I am splitting in two deciding how to rate this book. Especially when it ranks as a mediocre and an excellent at the same time.
I will start with the mediocre then. Why do I find A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas wanting?
- The world of the book is narrowed to a relationship between Feyre and Tamlin romancing in lush gardens and rich surroundings. It could have been anything, honestly – Middle Ages, Fae kingdom, or life on Mars. The core story wouldn’t have changed. I want to see the world building really influence the actions of the characters. It doesn’t in this book.
- The characters look as if they walk on crutches of their skills and limitations. I can see the wires sticking out of their human forms. Feyre paints, fine, but it feels so forced. Tamlin can turn into a beast. Fine. Does he do anything else? No. The romance between them felt forced and despite the slow pace of the book and the space they had in it, I couldn’t see their attachment forming, at all. The only well rounded character here is Rhys. He is a delight to read.
- The ending is paced too fast in comparison to the rest of the book.
- I am honestly tired of reading YA books built around a “Romeo and Juliet” trope. Can’t there be any other idea around which the characters could dance?
And what about the book’s excellency? Can there be anything good in it after all those points?
- The story is engagingly told. I couldn’t tear myself away from it.
- The world building is fascinating. I loved the idea of different Courts!
- Feyre has no magic powers and it is a relief to see a protagonist without any of those. Life is hard for her in Prythian, and I believe it.
- Romance steps up from teenage angst to really mature content. Maybe it is out of sync with YA genre, but I found it more interesting than struggles of two teenagers to, finally, kiss.
- This is a perfect fairy-tale. A poor girl lives in the riches, no one of emotional significance dies, everything ends good, the good beats the evil, soul is more important than the looks, eternal love exists, and everyone gets orgasms. It is 100% unreal. But would a real stuff be a fairytale? Would it answer our eternal longing for a life in bliss? I don’t think so. In this respect, this novel is an ultimate drug for the soul. It touches all the strings that we yearn to have touched.