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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas Book Review

Updated: Jan 24, 2023

A Court of Thorns and Roses

by Sarah J. Maas

Published by Bloomsbury

Book 1 in A Court of Thorns and Roses Series

Feyre's survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill

– the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price ...

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre's presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.


Steamy #Fantasy Exciting

Violence #Romance


A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah Maas is the first book in her Court of Thorns and Roses series, and centers around Feyre, a nineteen year old young woman, who's impoverished family relies on her self-taught skills as a hunter to feed them in the cold, barren winter months. Animals being scarce, when she see's a deer, nothing will stand in her way of getting it. Not even a giant wolf. However, not everything is as it seems. Feyre didn't just kill a wolf. She killed a fairy, and due to the treaty between the human and fae, she has an option: go with Tamlin who holds the debt, and live with them for the rest of her life, or death. As time passes in the magic kingdom she is brought to, she goes from trying to find a way to escape, to befriending the fae, and eventually developing deeper feelings for Tamlin. But there is something going on in the fae lands ... something that is affecting those around her. If she doesn't figure out her feelings, and take stock of what is going on around her, she may lose Tamlin forever.

Well damn it. All I needed was another series to fall in love with. And look what happened. I went ahead and fell in love with it. A Court of Thorns and Roses was a clever and thrilling story, that ends in a way where the story could go anywhere. High fantasy can either be really good, or really bad, and Sarah Maas does good here. The characters are rich and varied, and the plot flows beautiful from beginning to end. My only wish is that we got more Tamlin and Feyre moments. The ones they have are mostly wonderful, but I was left wanting more. Just a little bit more to establish the connection between the two.

OH ... Who else knew the answer to Amarantha's riddle right away? I did, I did! :)

I really enjoyed Feyre. She had a large range of emotions and thoughts, making her a very dimensional, intriguing read. Strong, brave, and intelligent, she is a great female lead. She is the first character I have ever come across that doesn't know how to read and write, and I liked that. There are many people who do not know how to read, and very rarely are they mentioned in books, especially in a lead character. I'm sure she will learn, especially after the events in this book, but it's a unique part of her character. Tamlin is an endearing character, that in a way, kinda reminds me of The Beast in Beauty and the Beast. Strong, intelligent, a leader, with a sweet and contemplative side. The last part of the book Under the Mountain was the hardest part for me. I wish Tamlin did more to help Feyre.

Some other characters I need to mention, Lucien and Rhysand. Lucien's back and forth with Feyre got me laughing every time. I honestly feel like Lucien and Fayre, after all is said and done, will become very close allies. Now Rhysand ... I feel like we are going to get to know Rhysand very well in the next book. Perhaps a love triangle? I get that feeling... which I hate. Because I love Tamlin. Ugh. That being said ... I have a feeling that a specific moment at the end of the book, when Rhys is talking to Feyre, and his eyes get all wide before he disappears, is significant. Trying not to spoil, but I have a feeling that we need to expect the unexpected in this series.

A Court of Thorns and Roses was an amazing story that had me laughing, crying, and kept my heart beating just a little faster throughout. I can't wait to read the next installment in the series! Like seriously ... I'm about to go jump into the next one.

Where to Buy

Paperback (Amazon)

Paperback (Chapters/Indigo)

Father: "We need hope as much as we need bread and meat. We need hope, or else we cannot endure. So let her keep this hope, Feyre. Let her imagine a better life. A better world."

Feyre: "There is no such thing."

The beast: "Who killed the wolf?"

Feyre: "I did."

Father: "Feyre. You were always too good for here, Feyre. Too good for us, too good for everyone. If you ever escape, ever convince them that you've paid the debt, don't return. Don't ever come back. You go somewhere new - and you make a name for yourself."

Feyre: "I am sorry."

Alis: "At least you're willing to put up a fight, girl. I'll give you that."

Lucien: "Do you ever stop being so serious and dull?"

Feyre: "Do you ever stop being such a prick?"

Lucien grinned at me

Lucien: "Much better."

Tamlin: "You can't write, yet you learned to hunt, to survive. How?"

