A Court of Thorns and Roses


Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses series, book 1
Genre: Fairytale, Fantasy, NA, Romance, YA 
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Release Date: May 5th, 2015 

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Note: I would like to emphasize that this series is written more toward the New Adult genre than the Young Adult genre. Because the NA genre focuses on protagonists in the 18-30 age range, the content, especially the sexual content and the language, is much more mature than the average YA novel. 

19-year-old Feyre has supported her struggling family for years by hunting for meat and skins to sell. But now it seems she has gone too far. Feyre must answer for the life she took, even though it was only the life of a wolf. But when another wolf comes to claim her life in exchange for the life she has taken, she realizes it was not only a wolf, but one of the faeries from north of The Wall. (Hmm, anyone think Game of Thrones for a second? It’s a little bit of that, in new/young adult form.)

Her captor, Tamlin, turns out to be not just another faerie, but the High Lord of the Spring Court, one of the seven courts of faeries: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Dawn, Day, and Night. This High Lord, like the others, can shape-shift from human to animal form whenever he wishes.

Even though Feyre has been raised to hate the faeries, after their long history of violence and cruelty toward humans, Tamlin begins to make her see them differently. He shows her that not all faeries are alike, and not all of them abuse their strength and power. While she lives in the Spring Court with Tamlin, Feyre begins to better understand their kind and let go of her own prejudices and hatred. A friendship slowly forms between Feyre and Tamlin, and it does not take long for them to be swept off into a passionate romance.

But all is not well in the Spring Court. Feyre sees that some kind of curse hangs over Tamlin and the faeries of his court. She desperately wants to help him, but does not know how. By the time she unravels the mystery hanging over the Spring Court, it may be too late to break the curse. Will Feyre be able to save Tamlin, the only man she has ever truly loved? Will she find a way to break the curse over him and his court? Will she be strong enough to defeat the her that is responsible for the terrible curse in the first place?

In this breathtaking, heart-racing retelling of the classic fairytale Beauty and the Beast, Sarah J. Maas grabs ahold of you and doesn’t let go till the end. I had high hopes for this book, and honestly, it blew me away. If you love fairytale retellings with action, fantasy, and an oh-so-steamy love story, then this book may be written just for you.

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

   

Stars Above

Title: Stars Above
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles, a collection
Genre: Dystopian, Fairytale, Romance, Sci-Fi, YA
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: February 2nd, 2016
 
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Note: This post reviews a collection of short stories that is written as a companion to The Lunar Chronicles. You may like to read the first four books in the series, Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter, before reading this review. 
 

Did you ever wonder what Cinder’s transformation from lunar to cyborg was really like? Or how Wolf came to be chosen as one of the queen’s special operatives? And when it was that Winter and Jacin first became friends and fell in love? These questions and more are answered in this final installment.

The Keeper is Scarlet’s grandmother, Michelle Benoit. We learned in the other books that Michelle had a part to play in the rescue of Princess Selene in the aftermath of the fire that nearly claimed the young girl’s life. Now we see just how much she risked all those years.

In Glitches, Cinder has woken up from her eight years in a preservation tank, her cyborg transformation now complete. This prequel to Cinder also shows her introduction to her step-family in New Beijing.

How was Ze’ev Kesley, or Wolf as we know him, chosen to be in The Queen’s Army? In this short story we see his childhood taken from him as he is thrown into his new life in the pack, and learns his place in it.

Was Thorne’s childhood like Cress had believed it to be, or was he really a selfish flirt all along? In Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky, Thorne shows us his way of chasing after the things he wants in life and what it takes to get them.

Why was Cress chosen to become a hacker spy for Levana? After Sunshine Passes By shows us how nine-year-old Cress became trapped in her satellite prison.

The Princess and the Guard tells the story of how Winter and Jacin became childhood friends, and eventually more. Her insanity and her scars are also further explained.

The Little Android is a retelling of The Little Mermaid. Though it takes place in the same setting as The Lunar Chronicles, it is not connected to the stories of the other characters we know and love.

We get to see the perspective of Kai as he meets The Mechanic for the first time. Having already known Cinder’s thoughts as she meets the prince, it is fun to learn what is going through Kai’s head, too.

Something Old, Something New is the only story to pick up where we left off in The Lunar Chronicles. As its name implies, it features the wedding of one of our beloved couples from the series. We get to witness more than one happy ending in this epilogue.

