Tag Archives: Throne of Glass

As Seen on Bookstagram | Anticipating Kingdom of Ash

After five years of blogging, sometimes it’s hard to come up with new ideas. So much has changed over the years, including my blogging style, many times over, and I’ve gotten so much more into taking photos and posting on Instagram as a part of my love of books and bookish merch!

In an attempt to keep things interesting and fun, I wanted to started a little something new for me where I take a post that I had originally shared on Instagram — or “bookstagram” for those in the book community — and took it a little further in a blog post. There’s a limited  number of characters that you can share on Insta and the point of those posts is more to get to the point, rather than writing a whole narrative, but sometimes each post deserves a few extra words, and “As Seen on Instagram” is a fun way for me to do that!

 

A post shared by Brittany S. (@bookaddictsguide) on

As we all know, KINGDOM OF ASH, the finale to the Throne of Glass series, is almost here!

I’ve been a complicated jumble of thoughts regarding this series conclusion and the Throne of Glass series has been such a roller coaster of feelings for me! I really enjoyed THRONE OF GLASS and then positively loved CROWN OF MIDNIGHT, HEIR OF FIRE, and QUEEN OF SHADOWS. QUEEN OF SHADOWS was even my top, top favorite book of 2016.

Then came the downward slide, for me. I had also adored A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES and didn’t quite feel the love for A COURT OF MIST AND FURY, despite it being nearly everyone’s favorite sequel ever. I was very disappointed in EMPIRE OF STORMS and couldn’t believe how bad A COURT OF WINGS AND FURY felt and now I’m still struggling to even finish TOWER OF DAWN. I’m so disappointed still that Chaol’s story was shoved aside in EMPIRE OF STORMS and that TOWER OF DAWN was even “necessary”. I’ve been told it’s important but I’m about halfway through and so far, it really doesn’t feel like it.

It’s so sad to feel so apathetic about a series I once told people they must read, something I bragged about and shared, and now I don’t know what to feel! I really am interested in seeing how the series will end and how everything will wrap up. EMPIRE OF STORMS and TOWER OF DAWN aside, one thing I really liked was how the whole series kept folding in on itself and things from the first books were constantly brought up again, now known to be important. I’m hoping she knew how the series would end the whole time, so I’m hoping to see a lot more of that in the final book and I’m hoping it will bring back those feelings!

After the conclusion of A Court of Thorns and Roses with ACOWAR, well…. it makes me really nervous. You’d think a series conclusion would have ended a lot better than that but since Throne of Glass is a much longer series, I’m hoping there will be a lot of things ready and waiting to wow us.


How are you feeling about the upcoming release of KINGDOM OF ASH? Are you excited? Nervous? Apathetic? I’m such a jumble of feelings!

If you want to read the original post, check it out above or head to my Instagram page where you can follow for all kinds of bookish photo updates! 

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) – Sarah J. Maas

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) – Sarah J. MaasTitle: Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J. Maas
Publishing Info: September 6, 2016 by Bloomsbury Publishing
Source: Amazon
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: September 25, 2016
Related Posts: The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1 - 0.5), Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1), Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2), Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3), A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1), Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4), A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2), A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3)

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don't.
As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.
Aelin's journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

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I’m actually fairly disappointed with this book which makes me very sad because QUEEN OF SHADOWS was literally one of my favorite books of 2015 and I’ve fallen so in love with Sarah J. Maas’ books. Admittedly I did have a harder time finding time to sit and read this one but I did read 400 pages more or less in a weekend to finish and still wasn’t captivated. This surprisingly felt like that “second in a series slump” that I so often hit with trilogies, possibly because it’s the second book in the second half of the series.

