By now, most of the bookstagram community has read the ACOTAR series. I’ve seen it everywhere since I first started my account, which was back in 2018. I felt like I’d outgrown both the YA and fantasy genres long ago, so I was never really attracted to it. However, this year something shifted, something I can’t precisely explain (perhaps Rhsyand could help me find an answer by digging inside my mind). About two weeks ago, I bought the kindle version of A Court of Thorns and Roses to read on my iPad. The only explanation I told myself was that I wanted to read books outside my comfort zone, and out of so many fantasy books available, I had to chose that one. And you have no idea how glad I am that I did!
Quick FYI, the ACOTAR series is actually considered New Adult, which is different than Young Adult. Though they do share plenty of similarities, the audiences they’re aimed at are not the same. I wouldn’t recommend this to pre-teens; it would be more appropriate for a 14+ audience.
Anyway, the last book that got me turning pages and staying up ’til late at night was Midnight Sun. Yes, another fantasy book. So perhaps I was just kidding myself when I thought I’d outgrown the genre. I was so wrong, and I take it back.
It got me hooked from the beginning. It begins with Feyre being out on a hunt. Winter is coming and she knows that if she doesn’t hunt something, she and her family won’t have much to eat. So when she spots a deer about to be attacked by a wolf, she cannot resist. But to kill the deer, she must also kill the wolf. And everything comes at a price. Shortly afterward, she’s dragged to the magical kingdom of Prynthian for murdering a faerie. Feyre soon starts to learn more about her captor and his world, her feelings of hate vanish and are replaced with passion. But love can’t conquer all, or can it? Feyre must break a powerful curse or say goodbye to him forever.
It surpassed my expectations. Even though at first I didn’t sympathize much with Feyre (she was so stubborn, which I found quite frustrating). It contains all the elements one would expect: clear and detailed descriptions of the unknown Prynthian lands and their marvelous and scary creatures. Complex backstories. Rich character development, as we get to witness Feyre’s inner world, perception, and emotions. And the more we get to know her, it becomes easier to understand her justified stubbornness. Not to mention, intense and passionate scenes.
Then we have these two male characters that we can’t ignore: Tamlin and Rhsyand. Tamlin, the High Lord of the Spring Court, the one who Feyre falls in love with and is willing to sacrifice everything, including her life. And then comes Rhsyand, the High Lord of the Night Court, who helps Feyre more than once, though he seems to be an enemy. So is the motive behind Rhysand’s help solely out of selfish gains or is there something more underlying his cold demeanor?
“Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.”Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Thorns and Roses
Being on the Bookstagram long enough, it was impossible for me to not find out that Feyre and Tamlin do not end up together. I don’t know the reason yet (but will soon find out).
Now, here’s my personal opinion: Tamlin seems like a good guy (not technically a guy but you get what I mean). However, the fact that he wasn’t under a spell the entire time he was sitting next to Amarantha was a real turn-off. I had high expectations of him. I mean…Feyre is walking to her death bed and there he is trying to act indifferent. She was more courageous than him, willing to do something, he clearly wasn’t willing to give up his immortality for her.
At first, I disliked Rhsyand. But there had to be something behind actions for helping Feyre, right? He called out her name when Amarantha went after her. He cared. Here’s my hypothesis, which I’ll soon confirm or debunk: Since he’s able to read minds, perhaps he saw the true nature within Tamlin and that’s why he made the bargain to be attached to Feyre forever because Feyre doesn’t deserve someone like Tamlin.
Well, this post has been long enough. In conclusion, yes, I do recommend this book. And if you’re thinking fantasy isn’t your thing just like I did, at least give the first book of the series a try. If you enjoyed Twilight, you’ll probably enjoy this one as well.