A Court of Thorns and Roses

I've been living in a reading slump for quite some time now, but everything took a turn for the better last month. This month, however, it seems like I'm back to my old ways. For some reason, I can't seem to start a new book, so I've been rereading old favourites for the better part of the year. A book that I loved fiercely the first time I read it, but that I haven't read since, is Sarah J. Maas' A Court of Thorns and Roses. I loved it so much and I loved the sequel (A Court of Mist and Fury) so much but the third novel in the series (A Court of Wings and Ruins) have been waiting for my attention for a long time now. It's been in my reading pile for over a year, yet I haven't picked it up. One reason was that I got the biggest book hangover after the first two novels, but I decided that now it's finally time to read it. Of course, I needed to refresh my memory a bit, so I just haaaaad to reread the first novel (oh, the horror!) and it turned out that A Court of Thorns and Roses was even better than I remember.

This story is set in a fictional fantasy landscape, a world divided in two. The mortal and the immortal realm. Feyre is a human, a nineteen-year-old woman who is the provider for her family. She has two older sisters and a father but after they lost their fortune years before, none of them work and Feyre must venture into the woods and hunt for food. The woods are dangerous since it’s close to the invisible wall between the mortal and immortal realms. Sometimes, evil faeries from the immortal realm makes it past the wall to kill humans but Feyre has no choice. One cold, hard winter, she comes face to face with one of these faeries and when she kills it, she also seals her destiny. A few days later, a beast from the immortal realm breaks into her house to claim her in exchange for the life she took when she killed the faerie. She is to live in the immortal lands for the rest of her life alongside the beast, who turns out to be a shapeshifting High Fae named Tamlin. What Feyre doesn’t know is that Tamlin is cursed and that she is his last hope of breaking it.

I’ve read a novel by Maas before, namely, Throne of Glass. I didn’t enjoy it at all, but A Court of Thorns and Roses really showed me how much Maas has grown as a writer. The writing is amazing, so fluid and lovely. Reading this book is like taking a long, hot bath. It enjoyable, comfortable and amazing in every way. The worldbuilding is great, rich and deep, giving the story a wonderful depth. The characters are strong, complicated and intricate. The story itself twists and turns, leaving you breathless and wanting more.

The base of this story is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast but Maas has evolved it to something more. The immortal realm, Prythian, and its seven courts are complex, crafted with a lot of detail and love. There’s a history behind every character and they all feel so very real. The contrast between the humans and the faeries are interesting and it’s fun to see Feyre and Tamlin trying to get along when they’re so different. Their chemistry is strong, though, and the love that eventually blooms between them makes the story shine. This novel has the same feel as Beauty and the Beast (the curse, the beast and the strong heroine) but A Court of Thorns and Roses is deeper and have even more to offer. It’s a magical adventure you’ll never forget and one I think you should take.

Rec of the month - August 18

Mary E. Pearson's novel The Kiss of Deception is the first in a trilogy called The Remnant Chronicles. It’s a story about Lia, a seventeen-year-old princess set to marry the prince of a neighbouring country. Lia, however, isn’t interested in an arranged marriage with a stranger, she wants to live life in a way that she’s never been able to as a princess. She makes a plan and on her wedding day she flees the castle to live a normal life in a small town by the sea. What she doesn’t know is that her would-be husband, Rafe, goes after her to bring her back home and marry her. Neither does she know that another neighbouring country has sent out an assassin, Kaden, to kill her. Both men appear at the restaurant she works at and she takes a liking to them both, not knowing their true intentions.

I found this to be a nice read, maybe not the most exciting thing I’ve ever read but certainly not a bad novel. In fact, it’s a book I’ve reread a few times over the past years because there is something fun in the game between Lia, Rafe and Kaden. Neither she nor the reader knows which guy is the prince and which is the assassin and it creates a level of tension that I like. It’s a fantasy, set in a made-up world and while the writing might not be the absolute best I’ve ever encountered, the story itself makes up for it. Lia is a tough, strong girl who wants to stand on her own feet and she’s constantly fighting for the right to make her own choices and live the life she wants. Both Rafe and Kaden are interesting male leads and while the love tringle has been used a lot in YA, it does work well in this story. So, if you’re looking for a light yet interesting fantasy novel, this is the one for you. If you want to know more about the book, read my review HERE.