book review: a court of thorns and roses



A Court of Thorns and Roses(ACOTAR) is the first of Sarah J Maas' new trilogy, even though she still hasn't finished writing the Throne of Glass series yet. I've written a review about Throne of Glass, but i didn't get around to writing reviews for the second and third book in the series. To sum it up, it's worth mentioning here that i absolutely LOVE the Throne of Glass series! It's possibly my favourite Young Adult series of all time, since i rated the second book 4.99. With that being said, Maas' new book does not disappoint. I think i prefer the Throne of Glass premise better than ACOTAR, but ACOTAR was fantastic nevertheless and i'm rating it 4.5 out of 5.

While Throne of Glass was inspired by Cinderella, ACOTAR is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. The book starts off with a 19 year old girl named Feyre(pronounced Fay-ruh), who was out hunting during the winter to feed her starving family who lived in poverty. As she was about to kill a deer, she comes across a wolf that could have been a Faerie. Having so much hatred for Faeries for all the cruelty they have done to humans, Feyre kills the beast and skins its pelt to be sold. The next day, a Faerie beast comes shattering the door of Feyre's cottage, demanding for a life to be taken for the Faerie she had killed. He claimed that Feyre had broken the Treaty between humans and Faeries and must pay the consequences. Having the choice to either die or follow the beast back to the land of the Faeries beyond the wall, Feyre leaves her sisters and crippled father and the vow she had made to her dead mother at her deathbed years ago.

I finished this book in a day because i simply could not put it down. The first 100 pages or so was admittedly quite slow because the author needed to describe the setting of the story and tell us the conflict between the two species, but it was worth it. The book just gets better and better after each chapter, and it really amazes me how so much plot can be told in just 400+ pages. By the end of the book i felt like i had just gone on a long exciting adventure.

Sarah J Maas has this amazing gift of describing things. I just love how she can describe scenes with so much detail to the point where you can actually see it happening in your head. I feel like she doesn't only just describe how it looks physically, but adding to the characters' feelings and thoughts about it just adds more depth to the writing and lets us feel as if we're there experiencing it ourselves.

What's also great about this book is that the more you read, the more twists and turns you will discover which builds up the suspense and excitement. This makes the plot really unpredictable, and it's always great to be surprised with the unexpected. Even though the ending was fairly predictable after a while, it still makes you curious and exhilarated to find out how it was going to happen. I love the feeling when a character had to make an impossible choice and you're there wondering what the hell would you do if you're in their shoes and basically you can't make up your mind. Then when the characters make their choice, that's when the feels kick in.

Although this is considered as a Young Adult novel, i do feel that it is more for older YA readers, perhaps those above the age of 16. It has mature content; gore, violence, a bit of inappropriate language and surprisingly more sexual descriptions than i was expecting. To be honest, this simultaneously impressed and disappointed me a little. I was impressed at how brave the author is to make the story as daring as possible for the YA readers instead of playing it too safe. What I was disappointed with was that the sex scenes were more descriptive than I thought they would be, which made me fairly uncomfortable because so many young readers would probably be reading this because of the hype. I get easily annoyed when there's too much of this, so yeah. Be warned.

//UPDATE// I just discovered that ACOTAR is also considered as a New Adult book, which explains the quite-explicitly-detailed sexual content. Young Adult books generally make those scenes "fade out" without the details while New Adult books either describe it a bit or a lot. Just some info.

***SPOILER SECTION***

I didn't realise this till i finished the book, but i do not ship Feyre with Tamlin. Not really. Like, I guess I do like Tam quite a lot and everything but I felt like their love didn't have enough sparks. I didn't feel gushed up over them like i did for my ship in Throne of Glass. I was generally happy for them in the end. I think the fact that there was so much sexual description made the love less special, as if it was only special BECAUSE of the sex or how physically attracted they were to each other. I'm not really into that, i guess. I prefer pure and innocent love over lust. If only there was more of that, then I would readily be more convinced of Feyre and Tamlin's love. I think i might even ship Feyre with Rhys if they ever become a thing.

I really like Rhys. I was so confused with what happened to him in the end, when he just disappeared. Did he die, or did he like, teleport? That was really unclear. But I love what he did against Amarantha and everything. Lucien is another awesome character. One thing these two have in common is they're so witty and sassy, and that's probably why i love them.

I  didn't want to do this but i couldn't help but to occasionally compare Feyre to Celaena(the protagonist in Throne of Glass). Because the setting for both books were extremely similar(sometimes i wonder if it's in the same world, but in different countries) and Feyre and Celaena had some common interests, it was hard not to compare the two main characters. I think i like Celaena better, because Celaena is such a sassy and badass assassin whom I'm always confident can look after herself. With Feyre, i'm always unsure because she was never trained for combat and it didn't seem like she had enough experience being in the forest. She's a decent protagonist but i did feel like she was weak sometimes, especially at the start when she kept worrying about her family who doesn't even treat her well. She gets a lot more likeable though, which is a relief.

The plot got really really exciting for me starting from when she returned to Prythian after being sent away by Tamlin. Discovering about Tam's curse and reading about her bargain with Amarantha was bloody fantastic. Like, i totally did now expect the story would turn to this. I did think the answer to the riddle was really cliche and a little too easy for Amarantha to just instantaneously free Tamlin. I admittedly didn't figure it out till a few moments before Feyre did, but still.Really, Amarantha?!

Also, Feyre is a High Fae now? Well that was random. I guess it solves a lot of problems and builds more ground for the trilogy to continue, but it was just random. It would have made a bit more sense for me if we had been told earlier how Faeries are born, or whether they could be created from humans. I guess because of the lack of explanation about this, it seemed like the author wanted to make things a little too perfect in the end. Hopefully we'll get something about this in the sequel.

***END OF SPOILER SECTION***

All in all, i genuinely enjoyed ACOTAR and am quite excited to read the sequel next year. Sarah J. Maas is a brilliant author, and i'm seeing her as the nicer, female version of George R.R. Martin(author of the A Song of Ice and Fire series). She's pretty brutal when it comes to killing characters and i guess that's on of the things making her different from other YA authors. She really knows how to tell a story. I do feel like the book is kind of heavy in a way, so i would not recommend it if you're under 16 yet. But like, every reader is mature on different levels, so i guess that's up to you.

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if a house is made from a thousand bricks, then let me be one of those bricks, to help keep the house together, to make a significant difference.

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Kamalia has read 15 books toward her goal of 50 books.
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