(A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)
Sarah J. Maas
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.
As soon as I saw that Sarah J. Maas had a new novel hitting the shelves I knew it was going on my to-read list. Sarah J. Maas knows how to create intricate and thrilling fantasy, and I while I was by no means disappointed by this novel I found it lacking in various aspects. The first part of this novel was slow, in order to establish not only Feyre’s character individually but also her relationship with the elusive and noble Tamlin. Sadly, these developments takes place in almost near isolation. Which allows us little else to focus on besides the couple’s slow burning sexual tension. And while they had a more heated romance than usual for a young adult novel, I felt very disconnected from the characters, even amid this passion. Their isolation also hindered the world building. We were introduced to a complicated and multi layered kingdom with politics and religion but none of this was touched upon in great detail. I was left bemused at their customs and politics because they lacked proper fleshing out.
What I loved about Sarah J. Maas’s other books was that you fell for the secondary characters as well. They added substance and depth to her novel. However in A Court of Thorns and Roses there were very little secondary characters to fall in love with. Until Feyre stumbles upon Rhysand, Rhysand is the opposite of Tamlin. Cruel, manipulative and wounded, Rhysand is forged from complexities and contradictions. Needless to say I was immediately drawn towards him and I have my fingers crossed for some sort of kinship to evolve between him and Feyre over the next few novels. Many readers dread the love triangle and hate it with an unholy passion yet I was so bored with Tamlin’s character that I am more than willing to brave the clichéd love triangle in pursuit of a more intriguing romance for Feyre.
I already mentioned that the first half of the novel is slow, but I plowed through it and was pleasantly surprised by the suspenseful ending. And even though I enjoyed this novel I would never recommend it on the basis that it’s an imaginative Beauty and the Beast retelling. Tamlin was more of a tamed petulant kitten than a ferocious beast.