A Court of Thorns and Roses: Book Review

Welcome (back) to Writer Central!  Thanks for joining us!

So, as some of you may know, I recently participated in the Bout of Books read-a-thon with three books that I hoped to finish (or get most of the way through).  I finished just one book during the read-a-thon and reviewed it here.  But, several days ago, I finished the second book on my TBR.  And today I’m reviewing it.

a court of thorns and roses.pngThe book I’m reviewing is called A Court of Thorns and Roses, and it’s by Sarah J. Maas.  (Also, it’s beautiful.)

So, if you’re unaware, I do my reviews with both a spoiler-free and spoiler-full section.  This way the people who have read as well as haven’t read this book can read the sections they please.  And it makes everyone happy.  Also, if you read something you like/agree with or just have a comment on, please share it below!

I’ll start out with the spoiler-free section – but don’t worry!  As usual, when we transition into spoiler territory, I’ll give you a warning.  You can choose rather or not you’d like to stick around, and, of course, don’t forget to meet me at the end of the post. 🙂

Let’s get started with some frequently asked/basic questions!  (And the answers, of course.)  This way those of you who haven’t read the book will get the basic gist of it and we can go from there.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5

What is A Court of Thorns and Roses?

A Court of Thorns and Roses is the first book in Maas’s fantasy A Court of Thorns and Roses series.  (I know, weird, right?)  The main character is Feyre, huntress and mortal.

Don’t confuse it as part of her Throne of Glass series.  You can read one of these series without having to read the other first.

Does this book have a love triangle?

This book in particular doesn’t…but it gave me a feeling that there would be in the next book, or somewhere later in the series.  I really hope it doesn’t.  I’m not a fan of love triangles, and with this book especially – it would mess everything up.

Did I enjoy this book?

I enjoyed it fairly well.  There was a lot more romance than I’d initially suspected, and I wasn’t so happy with that.  I did like the way the beginning was written, though.  Here’s a excerpt from the beginning of Chapter 2 that I particularly enjoyed:

The world was awash in hues of dark blue, interrupted only by shafts of buttery light escaping from the shuttered windows of our dilapidated cottage.  It was like striding through a living painting – a fleeting moment of stillness, the blues swiftly shifting to solid darkness.

Who would I recommend this to?

I recommend it to romance-lovers, Maas fans (because it’s not unlike Throne of Glass in several ways), and people who like a combination of Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and Twilight.

Will I be reading the next book?

I don’t know for sure yet.  The romance is what’s keeping me away – like I said, I’m afraid there’ll be a love triangle in there somewhere.

What are my general thoughts on this book?

Mainly, there are two things I didn’t like about it: a.) the overdone romance and b.) the lengthy climax and conclusion.

Now, one thing just about every Maas fan knows – or should know – about her style is that she’s an excessive overwriter, meaning she writes filler content, subplots, repetitive scenes…and basically just makes her books really long. I’ve read a lot of books by her, and her habit of overwriting – that’s what I notice the most. She tends to use a separate scene for every minor detail that she wants to incorporate, and that makes the plot drag.

But the thing is – her habit of overwriting shouldn’t be as obvious to the reader as it is.  I feel like Maas should have spent more time trimming down the story and combining scenes.  It’s not fun for a reader to have to watch the plot drag on and on and on.  The beginning was so repetitive and slow that I got really antsy reading it.

On to my second point: the romance.

The romance in this book also made me cringe. Ok, it was well-written enough, but I sort of wish there wasn’t so much of it jam-packed into the plot. It just felt dragged and unrealistic and annoying how every male seemed to want to “bring Feyre to their bed.” And why? Because she’s a human. A beautiful human, a unique one.

There are SO MANY PRETTIER AND WORTHIER FAE FEMALES to chose from! Why are they all hitting on Feyre? I mean, Tamlin’s attraction to her I can understand, but…argh.

Romance really isn’t my thing, but I can handle little bits of it, if it’s small and realistic. What gets irritating is when EVERYONE starts falling for the girl in question. It’s really annoying, and practically drives me insane.

That’s the end of my spoiler-free review. You spoiler-free people can leave now.

We will now be analyzing the whole plot.  There will be lots of spoilers, as well as references to other stories/books.  So be prepared, and don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Now that the people who haven’t read the book are gone (hopefully), I’m going into full detail!  I’ll try not to make this super lengthy, but I always suck at short reviews, soo…yeah.

So, I really liked the beginning of this book; it reminded me of the Hunger Games, sort of.  The protagonist was in survival mode, and I just love that.  Plus, it was written so full of suspense, and so engaging, (as you might be able to tell from the little clip I put above), that I actually felt everything that was happening, at least for this first part.

Feyre kills the wolf, who is actually a Fae (though she doesn’t know that, of course), and uses his hide to carry the deer she’d been trying to catch home.

Then we first met Feyre’s father and sisters, Elain and Nesta, the first thing that came to mine was…Cinderella!  Because that’s basically what her relationship with her sisters is like in this scene.  Anyway, Feyre goes to trade off the wolf pelt with a mercenary – and this scene, I thought, was utterly pointless.  It just seemed like yet another chance to explain the history of their world.  But the mercenary that Feyre traded with claimed it wasn’t a Fae’s pelt.  How could she tell?  Especially since it actually was….

Anyway, after some more random scenes, Tamlin comes to demand retribution for the wolf (a.k.a. Andras)’s death.  Since I didn’t know the plot at this point, it was weird that Tamlin would actually bother to keep Feyre, to offer her mercy.  But, of course, it all makes sense later.

