30 July 2015

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: May 5th 2015 
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Add it: Goodreads 
Overall: ♥♥♥♥ 1/2

I have to be honest, my expectations for A Court of Thorns and Roses weren't all that high..I saw praise for it all over instagram, Goodreads and other social media, it was supposed to be AMAZING! INCREDIBLE! GORGEOUS! If the masses shouted such praise, why would I be hesitant? Well, the masses also praised the first book in the Throne of Glass series by the same author and oh, I was disappointed. Although I wasn't actively blogging at the time, I gave it 2.5 stars and found it thoroughly average at bestNow, A Court of Thorns and Roses, on the other-hand did not let me down!

Feyre hunts in the forest near her home in order for her family to survive. After she kills a faerie in a wolf disguise, she is forced to exchange her life for a life, and instead of being killed, is allowed to live on an estate in the faerie realms, owned by a faerie named Tamlin. Initially, Feyre is suspicious of Tamlin, however she begins to learn more about him and the faerie world and realises that all of the horrifying things she was told about faeries as a child is not as black and white as she expected.

Feyre is a fantastic character; cold, stubborn and bitter, but incredibly loyal, independent and determined. She works hard and seemed to actually be aware of the situations she found herself in (apart from when drinking faerie wine, of course). Actually, I liked all of the characters and loved how Maas gave us little insights into each of them, to make them so well-rounded, and I found myself loving all of them for it, including the bad guys. Tamlin is the love interest and ohh wow. Not only is he gorgeous, he's strong, kind and funny, among other things. In ACOTAR, no character was left without a purpose of some sort to the story, and Lucien, Tamlin's friend and emissary, ahhhh! Is it wrong to say I may have had more of a crush on Lucien than I did on Tamlin? I loved his attitude, his initial reluctance and his loyalty to Tamlin despite the two being pissed off with eachother a lot. I just want to hug him! Rhysand intrigues me, I somewhat hate him but I also find him kind of lovable and am curious to see how this anti-hero role plays out in the next book.

The relationships in ACOTAR really impressed me. The relationship between Feyre and her family was intriguing and complicated, and I loved that Feyre actually gave a damn about finding her family despite being swept away into the gorgeous yet terrifying land of the fae. For the first 200 pages or so, I was a bit bored and Feyre/Tamlin as a potential item were testing my patience. I found their romance to be a little forced and felt torn between whether I liked Feyre or hated her because of her insistence of calling Tamlin, "her high lord" making her seem possessive and naive. However later on, I warmed to the idea of it, just when the pesky potential love triangle wrangled its way in (don't let this fool you, I predict this love triangle will be one that is actually enjoyable).

I think a lot of my issues with the first half were to do with the writing of dialogue. The use of double ellipses (......) in dialogue really annoys me and some of the similes just made me cringe, "I tipped my head back and howled, my laughter like sunshine shattering age-hardened ice", ummm, what? Luckily, I was able to forget about whatever cringeworthy sentences the first half provided, as the writing in the latter half was so different and stuck out for it's beauty instead.

The worldbuilding in the first half more than made up for the weird dialogue. Looking at the map before starting, I wasn't expecting much. Thankfully, I was quickly proven wrong and found the worldbuilding to be satisfying and well-done - it's the reason I stuck with reading through despite having issues with the first 200 pages. The details were rich; the history of their world, faerie history, and the oppression faced by the humans, had me fascinated and wanting more. I wasn't really interested in the human world as much as I was in the faerie realms and Maas delivered.

Overall, I loved ACOTAR and it's many lovable (or hate-worthy) characters, the richness of the world and the fact it impressed me so much despite me thinking I would never read another Sarah J. Maas book again thanks to Throne of Glass (don't worry, I've been told the sequels get immensely better). I'm curious to see how this changes the New Adult genre, as I wouldn't quite place this in YA, but it was enjoyable nonetheless and I highly recommend it regardless of where it fits! I might even buy the hardback...

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