Book review: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Feyre is hunting in the woods. She is the main reason her family has survived so long, she needs to find food or they wont survive. In the woods she sees a deer and with it a wolf. When she decides to kill it and sell the fur, she has made one of her biggest mistakes – taking a life, requires a life in return. And the collector of that debt will be coming for her soon.

A Court of Thorns and Roses was one of those novels that I had heard so much about, people loved it, it kept popping up on my Instagram feed and I had it recommended quite a few times. After finishing Empire of Storms I decided to give ACOTAR a go, but lord I really struggled. If it had not been by Sarah J. Maas and my determination to figure out why people adored this series, I would have given up ages ago.

It did start out good, the story line with Feyre and how her family ended up on the other side of the scale made the plot interesting. Someone going from rich, or at least a good position in society to barely surviving makes me interested. When Tamlin showed up at her doorstep claiming her life as payment for the one she took, I was really intrigued – but then…then it just went downhill.

The entire story was just too slow. From the moment she arrived to her new home with her handsome High lord it was like time stood still for me, nothing ever really happened. Another part I disliked and struggled with was how it seemed Feyre couldn’t figure things out on her own, most of the mysteries where explained to her in long monologues  that I just found annoying in the end. Tamlin, oh Tamlin, I just did not click with this guy – something felt off through the entire book and I just could not bring myself to actually liking the handsome High lord.

The way he behaves and keeps Feyre in the dark about things that she should know, for me became a real issue. He is the kind of man (or Fae) that simply thinks everything he does is better, and that Feyre cannot make a decision for herself. At least that was a good thing from Maas, as Tamlin provoked me beyond words on several occasion with his actions and I-know-best-attitude.

I wont lie, I did enjoy the first few chapters, I liked the plot and how this could continue to unfold. However, it quickly just became the slowest moving plot I have ever read, and I struggled. It was just too slow after the first few chapters, and it was to my surprise too predictable. It was obvious she would fall in love with Tamlin, that he loved her and somehow she was the key to the curse. I remember telling a friend of mine who loved the books, that this was a really bad version of Beauty and the Beast.

On the other hand I did find some parts of the book interesting, for instance I started to find myself more intrigued by the other characters rather than the main ones. I enjoyed the different courts and how they all had their own unique trademarks, representing their culture and their way of life. And of course, I cannot forget to mention the intense and raw descriptions of lust, that Maas is so good at writing, between Feyre and Tamlin.

As I had absolutely adored the Throne of Glass series I would not let this one just be one of those books I stopped reading. So I forced myself to continue, and even though the plot slowly becomes more intriguing, I still had issues with how everything was written. I must have read more or less like 70% of the book, when finally everything changed – and that is where I started to understand more of why people liked the book so much.

In the end, I did get through the book. The final chapters saved it from making me feel I had wasted my time on this book, and made me curious enough to give the second one, A Court of Mist and Fury a chance. However, the fact that it did take that long to feel that the story was going somewhere interesting, is also why I am giving it a low score.

Added after finishing all books: it does get better, have patience.

2.5/5

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