A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas is a retelling of the well-known tale Beauty and the Beast.
The main character, Feyre, is the youngest of 3 sisters (Nesta and Elain). She has to hunt in order to feed her family who’s become poor after the father has been ruined. On her deathbed, Feyre’s mother made her promise to take care of her family because she knew she would be the only to be able to do so. Feyre’s sisters are educated and sophisticated whereas Feyre is rough and illiterate. They live in a tiny cottage which Feyre has tried to enliven with cheap paint.
The story sets off when Feyre kills a giant wolf, a fearie in disguise, which was threatening to eat the only “meal” she’s found all day: a doe. After that event, the High Lord of the Court Spring, transformed into a huge beast with horns, comes to claim her for the life of the Fae she took. Feyre has to live forever with this High Fae, Tamlin.
From then on, it is easy to imagine the kind of relationship these two develop according to the Beauty-and-the-Beast tale. Of course, this only one narrative present in this novel. Something much more dangerous is lurking and Feyre will learn how dangerous in the last part of the story.
Feyre is an interesting character as she has, as Tamlin elegantly phrases, shortcomings. The main one of which is that she cannot read which isn’t that important until she needs the skill to save her life. The other interesting thing about her is that she likes to paint. So the descriptions in the book are full of colours, lights, hues and textures which is delight for the imagination. Psychologically-wise, Feyre is complex and she is torn apart between her hatred of the Fae who had enslaved her people for 500 years and only escaped through a dodgy Treaty which allowed them a tiny portion of the continent, and her growing attachment to her ‘captors’.
Tamlin and Rhysand, two High Lords of the Spring Court and Night Court respectively, are the two faces of the same coin. One is attentive, careful, calm while the other is arrogant, cunning and impulsive. Yet they will be united against the greater evil that roams their lands.
I am really excited for the sequel, A Court of Mist and Fury, which I ordered I soon as I finished this one. I must say that Sarah J. Maas is one of my favourite authors ever. The romances in her novels are always endearing and heart-warming, even heart-breaking sometimes. But there is always much more to her stories than romances. The themes evoked are lessons for life if one cares to listen to them. And besides, she has a beautiful writing style. The story never drags and you can’t put the book down. And finally, her novels always have wonderful covers.
I cannot recommend this novel enough and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into the sequel.
I rated this novel 5*/5 (no surprise here :p )