“The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.”
-Oscar Wilde (Picture of Dorian Gray)
World building: 9/10
Writing style: 9/10
Character building: 8/10
My Opinionated Review
A Court of Thrones and Roses is a wonderful and captivating Beauty and the Beast retelling, with a rich Fae world building, great characterisations, and plots and twists that are impossible to see coming. It is the second Maas’s series, and the complexity and richness of the Fae world have improved immensely compared to Throne of Glass.
I avoided reading this book for months, having been too exhausted and annoyed with the Throne of Glass series. After finally starting it, I saw the similarities with the first series, recognised the themes that I usually do not particularly like, acknowledged the beastly behaviour of the love interest, and the over-the-top love story. And yet, this book broke all my prejudices and bend all my rules, and made me enjoy every single moment of the story.
The book starts with the main character Fayre killing a wolf, who is actually a Fae in an animal form. Having been starving for the most part of her life, she is a huntress who provides food for her family, and is filled with hate and resentment towards her father and older sisters for not taking care of her, and especially for the Fae race, who terrorises the mortal lands and leaves humans vulnerable and suffering. But one day, a wild Fae beast appears demanding justice for the killed Fae, and takes Fayre to Prythian, the lands of the Fae, to live the rest of her life among the immortal beings that Fayre hates. Of course, she finds that nothing is as it seems, and Tamlin, the Fae lord who has taken Fayre, is much kinder than she has thought a Fae could be. Moreover, there are many secrets surrounding the place that she lives at now, and many existing threats and twists in the storyline takes the heroine on a wild and life-changing journey, and provides the reader with an incredible romance.
I usually do not find Fantasy books with so much focus on romance to be that captivating. Somehow everything worked in this one. I was enthralled in the shift from hate to love between Fayre and Tamlin, captivated by their wonderful relationship, and was rooting for the characters so much. Of course, being late to the party, I was aware of certain spoilers from the second highly praised book, especially with the love everyone seemed to possess for a character Rhysand. And while reading ACOTAR, I just did not understand how my opinion could change about a cruel character Rhysand, or the very lovable beast Tamlin. Tamlin and Fayre’s relationship was thrilling and primal, and most of all, it was about two wounded souls finding ability to love. I adored every minute of the relationship, with every single moment surprising me about it. I am never a huge fan of such romance-focused fantasy, especially the instant kind, and Maas somehow was able to break every rule I live by.
But the aspect that I enjoyed the most was the rich world building. Compared to Throne of Glass, ACOTAR has such a rich and captivating Fae world build-up, with so many details and different traditions, that I was constantly impressed with Maas’s skills. She definitely has tremendous talent in creating amazing characters and a plot that is able to shift at any minute.
Where the most part of the book was quite foreseen, the last third came as a total surprise. I started liking certain characters more, changing my opinion about others, and most of all, I respected the author for never being afraid to take things too far. So now, after finishing the book, I have trouble processing every single thing that happened during this wild ride, I cannot wait to read the second book, that is apparently even better that the first one, and most of all, I want to know why everyone is so obsessed with Rhysand and why nobody talks about Tamlin anymore. Rhys’s character definitely grew on me in the last bit of the book, but I am not sure what has to happen in order for me to change the opinion about who I am rooting for.
Overall, it is one of the best retellings of Beauty and the Beast. However, the story world is so much richer, that describing it merely as a retelling, does not do the book justice. I definitely saw all the flaws in the book, like over-the-top romance, unnecessary sexual scenes, silly reasoning, and stupidity, but I did not care, because somehow I loved every single moment of this incredible story.
Have you read this book? What are your thoughts about it? I eagerly await to hear your opinion.
“I am a cage, in search of a bird”
Hey, so it is top 5 Wednesday time. Although it has been hard to find time for blogging lately, I decided to squeeze this meme in my busy schedule. It is just so satisfying expressing your dislikes. And this week’s topic is the most unlikeable characters, the characters that the readers are actually supposed to like.
Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Laney, where you get a new topic every Wednesday, and get to choose 5 books for the topic. You can join the Goodreads group if you wish to take part in this meme.
Oh I have so many characters that I have issues with, but I’ll try to limit them to one per book. So here it goes:
1. Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass series.
Where do I even begin, it just makes me so angry. She is ruining a really complex and incredibly rich book series, that at times I just feel too exhausted to continue with the books. I liked her in the first and the second book, but by the third one, I just had enough. She is too damn special. A badass assassin, a queen, she is smart, and beautiful, and feminine, and strong, and loves music, and food, and books, and every single male cannot even talk to her without falling in love. Enough is enough, her and Rowan is ruining the series as a whole. I found myself trying not to skim the pages about her and Rowan in Queen of Shadows. Give her some flaws to make her actually relatable.
2. Clary Fray from The Mortal Instruments series.
She is annoying, promiscuous, childish, whiny, a know-it-all, and most of all, too special. I really cannot connect to the characters that are that special. But I don’t even care enough about her to rant too much, the whole series is lacking on character development.
3. Four from Divergent series.
I just do not get his character at all. Did I miss some part in the book, where his character is developed to a likeable human being, or was his whole purpose to do completely nothing?
4. Levin from Anna Karenina
Anna Karenina is the classic that really gets me worked up. I loved reading Anna’s story. But this monster of a book features the most boring and indecisive whiny character that is Levin, and I had to suffer through his story for HOURS, getting angry at his story, and at Leo Tolstoy for having to include himself in a dramatic Russian society relations story, and making the book so boring at times.
5. Travis Maddox from Beautiful Disaster
I just had to mention my least favourite character in my least favourite book. He is everything what is bad about certain male behaviour. He is a psychopath who would lock a female in a cage and swallow the key if he could. Especially since he is painted as a romantic hero, the character just makes me so angry with his stalker-like behaviour. The female in the book is not much better as well, representing the stupid innocent delusional the guy-will-change-because-he-loves-me and he-is-abusive-because-of-love, type. But if I have to choose just one character, I have to go with the male abuser.
So these are my choices. There are definitely more characters, but some are either too similar or too obvious. Like Gale from the Hunger Games is a kind of character like Four, with no charisma or purpose. Or Bella Swan and Anastasia Steele or whatever her surname is, and all the other weak female idiots. And of course, Christian Grey and the whole lot of his type of characters.
Ok, rant over. I feel much better now, calmer, relaxed. It is like therapy, only free. It is good to let your negative emptions out.
So do you agree or disagree with my picks? And what are the characters that you just cannot stand? Let me know.
“Everything you can imagine is real.”
“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
“Freedom lies in being bold”