Not at all what I expected… A Court of Thorns and Roses

November 3, 2015 Reviews 18

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Not at all what I expected… A Court of Thorns and RosesA Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Published by Recorded Books, Bloomsbury USA Childrens on May 5th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 432
Length: 16 hours 7 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R.R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!
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 over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin--and his world--forever.

I knew that A Court of Thorns and Roses was a twist of Beauty and the Beast and the fae. But that was pretty much all I knew and as a result, I guess I didn’t really know what to expect. But A Court of Thorns and Roses was most definitely not what I expected. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – in fact, I really enjoyed it.

I think there were only two big negative in terms of what I was expecting. First was the fairytale retelling aspect. Typically when I read a retelling, I expect it to be a twist on the original fairytale… but this felt like it was just a twist on the Disney version. And isn’t that already it’s own retelling? But I LOVE the Disney version, so I’m not complaining exactly… but it is disappointing that it felt so familiar (though there were significant diferences – particularly in the last quarter). The other thing that really bugged me – and this is something I can only allude to if I’m going to avoid spoilers – but there’s this riddle towards the end and I found it so incredibly easy to solve after hearing it just one time. Feyre is supposed to dwell on it for MONTHS and she finds it difficult. I don’t know, it just really bugged me.

But those are really my only criticisms for A Court of Thorns and Roses. I absolutley loved the world and I felt like Sarah J. Maas’s use of the fae was very well done. The characters were addicting and I had no trouble falling for Tamlin along with Feyre. Every character was pretty complex, even her family – which seems pretty simple at first glance surprises you as the story progresses. Every character seemed to have layers upon layers – at times I had a hard time beacuase those I had decided I hated I was starting to seriously LIKE. I love complexity like that, it’s more real.

I had the privilege of listening to A Court of Thorns and Roses and the narration definitely helped bring these characters to life. Jennifer Ikeda did a great job with the voices – they were varied and helped me keep all the characters straight. I listened at 2x speed too, so her pacing worked well – I’m not able to speed up all narrators and still have a nice listen. So I’ll definitley be continuing this series on audio.

I’ll be interested to see how things continue – since it started as a fairytale retelling but the fairytale bit is done but there are future books planned. There’s no cliff hanger, but there are elements left enough in the air that you can see plenty of potential. I look forward to seeing how it will develop. Defintely worth a read – though I should note that while it’s sellling as YA it has sex scenes that are more explicit than I would expect in a YA book. Just FYI.
4 stars Pretty Great

Not what I expected & that's mostly a good thing! A Court of Thorns & Roses review. Click To Tweet Follow on Bloglovin


About Sarah J. Maas

Sarah J Mass

Sarah J. Maas lives in Southern California, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much coffee, and watches absolutely rubbish TV shows. When she’s not busy writing YA fantasy novels, she can be found exploring the California coastline.


Photo of Berls
About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

18 Responses to “Not at all what I expected… A Court of Thorns and Roses”

  1. Lola

    I dont’read a lot of fairytale retellings, but this one does sound interesting. Although your comment about it beign pretty similar to the disney retelling sounds like it would bug me as that’s the thing I dislike about fairytale retellings, that are are based on or similar to another story.

    And it’s a shame when you solve something way faster than the main character. It always makes the main character seem a bit dump if it takes her months for something you figured out easily. I do like your descriptions of the characters and the world and it sounds like’s a lot of attention and layers to them.

    I thought this one wa smarketed as NA, so I had expected there to be some sex. And as the fairytale part is done now, it will be interesting to see what comes next. Maybe I’ll await reviews of the seocnd book before I decide whether to read this series or not.
    Lola recently posted…Review: Submerged by Katie HayozMy Profile

    • Berls

      Oh I didn’t realize it was marketed as NA, that would make more sense than the YA I was thinking. I should say that there are significant ways it becomes it’s own story – it’s not too similar to Disney. It’s just that it seemed like the inspiration point was Disney’s version, not the original fairytale. I’ll definitely be reading the 2nd one, so fingers crossed 🙂

    • Berls

      Lol yeah they didn’t bother me – and as an adult adult they weren’t that explicit. But I wouldn’t give it to all teenagers equally because of those scenes. Hope you get to listen soon 🙂

  2. Zareena @ The Slanted Bookshelf

    I’m glad this was a success!! I absolutely loved ACOTAR but when I read it I completely forgot that it was a retelling so I didn’t have Beauty and the Beast in the back of my mind. I’ve heard a couple other people complain about how simple the riddle was, and looking back I probably agree, but at the time I was too in love with the book to care 🙂 Great review!

    Zareena @ The Slanted Bookshelf
    Zareena recently posted…Review: Paint My Body Red by Heidi R. KlingMy Profile

    • Berls

      Thanks Zareena! It wasn’t a HUGE deal for me that the riddle was simple; I still enjoyed it. I just felt like a riddle that’s supposed to be so difficult to solve that it’s her automatic ticket so to speak should have been virtually impossible to figure out. I think Maas knew it wasn’t difficult enough too, because she never let’s you hear it again – just the time she’s given the riddle and then solves it. She knew it wouldn’t stand up to repeated scrutiny IMO. But yep, great read!

    • Berls

      Oh I do I have to agree with that too – her writing is much stronger in ToG. I enjoyed it though and I’m eager to see what she does next.

  3. Bookworm Brandee

    This book is on my short list, Berls. So I’m glad that enjoyed it so much despite having a few issues. (what is it with these books where you figure things out immediately while the MC takes forever??) It is interesting that it was a spin on the Disney version of BatB (which I also love) but it’s a series and the fairytale ended here…I can’t wait to see where Maas goes with this.
    By the way, how do you listen at 2X??? My brain can’t handle that! *hahaha*
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…#TravelingtoTerminus Review ~ For the Record ~ KA Linde ~ #ShelfLoveMy Profile

    • Berls

      Lol I think having listened to so many audiobooks my brain has rewired a bit and can handle faster speeds. Yeah – I seem to be figuring things out faster than my MC a lot lately! Frustrating! I’m also really curious to see where this series will go, I tend to enjoy Maas so I’m optimistic 🙂

    • Berls

      Lol I can’t remember names already either and I read it fairly recently. That would be very cool though – I liked her a lot and Lucien (! I remembered a name) would be a great match for her. We’ll see, but I think that’s a great plan!

    • Berls

      I don’t know the original well – but this was so similar to the Disney version it was obvious that it was adapted from that. Unless Disney did a really good job being faithful to the original for once… But yep, you can borrow mine 🙂

    • Berls

      Yeah I think so – though I read somewhere that it also combines another myth that I’m not familiar with, so maybe that’s why? IDK. But the book was good and that’s what matters right? Lol!

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