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Feminist Book of the Month – A Court of Thorns and Roses

Feyre - the wolf in sheep's clothing.

“I was not a pet, not a doll, not an animal. I was a survivor, and I was strong. I would not be weak, or helpless again I would not, could not be broken. Tamed.” A Court of Thorns and Roses written by Sarah J. Maas is the next feminist fiction book of the month.

The story follows Feyre, a young girl who takes on the responsibility of taking care of her family. Her father doesn’t do much around the house and her two sisters, Nesta and Elain, are just as useless. Feyre almost reminds readers of Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games with her bow and arrow and hunting skills.

In her poor village, there are rumors of these magical beings called “fae.” Although there are a few devout fae believers, most think they are nothing but a bedtime story akin with the boogeyman. Oh, how wrong they are.

Maas describes  as a twisted retelling of The Beauty and the Beast. On a regular hunt to try and feed her family, Feyre finds and kills a giant wolf – a wolf who happened to be a Fae from the Spring Court. The Fae realm is divided into different courts – Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Dawn, Day, and the most feared, the Night.

When Feyre kills one of his soldiers, Tamlin, High Lord of the Spring Court, takes her and imprisons her in his castle with the promise that her family would be taken care of. Tamlin is one of the most powerful Fae in their land, Prythian, and was gifted with shapeshifting abilities so he could turn into any beast.

Little did Feyre know, a curse was put on his kingdom years ago by Amarantha, an evil woman looking to be the queen of Prythian. Tamlin’s magic was taken from him and his kingdom was forced to wear masks to cover their faces. Only a human girl who hated their kind and killed a fae but was still willing to marry Tamlin could break the spell. And then Amarantha added that they could not say a word to anyone about their curse. Not even to Feyre.

Eventually, Feyre and Tamlin’s icy coldness turns into fiery passion. All Feyre had to do to break the curse was tell Tamlin she loved him, but instead of risking her life and Amarantha’s revenge, Tamlin sends her home to her family – who she finds is now rich and living happily.

Feyre, of course, finds out about the curse and goes to Amarantha in an effort to save the man she loves and his kingdom. Amarantha tells her she can either solve a riddle or go through three trials to save the Spring Court. Feyre doesn’t know the answer to the riddle so she gets sent to the dungeon and awaits the three trials.

Throughout her efforts for the trials, Feyre utilizes the help of Rhysand, High Lord of the Night Court, nicknamed “Amarantha’s whore” because he was known to sleep with her. In one of the trials, Feyre’s arm gets horribly injured and infected. Rhys offers to heal her if she spends a week per month in his court with him. Feyre agrees because she has no other option.

Throughout the trials, Rhysand helps Feyre and continues to cover for her and Tamlin. At the end of the novel, Tamlin and Feyre are residing in his castle, happy together and happy for everything to finally be over. But Feyre has been having a hard time dealing with the guilt of the things she did during the trial and having bouts of depression.

I’ll be perfectly honest, the first book is great and the writing style is beautiful, but it’s the second book that makes this the book of the month. Read the first book for the plot, but the second book will make you swoon and force you to stop reading for a few minutes just to absorb the majesty of it all.

Much like Maas’s other series, , nothing is as it seems. The second book, , follows Feyre as she is forced to spend a week out of a month with Rhysand in the Night Court.

New amazing characters come into play that makes us wish we could live in their world. Mor, an amazing, gorgeous, powerful woman who has gone through more than anyone could imagine. Azriel, a quiet rock who is there for his friends no matter what and has gone through even more than Mor. Cas, a warrior with a heart of gold. Amren, a mysterious creature from another dimension who found a new home and gives the word powerful a new meaning.

includes real-world issues in a fantasy setting that makes it so much easier to relate to. Feyre suffers from PTSD and depression and lives in an environment where those are ignored. It takes a loving and caring family for her to heal and sometimes a strong hand who knows what she needs better than she does.

This is a must read and once you pick it up, I guarantee you will never put it down. “No one was my master— but I might be master of everything if I wished. If I dared.”

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Jen Garg is a student at Arizona State University studying Journalism and...