I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas and I couldn’t have been happier to dive into Tamlin and Feyre’s story immediately. ACOTAR is a Beauty and the Beast retelling and the parallel’s between the stories are very evident. In order to pay the debt of taking a fairy’s life, Feyre is sentenced to living out the rest of her life in the Spring Court with it’s High Lord Tamlin and his emissary Lucien. While she’s hesitant at first, Feyre’s new life away from her ungrateful mortal family quickly becomes a much better home for her.
Overall, Feyre is a great character. I love her innate need to paint and express herself through artwork and I adore the way she inner monologues about her feelings towards painting. I thought it was really interesting to replace Beauty’s love of books and reading with a different form of creativity. Maas took the distinction a step farther and made her main character illiterate (which is also a HUGE change from Caelena from her Throne of Glass series). She also reinterpreted the Beast’s physical ailment as a mask that is unable to be removed and is stuck on everyone in the Spring Court. My favorite character in the series is Lucien who is the Beast’s emissary. Lucien serves as Beast’s snarky one-eyed cohort. Tamlin, the Beast of the story is initially kinder than the Beast of the fairy tale. He’s a likeable lead who is very powerful and concerned with helping the people of his court.
I loved reading about the fairy lore and all of the world-building that went into ACOTAR. Everything felt so real and the fairy realm beyond the wall sounds breathtaking. There were so many scenes I can vividly recall in my mind where I remember wishing that I could ever see something so beautiful in real life. I read this 416 page story in two days because I was so enthralled that I couldn’t possibly part from the book. I also have to mention how BEAUTIFUL the cover is. It definitely does the book justice. There are so many aspects of this story that I fell in love with and I cannot wait until the next book comes out. Speaking of love, I could not write a review of this book without mentioning the steamy romance between Tamlin and Feyre. Their love is so intense and we get a much more in depth look at their private moments together than is typically offered in the YA genre.
Final Thoughts: A Court of Thorns and Roses is an exceptional fairytale retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Everything about this book from the cover to the story inside is breathtaking. The landscapes of the fairy realm captured my heart and the parallel’s between it and the original fairytale left me with such an emotional attachment.
A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.
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.
Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down! (via Goodreads)