A Court of I’m Torn and Confused // Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)Genre: Young Adult, New Adult?, Fantasy
Date Published: May 5th 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children
Pages: 416
Buy: Amazon // Book Depository // Bloomsbury
Australian: Angus & Robertson // Booktopia // Bloomsbury Australia
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Feyre is a huntress.

She thinks nothing of slaughtering a wolf to capture its prey. But, like all mortals, she fears what lingers mercilessly beyond the forest. And she will learn that taking the life of a magical creature comes at a high price…

Imprisoned in an enchanted court in her enemy’s kingdom, Feyre is free to roam but forbidden to escape. Her captor’s body bears the scars of fighting, and his face is always masked – but his piercing stare draws her ever closer. As Feyre’s feeling for Tamlin begin to burn through every warning she’s been told about his kind, an ancient, wicked shadow grows.

Feyre must find a way to break a spell, or lose her heart forever.

Before we start I just wanna give a shout out to Fadwa @ Word Wonders and Fatima @ Noteable Pad. Two of their recent reviews, which I linked to, really helped inspire me to write this and also Fadwa’s post about Unpopular Opinions – make sure to check them out!

I’m about to express some unpopular opinions in this and I know that a lot of people love this book and I’m in no way intending to offend anyone. I just want to be honest about my thoughts and feelings. I’m quite nervous about posting this. I’m honestly not trying to say anyone who loves this book shouldn’t ect. we all have different thoughts and feelings. This is just how I feel. I know it’s always disheartening to see someone not love your favourite book, but that doesn’t take anything away from you and how you feel about it.

Parts of this review is going to contain spoilers for A Court of Thorn and Roses. I haven’t read A Court of Mist and Fury yet and I have somehow managed to avoid all spoilers so please no mention of what happens in that book, thank you! I’m going to split this review into two sections. The first part will be a Mini Review with NO SPOILERS and then I’ll get into a more in depth discussion and by “in depth discussion” I mean messy rant that will be filled with SPOILERS GALORE. 

 Mini Spoiler Free Review

A Court of Thorns and Roses is the closest I’ve come to a “cover buy”. Covers are always the first thing I notice, but I’ll always read the blurb and do some Goodreads research. I did this with A Court of Thorns and Roses, but I also went against most of my instincts and hesitation with high fantasy and bought it anyway. I saw all the positive reviews and some really nice edits on Tumblr and reading the blurb I was intrigued by the idea that Feyre was a huntress. I started reading this book last year, but then The Great Reading Slump happened and I put it on hold forever. I FINALLY finished it yesterday and I have A LOT of mixed thoughts and feelings.

Feyre is a “huntress” (I say this with quotation marks because the only time we see this is at the start and end of the book) who is trying to help keep her family alive. She is out hunting one day and kills what she thinks is a wolf, but actually turns out to be a fae. The punishment for when a human kills a fae is usually death, but in this case an exception is made and Feyre gets to travel across the wall that was built to separate mortals and fae and live with a fae high lord, Tamlin. Feyre eventually learns that a curse that has fallen over the courts that forces everyone to wear a mask. She then tries to seek out the truth on her own, because no one else will tell her. A Court of Thorns and Roses is a fairytale retelling loosely based around Beauty and the Beast. I can’t really comment on that aspect because I’m not familiar enough with Beauty and the Beast, but from what I do know it seemed like an interesting enough take on it.

This book has beautiful writing, I got so caught up in the world Sarah J. Maas had created. I loved the use of descriptive words. It was so easy to get immersed into the story. Everything was incredibly captivating. At certain times I almost felt like everything that was happening to Feyre was actually happening to me. I mostly enjoyed the world building even if I did get a little confused at times. I really loved the idea of all the different courts. The last 20% of the book was, for the most part, brilliant.  This book also reads like a Young Adult for the majority, but there are a few sex scenes that are definitely New Adult. I found myself cringing at parts of them, but I have to admit they are some of the better ones that I’ve seen. Mostly because of how SJM writes so descriptively. Even though I wasn’t a huge fan of Feyre and Tamlin’s relationship I could at least feel the chemistry between them.

