[535]: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas


GOODREADS SUMMARY | Bloomsbury Children | Hardcover, 416 pp. | May 15, 2015 | Adult Fiction | Fantasy | Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Needless to say, I had a much better experience with this one than Throne of Glass. I could barely contain my temper with Caelena in that book. Fortunately, I managed to get over myself and had a change of opinion on whether or not Sarah J. Maas is as great as everyone proclaims her to be. Now, don’t be fooled by the 3-star rating. Three stars still means I enjoyed it. You must understand that I’m not partial to the genre. My ratings are based on how much I enjoyed/liked a book. So middle of the pack means I didn’t particularly hate it. That’s good, right?

The Beauty and the Beast

Feyre has been the hunter in the family ever since her father lost the will and capacity to be the sole provider. This particular winter has seen terrible poverty and hunger in her village that Feyre found herself hunting further than her normal jaunt. When she killed a rather large wolf that would see her family through the brutal winter months, she didn’t anticipate the events she’d helped set into motion.

They say fairies are hard to kill. But with Feyre’s efficient ash arrow, she took down a fae that she didn’t know was related to the High Lords. That is, until Tamlin came barging into their abode intent on exacting proper punishment for what she did. Feyre had no choice but to comply or her family would suffer the wrath of an immortal, powerful fae.

As most fairy tale-retellings go, the consequent events will involve animosity, mutual –  albeit – reluctant respect, romance and the revelation of a curse that our heroine would take part in breaking. The beast in the story is Tamlin. His kingdom is surrounded by mythical creatures, and masked courtiers. There is a blight spreading through the land and it’s about to spread over the human world if Tamlin and Feyre can’t stop it.

Thoughts, Regrets, and Apologies

I used to be such a fan of fairy tale retellings. I don’t know when I stopped. Though the more I think about it, the more I think that it coincided with the realization that I just don’t have the attention span required for reading fantasy books. I don’t have anything against this author or her work, I’m just not a reader. Which is a sad thing, because I feel like my brain gets a bit more exercise when I read these kind of novels.

Let’s give credit where credit is due. Sarah J. Maas did not become an instant household name in the publishing world for no reason. She does have a gift for immortalizing  fantastical worlds through her words. She was also able to summon mythical creatures in a snap. I’m not that familiar with her ToG series, but ACoTaR gave us an impressive imagery, larger than life characters and creatures ripped from fabled lore.

I do feel like I need to apologize for not liking this as much as I should have. And I regret that my rating of this book looks deceiving. I’m not one to give high ratings for technical merits. My ratings have always been about how I felt while reading the book. So sometimes, I feel like I’m being unfair. I think this is one of those moments when I wish I could do away with book ratings.


  • I’m with you on this one, I thought it was really good, but it could have been so much better. I liked it much more than TOG though, I’m not sure how the author is planning on continuing this series, it would have worked better as a standalone novel though. Awesome review!

  • I am glad you liked this even though you are not a fan of the genre. I didn’t realise it was a fairy tale re-telling until after I read it, so I think I enjoyed it a bit more because I wasn’t focused on those aspects. Great review!

    Naomi @ Naomi’s Reading Palace

  • Glad to see that despite some reservations, you were able to like this one enough to give ie three stars!To be honest, I do know where you are coming from with your concerns – there were some stuff here that raised an eyebrow, but in the end, I did TOTALLY enjoy it thus my 5 stars. If rhysand wasn’t in the picture, it maaay have been a four… haha

    Faye at The Social Potato

  • lornak99

    I haven’t read these and actually never wanted to, as I am not a big fan of this kind of fantasy. I am glad you liked it enough to give it 3 stars though 🙂

  • 3 stars, I’ll take it! Have you read Crown of Midnight though? I know of several people who didn’t like Throne of Glass that much but enjoyed the series more beginning with Crown of Midnight. It might be worth a shot?

  • I’m sorry you didn’t fully like this, but you wrote a really great review that made me understand your reasoning perfectly. I’m a huge Maas fan, myself, but this wasn’t a favourite, for a bunch of reasons, but I think (hope!) I’ll enjoy the following books more. Your photography for this is gorgeous, by the way. It suits the feel of the book, having read it, the cover and your review so, so well. xx

  • Stunning review Joy. <3 I'm glad you sort of liked this book 🙂 I have decided to not read it for a long time.. because I have heard SO MANY bad things 🙁 But it do look so pretty 😀 And I'm so happy you didn't hate it, lol 🙂

  • I am still very much into retellings, but I can see where you would get enough after awhile. I don’t think that I will get to this before reading Throne of Glass and I haven’t even started that series.

