Reviewsday: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

This is not your average fairy tale. Sure, it has handsome faery princes (kind of), a wicked witch (sort of) and an ancient curse that has ridiculous conditions that need to be met to break it, but Feyre doesn’t know any of this yet. All she knows is that if she doesn’t hunt, her family will not survive the winter, so when she stumbles upon a wolf in the forest, she dismisses the remote possibility that it could be a faery and takes the creature’s life.

9781408857861But of course, her prey was fae and had friends in high places… the sort of friends that barrel through cottage doors in the middle of the night. Feyre is given a choice: stay with her family and die or abandon her family but live with the mysterious beast in his castle. It doesn’t take much for her to see the sensible option; if she’s still alive, surely she’ll be able to escape and re-join her family?
It’s no use. Tamlin, her captor, can see right through her and watches her like a hawk throughout their harrowing journey to his castle. Tension and unease hang heavy in the atmosphere as she adjusts to her new home and Feyre begins to get the sense that some bigger game is afoot; strange creatures are lurking in the forest, threatening guests come calling and Tamlin is not who he seems to be. Despite initially being cold and distant, he seems to be warming up to her. At least she thought so until he sends her packing and she learns of the great axe looming over his head, the curse she was supposed to break… and that’s where all the macabre fun and games start.

A Court of Thorns and Roses is a dazzling, dramatic, heartbreaking exploration of the lengths we go to protect the people we love, with an exquisitely imaginative fantasy wrapper. Feyre is such a powerful character that it’s impossible not to be swept into her heart and mind as she traverses the tricky realm of the fae. If you’re looking for a sweet bedtime story, this is not for you. If you want to be engulfed, mystified, terrified and enlightened, go right ahead!