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I Belong


Early Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thones and RosesTitle: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Genre: NA Fantasy

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses (Book #1)

Publication Date: May 5, 2015

Format: Hardcover, 416 Pages

ISBN-10: 1619634449 (Bloomsbury)

ISBN-13: 978-1619634442 (Bloomsbury)

Reviewed by: Kaitlin

Synopsis:

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin-one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin-and his world-forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristen Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

Quick & Dirty: This novel was a perfect blend of humor, romance, and suspense. A truly engaging, gorgeous book.

Opening Sentence: The forest had become a labyrinth of snow and ice.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Feyre takes care of her family. She’s the only one that can. She can hunt, but in the cold of winter, it’s not often to come across game or anything of value, so when she comes across an usually large wolf prowling the forest, she takes her oppurtunity. She is unaware that the wolf was a shape-changing faerie from the other side of the huge wall that seperates the fae from the humans, built after the Treaty. A wolflike creature, a High Fae, comes to demand retribution: a life for a life. She must come live out the remainder of her days with him on his estate, in the dangerous faerie lands she’s heard so many stories about. But all is not well on the faerie side of the land either. A blight is taking over, draining magic, and there are evil plots in the making that Tamin won’t explain to her. There are things she doesn’t understand, and they just might kill her. As she spends time with Tamin, she uncovers deadly secrets and realizes her feelings for Tamin might have grown beyond a friendship.

A Court of Thorns and Roses has been a favorite of many bloggers ever since advance copies appeared in the wild. I have to admit, their strong feelings about it made me envious that they had a copy. But thanks to Kelly at Mysterious Galaxy (to whom I’m eternally grateful) I was able to get my hands on this novel and devour it in a day. And let me tell you, this book was not overhyped. I loved it so much, so dearly, for so many reasons. S. J. Maas is an absolute artist in her words and the way she describes things — she can pinpoint the exact, perfect words to complement each other in any given sentence. The characters were all strong, all with clear motives and unique personalities. The voice was fresh and relatable, with the perfect mix of strength and weakness that made Feyre seem perfectly human. The setting was lush, the world-building amazing. This is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and I could see definite similarities, but at the same time it was its own story. It was artfully crafted and the plot was complex and powerful. It’s the first in a series, but to be honest, I could also imagine it being a standalone. It left us with a few questions to be answered, but for the most part, the novel was wrapped up in a bow.

Feyre was the character whom told the story. She was a human, and often, in the land of faeries, that made her the weaker one. It pained her oftentimes that she had so many shortcomings compared to majesty of the magical beasts. I felt for her, and she was often more self-councious than she let on. But make no mistake, she was also extremely strong. She knew how to stand up for herself and was very competent. She was also bold, especially with Tamlin (the love interest) and Lucien (Tamlin’s friend). She cracked jokes that I found hilarious. At one point, she caught a faerie that has to tell you whatever you wish if you can snare it. Tamlin asks her what the faerie said to her, and she snarkily replies: “He said that you like being brushed, and if I’m a clever girl, I might train you with treats.” (Get it? Because Tamlin’s animal form is a wolflike dog?) But she was also human enough to remain vulnerable, willing to love. I loved this mix of emotions that made her a realistic character and a perfect representation of the human race.

The love with Tamlin was paced perfectly, as was the entire book’s plotline. She didn’t fall instantly in love with him, as so many books do these days: insta-love is the bane of my existence. Instead, their relationship developed at a believable pace. At first, she hates him, then she warms to him. As she gets to know him, gets to understand his motivations better, she finds she enjoys his company. And eventually, after a while, her love for him blossoms. It’s beautiful and engaging, and though their relationship was not the most prominent part of the book, it was still an important one.

Sarah J. Maas creates a lush, lifelike world in A Court of Thorns and Roses. The human side of the wall is obviously less exciting than the faerie’s is, but just as amazingly described. She weaves words together and builds a high fantasy world that you can sink into easily. I cannot get enough of it. There are thousands of species of fae, and she touches on quite a few that made my spine tingle. For instance, the bogge, which whispers into your ear. It tells you to look at it, and casts a sort of eerie spell that makes you want to, but when you look at it, than it can become corporeal and kill you. Then there’s the puca. It creates a form that would call to you, such as a lover or a family member, and lures you away until it can attack. There were also more familiar ones, like will o’ the wisps. I also enjoyed the various faerie customs along the course of the story — the parties, the dances. You got to see firsthand into the world of their politics, as well, and got a few history lessons, with thankfully no notable info-dump. You basically got a taste of everything in the faerie world so that you felt satisfied and like you understood it.

Altogether, I obviously was a fan of this novel. There was nothing that I didn’t adore. The writing style flowed well, the main character was a strong point of view, the world-building and romance were done perfectly. I can pinpoint the exact moment when I just fell in love, about sixty pages in. The book is at no point boring, but it speeds up to a million climaxes after you pass the middle point of this four hundred page story. The amount of emotionally powerful or action-packed scenes after that half point kept me hooked. I was a tad bit emotionally traumatized after I finished. By a tad bit, I mean that I was sobbing hysterically while I laughed and spun around my room. Not my proudest hour. I would encourage everyone to read this book, not just those who loved Thrown of Glass. I wasn’t a huge fan of that series. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not horrible, but I prefer A Court of Thorns and Roses a thousand times over. When you get the chance to pick this up, savor every word. I promise that the experience will be a worthwhile one. And even if you don’t enjoy it (which is almost impossible) you still have that beautiful red cover to display on your bookshelf.

Notable Scene:

The cold thing whispered past, circling. I could see nothing, but I could feel it. And in the back of my mind, an ancient, hollow voice whispered:

I will grind your bones between my claws; I will drink your marrow; I will feast on your flesh. I am what you fear; I am what you dread . . . look at me. Look at me.

I tried to swallow, but my throat had closed up. I kept my eyes on the trees, on the canopy, an anything but the cold mass circling us again and again.

Look at me.

A Court of Thorns and Roses Series:

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses (May 5, 2015)

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FTC Advisory: Bloomsbury provided me with a copy of A Court of Thorns and Roses. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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