Book Reviews

A Court of Thorns and Roses

“What do you want?” I demanded.
“A moment of peace and quiet,” he snapped, rubbing his temples.

Book one in the Court of Thorns and Roses series is a staple to any fantasy bookworm’s shelf. From start to finish the series is groundbreaking and illustrative, with beautiful language for everyone to love. A Court of Thorns and Roses starts off with a thrilling Fae kidnapping. Fae are the characters that inhabit all of Maas’s books. They aren’t the traditional fairies that we’re used to reading about. These are complex, anti-hero creations of the author’s. The Fae culture and magical politics are multi-faceted as much as human politics are. Every time I read Maas’s books, I notice her groundbreaking plots that involve strong female characters. It’s rare in the fantasy genre to find well-written stories about female heroes. However, Maas writes about all women while disregarding any stereotypes. Her female characters have diverse sexual orientations, ethnic backgrounds and social statuses. It’s refreshing for a young adult fantasy series to have such depth in its character creation.

While A Court of Thorns and Roses is filled with adventure and romance, what is the most endearing are the strong friendships. The loyal friendships are familial in their intensity. Feyre, the main character of the novel, forms a strong friendship with Lucien, a member of the Fae high court. They grow to trust and admire each other. These two characters do argue and struggle to maintain their friendship, but no matter what they try to protect each other. This bond is made even more wonderful because Fae and humans usually don’t form friendships. So since Maas establishes that Feyre and Lucien’s friendship is unusual and difficult to maintain, it makes the reader love the friendship even more.

The critique I have for this book comes in the form of the villain Amarantha. She’s such an intriguing villain since we know her entire backstory. Yet for all the character backstory that Maas establishes, Amarantha is only featured in book one of the series. This is a personal pet peeve of mine as a reader. When a stunning and unique villain is introduced, I want them to stick around for as along as possible. No villain in the series will ever top Amarantha. 

Maas never fails to impress me with her gorgeous and flawless worldbuilding. There was never a confusing or uninteresting moment for me while reading. It was always clear what the main character was focusing on and what her goals were. The plot isn’t predictable, but it’s organized enough that the reader can follow along with the writing. This is an ideal read for fans of the fantasy genre at Susquehanna!