Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price … Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.
When I discovered the world of booktube and bookstagram (which was fairly recently) one of the first authors I heard about was Sarah J Maas. When I heard that one of her stories was a modern fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast – my favorite Disney story of all time – I just had to pick it up. And I am glad I did.
The story is set in a wondrous realm of faeries and mortals, and we are immediately thrown into Feyre’s world. She is a 19–year–old human literally fighting for survival in the cold, harsh lands which are her home, but when she kills a wolf, who is actually a Faerie, she must pay the price by leaving her family to enter the Fae lands and live there forever with her captor, Tamlin.
Now, you might think that the book would continue with the Disney tale, but it becomes so much more, packed with adventure and life. It becomes an intensely gripping novel, not only about love, but also survival.
As any fantasy reader knows, the number one key to writing a good fantasy book is world building. And the world-building in this series is incredible. Prythian is divided into seven faerie courts – Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Dawn, Day, and Night. A High Lord rules over each Court. Each court has its own culture, customs, celebrations, and rules. Each High Lord has his own powers and magic. This adds a great variation to the story and sets the series up for growth.
I literally sprinted through this book. As a first time reader of Maas, I have to say that her writing style, although slow to begin with, is amazing, beautiful and so delicate. After finishing the first book, I couldn’t stop thinking about it and I thought that this was one of the best stories I have ever read and that there really wasn’t much more that Maas could do to surprise me after all the plot twists in it. Boy, was I wrong.
The minute I picked up the second book it was like I was punched in the stomach and could hear Sarah laughing in the distance about how unprepared I was for it all. I’m not going to get into much detail about the sequels in this post but I can safely say that the second book is one of my favorites of all time and for sure the favorite in this series.
So, seriously, go read this book. And even if you find yourself frustrated at certain parts, keep reading. This book is primarily setting up the world, and then books two and three will wreck you.