Gwen & Kate's Library

Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.

Gwen’s Thoughts on A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses pleasantly surprised me as a new series from Sarah J. Maas. I didn’t enjoy Heir of Fire, the third book her in Throne of Glass series, and never even picked up the recently published fourth installment.

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Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, Book 1

Genres: Young Adult/New Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Retold Fairy Tale

Rating: 4 stars

Format: Audiobook, narrated by Jennifer Ikeda

Description:
A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore. When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world. As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it… or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever. Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

Review:

A Court of Thorns and Roses pleasantly surprised me as a new series from Sarah J. Maas. I didn’t enjoy Heir of Fire, the third book her in Throne of Glass series, and never even picked up the recently published fourth installment. Although I loved the first two books in that series, I lost interest when Maas began to blend the world she’d set up in the first books with a new fairy realm that didn’t seem to fit.

Maas blends a human world with fairy, or “faerie,” world again in A Court of Thorns and Roses, but I found the transition to be much smoother in Maas’s fifth novel. As a fairly new author, I feel as if I can clearly see Maas’s improvement in her writing style and plot development in each new book. In A Court of Thorns and Roses, she expertly uses the skills she’s learned and developed to create a unique version of Beauty and the Beast matched with Tam Lin that unusually begins a trilogy to continue the complex story!

Other versions of Beauty and the Beast that I’d recommend for YA fairy tale retelling fans include:

Beauty by Robin McKinley

Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley

The Princess and the Hound by Mette Ivie Harrison

For more retellings, see this list from The New York Public Library website.

Have you read A Court of Thorns and Roses yet? Do you enjoy fairy tale retellings? I’ve read many — what’s your favorite?

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