I’m relieved to say that ACOTAR lives up to the hype, and I absolutely can’t wait to continue the series. I feel like A Court of Thorns and Roses encompasses everything that makes a good fantasy novel. For anyone trying to get into fantasy, I would likely recommend this read- and I don’t say that lightly. Fantasy is one of the hardest genres to write because of world building, but the world crafted here is wonderfully done. A lot of careful planning and thought has gone into this series. There’s a whole world, lovingly crafted, with near perfect structure. I think the universe of the ACOTAR series is one of its greatest strengths, the lore and the history being interesting all on its own. There are different regions and courts, different political families, different rituals amongst the fae. I love tiny details, like how the humans were told certain things about the fae, such as their inability to lie, and how fooled they were. It’s realistic in that way, and I love watching Feyre discover truths about the fae world.
I will also admit to loving many other little details. Trying to spoil as little as I can here, but I will warn those reading this against reading further if you haven’t read the book.
There are several things in this novel that tie in together. To note a few; I love the family dynamics- Feyre’s struggle with how her family feels about her, Nesta’s sharp personality and her father’s mood lifting later on in the novel when their fortune changes. I love the details that make up the characters. Lucien’s backstory with his greedy brothers but loving mother, Tamlin’s strength in hiding his true emotions, Alis with her nephews. I love the details of Lucien’s bedroom being dressed in autumn colors- and then later learning he’s from the autumn court. Or Feyre’s painted flowers in her original cottage, and her complicated feelings of missing a home that was never really a home.
One of the most important parts of ACOTAR is its romance, and that’s where it thrives. It has a reputation for being a highly smutty, sexual series- I disagree. At least in this first novel. Actually, it was rather tame. But the relationships themselves are very well done. They’re subtle, the build of attraction not too fast or too slow, quite nuanced in the way it’s written. Not only that, but the emotional payoff of ACOTAR is incredible. This is a novel that makes you feel- which is the goal of any good novel.
The final thing I want to make note of is the end of this novel. The riddle, the twist of the ending, the entire final one hundred pages of the book, it’s extremely well written and well paced. I loved the change in the story and the payoff that it has. It’s masterfully done, and I rate it amongst the best books I’ve read.