A Court of Thorns and Roses Review

This winter break, I realized I hadn’t read a good fantasy book in a long time--at least one year, if not two. I remembered that my friend recommended A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, and the Kindle edition was pretty cheap, so I got it. Cut to twenty-four hours later when I had devoured the entire book only to discover that I had gobbled down four-hundred pages.

A Court of Thorns and Roses is a sweeping fantasy novel about a mortal woman, Feyre, who is doing all she can to keep her family from starving after misfortune strikes. Their lives are shadowed with the fear of the faeries: deadly and immortal creatures the mortals try to ward away with iron and charms, creatures they are protected from by a magical wall that separates their worlds. Until one day Feyre hunts a wolf in the woods, and a magical beast drags her away from her home and to the faerie world as repayment for the life lost. Now, Feyre must learn how to survive again, but in a world that is not her own.

This is a book that perfectly balances action, suspense, wit, and romance. The main character, Feyre, has a strong voice that carries throughout her adventures but never feels dull or stagnant. The ties between characters and their increasingly complex relationships really cements the character development that pushes the story forward as the stakes rise. Multiple times throughout the story, I found myself gasping out loud or texting my friend messages like, “I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT JUST HAPPENED!!!” or “WHAT IS GOING ON I NEED TO KNOW QKWNRIJUQB” accompanied by quite a few emojis. Also, the romance doesn’t feel forced or contrived, which I really appreciated, and it doesn’t override the importance of Feyre’s development in the plot. What kills a book quicker than anything for me is when I find the romance stale and unbelievable.

What impressed me the most, though, was the worldbuilding. Maas truly outdoes herself with the depth and range of the environment she’s created, and it offers plenty of possibility for Feyre to explore. Magic and fantastical creatures aren’t an easy concept to write, but I found the setting and its rules solidly built, a foundation that grounds the rest of the series.

My only complaint is that the writing style isn’t my favorite (but this observation is mostly coming from my editorial, writery side) but it’s still well-written, and I do like the way Feyre’s voice is crafted in a way that feels believable, intimate, and impactful because of its depth and insight, and it’s difficult not to be attached to her.  

A Court of Thorns and Roses is a fun read that packs quite a punch. Needless to say, I flew through the second book in the series, A Court of Mist and Fury, and the third book in the trilogy, A Court of Wings and Ruin, is currently waiting on my nightstand. If you’re looking for a good read, I’d highly suggest this series, and after I finish it I’m going to look into the author’s other fantasy series, Throne of Glass. I’m going to be busy reading for quite some time, and I’m excited! 

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