By: Celine | May 20, 2015 | (59) Comments

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J MaasA Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: May 5th, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, NA, Paranormal
Source: Bought it
Goodreads | Purchase

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!

Warning: this review contains untagged spoilers and unpopular opinions. Read at your own risk!

Oh dear. I am so, so sad to be writing this review. You see, I love Sarah J. Maas. As in, love. Her Throne of Glass series gets more heartbreaking with every book and I’d dare call it one of my favourite series. Naturally, I was extremely excited for A Court of Thorns and Roses, so much so that I preordered it, which I almost never do. As soon as it got to my house, I dove in. And it really was an addictive read. However, I’m really disappointed with just about everything. So yeah, it’s time for an unpopular opinion, because despite this book’s addictiveness I really didn’t like it.

The beginning was strong. I enjoyed Feyre and her stubbornness and I was ready for this. The writing was lush and imaginative, and I was immediately sucked into the story. But after that, things went downhill quickly. I can’t promise you this review will be very coherent, but I’m going to try to explain my thoughts the best I can.

My first problem was that I’m just not down with the romance. I’ve seen a lot of people shipping this like nobody’s business, but I just couldn’t. My main problem with this romance (aside from the fact that I thought Tamlin was boring – sorry!) is that it felt abusive to me. Of course this is a pretty bold claim to make, so let me give you some examples to try and make clear what all this is about. The thing is, I felt that the ‘chemistry’ between Tamlin and Feyre was supposed to excuse a couple of things. But, because I’m me, I couldn’t really look past those things. There’s a scene where Tamlin ‘gives himself’ to magic and does some kind of strangle sex ritual etc etc, and when he comes home he sees Feyre. He grabs her.

“Let go,” I said as evenly as I could, but his claws punched out, imbedding in the wood above my hands. Still riding the magic, he was half-wild.

So to me that sounds like she doesn’t really want to be this near him, yes? She also points out that she “couldn’t escape” a few sentences later. She tells him she doesn’t want this, yet he doesn’t let her go, then bites her neck.

I couldn’t move […] He didn’t pierce my flesh, but rather bit to keep me pinned. […] “Don’t ever disobey me again,” he said.

I’m sorry, but I couldn’t get past this. Yes, after a while she was into it when he started kissing her neck, but she clearly told him to let go and that she didn’t want this. I don’t care if he’s drunk on magic, he should have listened to her. From this point on, I found I just couldn’t ship this.

Then later, they get together and have sex. This I don’t mind – in fact, I found the idea of NA Fantasy really refreshing and loved that about this book. But again, I found it problematic. They start getting it on, and then at some point Tamlin utters one of my most-hated lines ever:

“If we keep going, I won’t be able to stop at all.”

How about no? I get it, it’s supposed to sound sexy and full of want, but I just found it extremely problematic. I was discussing this with Ellis (Paper Riot) and she made some excellent points, like: what if you start feeling unwell of change your mind? That’s exactly the problem I had with it – he basically tells her that if she decided she doesn’t want to go any further he’ll rape her. Wow, so romantic.

Also – and this is just a minor thing but I found it funny – try to read that sex scene without laughing when you imagine Tamlin with his mask. I can’t say I think someone going down on you while wearing a mask would feel exceptionally nice. Conveniently, this isn’t mentioned, but come on, surely that would chafe.

My next issue was when Feyre returns to Prythian to go to Amarantha, but before I get to that I will say that I loved the family dynamics. I have a problem with many relationships within this book, but the familial ones aren’t among them. I adored the depth Maas gave all these characters, especially Nesta. I thought that was really well done and I hope we get to see more of Feyre’s family in the sequels.

But then Feyre goes to Amarantha with this whole “I would die for you Tamlin” mindset (which I have never loved in any book. I get that it was necessary for the plot to work but I feel like their relationship should have developed so much more before I’d find that believable), and this is where the rest of my problems lie. Now, I liked what the plot did here because things got REAL and it was just very explosive in general. However, we are introduced to Rhysand. I’ll admit, he intruiged me. He intruiged me a lot – he was so many things, you could see him as both victim and villain and I liked that complexity. But then, he starts doing unforgivable things.

