If you have been on TikTok recently, you have probably seen or heard of the hashtag #BookTok. As I was scrolling through this hashtag, “A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas seemed to appear in almost every video. Although released in 2015, it is now becoming popular after being rediscovered by TikTok influencers. After reading a quick, spoiler-free synopsis, I decided to join the bandwagon.
The book begins with Feyre, our protagonist, hunting in the woods. It is wintertime, and she explains to the reader that her family depends on her for survival. As she hunts, she finds a High Fae, which are immortal beings residing in Prythian. She immediately draws an arrow and kills the Fae. Although not much happened, I was pleasantly surprised with the first chapter, as it was not slow to start. I was engaged from the first sentence, and it kept me wanting more.
Feyre is soon visited by another Fae, furious about her last hunt. He threatens to kill her family or offers that she come to live with him in Prythian. Feyre accepts and the Fae soon reveals himself as Tamlin. Feyre is intrigued by his handsome face but knows not to trust a Fae. They soon reach Tamlin’s estate where Feyre will be living. We are introduced to Lucien, Tamlin’s closest advisor. Maas does an amazing job of introducing each character without giving too much away. I was left with enough information to understand the new characters while still wondering their true nature.
As time passes, Feyre’s icy hate for Tamlin soon turns into fiery passion. The two confess their feelings for each other, and Tamlin introduces Feyre to the politics of his world. Seven courts rule Prythian: Day, Night, Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Dawn. A ritual takes place, and Feyre is locked in her chambers while it transpires. She soon finds herself in danger and is rescued by a handsome stranger with striking violet eyes. This scene was the first real danger Feyre is presented with in Prythian, and the mystery of the stranger made the scene even more exciting.
Days later, the handsome stranger appears at Tamlin’s estate, announcing himself as Rhysand. Tamlin and Lucien try to conceal Feyre from him, but his powers are far beyond theirs. After an unforgettable encounter, Rhysand warns Tamlin about Amarantha, who means to wage war on Tamlin and his court. Feyre pries about the subject, but Tamlin will reveal nothing. Lucien tells her about the Suriel, a Fae that will answer any question if you can capture it. The Suriel reveals to Feyre not answers, but a prophecy centered around her. After a dangerous encounter, Tamlin ultimately decides to send Feyre back to her home against her judgment. This portion is where I really became intrigued with this prophecy and found myself confused but wanting to know more. Mystery seemed to surround everyone.
After she returns home, Feyre sees that her family is better off than they were before. Tamlin provided for them, but something isn’t right. Feyre decides to venture back to Prythian to see what damage has occurred. After learning Amarantha has taken Tamlin and his court, Feyre ventures to find them. Once she reaches Amarantha’s court, she is taken in and forced to face three horrific trials in order to save Tamlin. With help from Rhysand, Feyre makes an unusual ally and an unforgettable bargain that may save her life. The ending portion ultimately made me fall in love with this book. Just as I thought things would be resolved, the story took a turn that kept me on the edge of my seat.
Maas does an excellent job of portraying action while also keeping humorous elements in the story. I found myself sharing emotions with Feyre because of Mass’s detailed writing. Feyre is someone I can identify with, and I encourage any young woman who doubts herself or her power to give this book a read.