Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury, 2015
Genre: YA Fantasy, YA Fairy Tale Retellings
I finally did it, guys! I finishes ACOTAR last night after checking it out multiple times from the library AND Overdrive. It was time to read it. And read it I did.
First of all, #coverlove, am I right? Amazing cover, as I am not a fan of her Throne of Glass covers…I think they look like video game characters. I would much rather have a real person or something else than an animated person. I think that chick looks creepy. But I digress. This is about ACOTAR, so I will continue:
Feyre (pronounced Fey-rah; there’s a handy pronunciation guide in the back of the book, though I guessed it right) lives with her father and two sisters in a hovel in the woods. She is the hunter, the provider for the whole family. After her mother died and the father lost a fortune on a get rich quick scheme to send boats through a dangerous passage (yeah, rhe boat didn’t come back…thanks dad), they live in abject squalor. Feyre fantasizes about a day when her sisters are married off (they do nothing to help) and she and her father live in peace. One day, while starving, Feyre approaches a doe in the woods, but a large wolf is stalking it, too. The wolf appears to resemble a faerie, a race of people walled off from humans and thought to eat them. If she doesn’t kill the wolf, the deer will be taken from her, but if she does, she risks killing an immortal being. The hatred is thick from humans…faeries killed humans by the thousands during the War, and a treaty was signed to end the bloodshed. But all Feyre cares about is a meal…so she kills the wolf. After it kills the deer. One meal plus a nice pelt. What could go wrong?
When Feyre comes home from the market, a giant beast comes for vengeance. The wolf WAS a faerie, and the Treaty dictates a life for a life. However, the creature strikes a bargain: come to Prythian, the land of the faeries, or be killed now in her home. Feyre worries about her family: on her mother’s deathbed, she swore an oath to protect them, and she can’t do that if she’s dead or across the wall. But her father begs her to go, so she does, but she contemplates plans of escape whenever she can.
When she gets to Prythian, she realizes she is in the Spring Court (there are seven courts of all…it gets really complicated but the book has a handy map!), and she is to live in a mansion. Tamlin, the beast that took her, turns into a man, and he tells Feyre she can live anywhere in Prythian, but advises her not to try to escape, as the other faeries aren’t like him and will kill her…and then there’s the treaty’s stipulation that she must stay. She is welcomed into his home, and Feyre is skeptical because she knows only bad things about faeries.
After some time, it turns out faeries aren’t that bad: there are some that are extremely dangerous, though, and the frequency with which the “bad ones” appear seems to increase every day, it’s as if they are being sent deliberately to the Spring Court…but why? As Feyre gets to know Tamlin, she sees through all the lies she’s been told…but can a human and a High Fae (a faerie of the highest standing) really fall in love? And can Feyre help save the magic that is slowly disappearing, but has also become a threat to the humans on the other side of the Wall? She’s only a huntress…and a human.
I loved this. Every single word, every single sentence, every single paragraph. SJM did Beauty and the Beast justice: she didn’t just regurgitate the story like many do, but instead weaves a whole new one. It reminds me of what Meyer accomplished with The Lunar Chronicles series. I was…blown away.
Oh, how I wish it was. Alas, no. There’s no swearing, but there’s some pretty steamy scenes. Pretty steamy.
I’m blushing just thinking about this scene. Pretty intense, and there’s no way around it. It’s a great example of a fairy tale retelling done right, but unless it’s for a Creative Writing course in college, I would steer clear of using this in the classroom. Very angry parents would want to know why you’re molesting their children with words.
So Lexile.com gives a range of 14-17 (that seems to be their “go-to” age for anything mature), and I won’t protest, though I would suggest 15 as the youngest. But then again, I am more cautious than the schools, or else Laurie Halse Anderson’s book Speak wouldn’t have been available to my 10 year old niece. (Seriously? A book about date rape, and you’re going to let a 10 year old read that??) They rate the book at 880L, which suggests an older reader anyway. So I’ll stick with 14-15: just so you know, most YA books rate between 550-700L, so 880L would be an advanced reader in general anyway,
I’m hooked. One dose of SJM and I need more. I did get my hands on ACOMAF at the library, so I’ve got the next one to read, and I also took advantage of my own deal and bought Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight. I hope I don’t go crazy at the end and start sending death threats to Sarah J. Maas because I don’t like the relationship in the book. Lol. (That’s insane that people do that, btw).
★★★★★. No question. Hands down.
Have you read ACOTAR? Did you love it like I did?
* This book counts as my Vermillion City and Cinnabar Island badge on my #Readthemallthon. Though the event is over, I am continuing. As are several others. So this badge needs to be updated…::cough, cough:: Thank you, Aimal!!