He makes this deal with Feyre, basically enslaving her. (Ellis also pointed out what a plot hole this was, because enslaving humans/High Fae is very much illegal and also why everyone hated Amarantha in the first place.) Basically, she’s forced to spend a week of every month with Rhysand. That’s a quarter of her life. I’m sorry, but yes, that’s enslavement to me. And of course you could argue that she chose to make the deal, but her other choice was quite literally death. So she makes the deal with Rhys and he marks her as his.

Then, he starts taking her to parties and drugging her. He FORCES her to drink faerie wine, which, as Ellis pointed out once again (she was really on point), basically does the same as roofie-ing someone. He. Drugged. Her. Then let her dance for him and made her sit in his lap and whatnot. I’m sorry, that’s problematic right there. He forces her to wear see-through clothing she isn’t comfortable in. He tells her she belongs to him. He, like Tamlin, holds her still so she can’t escape and licks her cheek.

His only claim to innocence, as Rhys says himself, is that he never touched Feyre inappropiately. At least that counts for something, right? Well… Maybe if he’d done that because he, I don’t know, respected her rights or something. But it turns out that the only reason he didn’t molest or rape her is so Tamlin wouldn’t get angry with him. I’m getting angrier and angrier writing this review. That’s really problematic. Throughout the whole book, Feyre is treated as being someone’s ‘property’ and nobody, except maybe Lucien, has any kind of decency. I could maybe have excused this if somewhere, anywhere it was said that this was typical Faerie-behavior and indeed problematic. Instead, I felt the book condoned it because of “sexiness”, and that is something I just cannot get behind.

Rhys tries to redeem himself by trying to kill Amarantha, but he really only did it so he would be portrayed a hero in the history books (isn’t he a charmer), and I have to say that by that point I was done anyway.

Then, Feyre gets turned.

They turn Feyre into a High Fae. Without asking her whether she even wanted that. Everyone just assumes that Fae are so much better than humans, and so everyone will surely want to be Fae, right? This, in my eyes, wasn’t just cliché but also problematic. Aside from the huge Twilight-vibe I got from it (I’ll die for you then get turned into the same sort of thing you are!), what kind of message is this? I actually was looking forward to how their relationship was going to work – surely there would be some interesting dynamics with her being human and his being Fae. But all of this was cleanly swiped off the table by that decision to turn Feyre. So I guess the message basically is that you need to change yourself in order to be with the one you love. Excuse my language, but that’s bullshit. Not only did it ruin the only thing I found interesting about their relationship, what kind of message is this? I’m sure it wasn’t intended as such, but I find it problematic.

And don’t even get me started on that riddle – I guessed the answer straightaway. That, too, is pretty much overdone because love is always the answer when it comes to this sort of thing.

Don’t get me wrong – there were definitely things about this book I liked. I loved that Feyre was illiterate, because I thought it was refreshing and really fit her circumstances. I thought the writing was gorgeous, as I’ve come to expect of Maas by now. I loved Feyre’s stubbornness and her family. Maas knows how to write intruiging characters and interesting dynamics. I really, really wish I would have loved this book more. Writing this review makes me really sad, because I was so prepared to gush over this. And, of course, I’d like to make clear that I am not trying to bring anyone who did love this down, or trying to criticize fans of this book. Really, I wish I was among you guys. I was fully prepared to fangirl, but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.


1.5 Stars
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Celine is 17 years old and from the Netherlands. Quite obviously, she loves books! She has been a reader for as long as she can remember, and she believes she will be a reader forever. Celine is also obsessed with food, and loves singing along to music as loud as possible, dancing and doodling on nearly everything.

