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.
I have two book titles for you.
Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games.
Add a hint of Breaking Dawn and a sprinkle of the Oscar line „ After all, tomorrow is another day.“ and you don´t have to read `A Court of Thorns and Roses`by the #1 NYT bestseller, Sarah J. Maas, anymore.
Now, brace yourselves. This is going to be a long review with minor to major spoilers. Shall you prefer not to be spoiled then I highly advise you to leave and come back after you read the story yourself.
For weeks I´ve had to look at the rather unflattering book cover of `A Court of Thorns and Roses` on Instagram. Every Insta-blogger insisted on getting on my last nerve with this book. With what reason? Because, D´uh…. it´s an awesome book ( so everyone said).
Someone needs to define the word `awesome` to me again because ( and I quote the brilliant comedian Dylan Moran )
`Mountains and rivers and the fact that I´m still breathing is awesome.`
This story? Not so much.
I´ve avoided this book for a very long time and succeeded in ignoring the Instagram features as well until one fine day….
I decided to go book shopping. Mind you- it´s one of my favorite pastime activities, even if I never walk out with a book, I still love to find out what´s new, etc.
I saw this.
This had me thinking.
I read at least one hundred online reviews, all outstanding and love gushing towards the story. I was nearly blinded by the million insta-feeds for this book….NOW I was seeing tiny, short book recommendations for the one book I´ve been avoiding for so long.
I must have looked like a lost, helpless fool because a sales woman walked right up to me and asked if I needed any help. I thought „ why not“ and asked her if the book was really as good as the recommendation stated.
15 minutes later I was exhausted and caved. I bought the book. An hour later I was at home and opened the book.
I, involuntarily, choked on my own gum.
A map…. of Westeros? Oh, for crying out loud. Really?
Isn´t it funny how Prythian looks like Westeros. And Westeros looks like the UK.
But wait….this gets better. The UK lacks of something significant.
A wall. * faint * For anyone who has read or even heard of the great wall of Game of Thrones… it´s up north where there´s constant cold weather. The wall keeps the bad guys out.
Now look at this and tell me the author wasn´t “inspired” by this idea.
Someone was not in a creative mood that day, huh?
Can you imagine how my mood shifted from suspicious to curious and then dropped to being annoyed? I hadn´t even started reading the dang book and already, I wanted to wrap it up in nice paper and gift it to my neighbor.
But I didn´t. Instead, I read the damn thing from start to finish.
And while I read I had quite a few discussions on the side with people who hadn´t read the book but who had read Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games. Screenshots were sent back and forth, comparing the names of the characters from both books, scenes from the books, etc.
A name from A Court of Thorns and Roses: Hyburn
A name from Game of Thrones: Qyburn
That and the map and the wall. I had a feeling the Wildlings from GoT were the humans from ACOTAR. Both parties bothered by what was beyond the wall until both realized there´s a mutual enemy who had to be dealt with. ( I JUST SPOILED THE PLOT)
If I thought my annoyance couldn´t get any worse, I was wrong.
But the story of ACOTAR shifted. My hopes for a unique story reappeared.
A poverty-stricken family, suffering for the next meal was introduced. Two sisters and their father, huddled in a beaten cottage waiting for the youngest family member, Feyre, to come home from hunting so they wouldn´t have to starve to death.
Not bad, right? I thought it was a nice change to read about a poor family struggling to survive.
What wasn´t so nice was- The characters. Although poor, Feyre´s family were spoiled little shits, whining after their long lost wealth and not accepting their future.
The beginning felt cold. It felt clinical. Emotionless.
Meeh. It was weird.
But things changed for the family after Feyre killed and skinned a wolf during her hunt. It was the one event that changed everyone´s lives forever.
Normally, in Game of Thrones, killing someone / something would result in being beheaded but in this one…. Feyre wasn´t executed for killing the wolf / Faerie ( yes, Faeries could shapeshift. Who would have thought, right? I didn´t know Faeries could bite like vampires, either, yet it happens in this one.). Instead, Feyre was given a choice. To go and live with the Faerie in the faerie land beyond the invisible wall or die on the spot.
Tough and easy choice if you ask me. Of course, Feyre walked into a new future. A future with food and probably share a nice fluffy bed with an elf Faerie, to pay for her crime. Without much of a fight Feyre left her hungry family behind and walked into a better future.
Fast forward- Feyre falls for the Faerie who took her and lives for months with him as his guest.
( Insert Disney´s Beauty and the Beast song, Be Our Guest )
She learned to love the lands she once so hated and was sent back due to highly confidential faerie business.