I really loved seeing Feyre’s relationship with her sisters, Nesta and Elaine. Nesta was a really interesting character and I wish we had the chance to learn more about her. I totally appreciated Amarantha as a villain too. As soon we were introduced to her I immediately wanted to know everything about her. She was brilliantly evil and I could easily read an entire book about her. I liked seeing Feyre’s scenes with Alis, who was a servant in the castle, too.

“Be careful of the curse that falls on young lovers // Starts so soft and sweet and turns them to hunters” [©]
When I first started reading this book last year I was really enjoying the start of it, but then once I read on there was just too many inconsistencies with characters and pacing for me to love this book completely. I understand that High Fantasies are usually slower paced, but the start of this book had a really consistent pacing and then in the middle it just lacked and then the ending was borderline fast paced and we got an overload of information.

For the main part I did enjoy Feyre as a main character. It just frustrated me how Feyre is dangerously careless for a lot of the book in a way that totally goes against her role as a supposed hunter. I’m all for characters defying orders if it’s done in the right way, but some of Feyre’s decisions were completely reckless.

I felt like there was a lot of problematic issues that were romanticised which is one of the tropes I hate more than anything else in the world. I couldn’t really get invested in Tamlin or Rhysand because they both did things to Feyre that made me extremely uncomfortable (trigger warnings for victim blaming, manipulation, being drugged and non consensual physical contact). The only male character I loved in this book was Lucien.

The curse felt EXTREMELY convenient. Almost TOO convenient. The ending albeit predictable was refreshing in the way that I’m glad the thing that happened wasn’t dragged out over multiple books. It took me about four or five hours to decide on a rating and now it’s been a few days and I’m still not really sure. I was tossing up anywhere from 2-4 stars. I decided on 3 because even though I had issues I can’t take away how brilliant the writing was.

Despite not absolutely loving this book I am still going to read A Court of Mist and Fury because I’m intrigued enough to see what happens next and lots of people have said it’s better than the first book! I’m just hoping there isn’t any love triangles. If you haven’t read A Court of Thorns and Roses then I’d still suggest checking it out because you might love it! I just can’t say “oh my god I love this book” because at the end of the day: I didn’t.


Here are some BookTubers that explain my thoughts and feelings a lot better than I can:

Sam @ ThoughtsOnTomes, Marines @ mynameismarines, Sophia @ The Book BasementSanaa @ Ink Bones Books and Kayley Hyde.

These videos contain spoilers.






Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first, shall we? 

The Most Convenient Curse & Easiest Riddle Ever Award goes to….

It was like the curse was an afterthought to everything else and then SJM just decided to try and find something that would fit with what she already wrote. I honestly almost put the book down at this point. I also didn’t like how the blame was all shifted to Feyre, like she was the cause of this centuries old curse because she didn’t break it when she had the chance (despite not knowing ANYTHING about it?) The message I was getting was that she had no right to be unsure of her feelings. The riddle was SO EASY. I’m not even close to being good at solving logic puzzles and I figured it out within five minutes. I totally understand that Feyre can’t read (and I really love that SJM included that as part of her character) so putting certain phrases and words together may not come as easy to her, but like honestly? She managed to figure out how Tamlin’s heart was made of stone in minutes under extreme pressure, but she couldn’t figure out the riddle?

Team No One, tbh

[I can already see the pitchforks that are coming after me for what I’m about to say here 😂😂😂]

I’m not part of the ‘fandom’ but all over BookTube and Goodreads I see people expressing their loyalty for Tamlin or Rhysand and I just don’t feel that passionately about either of them. Tamlin was extremely inconsistent and bland and Rhysand was a creep.

