A Court of Thorns and Roses
by Sarah J. Maas
4 out of 5
Feyre's survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price ...
Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre's presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.
With her family on the brink of starvation, Feyre risks shooting a wolf deep in the forest, with no idea she's about to be dragged into the middle of a faerie nightmare.
I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Feyre is a human who has always been taught that faeries are tricksy, malicious things, that think nothing of killing people. She never thinks that she would meet one disguised as a wolf, and when she kills it, her life is forfeit to Tamlin, a High Lord of the faerie kingdom.
She gets dragged away to an enchanted palace - but the luxury is only surface-deep. There is a blight on the faerie land, and the powerful immortals who are becoming her friends, can do nothing to stop it.
I did enjoy this faerietale retelling of Beauty and the Beast, with all its little hints and nods to the original and Disney story.
With Alis as Mrs Potts, the roses, and somewhat amusingly, Feyre being illiterate, but a passionate painter.
The first half of the story slowly builds the friendship between Feyre and Tamlin, which gradually becomes more passionate.
I thought Tamlin was pretty bland. He's gorgeous and cares deeply about everything around him, but that's really as far as his character goes.
I much more enjoyed Lucien's scenes, the disfigured best friend who doesn't hide who much he dislikes Feyre. There was a good chunk of the book, where you don't know if he's trying to kill her or help her.
I know she's only one of the side characters, with little time in the spotlight, but I was really impressed with the character arc of Feyre's older sister, Nesta.
At first she's painted very clearly as the spoiled, entitled brat, who would rather let Feyre work herself to the bone, than lift a finger to help. When really, she can see things clearer than she lets on, and has her own motivations.
I thought the book was definitely one of two halves, and I don't know how well they gelled.
The first half is a slow-build romance, with hints of something dark brewing. Feyre has to work out the mystery, and learn what she can about faeries, because the human myths won't help her.
The second half is a lot darker, as Amarantha, the "Queen" of the faeries, comes into play.
Feyre has to hold onto her love for Tamlin, and hope it's enough to see her through what's to come.
Overall, I really enjoyed this, and I look forward to the rest of the series.