I didn’t feel as engaged with this book at all. I had met all of these characters in QUEEN OF SHADOWS but so many were secondary characters there and I didn’t quite feel that solid transition from supporting to main character. The stories felt disjointed and not as detailed and alive as in QUEEN OF SHADOWS. I did love Elide and Lorcan the most because there was a lot to discover there and their personalities really started to shine. I felt less drawn to Aelin, which was so incredibly disappointing. She should have grown more, as she had been in previous books, and really started to come into her own as the rightful Queen of Terrasen, and I just felt like her character became very tired and less important with all of these other new main characters to follow. I also somehow lost that magic with her and Rowan and I just didn’t even feel that connection anymore.
I really didn’t feel as connected to Manon in this book either, which is a shame because I loved in her QUEEN OF SHADOWS and I was so excited to see where her story was going. I mean, I’m hoping it connects back to the main story line in the last book because otherwise, Manon should have just had her own series, to be honest. I enjoyed what was happening with her and her Thirteen (and others) in EMPIRE OF STORMS but I’m still not 100% sure why it’s so relevant to Aelin and her story. I can only assume the pieces all fall into place in the last book but I’ve been waiting for three books now, really, to see how this ties in and why it’s so important to have Manon’s whole point of view, so hopefully we’ll see that in the last book.
I also felt like Chaol was completely thrown away and that was incredibly frustrating, and I wasn’t even a Celaena/Chaol shipper. I don’t understand why he was such a main character only to switch a romance (which I was fine with, actually) to Rowan and then totally cut him out of ALL of book five. I understood quieting his role down, as he may not be playing as major of a role, but I don’t really understand what his purpose was then if he’s just getting totally pushed to the side. I guess Sarah J. Maas can write whatever she want, of course, but it just seemed like a big injustice to his character.

I feel like Sarah J. Maas incorporated some tired tactics to keep this story going and not a lot of new stuff happened here. The things that did carry the story over, which are the things I’ve loved from her in the past, weren’t really refreshed enough for me and I had a hard time remembering some of those things from other books, especially references to the novellas. I read those a long time ago and I didn’t have the time to reread an entire series for this book so it would have been nice to have some more details and updates on the events in the novellas that appeared in EMPIRE OF STORMS. I also think more details would have been very beneficial to those who haven’t read the novellas. I spoke to friends who haven’t read the novellas and they actually felt less lost than I did since they didn’t know it was a reference back to the novellas but I also think the characters, the history, and the plot could have been so much richer with those little updates.

I’m mostly disappointed in the elements that were used in both the Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses series. When writing two Fae series at the same time I think it’s super important to keep them very different and I don’t think these two are, which is especially disappointing because that was something I noted on the positive side after reading A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES. I had actually really liked that Feyre and Celaena/Aelin were so strong and yet two very different personalities. The more I read of both series, the more they really blended in concept and plot direction.  I felt like A COURT OF MIST AND FURY had too many elements from QUEEN OF SHADOWS and now reading EMPIRE OF STORMS, I noticed some twists that were already used in ACOMAF, and that was really disappointing. The ending became totally anticlimactic because it borrowed an exact same situation from ACOMAF and I was just so let down that it didn’t seem like an original idea.

EMPIRE OF STORMS was still enjoyable and I am still interested in the Throne of Glass series, but admittedly, I’ve lost a lot of faith in Sarah J. Maas at this point. I feel like this just didn’t have as much substance and character as previous books in this series. I loved QUEEN OF SHADOWS and to feel like this after EMPIRE OF STORMS is a major let down. I’m just very upset after finishing this book and even more so after reviewing it because I feel like I’ve really started to fall out of love with this series after EMPIRE OF STORMS and I’m losing faith in Sarah J. Maas.

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“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Aelin // Character obsessions: Terrasen, Rowan, freedom, power.
I actually lost so much interest in Aelin this book and I don’t know how this happened. She just felt like she actually lost so much depth and really, she lost all her spunk. I get that she’s more serious now that she’s fighting for control of Terrasen but I kept missing all the sass and banter and FUN that we saw from Aelin in previous books. She felt so flat in EoS.

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Kept Me Hooked On: New characters late in a series. I’m not an author so I can’t tell you what is good/bad/iffy to introduce late in a series but I really enjoyed new characters Elide (who was previously in the series but a small role) and Lorcan. When they’re done well, they bring a new and exciting element to a series and help fit even more pieces together. I actually did love a few (well really, I loved all of the new characters) but I also had a hard time with why they were really important to have MAIN character roles. I did like Elide and Lorcan because of their connection and romance but others I really wonder if they needed to be lead roles and what they brought to the book, even though I enjoyed getting to know them.
Left Me Wanting More: Terrasen. I thought this book was going to be all about Terrasen considering where QUEEN OF SHADOWS left off and we barely even saw it. I was really missing that because the whole quest for QoS was leading there and that was not where we left off in EoS.

