A Budding Rose | Review of ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)


By Cynthia Ayala

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah. j. Maas Bloomsbury Image Credit: Goodreads
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah. j. Maas
Bloomsbury
Image Credit: Goodreads

Feyre didn’t know the consequences of her action when she killed a wolf in the woods. Feyre didn’t know it was a faerie and a friend of a beast-like creature, Tamlin, the king of the Spring Court, one of the lethal and immortal faeries that once ruled the human world. Trapped in the estate, Feyre has discovered that there is more to Tamlin, a curse on his realm that Feyre must find a way to stop to save the Beast who is a King.

Published May 5, 2015, by Bloomsbury USA Children’s, A Court of Thorns and Roses is the first in Sarah J. Maas‘s young adult fantasy retelling series on Beauty and the Beast.

A Court of Thorns and Roses is just one of many retellings about Beauty and the Beast, but there are so many elements that have gone into the storytelling that makes it stand apart from the rest. One element is Feyre herself who is very different from Belle. She has two sisters, which connects to the Grimm’s Fairy Tale Bearskin, and is a hunter, very different from many other renditions of the fairy tale. Feyre has this uniqueness about her, this strength that makes her stand out, but she’s not without faults, and that’s what makes her stand out, her sour attitude. She’s a very bitter character, or rather she has a sour disposition stemming from a broken place that makes her a more realistic and relatable character. She’s no princess, but the great thing about her is that she’s somewhat broken, but not completely, that she has this strength to her that makes her more than a girl that needs saving.

Given the premise of the novel, there is also a lot of tension to drive the plot forward and built up the strong dynamics of the characters. The relationships between the characters, they grow and develop as the characters develop, and they become more than what they are. That’s such powerful writing, to develop the story the way she did and take another look at the curse.

The idea of masks in literature always has such a significance pertaining to a hidden nature around the character. And the idea about making the masks the curse lends some intrigue to the characters themselves because it keeps the readers on their toes, and as the story develops and the characters develop, the reader sees more about the characters. The question is how much being seen is truth and how much is a farce? That lends another level of depth to the story as it continues to add more tension to the piece giving the story richer dynamics.

There is something to be said about the creativity of the piece. Maas created such a rich story here that draws from various stories about Beauty and the Beast. But the way she puts them all together makes this piece unique rather than just a reflection of something else. Like a budding rose, the characters grow and bloom in such powerful ways and with that, so does the story. (★★★★☆ | A)


Pub Date: May 5, 2015 Page count: 416pp Age Range: 15 – 18
ISBN: 978-1-6196-3444-2 Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens List Price:  $18.99

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