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59 Responses to Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

  1. This probably makes me ignorant person, but I enjoyed magical writing and setting so much that I decided not to pay any attention to all other “details” that would otherwise irritate me. But even though I enjoyed ACOTAR, I did not love it so I can understand your point of view as well. Plus I really did not like Rhysand. At all. He was getting on my nerves with his manupulating attitude and I-am-better-than-you behaviour. Great review, Celine!
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    • Celine says:

      Aww, I don’t think it makes you ignorant! I’ve done the same thing in the past – sometimes I can enjoy a book despite it containing elements I wouldn’t normally like. And haha, I understand! Rhys definitely had a better-than-you complex going on.
      Thanks, Lucia <33

  2. I’ve got to say, I’m very with you here Celine, I had a lot of the same issues (Tamlin being boring, the romance just not being there, Rhysand’s actions, the whole turning her) I don’t know, I feel like the more I think about the book and let it stew, I struggled to continue to love the things I did.. I haven’t written a review yet, but you’re not alone Celine, I know a few people who felt the same, do not feel alone. FABULOUS review though, honestly, got everything I want to say!<3
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    • Celine says:

      Ah, I can totally understand that. Sometimes I love a book at first and the more I think about it the more I dislike it 😐 And thanks Amanda <33

  3. Rebecca says:

    I struggle with fantasy, so even though I got an ARC, I won’t be reading. And you make good points as to why I would want to in the first place. I agree with you. I get what the authors purpose was with the above quotes, but reading it, a big, red flag went up. Sorry this ended up being up a flop for me. It’s strange, I’ve only read great, rave reviews for this, so it was interesting to hear your thoughts.
    Rebecca recently posted…Nerding Out: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky AlbertalliMy Profile

  4. Oh wow. I had high hipes for this book.. Some of the issues you mentioned, I am sure I will have a problem wit. The mask comment made me laugh. It definitely doesn’t sound good at all haha. This is a very great and eye opening review, considering you like Maas’ stories. Great review!!
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  5. Argh…. I haven’t read this yet, I was saving it, but now I am not so excited. You bring up some great points, and it is nice to read a dissenting review. The thing with the mask chafing made me laugh.
    Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings recently posted…Review: Day Shift(Midnight #2) by Charlaine HarrisMy Profile

  6. Jasprit says:

    I’m sorry that you weren’t able to enjoy this one as much as you’d hoped Celine, but I can fully understand some of the issues you had with this book, and I don’t think you’re the only that some of these didn’t appreciate some of these aspects. Thank you for your honest review!
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  7. I felt the same way about this one! I enjoyed the premises but found that it just got worse and worse as the story progressed. I’m curious enough to continue with the series, though, and I’m hoping the sequels are better, plot-wise, because as you said, Maas can definitely write. Thanks for such a thought-provoking and honest review!
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    • Celine says:

      Same for me! I do think I want to read the sequels, and I really hope they’re better and ACOTAR was just a glitch or something 😛 Thank you, Keertana <33

  8. Excilent review! I haven’t read this yet, but I totally agree with what you’ve said! Too often borderline rape is condoned in books and that is so wrong! I was really looking forward to this book, but I’ve lowered my expectations. Thank you for the warning.
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  9. Missie says:

    I am sad to hear that you didn’t love it, but it seems to be a either love or hate book!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings
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  10. I read every single word of this review. OMGOODNESS. You totally understand me and we need to talk more about Sarah J. Maas. I can’t believe she was turned and my mouth was on the ground when I read that part. HOLY BUTT BALLS Tamlin was super swoon-worthy and he was my favorite character in the book. I need to see him cross-over in one of the Throne of Glass books, but I’d prefer to see him with Celaena. I felt like both Feyre and Celaena were so similar. It’s like they were the exact same characters. Awesome review, u rock *inserts pic of rock*
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  11. While I didn’t quite dislike this one as much as you did Celine, I didn’t really get what all the hype was about either. And I completely agree about the majority of your observations – there were times the romance did feel a bit abusive or whatnot. Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts – I know how hard that is to do when you’re a black sheep about a book. Sorry you didn’t like this one as much as you wished you did – that’s always such a disappointing feeling. 🙁 Wonderful review though! ♥
    Zoe @ Stories on Stage recently posted…Court of Thorns & RosesMy Profile

