Why We Think You'll Love A Court of Thorns and Roses!

The Saucy Wenches Book of the Month for May is A Court of Frost and Starlight, book 3.1 in the wildly popular PNR series A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas.

If you’ve already read ACoTaR, then you’re probably as anxious as I am to get your hot little hands on the next book. So is Wench Kathi, who got hooked after I enthused about it.

If you haven’t read ACoTaR, wonder why it has so many new fans, and are waffling about whether to try it, we’re both here to pique your interest light a fire under you! You can thank us later!

We just loved these books! They made us giddy with anticipation, like in our early Wench days, when we first fangirled into the wee hours over our extraordinary discoveries like Cat and Bones, Mac and Barrons, Ethan and Merit, Jamie and Claire... *dreamy sigh*  These books sparked that special kind of excitement we rarely feel when we read now, and made us realize how much we’ve missed it.
“The first book is a magical fairy tale. The second is an epic fantasy adventure, rich in compelling characters, world building, and a very slow-burning sizzling romance. The third combines all of that, but the relationships stand out most — connections between many characters beyond the main couple. Sarah J. Maas is a brilliant author!”  ~ Wench Merit
Tempted yet? Keep reading for a few tantalizing reasons to get started!





There are some pretty big twists and turns in these books, and we’ll do our best not to spoil them. Which is a challenge, because that means we can’t gush about some of what we love most. But we’ll vaguely allude and talk all around that stuff, and we hope it’ll still be enough to whet your appetite.


Prythian, a wondrous isle of faeries and mortals

You can’t help but fall in love with this setting of exquisite beauty and haunting menace. Maas constructs a vast mythological world energized by Magic and inhabited by both humans and Faeries — High and Lesser and all sorts of weird subspecies — who wield and steer the Magic. Humans were enslaved by the Faeries for eons, but they’ve been freed after a great war and granted their own lands. There are also various magical creatures of mysterious origin.


On Prythian, a large island in that world, a magical wall separates the human lands in the south from seven Faerie courts in the north — the Seasonal Courts of Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter and the Solar Courts of Dawn, Day, and Night.
“The seven Courts of Prythian, each ruled by a High Lord, all of them deadly in their own way. They are not merely powerful — they are Power.”
The King of neighboring Hybern wants his slaves back and plots another war. His minions terrorize Prythian; his alliance gathers potent magical talismans in preparation to attack Prythian, tear down the wall, re-enslave humans, and destroy their Faerie allies.
“Across the violent western sea, there is another faerie kingdom called Hybern, ruled by a wicked, powerful king ... Humans no longer exist in that realm — though his throne is made of their bones.”
The Courtly realms are simply stunning to behold in your mind’s eye, each singularly crafted to reflect the characteristics of its namesake.

As you visit those realms, you explore far-flung, uncharted expanses, you meet a dazzling diversity of beautiful immortals and scary supernatural creatures freshly oozed from the pages of dark, demented bedtime tales, and you learn the complicated, colorful history.
“...there are legends that claim when the world was born, there were ... rips in the fabric of the realms. That in the chaos of Forming, creatures from other worlds could walk through one of those rips and enter another world. But the rips closed at will, and the creatures could become trapped, with no way home.”

Feyre, the smart, independent, kickass heroine who takes zero shit

The heroine is Feyre (pronounced Fay-ruh) Archeron, a young human who lives a couple of miles from the wall with her two older sisters and injured father. Feyre is strong and fierce, knows her own mind, and will do everything she can to protect the ones she loves. But she’s a work in progress — thrust into adversity and forced to grow up too fast. She’s very easy to sympathize and identify with. We love the way she learns to respect herself, slowly coming into her own abilities and never backing down from a challenge.

At the beginning of the story, Feyre has taught herself to hunt so that she can feed her family. She inadvertently breaks a Faerie pact by killing a protected animal. So she is forced to make a deal with the High Lord of the Spring Court of Thorns and Roses and live in his domain.


As she learns her way around the ensorcelled countryside, she begins to appreciate the beauty of eternal springtime surrounding her and to care for the characters she befriends. But things are not as idyllic as they seem. A blight threatens the Magic, putting her family and new friends in danger. We marvel as Feyre rises magnificently to meet her seemingly insurmountable challenges — to forge an ironclad resolve, hone a diamond-edged lethalness, and welcome the warrior waiting within.


We love that Feyre doesn’t need to be saved. She turns that whole paradigm about the prince rescuing the damsel in distress on its head. Her growth as a character is highly entertaining and empowering to watch.
“She’s mine,” he said quietly ... “And if any of you lay a hand on her, you lose that hand. And then you lose your head...
And once Feyre is done killing you ... then I’ll grind your bones to dust.”

Her man supports her, but she doesn’t grow through him (so very important)

Feyre’s man — and our newest book boyfriend! — is seriously amazing. He “gets” her, really gets her, like few real life or fictional men do. And he is totally worthy of joining Jericho Barrons, Bones, and Jamie Fraser on our Laminated BBF List. But more about that later.
You might be my mate ... but you remain your own person. You decide your fate — your choices. Not me. You chose yesterday. You choose every day. Forever.