Then there a bunch of sort of filler scenes, mostly unrelated to the plot.  Basically it was the same thing every time: Tamlin would ask Feyre not to leave the house, and she would.  She would get attacked by something, and then he or Lucien would have to come save her.  She was so helpless, and each of the three or four times she disobeyed them, she didn’t really learn a single thing.  I was also wondering why Tamlin didn’t ensure that she was protected – after all, she’s the key to their kingdom!  I guess basically he didn’t want to disturb whatever romance was between them, as that was also the key to their kingdom.

Yes.  The romance.  Actually, I should say, insta-romance.  Now, this is the worst sort of insta-romance: the kind where it takes them so many pages to even kiss, but it’s really a short amount of time.  Plus, I personally felt no chemistry between Feyre and Tamlin, and that was the worst.

After all the “knight in shining armor” filler scenes, there were the romance ones.  The one where they swim in a pool in their underwear, the one where Tamlin bites Feyre’s neck, and also the ones that weren’t so PG that I cringed through because I didn’t like them and hadn’t expected them.  They didn’t feel realistic – it was as though Feyre only fell for him because he was so perfect and handsome.

Anyway, for the longest time there was basically no plot.  The build-up took forever, and the only threat was the “blight,” which we didn’t actually know was key for Amarantha.

So then Rhysand visits, sees Feyre, and threatens to tell Amarantha about Feyre.  (But not before Feyre gives Rhysand another girl’s name instead of her own.  Right away, I knew there would be something coming from this.)  So Tamlin sends Feyre home.

Feyre knows something is off, but she has no idea what.  She spends some time with her family, who, she finds out, thought she was somewhere else, because Tamlin glamoured their memories.  (Also, I thought there would be a story behind Feyre’s father’s ships disappearing?  Like pirates!  But they were perfectly fine…which means Tamlin is really powerful.)

Anyway, as soon as Feyre figures out that the family of the girl whose name she gave to Rhysand has been killed by a fire, Feyre knows something is wrong.  She rushed back to the Spring Court, just to find no one there.

Except Alis, who used to be Feyre’s caretaker.  I really like Alis.  I think she’s super deep and realistic and also bad***.  Alis tells Feyre about the whole curse Amarantha put on Tamlin and the rest of the Spring Court, and how Feyre could have saved them by saying just three words.  (And guys, this is so similar to Beauty and the Beast!  Like, seriously.)  Anyway, I didn’t like this.  At this point, I already felt like the book should be over.  Maas had wasted too much space with just filler scenes.

Anyway, after Feyre realizes that it’s her fault that the entire Spring Court has been taken hostage, she intelligently goes after them, trying to right things.

She sees Amarantha, and also what Amarantha has done to Clare Beddor and to the Spring Court.  Anyway, Amarantha decides to treat Feyre as her plaything.  She gives Feyre an option: either solve a riddle and free the Spring Court immediately, or complete three tasks.  Here’s what I’m wondering:  why would Amarantha even bother to give them a second chance?  Maybe she likes to play with them, but she despises Feyre.  Why not do to Feyre as she did to Clare?

Anyway, Feyre can’t figure out the answer to the riddle immediately, so she is forced to compete in the first task.  She does, and survives.

But then things start to drag and get boring again.  A third plot builds up: another love story between Feyre and Rhysand, though Feyre doesn’t act like she loves him back yet.  They make a deal, and are bound together (figuratively).

Finally, Feyre competes in the next task, where she has to solve a riddle before scalding hot irons squish her.  Unfortunately for her, she’s illiterate and can’t read the riddle.  Luckily, then, Rhysand uses his mind powers to help her.

Yet another boring month passes until Feyre’s last task – this time, she has to kill three people.  Ok, she regrets killing the first two – regrets it quite a lot – but she does it anyway.  Once she realizes that the third person is Tamlin, she can’t do it, though.  This part made me a little mad, because it shows how selfish she is.

But then she realizes that his heart is made of stone (how convenient!), she stabs him, and he survives.  See, here’s what I’m thinking – Amarantha didn’t say she had to stab the three victims.  Amarantha said she had to kill them.  There are other ways to kill someone than just to stab their heart – so if Feyre was really trying (which, I know, she wasn’t) she could have cut his head off or something.  Basically, she never completed the third task.  Not that it mattered, but that’s just me thinking.

Anyway, can someone explain to me why Tamlin’s heart was made of stone?  It seemed too convenient, too…random.  Especially since he got his regular heart back afterward.

Anyway…then there was a PLOT TWIST!  A typical one for plots where someone makes a bargain, but a plot twist nevertheless.  Amarantha hadn’t said when she would free them!  It was a plot twist that Feyre had sort of predicted, but hadn’t acted on.

But then, against the odds, Feyre thinks of the solution to the riddle just before she’s killed.  However, her connection with Rhysand keeps her soul alive while Tamlin turns her into High Fae – a plot so similar to Breaking Dawn.

And then they live happily even after.  I didn’t not like this ending, because there was no cliffhanger at all, nothing to make me want to read the next book.  It seemed then that Maas should have stopped A Court of Thorns and Roses right at the part before Amarantha died, because I would have wanted to read A Court of Mist and Fury so much more in that case.

Does anyone who hasn’t yet read A Court of Mist and Fury think that it will have a love triangle, or something to do with Rhysand and Feyre’s connection? Because I’d hate that.

But, knowing me, I’ll probably read the next book anyway, as I hate leaving a story in the middle of it.

Spoilers are over!

Thanks for reading (or skimming, or whatever you did) this long, raving review for A Court of Thorns and Roses!  (I hope it made sense.)  Comment down below if you agree with me or not.  It’s perfectly fine if you disagree!  These are just my personal feelings.

As always, if you have a question or comment, please drop it below, or contact me through email or social media.  I love hearing from you guys, and I’ll get back to you!

See you next time! ❤


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