Court of Thorns and Roses: The Hype and The Writing

A Court of Thorns and Roses is the first book of a novel series written by Sarah J. Maas. Maas’s debut was through the A Court of Thorns and Roses release in 2015. Since then the series has garnered a solid fandom. With the release of the fifth book A Court of  Silver Flames and the confirmation of the books being turned into a TV series the first book is still very much relevant despite it coming out eight years ago.

When I was recommended this book I had asked a friend to give me a book that was so good it almost changed her life. I hadn’t read for fun in years, so I was looking for something to get me hooked immediately. My friend lended me A Court of Thorns and Roses then showed me the tattoo she got based off of the book. I thought that this was the perfect book for me. However, it took me almost two years to finish the book. This partly has to do with me being bogged down by school work and my addiction to Tiktok, but this is also due to the extremely slow start.

The book opens with the main character Feyre who was born into a rich family that then lost all of their money around the time of the faye wars. For almost twenty pages there is a mix of descriptions about how miserable she is and how skinny she is. I understand that there was supposed to be an emphasis on how Feyre was on the edge of starvation because when she gets to Tamlin’s palace she is overwhelmed by the luxury, but sometimes the focus on Feyre’s small frame was meant to enforce some kink. Especially when the description of Feyre’s petite frame was right next to a description with how large her love interest Tamlin was. 

Feyre spends the majority of the book spitting at Tamlin which is fair considering he kidnapped her. Then in true Beauty and the Beast like fashion she slowly sees Tamlin, her kidnapper and lover as the soft man he is inside. Feyre’s change of heart for Tamlin was not as juxtaposed as I expected when I started this book. I understood why Feyre slowly started to fall for him. He was described to be rather attractive, and there were moments where Tamlin made an effort to be kind and charming towards Feyre. So her love for him did not feel that it grew solely from Stockholm syndrome. 

However, what did not sit right with me was the twist ending when Feyre discovered that Tamlin was trying everything he could to get her to fall in love with him because he needed her love to save his kingdom. This reveal made me feel very uneasy towards Tamlin. All of the charm and kindness was not out of his own attraction towards her, but it was out of duty. After Feyre finds out this information she does not get upset with Tamlin for using her. Instead she goes on a quest to save him and his people who she hated at the beginning of the book! I understand that it would be an uninteresting book if she didn’t save Tamlin, but there was no talk between Tamlin and Feyre or inner dialogue about how she felt the least bit betrayed. Instead Feyre bends to the will of her male counterpart.

I have gotten through half of the second book A Court of Mist and Fury, and I see how Sarah J. Maas is rectifying Feyre’s lack of initial reaction to Tamlin’s ulterior motive. However, it still feels as if Feyre is not making decisions for herself, but for other characters despite her being the main character.