*Warning! Avert your eyes if you’re a fan of this book!*
So I mentioned in my last post that Court of Thorns and Roses was my biggest disappointment of the year so far and I feel like I should explain why. In the past, I’ve made no secret of the fact that I love Maas. So while this is in no way a criticism of her work in general, I did not end up being a fan of this book.
Ninety percent of that was down to the main character. Sure, I didn’t really connect to any of the other characters either- I mean it didn’t make sense to me that any of the faerie characters could possibly warm to Feyre- considering that she killed their friend at the start of the book. Add to that the very unsympathetic cast of minor characters and I was pretty unimpressed. But worst of all was Feyre herself. I am not, and never have been, a fan of whiny characters- and to me she epitomised that. A huge amount of her narration was dedicated to whinging- about her circumstances, about her family, even about the fact that they didn’t like her for killing someone. I mean- seriously- how could she manage to see herself as the victim after she literally killed someone in cold blood? It’s pretty hard to sympathise with someone who directs so much self-pity towards themselves- especially when that self-pity is misplaced. And I know that sounds harsh (because it is harsh) but I really believe that there are better ways of making someone sympathetic than making them a total misery.
Now when I wasn’t groaning at the main character’s down-beat attitude, I found myself focusing on the inconsequential romance- which fell a little flat for me. As I said, I’m a fan of Maas. And after reading so much of her work I know she can do romance well. So why was I left shrugging my shoulders at it? Why didn’t I feel at all invested in a book that is primarily about a love affair? Well the answer to that is simple: the love triangle set up. By putting a love triangle at the centre of the book, before Tamlin had even had a chance to win over Feyre, let alone the reader, Maas introduced another contender for her affections. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that this is to set up a love triangle in the next book- and because I knew a love triangle was endgame, I couldn’t really buy into the romance that was supposed to be taking place in this book. I felt like there was more work done in setting up a future romance, than focusing on the love the reader was supposed to be invested in right there and then.
My last major issue was the plot. As I said already, I didn’t get the fact that they could all be so sympathetic to a murderer- especially when said murderer felt so little compassion for them- and this was an issue the whole plot hinged on. Add to that the fact that huge chunks of the story really dragged and I was a bit bored with it all. And if that wasn’t enough, we had the whole bit under the mountain at the end, which felt like poorly constructed imitation of “faerie” lore. That whole structure was plonked in at the end and felt disjointed from the rest of the plot, and to be brutally honest, I couldn’t believe that she didn’t manage to get the answer to the riddle in under three seconds flat! Am I supposed to be sympathetic to a complete moron? (Again, this comes back to not liking Feyre much). I did like the catch 22 at the end (don’t worry, no spoilers) but she still did some highly questionable things as a character to get to that point, so I found I was too annoyed with her to be overly impressed.
Don’t get me wrong, there were still enjoyable aspects to the story, and the world building was solid, but overall I wasn’t even nearly as sold on it as other works by Maas. I do hope that the series can get better- I mean, while I enjoyed Throne of Glass, it wasn’t till Crown of Midnight that I fell in love with the series as a whole. So I definitely will be reading the next one- partly in hope that it gets better but mostly because I expect it will. (I think…)
Rating 2½/5 bananas
What did you think of this book? Did you like it more than me? Do you think I should persevere with this series? Let me know your thoughts!