Maas, Sarah J. A Court of Thorns and Roses. New York: Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2015. ISBN-13: 978-1-61963-444-2. Hardcover List Price: $18.99. Paperback List Price: $10.99.
I resisted reading this book for a while, due to my general lack of interest in overly hyped books, as well as because it was YA, so I had the incorrect assumption that it would be too simplistic. But after seeing a bunch of raves about it in OSRBC, also noting that it was more “new adult” than YA, I took the chance, and picked it up.
And I did not regret it. The world building is well done, and while I did not expect to enjoy the writing style, as Maas’ choice to write in the first person initially seemed to go against my belief that fantasies should all be told in third person (blame A Song of Ice and Fire and Lord of the Rings for giving me this expectation), but the first person works with the scope of the story, with many aspects of Prythian remaining unknown to Feyre until the end.
I was somewhat ambivalent about Feyre herself. I read a few reviews that talk about the dumb decisions she makes, but that didn’t bother me, with the small exception of the time when she sneaks out to investigate the Great Rite, despite being told not to, and we see one of the problematic moments that I had heard about prior to reading it, when Tamlin finds her while under the influence of the magic which amplifies his desire for her. I also found her general ignorance about things a bit off-putting. Maas did a good thing in trying to make the story her own, distancing it from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and taking inspiration primarily from the original tale in terms of family dynamics, but I had a hard time getting used to the fact that Feyre was illiterate, because Belle was such a book lover.