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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

ACOTAR Feature Image

A Court of Thorns and Roses was my introduction to the magical world of fantasy. For that, I’ll always be grateful.

For a very long time, I heard amazing things about Sarah J. Maas and her young adult series, A Court of Thorns and Roses. Every book blogger and booktuber alike sing their praises about these books. 

I didn’t really have an interest in the fantasy genre before, but I was fascinated by the constant buzz about these novels. For a bit, I was torn between starting out with either ACOTAR or the equally popular book, The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. So I took to Facebook to ask one of my book groups which I should start with.

Overwhelmingly, they answered ACOTAR. And so off I went on this journey!

A Court of Thorns and Roses Review

A Court of Thorns and Roses follows Feyre, a young mortal woman living in poverty with her permanently injured father and sisters.

After a deadly encounter in the forest, Feyre finds herself captured by a faerie and taken across a centuries-old border to live eternally in the kingdom of Prythian. There, she meets a world marked by political intrigue, magic, and plight.

As Feyre falls for her masked captor, she uncovers the secrets of an unfamiliar place.

To me, it’s a bit of a stretch to call this a Young Adult novel, although it’s widely accepted as such. It’s mature young adult—emphasis on mature. I’d probably classify it as New Adult. There’s some mature content including language and themes, as well as some pretty graphic “scenes”. Basically, what I’m saying is that this probably isn’t the book to buy for your 13-year-old reader!

For starters, let’s talk about how Beauty and the Beast influenced this novel.

Growing up, Beauty and the Beast was my favourite Disney film. So, this concept made me run to my bookstore in a flash.

Sarah J. Maas implemented these “beastly” themes subtly and seamlessly into this fantasy novel. The similarities aren’t glaringly obvious, and this shouldn’t be taken as a proper retelling by any means.

Beauty & the Beast fans will pick up on clever nods to the original source material!

Going into this novel, I had no idea what to expect. I had never read a fantasy novel, aside from the Harry Potter series and a few other middle-grade books back in the day. However, I completely adored this.

For me, a fantasy novel has to have a good mix of fantastical elements (of course) as well as romance, worldbuilding, and heart. I’m also not opposed to some witty dialogue.

A Court of Thorns and Roses gave me all of that and more. It was a great introduction to the fantasy genre, as it felt similar to other books I had read but also gave me a taste of the fantasy themes.

A Court of Thorns and Roses is a great beginner's novel for anyone interested in dipping a toe into the YA fantasy genre.

With SJM’s vivid imagery, I wandered into this magical world alongside Feyre. The worldbuilding was particularly enchanting.

I loved the in-depth history between the mortals and fae, especially the misconceptions each group held about the other. Within Prythian alone, there was a great deal of thought put into building the history throughout the kingdom.

The geography was really interesting to me, as well. The divisions between the Prythian regions—both geographical and political—fascinated me. When we’re introduced to this kingdom, there are a lot of internal conflicts, as well as tension with the mortal realm.

I'd be interested in seeing this regional conflict explored further in the sequel.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the romantic plot in ACOTAR. It’s one of the big selling features of this novel for a lot of readers—even me if I’m honest.

I’ll admit… I was hooked pretty much right off the bat. Tamlin was charming, witty, and mysterious. I enjoyed watching the dynamic between Tamlin and Feyre progress as they began to learn more about each other. Lucien acted as the perfect third party and created some hilarious banter between them.

At the start, I did feel really sorry for Feyre. Her family ignored and mistreated her, and she possessed the qualities of someone who didn’t quite belong in their own world.

Seeing Feyre travel to Prythian—albeit unwillingly—and transform into a stronger version of herself was a pleasure to read.

At the end of A Court of Thorns and Roses, Sarah J. Maas leaves you hanging on the edge of your seat. You know for certain that no matter the outcome of the last hundred pages, nothing can or will go back to the way it was at the start of the book.

For me, when it comes to series, I usually steer clear because I lack the interest to continue on with multiple books. If the strings are tied up well enough in the first instalment, I’m not often persuaded to read the sequel. With ACOTAR, Sarah J. Maas provided the setup for what was a promising premise for a sequel.

After writing essentially a short essay dedicated to this book, I’ll cut myself off here! All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. The praise given to A Court of Thorns and Roses was well-earned and I’m forever grateful that I decided to take the plunge into the fantasy genre.

If you’re interested in reading A Court of Thorns and Roses for yourself, you can head to Amazon and buy it here.

And don’t forget to check out my other bookish content on my blog

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