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.