To be totally honest, I have never liked the story of Beauty and the Beast. Belle was never my favorite princess and the Beast never seem attractive to me. However, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas changed my opinion of the classic fairytale.
The story is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, where Feyre is Belle’s equivalent. Except she is not a content book-loving village girl who trades her life for her father’s. Feyre is a hardened peasant whose sole purpose is to provide for her starving family. One day she mistakenly breaks one of the ancient treaties between the mortal and faerie worlds. She is then taken away by a faerie named Tamlin as punishment for her crimes.
The book is captivating and humorous, as all Sarah J. Maas’s books are. I highly recommend this book (4.8/5 stars).
SPOILER ALERT!!! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!!
Ok, now that the basics are out of the way, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. I’ll be honest, I only picked up this book because a friend recommended it and because I love Sarah J. Maas. I expected a retelling of Beauty and the Beast to be boring and not something I would enjoy at all. Wow was I wrong!
I love this book! I think I read it faster than any other book I’ve read, I could not put it down! The plotline is so intricate and enticing, there was always something more I wanted to know. There were no slow or boring parts of the book! Everything seemed like a clue or a piece of a large puzzle (which is how Feyre was probably feeling).
As always Maas crafted characters perfectly. I never really liked Belle and her storyline, I thought she was a pretty flat character with little development. Feyre is nothing like that. She is stronger than all the other characters, even though she is physically the weakest. Feyre was the only one to stand up to Amarantha. None of the super powerful, magic-wielding faeries was brave enough to cross Amarantha, but Feyre just walked up to her and challenged her. Feyre also had a natural character development that went from truly hating Tamlin and all faeries to being willing to die for them. Nothing about Feyre is cheesy or generic.
Lucian was my second favorite character. His remarks at dinner and pokes at Feyre always had me laughing out loud. And even though he was a sort of comic relief character, he had more heart than any of the other faires. He was constantly helping Feyre and was willing to be tortured for her. He also was her first friend in Prythian and never faltered from being loyal to her and Tamlin. (And honestly, he is a pretty great wingman and bff).
Ok, now Tamlin I have very mixed feelings about. I liked him, I thought he was attractive and charming and his relationship with Feyre progressed in the perfect way. But I never felt a connection to him or his story. He was always very distant and maybe that was an artistical choice but there were only a few moments that I had strong reactions to Tamlin. I know he made his decisions to protect Feyre, but I was very frustrated with him after Feyre came back to him. I know it was to protect her, but his silence and distance to Fayre just didn’t seem right. He could have sent a message through Lucian or found another discrete way to contact her.
Even more shocking, I really liked Rhysand. Hear me out! I know he is kind of a self-centered douche who only does things that benefit himself, but he was Feyre’s greatest ally at court. From the moment they met all Rhysand had done was help Feyre. He may have seemed like he was just trying to piss off Tamlin, but really I think he was protecting Feyre for every second of it.
There are very few books that have twists or revelations that truly suprise me. This book had so many shocking secrets and twist that just made the world more interesting. I thought her take on the curse and Tamlin’s situation was an amazing mirror of the beauty and the beast storyline.
As I have said I love the storyline and progression of characters, however, I was a little disappointed with the ending. I thought it was a little too fairytale-esque. I truly believe Tamlin and Feyre deserved the ending they got, however, it seemed so dull compared to the rest of the book.
Sarah J. Maas is the queen of cliffhanger endings that make you feel a little pained that the book has ended. This one seems very much like a “happily ever after” story ending, which I do not believe the rest of the book matches up with. I do look forward to reading the rest of the series, but I thought the ending could have been more enticing or exciting considering the rest of the book.
As I said before, I love this book and would recommend it in a heartbeat! Even if you think retelling are uninteresting, still read this book. It will change your mind! Comment below with your favorite Sarah J. Maas book!
Until next time,