Until the last few chapters I was SO confused about why everyone loved Rhysand so much and then I guess I could see why, but it doesn’t excuse his behaviour. I appreciate and love that he is a complex character because they’re one of my favourite types and admittedly he’s definitely one of the strongest parts of the book, but his actions shouldn’t be romanticised. It feels like he’s going to become a romantic interest for Feyre and I really don’t know how I feel about that. He drugged Feyre repeatedly, but we’re supposed to be totally chill with it because hey he didn’t touch her below the waist! He literally took advantage of a DYING GIRL to get her to make a bargain with him and for what? To piss off Tamlin? But hey, he’s SUCH A GREAT GUY BECAUSE HE COULD HAVE DONE X, Y AND Z INSTEAD? I don’t think so, buddy. I’m not talking about the kiss. Even though that made me uncomfortable, I definitely understand his motives for that. I’m talking about the emotional abuse and the non-consensual touching, making her dance for him and invading her mind. I know in a roundabout way some of these actions can be justified and like I said above I’m okay with morally ambiguous characters, but it really irked me that it was all seemingly being romanticised, that we weren’t supposed to care and are actually supposed to want Feyre to be with him.

Just like Tamlin biting Feyre on Fire Night. There was major victim blaming going on “Stay in your room because I have no control and it’ll be your fault if I attack you”. He was really controlling and possessive at times too.

Basically, I’d much prefer Feyre to be on her own and ruling a Court than with either of them.

Now, onto the things I did enjoy! 

Under the Mountain

Whilst I had a few issues with this part of the book (mainly Rhysand’s treatment of Feyre) for the most part I really enjoyed it. I felt like the pacing was a lot more on point and I found myself wanting to keep reading to see what happened. I liked the challenges Feyre had to complete. I found the idea of a giant worm a bit amusing, but I felt like for the FIRST TIME since the start of the book that we got to see Feyre be an actual huntress and it was brilliant. The challenge with Lucien was the first time I felt actual distress in this book. The third challenge was incredibly intense and I was on the edge of my seat seeing what Feyre decided to do. I like that Sarah J. Maas specified that Feyre killed the fae because of the entire court and the curse and not just because of Tamlin.

Like I said in my Mini Spoiler Free Review I really, really enjoyed Amarantha as a villain. She was so layered and complex and brilliantly evil. Whilst the riddle was ridiculously easy, I can actually excuse her doing that because she’s obviously over confident so the levels of difficulty probably wouldn’t have even occurred to her. She truly believed that there was NO WAY Feyre could defeat her. I can definitely appreciate evil characters – they’re normally always a favourite of mine – which is why I did enjoy Rhysand at first (and appreciate how conflicting he was), but I just couldn’t get on board with his actions and behaviour.


I honestly think Nesta may have been my favourite character. She felt so layered and I loved how headstrong she was. The fact that she could see through the Glamour was so interesting and I would have loved to learnt more about that. I absolutely adored the conversation Feyre had with Nesta once she’d come back. I really hope we get more of Nesta (and Elaine) in ACOMAF.

Lucien OR My Shining Light in the Darkness 

I love Lucien. I love him so much. He was such a great character. Even though he was a side character I felt like he had so much more substance and depth than Tamlin did. He definitely made me enjoy the book a lot more and when I was almost considering putting it down and not picking it back up he was a huge part of the reason to why I kept going. He was the ONLY character I cared enough to be worried about. If anything happens to him in ACOMAF I will riot.

Have you read A Court of Thorns and Roses? Or are you planning to? Did you share feelings similar to mine or was it a favourite? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Hope you’re having a fantastic day xx

P.S. Please don’t hate me 😅

79 thoughts on “A Court of I’m Torn and Confused // Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas

  1. I love SJM and I haven’t read this yet I’m saving it for my holiday. I’m sad you didn’t like it as much as other people seemed to but I appreciate you putting your thoughts out there about it because I know posting negative reviews are v daunting.


    1. stupid laptop -_-
      As I was saying, I’m so happy that my post helped you and that my rant had some kind of positive outcome :p and I must say that Fatima’s is so so well done !
      Yours too is GREATLY done (the spoiler-less parts I read) I love it ! I’m still hoping to get to this book soon to see what all the hype is about, or maybe not? hahaha
      Anyway, great review !


