A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
Feyre’s family has lost their fortune, and, owing to a promise, Feyre learns to hunt so she can support her father and two sisters. Hunting the woods, on the brink of starvation, Feyre sees a massive wolf which may or may not be a fairy. She kills it.
Turns out, it was a fairy, and Tamlin, a high lord, forces her to live in Prythian, fairy land, as punishment. Tamlin’s house is under a curse, and everyone is forced to wear animal masks. The curse, which Feyre originally believes is a magical disease, was created by the evil fairy queen Armantha. Feyre falls in love with Tamlin, challenges Armantha for Tamlin’s freedom, and saves Prythian from the evil queen.
My Goodreads rating: 4 of 5 stars
I chose this book on recommendation from a friend.
This is a fairy tale retelling, mainly Beauty and the Beast with allusions to some others. I typically do not enjoy fairytale retellings. I tried to consider that and probably gave this a higher rating than I normally would because I know I have my own bias.
I gave four stars because the plot was predictable. I figured out the riddle the first time it was presented. I anticipated the plot turns based on the fairy tale. It made this story less exciting.
I spent more time than I should have rolling my eyes, thinking how very Disney, and this is the part where the sing Tale As Old As Time in the background.
I did not find myself sympathizing or enjoying Feyre. She is bitter about taking care of her family, she is angry about being taken, and she is mistrustful of people around her even when they supposedly can’t tell lies and then very trusting in them when they admit they can tell lies. She hangs on to the desire to get back to her family for the majority of the book but then when she decides to stay and fall and love she quickly leaves that because she is told too. Then she does some simply stupid things, like not being able to figure out a fairly simple riddle.
That being said, there was a few scenes which I really enjoyed and which make the story worth reading. I am a sucker for scenes of abandonment, and I really enjoyed the scene where Tamlin takes Feyre away. Despite Feyre’s anger at having to take care of her family and their “evil step-sister” tendencies towards her, they have a few moments of tenderness and the forlorn half-faded depictions of flowers that Feyre paint seem sad and lonely. There is another scene where Feyre returns home and learns her sisters are not what she remembered them being. I appreciated that as well.
Anyway, all in all, this was not my cup of tea, but it was a quick and easy read. For people who enjoy fairy tales, this was a good book.