I drink the Sarah J. Maas kool-aid just so you know that from the beginning.
I’m a huge fan of the Throne of Glass series. I knew I would love A Court of Thorns and Roses as well though I didn’t know what to expect going in. I had heard this was a beauty and the beast retelling, but it is so much more than that. More fantasy and faery and more life and love. Beauty and the Beast expanded into an adult story with all the necessary intricacies.
I was initially very surprised to find that Feyre was technically weak. Of course, she could hunt but only using subtlety and shadows. She was brave, but could still be so easily killed. I enjoyed that shift of showing that Feyre can be strong in her own ways without needing to be invincible.
I like Tamlin at the moment. He seems willing to let her choose, but at the same time that seems like an awful lack of action given it will mean the continued torture and murder of so many people. He should have tried harder. The sexy scenes are definitely sexy, but there is no real emotional connection. **Spoiler** even when Feyre is days away from dying he still is so focused on just getting in her pants rather than helping her escape or win. Not to mention just begging for Amarantha to stop rather than fighting with everything in him as Rhysand does**end of spoiler** I’m not crazy about Tamlin as a full out love interest.
I assume Rhysand will be a love interest, but I don’t know how Maas will make him seem like a good choice. **spoiler**I mean he tortured and drugged Feyre.**end of spoiler** I put it in Maas capable hands. He cares about her or is at least intrigued by her, but that scene where he hurts her makes me wonder if he can truly be trusted.
Lucien is a great character as the much-needed bridge and friend between Tamlin and Feyre. He has such anger and such love for them both.
Amarantha is vicious and scary. I fear her infinitely. **Spoiler** she should have known better than to risk everything on a riddle that was technically not that hard to figure out. **end of spoiler**
One thing I can always say about Maas’s series is that there are tiny clues and hints built in from the very beginning. Seriously go back and read the first chapter in the Throne of Glass series after you’ve read the third book and you’ll see just what I’m talking about. Hints and clues and foreshadowing. I feel like that’s true with this series as well. Even just within this book I think I could go back and reread it and catch a ton of tiny hints I missed the first time around.
Thorns and Roses is not my favorite Maas novel. I actually thought it was her first novel because the writing felt just a little bit off. Not quite as clean as TOG. However, it still pulls me in and makes me stay up late to keep reading. I was ecstatic to read this as a physical copy. Neither the library I work in nor the local library I visit has a physical copy of the second book. Irritating.
The ending is so climactic and epic. There is no simple “I show up and conquer all. The end.” There is a full storyline just in the last quarter of the book. So absolutely worth it.
I absolutely recommend this book and this series for Maas fans and for those who are ready to drink the Maas kool-aid for the first time.
If you love A Court of Thorns and Roses, hate it, haven’t read it and want me to convince you to read it, or anything in between, drop a comment.