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ACOTAR and ACOMAF by Sarah J Maas – To Read or Not to Read

24th February, 2017

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

Beauty and the Beast is a favourite story of mine. Yes, the Disney version made me fall head over heels with it. That took me to the Courts of Sarah J Mass, retellings of the old fairytale. Since A Court of Ruin and War, the highly anticipated third book in the trilogy is due for release in  May, 2017, here is a quick checklist to help you decide if you should read the first two as soon as possible to celebrate the third book with the rest of the fans.

Note : Both books are marketed as YA.  ACOMAF even won the Goodreads YA fantasy award. These are not Young Adult reads. There are many explicit sex scenes.

Quick Recap of Characters

Tamlin – The Beast. He is masked and so are all the inhabitants of his castle because of a curse

Feyre – The Beauty. Nineteen year old huntress (in ACOTAR)

Rhysand – The villain in ACOTAR, more of a hero in ACOMAF

Amarantha – The villain (in ACOTAR)

A Court of Rose and Thorns (ACOTAR)

When Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world. (from Goodreads blurb)

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

The Good:

-The pacing is excellent. It is a page turner and I was hooked to the book

-It is a fast and breezy read.

-The imagination used in the new world is perfect. The Beast and his castle dwellers wear masks because they are cursed by the evil power, Amarantha.

– The Beauty in the Disney version loves books. And Feyre loves painting. She finds solace in it.

The Bad:

-The world building is almost nil. The setting of the story was excellent, so I naturally wanted to know more about it.

-There is no reason why Feyre falls for Tamlin. Lucien, Tamlin’s friend, spends more time with Feyre and they seem to be really enjoying each other’s company.

– Tamlin is the tamest, broodiest ‘beast’ that you will ever meet.

-Feyre is drugged by Rhysand, made to wear skimpy clothes and parade around and this is seen as acceptable later on because it was to protect her.

-There are forced kisses which are normalized in the book. The book makes me raise my eyebrows about women and consent.

-Feyre – I absolutely hated the main character. She is what you call someone written as a strong, independent, rebellious heroine but actually is an ignorant fool who does everything she is told not to do, goes everywhere she is warned not to (with no particular reason, mind you).

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

Pick up ACOTAR if :

You want to read an easy, light book. This one was a page turner. I enjoyed the read and got through the whole book in one go. The whole book can be summed up as

Feyre is warned not to do something ⇒Feyre does it anyway ⇒Feyre lands in trouble ⇒ Tamlin saves her ⇒Repeat (with intermittent sex scenes).

There isn’t much of a plot or world building. So if you are looking for that, better give this one a miss.

Now for the sequel,

A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOMAF)

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people. Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. (from Goodreads blurb)

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

The Good:

-Sarah J Maas pays a lot of attention to the world building in the sequel. I was really glad to read about the courts and hierarchy

-The pacing is fast and ACOMAF is an easy, breezy read too.

-Rhysand is sculpted to an amazing character whom the reader will fall in love with ( He has no similarity whatsoever with the old Rhysand).

The Bad:

-Feyre seems to be horny all the time.

-Also, there is a lot of growling and purring. Yes, perhaps this is because there are so many sex scenes and the writer runs out of words. But frankly, everyone is growling. I got tired and lost count of how many times the word is used.

-Rhysand and Tamlin are given makeovers in terms of their characters. Tamlin is suddenly portrayed as the bad guy and manipulative Rhysand as the good guy which does not fit their character descriptions in the first book

-Feyre : Oh yes! I hated Feyre in this one too. She says she is in love with Tamlin, but she wants to run away because she doesn’t like that he checks on her and makes sure she is safe. If he did not do that she would have said he ignores her and run away, I suppose.

-Let’s say you do not love your boyfriend anymore. Would you run off and seek shelter with the guy who drugged you, and then gave a lousy apology?

Pick up ACOMAF if :

You are willing to read it like a stand alone. The pacing is good and it is an entertainer. The characters (except Feyre) do not have any similarity to their former selves in the first book, ACOTAR. So read them as if they are new characters with the same names given in the first book.

Would I Recommend?

I enjoyed them both– ACOTAR for the pacing and ACOMAF for the world building. However, I have my eyebrows raised for several points mentioned above.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

About ACOWAR....

A Court of War and Ruin (ACOWAR) has a gorgeous cover indeed. I expect Feyre to be the same ignorant girl who does stupid things . I hope Maas gives justice to Tamlin’s character development. And hopefully there is a happy ending for Feyre (hate her) and Rhysand (love the Rhysand of Book 2). Fingers crossed ACOWAR will have the pacing of ACOTAR and the world building of ACOMAF.

Note : I repeat, these are not YA reads but New Adult books.

Title : A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author : Sarah J. Maas
Publisher : Bloomsbury
Published : 2015
Language : English
Pages : 421
Rating : 3.5/5

Title : A Court of Mist and Fury
Author : Sarah J. Maas
Publisher : Bloomsbury
Published : 2016
Language : English
Pages : 626
Rating : 3.5/5

Let's discuss

Did you read A Court of Thorns and Roses series? Did you like it? Were you put off by the depiction of women? Will you be reading ACOWAR?

