Author: Sarah J. Maas
Pages: 448 (Paperback)
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Source: I received a free copy of this book as part of Social Book Co. Book Review Program . This has in no way affected my opinion towards the book.
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I was so thrilled when I received this book from Social Book Co. in exchange for a review. By the way, you should definitely check out their website – they compare prices from all the major book retailers making it a lot easier to find the cheapest prices. Admit it, who doesn’t like cheap books? However, my happiness was short lived when I started reading the book. You might be asking WHAT? IT’S A SARAH J. MAAS BOOK! HOW DIDN’T YOU LIKE IT? I really had high expectations for this book, especially because I really liked Throne of Glass, but ACOTAR simply disappointed me.
Feyre didn’t hesitate to kill a wolf when that meant putting food in her table. However, the moment he died, she immediately sealed her fate. That wolf was in fact a High Fae and when one of his beastly friends comes to claim a life for the one Feyre took, she is forced to go to the magical land of Prythian, leaving her starving family behind. Faes are a lot different from what she expected and soon her heart betrays her. She never thought it would be possible to love the species she always hated. However, things aren’t peaceful in Prythian either, a curse lies upon its inhabitants and Feyre is possibly the key to defeat the darkness looming above them.
Sarah J. Maas is an expert of character creation. Each and every character in her books is so complex and three-dimensional. Feyre, for example, is not just a poor huntress. She used to be rich although she barely remembers her family’s years of glory and she loves to paint. Also, she doesn’t know how to read. All these apparently insignificant details are what makes characters appear real. They have a past, dreams, hobbies, likes and dislikes, just like any normal person.
Another area of expertise of Sarah is her setting descriptions. I don’t feel that she makes them too lengthy or overuses adjectives, but she still makes them so vivid, especially because she tends to appeal to all the reader’s senses.
The love triangle was quite interesting as well, although it wasn’t yet fully developed in this book – that’s a story for the sequel (which I don’t think I’ll be reading).
Unfortunately, there are lot more things that I didn’t like than the ones I loved – that is why I don’t plan on reading the next one in the series.
Comparing Throne of Glass to ACOTAR, I just feel that they weren’t written by the same person. I felt that A Court Of Thorns and Roses was absolutely lame and it lacked in plot. To be honest, I compare it to a high fantasy version of Fifty Shades of Grey. It was on the borderline between Young Adult and New Adult, meaning that it was high on sexual content, but it would be “acceptable” if there was more to it, if the nearly-lacking plot didn’t simply revolve around love and desire. If body painting and revealing clothes were more than an attempt to add spice to the story.
However, the first thing that got on my nerves was Feyre’s family. They all seemed so lazy and haughty, treating Feyre as a servant. It actually reminded me a lot of Cinderella (a huntress version of Cinderella) when, in fact, the book was supposed to be based on The Beauty and the Beast.
I quickly got tired of the constant emphasis on Tamlin’s beastly appearance and behaviour, how it scared Feyre but also attracted her. This was The Beauty and the Beast part – Stockholm Syndrome and all that. By the way, the Great Rite was probably the silliest thing in the whole book – I was constantly thinking Seriously? Did you really thing this was a good thing to write? It felt like something a teenage girl would think off – no offence, I’m a teenage girl myself and that is why I say it. Oh, and another detail that nearly made me rip my hair off, or possibly tear the book apart – the mask stuck on everyone’s faces because of a curse set upon the Spring court during a masquerade ball. Really? The fact that Feyre was so delighted to see that her prince charming was as beautiful as she imagined when he was finally able to remove the mask just added that Disney flare *insert sarcasm*
What also annoyed me was how Feyre kept referring to that “useless part” of her, the part that valued beauty and painting, every time she admired her surroundings, even in the most frighting situations. I’m in no way a professional writer, but I enjoy doing it and, if I had written these scenes, I would have chosen to describe the setting from Feyre’s POV, without mentioning that it was her “useless part”, or I wouldn’t describe it at all. If she was so stress out and afraid, it was only natural that she didn’t even remember to look around. I’m also a painter and I too admire the beauty of nature around me, but I never see that as useless. It is useful, even if it’s just to get you more oriented and possibly calm you down.
Additionally, in this book, Sarah J. Maas made a habit of summarising in a few sentences stuff that had happened in the last two or three pages. It was as if she described the scene as a narrator and then Feyre described it for herself all over again. It didn’t feel that this happened in Throne of Glass, but ToG is written is third person and ACOTAR in first person. Maybe this is the reason why.
It might seem unlikely, but my favourite character was Nesta. Yes, I hated her at the start but even if she just appeared in a small portion of the book, she still had one of the greatest character developments. She was cold and heartless but, in fact, she was all of that for the love of her family – well, more for love of her younger sister. Nesta would die for Elain and that gave a whole new aspect to her personality. I admired her even more because she was so mentally strong that Tamlin’s magic wasn’t enough to glamour her, although it worked on Feyre. If Nesta had been the protagonist, I’m pretty sure that the plot would have been a lot more interesting. I also appreciated the fact that she really tried to connect with Feyre when she returned from Prythian, even if they never got along in the past – she even tried painting! How awesome is that? She was also the person that Feyre trusted the most despite their torn relationship, so that tells a lot about Nesta.
However, I also have to admit that I feel highly intrigued about Rhysand. Ah, who doesn’t? Yes, I like him more than Tamlin – he is cunning and I find that much more attractive than Tamlin’s raw bruteness. Rhysand wasn’t very well developed in ACOTAR, but he surely sparked my attention and he is certainly a character that I would like to get to know better. I know that A Court of Mist and Fury is my chance for that, but I’m not sure if I’ll read a book just for Rhysand’s sake.
Well, A Court Of Thorns and Roses was certainly not what I was expecting. I hoped for an awesome, epic plot, not just another lame story. I must admit that I felt disappointed.