Thursday, April 16, 2015

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses

A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES
A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Sarah J. Maas
Young Adult/Fantasy
416 pages
Bloomsbury
Available May 5th
Source: ARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.


MY THOUGHTS

Every once in a while when we emerge from a story that's held our undivided attention for so long, blinking blearily at our reality, we find we can focus on nothing other than the desire to return to the first page and start the experience all over again. A Court of Thorns and Roses is very much that type of tale; one that leaves us physically unable to pick up another book for days following the turn of the last page given that doing so would be acknowledging our time with Feyre and Tamlin is temporarily over.

Ms. Maas has the uncanny ability to write characters who are a study in contrasts; a beautiful mess of conflicting attributes that resonate so thoroughly they become unforgettable in a very short amount of time. Feyre is gorgeously strong physically and mentally, providing for her crippled father and two older sisters as they sit comfortably in the tiny cottage they call home and complain about the speed at which Feyre puts food on their table. While confident in her hunting abilities, she's hugely self-conscious with regard to her intelligence, her inability to read and write something that causes her no shortage of shame. What she sees as a flaw though is but one of the many threads that bind us to her emotionally, able to feel her every joy and pain as if it were our own.

Tamlin, though more of a mystery to us given we spend all our time in Feyre's head, is as stunningly layered as she is, comprised of more shades of gray than we would have imagined possible prior to reading. At his core he could be described as good or even heroic, but like Feyre, when challenged and backed into a corner he's capable of making decisions that have brutal consequences for those around him. His relationship with Feyre is deliciously tense, the two of them tiptoeing around one another for much of the first half, trying to figure out how to make the best of a situation that's difficult for all involved. They spare us the drama we might have anticipated given Feyre's essentially kidnapped and forced to live in a world unfamiliar to her, instead proving they are not above apologizing when they make a misstep and constantly choosing to compromise when they could so easily lash out.

While Feyre and Tamlin are highlights, Ms. Maas supports them an extraordinary cast of secondary characters, each with shadows behind their eyes that whisper beseechingly to us as we slip further and further under the spell of this magnificent world, letting us know they have secrets to tell and scars for us to examine more closely. We're left in a very satisfying place, the events of the final hundred pages clearly going to have epic repercussions on this world and its inhabitants, but those repercussions remain firmly on the horizon as we flip the final page. A Court of Thorns and Roses is Ms. Maas at her very finest, giving us a glimpse at an imagination that impresses us more fully with each book we're gifted.

Rating: 5/5

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This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

44 comments:

  1. I feel a bit letdown after her other series so I just can't :/

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  2. wow 5/5? that's so great! I have the 2 first books in her first series but I haven't read them, I really should after all the amazing things I keep hearing! Great review!

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    1. I so enjoy her books Melliane! I will say Throne of Glass was a bit rocky for me, I wish I had read the prequels first, they completely changed my feelings about Celaena. LOVE HER:)

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  3. This sounds really good, I'll have to put it on my wishlist :) Still need to read her other series too, and I've heard lots of good things about her writing.

    ~Ailsa

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    1. I hope you pick up all her books Alisa! Highly, highly recommend:)

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  4. Eeep, so glad you loved this too, Jenny! I totally agree that I feel in love with both Fayre's and Tamlin's strengths and weaknesses. And together? They were just so perfect! <3 The secondary characters were all extremely fabulous as well. Amazing and spot-on review, girl! :D

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    1. I NEED THE SECOND BOOK ALREDY AIMEE!!! It's going to be a painfully long wait:(

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  5. I just finished this book the other day and loved it just as much as you did Jenny. Although my heart belonged firmly with Tamlin, there was always a chance that the secondary characters Mass included could take some of the limelight. I am super curious about things will go with these characters and especially one in particular! The next book needs to come out already! Fab review!

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    1. Right? A year is a long time to have to wait for more of this world! I have little doubt it will be worth it though:)

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  6. YESSSSSSSSSSS!!! I'm now even more excited to read this one because your review tells me this is very much worth the hype, Jenny! Even if I didn't expect anything less from Sarah J Maas!
    I cannot wait for my preorder to arrive already!!

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    1. I can't wait to see what you think Pili! I think you're going to be blown away:)

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  7. Wow! Fantastic review, Jenny! I am so excited to pick up a copy of this book. I read Throne of Glass a few months ago and LOVED it, so I definitely want to finish that series and read this book too. I am glad yo hear you loved it and it wasn't disappointing at all.

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    1. You have so much awesomeness ahead of you Christina! I think her Throne of Glass series gets better as it goes, and this book was just fantastic:)

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  8. Aaahhh, there has been so much hype for this book, and all the reviews I've seen have been so positive. You know I wasn't a huge fan of the first book in the Throne of Glass series, but I'm pretty excited about this book, Jenny. I've heard fabulous things about Tamlin and can't wait to meet him!

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    1. To be perfectly honest Z, I wasn't either. Throne of Glass was a letdown for me after all the hype, but then I read the prequel and the second book and I feel madly in love. This one I thought was brilliant from the get-go:)

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  9. I'm really happy to see you loved this, Jenny. I really enjoyed it as well as we previously discussed. The characters were my favorite part of the book too. I thought the book lagged in the plot department in the first half of the book, but the characters were so enchanting. Buut, I'm honestly going to be disappointed if this turns into a love triangle. I already despise Rhys and don't want him anywhere near my OTP, but knowing Sarah J Maas, that's too much to ask.
    Lovely review, Jenny!