Addiction Rating
Read it

I mean, I still recommend reading the book. I fell so in love with the series in the first four books but this one felt like it was too much filler and not enough happened. Lots did HAPPEN but it didn’t all feel really relevant and I felt like there was a lot of time spent building up romances that didn’t need to happen too.

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BOOKS LIKE EMPIRE OF STORMS

(Click the cover to see my review!)

TRUTHWITCH    THE IMPOSTOR QUEEN

Redesign Reactions [7]: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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Welcome to Redesign Reactions, where we talk about books, covers, and what happens when new cover designs take over a series!

On this edition of Redesign Reactions, let’s talk about
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Yes, yes, I know this is a super old redesign but with EMPIRE OF STORMS coming out SO SOON (omg, it’s really almost time!), I thought it would be fun to revisit this cover redesign. I got into the Throne of Glass series a little later than others. I didn’t pick it up until HEIR OF FIRE was coming out. Long story short, I had tried THRONE OF GLASS and was A) not a big fantasy person yet (how is that even possible) and B) not in the right place for it so I had returned it back to the library after time ran out with the promise to try again. When I tried again a few years later, I couldn’t believe what I had been missing out on! I totally binged the first three books, but that meant that I hadn’t gotten to discuss this cover change since I wasn’t in on it from the beginning! So let’s chat:

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OLD COVER: The old cover was kind of cookie-cutter YA. The girl on the front was an average YA-cover girl who looked WAY too sweet to be arrogant and vengeful Celaena Sardothien. This girl looks more like a protected princess who’s pretending to be a warrior but she doesn’t really come off as tough. Also my biggest thing with this cover is… Is it just me or does this cover girl bear a striking resemblance to author Sarah J. Maas? Maybe not so much now that we all “know” Sarah but when I first picked up the book way back in 2012, I totally thought the cover model looked like the author.

NEW COVERS: I wasn’t totally in love with new cover when I first saw it because I wasn’t prepared for an artistic rendering of Celaena since I was used to this more photographic image of a cover model… But obviously these covers are much more appropriate for the books and the characters! (Side note: I love them now. I was more unsure of what to expect when the cover change happened and it took me a second to get used to!) These covers continue the series and each one depicts something that directly correlates to the book, which I always LOVE. Celeaena is always so badass in these covers and the whole vibe really just fits. I think most people are fans of the new covers but I’m curious to see if there are old-cover fans!

Which do I like better? For me, it’s the new cover(s). The overall feel and vibe from this artwork really just fits the book so well and the attitude (and hair color) totally makes a difference. I also just LOVE that there’s a back view of the picture on the back cover (as in, actually seeing this image as if you were looking at it from the back) and the back cover image features Celaena in one of her dresses so we still get a pretty girl in a pretty dress cover but in a totally different way. I think it’s so clever and I love that we get to see the dresses from the back, and warrior Celaena takes precedence on the front covers.

So tell me! Which design do you like better? Take the poll below and let me know in the comments which you prefer and why! I’d love to hear your reactions!

[bctt tweet=”Which covers for Throne of Glass do you like better: Original or redesign? Take the poll at @bookaddictguide!” via=”no”]

The Throne of Glass Book Tag

I had an absolute blast coming up with The Lunar Chronicles Book Tag and it was so neat to see that in inspired more book tags based off of books! The lovely Hannah from So Obsessed With and Alexa from Alexa Loves Books created one for Throne of Glass and Hannah tagged me for it so naturally I had to jump in!


Dissonance The Book of Broken Hearts The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)

Lysandra | A book with a cover change you loved
I’ve seen so many cover changes along the way but had a hard time thinking of a change that I really LOVED. I remembered a few I hated and there are some that got better but weren’t too stellar. So I scrolled through Goodreads and remembered the new cover for DISSONANCE by Erica O’Rourke! This book got a makeover for the paperback and the hardcover of RESONANCE followed this new design as well and even though the mismatching makes me a little crazy, I do adore this new cover! These are my favorite colors (blue! green! teal! purple!) and I love the origami stars and how that really ties into the book.