  12. LET ME HUG YOU, CELINE. THIS WAS AN EXCEPTIONALLY WONDERFUL REVIEW. I had a lot of issues with the book but I couldnt’ really figure out why and what. I suspect I read it too fast (I did skim over a lot of the steamier sexy parts because they’re not so much my thing…I like well developed romance, and I never shipped Tamlin/Feyre). I didn’t really pick up the level of abuse that was kind of…eluded to there. Woah. 0-0 I thought Tamlin was boring too. I way preferred Lucien. And I felt the whole premise was weird, when Tamlin is all like “Feyre, you’re my prisoner because you just killed one of my people, so here, let me take good care of your family for you and make sure you never work and are always comfortable and happy.” WHAT. Of course this was explained with the curse, but when I spend 70% of the book thinking it’s a bit ridiculous, it’s hard to change trains of thoughts later, eh?
    Anyway. Loved this review. I agree with a lot of stuff. I did enjoy the book more than you, but it wasn’t what I was hoping for. 🙁
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    • Celine says:

      I WILL GLADLY ACCEPT YOUR HUGS. And haha, you do read exceptionally fast 😉 Tamlin bored me, Lucien was just fantastic. To me he was like the only decent character in the book, haha. AND YES. I spent 70% of the book thinking this was a HUGE plot hole.

      Thank you Cait <33 *hugs*

  13. Despite enjoying this book myself, I actually have to agree with all the points you made. The random high on magic scene with Tamlin was just weird as fuck.

    Don’t even get me started on Rhysand! I don’t even understand how people like him. He’s manipulative, sick, selfish, arrogant… and extremely abusive. If he turns into a LOVE interest in the sequel, I may just have to chuck the book across the wall. :/

    Fantastic honest review, Celine!
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    • Celine says:

      Haha, yeah it was pretty weird 😛 And I have a very strong feeling a love triangle will emerge in the sequel, especially since Feyre is forced to spend time with Rhysand now…

      Thank you, Aimee <33

  14. This is incredibly thought provoking! First, I totally agree with you about the mask thing- I was thinking that it had to be really awkward. And I DO completely agree with the whole biting incident. I honestly hadn’t thought of the “I won’t be able to stop” line while I was reading- I think I was just caught up in the story? But I DO agree with you that I despise that line. That is never okay. EVER.

    As for the Rhys stuff, I was absolutely horrified, but I kind of assumed that I was supposed to be? Like it was absolutely NOT okay that he was acting that way, and we shouldn’t think it was either- if that makes any sense at all! (I swear, in my head it did 😉 )

    But this is a really insightful review, and I am definitely going to be paying MUCH closer attention to this type of thing in the future. I am so sorry this didn’t work out for you 🙁
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    • Celine says:

      That’s good to hear 😀 And yes, I hated how the romance just smelled of abuse 🙁

      I personally think Rhys is going to be a love interest in the sequels, and that while maybe we’re not expected to condone everything he does, we are supposed to think he/his behaviour is sexy. And I really couldn’t get behind that 😐 But of course that depends on whether you think Rhys will be a villain or a love ineterest 🙂

      Thank you <33

  15. Alyssa says:

    I 100% agree with like everything you said. The only characters I really, genuinely LIKED were Nesta (at least later) and Lucien. I couldn’t ship Tamlin and Feyre at all, because of the Stockholm-y side, and Rhysand was just like “Well, I COULD have liked you if you were straight-out evil, but you are ‘good’ and doing weird evil things? Whyyyy?” The character motivations were either murky or unrealistic to me.