What a buzz kill, right? Fall in love after planning so many escapes and hiding knives and being 80% of the time bitchy… only to be told she needs to go back home. The hateful efforts all for nothing. * snorts *
But wait- before Feyre was sent on her way, the Faerie Lord, Tamlin ( the Hero ) took it upon himself to give her a few last minute shags before he patted her bottom and waved a white laced hanky after the carriage.
( Note: that wasn´t how it exactly happened. The truth- He screwed her for the first time after he announced she had to leave and then immediately sent her back home to the human world. How romantic. Lol) Still a buzz kill, and we´re only halfway through the story. There´s more to come.
Being back home wasn´t as great as Feyre had planned it would be. She loved the
elf Faerie, High Fae, Lord of the Spring Court, Tamlin, and wanted to go back and help him face whatever threat was on it´s way to destroy her pretty Lord. Because it wasn´t enough to be the most powerful Fae in the lands of Fae. It wasn´t enough having the ability to turn into a wolfish beast with horns to slaughter the evil. It wasn´t enough to be more beautiful than Prince Charming himself. He was a lost cause when he was taken.
Now, this was the point where I got excited again. Feyre, the former huntress, was going to help her beloved Lord! Back at the faerie mansion she found it empty, shredded and ruined beyond words. Feyre was too late.
Fast forward again- After the old maid from the fluffy mansion gave the „stupid human“ the truth and directions to where Tamlin was being held as prisoner she sprinted off to a place hidden under a mountain where an evil woman ( who´s name WAS NOT TO BE OUTSPOKEN in the first half of the book) held all Fae lords and their folk captive.
This is where the Hunger Games come in. I swear to God…. when the hand was raised in tribute to the fallen I couldn´t help but laugh.
So, Game of Thrones, a spark of Harry P. Now Katniss Everdeen?
The big question is- Will
Katniss Feyre be able to save the one she loves and free the people of Prythian? There´s a book #2 and a book #3. You can figure it out for yourselves.
I mentioned Bella Swan above, remember? Yeah, everything became so „clear“ towards the end. * snorts *
The bottom line- The book would have been so much more enjoyable had the author used her own imagination instead of picking the good bits from other successful stories. I know writers can´t really reinvent the wheel ( to always come up with new things to write about) but a little creativity wouldn´t have hurt. There were quite a few fine written scenes I hadn´t recognized from other books that I actually enjoyed. The rest was just eye roll worthy.
The characters were 2 dimensional. Flat. They had less feeling than I have when it´s time for my monthly strawberry week. There was potential, though. I saw all sorts of great things happening for each character when I started reading. They just never progressed. How am I supposed to feel anxious about certain characters when they´re all emotionless? It´s impossible.
And if I ever read another „ she clicked her tongue…“ I´m gonna file a complaint. One that´s longer and more alive and colorful than this review.
Speaking of writing- The writing was… okay. Not what I would expect from a fantasy story. With ease I read through 416 pages of head-scratch-worthy info. Took me 2 solid days and another few hours to process the clutter I read.
Still- I haven´t completely given up hope. Rumor has it that book #2 is so much better. So much sexier ( so they say. Although I didn´t see much sexy schmexy in this one, so… fingers crossed). So full of everything fabulous. I´d like to be the judge of that myself. I want to see if Feyre will time travel through the stones of Craigh na Dun and meet a hot Highlander named Damie. The possibilities are endless.
Despite my full rant I´m gonna go ahead and recommend this book. Why? Because I can see why so many people would love the story. If you haven´t read the books I´ve mentioned above then you might be able to enjoy the emotionless adventure ( if a reader doesn´t care for such important nonsense.)
I will say that if you ARE a fan of Game of Thrones or The Hunger games….stay away from this read.
I can see the appeal. But I don´t like it. It´s not for me. There are books out there that are more gripping with less obviously copied bits.
Would I reread this book? Probably not. I´ve got Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games on my shelves already.
The Cover – 2 stars ( It´s not my cup of tea. I find it dull.)
The Story – 2 stars ( If the author had added more of her own voice instead of others then it might have been a 4 star read. There was a hint of romance but the rest was full of Feyre´s hateful thoughts. )
The Characters – 2 stars ( Emotionless. 2D. Although each had alot to offer… nothing came through. A pity, really. But if I had to pick characters I enjoyed most it would be Tamlin and Lucien. I didn´t care much for Tamlin and Feyre as a couple. )
My emotional state after finishing this read- Confused. Worried I won´t get to see a fanfic in the other installment.
I´m giving `A Court of Thorns and Roses` ( A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas 2 out of 5 stars.