In this A Court of Thorns and Roses book review I will be sharing my thoughts on the first book in the ACOTAR series by Sarah J Maas. As per usual I will be keeping spoilers to a minimum however there may be a few small spoilers.
“Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.”Sarah J Maas, A Court of Thorns and Roses
This was the first series I read by Sarah J Maas. I found it while browsing Adult Fantasy on the Libby app with my library. I will say it took me a little while to get into this book and when I was finished I don’t think I would have continued the series if it didn’t come so highly recommended.
To be honest, most series by Sarah J Maas play out this way. The first book is all world building and setting up a story that will really take off in the second and third books.
Since we don’t always get trigger warnings on books I like to give trigger warnings in my reviews. This can help people avoid certain triggers that could hurt their mental well being.
Possible Triggers in this book are:
- Animal Death
- Child Death
- Sexually Explicit Scenes (The Series)
- Extreme Poverty
For a list of the triggers I look for you can check out this link here. This may or may not be a complete list of triggers for this book, I do my best to make sure I mark anything that could be a potential trigger but I may accidentally miss triggers.
Synopsis and Author
In A Court of Thorns and Roses we follow Feyre (Fae-ruh) who’s been swept away to Prythian to live with the Fae due to some clause in a treaty between Fae and Humans made over 500 years ago. Fayre soon finds out about a blight that could spread and harm the mortal lands. She may be the only hope to stop this sickness.
Sarah J Maas makes us fall in love with the characters of Prythian and in stunning detail brings the world to life. While the beginning of the book can be a little slow, by the end you start feeling a wide range of emotions and the series just keeps getting better.
A Court of Thorns and Roses Reading Experience
I’m writing this review as I’m finishing my second read through of the ACOTAR series and let me tell you, I cried harder this time around than I did the first. I also noticed a lot more in the second read through than in the first. Sarah J. Maas is fantastic about providing twists and throwing the readers for a loop.
Prythian is our main location for the entire series. Prythian is split into several different courts and in this book we spend most of our time in the southernmost court – the Spring Court. Sarah J Maas brings this court and all the locations to life with amazing detail that isn’t long winded or causes you to skim.
Feyre is our main point of view in this book and the main character we follow. However, Sarah J Maas is fantastic about allowing us to feel what other characters feel even though we don’t get their point of view.
A Court of Thorns and Roses is a beauty and the beast retelling and while I typically don’t really do fairy tale retellings, this one worked really well. However, I think there was a bit of misdirection of which characters take after the standard beauty and the beast characters through the entire series.
The entire first half of this book is simply world building and character development and it doesn’t start moving quickly until about half way through. It’s absolutely worth it though because that character development is needed for the remainder of the series. As per usual Sarah J Maas gives us what is vital to know and builds a story that will stay with you for a long time.
A Court of Thorns and Roses is smaller than some of Sarah J Maas’s other books, coming in at about 450 pages and 46 chapters. However, as I previously stated the first half of the book is a lot of world building and character development so it’s about 200 pages of that instead of 400 if the book was her normal size.
The book was pretty easy to read, not a lot of fluff, and a good amount of description. However, I do feel like the second half of the book was a bit rushed. There were parts that I think could have been made more clear through the second half of the book and would have liked to have more dialogue or description during that part.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and story a lot. While after about 100 pages I was simply pushing through by the time we got into the second half I was hooked and couldn’t put the book down.
In my second read through though I did end up spending an entire day just reading it and a lot of scenes hit a lot harder than they did in my first read through. It is rare that a second read of a book is actually better than the first and this book was that way for me.
A Court Of Thorns and Roses Book Review
I am going to do my best to base this off of my first read through because I think it’s unfair for me to base this on my second read through when I already know what happens in the next books.
Lucien topped as one of my favorite characters in my first read through. He’s snarky and sarcastic and I love that about him.
