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A Court of Thorns and Roses Hardcover – May 5, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—When 19-year-old Feyre kills a wolf in the barren woods near her home in Prythian, she thinks it might be enough to help her family survive another long winter. Instead, a monstrous creature soon comes to the cottage, accusing Feyre of murder and demanding she return with him to the Fae realm as payment for the life she took. Feyre finds herself held on a lavish estate belonging to an elite Fae creature known as Tamlin. Over the course of her captivity, Feyre soon learns that life in the Fae realm can be as much of an opportunity as a punishment. When her feelings for Tamlin shift from loathing to lust, Feyre also realizes little will be able to keep them apart—not even the threat of evil lurking on the borders of the estate. Something that has cursed Tamlin for centuries may destroy him and his realm if Feyre can't find a way to stop it. Maas follows up her "Throne of Glass" novels (Bloomsbury) with this series opener. Readers will find the author's trademark blend of action, romance, and witty banter as well as a sexier, edgier tone. This retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" and "Tam Lin" (with elements from ancient Greek mythology thrown in) has a strong focus on Feyre's physical attraction to Tamlin, but characters lacking in dimension detract from Feyre's strengths as a capable but rash heroine. Uneven pacing includes a slow start followed by a game-changing information dump, and then a more action- and less romance-filled second half. VERDICT A weak fantasy with strong romance elements. Good for fans of Maas's previous books looking for a more mature read.—Emma Carbone, Brooklyn Public Library
“A gorgeously written tale as lush and romantic as it is ferocious. Absolutely spellbinding.” ―Alexandra Bracken, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author
“Simply dazzles. . . . the clamor for a sequel will be deafening. . . . Maas' Throne of Glass series has been a smash hit. . . this new series is primed to follow in its footsteps.” ―starred review, Booklist
“Readers will find the author's trademark blend of action, romance, and witty banter as well as a sexier, edgier tone.” ―School Library Journal
“Sarah J. Maas delivers what may be her best work to date. . . . Enchanting, spellbinding and imaginative. . . . The world-building is stellar, as only Maas can imagine it.” ―USA Today Happy Ever After
“Suspense, romance, intrigue and action. This is not a book to be missed!” ―The Huffington Post
“[T]he sexual tension and deadly action are well-supported by Maas' expertly drawn, multidimensional characters and their nuanced interpersonal dynamics. . . . Sexy and romantic.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Elements from 'Beauty and the Beast,' 'East o' the Sun, West o' the Moon,' the myth of Persephone, and the legend of Tamlin are seamlessly interwoven with clever allusions, while the faerie world is resplendent in its initial beauty and then horrific in the brutality Feyre later encounters.” ―BCCB
“A dazzling world, complex characters and sizzling romance. Feyre is a charming heroine with a perfect amount of flaws and strengths, and her chemistry with Tamlin is wonderfully tangible.” ―Top Pick, RT Book Reviews
“A well-developed world. . . . [Feyre's] grit and boundless loyalty demand that her foes--and readers--sit up and pay attention.” ―Publishers Weekly
“I was afraid to put the book down!” ―Tamora Pierce, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author, on HEIR OF FIRE
“The pages fly by.” ―Booklist on HEIR OF FIRE
“Will leave readers ravenous for more.” ―Kirkus Reviews on HEIR OF FIRE
“Readers will devour Maas's latest entry . . . A must-purchase.” ―School Library Journal on HEIR OF FIRE
“An epic fantasy readers will immerse themselves in and never want to leave.” ―starred review, Kirkus Reviews on CROWN OF MIDNIGHT
“Series fans . . . will be thrilled by the prospect of deepening adventures in the next volume.” ―Booklist on CROWN OF MIDNIGHT
“A thrilling read.” ―starred review, Publishers Weekly on THRONE OF GLASS
“A must-read for lovers of epic fantasy and fairy tales.” ―USA Today Happy Ever After on THRONE OF GLASS
“Fans of Tamora Pierce and George R.R. Martin, pick up this book!” ―RT Book Reviews on THRONE OF GLASS
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Top Customer Reviews
I finally finished this book. Not sure, again (see my review of The Winner's Kiss if it's me or if it's Sarah's style of plot, but I didn't feel this book deeply enough to give it a higher rating.
