A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

I would give this book 5 stars.

Calling all Beauty and the Beast fans! This book was amazing. It follows Feyre, who trying to feed her family, happens upon a wolf when she is out hunting - and kills it. This has repercussions that she couldn't imagine and she is forcibly removed from her home to live in the fairy realms by - you guessed it - A BEAST! This books merges fairies, magic, a wonderfully strong and interesting protagonist and the theme of beauty and the beast.

The idea of fairies sometimes puts me off but the world building and the explanations in this book are really easy to understand and it is a world you can immerse yourself in. The fairies in the book are varied and couldn't be further from your twinkly tiny tinker bell. You don't have to put a lot of time into understanding the fantasy elements in this book, everything is well explained and easy to pick up. It is also really interesting and the magical elements in this book help to weave all of the plot strands together nicely.

I recommended this to a friend and she was put off because it had a map in the front and she doesn't read books like that because she doesn't want to have to refer to the map but I didn't even use the map in this book until the end - and even that was just a curious glance. It is really easy to understand the lay of the land by just reading the book. It is a stunning world in which this book takes place. It is easy to get wrapped up in the beauty and the magic that shimmers around. There are some really wonderful places and descriptions in this book and I don't normally like a lot of place description in a book but it actually works in this.

One of the best things that I love about this book is the plot twists. I find it really impressive that the author was able to have so many plot strands and she weaves them in and out of the novel creating brilliant twists and making us not take anything for granted. We spend a while getting to know our characters and understanding the world in which Feyre has now joined, so I suppose it does take a while to get going, but then about half way through the book it is just all systems go! There are so many revelations and everything that we thought we knew that we just learnt about in the book is twisted and I spent a lot of time telling my cat how I didn't see that coming. As you do. Then it is just action action action. It had some hunger games-esque challenges in it which were very very cool. Giving our protagonist chance to show just what women can do - a human woman no less! I love it when the female protagonist is able to demonstrate how strong she is and doesn't always need saving. It makes me feel confident that when I am faced with a massive monster trying to kill me, I too will be able to out-wit it.

The characters in this novel are very fleshed out and realistic. I loved the play on beauty and the beast in this novel too, it just enhanced an already great plot and group of characters. You are routing for them the entire way through the book and the twists and challenges that they have to overcome just draws you into the journey that you take with them. I think that Tamlin and Lucien are very well written characters and I fell in love with Tamlin from the beginning.

I don't want to give too much a way in this book so I will leave it there, but if you like the love story of beauty and the beast and would like to read a fresh take on it then this is for you. It has something for everyone, action, strong female character, a brilliant love interest and his comic friend, fantasy, legends, humour. I highly recommend this book - in case you hadn't noticed.