“Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.”
YOU GUYS, I DID IT. I finally read A Court of Thorns and Roses. I deserve a ball in my honor, or maybe a really attractive High Lord with dark hair and stunning eyes. Honestly, most people in this community have read this book and I’m really not going to be able to do a spoiler-free review of this. So I’m keeping this discussion spoiler-filled. My apologies to anyone who hasn’t read the book, though I’ll tell you this: I do recommend it. It’s a gorgeous reimagining of Beauty and the Beast and generally just a fun and exciting read. That said, let’s dive into the spoilers and discussion.
Let’s start with the setting. The atmosphere of the Spring Court (and the world in general) is so well-written, and part of the reason I enjoyed this book so much is because that setting devoured me whole. Maas does an amazing job at keeping the background reminiscent of fairytales. There are also a ton of subtle references to Beauty and the Beast scattered throughout this, and I appreciated each and every one of them.
As with any Sarah J. Maas book, the characters are what truly made this worth reading. Feyre was infuriating at times, but she was a relatable protagonist. Lucien is a sweet cinnamon roll who needs to be protected at all costs, and then there’s Rhysand. Oh boy. I’m already in love with Rhysand, and I’m not even sure I’m supposed to love him yet. The only character I found underwhelming was Amarantha. I do hope the next book’s villain is a shade more interesting by comparison.
Most of the reviews I’ve seen complain about the slow pace of this book, but I didn’t feel that it was dull or dragging at all. I devoured the entire thing in two sittings. But while I found myself flipping the pages, I will admit that the pace objectively feels disproportionate. I wouldn’t say that the beginning is slow, but I think the beginning lasts much longer than the climax at the end – which honestly, probably could have been a book by itself. The trials did feel rushed in comparison to the entire first half of the book. It didn’t really bother me while reading, but I think the uneven pacing may be why so many people complain about this.
Speaking of the trials (and Amarantha being an underwhelming antagonist), I do have some gripe with that part of the plot. Beating Amarantha felt a bit too easy for Feyre. I mean, the faeries made her daily chores more difficult to accomplish than her trials. And that riddle was so easy, even I guessed it correctly. That’s when you know it’s bad. I just don’t think Amarantha would go so easy on Feyre, especially if she’s as wicked and clever as she’s described to be. I did appreciate the final trial, and I’m excited to see the repercussions of that in the next book. But otherwise, I feel like things went Feyre’s way too often.
And finally, we come to the relationships and sexual content of this book. And honestly, these are a mess (as are my feelings on them). The only word I can use to describe all of Feyre’s dalliances is problematic. It’s all that comes to mind. There are a lot of blurred lines in regards to the men’s sexual advances and whether or not Feyre actually consents to them. The male characters are also incredibly possessive, and I think we’re supposed to find that charming – which is some BS.
I gave A Court of Thorns and Roses a 4 out of 5 star rating on Goodreads. True to most Sarah J. Maas books, I found a lot to be problematic. But also true to her books, I found it to be more addictive than cocaine. I really enjoyed this. If you can look past problematic components of a plot and read solely for enjoyment, you’ll probably like this too.
What are your thoughts on A Court of Thorns and Roses? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!