I am currently obsessed with anything written by Sarah J. Maas.
I was blown away by Empire of Storms, and I’m still in a state of book hangover. It’s a real thing!
Anyway, since the next book in the Throne of Glass series isn’t released until September, I had to find another series to occupy my time. Luckily, A Court of Thorns and Roses is a welcome distraction.
A Court of Thorns and Roses is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast (think the original fairytale, not the Disney adaptation). The basic plot line follows the fairytale, but in glorious Maas fashion, she adds amazing originality. There’s still a man who’s cursed and only a girl who says loves him can break the spell, however, Feyre has to prove her love participating in life or death trials (plus the cover’s really pretty).
What I Loved
Feyre is the definition of dedicated. Can we talk about her dedication to her mother’s dying wish?!?! Man, once this girl makes a promise, it will happen. By far, this is my favorite thing about her. Also – a main character who can’t read?! How cool and relatable is that!!
Curses are bad. But this one? Super intense. It’s not just a curse to prove a point – it’s driven by revenge and spite, created by a power-hungry queen who can’t let things go when they don’t go her way. The whole point of Amarantha’s curse is to make Tamlin suffer, and not just while he’s under the curse, but in order to break the curse as well.
Feyre is ripped from her family, and while her life was far from amazing, she lost everything she knew. Even though Tamlin treats her as a guest and keeps her safe, and even though he swears her family is taken care of, in her mind, she’s not keeping the vow she made to her mother. Her grief is very real. She has a difficult time letting go of that vow and her responsibility, however self-inflicted it was.
After spending some time at Spring Court, she begins to come alive – she starts painting again, gets close to Tamlin, and begins to see how beautiful the world can be. Everything is perfect, until one day, it hits her. She remembers her family and how she provided for them, and wonders how she can find peace and happiness when they must be suffering. Survivor’s guilt – it gets you. And Maas does an amazing job of describing how suddenly and hard it hits.
Tamlin’s Loyalty and Perseverance
Here is a man who has been placed under a curse, not for being superficial or petty, but for not willing to bow to an unjust ruler. Amarantha’s curse causes him and his court pain daily. But he still looks for a way out. Through it all, he had to make hard choices, choices that broke him, but he never deserted his court.
We haven’t been told a lot about the different courts yet, but the idea is fascinating. I loved that each court represented something different and that the High Lords’ appearances fit with their courts’ themes.
Can we just talk about this guy?! First of all, he and Tamlin have a great bromance. But I also love his relationship with Feyre. Sure, he’s kind of a jerk, but he still looks out for her (in his own sarcastic, bossy way).
Some might argue that scenes in A Court of Thorns and Roses are similar to those in the Throne of Glass series, but that’s not a bad thing. It shouldn’t reflect poorly on Maas’s originality. I think of it as her trademark sound – similar to how you can hear a song and know that it’s Coldplay. It’s that familiar sound that weaves through each of their songs.
I rate this book a 5 out of 5. Thankfully there are two more books in the series! I can’t wait to dive into #2, A Court of Mist and Fury. Also, Hulu has announced that the Throne of Glass series will be made into a TV series (which probably won’t be released until late 2018 *tear*)! And A Court of Thorns and Roses will be made into a movie! Looks like we’ve got plenty of steam left in these books!