Tuesday, 28 April 2015

A Court Of Thorns And Roses

A Court Of Thorns And Roses
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!

The world was once ruled by Fae, but after a great war between the Fae and the humans, there was a treaty agreed upon by both sides. Ever since the humans have lived on one side of the wall, hating the Fae, and the Fae have lived on the other hating the humans, but 100 years ago a blight settled upon the lands of the Fae....

Feyre is 19 years old, the sole provider for her family ever since they fill from grace to live in a cottage, she does everything her father can't for them to survive. It's when she's out hunting that she stumbles across a wolf, one who's skin would give them enough money to survive a little longer, so she does what any hunter does....she kills it....and it lets her.

That's when everything goes wrong in her life. Not long after a beast shows up, demanding retribution, she has two options according to the treaty....die or go and live across the wall with him, a life for a life. Feyre chooses to be dragged across in to the magical lands she's heard stories about, not good stories either, for her entire life. Except it turns out that the beast is actually Tamlin, and the beast is just a form he can take...he's actually a High Fae, and his emissary Lucien...well he's a pain in the ass.

Turns out everything she thought she knew was wrong. Fae can't lie? Hell no, they lie all the time. Iron can harm them? Aaaactuuuaaalllyy....no. They'd probably just laugh if you tried to use it against them. The only thing that works is Ash Wood, and we all know there's none of that on Tamlins estate. So she's stuck there. For now.

As she lives on his estate, Feyre starts to fall for the Fae with the clumsy attempts at flattery, who is nonetheless quite charming. She even manages to stomach Lucien, as they snap at each other. Just as she starts to call the estate home.....the blight comes back for round two. But what is the blight? Who is this she, the others are all fearful of? There is far more going on than Feyre is aware of, an ancient evil....a curse.....will she be able to figure it out, and survive, long enough to save Tamlin and his people?

Dammit I knew I was going to love this before I even started reading because I love Throne Of Glass, and I was so excited to start reading this I couldn't wait any longer and so read it now (February). I loved it. I can't even right now, with how to properly explain it. It was too awesome. I mean, it had a map at the beginning how could it not be awesome?!

So I felt like this take on the Fae was original, I loved the different courts, usually there's only been two in other Fae books I've read, but I loved all the different ones, the different looks, and the politics of the Fae world in this book. ACOTAR has a rich history to it's world, and you get to discover a lot of it, but still want to know more about the world and the war that happened, the history of the Fae is so rich and so intriguing!

 I'm curious about this King, and there was one point when I thought "Wait maybe this is actually a standalone" because towards the end of the book things where wrapping up quite nicely, but there's been a couple of threads of the plot, subtly left open for the second book involving a certain Night High Lord and a King and disappearing human.......what is the word I'm looking for.....uuh....appendages? Belonging to a certain b word that rhymes with witch.

ACOTAR much like Throne Of Glass throws you in to a unique and rich world, painted vividly for you to get utterly lost in when reading, I was fully engrossed and this is the first time I managed to read a book in one sitting in months. Months I tell you! As soon as I started reading, I fell in to the pages, and was following Feyre through her world, watching everything unfold, the atmosphere was a tangible thing, and the vivid and beautiful descriptions, not to mention previously mentioned rich and intriguing history to the world, helped to suck you in to the story, not to mention keep you engaged.

Don't worry, all of said rich history/background/politics, is slotted in to the narrative smoothly at the correct moment to give you maximum knowledge to keep up with the story and what's going down, without having to read pages of it all in one go. The book was complex and intricate with it's plot but never confusing, everything was laid out so you understood what was going on in the world of the book when you joined it, and you could understand why things where happening, or atleast the things you know about! There's the odd bit of intrigue, subtly hinted at, that keeps you guessing.

The plot was fast paced, there was a lot going on the book, and you go on a real journey in terms of character development on Feyre's part as well as with the story, if that makes sense. I loved seeing the two contrasting parts of the world, then seeing that third part, and the world is clearly extensive, and i'm intrigued to see more of it and more of the other courts.

There was always something going on, the book was hard to put down because it's one of those where you say to yourself, one more chapter, and then it's like 4am and you have no idea what happened or where the time went because it was actually daylight when you started reading and you realise you've nearly eaten an inedible type of thing because you can't even raise your eyes from the book to eat. (You don't want to know)

There's so much to the story and the plot, like I said it's intricate, getting all the details of the world in to build it, adding in the background and history to the world, the politics of the Fae, the characters and their own backgrounds, the action, the intrigue, the curse. The book is almost in two parts, we have Feyre getting to know Tamlin and trying to figure out what's going on and falling in love, and then we have the second part where she tries to get the freedom of everyone. One is no less action packed than the other, I can assure you. The book has it's own plot, and own goal, that is subtly setting up an overarching plot for the rest of the series, like for example, the King who is mentioned a few times, but you know is going to be a bigger player overall. I love when books set up the series without sacrificing the plot of the first book.

I'm rambling, I know, but this book is full of awesome, so we've done world building and plot, lets get cracking on the characters!