If you have read The Lunar Chronicles and have fallen in love with its characters, then Stars Above is a must read. I really enjoy reading short stories like these that give us more back story, and Meyer certainly did not disappoint!

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

  

  

Fairest

Title: Fairest
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles, book 3.5/6
Genre: Dystopian, Fairytale, Romance, Sci-Fi, YA
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: January 27th, 2015
 
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Note: This post reviews a prequel of The Lunar Chronicles. You may like to read the first three books in the series, Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, before reading this review. 
 

Up till now, these fairytale retellings have focused on each heroine. In Fairest, we see the untold story of Levana, the villain of the series. Have you ever wondered what makes the villain go bad in the first place? This book explains why Levana is the way she is.

Levana has grown up in a loveless family. Her parents, the king and queen, do not love each other, or their two daughters, and Channary, the first born and heir, certainly has no love for her little sister. Cruel and vain, Channary abuses her lunar powers on her six-year-old sister, forcing her into a fire. Levana carries her burn scars for the rest of her life, but she becomes quite skilled at using her glamor to cover them up.

When her parents are assassinated, Levana is left with no one but Channary. Desperate for love, Levana begins to pursue one of the palace guards she has been infatuated with for years, even though he is married. But Levana believes they are truly meant to be together, especially after Evret’s beloved wife dies in childbirth. Her infatuation with him becomes obsessive – she begins using her mind powers to make him return her love, which he never did on his own.

Even when Levana uses her glamor to resemble his deceased wife, he does not return her love. He only cares about his child, his little daughter, Winter. Levana forces Evret to marry her, but their situation does not get any better. Levana is unable to have a child of her own, and is constantly reminded of Evret’s love for his own daughter, from his first wife – the only wife he ever loved.

On top of her marriage problems, Levana has to accept the fact that she will never be queen. Instead, her young niece, Selene, is to be the next queen. Levana is convinced that Selene will be just as terrible a queen as Channary, and she begins to plot how she will get Selene out of the picture to find her own happy ending.

This book was disturbing, young adult level though it was. It is disturbing to see sibling abuse, then marital abuse, and finally child abuse. I can’t tell if Meyer wanted us to feel sympathy for Levana, because I didn’t have very much. We do see just how messed up Levana really is in Fairest, which helps us see why she does everything she does in the rest of the series. Thankfully, this is a quick read, so we don’t have to deal with Levana’s obsessive behavior for very long.

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

  

  

Winter

Title: Winter
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles, book 4/6
Genre: Dystopian, Fairytale, Romance, Sci-Fi, YA
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: November 10th, 2015

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Note: This post reviews the fourth book of The Lunar Chronicles. You may like to read the first three books in the series, Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, before reading this review. 
 

This book in the series introduces our final fairytale heroine, Winter. Princess Winter is in danger because her stepmother, Levana, is jealous of her beauty and the love she receives from the people of Luna, and therefore wants her dead. Yes, the last fairytale retelling is Snow White.

Princess Winter suffers from terrible visions and hallucinations because she refuses to use her lunar mind powers to control others. She often sees things that are not there, and many think she is crazy. Her one true friend is her guard, Jacin, whom she has known since childhood. Winter is in love with Jacin, but he feels unable to return her love because of their different statuses. He puts his own feelings for her aside as he dedicates himself to keeping her safe, no matter the cost.

As Winter’s own story is being told, we also continue to follow our main heroine, Cinder – the lost Princess Selene and rightful heir to the throne of Luna. Cinder has accepted the truth about who she is and is ready to take back what is hers, ending Levana’s tyranny. Kai, the emperor of the Commonwealth, does everything he can to help her, while at the same time doing what he thinks is best for his own country. Unfortunately, this means following through with his marriage to Levana and as a result, obtaining the cure to letumosis, the epidemic that has claimed the lives of millions of earthens.

In addition to the support she receives from Kai, Cinder also has the help of her friends, Iko, Scarlet, Wolf, Cress, and Thorne, all of whom wish to see her overthrow Levana. We see the relationships that began in the earlier books continue to develop and deepen, and also be put to the test. It is unclear whether or not the characters we have grown to care about will actually end up together in the end. Meyer intentionally makes us wait till the last 50 pages or so (out of over 800) to find out if these characters will survive the final fight and find their own happily ever afters.

This series exceeded my expectations. If you can wrap your head around the idea of futuristic fairytale retellings that take place not only on earth but also in space, I think you may enjoy The Lunar Chronicles as much as I did.

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series: