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  • Writer's pictureKarina Rodriguez

A Review of “A Court of Thorns and Roses”

Updated: Mar 26, 2021





“Don’t feel bad for one moment about doing what brings you joy.”

A Court of Thorns and Roses takes readers into the deep fantasy world that combines aspects of familiar stories like Beauty and the Beast and Hades and Persephone. Despite the many romantic scenes, this novel is rich in fantasy tropes and encapsulates a female heroine you root and care for. Through the characters and the writing style of this novel, it achieves a five-star rating in my book. At the same time, this novel may have a few lines that feel like they repeat there are not enough issues for me to dock this novel even half a point because I believe it is beautifully written and provides an entertaining story that is hard to put down.

Characters

The heroine Feyre Archeron is a character who I have seen receive both love and hate. Feyre’s character felt believable to me and despite me not agreeing with all the choices she made, I wholeheartedly understood them. While Feyre is a badass in her respect, I am not compelled to say that she is the strong female character people may want her to be from start to finish of this book. I say this with love and nothing less, but it seems that Feyre is not the character who always has the opportunity to be great but instead fits the concept that she had greatness thrust upon her when she enters Prythian and becomes part of the fae world.

“I was as unburdened as a piece ofdandelion fluff, and he was the wind that stirred me about the world” (Maas 228).

This quotation shows how Feyre’s true power and capabilities are unlocked by her meeting Tamlin and even just being exposed to Prythian in the first place. I am in no way saying that Feyre is a damsel without Tamlin or the fae, but I think it is fair to assume that without the change in her life, she would not be forced to change and to evolve as she does in this novel.


This gets me to my next point, which is Tamlin. In the first half of the novel, Tamlin is quite likable. The readers can see sensual scenes between Feyre and him, and we are given a relationship to root for. Despite the dreamy appeal of Tamlin, he is also vastly flawed. Through the beginning of the novel, we are met with an ethical dilemma on figuring out how to feel about Tamlin’s deception of Feyre to get her to Prythian and have the chance of freeing himself and his court from Amarantha’s curse. I had a hard time rooting for Tamlin after I learned this because Feyre had been ripped out from her home and her world turned upside down for the reason that was not true. However, I would also argue that because Feyre fell in love with Tamlin and eventually evolved into a strong character who can free herself, Tamlin, and his court from Amarantha’s curse that what Tamlin did was not in vain, Bless the Cauldron. Nevertheless, Maas creates a multidimensional character that readers can adore and care for but eventually becomes outshined…


Of course, that leads us to my last character, which is Rhysand. Now like any fantasy reader (almost), as soon as the dark-haired man with a tragic past walks in, my attention is peaked. When Rhysand is first introduced, it is actually without us being introduced to him at all. What Maas does here is fascinating because she allows the curiosity and mystery around his character to be heightened. As the book goes on, his character begins to have more of a presence, and the readers realize that he is not a good character in this story. However, despite the wickedness, we can also see how Amarantha is taking advantage of him and has him under a sort of “curse” as well. Rhysand and Feyre, despite not having any romantic relationship, have a tie to each other that seems to signify how the only people who truly understand them are each other.

“Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all” (Maas 414).

In this quotation, I think the beauty of their relationship can be seen because it seems like Rhysand can see down the beauty of Feyre both as the High Fae she becomes at the end of the novel and the human that she is. Rhysand never seems to talk down on her in the same way as Tamlin and Lucien, who constantly call her an “ignorant human” but seems to truly recognize her as she is. Despite all the evil things he does in her presence and sometimes to her, the connection between Feyre and Rhysand is undeniable and I was immediately drawn into their relationship and what it will develop into.


Writing Style

This novel's writing style is flowery and full of suspenseful moments that keep you completely entranced by this novel. If you are looking for a book that you want to read before bed, I promise you that this is not the novel for you. The first five or so chapters of the story are world-building chapters, so there is a bit of a lag there, but as soon as the novel takes off, you are immediately drawn in, and it becomes highly addictive and increasingly difficult to put down. Some of my favorite quotes in this novel are:


“The full force of that wild, unrelenting High Lord’s power focused solely on me- and I felt the storm contained beneath his skin, so capable of sweeping away everything I was, even in its lessened state” (Maas 247).


“We moved together, unending and wild and burning, and when I went over the edge the next time, he roared and went with me” (Maas 247).


“Who had shrouded the loss of our mother, then our downfall, in icy rage and bitterness, because the anger had been a lifeline, the cruelty a release. But she had cared- beneath it, she had cared, and perhaps loved more fiercely than I could comprehend, more deeply and loyally” (Maas 265).


“This wasn’t music to dance to- it was music to worship, music to fall in the gaps of my soul, to bring me to a place where there was no pain” (Maas 374).


“And I’d become High Fae” (Maas 407).


“‘I didn’t want you to fight alone. Or die alone’” (Maas 413).


These few quotations were just some of the many that drew me deeply into the text and allowed me to enjoy this novel for all that it is. As a full-time college student and part time reporter, I do not often have the time to read but this novel demanded my time and attention. Maas’s beautiful writing makes for a story rich with adventure, love, and beauty.


Closing Thoughts

A Court of Thorns and Roses entraps you in a world that you do not want to escape from. Just like Feyre, readers can be taken to a world that they do not even know existed and can be brought into the beauty that is established by Maas’s characters and her writing style. ACOTAR stands to be a wonderful novel that leaves you wanting more and eager to begin her next novels in the series. Overall, I truly believe that readers can find a beautiful escape and enchanting story in this novel and for that I can give it no less than five stars.


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