Feyre: "That's what happens when you're responsible for lives other than your own, isn't it? You do what you have to do."

I met his feral and glowing stare

Tamlin: "You aren't what I expected - for a human."

Lucien: "I think I'm starting to like you - for a murdering human."

Alis: "The next time that fool Lucien gives you advice on how to trap the Suriel, you come to me. Dead chickens, my sagging ass. All you needed to do was offer it a new robe, and it would have groveled at your feet."

Tamlin: "A human who can take down a faerie in a wolf's skin, who ensnared the Suriel and killed two naga on her own ..."

He choked on a laugh, and shook his head.

Tamlin: "They're fools. Fools for not seeing it."

He winced, but his eyes held no mischief.

Tamlin: "Here."

He extended the list of words.

I shoved it into my pocket.

Tamlin: "You gave up so much for them. Do you even know how to laugh?"

Feyre: "I don't want your pity."

Tamlin: "What about a friend?"

Feyre: "It will be all right."

I stroked his limp hair, its texture like liquid night - anther I would never be able to paint but would try to, perhaps forever.

Feyre: "It will be all right."

The faerie closed his eyes, and I tightened my grip on his hand.

Something wet touched my feet, and I didn't need to look down to see that his blood had pooled around me.

Faerie: "My wings."

Feyre: "You'll get them back."

The faerie struggled to open his eyes.

Faerie: "You swear?"

Feyre: "Yes."

Tamlin: "Feyre. Why? You dislike our kind on a good day. And after Andras ... So why?"

Feyre: "Because I wouldn't want to die alone. Because I'd want someone to hold my hand until the end, and awhile after that. That's something everyone deserves, human or faerie. I regret what I did to Andras. I regret that there was ... such hate in my heart. I wish I could undo it - and ... I'm sorry. So very sorry."

Tamlin: "Do you like it?"

Feyre: "Yes."

He chuckled

Tamlin: "That's it? 'Yes'?"

Feyre: "Would you like me to grovel with gratitude for bringing me here, High Lord?"

Tamlin: "Ah. The Suriel told you nothing important, did it?"

That smile of his sparked something bold in my chest.

Feyre: "He also said that you like being brushed, and if I'm a clever girl, I might train you with treats."

Tamlin tipped his head to the sky and roared with laughter. Despite myself, I let out a soft laugh.

Lucien: "I might die of surprise. You made a joke, Feyre."

Lucien: "Tam told me that your first shot was to save the Suriel's life. Not your own."

Feyre: "It seemed like the right thing to do."

Lucien: "I know far too many High Fae and lesser faeries who wouldn't have seen it that way - or bothered."

He reached for something at his side and tossed it to me. I had to fight to stay in the saddle as I fumbled for it - a jeweled hunting knife.

Lucien: "I heard you scream. And I hesitated. Not long, but I hesitated before I came running. Even though Tam got there in time, I still broke my word in those seconds I waited."

He jerked his chin at the knife.

Lucien: "It's yours. Don't bury it in my back, please."

He stepped closer, releasing one of my hands to tuck the rose I'd plucked behind my ear. I didn't know how it had gotten into his hand, or where the thorns had gone.

Feyre: "Why - why do any of this?"

He leaned closer, so close that I had to tip my head back to see him.

Tamlin: "Because your human joy fascinates me - the way you experience things, in your life span, so wildly and deeply and all at once, is ... entrancing. I'm drawn to it, even when I know I shouldn't be, even why I try not to be."

I was about to pass him when he grabbed me, so fast that I didn't see anything until he had me pinned against the wall. The cookie dropped from my hand as he grasped my wrists.

Tamlin: "I smelled you."

He breathed, his painted chest rising and falling so close to mine.

Tamlin: "I searched for you, and you weren't there."

He reeked of magic. When I looked into his eyes, remnants of power flickered there. No kindness, none of the wry humor and gentle reprimands. The Tamlin I knew was gone.

Feyre: "Let go."

His claws punched out, embedding in the wood above my hands. Still riding the magic , he was half-wild."