  2. I hope you like the second book better, it’s far superior and (I think) less problematic.

    Also, you definitely shouldn’t feel bad for not liking a book. It would be a pretty boring world if everyone liked all the same things. =)


  3. Lauren, this is a wonderful and honest review! This is exactly what a review should be like. You weren’t mean about, and there were parts you liked too. After reading this, I don’t think I’d like the book at all. Tamlin and Rhysand touching Feyre without consent would have bothered me too much, and it’s not really okay for them to get away with it. The part about the riddle is a bit humorous too. I would’ve picked on that if I ever reviewed this book.
    So yeah, great review! Think I’ll avoid this one.
    Thank you for the shout out! I learnt from Fadwa, so we should just thank her 😀


    1. Thanks so much, Fatima. That definitely means a lot to me! I was definitely trying to not make it all negative and be as fair and constructive as possible. Yeah, the abusive behaviour dressed up as romance was really what killed it for me. I probably would have enjoyed it more if that wasn’t a thing. I can kind of deal with inconsistent characters/pacing, but I just can’t excuse that kind of stuff :/ The riddle was so easy that I was second guessing myself because I was like “surely not”, but alas I was right, haha.

      Haha, the both of you are brilliant ♥

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I completely understand. I sort of had the same problem with TWatD (well, actually there were a lot of problems with it) but I couldn’t get over the main ones.

        Haha aw, thank you! You’re included in the triad of brilliance 😀


  4. I actually had the same issues with this book! I really enjoyed it when I read it, because I knew going into it that it was going to romance heavy, and the writing was really good, so I could forgive some of the things that I found silly (I actually found the masks kinda silly). But then, later on, some stuff really started to bug me. I think if it hadn’t have been for the fact that I absolutely love the world in this book, I might have dropped it down to 3 stars too.

    Like you said, the riddle was ridiculous, and I just could not take it seriously. It was supposed to be the main tension of the latter part of the book and it kind of killed the intensity for me.The scenes with Rhysand also made me SUPER uncomfortable, especially since we were apparently supposed to like him.

    I’m also going to read ACOMAF because I’m curious enough, and ultimately I did like ACOTAR, but I’m also really wary about it! I keep telling myself that it’s probably better to go in with slightly lower expectations and be surprised, than high expectations and be disappointed!


    1. So glad I’m not the only one who had these issues! I absolutely loved the world so much too, the writing was so beautiful.

      I was second guessing myself when I figured it out because I was like, “…surely it can’t be THIS easy”. And yes! I really could have enjoyed him as a character a lot more if his actions weren’t excused and romanticised. I just can’t deal with that at all :/

      I’m going in with an open mind, I’m definitely not expecting to love it but I’ve heard it’s a lot better so hopefully I’ll be pleasantly surprised haha.


      1. Same! I kept thinking that I was missing something, or there had to be a twist haha!

        Yeah, I’ve heard that it’s a lot better too, even from people who absolutely loved the first book, so I’m hoping it’s true!


  5. I’ve been putting this book off for SO LONG and I’m starting to see a lot of negative opinions about it. I really hate when books romanticize abuse and physical/mental assault, so I might have to give this one a miss!


    1. It irked me so much. I just couldn’t excuse it. I would have really enjoyed it a lot more if the things that happened were called out, but we’re supposed to want to ship the MC with the guy who was doing all of this and just nope. That ship is EXTREMELY popular though so I definitely feel like the odd one out haha. I don’t want to say not to read it, but I also wouldn’t say it’s a “must read”, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I have only read the mini spoiler review, because I still have this book on my TBR. By the way, excellent spoiler free review – I see many struggling with this, and you did it amazingly well. So I got this book during a Kindle Daily Deal, the price was great, and the cover convinced me as well. I admit I am not a particular fan of Maas’s style but I have been curious about this book for a while. I need to put some time aside to get to read this soon and cross thoughts, even being reluctant at the same time considering some points you have mentioned.


