A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Monday 4 September 2017

Feyre is a huntress.

She thinks nothing of slaughtering a wolf to capture its prey. But, like all mortals, she fears what lingers mercilessly beyond the forest. And she will learn that taking the life of a magical creature comes at a high price...

Imprisoned in an enchanted court in her enemy's kingdom, Feyre is free to roam but forbidden to escape. Her captor's body bears the scars of fighting, and his face is always masked - but his piercing stare draws her ever closer. As Feyre's feeling for Tamlin begin to burn through every warning she's been told about his kind, an ancient, wicked shadow grows.

Feyre must find a way to break a spell, or lose her heart forever.

If I had to sum A Court of Thorns and Roses up in two words, those words would be mediocre and disappointing. I went into this expecting so much more than what is actually delivered, and there lies my downfall. Instead of the intense, fantastical story full of cunning and deceptive Fae I was met with an incessantly dull tale (that bordered on soft core porn at times) of a girl with a distinctly lacking personality. Needless to say, I was a bit let down.

I took an instant dislike to Feyre and it lasted for the entire book. Which made reading it interesting, as it's told from her perspective. It wasn't that she was a bad person or even a bad character, it was that she was so dull and prone to episodes of complete stupidity, but of course she was the only perfect member of her family and everyone else was being unjustly mean to her. She didn't come across as whiny but she was damn close to toeing the line. And the worst part was that she didn't learn from her mistakes. There was no character growth - for any of the characters. No one seemed to have had much thought put into their personality or their back story (except perhaps Lucien, who quickly became my favourite and saved the entire book from getting zero stars) and I felt like I was still stuck at the beginning of the book even when I was half way through it.

The plot, too, felt as if it had been made up on the spot as it was so wishy-washy and meandering. There were times when I wondered if Maas herself knew where she was going with it, as she took her sweet time explaining things - almost as if she needed to stall in order to figure it all out. For the first three quarters of the book - that's three hundred pages - absolutely nothing happens. Things are alluded to. There's a lot of growling. Feyre continues to be pig-headed and incapable of listening and learning. But nothing. happens. All the action is relegated to the final one hundred pages, and even then it's interrupted with scenes of more nothing. I kid you not - just when things started to hook me in we have a chapter of Feyre sat in a cell wondering if she has a fever or not. If you're going to interrupt the one thing that's holding my attention it had better be for something bloody important.

But there is no real sense of importance or urgency throughout A Court of Thorns and Roses, despite the main situation being time sensitive. But we don't know that until it's all too late anyway, so whoops, oh well. The reason for why Feyre (and therefore we the reader) doesn't know anything feels so sloppy when it's finally revealed, and it's all very convenient and specific to her. Add to this that it's a complete info dump rather than sneakily fed to us as the story progresses, and it makes you question just how smart and cunning these Fae are. All in all, it was just a very disappointing answer to an necessarily drawn out question.

Yet I can't help but feel that if the plot hadn't been so drawn out and long-winded there just... wouldn't be a plot at all. And when there's nothing going on and I don't even like the characters, it's very hard to continue. A Court of Thorns and Roses is the closest I have ever come to not finishing a book - and I always finish books as I can't bear leaving anything unfinished. But I just didn't care at all and I ended up more disgusted (I've never read such cringey young adult sex scenes) and angry (Feyre is constantly manipulated and abused and yet people love her abusers?) than anything. And the cherry on top of the weak plot was the complete cop out of an ending!

If it hadn't have been for Lucien and the brief bit of action we were granted, this review would have been a lot more damning, as I can't even say the writing saved it for me. Things felt choppy thanks to the constant use of short sentences, I couldn't take in the overly rich descriptions of some things, and the abuse of dashes completely butchered some sentences, rendering them unreadable and in-comprehensive.

I can't help but feel let down by this, despite the fact that I didn't enjoy it. I wanted to. I really, really wanted to, believe me.


  1. I liked ACOTAR but hated the sequel!! It's like the whole plotline just went to pots and everything just got a lot weirder and boring. I will never pick up another SJM series.

    1. I'm honestly expecting to hate both sequels but I own them and still want to know what happens soooo.... And I still own Throne of Glass books 4 and 5 but after I've read the SJM books I own I think that's me done with her.


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