Tamlin: "You drove me mad. I searched for you, and you weren't there. When I didn't find you, it made me pick another."

I couldn't escape. I wasn't entirely sure that I wanted to.

Tamlin: "She asked me not to be gentle with her, either."

He brought his lips to my ear.

Tamlin: "I would have been gentle with you, though. I would have had you moaning my name throughout it all. And I would have taken a very, very long time, Feyre."

He said my name like a caress, and his hot breath tickled my ear. My back arched slightly.

He ripped his claws free from the wall, and my knees buckled as he let go.

Feyre: "Why should I want someone's leftovers?"

He grabbed my hands again and bit my neck.

Lucien: "You look ... refreshed."

I shrugged

Lucien: "Sleep well?"

Feyre: "Like a babe."

Lucien: "What is that bruise?

I pointed my fork to Tamlin

Feyre: "Ask him. He did it."

Lucien looked from Tamlin to me and then back again.

Lucien: "Why does Feyre have a bruise on her neck from you?"

Tamlin: "I bit her. We ran into each other in the hall after the Rite."

I straightened in my chair

Tamlin: "She seems to have a death wish. So, if Feyre can't be bothered to listen to orders, then I can't be held accountable for the consequences."

Feyre: "Accountable? You cornered me in the hall like a wolf with a rabbit!"

Lucien propped an arm on the table and covered his mouth with his hand, his russet eye bright.

Tamlin: "While I might not have been myself, Lucien and I both told you to stay in your room."

I couldn't help it. Didn't even try to fight the red-hot temper that razed my senses.

Feyre: "Faerie pig!"

Lucien howled, almost tipping back in his chair.

At the sight of Tamlin's growing smile, I left.

Tamlin: "That one. I want that one."

Feyre: "It's cold and melancholy. It doesn't suit this place at all."

Tamlin: "I want it nonetheless."

I'd never yearned for anything more than to remove his mask and see the face beneath, to find out whether it matched how I'd dreamed he looked.

Feyre: "Tell me there's some way to help you. With the masks, with whatever threat has taken so much of your power. Tell me - just tell me what I can do to help you."

Tamlin: "A human wishes to help a faerie?"

Feyre: "Don't tease me. Please - just ... tell me."

Tamlin: "There's nothing I want you to do, nothing you can do - or anyone. It's my burden to bear."

Feyre: "You don't have to -"

Tamlin: "I do. What I have to face, what I endure, Feyre ... you would not survive."

Feyre: "So I'm to live here forever, in ignorance of the true scope of what's happening? If you don't want me to understand what's going on ... would you rather ... rather I found someplace else to live? Where I'm not a distraction?"

Tamlin: "Didn't Calanmai teach you anything?"

Feyre: "Only that magic makes you into a brute."

He laughed, though not entirely with amusement. When I remained silent, he sighed.

Tamlin: "No, I don't want you to live somewhere else. I want you here, where I can look after you - where I can come home and know you're here, painting and safe."

I couldn't look away from him.

Tamlin: "I thought about sending you away at first. Part of me still thinks I should have found somewhere else for you to live. But maybe I was selfish. Even when you made it so clear that you were more interested in ignoring the Treaty or finding a way out of it, I couldn't bring myself to let you go - to find someplace in Prythian where you'd be comfortable enough to not attempt to flee."

Feyre: "Why?"

He picked up the small painting of the froze forest and examined it again.

Tamlin: "I've had many lovers. Females of noble birth, warriors, princesses ... But they never understood. What it was like, what it is like, for me to care for my people, my lands. What scars are still there, what the bad days feel like."

The wrathful jealousy faded away like morning dew as he smiled at my painting.

Tamlin: "This reminds me of it."

Feyre: "Of what?"

Tamlin: "That I'm not alone."

Tamlin: "You're exactly as I dreamed you'd be, too."

Feyre: "I'm surprised I'm even allowed to participate tonight."

Lucien: "Unfortunately for you and your neck, tonight's just a party."

Feyre: "Do you lie awake at night to come up with all your witty replies for the following day?"

