As always, there might be spoilers.
The sexy, action-packed first book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Court of Thorns and Roses series from Sarah J. Maas.
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a terrifying creature arrives to demand retribution. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she knows about only from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not truly a beast, but one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled her world.
At least, he’s not a beast all the time.
As she adapts to her new home, her feelings for the faerie, Tamlin, transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But something is not right in the faerie lands. An ancient, wicked shadow is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it, or doom Tamlin-and his world-forever.
From bestselling author Sarah J. Maas comes a seductive, breathtaking book that blends romance, adventure, and faerie lore into an unforgettable read.
I will review this in two parts—as an adult reader, then as a parent who will (soon enough) have a teenage reader.
From an adult standpoint, the worldbuilding in this first book was phenomenal (although the author’s use of “cleave” to describe everything that is split was frustrating…) Feyre is sympathetic enough that I enjoyed watching her grow and change throughout the book. Toward the end, she endures a truly Hellish experience. I thought Maas handled the psychological aspect of this event on-point and deserves a pat on the back for her research.
The characters were mostly developed, but there were a few I didn’t quite grasp as well as I’d like to (Alice, Lucien…) I assume there will be additional development in the rest of the series. It was an interesting take on the Fae vs. human trope, and I did enjoy it despite a few scenes.
This leads me to my review as a parent. What. The. Heck?? This was marketed towards young adults (so age 12-18 depending on your definition—definitely NOT adults, right?) but oh Mylanta, the sex scenes in this book border on erotica. I have read more of the series already, and I know it gets much worse. I would be appalled if my teenage child read this, not to mention a pre-teen!
I was informed by a friend that Maas requested the series be marketed as adult, but her publisher made the final call. That is disappointing since it’s Maas’s name on the cover and her reputation on the line. It makes me glad I’m an indie author, and I don’t have to conform to a publisher’s whim (or negligent marketing tactics despite their impact on young minds.)
Now, I could skim over these scenes without losing any of the plot, but that’s not the point. The point is, this is not for young adults. Period. Full stop. Perhaps there are teens out there mature enough to manage this content, but they shouldn’t have to. This is their space, not an adult playground. Let YA be for young adults.
Favorite Character: Nessa because I understand her even though I think I’m supposed to hate her.
Least Favorite Character: Tamlin but not at first… he got on my nerves at the end.
Language: Moderate due to frequency but includes f-bombs.
Graphic Violence rating: Moderate but graphic here and there, especially at the end.
Heat rating: High, not appropriate for young adults, in my opinion
Rating: 4/5 because of the inappropriate content for the market age