it'll be interesting to see what is in store for future books. This book can get a bit steamy at times with sexually explicit language (not so much sexual scenes just descriptions), so this might not be something you want to give a twelve-year-old for example. There's also a fair bit of violence and gore so same thing applies to exercise caution with young or otherwise sensitive readers.

Well worth the read in my opinion. Not as stellar as some other Beauty and the Beast inspired stories, but very enjoyable nonetheless, and I'll be looking for the sequels in the future.

Thoughts on the cover:
Typical B&B inspired colour scheme of red and black, with what I assume is Feyre on the one side, it looks cool regardless.

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