Why is everyone talking about A Court of Thorns and Roses?

By Leah Moe, Multimedia Editor | The Metro Scoop

Published on 9/6/2023

A Court of Thorns of Roses Cover— Source: sarahjmaas.com

A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas has commanded significant attention in the literary community for several months. It has gained such immense popularity that an upcoming Hulu series adaptation is in the works. While fantasy is not my typical genre preference, at the urging of my sister, I opted to invest $14 in the audiobook version.

However, after six hours of listening, all I could say was: Huh?!

Unbeknownst to me, the audiobook has been divided into two separate six-hour segments. Setting aside the annoying attempt for a cash grab, I find myself uninterested in further engaging with “A Court of Thorns and Roses,” and here’s why:

Given the hype surrounding this book, my expectations were naturally high. The collective excitement in the reading community led me to anticipate a firm “girl-boss” protagonist navigating the enchanting world of the fairy realm, intertwined with an alluring enemies-to-lovers progression. The opening hour of the narrative initially aligns with these expectations, introducing us to Feyre, an 18-year-old supporting her family while engaging in a passionate relationship with Issac. Regrettably, the subsequent five hours of listening lack the substance one might anticipate.

As a result of accidentally slaying the fairy king’s acquaintance, Tamlin, Feyre is compelled to spend her days in the fairy realm alongside him. I repeat: Feyre is rewarded with a life of luxury despite her culpability in causing a death. This incongruity prompts my confusion. Additionally, the fairy king assumes the responsibility of feeding Feyre’s starving family on the condition that she remains exiled. Predictably, Feyre strives to escape at any given opportunity.

A particularly disconcerting juncture occurs towards the audiobook’s conclusion when Tamlin is required to partake in a power-related ritual, which entails him selecting someone to engage with intimately. Consent appears to be a superfluous consideration for a ruler. To shield Feyre from his feral tendencies, Tamlin confines her to her chamber—an injunction she inevitably defies. An exchange between Feyre and Tamlin ensues, raising unsettling concerns regarding potential non-consensual actions. It was at this point that my conviction solidified: this book would not garner a favorable rating. In the interest of equity, I am prepared to give an additional $14 to experience the second half of the audiobook, in the hopes of it improving. If the second half mirrors the first, “A Court of Thorns and Roses” will remain as a two-out-of-five-star book