    I couldn’t even like the villain, whose name I STILL can’t spell, because she leaves SO MANY arbitrary magic loopholes (ash? why seven years? why this specific girl who killed one of your henchmen? why give a riddle and the three tasks? WHY NOT JUST KILL THEM AND BE DONE WITH IT.) And the High Fae ending was just whaaa? I like it when books surprise me, but damn, they had better be surprises that make me say “I SHOULD have seen that coming, but didn’t.”

    It was absolutely beautiful writing, which is why I still gave it 3 stars on Goodreads, but it was also my first SJM read and I don’t think I’m trying out another of hers unless it comes really highly recommended.
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    • Celine says:

      Same here! I loved Lucien and I thought Nesta’s character development was amazing 🙂 And yep, completely agree. I just couldn’t ship Feyre and Tamlin, and Rhys was just being creepy while we were expected not to find him creepy?

      Haha, I didn’t have any trouble with the name but I totally understand 😉 And YES, so many loopholes. If Amarantha was really so eeeevil, why didn’t she just kill Feyre on the spot? And yep, totally agree. The turning felt slightly random to me 😐

      The writing was lovely though 🙂 I can actually highly recommend her Throne of Glass series! It’s one of my favourite series and I don’t say that lightly. It’s very different from ACOTAR, and man, especially book 3 just slayed me.

  16. Amber Elise says:

    Bah, I didn’t read the review because I’m afraid of spoilers but I’m just here to say that I support your unpopular opinions Celine!

    I keep forgetting that this is NA and not YA.
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  17. benish says:

    I laughed at your mask comment LOL that is one of the stupidest concepts ever, he’s stuck in a mask. How original.. I liked this book, but I didn’t love it. I had so many issues with it as well, although my issues were different than yours. I didn’t see the abuse of Tamlin honestly, as for the biting thing I thought he wasn’t in his senses and the magic was making him do that. Back home in my country, black magic does exist and we do believe that it can control someone entirely. It has happen to a couple of my cousins before. One of my cousins ended up punching this preacher, but if she was in her senses she would never hurt someone.

    I agree about Rhy fully, he is a douchebag. Now he is quite abusive, he TWISTED her arm, now that’s just vile. The love triangle will be quite annoying if it develops more in the series. Love the honest review, so genuine!
    benish recently posted…Mixed feelings.. A Court of Thorns and Roses Review♥My Profile

    • Celine says:

      Ooh, that’s really interesting actually! Where are you from? I hadn’t heard this kind of thing before but I can definitely understand why you’d point to the magic then 🙂

      And yes, Rhys was just an asshole. And I’m pretty sure there’s going to be love triangle 😐
      Thank you, Benish! <33

  18. Jennilyn V. says:

    Woah, first not so positive review I’ve come across for ACOTAR so far! I haven’t read the book yet but I’m planning to pick up a copy. Will definitely check back on this post after I’ve read it.
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  19. You make some excellent points Celine – I actually loved this book but I definitely understand where you’re coming from. I think I kind of overlooked Tamlin’s odd gestures because I believed it was explained that he had no control when consumed by magic. But it definitely isn’t right. AND OMG, I didn’t even think about the mask when they were having sex buahaha! So weird now that I think about it 😛
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  20. Lyn Kaye says:

    You make some VERY valid points, and I agree that the line was very disgusting. Actually, I liked the book despite Tamlin. I wasn’t a fan at ALL of him, because I found him just very creepy.

    I am always glad to read about varying opinions. It sheds some light on a book, and offers new angles. Thank you for the honest review.
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  21. YES THANK YOU THIS IS EVERYTHING I’M UNABLE TO WRITE! I did like Rhys, mostly because he was evil and he knew that and there weren’t any excuses for him – that’s just an interesting character. But Tamlin being the same, but making his actions “romantic” – that’s just STUPID. UGH. So much rage. I wish I could have loved this one! At least we still have Throne of Glass 😉
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  22. I actually loved this book A LOT but I do agree with your opinion, Celine! I guess this book just made me enjoy everything so much that all these problems flew over my head! 😀 That mask thing was really weird, too! When I was reading this I kept forgetting they had all these masks attached onto their faces. Now I can’t imagine that sex scene without cringing… I mean, that mask is in the way, isn’t it?! LOLOLOL.

    I really didn’t like that they turned her into a fae as well. I desperately wanted to see how their relationship would work seeing as she has a disadvantage (shorter life span). The end felt more like a cop-out to me, honestly.
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    • Celine says:

      Haha, I’m glad you loved it! Sometimes a book just sucks you in like that 🙂 Amd yep, the sex scene is freaking weird when you can’t stop imaniging Tamlin with his mask on :’)

      Completely agree! I was really interesting in the human/fae dynamic and I feel the book ruined that aspect 😐

  23. I think this is the first negative review of this book I’ve seen so far — that’s how hyped up and loved (mostly) ACOTAR is! Everyone was just raving about the steamy and sexy romance, and the kickass heroine, but I feel like your review speaks to me more than any of those five-star ones… because I think I would feel the same way, too. D: And also, it must feel awful to love a series but hate another one by the same author!

    Argh, don’t worry, I agree that the romance does sound a little abusive — based on what you wrote and the snippets you showed us. Is this the kind of sexual relationship we’re supposed to like? I mean, I can’t say that I’m an expert when it comes to romance and sex, but as a girl, hearing: “If we keep going, I won’t be able to stop at all.” is a MEGA turn-off. Some people might find it sexy, but I sure as hell don’t. And I apologize, this “strangle sex ritual” sounds so ridiculous. I guess I’ll have to read the book to fully understand what it is, though.

    I was hoping Rhysand would be better, because based on the reviews I’d read, he sounded like the more interesting character, too. I’m glad that he was complex and all, but a definite NO for the enslavement thing that also turned out to be a huge plot hole. Again, are we supposed to find this appealing? If Feyre agreed to his deal, I would be okay, but if he was forcing her, then no way.

    This is all so incredibly disappointing. I was hoping that the romance would be something I could actually support (because I end up hating it in most NA novels), but it looks like I might have some problems with it here as well. :/ It’s great some things worked out for you, but I’m sorry that the rest didn’t live up to your expectations, Celine! I’ll probably still give it a go, even though my expectations will definitely be much lowered now. Thanks for your honest review!
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    • Celine says:

      Haha, yes, everybody seems to love it! And I really hope I’ll love the sequels or something, because I want to love all of SJM’s work, haha.

      yes, we’re definitely supposed to like and root for the romance 😐 It just makes me sad because I really don’t want people, and especially young girls, to read romances like this and think it’s okay/normal..

      Rhys was definitely interesting, but also a bit of a jackass if we’re being honest 😛

      And yes, same here 😐 I’d really hoped I would ship the ship, but unfortunately not. I really hope you’ll like it better than I did!

  24. I shall go hide my face underneath a tree. I was looking forward to this 🙁
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  26. Ksenia says:

    I started this book yesterday, and I like it so far, but it’s too early to say if it will work for me or not. I haven’t read your review, as it contains spoilers, but I’ll come back and read it after I finish the book.
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  27. Benish says:

    It’s not letting me reply to your comment so I’ll just write it here lol xD I’m from Pakistan actually, the belief that black magic does exist is common in India, Middle East and other places as well, have you heard of the Salem Trials?
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  28. Karen says:

    You are so articulate and basically point out all the flaws in this book. As for unpopular opinions: it is your opinion. And everyone is more than allowed to have their own opinion. It’s great to read reviews from readers who have had different experiences with the same book.
    For me personally I read most of those as abuse and not glorification of abuse. I can imagine that younger/more impressionable readers might see that differently though. Just the sheer terror and the fact that horrible things happened made it more real for me? I don’t know if that makes sense.
    I’m hoping for more fleshing out in the next novels (I had the same problem with Throne of Glass versus books 2 & 3). Maas’ writing is just so beautiful.

  29. Maraia says:

    I found this post on Paper Fury’s monthly roundup, and I’m always pleased to see negative reviews of this book. I’ve never read your blog before, but the design is gorgeous!