Feyre, I loved her, I love how Maas's characters are always badass and are in no means females in distress. Feyre bucked up and did what was necessary for her family to survive, and carried on doing it even though they treated her like dirt. We saw her go on a real journey as she goes from hating Fae, to falling in love with one. She's strong, she's determined and she's brave, she can stand up for herself and she can give as good as she gets. I seriously loved her, and I loved how she didn't lose her edge even when she was in love. I'm excited to see more of her. She's one of those characters you instantly connect with, and feel for, and you're totally on their side throughout the book.

Tamlin was interesting, and he really reminded me, more than once, of the Beast from Beauty and the Beast with his compliments in the beginning and Lucien prodding him along! Serious Beauty and the Beast vibes! I enjoyed him as a character, as you saw him change too, he was so gruff in the beginning but gradually over the book you see him soften a bit and you see more of the real him, and I'm so interested in his background and knowing more about him and his past!

I feel Lucien deserves a mention, because while I wanted to smack him one a couple of times, I did actually like him and he made me chuckle, and when you find out his story and at the end of the book when he helps Feyre, you can't help but love him a little for risking so much to help his BFF's girl out. I dare say he's a bit of a softy deep down, I think he should go up against Nesta, not gonna lie. I'd really love to see more of Lucien and the dynamics between him and his family!

I'm gonna mention two more characters I liked, which might not be a popular opinion either! I liked Rhys, he was dodgy and really shady (har de har har, geddit, shady) but at the same time, he did become kind of a guardian for Feyre and he helped her, and I'm curious to see what his game is with the whole deal they made, I really want to know what he's up to and it's driving me mad that I don't! Especially his reaction at the end! I want to get to know him more  because there's clearly more going on. Despite thinking she was a witch, I did actually end up quite liking Nesta, the sister who appeared to hate Feyre, yet hired a mercenary to take her to the wall to try and get her back. I was near on cheering when she and Feyre had their little moments and I'm desperate to see the pair reunited!

Each of the characters, main or secondary, where incredibly well written. They had depth, they all had a personality different from the other characters, and they all added intrigue to the story. The characters where a colourful bunch, and there where so many as there where so many Fae and different types! The characters where another aspect that kept you glued to the book, and helped draw you in to the world, as they came alive in your minds eye.

The romance, the important part to a few people, was subtle. It didn't take away from the story and the action going on and the mystery of what was going on, when it started it was subtle, and it built up naturally and I could appreciate it going the natural route, because I detest insta love! While it was subtle, it didn't stop me "Aw"ing and it's the squirmy, mushy insides kind of romance that we all love reading. Then ya know....the whole evil cow thing happens, and it's full of feels and pain, but then it's awww again and it's all good. So yes, the romance is enjoyable and believable you could say!

I'm as yet unsure if Rhys is going to be a problem or not, and I can't decide how i'd feel about it if he was to, say, create a triangle, or something. I don't know enough about him and what his goal is, but as of this book, there's no triangle or anything, but even if, in the next book or something, there was a triangle with Rhys, we all know it's going to be well written either way, Throne Of Glass is proof enough!

A Court Of Thorns And Roses is the beginning of what's set to be yet another utterly fantastic, mesmerising, spellbinding, enchanting, heart racing, emotional, badass, original, incredible series from Maas. This a fantastic first instalment, laying the groundwork and subtly setting up the series, without taking away from the story the first book is telling, and drawing you in to the world, and making you love the characters.

A Court Of Thorns And Roses is another original and unique offering from Maas, throwing you in to a world glimmering with magic, but with a hint of darkness as well, and another incredible romance. ACOTAR has some Beauty and the Beast vibes, and is going to be a must for Game of Thrones fans, (not just because of the Wall okay guys?!), and has an extensive world you're itching to learn more about, and see more of. I can't even begin to put in to words how I feel about this book, I have tried and I have rambled, but all I can say is just read it and I promise you won't be disappointed, especially if you're a Throne Of Glass fan!

I'm so excited to see where this series go, this book kept me on my toes and I never knew what was going to happen next, I just had to sit back and enjoy the ride, so I'm having trouble predicting what's going to happen in the next book, which is why I need it now! I want to get back to the world and the characters already, even after 400 pages I wasn't ready to leave them, and I'm sure the wait for the next book is going to be agonising. I'm fairly certain there is no book Maas will write that I will not be utterly obsessed with. (FYI this book is just as cinematic as Throne Of Glass should someone feel the urge to....I don't know.....make a movie of it)

So yes....well done Sarah, I am a hopeless fangirl of yours, and my book hangover is just....worse than any actual hangover I've ever had, and that's saying a lot, your storytelling and world building always draws me in, and I can't wait for the next book in this series, and in the Throne Of Glass series AND any other books you have up your sleeve! 100% obsessed.

(EDIT: It would appear i'm the only idiot that didn't know this was actually a fairytale retelling, so yeah....like I said...I got the vibes loud and clear, but it had it's own unique twist....obviously!) 

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