    1. Thank you so much! I always get nervous about posting reviews (negative or positive), because I’m not the best at writing them so that really means a lot to me 😊 I’d definitely love to hear your thoughts on it when you read it. I think I would have enjoyed it more if there wasn’t so many borderline abusive moments dressed up as romance because the world was really brilliant.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I had a similar reaction. I didn’t love Throne of Glass but I picked this series up because people were raving.

    But…there’s virtually no plot until Feyre gets Under the Mountain, which is…most of the book without a plot. I will say ACOMAF has a plot, though, so that’s an improvement.

    I also really hated Feyre. I just didn’t buy she’s some badass character. She keeps SAYING she is, but I didn’t find it convincing. She’s super annoying in the beginning of ACOMAF too, but she actually grows on me later.

    I actually have higher hopes for Lucien for book 3.

    Great discussion!


    1. I haven’t read Throne of Glass, but I have the first book so I’ll be really interested to see what I think. I’m quite intimidated because of how many books there is in the series and because it’s another one that everyone loves.

      Right! It felt like absolutely nothing happened after Feyre arrived at the castle until she decided to go under the mountain an then whilst I did enjoy that it felt like /too much/ was happening.

      That’s good to hear! I’m going to go in with an open mind.

      Thanks so much!


      1. Because I’m not really following the series, I am perpetually surprised when a new book comes out. I definitely thought the series was over like three times now. :p I will say Maas wrote the first draft of ToG when she was fairly young, and I think you can still tell after revisions, but I hear the series gets even better as it goes along because obviously she’s a more experienced writer now.


  8. This one is so hyped all I can think whenever I see this book is “I’m not going to read it because of the hype. The blurb didn’t interest me.” It’s refreshing to see you didn’t love it like most people I’ve heard/read reviews from so far. 😅 I hope you enjoy the sequel more! 🙂


  9. I read The Throne of Glass and had problems with how the men treated the women among lots of other things. I wasn’t planning on reading any of her other books. This review cemented that. I loved it. Personally I love reviews like this because I know know that this author is not for me. There are too many books on me ports to plunder i.e. tbr list for me to read series that aren’t to my taste. A review like yours is helpful in that regard.
    x The Captain


    1. Ah, it’s disappointing to hear that features in the Throne of Glass series too. Thanks so much for the kind words, Captain! I don’t ever want to steer people away from reading books, but I also can’t honestly say that this is a “must read”. I’m glad you found my review helpful 😊!


  10. I had a lot of the same issues with ACoTaR, especially with the (so-called) romance and the ridiculously easy riddle.

    I’m actually reading ACoMaF right now, and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. I considered not continuing with the series, but everyone said it was better than ACoTaR so I gave it a chance. The romance is certainly a bit less problematic (so far), since some of the unacceptable behavior is finally acknowledged for what it is, but I can’t forget what happened in ACoTaR.

    Great review! 🙂


    1. So good to hear I’m not alone! I think if the romance was handled better I might have enjoyed the book more.

      That’s semi relieving to hear, haha. I’m going to go in with an open mind. If I feel the same way then I probably won’t be continuing with the series.


      Liked by 1 person

  11. I only read the spoiler-less part of this, since I haven’t read this book, but I’m so glad you decided to write this! I don’t know whether I want to read this book or not, since well, it’s so hyped and I’m curious, but it’s refreshing to see an unpopular opinion about it 🙂


  12. I did love ACOTAR, but I felt a bit iffy on some points and your review perfectly put those vague feelings into concrete words for me, so thank you! While I did love ACOTAR, I also completely agree with your review! Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion and all those different opinions keep it interesting and worth discussing so don’t feel bad about posting an ‘unpopular opinion’ 🙂

    I would definitely recommend giving A Court of Mist and Fury a try – I did think it was a lot better than ACOTAR and based on your review I do think you may also like this one better. More of the same gorgeous writing, but better character development for Feyre, more friendships, better pacing and I personally also liked the romance aspect a lot more.


    1. I was so worried I’d accidentally offend someone who loved the book, so I’m really glad that didn’t happen here, haha! Thank you so much.

