A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

May 26, 2015




Warning: I am writing this in full blown fangirl mode...So, if you don't think you can handle my ramblings, feel free to leave. If you think you can handle it....you've been warned




Flails, Wails, and Fairytales.

BY.THE.CAULDRON. . . yup, that pretty much sums up my feelings for this book because OH MAN, the Queen has come and the Queen has delivered to us, yet again, a story of cosmic-sized EPICNESS that cannot and will not supersede, in its importance, anything else in this universe. Food? Nope. Water? You're kidding me right? But what about your dog, the pride and joy of your existence that loves you unconditionally?...ehh.... considering I'm willing to sell my limbs for book two...sorry Nelly *sheds tear*

So, as you may have gathered, Sarah is a literary genius.. nope, more like GODDESS. Having read Sarah's other series Throne of Glass, I was not worried at all that this book would not meet my expectations. In fact, I think my expectations were still way too low because I was expecting a nuclear bomb and instead, I got the Big Bang. I have devoured (not literally of course) and loved all of her preceding books and knew that I was going to love this one as well. With her amazing knack for kickass female protagonists and breath taking world building, I had no doubt that this book was going to end up being one of if not THE favorite book of 2015.

Now, before I get into my thoughts, reactions, and all the hot guys because, let's be real, a majority of the reason we love her books is because of all the hot guys littering the pages *swoons*, as per usual, I'll provide you with a 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.


My initial reactions while reading this book went somewhat along the lines of this:  lots of squealing that (according to my lovely family) sounded like a piglet in distress, crying...of course, heart palpitations, sweating, and decreases in breathing with bits of hyperventilation in between. In other words, I was dying at the hands of this book and I DID NOT CARE ONE BIT. THIS book....I don't even think I can put into words how much I loved this book but let me just tell you, if you have any hesitation about picking up this book, throw them out the window. This book is like a box of chocolates; once you dig in, you won't be able to stop.

Characters

Now, let's start with the characters. One of my favorite things about all of Sarah's books and especially this one is how she writes and constructs her characters. You can always find them to be multifaceted and well-constructed with so many layers, they'd have no qualms about staying warm in the winter. Several times, I have come across books that have everything in them the book needs to be great but when it comes to the characters, it just falls flat. Either they're too two-dimensional or just have unrealistic traits that make them difficult to relate to. I don't mean if there's magic in the world and the character has an affinity for power with fire, water, etc. and he/she can do a lot of badass stuff with that power. I'm talking about writing mundane characters that have extraordinary things happening to them and then, as if overnight and not with much character development (and I do love me some character development), they suddenly throw everything that makes them who they are out the window and become a completely different person without any effort or work contributing to that change. But that was not at all the case in this book. The characters were flawed and imperfect. Feyre, whom I LOVED, made mistakes, took frustrating courses of action that we knew would most likely lead to no good, and in the beginning, only thought about her own self interest. However, she used everything she learned from those mistakes, to grow into the character we have at the end of the book and that, ladies and gentlemen, is a little something I like to call character development. It made the characters that much more real and three dimensional and allowed you to connect with them. That connection to the characters, as readers, is what draws us to care for them, to cry so hard when something bad happens to them that our faces look like we got attacked by a swarm of bees and makes us want to delve deeper into their character and know what happens next. The same goes for her other characters *coughs* the men *coughs*. I could honestly go on for days as to why I loved Tamlin, Lucien, and Rhys and how perfect they are but in truth, what made me love them as much as I do (and I really REALLY do ) was how perfectly imperfect they were and the balance between their own strengths and weaknesses. There's a realness to them (overlooking the fact that they're, you know, gorgeous immortal beings with magical powers, abs so chiseled you could crack a nut on them and pointy ears). You feel like you can relate and therefore have an easier time putting yourself in their shoes and experiencing almost first hand what the character is going through without putting your life in any actual danger...yay?

