A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Goodreads link: HERE
What's it about?
Life has been hard for nineteen-year-old Feyre (Fay-ruh) since her father lost his fortune, leaving their family with nothing. When her mother succumbed to illness, her dying request for Feyre was that she take care of her father and two sisters. This was a promise that she did not take lightly. No matter how bad things got, Feyre knew she had to be strong and provide for her family, even though she was the youngest. Her mother must have seen something in her, so she would never let her down. This meant that she had to teach herself to hunt so that they wouldn't starve to death. One day while searching for food in the woods, Feyre killed a wolf that she feared might actually be a faerie. In this world, faeries are dangerous creatures who only want to destroy humans, and crossing them would mean certain death. But desperate times call for drastic measures, and Feyre decides to profit from its death. What happened that day in the woods will forever change the course of her life and bring on her true destiny when a beast comes crashing through her door demanding justice for his slain companion. Feyre is torn from her home and held captive in a magical land where faeries dance and monsters lurk around every corner. Escape is too dangerous, so in order to keep herself and her family safe, she must accept her fate for the time being.
The more time she spends in this land, the more she learns about its beauty and its lethality, and the more time she spends with her captor, the beast she now knows and Tamlin, the more she begins to understand him. Among Tamlin's powers is shapeshifting. He can become a monster, but his true form is a man, one that Feyre can't help but grow quite fond of, even though she can't see his entire face because he, and everyone in his court, are cursed to have masquerade masks fused to their skin. There is a lot more to this curse than Feyre knows, for it not only threatens the land of the Fae, it could mean grave danger for her own world as well. Not only that, but it threatens the future of the love that has grown between her and Tamlin. Feyre has the courage and spirit of a warrior, and she's willing to die trying if it means saving Tamlin and stopping evil that is bringing on the destruction of the two worlds.
Yes, I know I'm late to the party on this one, but honestly, it's NEVER too late to read this fantastic book! A Court of Thorns and Roses is a brilliant and magical retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It has elements of the original tale, but it is its own story set in a fantasy world. Even though it can be found on the shelves of the YA section, there really isn't anything marking it as strictly a YA book. Yes, Feyre is nineteen, but Tamlin is an immortal Faerie who appears to be in his twenties, and the content of the book feels more like a fantasy/fairy tale. It is written with a mature teen audience in mind, yet there is an abundance of adventure, romance and magic to captivate audiences of all ages, and as a bonus, yes, some of the moments between Feyre and Tamlin are quite steamy. Oh, Tamlin, I do believe I have to add you to my ever-growing collection of book boyfriends. I do have to say that one thing I really liked about Feyre and Tamlin's romance was that they respected each other. She was essentially his captive, but he treated her as guest and never pushed her into anything. She respected herself and he genuinely cared about her. I stress this because I've read other Beauty and the Beast retellings that do not feature characters who show this mutual respect towards each other.
Sarah J Maas creates a gorgeous and irresistably enchanting world and there are charming and deadly characters on every page, but my favorite character is Feyre. She is a tough and capable girl who doesn't need saving. SHE is the badass taking control of her own destiny. She went to the world of the Fae to save her family, was her own person while there and eventually became a hero. I am a HUGE fan of Beauty and the Beast (Belle is my favorite character) and Feyre definitely raised the bar on her classic counterpart. In A Court of Thorns and Roses, Feyre is an artist and not a bookworm, which initially upset me, but in the end, reading was still important to the story since illiteracy became a major weakness.
If you like Beauty and the Beast, fairy tales or fantasy, I highly recommend picking up A Court of Thorns and Roses. If you're a fan of Sarah J Maas from her Throne of Glass series, definitely make sure you read it. She continues to be amazing as she creates another strong female character to cheer on. If you've already read this and are, like me, anxiously awaiting the sequel, A Court of Mist and Fury, let us drool over the cover and wish for May 3rd to come quickly: