Well, as much as I hate to make up excuses, I’ve been real sick for the past weeks, couldn’t even sit in my seat to turn on my computer. So that’s why I’ve been MIA. But anyway, I am back now, with a bunch of good books to review. First and foremost is A Court of Thorns and Roses series by one of my favorite fantasy writers ever, Sarah J. Maas.
Until 2020, there have been four books published as parts of the series, with a promise of addition published in 2021. The whole series starts with a novel with same title, A Court of Thorns and Roses, followed by A Court of Mist and Fury, and then the climax book, A Court of Wings and Ruin, and finally, or might I say, temporarily it closes with an epilogue book, A Court of Frost and Starlight. I’ve read all four, and decided that each one of them deserves its own review. So, I will start my own series of review with the first book today.
A Court of Thorns and Roses is the introduction copy. It presents our young heroine, Feyre, at her absolute lowest point in her life. A fourteen year old girl, struggling to be a strong backbone for her destitute but ignorant family. Hunger trumps danger, despite the hazard for a girl her age to be out by herself long into the dark night, hunting is her only means to put food on the table. On top of it, it’s winter and this is during hard times. Food is getting rarer by day, and every time the child goes out to seek out prey, the deeper she needs to trail into the wood.
One day, out of desperation, she tracks much further than she should’ve been into the darkness. Until, she sees it. A huge wolf. Bigger than the normal size. Could it be a Faerie under a guise? It would be disaster if it was, but Feyre is not taking any chance, not now when food is scarce. She pulls out her only arrow that’s been made from ash. It was expensive so she only bought one, but they say that only ash can kill Faeries. Not taking any chance. She nocks her arrow. The wolf could be just a normal one, just bigger than its folks. As quietly as she can, she shifts her aim, stills her hand, and finally sets the arrow loose. Right to its heart. But what if it’s a Faerie? Did she just bring doom to her own door?
Here, we’re at the outermost door to the whole saga and we’re being introduced to our only heroine for now. She’s the one who’ll lead us through the first novel single-handedly. Names aren’t taking permanent seats at this point, but we get to peek at Prythian and all about it, but remember, as a visitor. But! In the meantime, there’s a sprinkle of intense romance with even one or two bites of sexy teasing for us horny ladies! So be happy! And excited.
Compared with Sarah J. Maas’ older series, Throne of Glass, the realm looks very similar all with the Faeries and magic. Didn’t see any witch, yet everything else appears to be much alike. However, the first lady is incredibly different this time round.
While Celaena Sardothien is portrayed as a well-developed assassin, vicious and highly skilled right off the bat, Feyre is very much different sort of a girl. Still not any closer to stereotypical woman fighter, nevertheless, she’s written as a naïve and untried youth. Celaena is a leader by lineage and skill-set, whereas Feyre is a tough young girl, who surely stands out among her crowd, but is still way too green to lead any troops. And, in a change of Celaena’s stubbornness, we get Feyre’s ignorance and inexperience.
Now, you’d think, there’s more room for the persona of Feyre to develop with an almost nude zero point, yet I don’t think so. Both heroines have equally captivating wanderer to hero journey, it’s just that they’re just not the same. Let me put it this way, where Celaena’s adventure lays on her trying to work her way around her born royal fate, Feyre’s is on her answers to life challenges with growing and maturing on the inside.
Feyre is by no means the weaker one, even without Celaena’s mercenary skills or her blue blood, she still shares the same tendency to ram onto her problems right on. A trait that surely makes it exhilarating to follow them both closely.
In a subtle way, –or not so subtle?– always putting a woman as a center figure is empowerment. And I’m so glad that there’s more than one typical kind of woman that get to be a champion. It’s good to know that a strong-willed girl can be just as threatening as a full-fledged hit woman.
Personally, I am mesmerized by Faeries and the whole nine yards about them. Faeries are more instinctual than humans, but they possess thoughts and feelings just like how we do. Putting them as a lynchpin, kindly allows the writer to describe love in a wild but far more honest fashion. When Faeries experience love, they get territorial and animalistic, a male would snarl at another male who’s getting near to his mate. And here’s what interests me even more. The rules of mating bond. Here, originally I wanted to quote Tamlin, but laziness got the better of me, and I ended up not finding the exact words in the book. Anyway, more or less, here’s what Tamlin said to Feyre, ‘most of Faeries would marry, but only few would find their mates. And there’s no comparing mating with marrying.’ Honestly? I think that is just the most romantic thing offered in the whole packet of Maas’ Faeries. The idea of most people could marry, but only a few could find their true loves? Now, that’s magic.