What I Liked:
- The Court Systems and Political Intrigue: This always ranks high on my list whenever I'm reading a high fantasy setting. Sarah described the courts and their allegiances/wars well. I felt like I understood them and the level of explanation was just right (in other words, Sarah avoided the over-explaining trap that is often found in this genre).
- The Beauty and Beast plot: It's one of my standby favorite plots. Family ties, stomach-turning kidnapping and Stockholm Syndrome. This makes for a heart-thumping read in most cases.
What I Didn't Like:
- The Beauty and Beast plot: Stockholm Syndrome. It makes me want to scream, "Run the bleep away, woman!", and it does so EVERY SINGLE TIME I read it.
- Feyre: Where do I begin with her inconsistencies. I know it can all be written away as Stockholm Syndrome/PTSD, but something about her didn't ring true to me. Maybe it was her reliance on painting that was quickly swept away by other plot points. Maybe it was her strong huntress character (I think Katniss Everdeen exemplifies the best of this character type and Feyre isn't even close). Maybe it was how quickly she fell for her captor. I can't quite put my finger on it, but something, something felt off. And much like in Throne of Glass, I found myself not connecting with her at all. Not on any level. While that isn't a must-have requirement, it left me watching everything unfold from the sidelines instead of being in the midst of all the action.
- Plodding Middle: The story was so chock full o' action in the beginning, and then something happened that just sloooooooooowed the plot down and ground the stakes to a halt. I find myself wondering why high fantasy books are so long. ACoTaR is long because you realize in somewhere in the middle of the book that Feyre is not attempting to return home, and that she has fallen in love with Tamlin. Are you yawning because I was. Suddenly, the real villain, Amaratha, is introduced and the action picks up, but not before there is a long lull of many, many pages where nothing much happens.
- The Dreaded Love Triangle: Feel free to roll your eyes with me all you Love Triangle Haters, because oh yeah, you can see this one coming like a freight train rolling along. I won't spoil it, but it's obviously there, so yeah, whooooosh.
- Neat and Tidy Conclusion: Again, I rolled my eyes at this one. Something about it felt overly neat. I won't spoil it, but it was simply too fast (especially after the lull) and it was too tidy. It does, however, set up for a great sequel if you care enough to come along for the ride. As for me, yes, I will probably read it, but not for a while. I'm going to keep searching for that summer read that truly immerses me in its story.
We are first introduced to Feyre, a girl who tries to take care of her family as best she can despite being the youngest. It is on one of her trip into the forest to feed her family when she stumbles across the path of a wolf whilst hunting a deer. After shooting and killing both animals, she skins the wolf and carries the deer home for food. Unfortunately for her, the wolf was actually a Fae male and her actions force her to make a choice. Either be killed or live forevermore in the Fae realm.
It is not much of a choice and Feyre chooses to go with Tamlin to his estate in Prythian, the land of the Fae. Tamlin, she later discovers is not only a High Fae, but the Lord of the Spring Court and much more powerful than she realized. He is joined by Lucien, another High Fae who is originally from the Autumn Court and not much else besides a few workers. The large estate seems empty and a little bit sad.
As one can expect from a Beauty and the Beast retelling, the girl must fall in love with the shapeshifting Fae beast to break a curse. the curse is not known to the reader or Feyre until the end of the book. She must fight to prove her love under the most harrowing of situations and trials.
A must read, especially if you wish to find out what happens. Highly recommended for teen/young adult readers who like fantasy, supernatural creatures and magic. The world building is amazing, the magic is awe inspiring and the lands are populated by a variety of characters from the heroes to the villains, the cowards, the friends and the just plain misunderstood.