A Court of Thorns and Roses Review
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.
I thought the plot to ACOTAR was very well-paced. The beginning was nicely paced, the middle was slower, to provide time for character development, and the end was super action-packed! I could NOT put this book down, even if I wanted to! Maas’ writing was on point, as usual, and I thought that the Beauty and the Beast aspect was, for the most part, extremely well done. But, that may be because I mostly forgot the Beauty and the Beast story.
NOT REALLY A SPOILER BUT I’M WARNING YOU ANYWAYS: I completely forgot about the curse in Beauty and the Beast. So, when I read that part in ACOTAR, I was actually surprised. The only Beauty and the Beast scene I was looking forward to was the dancing scene and honestly, that was one of my favourite scenes of the book!
I also really like the concept of the world. I thought the idea of the different faerie courts was so fascinating! And the fact that there were different types of faeries in those courts was also super cool. I wish we could’ve seen more of the other courts in this book, but I’m hoping that we’ll see them all in future books.
I think that the reason I’m such a huge fan of the Throne of Glass series is because I love the characters so much. I instantly connected with Celaena’s stubbornness, Chaol’s loyalty, Dorian’s charms, and Nehemia being the quintessential best friend. These characters made Throne of Glass one of my favourite series of all time. So, when I heard about ACOTAR, I obviously had SUPER high expectations for the characters. The question is, were those expectations met? To be completely honest, I don’t think they were. The main problem, one of the only problems, I had with this book was the MAIN characters. I’m really stressing the word main, here. While Feyre wasn’t a particularly BAD character, she wasn’t very GOOD either. I honestly thought Feyre was boring. I mean, when I think of Feyre, the only thing that comes to mind is that she’s a painter. That brings up my favourite thing about her character: that she’s an artist. If I’m not reading, then I’m either drawing or painting. So, I love reading about characters who are artists because I can relate to their processes of coming up with ideas and translating it to a blank canvas. Some of my favourite scenes in ACOTAR consisted of just Feyre and her paintings.
SPOILER: I also loved how Maas twisted the Beauty and the Beast story to make Feyre illiterate. It threw me off, at first, but I loved how it came to bite her during the challenges!
While I did enjoy reading from Feyre’s perspective, there’s nothing really that memorable about her. Yes, she’s brave, stubborn, and huntress, But, when I think of those terms, I think of Tris, Celaena, and Katniss—not Feyre. And even when I think of a painter, I’ll think of Owen from Confess before Feyre.
SPOILER: I’m really looking forward to Feyre’s character development in the next book. I can already tell that killing the two innocent fae for her last challenge took a toll on her. Also, she’s High Fae now. I’m excited to see how she adjusts to it!
Now let’s discuss our other main character, Tamlin. There was nothing interesting to Tamlin’s character AT ALL. The whole time I was reading this book I was thinking to myself, “Wow, this is a really good book. Too bad Tamlin’s about as interesting as a rock.” That was me for the whole entire book! And I have to say, this really put a dent in my reading experience. The middle of the book was basically just Tamlin and Feyre falling in love. I could deal with Feyre not being the most interesting charater, as she had certain traits I could identify and admire, but Tamlin gave me nothing. He was just a nice guy, and he was even inconsistent with that!
SPOILER: Of course, I have to bring up Fire Night. To be honest, I was fine about Tamlin biting Feyre’s neck. He literally told her he wasn’t going to be himself that night. The events the next day however, were totally against how we’ve been seeing Tamlin portrayed. If I were to just guess what happened, I would’ve assumed that Tamlin would’ve automatically apologized to Feyre, as that’s how he is. But no, instead he’s a jerk about it and blames Feyre for going outside when he told her not to. We end up just getting a sentence saying they apologized, and everything went back to normal. You can’t make your character a jerk for only ONE scene. This was one scene, and the rest of the time, Tamlin’s back to being just a nice guy. Don’t even get me started one Tamlin being a beast. The only time he was beastly was during Fire Night, the one night WASN’T himself. I’m giving him a pass though, as this is a retelling which Maas pretty much made this book into her own thing. I mean, I read somewhere that Throne of Glass is a Cinderella retelling!
Thank God I think that Feyre and Tamlin have chemistry because if I didn’t, then I may not have finished this book as fast as I did. I like both these characters better when they’re together. When they are separated, that’s when I have problems.
Other than our two main characters, I really enjoyed our supporting cast. Lucien is one of my favourite characters. He was developed more than both Feyre and Tamlin combined and was twice as interesting. I even thought Rhysand, who we meet over halfway through the book, was a much more compelling character than the main characters. I mean, why couldn’t our main characters have been Lucien and Rhysand? Imagine if this book was a love story between those two…
Overall, if it weren’t for our main characters, this could’ve been a ten out of ten for me. The world’s interesting, Maas’ writing is great, and the supporting cast is excellent, but the flat main characters really irked me, mostly because I’ve read Throne of Glass and LOVED those characters. I just can’t seem to connect to these main characters as well as I do to the ones in TOG. But that doesn’t mean A Court of Thorns and Roses is a bad book. I truly did enjoy this book and I’m definitely picking up the next one!