Abraxos | A book that’s better on the inside than it looks on the outside
I despise this cover of THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS by Sarah Ockler. This book was so great and it got a totally crappy, stock photo cover. The redesign was only marginally better because at least it pertained to the story a bit more but I hated how the couple on the cover looked like they were thirty and on a romance cover instead of teens on a YA cover. This book deserves way better covers because the content is so beautiful!

Erilea | A series with great world-building

I fell straight into the world in THE NAME OF THE WIND by Patrick Rothfuss. Among many other amazing aspects, this world totally engulfed me and I loved learning more and more about it. There were always surprises and new things to explore and everything fell right into place.

Trial by Fire (The Worldwalker Trilogy, #1) The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1) Gone Girl
Rifthold | A book that combines genres

I had a hard time with my first experience with fanta-sci (I think A] I wasn’t ready for it and B] it had some world-building problems) but I absolutely adored how fantasy and sci-fi came together in TRIAL BY FIRE by Josephine Angelini! I had to adjust a bit because I think fantasy and sci-fi, as similar as they can be, are hard for me to blend sometimes but it really worked out well this book!
(And of course, The Lunar Chronicles.)

Damaris | A book based on/inspired by a myth/legend

I always think I’m going to like mythology adaptations and somehow I never really quite do… but books like THE RAVEN BOYS take on mythological incorporations so seamlessly that I didn’t even think about it as mythology until I had to categorize the book when I first reviewed, but it really does have a lot in there! Gansey is obsessed with the legend of Glendower and that’s a pretty enormous part of the series!

Kaltain Rompier | A book with an unexpected twist

I always feel like saying a book has a twist ruins the book for people. There are so many I could say but I always want to leave readers in the dark on twists so that they’re totally surprised! SO I’ll go with GONE GIRL. I finally read this book (listened on audio, rather) a couple months ago and I was so, so afraid it would get spoiled and I guess in a way it was… but there were still sooooo many twists left to explore. I had guesses on what happened to Amy but there’s still a lot more to the book even after you find out what did happen to her. I was so pleasantly surprised that even if I knew some info about the book, I still never knew where it was heading!

We Were Liars Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5) Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)
Assassin’s Keep | A book with an unreliable narrator

Ugh, I wanted to use the same book that I did for the twist question but again, I don’t want to give THAT away and since I already mentioned GONE GIRL too… Hmmm. I mean, in pretty much any psychological thriller you can expect an unreliable narrator nowadays but let’s go with WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart. Most people have read the book by now and know there’s a twist so… hope I didn’t spoil it for you! (Hey, the word LIAR is in the title so… that shouldn’t be a spoiler. You know SOMEONE is lying.)

Asterin Blackbeak | A book that’s got SQUAD GOALS

Harry Potter immediately popped in my head but even more so than the golden trio, how about The Order of the Phoenix? Or the DA? Seriously squad goals, my friends.

Terrasen | A book that feels like home

I really have to go with QUEEN OF SHADOWS! Okay, so this doesn’t really “feel like home” but I mentioned several times in my reviews that falling back into this series and reuniting with these characters really felt like coming home. It was a familiar place, a happy place, and a place that I found more adventures.

The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3) A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1) Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)

Aelin Ashryver Galathynius | A book with the power to destroy you

Well, I’ve already mentioned several feels-ruining books already (The Name of the Wind, The Raven Boys, Queen of Shadows) so I’ll go with THE HERO OF AGES by Brandon Sanderson. It’s the last  book in the (first three books) of the Mistborn trilogy (it has spin-offs that take place later in time!) and ohhhh my gosh, I was totally ruined. Feels all over the place, series ending, finishing a binge. What a time.

Manon Blackbeak | A book that intimidated you 

Definitely A GAME OF THRONES. I started it shortly after the series came out (no wait… maybe it was after the second season was coming out… or something) so now I had to read a whole massive series before I could start watching the show AND it was a huge fantasy series when I was still getting my feet wet with some serious adult fantasy. It was super intimidating but we did the series read as a read along and it was not only manageable but so much fun!