    This review is making me angry all over again. I had the same reaction to ACOTAR, and it actually horrifies me that so many girls and women are eating it up and telling themselves it’s romantic. Drunk on magic, drunk on alcohol…either way there’s no excuse for rape. Everything you and Ellis talked about is right on point. I HATE the “I won’t be able to stop” line. Not wanting to stop and physically being unable to are completely different things.

    I also hate hate hate the “weak mortal girl gets turned into strong, immortal” trope so much. Especially with that huge lack of consent. It didn’t work in Twilight, and it didn’t work here.

    This is really nitpick-y, but I thought if I read the word “whorl” one more time, I was going to scream. Yes, the writing is beautiful, but why that word? The worst part is, now I can’t stop noticing in the other fantasies I’ve read since!

    Ugh ugh ugh. This book is just so disappointing from the otherwise amazing Sarah J. Maas, and I’m struggling to not let it affect my opinion of her and her future books.

    (Also: Hahaha, I didn’t even think about the mask, but yes, that doesn’t sound very pleasant.)

    Thanks for writing this review. I hope more people start to realize that abuse isn’t sexy.

  30. Bri says:

    Celine, your review is LIFE. I had almost all the exact same responses as you and your review just MADE MY DAY. Thank you for writing this.

  31. Pingback: Sexual Violence, Bad Boys and A Court of Thrones and Roses - Mostly YA Lit

  32. Helen says:

    I totally agree with all of this! I am a bit of an ignorant reader, and I read this at a time where I wasn’t the strongest at detecting details like these – but I knew something was off with that whole kind of abusive scene. And I ended up really shipping Rhysand and Feyre, because honestly, I think the part where he gets her drunk on faerie wine to entertain himself is really part of his character. He wasn’t a saint, even if he did kind of enslave her. But I don’t think he enslaved her in a bad way, just in a way where he wasn’t the kind of person to give out free healing with no cost. I guess it is true that they all pretty much thought they owned her rights and that bestowing the gift of High Fae-ness would be a total blessing. Great review, though! 🙂
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  34. Val says:

    Hey Celine! I thought your points are great. And I agree with a lot of them. The second book came out earlier this week and I decided to see if I could stomach more. *slight general plot spoiler*

    A lot of what was wrong with the first book turns out to have been intentional. I was actually pretty pleasantly surprised when those red flags we both noticed about Tamlin are addressed and *spoiler 2* two of Feyre’s friends hels her get the fuck out of the spring court.

    On Rhysand: One thing I really didn’t like was the drugging which I think was explained away pretty weakly (Amarantha is forcing him to drug and humiliate Feyre to make Tamlin feel like she’s “unfaithful” [ugh] and since she still has control over Rhysand – literally using him as a sex slave – he can’t do anything about it. I thought this reasoning was weak.

    I did think it was useful to hear a bit more of Rhysand’s perspective. I can understand him better as a character & and his motivations which surprisingly made a lot more sense to me. I guess I kind of forgot that Feyre spends maybe 7 minutes actually alone with Rhysand and her perspective (the only one we get) is understandably colored by his heinous public persona which he uses to protect himself and the people he cares about from Amarantha.

    All in all, I think you’d like the second book far better than the first. A lot of those creepy and wrong messages are have the spotlight shone on them. I think it might be eye opening for a lot of readers who accepted Tamlin and Rhysand’s behavior. Trust me, in book 2 Maas makes it clear the disrubing and manipulative behavior both men exibit is just that. She draws clear parallels between the love interests sexual coersion and Amarantha which I liked.

    I hope you give it a chance. I think the author was playing the long game here 🙂

  35. Val says:

    *quick comment about the 1 week of the month with Rhysand thing.

    He had a surprisingly good reason for it (it ends up saving her life)

    And when it comes to the time to actually take her away, he ASKS if she wants to go. Tamlin… Let’s just say… Just like in book one, asking is not something I think he ever does

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