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Add to your Goodreads shelf

A Court of Thorns and Roses

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

A Court of Mist and Fury

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)
This Post Has 31 Comments
    1. I know! It is normalised in the book and that bothered me. And why does she fall for that same guy in the second book? It is like a Bollywood movie. 😀 I can see how this book can be problematic for teens. They should have marketed it as New Adult book

  1. I read ACOTAR and liked it, in spite of the flaws. Sarah Maas has a very addictive way of writing. I have read many of her books (Throne of Glass series) and while they are addictive reading, I am always disappointed at the inconsistency of the characters. She just switched people’s natures around just for the sake of a plot twist. That’s why I stayed away from ACOMAF.

    1. I enjoyed the read too. Her writing captures your attention for a light read. But later on when I closed the book I thought of all that was wrong with the book. I have not read Throne of Glass series. Oh! Does she switch nature of characters? She does the same in ACOMAF

  2. Reading your thoughts on this pair was fun, but I don’t think they’re a great match for me. I’ll recommend them to my step-daughter, though: I think she’d love them!

  3. I’m glad I read this! My daughter had one out the library (the YA section) to read, but never got to it. However, I think it’s still on her list of books to get back out and read. I will now strongly discourage and delay, based on some of the points you make. But if she does end up reading them, at least I will know what she’s reading.
    Great break-down. And very helpful!

    1. Thanks Naomi. I am glad you found this helpful. If she does decide to read them, you should put a post on whether she enjoyed the read or not. Or put a link to her blog. I remember you linking her blog once.

  4. This was so fun to read! I haven’t read any reviews for these books in the past because I wasn’t really interested in them, so I appreciated the brief overview you gave for each book and how fair you were in your ratings.
    The part you wrote about all the purring and growling made me giggle.

    1. haha. Trust me, I toned it out. A huge part of the book is purring and giggling. And yes, the book made me think because I spent several minutes thinking what can replace the words ‘purr’ and ‘growl’.

      Lovely to see you back Naz. Thanks fir dropping by.

  5. I must admit, I love the series Resh but gosh is it riddled with issues. I think the main one is really consent and the romance in book one being stockholm syndrome which was uncomfortable and taken advantage of. I think it probably needed to be explore, the falling in love with your captor trope. Such a stark contrast between books one and two though and have no idea what to expect with book three. I hope the sex scenes are tones down, even in the Throne of Glass series they’re ridiculous really.

    1. That was what I found really funny, Kelly. I enjoyed the read. I looked forward to the next book and I am looking forward to ACOWAR as well. But there are so many weird things in the book – consent and romance as you mentioned.

  6. Oh THANK YOU, I am so grateful you wrote this post. I haven’t read these books and have always been wondering if I was missing out on something or not. I think I might have to give it a try, despite its issues it sounds like an entertaining read 🙂

  7. You know how I feel about these books. I have a lot of ANGER and FRUSTRATION and ANNOYANCE with these books. I hate how the author has to paint her male characters as obviously bad and obviously good just so we (as readers) know which one is bad and good. Like, wtf is with that makeover?! And let’s not even bloody talk about Feyre. My sister is currently reading this book and she went on a rant in 8 separate text messages about how annoying Feyre is, and how all she keeps talking about is Tamlin and his body, and that she’s so fucking horny, and can Feyre just die. I laughed so hard!


    1. I love that you and your sis text about books. Haha, yes Feyre is horny ALL the time. I remember the long rant we both had when I finished ACOMAF last year. Yes, the characters are so different in Book 1 and Book 2.

  8. I’m actually quite furious it won the Goodreads award. *breaks a plate* I would’ve been like pretty horrified reading these as a 15/16 year old. Maybe I was pretty naive back then (!!) but I think these books should NOT be marketed as YA just in case there are younger teens picking them up and not realising what they’re about!! I read ACTOAR but don’t intend to read more haha. I don’t like how SJM’s characters have entire pendulum mood-swing-personality-flips so they’re not even recognisable form book to book.

    1. I would not blame you. Why the hell is it marketed as YA? Sometimes I wonder if this is what the publicists had in mind – to market the book as YA, then have an outcry by the readers and increase sales. I agree about personality flips. You have said the right term for what Maas does. The characters are not similar book to book save for their names.

  9. I haven’t read any of these books but I want to. There has been so much said about them that make me hesitate but I do think they can be an easy book to read in between heavy books

  10. I am so appreciative for this post. I’ve always considered reading these, thanks to all the hype around them and just how popular they are. But I’m glad to have read some of the negatives now and I think they’re going to be a miss for me. Maybe when I need a break from some longer readings!

  11. Great reviews of both books! I loved both books, but ACOMAF was definitely more to my liking than the first book, mainly because Rhysand had actually ended up being my favorite character in ACOTAR so I loved the focus on him in the second book and the evolution of his character. I agree with you about the sex scenes too – after a while I just started flipping to the end of those so that I could keep reading the main story, haha!

  12. I love the format of this review. As someone who hasn’t picked up either book, I appreciate this. The reviews seem to be all over the place, and this format allows me to make a decision for myself.
    …That said, I will likely wait on these books. There are a lot of iffy things on this list for me. But they do sound like a possible fluffy vacation read.

    1. Thanks Jackie. I though a checklist was best because people who ardently loved/hated the book have already wrote lots and lots about it. I think this would make a good vacation read. Just read it keeping in mind that it is a NA romance +fantasy. That would make it a fun read.

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