Rowan Whitethorn | A book that makes you swoon

All the swoons forever and ever for Etienne St. Clair. I think he’s still my number one book boyfriend even after the countless books (okay, I can count them. But it’s a LOT) that I’ve read throughout my lifetime. ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins always captures my heart!

Code Name Verity (Code Name Verity, #1) The Princess Bride: An Illustrated Edition of S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)

Chaol Westfall | A book that challenged you to see things differently
I think I’ll go with CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein. That book totally blew me away (GAH that would have been a good unreliable narrator book! Sheesh, I’m all over the place here) and it made me rethink my aversion to historical fiction. I know the book is still fiction but it does have a lot of real history in there too and it was so interesting to really learn something as I was reading.

Fleetfoot | A book that you received as a gift

At my rehearsal dinner for my wedding, all of my bridesmaids put together a gift which consisted of a hand-picked book for me with a note written inside. My sister bought me the illustrated 40th Anniversary edition of THE PRINCESS BRIDE which is so gorgeous. Not only were the books amazing but even more importantly, the notes inside made me cry! It was such an awesome gift.

Eye of Elena | A book you found right when you needed it

This is a super hard question! Hmmm. I think I’ll go with IF I STAY by Gayle Forman. I wasn’t too sure about YA contemporary when I first started reading YA and I ended up picking up IF I STAY from the library. I fell head over heels in love with the story and it renewed my faith in pretty much everything — contemporary, YA, reading, beautiful stories in general. It was absolutely perfect timing and launched my love for Gayle Forman!


So there you have it! Those are my choices for the Throne of Glass book tag! Thanks again to Hannah and Alexa for putting that together! What do you think?

This is the part where I tag other people to join in the fun so I’m tagging… Andi from Andi’s ABCs and Amy from Tripping Over Books! (Or anyone else who hasn’t been tagged and wants to do it!)

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) – Sarah J. Maas

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) – Sarah J. MaasTitle: Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas
Publishing Info: September 1, 2015 by Bloomsbury Publishing
Source: Amazon
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: August 29, 2015
Related Posts: The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1 - 0.5), Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1), Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2), Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3), A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1), A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2), Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5), A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3)

The queen has returned.
Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .
She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.
She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.
The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series contrinues Celaena's epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

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** This review will contain spoilers for the previous three books in the series but NO specific plot spoilers for QUEEN OF SHADOWS, however, if you have not read QUEEN OF SHADOWS yet, you may consider some things I talk about in my review to be minor spoilers (about the romance!) so reader beware! ** 

QUEEN OF SHADOWS was just utter, utter perfection for me. I was a bit of a late-comer to the Sarah J. Maas fandom having just started the Throne of Glass series last year (I binge read the first three books right as HEIR OF FIRE came out) and I absolutely fell in love. Even though it’s been a year since I’ve been immersed in this world, picking up QUEEN OF SHADOWS just felt so comfortable and I easily fell back into all of the magic that this series has to offer. It’s hard to review the 4th book in a major series without giving plot points away so I’m going to stay off of plot (for the most part) and try to talk about more about specific elements of the book that I enjoyed as well as how the book seems to be standing up to criticisms (yes, people have them and I don’t understand them).

One thing that I’m always incredibly impressed with is Sarah’s ability to really make this series one long story. Even though it’s broken up into six books, each novel relates back to another in the series and I’m always so impressed with not only how they tie in to one another but also how they are constantly connected right from the beginning and we only get to find out those connections as we dive further into the series.

I also really just love how this book feels like “coming home”. Reading QUEEN OF SHADOWS gave me that feeling of “Yes, I love this world. I know this world. This is where my heart belongs” and I feel that each time I read the next book in the series. Sarah J. Maas does a fantastic job of making these books come alive in every possible way. The settings and world building are incredible and I really do feel like I’m experiencing the novel as I’m reading it — I’m fully immersed. The characters and their personalities really just come to life and I feel like I’ve really come to know these people and places.

