A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Sarah J. Maas
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.
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.
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.