      I’m definitely going to go into ACOMAF with an open mind. I’ve heard it’s a lot better so hopefully I’ll have a more positive reading experience!


  13. I loved your review! I was one of the people who really enjoyed this book but yeah there were problematic parts and, even though I loved it, I definitely did not like some aspects (the whole Feyre/Rhys thing Under the Mountain was a big one for me).
    I just finished ACOMAF on Friday and honestly I thought that it was so much better than the first book. Are you planning to pick it up soon?
    Also congrats on figuring out the riddle. I honeslty couldn’t get it and I like to think I’m kind of good with puzzles and things like that!


    1. Thanks so much, Beth. I was really worried I’d accidentally offend someone who loved the book so I’m glad that didn’t happen! I think I would have maybe given it 4 stars if all the problematic elements weren’t confused because the writing and the world really were beautiful.

      I bought ACOMAF the other day because Target is the cheapest for books where I live and I didn’t want it to sell out haha, but I’m not sure when I’m going to read it. I should probably do it soon because I can’t believe I’ve avoided spoilers for this long, haha. My luck will probably run out soon. I’m definitely going to go in with an open mind!

      I actually can’t believe I figured it out. I did reread it a few times and I honestly thought I was wrong because it seemed like such an obvious answer.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right! I don’t mind reading reviews that offer a different viewpoint from my own, a lot of the times I pick up things that I didn’t notice at first and realise that, yeah I noticed that too! I love the world building in all of Sarah Maas’ books, honestly I don’t think she can be beat when it comes to that aspect.
        I started reading ACOMAF as soon as I received book and I still saw kind of spoilers (didn’t spoil anything plot related just something which happens with one of the characters) I was still just as shocked reading it. But I hope when you do get around to read it you enjoy it, I loved ACOMAF so much more than the first book, I didn’t think it had any problematic issues but it’s possible I missed some and looking back I’ll be able to point them out.
        I thought about it for like five minutes and gave up, I assumed we’d find out at some point during the book and I was right about that part at least! 😀


        1. Ah, yes same here! I can definitely understand why people love the series.

          I hope I enjoy it too! I know a few people who didn’t like ACOTAR, but liked ACOMAF so hopefully I’ll be one of those.

          Haha! I was glad when we found out. I didn’t want it to be one of those things were we had to wait until the next book 😂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Sarah J. Maas is one of my favourite authors, and I’m definitely one of the people who love the series, I’m also one of the people who loved ACOMAF so much more than ACOTAR, hopefully you are as well!
            God if we hadn’t found out by the end of the first book I would have been typing the riddle into the Internet to find the answer, I wouldn’t have been able to wait for the second to see if we’d (potentially) find out the answer then!


              1. The first book isn’t as good as the rest of the series (and most people seem to agree) but if you stick with it I do think the series gets soooo much better! I loved the fourth book and am so excited for the fifth it is unreal. I hope you love it, but I think if you liked ACOTAR you should 😀


                1. I’m definitely going to give the second (and maybe) third ones a go! I always try not to judge a series by the first book unless I’ve had serious problems with it! I really hope I love it because it seems like there’s so many amazing characters and a great world!

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. I loved the second, I thought the third was a little slow but the fourth was the best of the lot so far! I’m actually incapable of stopping a series halfway through, no matter how bad it is I have to know what happens next!
                    I hope you love this series as well, it is a good one and like you said Sarah J. Maas is brilliant at creating intricate worlds so I think you’ll enjoy that aspect at least!


  14. What an interesting review! I have no intention of reading this book because it doesn’t sound like my kind of thing at all, but I enjoyed reading your review. 😃



    Oh I loved all your thoughts on the characters. I can’t wait to see what you think of them in ACOMAF. I gave ACOTAR a 5 out of 5 stars because in the end I loved the writing and the story but I felt the middle was really slow and didn’t feel Tamlin’s love. I felt like it was bordering on Romeo and Juliet love: “oh I missed the curse now I must go under the mountain to sacrifice myself for you blah blah blah.” I was really happy when Feyre completed the last task for the entire court and not only “undying Tamlin love”.
    Amarantha is one of my favorite villains and I really hope we get a novella on her! Oh and I love Lucian he’s such a great character and has the perfect amount of smartassary.