Lucien winked at me, and Tamlin laughed and offered my his arm.

Lucien: "I wouldn't drink that if I were you."

Feyre: "Oh?"

Lucien: "Faerie wine at the solstice."

Feyre: "Hmm."

Lucien: "I'm serious. Remember the last time you ignored my warning?"

He poked me in the neck and I batted his hand away

Feyre: "I also remember you telling me how witchberries were harmless, and the next thing I knew, I was half-delirious, and falling all over myself."

Lucien: "Well, I mean it this time. Tam would gut me if he caught you drinking that."

Feyre: "Always looking after your best interests."

I pointedly chugged the contents of the glass.

It was like a million fireworks exploding inside me, filling my veins with starlight. I laughed aloud, and Lucien groaned.

Lucien: "Human fool."

Feyre: "I'm going to paint you."

Lucien: "Cauldron boil and fry me."

I had to tilt my head back to see his face. His mouth was caught somewhere between a smile and a wince.

Feyre: "What?"

Tamlin: "I'm thinking I might kiss you."

Feyre: "Then do it."

Feyre: "My father once told me that I should let my sisters imagine a better life - a better word. And I told him that there was no such thing. I never understood - because I couldn't ... couldn't believe that it was even possible. Until now."

Feyre: "How ... how long do I have to go away for?"

He didn't reply

Feyre: "A week? A month?"

He shook his head slowly.

Feyre: "A year?"

Tamlin: "I don't know."

Feyre: "But not forever, right?"

He brushed the hair from my face. I shook him off.

Feyre: "I suppose it'll be easier if I'm gone. Who wants someone around who's so covered in thorns?"

Tamlin: "Thorns?"

Feyre: "Thorny. Prickly. Sour. Contrary."

He leaned forward and kissed me lightly.

Tamlin: "Not forever."

Tamlin: "I love you. Thorns and all."

Lucien snorted at the sight of me.

Lucien: "Those clothes are enough to convince me I never want to enter the human realm."

Feyre: "I'm not sure the human realm would know what to do with you."

Feyre: "I came to claim the one I love."

Amarantha: "Oh?"

Feyre: "I've come to claim Tamlin, High Lord of the Spring Court."

Lucien: "The guards are about to change rotations and are headed this way. Try not to die, will you? I already have a long list of faeries to kill - I don't need to add more to it, if only for Tamlin's sake."

Faerie: "What's it doing?"

Rhysand: "She's building a trap."

Faerie: "But the Middengard -"

Rhysand: "Relies on its scent to see."

I gave a special glower for him as I glanced at the rim of the trench and found him smiling at me

Rhysand: "And Feyre just became invisible."

His violet eyes twinkled. I made an obscene gesture before I broke into a run, heading straight for the worm.

Rhysand: "No attempts at flattery?"

Feyre: "You have a high-enough opinion of yourself already. I doubt the flattery of a little human matters much to you."

He let out a low laugh

Rhysand: "I can't decide whether I should consider you admirable or very stupid for being so bold with a High Lord."

Feyre: "What do you want with me? Beyond taunting Tamlin."

Rhysand: "Taunting him is my greatest pleasure. And as for your question, why does any male need a reason to enjoy the presence of a female?"

Feyre: "You saved my life."

Rhysand: "And through your life, I saved Tamlin's."

Feyre: "Why?"

He winked, smoothing his blue-black hair.

Feyre: "That, Feyre, is the real question, isn't it?'

There was such a thing as Fate - because Fate had made sure I was there to eavesdrop when they'd spoken in private, because Fate had whispered to Tamlin that the cold, contrary girl he'd dragged to his home would be the one to break his spell, because Fate had kept me alive just to get to this point, just to see if I had been listening.

And there he was - my High Lord, my beloved, kneeling before me.

Feyre: "Why?"

Rhysand: "Because when the legends get written, I didn't want to be remembered for standing on the sidelines. I want my future offspring to know that I was there, and that I fought against her at the end, even if I couldn't do anything useful. Because I didn't want you to fight alone. Or die alone."


Check out the rest of the Court of Thorns and Roses series below!

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