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    1. I do think Feyre and Tamlin are more settled emotionally than Celaena ever was, so I'm thinking maybe Rhys won't be a problem romantically moving forward (hopefully!). He'll be a problem of some kind though:)

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  10. Ah yes, Tamlin, I have heard a lot about this character and am dying to meet him! I am so darn excited for this read Jenny!! Only a few more weeks now. ;)
    Beautiful review!!

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    1. I hope you love it as much as I did Ali!

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  11. I believe this is one of the best reviews I came across for this one. A study in contrasts - how astutely you put it :) It does sound like, once again, Sarah J. Maas proved herself as an experienced and talented storytellers. I love her worlds and I love her characters (I can never decide what comes first). I agree with your assessment in that she shines in what I call the enhancements-and-contrasts department, which is such an integral part of bringing a character to life on the pages. Very smart review, I enjoyed reading it.

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    1. Thanks so much Ramona! I always have trouble writing the reviews for the books I love the most, and this one is a new favorite for sure:) I hope you love it!

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  12. I literally squealed when I saw your review for this one was up Jenny^^ I'm still sitting on my review until next week but I couldn't resist coming to gush with you :D I LOVED this one too, I was worried that Feyre wouldn't hold up to Celaena but she was so unique in her own right that I never once compared the two. She was strong in a more quiet sort of way, but it wasn't any less impressive. And Tamlin. *swoon* well, he was just all kinds of amazing ♥ The tension between the two of them was perfection, I was glued to the pages throughout and when they finally got together it was BLISS. The world building was above reproach too, especially for a more romance-heavy read. I'm already eagerly waiting for the sequel too - knowing Maas, the series will get even better as it progresses :D Gorgeous review^^ I'm happy you loved this one as much as I did ♥

    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

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    1. IT WAS SO GOOD MICHELINE!!!! And I agree, Mass gets better as she goes, so I have no doubt the second book will be even better and I can't wait:)

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  13. I am so happy to read your review of this one. I am absolutely itching to get a hold of a copy. I don't know why I didn't actively puruse an ARC. Now I am kicking myself. I adore Ms. Maas her writing and story telling is most impressive. Yeah!

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    1. I loved it so much Heidi! I hope you will as well:)

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  14. This woman is so incredibly talented, isn't she? After reading your review, I'm feeling the need to reread this story. Darn you, Jenny! And SJM!! Heh.

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    1. Yes she is. I want to live in her head for a day and just see all the awesomeness that's swirling around up there:)

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  15. I'm so excited for this one and your review only makes the wait even more unbearable. Can't. Wait. !!!

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  16. Oh wow, I am SO glad I decide to preorder this beauty! I just knew it would be fabulous, and that's coming from someone who didn't exactly adore Throne of Glass. I did always love her characters, though, so I just know that part is going to be amazing. And I have trust your opinion completely about the rest.

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    1. I didn't adore Throne of Glass either Maja (the sequels and prequels? YES!), so I think you'll enjoy this one! Loved, loved, loved:)

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  17. I'm super excited about this one and there's so much hype going around that I've been avoiding reviews so I can go in as blind as possible. I'll be coming back to this review once I finish the book but I see it's a 5 star reads for you so i'm unbelievably excited :)

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  18. I feel that way, a little story drunk, after every one of her books. It is very hard to pick up another book after reading anything from her. I'm so glad this new series is no different from the Throne of Glass series in it's ability to enchant and engross.

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    1. YES! I couldn't read anything for a good week because I just kept thinking about this one:)

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  19. Yer killin' me! I want to read this so bad, but I kind of want to wait until the 2nd book is out so I can keep going. lol

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  20. OMG Jenny..I cannot wait. I was too tightly scheduled to accept advanced copy but oh man it is pre-ordered and I plan to devour it!!

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  21. I had such a book hangover after reading this one! I think you hit the nail on the head, she writes fantastic characters, both main and supporting, and I just always want to spend more time with them. Lovely review!

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  22. Oh, I'm so looking forward to reading this Jenny! I have to confess that I've only read book one from Throne of Glass. I plan on binge reading them this summer on vacation, but this is coming out soon as well. Lol. I'm so fascinated by this because of its theme though. Five stars awesome sauce - I'm in for sure!
    Thanks for the wonderful review, I'm drooling :)

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  23. I'm really excited for this one! I was waiting for the audio for this but I heard the audio rights haven't been sold yet. So I guess I'm reading this one!

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  24. This will be my first Sara J. Maas book. I've been meaning to pick up the Throne of Glass series but haven't gotten around doing so. I'm really looking forward to reading this one after hearing amazing reviews of her books and her writing.

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  25. ohh boy Jenny!! I didn't think I could be anymore excited to read this until I read your review! Plus, I know you don't give out 5 stars too often.

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  26. I had a handful more five star than you did. Still, I had a lot more disappointments. I adored the Ilona Andrews series, I devored all of them this past year. I just finished two five star reads this week. The Wedding Pearls and The Impostor. Fantastic.

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