A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR) follows Feyre, a relatively normal girl, who, while out hunting for food to feed her starving family, accidentally kills a Fae. As payment, she’s taken from the human world into the land on the other side of the wall, where the Fae rule and magic is all around, yet has been mysteriously stifled. Tamlin, the High Lord of the Spring Court is the one to take her, and the book follows their developing relationship as she tries to adjust to her new life and work out just what on earth is going on.
I’ll start by saying that this book has pretty much everything I look for. Fantasy – tick. Romance – tick. Action and adventure – tick. And it also cleverly marries the seasons and seasonal festivities into the story, which I really appreciate – there’s something so magical about the word solstice even before anyone adds a fantasy story!
The world is rich and well thought through, and we’re given enough hints at the rest of the world to be explored in future books to whet our appetite and keep us wanting more. There’s a great amount of tension and I like the drip feeding of reveals, although there was a moment when I was almost shouting at my Kindle when I was disappointed with the choice the characters made (it felt unnatural and required to keep the plot on track rather than something the characters would actually do). However, it recovered quickly and the end is really worth the wait.
ACOTR sets up the world and the relationships for the remainder of the series and Mass creates characters with believable (and genuinely frustrating) flaws. However, because of this, the first half could have had a bit more plot and moved more quickly. It took until the last quarter for me to be really hooked. But, as I said before, the end is great, especially as Mass does something which I completely didn’t expect and most authors would have shied away from – I LOVED this (although won’t spoil it by telling you what it was!), so well done her.
All in all, a solid fantasy / romance read, setting up a brilliant world, so you know there are great things to come.