  • You don’t need to apologise for not liking a book! If the genre is not something you actually enjoy then kudos to you for trying another book by this author and a three star rating then sounds like a pretty big success to me 😉 I am a fantasy lover, and crazy about the retelling trend that has been running around, so I do hope I like this. I haven’t ever read anything by Maas though 😛

  • I had to peek from behind my hands to read this! You know my love for Maas. However, for a non-fantasy fan I think this is pretty high praise lol and dear Lord that photo it wonderful! Do you Pinterest your photos and link to your site? You so should if you don’t. R x

  • No need to apologize Joy, you’re giving us a rating and review on how YOU felt about the book, and if someone is bothered by that, well they can just kiss your ass! lol. While I LOVED ACOTAR, and I can definitely understand your rating. Every book isn’t for everyone, especially since you’re not much a fantasy lover to begin with, I’m just glad you gave it 3 stars and not a DNF. I seen your IG post about not being able to get into and I screamed, ” NOOOOOO ” for like 5.8 seconds lol.

  • I’ve heard such great things about Maas’ books so my expectations are quite high! I hope I like her books and I’m sorry you didn’t completely love this. Fantastic review! <3

  • I totally agree that this book wasn’t super amazing, but it was definitely a thousand times better than Throne of Glass. The world building was definitely fantastic and incredibly vivid. And you shouldn’t apologize for not liking a book–it’s your opinion and your entitled to have one. Also sometimes it’s okay when ratings don’t make sense–it’s entirely up to you!

  • Oooh, sorry you didn’t enjoy this very much. Sometimes the hype just gets too much and it just ruins it all. I’m hoping to read this very soon. 😀 Great review, Joy! 😀

  • I felt similarly about this one, particularly in regard to ratings. There were a lot of aspects I enjoyed but the re-telling wasn’t one of them and that being the main aspect of this novel really drove it down for me…but it also didn’t? I rated this 3 Stars as well but it’s such an ambiguous rating. Parts of this book I definitely disliked more than 3 Stars and others I didn’t but..I’m hopeful for the sequel!

  • Great review Joy! Great book photography too with the branch and the book (: Glad you still have this one a try, still have yet to pick the series up.

    Happy Reading
    Patrick @ The Bookshelves

  • I happen to be a huge SJM fan, but I put this one down around 60% of the way through, and so far haven’t felt especially compelled to pick it up again. I mean, I’m on a mission now to finish all the books I’m midway through, so I will definitely be finishing in the next week or so, but at this point I could really go either way.

  • Sometimes ratings can be SO hard! You’re not the only one who’s had mixed feelings about this one, so you can take heart!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  • kynndra

    Love this review. I’m interested in seeing my own feelings about it – currently I’m only sixty or so pages in but I’m actually enjoying it more than TOG (I enjoyed TOG) – but I’m not that far in yet, so we’ll see!

  • I love that you highlighted so many positives although you really didn’t care for this read. Great job! I know for some reason, this one just wasn’t for everyone, even hard core Maas fans.

  • I love ToG. But I admit I loved the tone of the novellas much better than the novels. In the novellas, Celaena was much darker and every bit the 18yo (going 40) that she is. She went younger in the novels for some reason.

    I look forward to reading this because I am a Maas fan.

  • You definitely shouldn’t apologize for not being blown away by this one Joy! It would be very boring in the book blogging world if we all felt the exact same way about every book. I like reading varying opinions, it’s fun for me to see why something that worked really well for me didn’t work for someone else and vice versa. Gorgeous review as always!

  • First, great thoughtful review Joy! I’m glad you tried one of her books again – and three stars is great if you are not a big fan of the genre in the first place. I’m bringing this on vaction and looking forward to it since I eat and breath these types of retellings. But, thank you so much for your honest thoughts – that’s all that matters, how YOU felt when reading it. Not everyone else : )

  • First off, that pic is awesome, is that branch black?! I’m still in the process of “reading” this. I put reading in quotes because I read about five pages and quit–mostly because I always have something to review and feel guilty for reading for leisure. BUT, my hopes are really high for this one. I really hope I love this because I read a couple pages of Throne of Glass and wasn’t really into it. We’ll see! Great and honest review!

  • From the cover/feature image used in this post…I thought you went outside and picked up a twig branch and thought “yes, this will do.” LOL.

    Joey via. thoughts and afterthoughts

    • Lmao! Yes coz I’m the type of person who goes out of her way to set up a photo session with my books. Hahahah!

    • P.S.

      don’t forget, I had to paint the twig black. 🙂

  • Ooh, three stars! I know that’s actually really positive for you Joy, seeing you don’t tend to read many fantasy type novels. I used to be the same, even a year ago I wouldn’t have bothered to pick this one up even. You’re spot on about her world building, I think k if readers don’t relate to her characters, you cam definitely get lost within the world she creates. Wonderful review Joy and glad you were able to enjoy this one <3 will you be continuing on with the series?

  • I give 3s to everything, it means good 🙂 Just not awesome, in my book

  • I actually admire you for finishing this. There was a HUGE deal breaker for me right around the middle that I thought was SO gross and that made me stop reading instantly. I believe you’ll know what I mean. That’s not something I’m comfortable with, it completely creeped me out. So since I didn’t like Throne of Glass either, Mass and I are pretty much done.

  • I was just writing my own review for this when yours came up on Bloglovin. I wasn’t a fan of it either and was feeling very much in the minority. Glad to see I wasn’t the only one!

  • Sorry to see it wasn’t more. I have 2 of her other books and I know I need to try after hearing so much about them.