    After reading ACOMAF if I was going to compare the two I would say ACOTAR is half the book ACOMAF is. ACOMAF is a YA/NA so prepare yourself for some more descriptive sex scenes. I personally love NA done well but some people don’t and I feel this should of been made a bit more well known when the publishers advertised this series as YA.

    Fantastic Review 😀


    1. Ah, thanks so much. I was super worried I was going to accidentally offend someone who loved the books!

      The writing was so beautiful! I really loved the world so much. I think I would have enjoyed it more if the romances were handled better. I was really glad that SJM specified it was for the whole court, it restored a little of my faith.

      A novella on Amarantha would be so wonderful! I’d love to learn more about her past. Lucien was the wonderful.

      Yeah, I thought it was strange that Bloomsbury Children were publishing it. It makes me wonder if they told SJM to “tone it down” in some parts which is maybe why the pacing felt off? I’m the kind of person who cringes at sex scenes, but I have to admit that SJM has written some of the better ones that I’ve seen. I’m definitely going to go into ACOMAF with an open mind.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes for going into ACOMAF with an open mind! I really loved it but in reading the bad reviews for it I can understand why it won’t be some peoples cup of tea. I hope you enjoy it!
        Never worry about offending people with your opinion.

        I have written a lot worst reviews and had to reign in my ranting about what I didn’t like but yours was perfectly balanced 🙂


        1. Hopefully I’ll have a more positive experience!

          It’s definitely something I’m trying to teach myself. I’m already feeling a lot more comfortable with posting more reviews like this in the future.

          And aw, I’m sure they were fine! There’s nothing wrong with a good rant 😂 Thanks so much though, that really means a lot!

          Liked by 1 person

  16. I looooved ACOTAR (because I’m Sarah J Maas trash and love everything she does haha), but it was definitely iffy in a lot of places, especially the romance – I didn’t really feel convinced by any of the Tamlin stuff and lowkey started shipping her with Lucien because he was my favourite for so long
    Great review though 😀 I’m interested to see how you feel about ACOMAF!


    1. I can definitely see why people loved it. I really enjoyed the writing and the world, I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if the romances were handled better. Haha, I would totally be down for Feyre and Lucien.

      Thanks so much! I was really worried I was going to accidentally offend someone who loved the books, haha. I’m definitely going to go into ACOMAF with an open mind.


  17. I’m curious to know that I if I reread ACOTAR now, would I enjoy it as much? The pacing drove me insane, and that’s a big part of why I didn’t re-read it before ACOMAF came out. I actually agree with a lot of the same things that you have problems with (that riddle and how easy it was killed me). I was also in loveeee with Tamlin until Rhys came along, and while I found him creepy and hated how he was just so touchy feely with, somehow I still liked him. I also never really fully “shipped” Feyre and Tamlin, because something there just wasn’t gelling. A lot of stuff is explained is ACOMAF, and while it still doesn’t make it OK, it makes a little more sense. Really well done review, Lauren! You had nothing to worry about. (: I only wish my ACOMAF review came out as thoughtful. I was still swimming from reading it, haha.


    1. I often have the same thoughts when it comes to re-reading books I love and I think that’s why sometimes I’m hesitant to re-read except my all time favourites like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson ect.

      I think I would have liked the book a lot better if the romances were handled better. I totally understand why people love Rhys, I just wasn’t a fan of how brushed over the things he did were. I definitely appreciate that a lot of people I’ve seen who are fans acknowledge all the problematic issues though, which is so good to see!

