May 12, 2015

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (Blog Tour + Giveaway!)


Get ready for an ultra-gushy review of A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES! This book easily became a favorite of mine and I'm excited to be a part of the official blog tour. 

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A Court of Thorns and Roses (#1) by Sarah J. Maas
Publication date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Category: New Adult - Fantasy
Source: Received ARC from publisher (Thanks!)
Summary: 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. (Adapted goodreads.com)

My Thoughts
It's no secret that I love Sarah J. Maas and the Throne of Glass series so I went into A Court of Thorns and Roses expecting to love it. And yet this book still managed to completely blow away my expectations. It read very much like a dark fairytale, with an adventure befitting a fantasy novel and a slow-burning romance I couldn't get enough of.  In other words, it was perfection! Feyre is a nineteen-year-old girl struggling to keep her father and two sisters alive in a dangerous world where most live in fear of Fae. When she kills a wolf while out hunting, the last thing she expected was for a beast-like creature to come charging into her home demanding retribution. To save herself and her family, she heeds his demand to live the rest of her life in Fae lands and discovers that her captor is none other than Tamlin, a powerful leader and High Fae.

Let's talk characters first. Feyre is now one of my all-time favorite heroines! I really responded to her and everything she went through. Despite her family's poor show of appreciation for all she did, she swore to protect them by any means necessary. We see that in the book right away but as Feyre begins to open up to Tamlin, we find out more about what that meant for her. All the trials and errors and skills she had to teach herself in order to survive. I felt nothing but respect and compassion as I learned more about her. She's a heroine who is determined and resourceful but also passionate and caring. There were so many sides to her -- her stubborn, sassy side being my favorite -- but most of all, I loved watching her discover the sides of herself that she didn't know she had or felt forced to suppress. Even though there is a magical journey, it's also very much a personal journey for Feyre and I can't say enough how much I loved that.

But there were so many characters to love and feel intrigued by. Aside from Feyre, my other favorite character was undoubtedly Tamlin. It was pretty much love at first read. Immediately, you know he's not like the Fae Feyre has been warned to fear. For one thing, he's merciful and in his own sweetly awkward way, he tries to make her happy at his Court. There's undoubtedly a fierce, dangerous side to him but like Feyre, he's immensely passionate (I might've had to fan myself a few times) and caring. Their relationship was undeniably part of what made me love this book so much. We get to watch them go from antagonistic to civil to friendly and then downright steamy. It's the kind of epic love I always look for in fantasies and it delivers 100%. But while these two do take center stage, other people are also introduced along the way. There's two other Fae men to watch out for, Lucien (who I adored!) and Rhysand (I'm wary but also curious), Feyre's family and other people in the Fae court. Everyone plays an important role and I hope to see much more of them as the trilogy progresses.

What ultimately brings everyone and everything together though is the story. Maas paints such a vivid world for us. I could see the poverty and darkness in Feyre's home and in comparison, the brightness and beauty in Tamlin's. The world-building and imagery is just incredibly strong and the plot never wavered. The pacing kept everything constantly moving forward and personally left me on the edge of my seat, especially as other Fae came into play, raising the stakes. The author is truly a gifted storyteller and writer and I know I'll be re-reading A Court of Thorns and Roses again soon while I try to (im)patiently wait for the next book in this series!

Do I recommend?
So much YES. If you're a fantasy lover, you need this book right now. If you're a fan of fairytale retellings (the subtle Beauty & the Beast influence was great!), then you really need this book as soon as you can get your hands on it. And if you're neither of these things, well I wholeheartedly recommend reading it anyway. Absolutely amazing book.

Enter the giveaway hosted by Bloomsbury below for a chance 
to win a signed copy of ACOTAR and more! 

6 comments:

  1. I just finished reading this book, and it was incredible! New favorite. Sarah J. Maas is a genius. I LOVE fairy tale retellings, and I thought this was a brilliant adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. :) Tamlin = swoon. I loved the surprise twist at the end, and how everything wrapped up neatly. But I'm DYING to know what Rhys saw on Feyre's face??!! Great review, and thanks for the giveaway!

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  2. Lucien is officially mine. I'm just saying.

    But I love the way you've described A Court of Thorns and Roses in your review! It's so brilliantly written and subtly nuanced, and the characters are so real that they pop off the page. It's the kind of story I could revisit again and again without tiring of it (though this applies to pretty much all her novels). So glad you fell in love with it too!

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  3. I wish I could read A Court of Thorns and Roses. Your review was beautiful! And made me want to read it even more!

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  4. I just read Throne of Glass a couple days ago and though I'm very late to the series, I'm already in love with Sarah J. Maas and her writing. I definitely need to pick up my own copy of ACOTAR! As for my favorite fairytale, I honestly can't choose - I love all.

    Julia Anne @ Peach Print

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  5. I love Beauty and the Beast! It's my favorite fairy tale- which is why I'm excited to read this book! I can't say Throne of Glass was my favorite book ever, but I would still like to give Maas' books another shot since everyone seems to love them so much.

    Bruna @ Bruna Writes

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  6. I just want to go on and on about this book. Grab random people and ask have you read this? You need to read this. Its really really awesome and I can’t wait for the sequel

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