Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Mass

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Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Mass
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Page Count: 419
Rating: Worth reading, but don’t get your hopes up

Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

A Great Start

The beginning of the book is a miserable clump of depression, acceptance, and the never ending feeling of morose…and it is brilliant.

One of my favourite storytelling devices is when a character is on their last legs, literally struggling to survive, and they claw themselves out of the dirt.

Feyre, the protagonist, took on the responsibility of keeping her family alive. The story is told from her perspective, and it gives us a lot of raw anger and emotion that is refreshing to read.

It’s not often I read books where the protagonist is so hateful towards ones they love, so I have to commend Mass for creating a character with such emotional range.

I saw parts of myself in Feyre, and I think that’s a sign that an author has done a great job of creating a complex character.

I knew within the first chapter that A Court of Thorns and Roses was going to be a book about complexity and mystery.


A Drawn out Middle

There’s a lot to say about the middle of the book. I did enjoy the subtle world building that Mass gave us. Through Feyre’s actions, we got to explore the Fairie lands and understand their interactions with the human realm.

The world seems complex and much deeper than what we get to see in this book, which bodes well for future stories. With the possibilities that could arise, A Court of Thorns and Roses does a great job of expanding the world and setting up future tales.

The main romantic pairing was barely tolerable. This is probably because of the cookie cutter emotionless main male character.

I don’t understand the romance in novels that I have read. None of it feels real. It’s all so forced and sudden. Maybe I am doing real life romance wrong, and I need to treat women like they don’t deserve to know my emotions?

Feyre has emotional insecurity and depth, which we get to see, but the love interest was bland, emotionless, and really only contributed to the story when his cookie cutter best friend (full of sarcastic one liners and flirty looks) was around to add to his character.


A Conflicting End

I don’t know how to think about the ending of A Court of Thorns and Roses. On one hand, it was exciting and fast-paced, leading to a great end to the story. On the other hand, it felt out of place and completely different than the rest of the story.

There was no precedent for how the story ended, and it seemed unbelievable for where the story was going before that, but at the end of the day, it was enjoyable to read, and added to future stories.

There is one moment right at the end, which I can’t reveal because of spoilers, that I don’t know how I feel about. At the time of reading it, it was an interesting moment that provided a heartwarming moment and I liked it. But, it does offer a particularly questionable message to readers. It doesn’t send the best message out to readers.


Final Thoughts

Overall, I found it to be quite a quick read. It had highs and lows like any book does, but in the end it was a fun read. I’ve heard the next few books are better than the first, so I will be sticking with the series.

If you’re interested in reading a romance/fantasy book, I would definitely recommend it.

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