      I’m definitely going to go into a ACOMAF with an open mind, hopefully I’ll enjoy it more! And thanks so much Carrianne, I was really worried of accidentally offending someone so I’m glad that didn’t happen! I’m sure your review was wonderful, I’ll definitely be going back and reading it once I’ve read the book 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. This is an incredible, detailed review. I love it ❤

    It seems as though I liked this book a lot more than you did, but there are definitely some elements that you wrote about in this review that I agree with. I definitely agree that Rhysand should definitely not be romanticised. Period. I really, really like the character — but I don't agree with so many people shipping him with Feyre. Perhaps I need to read the second book to understand more of this ship, but still… What I got from the first book was enough to convince me NOT to ship them together.

    Another interesting point you discussed was the riddle. THAT REALLY ANNOYED ME! I mean, I really suck at riddles, and yet I still managed to figure it out. I also don't understand why Amarantha would offer the riddle for Feyre to solve anyway. That just seems a little stupid to me. Anyway….

    And Lucien, oh Lucien. He is brilliant.

    Once again, fantastic review!


    1. Thanks so much, Madeline ♥

      I think I would have enjoyed the book a lot more if the romances were handled better. The fact that we’re supposed to want Rhysand as a romantic interest just made me really uncomfortable. I totally get why people enjoy his character and fortunately I’ve seen most people addressing his behaviour I just wish SJM did a better job of it.

      I was actually second guessing myself because I was like NO WAY can this be that EASY, haha. I can kind of see why Amarantha would offer the riddle because of her overconfidence, but then it did go against how much she seemingly loved to torture people. I just did not understand how Feyre couldn’t solve that, but figured out about Tamlin’s stone heart? So contradicting, haha.

      I loved Lucien so much, he definitely saved a lot of the book for me.


  19. I actually haven’t read this book yet, although it’s been on my TBR list for such a long time! It’s too bad you didn’t enjoy this book as much as a lot of people have – you make some really great points though! To be honest, I haven’t read many reviews on this book. I just know that a lot of people rate it incredibly highly and mention how it’s one of SJM’s greatest works. I love her Throne of Glass series, so I had high expectations for this. From the points you mentioned though, I’m not sure if I’ll enjoy it as much as the majority. I have strong opinions about non-consensual physical contact. We’ll see how much I’ll like it once I get around to it though. Great review, as always, Lauren! 🙂 ❤


    1. Thanks so much, Jorelene! I really wanted to love it, but unfortunately I didn’t :/ I think if the romances were handled better then maybe I would have. Or even if the abusive behaviour was addressed properly, but from the tone I got we weren’t supposed to care because “it could have been worse” which I hate so much. I’m still really interested in reading the Throne of Glass series and I’m hoping to enjoy the sequel more. I hope it’s a more positive experience for you and I definitely look forward to hearing your thoughts 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  20. THIS. I completely agree with you 100% Lauren. This was a decent book, but I guess it just didn’t quite live up to the hype for me. Sorry you felt the same way. I’m curious to see what you think about the sequel if you decide to read it. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ❤


    1. Ah, thanks so much Zoe! It’s been really good hearing that a lot of people felt the same way. I think I would have enjoyed it more if the romance was handled better, but I just couldn’t excuse something that was borderline abusive. I’m going into the sequel with an open mind, so we’ll see what happens 😅


  21. I really enjoyed your review for this one Lauren, particularly given you knowing my feelings on ACOMAF! The drugging and the abusive behaviour from both Rhysand and Tamlin kind of makes me sick to be honest. I think immediately after reading this book I thought it was amazing, but now that I look back it makes me shudder. There were some fantastic parts though, particularly the Under the Mountain and the villain and Lucien as you said. Looking forward to reading your thoughts on the following book!


    1. Thanks so much, Jeann!! That means a lot to me considering how much I love your reviews 😊

      Right! I just couldn’t ignore them or the way SJM was almost trying to romanticise them or imply that it wasn’t a “big deal” because he didn’t touch her or he could have done something worse :/ it made me quite uncomfortable!

      It’s a shame though because I did enjoy the writing and bits and pieces of it! I’m quite hesitant to read ACOMAF, but I’m going to try. It could make for another interesting review 😅

      Liked by 1 person

  22. I just have to say, what an amazing review! I still haven’t read the book, even though I have the whole series but it sounds almost perfect for me.


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