With that little rant being over, in short, Sarah has yet again managed to create a fantastic ensemble of characters that you will laugh, cry, swoon (definitely SWOON) , scream, and wail in frustration to protect over. *goes and cries*



The World
*cries some more* This book left me hanging with one big question; Why can't I write like Sarah J. Maas? This is not the first time I have asked myself this question nor will it be the last (you can quote me on that).The world of ACOTAR, just like any of her other previous works, is so dynamic and beautifully built that I kind of want to pack my bags and go live in the Spring Court right this very minute and never look back. Who needs reality when you can spend the rest of your days surrounded by very hot Fae warriors, right? Sarah's characteristic world building is probably most accurately compared to that of a spider web. From afar, it might seem like just another fantasy world with it's fair share of monsters and the heroes and heroines that slay them, just another spider web, discreetly chilling in the corner of the barn (Any barn not just the one from Charlotte's Web). As you examine it closer, however, you realize the incredible attention to detail and intricate weaving that took place to create this breath-taking world.
The Conclusion
Now normally I wouldn't designate a specific section just for the conclusion of the story (don't worry, no spoilers) but as I simply cannot control myself, I must. This ending...YOU GUYS, had my heart practically leaping out of my chest. Now, the "ending ending" was surprisingly happy. I was left feeling very satisfied where the characters had left off but not enough to not make me want the second book in my hand the moment I put ACOTAR down. There are many, many questions I have about certain characters and of course, the usual curiosity, what's going to happen now? Who is this King and is he by any chance related to that monster in Adarlan (I think we all know the answer to that but the want to kill innocent people runs strong with these two...they probably exchange notes).

But that's not the "ending" I wanted to mention to you guys. I meant that whole thing that happened right before that ending. That huge, and I mean the "Oh my god, the world could open up into a sinkhole of oblivion beneath me and I still would not notice anything going awry because I am so enthralled with this epic (and brutal) scene" HUGE, showdown between Feyre and one of the most cruel characters Sarah has ever written (yes, it was that intense). I actually had to put the book down and count backwards from ten several times just to calm myself down. It was riveting and intense and it absolutely shattered my heart into itty-bitty pieces that left me with not just a broken heart but a terrible mess that I had to clean up afterwards.

Thanks Sarah.
The Mythology
This book is actually a retelling of one of my all time favorite childhood stories, Beauty and the Beast, and I loved the way it was done.The storylines between the original Beauty and the Beast mingles so well and flows smoothly with this new realm that we are introduced to in A Court of Thorns and Roses. The story is unique and different with sprinkles of similarities here and there.

 As we get further enveloped in the story, we see the connections as well as the differences between the two. How the masks that are worn in the Spring Court allude to a certain curse upon the characters in BatB or Belle's love for reading while our main character, Feyre, because of the impoverished state that she had been raised in for most of her life and her lack of a proper education, often finds herself frustrated with her illiteracy and eventually, almost costs Feyre her life.

Another thing I loved about this book and it's mythology is its interesting take on the Courts. Instead of the usual two courts, Seelie and Unseelie, we find ourselves surrounded by multiple courts: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Dawn, Night, and Day court (Did I miss any?). Each is as different as Night and Day but all part of a complex system that makes up the world of Prythian and I'm so excited to dive deeper into the world and explore the other courts. In this story we mainly focus on the Spring Court where our beautiful and beloved Tamlin and Co. reside but we do getting subtle glimpses into other courts *coughs* night court *coughs*. And by glimpses, I mean, we are informed about the various courts but Sarah has confirmed we do get to visit the night court in the second book *cue confetti canons*

Final Thoughts

 After weeks of trying to write this review (yes, it has taken me forever) and do justice to just how much I loved this book, I've finally managed to come some what close. Overall, this book was like taking a bath with every single bath bomb out there in one sitting: Fun, colorful, and messy (BECAUSE OF THE TEARS AND HEART ACHE). I thoroughly loved and enjoyed this book and can't wait to see what's in store for us in book two.

 I recommend this book to anyone and anything, if your new or old, living or an inanimate object. If your plant wants to read it but doesn't know how, do the world a good deed, and read this book to your plant. Share it with the world and spread the ACOTAR love as we all now eagerly await the second book.

xoxo,
Jana

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