Review – A Court of Thorns and Roses

22839894Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Published by: Bloomsbury
Publication date: 5th May 2015
Pages: 419, paperback
Genre:
 young adult, fantasy, romance

Feyre is a huntress.

She thinks nothing of slaughtering a wolf to capture its prey. But, like all mortals, she fears what lingers mercilessly beyond the forest. And she will learn that taking the life of a magical creature comes at a high price…

Imprisoned in an enchanted court in her enemy’s kingdom, Feyre is free to roam but forbidden to escape. Her captor’s body bears the scars of fighting, and his face is always masked – but his piercing stare draws her ever closer. As Feyre’s feeling for Tamlin begin to burn through every warning she’s been told about his kind, an ancient, wicked shadow grows.

Feyre must find a way to break a spell, or lose her heart forever.

***

I have had A Court of Thorns and Roses on my kindle for ages now, and have been deliberating about reading it for even longer. Some people seem to adore this book and this series, and have done nothing but sings its praises, whilst others have criticised it for being problematic. I decided to read it for myself to make up my own mind, and despite the many cliché aspects to this book, I enjoyed it far more than I expected!

One reason why I was hesitant to read this book is that I really disliked Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas; personally, I thought the writing was terrible and the plot was literally just trope after cringeworthy trope (and I know some people love this series, but this is just my opinion!). However, I really liked the writing in A Court of Thorns and Roses, and I thought her flowery style really suited the story. I liked the writing so much that, honestly (and again, in my opinion), it felt like an entirely different author had written it. I also hadn’t realised that the book is based off of Beauty and the Beast, and I enjoyed the parallels between the two.

I cannot ignore the fact that this book was filled with parts that were incredibly cliché and, at times, unnecessary. For example, at one point in the book Feyre is effectively drugged and forced to act in a sexual manner around Rhysand, supposedly to make Tamlin jealous. Not only is this all kinds of problematic, but it also felt like a very forced and inappropriate attempt to set up a future love triangle, and it seemed as if Sarah J. Maas was trying too hard to create a somewhat ‘sultry’ tone (which it didn’t, because again, she was drugged. All this part of the book did was make me feel very uncomfortable and annoyed). As it happens, for the majority of the book I really enjoyed the lack of a love triangle, and because of the angst I know is to come in the sequel, I am unsure of continuing to read the series.

Despite my criticism, I have given A Court of Thorns and Roses four stars because it was a story I could get into, and at the end of the day, the action-packed, romantic, flowery fantasy novels get me every time. It was also far less problematic than I expected, having braced myself for the worst – although I later found out that it is really the following books in the series that are problematic? I would love to hear from those of you who have read the books! I think I will read the rest of the series eventually, although I do not think I will prioritise it, especially if the later books are more offensive.

4stars

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