A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES by Sarah J. Maas
An exercise in pacing and character-driven romance with a knife-sharp edge of sensuality.
Beauty and the Beast meets fairies– it’s hard to think it’ll work, especially in a saturated market, but it does. Maas’ fae are dangerous and beautiful, and often the most beautiful people are the most dangerous. Everyone suffers from something in this book, right from the start: Feyre’s family presents a complicated conflict that Feyre must work through, but she does, and never loses her edge and her ruthless drive even as she finds her own (brief) happiness before going off to rescue her beloved. Maas, always, presents a wide variety of guys for her protagonist to choose from and her descriptions bring you just enough into the world to make it real without bogging the reader down in detail, perhaps a holdover from her fanfiction days. Still pretty staunchly heteronormative, and I would have liked to see more women doing things.
This book draws you in and does not let you go until the very end; everyone is scheming amidst luminous details, and while you may figure out how things’ll go before Feyre does , you’ll still enjoy the whole ride to the finish.