Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Thorns and Roses/Book 1
Bloomsbury Children's/May 5, 2015
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 first Sarah J. Maas book and I'm already looking forward to the next one! Maas leads the reader along on an adventure worthy of the name. Since this was my first experience reading Maas, I kept my expectations open, as always hoping for a good story. What I got was that and much more!
The world Feyre lives in is so far from where she came from, not in distance but in circumstance. She is the provider for her little family consisting of her father and two sisters. Feyre's main goal is to feed her family. That's it. She has no real hopes for the future because she doesn't dare think about the future. It's too depressing. So when she finds herself taken across the Wall and into the land of the Fae she is all about surviving and finding a way back to her family. It's not because she has such great love for them, no, what she feels for them is responsibility. A promise made is a promise kept. Feyre always keeps her promises. The struggles Feyre goes through with the obligations to her family, her desire to leave them and the responsibility for them behind adds more depth to her character.
Feyre may only be nineteen but she is an old nineteen. She has had to shoulder the burden of her family for many years. It is that burden which leads her into the world of the Fae and the High Lord. What Feyre learns about the Fae and about her host is stories are sometimes just that. But there is also some truth to the tales of the Fae. Feyre's experience in Tamlin's court lead her into a world of both beauty and horror. She not only forges grudging friendships, she also makes a profound impact on her host, the High Lord. Tamlin is heavily conflicted over his feelings towards Feyre. This is evident in how he treats her, at first wanting little to nothing to do with her, then spending more time with her, almost as if they are becoming friends.
Both Feyre and Tamlin are well drawn characters filled with strengths and flaws defined in ways to pull the reader in. The romance is filled with friction and I liked how the conflict played out not only between Feyre and Tamlin but also between the secondary characters who are loyal to Tamlin. This loyalty is in direct conflict with their feelings towards the new human in their realm. The Fae in general have little liking for humans, with Tamlin's followers barely tolerating Feyre in the beginning. Over time, Feyre wins over not only Tamlin but some of his most staunchest allies.
If I found any thing wrong with the story it would be the slower pacing at certain points. I would find myself wanting the characters to just get on with it. They know what they should do, they've thought it through, now do it! I think I became inpatient simply because the rest of the story was so very good!
This is said to be similar to Beauty and the Beast but I think the same can be said of many a romance whether it was intended by the author or not. And yes, Tamlin can literally turn into a beast but some heroes can be quite beastly without going all furry. If the comparison to the tale of Beauty and the Beast turns you off, don't let it turn you off of Feyre and Tamlin's story.