This one is hard for me to review. The A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas came incredibly highly recommended. As in, a couple of friends called it life-changing. Honestly, I didn’t want to like it, and I almost stopped in the middle of the first book, and then again halfway through the second. But then it all comes together. It is really hard to review a book where a major spoiler is what makes the series perfect. I also don’t want to ruin anything from the first book by giving anything away from the second. I shall strive to do my best.
Book one is A Court of Thorns and Roses. As is hinted by the title, this book starts out as a version of Beauty and the Beast. It also has strong themes of one of my favorite lesser known fairytales - the polar bear king. When I was little, my aunt had the VHS of a Norwegian movie called The Polar Bear King. I only know it was Norwegian because I have since looked it up. I loved this movie as a child. It has probably been twenty years since I last watched it, but I loved this movie. It was right up there with Freddie the Frog. Never were two stories more made to be twisted together than Beauty and the Beast and The Polar Bear King. And I quite enjoyed it. For the most part. Tamlin really wasn’t my favorite. I almost preferred that Feyre get with Lucien. And here is where I realize that I didn’t even talk about Feyre. She is the main character. She is scrappy and loyal and holds her family together until she is no longer allowed to. She gives everything in her for the ones she loves. I may not necessarily identify with her, but I understand her, and I like her. She goes through some crap, and she makes it to the other side. Since some people complain when a character isn’t “flawed” or is “perfect”, fear not. Feyre has plenty of flaws and often gets on my nerves. But in the end, she does what she has to.
Now my summary must severely weaken. A Court of Mist and Fury is book two, and it’s my favorite of the books. Book three is A Court of Wings and Ruin. This book wraps up the conflict from the second book and leaves off with a great ending. If you have ever read The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander or any of its later books, it has significant nods towards that series. If you haven’t...my review for that is coming next week.
There is a fourth book in this series, but I have not read it. I was told by people I trusted to pretend it doesn’t exist, so that’s what I’m doing. Proceed at your own risk.
Lastly, this book is labeled as a YA fantasy novel. As YA usually refers to teenagers, I would have to strongly disagree with that label. There is strong language, sex, and a lot of violence in this series. Read it first, and decide for yourself if you think it’s appropriate for your kid. As for me, my kids can read it after they’re married.