Alis also made the list of favorite characters because she was very caring of Feyre throughout the entire book. Even though Feyre did not end up one of my favorite characters which was part of why I didn’t really want to continue reading the series but did due to reviews of it getting really good.
The Suriel was actually a character I liked right off the bat which is surprising for a character that is supposed to be not good. It’s also a character we didn’t get a lot of though I had hope to see him again in the future.
I did not like Nesta at all. She is spoiled and hateful.
Amarantha is a bitch. I do not like her at all which I’m pretty sure right off the bat no one likes her. She is an evil incarnate.
After my first read through there were three characters that were growing on me or I hoped would grow on me.
Feyre, there is so much about Feyre in this first book that had me screaming, “what are you doing you stupid girl!” Like, I wanted to like her but I could get past some of the stupid stuff she was doing in the book. By the end of the book though I really started to care about her and cheered her on so I hoped she continued to grow on me in the next book.
Tamlin, I really wanted to like Tamlin and I didn’t at first, then he started growing on me, then towards the end of the book I was really confused by his behavior.
Finally there is Rhysand. I did not like him at first, I felt he was evil and horrible. Then towards the end of the book he starts doing things and I’m all “Don’t trust him Feyre.” However, by the end of the book I feel like he’s a character that would grow on me.
The world was beautiful, the character development was pretty good, I liked the story even though there were a couple of things that had me groaning and rolling my eyes because Feyre was being really stupid at certain points in the book.
I loved how Feyre loved to paint though, that comes from my own love of painting. Sarah J Maas did a fantastic job writing about that hobby because I could actually see the paintings that she did.
Before I rate this book I want to give you a bit of background about what my rankings mean. I typically read books that I check out through the Libby app with my local library or through Kindle Unlimited.
I rarely buy ebooks unless they are cheaply priced or on sale. I also very rarely buy physical copies of books. I’m a bit of a minimalist so I have to absolutely adore a book to buy a physical copy that will be proudly displayed in my home.
So my ranking system is as follows:
- 5 Stars equals I am buying a physical copy of this book. I will read this book at least 10 more times, it is the best ever.
- 4 stars equals a great book. I might buy an ebook version when it’s on sale so that I can re-read it at least one more time.
- 3 stars equals a good book. I likely won’t read again but I appreciate the story.
- 2 stars equals “Meh.” I will not read this book again, it had a lot of problems and I did not care for it.
- 1 star equals a bad book. I barely finished this book and I will never recommend anyone waste valuable book reading time on this book.
- 0 stars is a did not finish book. I will never finish that book and it is banished.
A Court of Thorns and Roses first read through gets a 3, the second read through gets a 4. In my first read through I didn’t care for Feyre, the main character, I also didn’t really care for Tamlin either. So when two of your main characters are a bust why would I read the second book.
In the second read through though I already know the character development, I know the story, so I actually felt more raw emotion because I know what comes next and how it affects the characters. The second read through is better than the first but the whole series is absolutely worth the read and just gets better and better.
- The Beauty and the Beast retelling with a twist was fantastically done.
- The world and settings were absolutely beautiful.
- The main characters of the book annoyed me with some of their behavior.
- For being an Adult Fantasy book there were actions taken by characters that I felt were immature and didn’t fit with the style of the book. Now we are dealing with a character that was 18-19 years old so maybe she was supposed to be immature.
Final Thoughts on A Court of Thorns and Roses
I love this series. I will buy physical copies of this series. The first read through though was not great for this book in the series. I’m glad I pushed through and read the rest of the series though because it does just keep getting better and better.
If you feel similarly about A Court Of Thorns and Roses I do recommend you push through to the second book because it does get so much better.
Additional Reviews For This Series:
- A Court of Mist and Fury
- A Court of Wings and Ruin
- A Court of Frost and Starlight
- A Court of Silver Flames
Have you read A Court Of Thorns and Roses? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below. Follow me on Pinterest for more like this and pin this to your favorite book boards.