Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Published by: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication date: May 5, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling, Romance
Summary from Goodreads:
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.
As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.
This is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, which is my favorite Disney movie. Tamlin doesn’t feel like a real beast, though. He’s a shape-shifting Fae. Although Tamlin and his court are cursed with masks covering their faces, Feyre knows he’s a beautiful man, which feels a little un-beast-like. Feyre might hate him because he’s Fae, but could anyone avoid falling in love with a kindhearted, handsome MAN? Doubtful.
Feyre is a self-taught hunter and all-around regular Bear Grylls—you get the feeling she could survive anywhere. Awesome. Ah, but Feyre is not one-sided; she loves beautiful things too. She dreams of capturing beauty on paper, and studies Tamlin’s Fae paintings for pleasure.
Sarah J. Maas writes beautifully. She has a way of drawing you into a new world with interesting characters. Details about paintings and scenery could have become monotonous, but Maas kept my attention. I think Maas also writes great action sequences, I just wish there were more in this book! The book’s cover totally raised my expectations for an exciting, action-pact story. The majority of the 432 pages is relationship building between Feyre and Tamlin. We don’t even learn too much about Tamlin’s world because some details must be kept from Feyre (Though the second book in the series will probably be enlightening). One of the most exciting parts of the book is in the last 100 or so pages, which made for a great conclusion with twists, new relationships, and a set up for the next book in the series.
Would I let my teen read this book?
Maas is a popular YA author. Her Throne of Glass series, about a teenage assassin fighting for her freedom, won her many fans. However, I would not let my teen read this book. I think it’s more appropriate in the New Adult or Adult category.
Unsurprisingly, this was a sensual book. It’s represented that way in some of its descriptions, and books about Fae tend to lean in that direction. I was disappointed when the sex veered toward an adult paperback romance. This was a sort of sexual relationship I don’t think teens need to be reading. Because Tamlin is a beast underneath his skin, these characteristics come out in their intimate scenes, like biting, and his claws digging into her hips when they have sex…
There’s some violence, and the villain is a dark, evil woman. These things combined with the sexual content really confused me about the Young Adult categorization. Here’s some of the details below.
Age recommendation: 18
Language – mild
Drugs & Alcohol— Feyre gets drunk on fairy wine
Sex –Feyre imagines what it would feel like to kiss Tamlin, and what it would feel like to have him touch her in intimate ways, for example: his fingers brushing her breasts; There’s a sexual ritual that transfers Tamlin’s magic back to the earth (or something) – he’s in some sort of primal sexual haze when he finds Feyre afterwards, tells her he looked for her, but when he couldn’t find her he took another woman who asked him to not be gentle, he then bites Feyre’s neck in a sort of warning and marking of territory (YIKES!); There are 2 sex scenes with some graphic details.
Violence – The dark Fae are really bad. There are threats of skin being peeled off, rape, and other forms of torture and horrific death; One character finds a severed head on a stake in the garden; A young girl is tortured (unseen) and displayed after she dies as a warning by the villain; Feyre suffers great injuries at the hands of the villain, too.
My Goodreads rating: 2 1/2 out of 5 stars
Buy: A Court of Thorns and Roses on Amazon.com
I read a lot. I'm a Mom. I'm officially in my 30s, but strangers often don't believe I'm old enough to drink. I love Young Adult fiction, and thought it was worthwhile to help teens and adults find age-appropriate options.