Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback/Own

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she knows about only 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 Feyre 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 over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin--and his world--forever.

Review: This is my first Sarah J. Maas book and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I've always loved a good faerie book and this one did not disappoint me. And I even went into this book knowing there was controversy around a certain character and his actions. I'll discuss my thoughts on it a little later. But the controversial bits didn't make the story any less great. You know what, I also actually went into this book completely oblivious to the fact it's supposed to be a bit of a beauty and the beast retelling. I'm sorry, I didn't exactly see that completely. I mean, Tamlin has a curse on him that makes him permanently have a mask, but he wasn't permanently a wolf. I don't really see the beast part here. I think any of us that have read books about fae before know that they can have interesting powers. It just so happens that Tamlin can turn into a wolf with his. It may be that I just haven't seen Beauty and the Beast in ages and didn't catch any of the other references that were apparently there, but I just don't see it. 

So I did think the book started out a bit slow. I had actually picked this book up last year but ended up putting it down because it was slow starting. I had an urge to pick it up again this month so I did and pushed through the slow parts and was rewarded with a great story. I really loved the world building! The detail used to describe everything brought the whole story to life for me. I felt like I could really picture Tamlin, Feyre, the manor, the festivals, the glen. Such amazing detail went into describing everything. I feel like this may have contributed a small bit to the story being a bit slower in the beginning. But it was worth the time.

I definitely have to say Feyre was a bit hard to like initially. She was so angry and hateful over a lot of stuff. She was hateful over her family. I mean, I kinda get this one. They seemed keen on wallowing in their self pity over losing their fortune. Feyre pretty much had to do everything for them. Hunt, cook, chop wood, sell things. The others only did stuff if they absolutely had to and that would probably make me a bit resentful of them too. So I understood her anger over them. But she was so hateful towards Tamlin. He tried to be a gentleman and take care of her and protect her and her family, but she was just so angry over it. I started liking her character as she calmed from that anger. I thought she was much more pleasant once she at least started being nice to Tamlin and Lucien and started seeing they weren't there to hurt her. I was also pleased that she opened up a bit to Tamlin about the art and how she felt about killing that wolf and taking care of her family. I really think the opening up to each other helped grow their relationship and stop the hatred. I also liked that Feyre was willing to risk her life to save Tamlin and his entire Spring Court after she learned the truth behind the blight and found out what the Queen (Amarantha) was doing to everyone. She had to have some serious balls to go Under The Mountain and face her and try to save Tamlin (and the rest of the courts come to find out).

I'm still a little iffy on Tamlin. Overall so far he's seemed like a decent guy. He never treated Feyre like a slave or his property or anything. He tried to be nice to her even when she wasn't having it. We also find out he's had a lot placed on his shoulders. He never wanted to be a High Lord to begin with, so him being one has put a lot on him he didn't expect. He's incredibly worried and protective over his court. He would do anything to save and protect them. He's also been super cool about giving Feyre things to make her happy. Like the paints and access to the gallery. There was also definitely a lot of sexual tension between them that eventually gets released. I don't know, there's just things that don't completely sit right with me about Tamlin. He seemed to be interested in hiding things outright from Feyre instead of telling her the truth behind some warnings. He also seemed to put a lot of emphasis on her staying in the manor instead of telling her whats happening. Also, we read the scene with Feyre and Rhysand in the ACOMAF sneak peek and Rhys is teaching her to read. Why didn't Tamlin decide he wants to teach her instead after finding out she didn't know how to read much earlier than Rhys. I'm just confused as to why he wouldn't be pushing to help her with that when he claims to love her so much. It just seems off that its Rhys teaching her and not Tamlin.

Speaking of Rhysand, lets get to the controversial bits. So the big controversy I knew about going into this book was what Rhysand did to Feyre while Under The Mountain. So he effectively gets her way to drunk off her ass to remember what shes doing with the faerie wine. He also has her dressed in next to nothing and has her dancing pretty provocatively for him every time he takes her to the Court. I don't agree with him and the wine bit, or making her act the way he was having her act. I do feel deep down that this was wrong, but I also understand why Rhys was doing this. When you actually really read into this he seems to be trying to protect Feyre. I feel like she would have made some bad impulsive decisions or someone else might have actually done worse things to her had he not been trying to protect her with what he was doing. Do I think it was right? No. But I don't think he's an abuser either. I've been in a bad abusive relationship. No, I don't think I have to explain the details of it, but believe me when I say this isn't even close to serious abuse. I do not have to explain my past to anyone, but believe me when I say a seriously abusive relationship/situation is far darker and horrible than these scenes with Rhys and Feyre.

All of this being said, I'm really interested in the next books. I want to find out more about the courts, the aftermath of being Under The Mountain, the war Rhys mentioned in the sneak peak.

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