It has been awhile since I picked up a book. Lately, my genre of interest consists of books that are expensive, lengthy, and written by prestigious scholars. (Text books. I’m reading text books) I can only read so many hundreds of pages of authors explaining to me how the internet, movies, television etc. use Facebook for everything they do before I’m ready to chuck it out my window. Oh and occasional Fan Fiction when I’m on the train, but shh. It’s like Fight Club, we don’t talk about it.
About several weeks ago, I got so done with classes to the point where I grabbed the first E book I could think of while browsing my public library’s website. The lucky book I picked was, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. Long story short, I loved it!
I didn’t think about writing a review…or discussion…Whatever you would call this post. So everything I am writing about is coming from my memory. WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!
A Court of Thorns and Roses (we’ll use ACOTAR for short) is a New Adult book about a human girl, Feyre (Pronounced Fey-Rah) who ends up leaving her mortal hometown and living in the “Spring Court” that resides on the other side of the wall. Feyre lives in a world that includes humans, however it is also made up entirely of magical beings known as faeries. This story is a twist on the classic tale, Beauty and the Beast. We follow Feyre who’s trying to make the best out of her indefinite incarceration in the Spring Court and solve a mysterious threat that nobody speaks of burdening the realm of faeries. I would classify this book as an adventure, mystery and romance novel. For those who don’t know, New Adult genre is similar to YA, but has content more appropriate for the 18+ age group.
Lets get on with the characters! There’s so many of them and I wish I had the time to talk about all of them. I’ll just get to the main part.
Also note that I am talking about the characters only as they are written in ACOTAR. So my thoughts of them on the sequel will NOT be taken into consideration.
Sarah J. Maas is pretty good at characters. They’re really well developed and they all have a range of good and bad qualities. Feyre for instance isn’t always a character I would 100% like. There were times when Feyre did things that I would think is stupid and other things she did that had me cheering for her. For instance, the Fire Night scene. When Feyre decided to not listen to ANYBODY’S warnings and sneak out of the house to see the ceremony. Why did she want to? The fire looked pretty! The whole time I was yelling at how dumb she was being. Sure enough, she gets in trouble and runs back to her bed, but not before Tamlin walks in and makes everything worse.
Oh Tamlin! I really only liked him because Feyre did and I made several excuses for his shitty behavior. And his behavior would constantly piss me off. Especially the Fire Night part of the book really pissed me off. To put it short, he sexually assaults Feyre and blames her. Then they both get mad at each other until he finally does something for her to forgive him or something. There were other times when Feyre and Tamlin shared really sweet moments that may or may not have made me gush a bit. Overall, I felt very conflicted with Tamlin’s character and I think Sarah wanted her readers to feel this way. Feyre and Tamlin are clearly not healthy together but like any unhealthy relationship, we make excuses. I wish I could go on, but I want to move to the next character.
Rhysand! His character made me feel conflicted as well. He kept me on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t predict what he would do next. Would he turn Feyre in and threaten her family? Is he going to screw everyone over? Whose side is he really on? The questions go on. I’m still not sure how much I love Rhysand as a character in ACOTAR. On one half, I like that he surprises us and helps Feyre out. On the other hand, he takes advantage of her and uses her as his own form of entertainment. As we reach closer to the end, he sort of reveals to us that Feyre is growing on him and he doesn’t really want her dead. But he’s still an asshole! For instance, he would dress Feyre in skimpy clothes and drug her on a daily basis. True, he never raped or physically harmed her, but I still didn’t like it. The fact that he would force Feyre to do anything without her consent was psychological torture. There were other, more ethical ways to trick the court into thinking that Rhysand was not a double agent. I thought it was interesting that Sarah didn’t give Ryshand a complete redemption arc in ACOTAR. For what it’s worth, I think that style of character development would be less cliche. I also thought the tattoo bond thing was weird, but I also understood that it was an important plot device to help the characters move along in the story.
Next character, Amarantha.Fucking hate this cold hearted bitch! That’s all I have to say.
I solved her riddle the second she told Feyre. In a way, it is sort of realistic that Feyre wouldn’t solve it on time. Considering she’s illiterate and never read a book in her life, riddles wouldn’t be her strongest point. Still, I was hoping for a challenge.
Lucien, what a cheeky bastard and I smiled when he risks his life to save Feyre. Can we say aww? When you read the book, you can tell when he sort of warms up to Feyre and cares about her.
Feyre’s family. Oh my gosh. I never thought I would dislike a protagonist’s family so much but I do. They started off as really selfish and didn’t care much for the fact that Feyre did almost everything for them. When I reach the middle of the book, I warm up a bit for Nesta and see that she feels some guilt for taking Feyre for granted. I think it’s really touching when we learn she tried to cross over to the wall and she got so close! Sadly, she couldn’t make it all the way and had to go back home. I don’t think she was going to give up. If she tried to cross the wall, I’m sure she was going to try to find a way through the wall.
There’s just so much to talk about and I wish my character review gave any justice to the real quality in Sarah J. Maas’ writing. It’s one of those books I can’t accurately form into words that describe what I was feeling.
The universe Sarah creates alone is so big and there’s so many things about this universe that keeps us asking more questions. Sarah really pulls in a lot of inspiration from folklore and makes her own interpretation of the stories. I love fairy tales, so this book really matched my genre of interest.
Everyone compares it to Beauty and the Beast, myself included, but there’s something MORE to it. Sarah really twists the story around to where you can’t always predict it. It seems she leaves some things out so that you can guess what is going to happen, but then there are other times where she turns the tables and takes the scene to a new direction. I couldn’t really even compare Tamlin and Feyre to Belle and Beast because they’re just so different. If I were to compare them, I wouldn’t be accurately describing their character. To put it simply, if you feel like the story is going to be predictable, just wait. Because odds are, it is not going to go the way you think it will.