Published: May 2015
Genre: young adult, fantasy, retelling
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.
Feyre is a hunter by necessity. Her family depends on her to bring back meat for food and hide for money. But one snowy evening in the woods changes her future forever. The night after she kills a gigantic wolf, a beast arrives at her family’s cottage and drags her into the magical realm of the faeries, a place Feyre has been taught to fear her whole life. But once at the Spring Court, Feyre learns the beast is not a creature, but a High Lord, a faerie named Tamlin. Tamlin shows her compassion, brings her art and peace each day she dwells in Prythian. But an ancient magic haunts Tamlin and hinders his powers, and Feyre is swept up in a deadly game plaguing the faerie lands.
Move over, folks, because I need a spot on the SJ Maas bandwagon. Though I own Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, A Court of Thorns and Roses ranked higher on my priority list because, hello, Beauty and the Beast retelling! Instead of a beautiful girl obsessed with books swapping her father’s life for her own (and a whole mess of Stockholm Syndrome that I like to ignore), we’ve got an artistically talented and illiterate young woman who chose to spare her family’s slaughter by agreeing to cross into faerie lands for eternity. And the beast? He’s all terrifying when he storms into her home, but the second they cross into Prythian he’s not a person to fear. He’s nothing but kind to her, no masks (well, except for the one permanently glued to his face — part of the curse) or bickering dialogue.
Tamlin and Feyre really have chemistry. Not love-at-first-sight chemistry, but a steady, growing attraction that is so deep as well as steamy. That’s what made her friendship with Lucien feel genuine, too. No love triangles here. And her connection later with Rhys? I don’t see a triangle on that end either, at least not reciprocated by Feyre, but it made me like Rhys’s character as well when he helped her during the torturous trials.
Favorite scenes: the starlight pond, the gallery showing, Feyre’s sister Nesta’s reveal, Feyre’s fae maid Alis explaining the curse, the frightening mud scene in Amarantha’s mountain . . .
I don’t know how to review this book without doing this
There’s action, romance, adventure, faerie lore, retelling parallels, excellent characters, depth and plotting. It’s a book.
Now, I’ve had this conversation with Morgan and Lindsey before, about how we can’t seem to cast characters as we’re reading but it makes sense in hindsight when we see an actor with those physical features. The characters are hazy, blurred. Well, Kelly solved all of these issues with her excellent ACOTAR casting. Not only do I approve of all those yummy men (especially Shuegs), I also approve of the roles they’d play.