Book Tour Review & Giveaway: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: fantasy, retellings
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Pages: 416
Published: expected May 5, 2015
Source: received from publishers for review
Rating: 5/5

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!

We all know Sarah J. Maas can write. The evidence is abundant if you've read her other series -- you may have heard of it -- a tiny thing called Throne of Glass? Watching her talent improve and evolve through that successive series of books has been a reward in and of itself but even more so when that growth is reflected in her newest authorial effort, the mix fantasy and fae and retelling that is A Court of Thorns and Roses. If Throne of Glass is good, and Crown of Midnight amazing and Heir of Fire perfection, then A Court of Roses is absolutely on par with Heir of Fire. It's brash and bold, dark and twisty, swoony and full of feels. It's the launchpoint of a new series and one of the best series openers I've had the pleasure to read. 

A Court of Thorns and Roses boasts a fantastic premise, tip top execution, masterful characterization and nearly flawless writing. It's moody and atmospheric from the start -- a feeling that only intensifies as the story progresses along with the main characters Feyre and Tamlin. The beginning eases the reader into a fantasyish world that soon emerges as a place of beauty, danger, and unpredictability. This world is entirely Maas's own and her stamp is aaallll over it, from the visual descriptions to the enveloping feel omnipresent throughout the novel.The worldbuilding is clever and well-rendered without verring into info-dump territory. Prythian and its various fae Courts come alive almost as much as the people who populate the island.

Feyre, the first person narrator for A Court of Thorns and Roses, is a far cry from Celaena or Aelin or Manon or any of Maas's other (and deservedly well-loved) female characters. She's prickly and stubborn, foolhardy and clever. Her mix of virtues and flaws easily coalesce into a living, breathing person. She feels -- and reads -- so real; she lives and breathes on the page. Her struggles, from the mundane to the supernatural, may be foreign but they help the reader connect and identify with her. Tamlin, her love interest and counterpart, is just as well-defined. His characterization humanizes him without losing the otherworldly edge that should be present for a High Lord of the Fae.

Apart Feyre and Tamlin are excellent characters;; together, they are even better. The both compliment and challenge one another. They -- and often Lucien -- provide great foils for one another as they try to reconcile their different ways. And the ship in this book -- prepare to board, y'all. This is one hell of a ship. Maas makes the reader work for it. The hints and subtle allusions build and build until you want to yell "JUST KISS!" at the two of them. It's one of the most well-developed romances in YA fiction. It reminded me somewhat of what Rosamund Hodge did with Cruel Beauty. Maas takes these two damaged characters and makes them work together as a unit so veyr well. If you don't ship well before halfway through the novel, I would be honestly surprised.

The side characters are also developed into more than background pieces. Even Feyre's two sisters, who appear somewhat one-note at first in A Court of Thorns and Roses, become much more than that first impression would have you assume. Lucien, Tamlin's friend and Emisssary, becomes far more than what is first assumed. The antagonist, though an off-page threat for a lot of the novel, has a lot of presence despite that fact. When [they] do appear on-page, it definitely lives up the hundreds of pages of foreboding that came before.

If you love fairy tales, retellings, fantasy, or swoony books, A Court of Thorns and Roses is your next favorite read. It's rich and atmospheric, engaging and horrifying and amazing. Feyre and Tamlin will imprint on your brain and make it impossible to forget them and desperate to find out what happens next for them. Sarah J. Maas has once again proved that she is a force to deal with -- from writing to plotting to execution, there's no beating her. A Court of Thorns and Roses is a magnificent introduction to this world an these characters and I cannot wait to see whats he does (and how she breaks my heart) going forward. 

A Court of Thorns and Roses Blog Tour Stops 

May 5: Perpetual Page Turner – Blog Tour Kick Off with Sarah!
May 5: Lili’s Reflections – Top Five Fairytale Retellings
May 6: Bookish Broads – Lightning Round
May 6: Dark Readers
May 7: Paper Riot – An Interview with Sarah
May 8: Polished Page-Turners – Would You Rather…

The Masquerade Ball!
May 11: Novel Sounds & Alexa Loves Books – The Soundtrack
May 12: Icey Books & That Artsy Reader Girl – The Decorations
May 13: Jenuine Cupcakes & Writer of Wrongs – The Food
May 14: What Sarah Read & Andi’s ABCs – The Clothing
May 15: Fiction Fare & Belle of the Literati – The Casting Call

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