Reading Level: Adult
Length: 432 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in A Court of Thorns and Roses series
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 4/5 stars
“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 fantasyknows 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.”
I enjoyed this well done fantasy novel but not quite as much as Maas’s Glass Throne series. This series isn’t really YA, it’s more new adult or just plain adult…mostly because of the somewhat explicit sex scenes and torture throughout.
I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was well done. The narrator does a great job distinguishing between character voices and conveying emotion. My only complaint is that sometimes Feyre sounds a bit too whiny and dramatic at times and I had trouble telling whether that was the narration or the writing.
This story is a blending of Beauty and the Beast and TamLin fairy tales. The beginning of the book reminds me a lot of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast; there are just a lot of scenes in the book that seem to pull from that movie. However, this is not a Disney story…it is much darker than that with a lot of death, torture, and cruelty throughout.
I really enjoyed some of the male characters in the book. Tamlin, Lucien, and Rhysand are wonderful characters. You don’t meet them until quite a bit into the story but they have a lot of depth to them and interesting backgrounds. Tamlin is the main male lead and, although you see a lot of him in the beginning of the book, he kind of fades to the background as the story continues. My favorite character of the book was Rhysand; he is so cruel and kind and smart and conniving. He’s just such a contradiction of things and I want to get to know and understand him better.
My main complaint with this book is the heroine, Feyre. At the beginning of the story I admired her strength in providing for her family and her courage. However, as the story continued she was just so stupid about everything. She was stupid about Tamlin’s curse, she was stupid about the deals she made with the fey queen, she was stupid about the riddle she was supposed to solve, and she was stupid about how she treated Rhysand.
I understand that not every heroine can be smart…but come on…does she have to be as dumb as rocks about everything? I seriously wanted to throttle Feyre at many points in the story. Rather than being upset at her situation I was constantly thinking…you dumb girl if only you had used that brain of yours a teeny bit you wouldn’t be in this awful situation. She is dumb and by the end of the book I despised her. I think she is completely unworthy of the surrounding characters and wish she had died. Okay…yeah…so I felt kind of strongly about that and that is the only reason this isn’t a 5 star book in my opinion…..deep calming breath….
The plot is fairly straightforward and predictable but I still enjoyed it. It’s full of adventure and magic and romance. The story is a bit more romancy than I expected; I didn’t realize this was an adult fantasy romance when I picked this book up. There are some fairly explicit sex scenes in here but despite the surrounding violence the sex scenes are never violent. It’s actually a bit odd how easily Feyre escapes any sexual violence given the violence around her.
The story wraps up nicely with a larger overall plot thread that will be carried into the next book. You could definitely stop with this book and feel fairly satisfied with the story.
Overall this was a well done fantasy fairy tale retelling. I enjoyed the story (although it was fairly predictable) and most of the characters. I was incredibly put off by how stupid and dense our main heroine, Feyre, was…that bothered me a lot. Despite Feyre I will most likely read the next book in this series and hope beyond hope that she gets an IQ boost. I would recommend to new adult/adult readers who enjoy fantasy romance with fairy tale elements.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge
– Mount TBR Reading Challenge
– Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge
– Audiobook Reading Challenge