“A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas
Synopsis: A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.
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.
Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!
4 out of 5 stars
This is a paranormal/ fantasy retelling of the story of Beauty and the Beast- if you don’t like that sort of thing, you won’t like this. I loved it!
The story: Feyre makes a mistake, killing a wolf in the woods in her attempt to feed her starving family, not knowing that the wolf was a Fae in disguise. Tamlin, the Prince of the Summer Courts of Faerie, comes to her families home and demands retribution. Instead of killing her, he instead takes Feyre to live out the rest of her life with him in his land in Faerie.
The characters: Feyre is an amazingly complex character. She had sworn a vow to her dying mother to take care of her family even though they treat her awfully. A huntress and a painter, she takes that vow very seriously and puts aside her own needs for that of her ungrateful sisters and crippled father. When she is taken to live with Tamlin, she is determined to escape to fulfill that vow, not realizing the dangers that wait for her on his estate. She can kick ass when she needs to and is afraid to be vulnerable, especially with Tamlin.
Tamlin, Lucian, and Rhysand and the three main Fae in the story. Tamlin is the Beast, and his chemistry with Feyre is hot! He is the Prince of the Summer Courts and a High Fae, meaning that he is quite powerful in his faerie abilities. Described as golden, he wears a masquerade mask as do all the members of his court due to a powerful spell placed on the Spring Court.
Lucian is his right hand and sidekick. He blames Feyre for the death of the Fae she killed in wolf form, but the two eventually come to an agreement if not a friendship. Sarcastic and witty, he give a great deal of comic relief and much needed tension breaking.
Rhys is a dark prince in the story. Feyre meets him while sneaking into places she’s not supposed to be. Brutally handsome, he is an enemy of Tamlin’s.
What I liked: This is a sweeping fantasy story, with lots of epic world building going on. The writing is spot on and the descriptions of faerie were both lovely and brutal by turns. Feyre’s and Tamlin’s relationship builds slowly, each unwilling and unable to trust the other. The romance is sweet as Tamlin finds ways to show Feyre how much he cares for her and as she begins to take down the walls she has had up for so long. There are a few twists and turns to the story which keeps it interesting, and Feyre finds herself fighting to save both Tamlin and her whole world.
This is the first book in a series but it definitely stands well on its own. I loved the retelling of Beauty and the Beast with the faerie elements added; it made the entire book feel like a brand new story. I also loved the fact that Tamlin, the beast, does have a grand library but Feyre is mostly illiterate. She spends her time in the library learning to read.
What I didn’t like: The world of faerie has an enemy, known for most of the book as HER. I found that a bit tedious as her name could have been revealed much earlier in the story. That is my only complaint and I can’t even call it a complaint!
This is going to be a beautiful series, and I am seriously waiting for the next book.