Tuesday, 8 January 2019

REVIEW - A Court of Thorns and Roses - a trifle thorny

Date read: 8th January 2019

My rating: 4*

Genre I reckon: NAish fantasy

Buy link: Amazon

Every so often a book/series captures the zeitgeist. The masses flock to it, and it floods social media. tbh, these are the ones I tend to avoid, as they can be over-hyped, and I end up disappointed. But I could ignore this one no longer.

This was my first Sarah J Maas book. I selected this series as it was billed as more NA (with a mature content rating), which I thought would be more my thing. And I was curious to discover what all the fuss was about.

A Court of Thorns & Roses starts off REALLY slowly. And only gets going past the halfway mark, but when it does it gets a LOT more interesting.

So, it's supposed to be a Beauty & The Beast retelling.
Hm, not really, is it? I mean, I can see loosely how there's hints. But a dashing fae in a gold mask isn't exactly a beast. We don't see Tamlin's 'beast' form very much at all.
She hates fae kind, but gets swayed by a pretty face quite easily.

The winter, summer etc. courts in fantasy novels has been a bit overdone. And wars brewing in the fae realm - quelle surprise. But fortunately, this didn't stop me from engaging with the story.

That's the more mundane bits tackled.
What did I love? Rhysand, if I'm being honest. He's by far and above the most interesting character here.

I did like Feyre, although she's a little annoying at times. She's the youngest of her family, but arguably the most dependable, and the one who has fought like a tiger to keep her family from starvation. I do wish she'd stop being frustrated at not being able to paint feelings and smells though!?
Her sisters are brats and her father is worse than useless.

Given the warning, I would've liked slightly more in-depth love scenes. They have really good run-ups, then it's all over a bit quick. And the last one is gratuitous given the circumstances. And a bit more sexual tension building up between them would've been good.

What wins me over is the style. There's great world-building. And there were threads which reeled me in.
I'm really glad I stuck with it, as the second half is delightful.

A good NA with YA tendencies.

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