The Night Court’s Inner Circle, the Spring Court’s emissary, the Archeron sisters, and so many other amazing side characters

We want spinoff stories dedicated to every one of these wonderful characters, who feel like members of our own family to us.
I believe everything happens for a reason. Whether it is decided by the Mother, or the Cauldron, or some sort of tapestry of Fate, I don’t know. I don’t really care. But I am grateful for it, whatever it is. Grateful that it brought you all into my life. If it hadn’t ... I might have become as awful as that prick we’re going to face today.
Be warned, Maas’s secondary characters are as richly developed and important to the story as her main characters. And you might change your mind a few times about which characters you love, loathe, and lust after. Which is another of the things we love! But we won’t spoil those for you here, we’ll let you figure out whom to trust and who’s cowardly and smarmy and disingenuous as you slowly peel away their layers.

It’s no secret that Wench Anne loves secondary characters, and we predict she’ll have a verra hard time limiting her list to a reasonable number!


Maas’s beautiful writing

I was as unburdened as a piece of dandelion fluff, and he was the wind that stirred me about the world.
Maas uses her eloquent descriptions to paint these mythological landscapes and larger-than-life personalities in our minds with strong yet delicate strokes, to weave an intricate tapestry of vivid colors and varied textures. We feel like we’re really there. Her creations appear so clearly before our eyes that we ache to reach out and touch — or throttle or embrace or lay a big kiss on — them.


Reading these books is a such a pleasure, we wanted to slow down and luxuriate in the lushly drawn fields and forests, halls and manors, cities of dreams and nightmares, and the panoramas of mountains cloaking deadly subterranean chambers and skies darkened by winged armies and forests crawling with wondrous perils.

But we couldn’t do that the very first time we read these books, because the story is complex and so compelling, with an abundance of detours and decoys to keep you from thinking you’ve got it all figured out. You recognize before too long that you’re reading a new spin on Beauty and the Beast, but it morphs in unexpected ways into completely different stories.

Source

And we must mention the humor. This is a fun series that we have to read when we’re free to squee and sigh and laugh out loud. We love the competitive camaraderie, playful rhetorical sparring, and dead-sexy verbal foreplay.
“Delicious,” he purred.

My brows now knotted. I read the next two words, then whipped my face toward him. “You look absolutely delicious today, Feyre?! That’s what you wrote? [snip] You’re a pig.”

“Oh, most definitely. But look at you — you read that whole sentence, kicked me out of your mind, and shielded. Excellent work.”

***

“Give a shout down the bond if you get anything accomplished before breakfast.”

I frowned at the eye in my palm. “What — literally shout at the tattoo?”

“You could try rubbing it on certain body parts and I might come faster.”

An epic tale of love and survival, destiny and choice, blood and family, yadda yadda

We love so many things about this story, we could go on and on trying to name them all. But we don’t want to spoil the thrill of discovering them for yourself. Right away. So we’ll just shut up about them now. And end with...
“I have known many High Lords, ... Cruel ones, cunning ones, weak ones, powerful ones. But never one that dreamed. Not as he does ... Of something better — for all of us.”

Swoooooon-worthy hero *thud*

We’re back to Feyre’s man again. Because we’ve been saving one of the best — and probably your next book boyfriend, too — for last.


“There’s gentleness with his strength, vulnerability with his courage, and carefulness with his power. He’s basically just all around amazing.” Source (which has spoilers)
We don’t want to spoil too much about this guy, but he’s more wonderful every time we reread the series. Powerful. Patient. Brutal. Compassionate. Deadly. Gorgeous. Wise. Feared. Unrelentingly loyal and lethal. Master of the slooooow and sexy burn. You probably should keep a big glass of cold water or a firehose nearby when you read.
“And yet I found myself deciding that if you took his hand, I would find a way to live with it. It would be your choice.” ...

“And if he had grabbed me?” ...

“Then I would have torn apart the world to get you back.”
This man treats his woman as an absolute equal, and that is irresistibly seductive. Encourages her to be her very best. Respects her freedom and independence. Challenges her mightily, guides her gently, protects her ruthlessly, bows before her in passionate adoration.
“You do not fear,” he breathed. “You do not falter. You do not yield. You go in, you get her, and you come out again.” ...

“Remember that you are a wolf. And you cannot be caged.”
If you start the series and find yourself questioning our superb taste in BBFs, keep reading. Really, pick up book 2. You’ll never be the same. It’s one of our favorite PNR/UF books!

In fact, one of the best things about ACoTaR is something we can’t even tell you here. We weren’t the least bit surprised, we knew the signs early on. But many readers don’t. Sometimes we chuckle at comments from fans who are so invested in the story they think they’re reading that they don’t see the story it is becoming.


So if the first book seems a bit slow, please don’t be discouraged. There’s a dauntingly large mystical world and cast of characters to introduce, but the excitement ratchets way up in the second half. And don’t be surprised if something seems a bit off, or you’re irritated or even completely disgusted with several important characters (Wench Vale, we’re thinking of you here!). We really can’t say this emphatically enough: Keep Reading!! #book2issofuckingamazing


Are you tempted yet, Saucy Readers? We hope we’ve inspired you to explore the romance, intrigue, and adventure of this series, and we hope you love it as much as we do.

And if you’ve read these books before, are you rereading to prepare for A Court of Frost and Starlight? We tried to quickly skim instead of doing an official reread, but as soon as a certain someone showed up, we slowed waaaaay down and started savoring every detail. Some things should not be rushed.


Are you already a fan of ACoTaR? If you are, we hope you’ll share some of the things you love most about it! Do you love Feyre as much as we do? And are we right about our new BBF? Is he your new BBF, too?


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