Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

May 29, 2015 3.5 stars, Book Review 11 ★★★½

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. MaasA Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on May 5, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 416
Source: Publisher
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*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Timesbestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

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.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!


A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES is a slow burn star crossed romance featuring a human and a fae. Lovers of all things fae and romance will likely love this book. It is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast and does a decent job of it. I definitely enjoyed it despite its slower moving first half.

The what’s what

Feyre is a human living in a village along the border that separates the human lands from Prythian, the land of the Fae. When her killing of a fae (that is shaped as a wolf) lands her with a life debt to the fae she is taken to the Spring Court by a High Fae named Tamlin and told she must live there for the rest of her life. But there is more to her abduction then she is being told and a terrible blight on magic is afflicting all of Prthyian and could spill over into the human lands.

What I liked

– The characters! Feyre is a well balanced character. She has strong beliefs but also listens to her head as well as her heart. I thought her faults were realistic. The entire story is told from her perspective but I thought her observations about the other characters allowed us to get to know them. The changes that slowly happen to Feyre and everyone around her as her outlook adapts was a big plot point.

– I also adore Lucien and Rhysand. Both were great characters. Tamlin in my opinion could have used a bit more oomph because he was shown up by the other two. Lucien’s personality and mischievousness comes through so well and even as his character develops through the story the core of his personality remains stable. Now, Rhysand – you lovers of the bad boys will eat your hearts out right here. He’s dark, he’s mysterious, he ISN’T broody – thank goodness cause I kind of don’t like the broody ones…maybe that’s why I prefer Rhysand over Tamlin?  Aanyways, Rhysand is the dark horse, dark knight whatever you wanna call him to Tamlin’s white. Though they try to paint Tamlin as having this dark broody beast side, it just wasn’t dark enough for me. I still liked him but he was just too goody goody….more depth would have been great.

The bow chicka bow wow. Feyre is 19 and Tamlin is an immortal (hundreds of years older then her). Be warned there is adult sexual content in these pages. Not a lot but in my opinion just enough. The tension and build up was well done and the moments plenty foxy for a young/new adult novel. I don’t normally read books tagged as “new adult” but I guess that this book would fall under that category as Feyre isn’t an underage teen. I very much preferred this older young adult to so many other YA books that feature girls 16 years old. It made for a nice change knowing that not everything was going to be PG-13.

– The Fae. We don’t get a whole lot of other fae in this book but when we do they are described so well. There are a few very scary fae creatures and each time a new one comes on the scene they are thoroughly creepy. I especially loved the Suriel.

What kind of irked me

Things were very slow going the first 55% to 60% of the book. I am personally a bit of an adrenaline junkie and there were probably only two or three tense or action type scenes in this first half. That worked heavily against it because it put a damper on my reading speed and made it tedious to get through. The plus side of this downer though was that the budding feelings between Tamlin and Feyre was given ample time and made it more realistic. So it was a double edged sword. I do think the uneven pacing might turn off many readers, it almost lost me a number of times.

Where are the supporting females? If anything my main complaint in the characters department is that there aren’t any other females until towards the end of the book. A chamber maid and her brief interactions with her sisters do not count as female characters to me. They aren’t even supporting characters getting maybe two or three scenes each. Every main character other then Feyre herself is male…that makes one female lead and three supporting male characters that make up the main characters. I find this to be a trend in young adult books that feature a female heroine.

– This might not be a real complaint, just my thoughts and worries of what might occur in the love department. So there isn’t a love triangle in this first book but the groundwork has been laid for one in the second book (Let’s face it, it’s going to happen because having read as many YA books as I have shows that a YA book without a love triangle is about as rare as unicorn blood…anyways moving on). Because of that specific possibility I am already wary of reading the second book as I am rather tired of romantic triangles. I really enjoyed the fact that Tamlin and Feyre felt so strongly about one another and a triangle would undermine everything the two characters went through for each. BUT! – Now the flip side to that, I am also somewhat excited for once by the prospect of a love triangle only because I prefer Rhysand, not because I like bad boys either. I just think he has more personality and depth then Tamlin does. Rhysand has the intestinal fortitude to get the job done at any cost where as I find Tamlin rather weak and sort of go with the flow, things will work out or they won’t, or he has too much pride to sully himself etc. So we shall see, the triangle is coming. I just hope it surprises me.

