A Court of Thorns and Roses
In A Court of Thorns and Roses, Sarah J. Maas has taken the traditional world of the Fae and altered it just enough to be reminiscent of what we are accustomed to. Yet she keeps the setting unique enough to make you feel as though you are in a completely different world. Separating the Fae from the humans is a massive wall - with the Mortal Lands below the wall, and Prythian (land of the Fae) above it. Considered to be a grave threat to mankind, the Fae are great and terrible beings to be avoided at all costs.
Determined to provide for her family and keep them away from the ever present threat of starvation, nineteen year old Feyre hunts in the woods behind her village. After killing a wolf with her bow and arrow, a great beast comes to Feyre's home and demands her life in payment for the life of the wolf. For the sake of her sisters, Feyre goes willingly, and is taken above the wall to the magical world that lies above - Prythian.
After arriving in Prythian, Feyre learns that her captor is not merely a beast - he is Tamlin, one of the High Fae rulers of Prythian. Taken aback by the realization that Feyre is now to live with this High Fae ruler, she begins to assess and explore her new...home. Along the way, she begins to learn more about Tamlin and his home land, and slowly becomes more comfortable with him, ultimately building that comfort into a fiery passion.
I threw myself into that fire, threw myself into it, into him, and let myself burn.
When Feyre learns of a terrible blight affecting the lands of Prythian (and potentially the Mortal Lands), she becomes determined to help Tamlin in any way possible. Walking up to face the blight Under the Mountain, Feyre quickly realizes that all of her previous hardships and difficulties in life were nothing compared to threat that lies before her now. Prepared to fight for the man she has come to love, Feyre accepts the fate she is given at the hands of the Fae.
Maas has created such a fantastical yet believable world in A Court of Thorns and Roses. Yes, there is magic and mystical creatures and monsters of our nightmares (making it seem unbelievable), but the way the land of Prythian is presented, Maas manages to make it feel as though it's just the next country over from us - not some make-believe land in a book. The creation of Feyre in this series is to be applauded, bringing to life a young woman whose personality is remarkable and heart-wrenching. There have been few characters that I have felt as though they were my very best friend, but Maas has created a best friend worthy character in Feyre. Her writing is so descriptive that it felt as though I were right there experiencing the frustration, confusion, fear, passion and triumph alongside Feyre.
The tragedy and emotional roller coaster we experience in this story feels so organic to me. Yes, it's obviously a fantasy and blah, blah, blah. But the way Maas has built up her characters and then intertwined their individual stories to tie into the over-arcing theme is pure genius. No character feels overdone and no story line feels contrived. The conclusion of Thorns and Roses will bring you to tears as you truly feel the crushing grief that Feyre experiences. And yet, you will be left begging to have the next book ready to go and continue the adventure.
Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.
Click the book covers below to read the reviews for the other books in the series!