A Court Of Thorns & Roses ARC Review -- Bow To The Queen

A Court Of Thorns & Roses | Sarah J. Maas
Genre(s): New Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 416
Release Date: May 5, 2015 | Bloomsbury
Edition: E-ARC
Source: Publisher

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!
I received this Advanced Readers Copy in exchange for an honest review. The following opinion is 100% my own and will not be swayed by this.  

" We laid side by side under the apple tree, gazing at the sunrise. The branches were surprisingly low, enough so that I could simply extend my arm to fiddle with the growing fruit. The smell was enticing, sweet and woodsy, but I couldn't tell if it was the natural scent of spring, or the handsome beast lying next to me. He turned to face me, grinning that smile I've grown to love. We've been sitting in the same spot for hours, in a comfortable silence, watching the colors of the sky merge into hues of pinks, purples, oranges, and blues.

I shifted my gaze from the sky to his eyes, green -- so, so green, with flakes of gold sprinkled about. I could get lost in his pupils forever. " Feyre. " He whispered, and I felt his breath warm and sticky on my skin. It smelled minty, with an undercurrent scent of Mcdonalds chicken nuggets. " Yes? " I gasped, unable to truly find my voice. His beauty was breathtaking. His face was pinched, brows furrowed, but his eyes lit up in amusement. " You have a bug . . . in your weave. " My eyes widened in horror as I swatted at the bug I couldn't see. " Ahhhh! " I screamed in frustration. I made a move, the wrong move of course, to sit up too fast, forgetting about the low branches. A crack sounded through the still, silent air as I smacked my forehead against a thick tree branch. He was on his feet and leaning over me in seconds, but it was a bit difficult to focus. He called my name again, twice, once more, but he sounded far -- too far away. I sank back, touching the lump that now formed on my head. I squinted at that beautiful sky, seeing but not really seeing, as stars, birds, and Chipotle steak bowls began to swirl around my vision before I was swallowed whole by the darkness . . . "

A Court Of Sticks And Rose Bushes by Tika -- Page 89. ARC Edition. 

Ah, I amuse myself. Let me stop playing and review this book!

A Change Of Heart

" I was as unburdened as a piece of a dandelion fluff, and he was the wind that stirred me about the world. "

Shameful, oh how shameful of me to underestimate the skills of Sarah J. Maas. 
Now, now, don't jump down my throat just yet, hear me out. To be honest, my doubt stemmed from my reading experience with Throne of Glass. It was being so hyped up when I dived in, and everyone just kept telling me, " It's going to be your favorite book!  " You're going to love it, it'll blow you away!
" (1) It didn't end up being my favorite book, (2) I did enjoy it, but I didn't LOVE IT, & (3) I wasn't blown away by it either. I actually felt so underwhelmed by it all, that it stopped me from picking up the rest of the books in the series. But thank the cauldron (see what I did there? lol) that there are books like A Court Of Thorns & Roses to come to my rescue, because this story was NOTHING short of fucking amazing. 
Excuse My French.

" His skin gleamed with a golden sheen, and around his head glowed a circlet of sunshine. And his eyes -- Not merely green and gold, but every hue and variation that could be imagined, like every leaf in the forest had bled into one shade. "

Who Run This Motha?!

" I will grind your bones between my claws, I will drink your marrow, I will feast on your flesh. I am what you fear, I am what you dread . . . look at me. Look at me. "

A Court Of Thorns & Roses showed me just how talented Maas really is. She took the classic story of Beauty & The Beast, and weaved it so perfectly to mesh with her flare of fantasy. While I adore the concept of Royal courts, ACOTAR consisted of half beasts, FAERIES, (when I think of Faeries I think of Tinkerbell on crack, not a good impression.) and other creatures -- things that before, I wouldn't be caught dead reading about, but I couldn't help but to be captivated. Imagine my surprise as I found myself invested, found myself so fascinated by these mystical creatures, that I preferred them over the humans. 

NOTHING about this book disappointed, especially because it crossed into my realm, my very own Prythian, New Adult. I honestly thought that Maas was going to play it safe, play it to where the genre says New Adult, but the actual story displayed otherwise, and boyyyy was I wrong! She didn't completely turn the heat up, but instead kept it sensual, absolutely sexy between our two main characters. Feyre, a mortal huntress, and Tamlin, a half-beast and obviously Fae, could set fire to a forest with just their chemistry alone. I adored how they meshed so well together -- Tamlin, beautiful, aggressive, protective. Feyre, beautiful in a diamond-in-the-rough-kind-of-way, both fiery and courageous, and oh so loyal.

" He didn't pierce my flesh, but rather bit to keep me pinned. The push of his body against mine, the hard and the soft, made me see red -- see lightning, made me grind my hips against his.

The Best Of Both Worlds

" The sky was an eddy of molten amethyst, sapphire, and ruby, all bleeding into a final pool of onyx. I wanted to swim in it, wanted to bathe in it's colors and feel the stars twinkling between my fingers. "

As a new found lover of fantasy and a seasoned vet of new adult contemporary, I was truly smitten with this book. Maas gave me everything I love about New Adult, a slow-build & burn of a well executed romance, with just the right bite of friskiness, and yet she managed to push me onto the edge of my seat, as she showcased her trademark in the realms of magic and fantasy. The last 40% of the book gave me nothing but anxiety (not literally) as the story takes a turn for the worst, with the action pushed to the forefront, the intensity levels burned through the roof.

If anyone could vouch -- could stand by this book -- could scream to the heavens above how perfect it is, it would be me.  I loved every second of it, even going as far as having to slow down my reading pace because I didn't want to devour it in one sitting. The writing was so effortlessly done, the characters so well put together. I fell for Tamlin the moment he was introduced, Feyre was the epitome of a realistic heroine I'd root for anyday, and the supporting characters like Lucien, was such a pleasure to read with his witty, and sharp-tongued banter. The concept was so well crafted that I FORGOT I was reading a re-telling. Maas stayed true to herself, creating something so damn original, fresh, imaginative, everything we needed in this genre. 

I'm actually glad I underestimated A Court Of Thorns And Roses. After finishing, it felt as if Maas sat upon her throne, looked at me with a expression so sinister, and with a twisted expression resembling a serpent, smiled as she spoke the words,

 " Bow To The Queen ." 

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