Recently I seem to have strayed from games, puppies, and weird cooking onto BookTok by complete accident. However, I am not too mad about it. As a freshly 30-year-old woman, books are where my love of fantasy and escapism into other worlds began. From the age of about 9, I was reading at a young adult level, and you would often find me at evenings or weekends, nose in a book, ignoring everything and everyone else in the world. It was only at about age 16 when a military boyfriend bought me an Xbox so we could play Black Ops Zombies together that I really started getting into games that weren’t Nintendo-based handhelds or the odd PlayStation One game. Books sort of fell by the wayside as I entered a new era of escapism. I still read, but not nearly as much as I wish I had now, so thank you TikTok for dragging me back in.
The book I kept seeing all over my For You Page was “A Court of Thorns and Roses” or “ACOTAR” for short, and everyone seemed to be really enjoying it. Fae and Faerie books seem to be popular right now, and I figured that as this one seemed to be flooding my feed, I would give it a go.
“ACOTAR” is by Sarah J. Maas and is, at heart, quite a loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It follows Feyre, who finds herself having to go live in the Fae lands following an event that means she must go and live the rest of her days there, cut off from her mortal home and plunged into a world of perfectly beautiful immortals. She finds it not to be exactly the horror that she thought it might. Her hosts, Tamlin and Lucien, don’t enslave her in the way she thought they might, and slowly but surely, she starts to fall in love with Tamlin, and he with her. We follow Feyre as she navigates the strange new world of her hosts and their ways. However, there is a blight upon the land that threatens both the Fae and human lands, and by the end of the book, we follow along as she desperately fights for the safety and future of those she holds dear.
I found the pace of the book, at times, a bit fast. Blink, and you’ll miss Feyre and Tamlin falling in love. I would have liked maybe a little more of this part. However, the overall plot of the series does make this a little more forgivable. The character building is pretty good, and you are definitely led to feel a certain way about each character, which I enjoyed. As part of the wider series, it is a pretty good setup. The world-building is a start, and you definitely get the sense everything is being set up for further stories past this one book. There’s a map at the start that lays out the whole land, loosely UK-based. It seems you can really imagine where everything is.
It is a pretty easy book to read, not too taxing. Perfect for before bed, a lazy morning, or while having a nice relaxing bath. Fair warning though, it does get a little spicy, so if that’s not your thing, it’s best to steer clear. There are also some questionable moments of consent that will make you feel quite uncomfortable, and that’s coming from several different characters, where you stop and go… hmm, I don’t really like that. So if that sort of thing is something you don’t feel comfortable reading in your fantasy, then steer clear. The later books get spicier but have far more consent in them. However, there are still discussions of the non-consenting nature of certain interactions, which are kind of hard to read.
Overall, it is a pretty easy and enjoyable read if you can get past certain points. I’d give it a solid 6/10 for this book as a standalone. I’m probably not as hyped about it as everyone online and on TikTok is, but I liked it enough to continue on with this series.
Written by Clarissa.
Edited by Jackson.