Review from Booktiger
The best way for me to describe my experience of this book was like being on a rollercoaster. I have never read any other of Sarah J. Maas’s books so I had no preconceptions and no expectations, so when I started it (on audiobook, which I listen to when I am out running), I really had no idea what I was in for.
The first part of the book saw me almost spitting with anger. I was so furious about how Feyre’s family treated her and so appalled that she continued to remain with them and feed them that it was all I could do to keep listening. When she was finally taken into Prythian, I then found that her prickly personality was producing a similar, visceral reaction for me. Even at the beginning I could tell that Tamlin was going to be drop-dead gorgeous in every way and although I understood the coldness in Feyre (you would be, with a family like that), I was impatient for her to pull herself together, look around her and smell those fae roses.
But not long after the first third of the book, my emotions were shot from annoyance and anger to that delicious elation one feels when a romance is forming. I don’t know what it is but there are very few women I know who wouldn’t love to be swept up by a stunning man while being coveted by another one (whose dark and dangerous appearance just adds to his appeal). Honestly, who wouldn’t want to be fought over by Tamlin and Rhysand? The pace of the book picked up and I found myself running an extra half-mile or mile just because I couldn’t bear not knowing what happened.
But the thing that sold me in the end was Feyre’s final show-down with Aramantha. It had everything – a strong heroine, fighting for her hero; the tantalising development of the love-triangle; on-the-edge-of-your-seat tension as you wondered how she was going to win (knowing all the while that, like any good fairy-tale, she would); and an amazing setting which you could virtually taste. Eventually, I finished a run and then pulled out my kindle to continue reading the book because I was dying to know the end and the narrator just wasn’t getting there quick enough! It has been a long time since I read something which left me dreaming afterwards of being that heroine and living that story but this book did that. Saying I loved it seems to barely scratch the surface. 5 absolutely enormous charms for me.
Review from Serenity
I’ll just start by saying that I loved this book. LOVED IT. So much that I read the entire thing in two days and basically neglected all of real life until I was finished. Not that any of you have ever done that, right?
Anyway on to my review, starting with the genre. This is definitely a fairy-tale retelling, but beyond that the Goodreads genre tags seem to be split between Young Adult (YA) and New Adult (NA). Using the formal definition, it’s NA as Fayre is 19, but also the romance is a little more than YAs (but not by much, still lighter than most Adult Romances) and there are darker parts that may be above what I would want someone under 15 or 16 (ish) to read. I only mention this in case there are other moms out there wondering if it would be appropriate for their teens. My daughter is particularly sensitive, even though she’s not yet a teen, so I just wanted to throw that out there since it is in the YA section of my library. Stepping off the Mom Soapbox now.
As far as the story and the writing itself, Thorns and Roses is written from the first person perspective of Fayre. I very much enjoyed seeing Fayre’s personality come out through the language she uses to describe the things around her. Fayre is a suppressed artist (due to the poverty of her family), but even suppressed she can’t stop the artistic way of seeing things. So many jewel tone adjectives and wonderful descriptions of the cold and barrenness of the wood in contrast. Very well done.
As it is in most books, though, the characters really make this story. I’ll keep my comments to Fayre in order to keep from spoiling things, but trust me that the characters are ALL good :).
Fayre. Maas, please tell me how in the world do you get fay-ruh? Must be Irish. I just stuck with “Fair” in my head ;P, fits better with the whole Beauty and the Beast thing. I like her for her strength, but I do think her trust of Tamlin came a little easily. “Oh, you promise to send my family exactly what they need? Sure, my guilt is instantly lessened!” Phbp :p. Even when she found out the Fae could lie, she didn’t begin to question his help for her family. She does prove to have a devotion and tenacity that I really admire, though.
Prior to reading A Court of Thorns and Roses, I had never read one of Sarah J. Maas’ books. This will something that I quickly change now that I have read this one. Five Charms!