It’s review time. There are no spoilers in this review. If you would like to read my version of this review with spoilers, you can check it out here on goodreads.
Let’s start by saying that I gave this book a 5 out of 5.
How do I even begin to talk about one of those rare stories that completely sweeps me up, draws me into the world, makes me fall in love with the characters, and then has the audacity to make me crave for more? Yeah, well it turns out that I start by asking a pointed and summarizing question.
I loved A Court of Thorns of Roses and the number one reason is simply that it made me feel. I don’t often get caught up into the emotions of stories. Generally I understand them, I feel for the characters and emapthize with them. I don’t often feel like I’ve been brought along for the emotional journey. That’s what happened with this as I went through all the emotions Feyre did, with some of my own additions.
This is in large part because of characters. The whole array of them feel entirely unique. They each have their own personalities, prejudices, and backstories. Each one feels like their own unique character. I wouldn’t mistake a quip from Lucien with an order from Tamlin or a proclamation from Rhysand. Each one felt brilliant to me.
But it is also because of the writing style that helped drive my emotional connection. While, I am certainly someone who can love elaborate plays with language, I much prefer a well executed straight to the point sentence. Don’t get me wrong, Sarah J. Maas’s writing is elegant. However it is elegant in it’s simplicity rather than it’s complexity. It takes just as much work for a shorter sentence to convey emotion, detail, and logic in a short sentence as it does a flowery one. However, I prefer this style because I’m not distracted by language. Instead the language facilitates and drives my connection to the story and characters.
Now let me take a brief moment to express my love for Rhysand. I feel like I shouldn’t love him. Yet, I do. Rhysand set my heart on fire. I also found that he reminded me a lot of early Jean-Claude from the Anita Blake series.
Lucien is the best friend one could possibly have. Despite a brief moment when it seemed like there might be chemistry between Feyre and Lucien, I’m glad that relationship remained friendly. In Feyre’s position, she very much needed a friend and not an additional love interest to muck up the waters. I hope that this continues and we will get a see a genuine friendship blossom between the characters because their dynamic is one that I would fight for.
I don’t know exactly what I should say about Tamlin at this time. He’s a complex character who is put into impossible position after impossible position. He pushes through each time and that noble resolve is something that I really respect about him. As a character, I feel like we’ve only begun to scratch the surface with him. That left me with this feel like I didn’t get to know him very well. That may be true, but it also isn’t at the time. We really only know a small portion and can tell that there is so much more to be uncovered. In reality, we really did learn quite a bit about him.
As for Feyre she is a strong believable character. Feyre is more human in a way that Celaena wasn’t. Something about Feyre just seems so genuine and uncertain. I instantly could feel for the predicaments that she was placed in. Her entire belief system was continually challenged in this book. Her limits were tested. Even when she wasn’t sure she could succeed, she never gave up. It was something that I loved about her.
There is a freaking riddle in this book. It is fitting for the story and I berated myself for not figuring it out earlier. Fun hint, the answer isn’t the sun. I wish I knew of more books that had riddles.
The relationship that built between Feyre and Tamlin felt legit. It had time to built and as a result felt natural. However, you can tell that this is young love. It’s the intense love that makes one want to fight for the other, but it isn’t something that’s really been proven and tested. I will be interested to see how that relationship is tested in the future as things change and they get the chance to really experience what it means to love the other.
I’ve never been huge on fae before. I’ve always found them interesting, but I never really sought them out. I’ve read all of a book and a half that revolved around fae before this one. This is new ground that was interestingly explored in this novel. We got a sense of all the different kinds of fae they were and how their society functioned. It was only a taste though.
I want to briefly touch on the fact that this is a new adult fantasy. “What?” You may be asking. Yes, it is new adult fantasy. I’m so glad that this is being brought to the forefront. I love fantasy of all sorts, but I feel like this is an area that has been neglected. Sure, there are some stories that could be retroactively placed in the category, but this is the first one I’ve seen marketed this way. I love that we are moving in this direction as new adult has been an area of interest, but lacked the SFF lean. Up until now, they’ve pretty much just been contemporary. I hope the success of this book will lead to more new adult fantasy.
It’s very rare for me to love a book so much. It’s one of those books that it may have had flaws, but the upsides for me not only outweighed, but overshadowed the bad. This was a 5 out of 5. This was the kind of story I needed and didn’t even realize. I can’t wait to pick this up. I could go on and on again, but I think I’ll just go listen to the audiobook.