Review A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACoTaR #1) by Sarah J. Maas

Review A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) 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!
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Retelling, Romance
My thoughts:
"I love you," I said, and stabbed him.
They say fairytales are forever, endless stories woven with magic. But sometimes, although you hold dear those innocent depictions of love and courage from childhood memories, your mind desires a new outlook on those tales. Case in point, A Court of Thorns and Roses by the ever-brilliant Sarah J. Maas, manages to dress the wonderful key-elements of Beauty and the Beast into a mesmerizing journey with threads of smart originality, enthralling fantasy and quite sexy times.
You cannot imagine my frustration that I couldn't read ACoTaR the second it came out (goddamn you, school) but I'm glad I chose not to fragment it into 20 pages reads so I could devour it now in one sitting. It was SO worth it. *happy dance*
I'm not going to explain the plot since I'm late to the party anyway, but I will say this: Beauty and the Beast? Check. Badass, funky and incredibly courageous heroine? Check. Lush settings and well-developed world-building? Cheeeeck. Swoon worthy love interest? Double check. Toe-curling, sigh-inducing and heart-breaking romance? Oh, check. Fae, nightmarish creatures and magic? Check check check. I'm telling you, it had everything a good novel should have and then some! It's SJM after all.
Meet Feyre, local girl that took a turn down poverty lane when her father lost all the family's fortune and that was bound to a deathbed oath made to her mother about protecting said-father and two elder sisters. She's a huntress and one hunt gone wrong had her trapped forever in the Spring Court of Prythian, the magical land of Fae that completes the universe.
I unconsciously compared her to Celaena and I realized that they're very different. Feyre surprised me by being colder, not in Celaena's calculated way, but simply in her demeanor and perspective of life. I loved the fact that she found sanctuary in art and I also appreciated the clever ideas which she came up with. There were a couple of times when she acted infuriatingly childish that had me rolling my eyes to the moon and back (Great Rite, anyone?) but, besides those rare occasions, she constantly had my respect for her determination, not to mention her courage that speaks for itself through the obstacles she had to battle in order to obtain her happiness.
Let's talk boys. Tamlin, Rhysand and Lucien. Don't worry, this time there's no "harem of men" like in ToG (not that I'm complaining) -- yet -- but the central piece of the whole book is the love unraveling between Feyre and Tamlin. They're cute and sexy as hell, I'll grant them that. Tamlin is quite the charming, protective alpha-male and he'll win you over pretty easily. I loved the stages of their relationship's evolvement, with awkward stages, fights, lust and a sort of hunger for each other that drives them both, but honestly I never felt really invested in their "love". I always saw it more like an infatuation.

Which brings me to Rhysand -- basically the epitome of my dark-haired, blue-eyes and dangerous fetish who I couldn't help than fall for thanks to his mysterious allure and sarcastic personality. I loved the fact that him and Feyre are in the early stages of a friendship and, maybe, of a future romance. Regardless of that, Rhys is my newest fictional bae and I wanna find out everything about him. I think I found my replacement for The Darkling! *puts wax figure next to those of Dorian, Will, Alexander, Ash* *pets them all*
Aaand here's the problem actually: if Sarah does indeed decide to develop a love triangle in the next installment, the love on which the events in ACoTaR unfolded won't feel as solid as it's supposed to be. I, personally, would feel deceived. Anyway, it would be interesting to see how it would affect the dynamic between Tam and Rhys, not to mention Tam and Feyre, especially if the mating concept is brought to surface. Oh, the horror!

"Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don't feel anything at all."
Oh, I almost forgot about Lucien! Didn't entirely love him, but I ended up liking him by the end. However, I was glad he offered some humor, because the other characters barely cracked a joke (and I do love humor, thank you very much).
Few secondary characters grabbed my attention and I hope that will change, but Alis and Nesta proved to be peculiar and surprising pillars to Feyre's strength. Girl power FTW! Also, I'd love to see something happening between Nesta and Lucien. And one more thing -- Levana should be introduced to the high and mighty bitch of ACoTaR, Amarantha. I have a feeling they'd be BFFs.

An aspect that was a real winner was the world-building. I was completely enraptured by the Fae's history, customs and lush settings and I seriously hope they will be further exploited in the next books, because they're a golden mine. Another element I appreciated was the closure this volume offered (finally no cliffhanger!!!) and the few loose ends that will probably make up the plotline for the sequel. As for that, my wish for Sarah to continue the retellings trend in the next books is overwhelming, seeing that the Hades and Persephone myth is a true option. Asdfghjkl the possibilities!
I have to admit that I had my doubts. Some regarding the utterly horrifying possibility of not liking a SJM book, since it was the first book that had no connection with the Throne of Glass series, and others about it simply not reaching my sky-scraping expectations. But rest assured, Mass killed them all with her badass writing and, naturally, ACoTaR became one of my new all-time favorites. Sure, it had its flaws and a certain level of predictability here and there, but if those are the only things that stand in front of an enjoyable reading experience, I am able to overlook them.
All in all, I consider this book epically good. Not brilliant and definitely nowhere near the sheer complexity and stakes of the Throne of Glass books, but really good nonetheless. Somehow light and gripping at the same time, with a pace that has you both enjoying every word and anticipating the next thrill, ACoTaR was a magical reprieve from the boring reality, mixing classical and well-known features with amazing and unexpected parts. I loved everything about it and now I'm left counting the days till the sequel, because I'm sure this glorious combination of romance and wickedness was just the tip of the iceberg. What's to come is certainly kickass.


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