Ultimately, I liked A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES but there were some weak points for me that kept me from loving it. If more action had been interspersed throughout the first half it could have resolved the pacing issues and added more needed tension. Essentially if the whole thing read in atmosphere like the last 40% I would have loved it. I do want to know what happens next and was happy that there was no cliffhanger ending because I hate those. Keep in mind this is a fantasy romance so the entire plot revolves around that. If that is your brand of book candy then give it a read.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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11 Responses to “Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas”

  1. Tabitha Williams

    I’m glad to know it picks up some! My husband & I are listening to the audiobook and we’re only an hour or so in and a little bored with it. Even the narrator sounds like she is bored! I was so excited that I convinced him to listen to it with me and I don’t want it to be a let down.

  2. Hannah

    I also found the first part of the book to be rather slow – things only got going past the halfway mark. As you mentioned, it would have been great to have more supporting female characters – hopefully we will see some more in the next book.

    Lucien is my fave. I just want to put him in a box and pet him and make sure no one hurts him ever again. *coughs*
    Hannah recently posted…Review: Emancipated – M.G. ReyesMy Profile

  3. kimberlybuggie

    Nice review. I loved this one and I’m glad you enjoyed it too.
    I have to agree – I see the love triangle coming but I”m not sure that I mind it. Only because i do really like Rhys. I love Tamlin too so I think it will be like her other series, where you just don’t know who you want her to end up with! 🙂
    Yay for Sunday! All day reading in bed for me today. Hope you have a wonderful day!
    kimberlybuggie recently posted…Review: The Devil You Know by Trish DollerMy Profile

  4. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    Well it looks like I enjoyed this one a bit more than you did, but it did have something of a slow start. You’re right that it gave time for the romance to be properly built but at the same time, I WAS waiting for the action to get started. It’s probably why I still have so much more love for her ToG series. This one failed to measure up for me. You’re also right that there was a lack of female supporting characters. Hopefully that will get resolved in the sequel. On the male side of things, Lucien and Rhys were big plusses for me. I did like Tamlin just as much though 🙂 Lovely review^^ x
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Fandom Mashups #4My Profile

  5. Dragana

    We are in agreement about almost everyhting on this one. Except I liked the first part of the book better.
    I too liked Rhys and Lucien more than Tamlin. They both had more depth than him. I hope since it’s a fantasy romance Maas will switch and do another couple in the next book. Nesta + Rhys? <3
    Dragana recently posted…May 2015 – Monthly RewindMy Profile

  6. Danya @ Fine Print

    This has been getting some very ‘meh’ reviews, but somehow I think I’ll like it when I’m in the mood. I enjoy a good slow-burn romance – and I’m a big fan of tension, especially when it’s resolved with a little bow chicka wow wow. *waggles eyebrows* But I definitely agree that a lack of supporting female characters is a problem!
    Danya @ Fine Print recently posted…Monthly Recap: May 2015My Profile

  7. Zareena

    Oh my gosh this book was downright fantastic!! I love Sarah J. Maas so I knew ACOTAR was going to be amazing but I don’t think I was ready for this. I know what you mean about the beginning not having much action. Honestly I had expected more action throughout but I actually loved the slow pace because I didn’t want it to end! Nice review 🙂

    Zareena @ The Slanted Bookshelf
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  8. Catherine

    I just finished reading this book. It and I just didn’t gel-up. The plot was fine, the world too, the writing… I can comprehend that it was a good book. But, I just don’t like Faeries I’ve discovered. Maybe I have a missing link in my childhood as my husband suggested since I never watched Peterpan or read any of it at all. I don’t know, I can do Elves, but just not Faeries, and they are so similar, but not. I love Sarah J. Maas that is why I read the book. I just need September 1st to come quickly, I need Celaena!!! Great review though! :]