Come one, come all, back to your childhood love for reading! Whether you were a Harry Potter, Hunger Games, or Percy Jackson kid, I have the fantasy series for you! This five-book series debuted in 2015, but fully blew-up on TikTok’s “BookTok” from 2020 to 2021–and rightfully so. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas is a romantic fantasy novel with an epic twist on a classic Beauty and the Beast retelling.
The first novel in the series introduces the 19-year old protagonist Feyre and her enemies-to-lovers counterpart, Tamlin. Feyre, the youngest in her family, braves the cold to find food for her family after they lose their riches and her father is beaten for their debts. Her oldest sister Nesta refuses to adjust to the life they now live, followed by her other sister Elain who is deemed too innocent to follow Feyre in her hunt for survival. After killing a wolf in the forest on the border of the faerie world of Prythian, Feyre is abducted from her home to pay for the blood she spilled. The meeting between Feyre and Tamlin is bathed in classic fairytale murder, abduction, and abandoning of family for the hot love interest. Throughout her journey, Feyre encounters new foes, mythical beasts, and the perilous, but darling Rhysand (if you read the books, you will get this pun). Maas builds a revolutionary fantasy world that will deeply immerse you into Prythian, a faerie world littered with magic, danger, and betrayal. Prythian is home to seven courts: the Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring, Day, Dawn, and Night Courts. Yet, the magic is dampened in the faerie realm from the work of an unspoken villain which Feyre is destined to face. To be fully introduced to these characters and follow this epic world building, I recommend you look up the pronunciation of the names so you don’t get to book three– and believe me, if you finish book one you will get to book three– and realize you have been reading Feyre incorrectly. I will warn anyone who picks up this series that the first novel is a bit slow, but you will most definitely finish the last 200 pages in one sitting so plan ahead!
In addition, the move from A Court of Thorns and Roses to A Court of Mist and Fury is an abrupt change from a young adult series to new adult, so keep that in mind if there are certain things you are uncomfortable reading. Still, as you transition to the next books in the series, the world of Prythian continues to grow larger along with the threats it carries and the political games that are at play. However, I must apologize in advance, because there is not another book series I have read since reading A Court of Thorns and Roses that has been comparable, so be ready to be hooked and hurt! Although I cannot spoil it, I leave you with some words of wisdom: when a spooky, grim reaper-esque creature says “stay with the high lord,” definitely read into it.