May 30, 2015

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

A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

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 grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

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

Title:  A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series:  A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Length: 432 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication Date: May 5th, 2015 

“We need hope, or else we cannot endure.” 

ACOTAR is loosely based on the Beauty and the Beast, so don't be surprised if you find a lot of similarities between the two. It's supposed to be that way. It also gives a nod to some other fairy tales and myths - the story of Hades & Persephone for example -. It's set in a medieval world where Fae and Humans are mostly enemies. However after the great war, there's been an agreement, a truce so to speak. Each race have their own lands and realm, and trying to stay out of each other's way, most of the time. But like with every war, there's always some rebel who want to conquer the other, not giving a crap about anything and anyone and will even destroy their own people to achieve their goals. This is the underlining plot of ACOTAR. Our heroes trying to stop the most dangerous and evil enemy they've ever faced before it destroys everything they hold dear.

Like I said at the beginning, it's kind of a retelling of B&B/original fantasy, meaning the main plot is obviously a romance similar to that. Only this time it's a Human and a Fae. While Tamlin, our Fae Romeo is able to shift into any animal, and meets Feyre the first time in a beast like form, Sarah actually switched the roles, and in ACOTAR our handsome "beast" lord is the one who's trying to melt his stubborn, wild human's heart. And I'm so freaking glad Sarah decided to make this a New Adult, instead of a YA, because we certainly got some sexy time.

Feyre is a serious badass even if she's not kicking every disgusting thing's in the balls, she still manages to survive - granted, she gets a lot of help most of the time she's about to be erased from existence-, she's holding her own pretty good. She's a strong, loyal, fierce and gutsy character. Definitely the perfect character for this story. A bit reckless, though but she has her own wits (still I can't forget the riddle, c'mon it was super easy!!). The things she goes through make her a true Heroine and not a damsel in distress.

Tamlin is an unquestionably dreamy hero. Rarely a jerk, mostly sweet, polite and charming. He is a tortured hero, though, so he has some deep scars and secrets. I wouldn't say he's truly unique character, but he's definitely came from the box of good kind of heroes. Well, at least the kind that I like.

Their romance is slow but lovely, passionate and tragic. They have to go through some serious shit and it's just gets worse by the big showdown at the end. Their love, their loyalty is restlessly tested, especially Feyre's. But against all odds, they work perfectly as a couple, which isn't really a wonder with two fantastic characters like them. This is actually a big relief since Sarah built the whole story on this, so it would have been a serious disappointment if I didn't like the romance (*cough* Cealena & Chaol *cough*).

While ACOTAR is really favors the romance lovers, it certainly not lacking in action, fantasy elements and adventure. I hope you have a strong stomach because it has some amazingly disgusting scenes too.

There is a good amount of side characters, it's really a wonder (and good writing) that I remember them all, actually. They all serve the plot, so they're kinda memorable for various reasons. Of course I have my own dead pool/hit list with some of them on it. You know, the usual jerks and evil as fuck characters. However, besides Feyre and Tamlin, there is still a few character I fell in love with. The two most memorable are Lucien And Rhysand. Lucien is Tam's best friend and right hand. Now, I have yet to find a character named Lucien who I don't like (challenge accepted!), but this one truly earned all the manifestation of my fanaticism. Lucien is hilariously playful, sarcastic, loyal beyond loyal and he too had a rough past. He was my source of humor most of the time.

So when I thought that's it, surely no one can top Lucien AND Tamlin, this mysterious, dark, extremely dangerous and powerful douchebag, but still sinfully HOT Fae, a.k.a Rhysand steps into the the story and I was lost and hopeless. Surely, you can see why. Probably a lot of you won't like him, but even Sarah has a big love for him. Because he's not white or black, he's more like a grey character. A bad good-guy. He's very complex and has his own agenda, but is a key character in the story. He also provide a fair amount of humor, so in one word: PERFECTION! (Told you I'm hopeless.) Can't wait to get to know more about him and his court (Night) in Book #2. I'm secretly shipping him and Feyre, even though I love Feyre and Tamlin together, but both pairing has an insane amount of chemistry, I don't know what I'm going to do if this is going to turn out to be a love triangle.

The villain of the book reminded me of Artemisia from 300: Rise of an Empire. They're both sadistic, bloodthirsty cruel bitches. The difference is that Artemisia is more badass in fight. ACOTAR's evil was a bit let down for me at the end. But she was still a great enemy, all in all.

 The ending - even though the book's story is sort of wrapped up - is a cliffhanger, of course which already spawned a few fan theories and I'm afraid I might die before we finally learn what the hell is it about that famous scene at the end. It's obvious the series's story is far from over, and even the romance will take some turns in the upcoming books, I guess.

Favorite character(s): Rhysand, Lucien, Tamlin, Feyre
Favorite scene(s): The challenges at the end. Really exciting stuff.

Overall: While ACOTAR is a superb start of a new series, and would still be outstanding as a stand-alone novel, it's fair to say that we only saw the tip of the iceberg. Leaving me madly excited and impatient for the next book. TEAM RHYS!

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