Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Series Review of A Court of Thorns and Roses Trilogy by Sarah J. Maas

I have been trying to figure out a way to share all these books I read with you but still include other non-review posts on the blog.  One method I have come up with was to share the reviews for an entire series (or pair) of books in one post.  I will do my absolute best to keep spoilers out of these posts in case you plan to read the books, but there is a slight chance that even the synopsis of a book can give away the result of the previous book. So if you don't want to know anything at all about the later books in a series that might giveaway something in the first book STOP READING NOW!

So to give you a little background story on this, I first read Maas' other series, A Throne of Glass series and I disliked it so much that I gave up on it.  But before getting to that point she had made an appearance at our local Barnes and Noble and I purchased the first two books in this trilogy and got them signed.  So I kind of felt like after that I really had to at least read them.  I put off picking them up until near the third books release.  Well, this is how I felt about them  . . . 

 Synopsis: "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."

My Review: I know how everyone has raved about this series and I am somewhat late to the game (but at least I won't have to wait long for the final book right). Anyway, I was on my way into a reading slump but this book really pulled me back out quickly. I was a little hesitant to read this one as I was not a fan of the Throne of Glass series. I quickly latched onto the world and the characters in this one though. While Feyre wasn't my favorite character in the world I do appreciate her strength and determination. I also really enjoyed the familiar Beauty and the Beast storyline and elements but the changes Maas made in her re-telling were great, it made this story unique and set it apart from the original. I did find that the story started to slow down and draw out a little too much in the middle but it was easy to push through until it picked back up steam. Knowing that the second book has some Hades and Persephone elements in it, I found the transition from one re-telling to the next was carefully crafted and a smooth transition. I am really looking forward to the next book because (like so many others) Rhys!

My Rating: I absolutely loved the way that Maas took the story of Beauty and the Beast and made it completely her own and then the transition into the next story was great. I loved the characters and the story line. I give it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!


Synopsis: "Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights."

My Review: This was an interesting read for me, I went into this series not expecting much because I wasn't a fan of the Throne of Glass series, but then after inhaling the first book and absolutely loving it I kind of expected this one to blow me away. I had heard that this was a bit of a Hades and Persephone re-telling, which just so happens to be one of my favorite myths, so I was very excited to read this book. I did find that while there are elements of the myth in this book, it was very loose compared to the first book's re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. While I was a little disappointed that it wasn't more of a re-telling, that did not by any means reduce my enjoyment of the book. As I said in my review of book one, I was immediately a fan of Rhys, and my love for him only grew as we got to know more of him and his Night Court. I also love the way that Feyre developed as a character, she went through some extreme highs and lows throughout this book, I appreciate the time that was taken to allow her to develop as a character. While I did enjoy the story, it wasn't blowing me out of the water and I was a little confused as to some of the raving reviews I have seen, that is until I reached the last couple of chapters. The ending totally blew me away, not at all what I was expecting and the multiple twists at the end make me glad I waited until now to read it so I only have to wait 2 or so weeks for the final book! 

My Rating: This was such a consuming read, I again adored the characters, especially some of the newly introduced characters.  The story sucks you in and keeps you turning pages.  Was it the most perfectly written book, no, but it was certainly entertaining, on the verge of causing a book hang over.  I give this one a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!


Synopsis: "A nightmare, I’d told Tamlin. I was the nightmare.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit—and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords—and hunt for allies in unexpected places."

My Review: After the ending of A Court of Mist and Fury, book 2 in the series, this was definitely a much anticipated read. While I did purchase this the day it came out, I didn't read it right away, I left it to chill on my shelves for a little bit. I am kind of glad I didn't pick it up right away because I feel like i would have been even more disappointed in it than I already ended up being. The book kicked off really great with a lot of plotting, undermining, and just plain ruthless Feyre paybacks, which was awesome! Then things started to dissolve into a mass of rushing, action that doesn't do too much, characters doing things out of character, etc. The cost of the battles and war just wasn't what it should have been, the romances that developed mostly seemed forced, and while it was all wrapped up in a nice little bow at the end, it just wasn't satisfying. I will continue to read the companion books in the future because I do still really love all the characters, especially Azriel. All in all while not quite up to the standard I was expecting, still a very good book and a quick read.

My Rating: While this book was still completely consuming, and I still loved the characters, it does show what happens when editors and critics and current publishing trends get between an author and their story. While things were setting up to go a certain way for some characters, they went in a completely different direction, abruptly and poorly developed, to conform with current market demands.  Also, as I have started to notice with so many YA fantasies, the conclusion isn't taken far enough, the stakes are not quite high enough.  Anyway, unfortunately this rating dropped from what it was expected to be after the previous two books down to Three Paws and a Stump Wag.


Full Series Review: This series started out so fantastically well, it was on point to becoming my favorite of the year but unfortunately the final book really brought it down.  I really think that Maas should have stuck with her original plot lines and character behaviors even though there were demands and critiques for more diverse characterization. Instead of changing an already established character and story arc, this diversity could have been added in (and was to some degree) with new characters in the branch off companion books instead of being poorly thrown in.  I was also a little underwhelmed with the final battle scenes, support that couldn't be found suddenly appeared all to conveniently.  The stakes weren't high enough either,  you can't tell me that in a battle where their side was being utterly destroyed that all of the inner circle just happened to be able to survive, there needed to be a dramatic death (without a reincarnation). Anyway, now that I have probably spoiled everything for you, my final rating for the series as a whole is Four Paws. Even with the numerous flaws it was still a very enjoyable series to get lost in and you couldn't help but become attached to the characters throughout the series.  I will probably continue with the companion books and see what happens but I doubt Maas will be able to get back to the level of the first and second books in this series.

Have you read this series? What was your favorite book or scene? Do you have a particularly favorite character?  What is your opinion on authors altering their original plot lines to appease the current market demands and wishes?


  1. I've had high hopes for this series because I've only read Throne of Glass but found it only mildly interesting and I've heard this is the better series. Too bad it went down hill after the first book. Do you know if the author was indeed pressured to end it the way she did or are you assuming?

    1. These were definitely way better than Throne of Glass in my opinion, I really enjoyed the characters in this one as opposed to Throne of Glass and things didn't feel as forced with these (at least until the final book). I have just read (and watched) many, many reviews of the first two books and so many people were attacking her about lacking in the diversity (especially LGBTQ+ realm) and so I am assuming that is why one character in particular seemed to have such a drastic turn in their plot line.