A Court of Thorns and Roses

At long last, I finally gave in and picked up Sarah J. Maas’ young adult series to try. It’s gained such a huge following and people I know and share book love with have sung its praises. So even though YA isn’t my thing, I gave A Court of Thorns and Roses a shot.

In the years following her family’s societal downfall, Feyre has become the family provider, despite being the youngest daughter. Having taught herself to hunt, Feyre has managed to just barely keep her father and two sisters alive, always dreaming of a life of enough. Fortune seems to smile on her when she bags not only a deer to feed them but also a giant wolf, whose pelt she can sell.

Everything gets turned upside down when Feyre finds out the wolf she killed was a faerie, and now she has to make an impossible choice: die, or live out her life as the captive of the creatures who once enslaved humanity. It is for Feyre to choose whether faeries and humans can learn to live in harmony– and both their worlds hang in balance.

This story is, primarily, a Stockholm-syndrome romance, where Feyre fights so hard at first to stay angry and aloof, but can’t manage to keep from falling for the perfect non-human specimen who has a dark secret. Tamlin, her captor, is portrayed as the typical beast, dark and brooding and mean because, why not be?

I tried to go into this story with an open mind, because I did rather want to like it. But it just fell into too many of the traps that turn me off from stories–resistance turned true love, a tough character trying to preserve herself while also ignoring her instincts, an abusive family that actually loves her, and needing to have a different adjective before every color mention.

Though I didn’t love the story, I can say that Maas is a good writer. She hints at mysteries and intrigue throughout the story, some of it resolved with the book, some of it stretching beyond into the rest of the series. And for that alone, I’m not able to say that I won’t keep reading. There are a few things I just really want to know. So, we’ll see whether they remain burning questions or whether they fade with the reading of other authors and books.

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