You were always too good for here, Feyre. Too good for us, too good for everyone.
A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR) by Sarah J. Maas was one of my biggest TBRs this year. I’ve only just recently discovered the amazingness that is Sarah J. Maas, so when news of ACOTAR (and the possibility to gorge myself on more of her writing) presented itself, I fairly leaped for this book. I wasn’t blown away by it for a few reasons, but given that the same thing happened with Throne of Glass, I’m not all that disappointed. There were also a lot of (sexy) saving graces.
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.
This is noted as a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but the parallels weren’t overwhelmingly strong, which I liked. I really thought that ACOTAR overall had pretty much its own direction.
That said, the direction of the beginning was weak, very. The first chunk of the story is very slow, very little action happening, and our heroine, Feyre, basically having no idea what’s going on beneath all her suspicions about Tamlin and Lucien. I’m with you, girl. The reader is equally lost, and that made the beginning of the story super boring. Even after she arrives at Tamlin’s castle, there isn’t too much happening for a while. I was interested, for sure, but not gripping the pages.
Things didn’t pick up until I was almost 300 pages into the book. I know, I know, that’s a lot of dawdling around, but everything before that was paced and interesting enough to keep me reading. But at this ~300 page mark, that’s when my investment in the characters racketed up, because I finally felt like there was something at stake here.
We get to see Feyre (Tamlin, a little) really dig in their heels and grit their teeth. I see a fighter spirit in Feyre that faded a little in the beginning, and she’s great. The tension and anticipation in the book shoot up and the last 100 pages or so really sold me on this book.
Feyre and Tamlin have great chemistry. Tamlin is far from my favorite character (I’m looking at you, Lucien and Rhysand *wink) but he was decent enough, and he has a possessive undercurrent that I can appreciate. Feyre is a determined, loyal, fierce girl, and she’s pretty quick-witted, some flaws aside. I’m not completely won over by these two, but I am invested in where things are going to go next.
Overall, it had a weak start, but a great climax and conclusion. Knowing Sarah J. Maas’ track record, I think I’m going to slowly fall more and more in love with this court of thorns and roses.