A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

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5+ stars

This wonderfully imaginative, enchanting, but also dark story, transported me to a fantasy world where love co-exists with the deepest cruelty. It is a brilliant retelling of the Beauty and the Beast tale, with vivid descriptions of an immortal realm and some incredibly suspenseful scenes.

Feyre is a young mortal woman, whose life has been all about surviving. Living in poverty since the loss of her family’s fortune, she has been looking after her father and sisters, often hunting alone in the woods to find some food. One day, she kills a wolf. She suspects that the beast might be a Faerie, from the neighbouring immortal realm of Prythian, but feels she has no other choice to save her life. Shortly after, a gigantic beast appears on the family’s house doorstep, requesting the payment for murdering a Faerie : her life. She can either accompany him to Prythian or die. She chooses to follow him.

Feyre is scared, Prythian is a country of frightening legends and the mortals who went over the wall marking its border never came back. After a journey of several days, they finally arrive to their destination : a sprawling estate, surrounded by woods and rose gardens. As it happens, the beast is no less than Tamlin, the High Lord of the Spring Court, ruler of one of the seven Courts of Prythian. As soon as they have arrived, the beast turns into a golden-haired man.

Feyre gets acquainted with Tamlin’s friend Lucien, a noble High Fae, who seems to have suffered a lot in his past. She soon realizes that everybody at the estate is worried. There is a sickness in Tamlin’s lands, a blight that spreads slowly, weakening his magic powers. Danger is everywhere, surrounding them.

Tamlin is a very seductive character, loyal, open and honest. Despite their differences, the attraction between him and Feyre is very strong. But Feyre wants to go home, to keep her promise to her dying mother and take, once again, care of her family.

Will Feyre’s love save Tamlin and his people, or will she abandon him to a terrible fate ? Can she, a mere mortal, save him from the evil force of Amarantha, the High Queen of Prythian ?

Brilliant and suspenseful storytelling, great characters, including some intriguing secondary characters, wonderfully depicted fantasy world, this book has it all. I can’t wait for the next book in the series to be released. Highly recommended.

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