A Court of Thorns and Roses is the first novel in a trilogy by Sarah J Mass, published by Bloomsbury Children in 2015 and is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
The story follows a young girl named Feyre who lives with her two sisters and father in a small house, refereed to through out the novel as a hovel which should give you a good idea of her living conditions. While hunting for her family to keep them alive, she does something she knew could get her into trouble but to save her family from hunger, she takes the risk and pays for it with her life. She chooses to live in the Fae realm with her captor, Tamlin (aka the Beast) away from her family over the wall to repay a debt. Here, she learns about the Seven Fae Courts of Prythian and about the different types of Faeries and their customs while finding herself. While living in this new world, she’s able to do the things that make her happy and, of course, finds love. Being based off Beauty and the Beast, some plot lines (aka falling for the beast) weren’t surprises; however, they still made me fan girl and giggle at the cute exchanges.
Feyre is a huntress. She’s strong willed and brave, she protects her family to the best of her ability even though they don’t always treat her very well. I love seeing family dynamics like this in novels, because sometimes young people don’t have a fantastic relationship with their family. A lot of novels I’ve read in the past, the protagonist and their mother/father/siblings are really close so, I like seeing the other side of families. I loved Feyre’s fearlessness. Once I’d finished the novel (between the fan girling) I just kept thinking about how brave she was, what she was willing to do to save those she loved. Her relationship with other characters through out the novel makes her even more relatable, especially with Lucien (Tamlin’s friend). I think having a strong minded, female characters who do have flaws (spoiler, read below) makes the novel more accessible to a younger audience and reminds girls that they can do what ever they put their minds to.
Sarah J Mass is a fantastic world builder. The level of detail that goes into her stories is immense. While reading this book, I could see the Spring Court so clearly in my mind; the flowers, the trees, the grounds. I would never be able to live in constant spring, but as a vacation spot, it would be stunning. Having now read the first two books, I know which court I would belong to, but I shall let you know it my A Court of Mist and Fury review to save from spoilers. In ACOTAR, you don’t get to see any other court but the Summer Court, but you get an idea by the names: Day Court, Night Court, Dawn Court, Spring, Summer, Winter and Autumn Court.
I love the twists in this book as well, there was a really good one towards the end (obviously a spoiler) that has your heart beating like crazy! But if you’ve ever read the Throne of Glass series, you know how good Sarah is with a plot twist.
I would give this novel 5 out of 5 stars. The world drew you in and you feel in love with the characters and their stories. If you have any thoughts, comment below!
Also, I decided I was going to do a “my favourite quote” at the end of each blog, so my favourite quote from ACOTAR was:
“Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all” p414 (paperback)
If you don’t want any spoilers, please do not keep reading as I have some things I would like to discuss that don’t need their own post! So if you’ve read the book, carry on!
Seriously, spoilers aren’t fun. I would stop now
I loved that Feyre can’t read. I think it’s interesting that her, I guess you would say, flaw, is her inability to read and it almost cost her, not only her life, but the lives of every affected by Amarantha’s curse. I love that this was her breaking point, something that had never mattered to her was now something that could have meant the end. I also loved her relationship with Rhysand. It was interesting to see them play off each other and when she agreed to him helping her and she saw the tattoo and her bargain, I was so angry! I didn’t want her to stay with him once a month because I’m a total Tamlin fan girl.
Also, that look he gives her at the end of the book, that was so interesting and I spent 5 months trying to work out what on Earth it meant!
I also found it really heart breaking when the nameless Fae died, the one who’s wings were ripped off. I sob every time I read that chapter and I’m not sure why, but I think it has to do with Sarah’s story telling and how much she makes you feel with her words and her characters which is why I love reading her stories. I love that in her stories, you can really get into the characters minds and feel how they feel.
Any way, that’s it! If you want to have a conversation in the comments about spoiler-y things, please make sure you state it’s a spoiler so no one gets the story ruined!