I’m constantly impressed with the character growth throughout this series as well. If you look at Celaena/Aelin from THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE or THRONE OF GLASS and Aelin in QUEEN OF SHADOWS, she’s a totally different person and I love seeing how much she’s grown throughout the course of these books. She went from arrogant teenager into blossoming queen and it’s been amazing to witness that slow and subtle transition. She’s really grown so much and she’s starting to own this queen-business and I am 100% behind her!
I was actually surprised that character growth seemed to be a negative thing in some reviews… I did a rather silly thing and read some one and two star reviews because I couldn’t fathom why people were so put off by the this book when I felt so in love with it and some people said that Aelin was totally different and where is old Celaena. But… YES! Of course she’s different! If the whole series had been about arrogant and cocky Celaena, I wouldn’t have liked it. There would have been no character growth at all. She’s been growing and changing this whole time and I think most of that happened in HEIR OF FIRE so I was kind of shocked that this — what I felt was slight — change in demeanor was so surprising and so many people were taken aback. I think Aelin has been growing up this whole series and I’ve been so impressed with the changes she’s made! I think she still has the same personality but because of her goals, because of what she’s been through, and because of what she’s learned, she’s changing from a girl into a young woman and handling herself differently. You can’t be a spoiled and arrogant queen.

The way the romantic feelings have evolved and changed have also been handled extremely well. Personally, I was never a Chaol/Celaena shipper. I would have been happy if they ended up together (hey, they still might — series isn’t over yet) but I was never fully invested in it for some reason. Things really start to change in QUEEN OF SHADOWS and as these characters grow, they start to explore their true romantic feelings and pulls even more and in some cases, they’re not quite what they used to be. It sort of felt like growing out of your old high school crush or boyfriend — what you had in common when you were younger may no longer be applicable and as people grow, they tend to change and refocus their goals, what’s important in life, and who a perfect match for them might be. I felt like that’s what happened with Aelin and Chaol. Maybe Celaena and Chaol would have worked well together but I don’t think Aelin and Chaol are meant to be. They’ve both been through a lot throughout the course of this series and their end goal is still the same but their paths may not be quite identical anymore. I think both characters started to realize this, especially in QUEEN OF SHADOWS.

Of course, the story itself was just amazing. QUEEN OF SHADOWS was a hefty book at over 650 pages and there was so much that happened… and none of it ever felt unnecessary. I never tired while reading QUEEN OF SHADOWS and wished I could stay within these pages long after the book ended. I was constantly captivated and didn’t want to put the book down! Sarah J. Maas is an expert story teller and I could get lost in the pages of her books forever. I’m a huge fan of this series and Sarah’s stories and I will be forever anticipating new works from her! This series is incredibly well-done and I can’t wait to see where else this plot takes us.

view_from_goodreads1

“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Aelin // Character Obsessions: Defeat of the Valg, protecting the kingdom.
I am so impressed with how much Aelin has grown throughout this series. I’ve loved witnessing her changes and how she’s been handling things in the past couple books. She’s still the same badass and has that same personality/attitude, but her focus has changed so much more now that she’s owned being the Queen of Terrasen.
Lysandra // Character Obsessions: Evangeline, debts, revenge.
There is SO much of THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE that we see coming back in QUEEN OF SHADOWS and guess what! Lysandra is back! I loved seeing the role she ended up playing in this book and I LOVE that it ties all the back to THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Epic epic fantasy. This is some EPIC epic fantasy. I love how books and series like this just fully pull me in and make me feel like I’m a part of the story.
Left Me Wanting More: Manon/Aelin encounters. I’m still enjoying the Blackbeak side of the story BUT I do wish there was a bit more connection to the main plot. I love Manon and I’ve been so happy to learn more about her but I can’t wait for this half of the book to tie in some more!

Addiction Rating
BUY IT NOW!

This is easily one of my all-time favorite series. The books, the characters, the world-building, the writing — all have grown throughout the series and I just can’t get enough.

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BOOKS LIKE QUEEN OF SHADOWS

(Click the cover to see my review!)

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) – Patrick Rothfuss   A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) – George R.R. Martin

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) – Sarah J. Maas

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) – Sarah J. MaasTitle: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas
Publishing Info: September 2, 2014 by Bloomsbury Publishing
Source: Amazon
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: September 3, 2014
Related Posts: The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1 - 0.5), Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1), Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2), A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1), Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4), A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2), Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5), A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3)

    Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.
    While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

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** This is a spoiler-free review for HEIR OF FIRE but please note that there ARE spoilers for the first two books, THRONE OF GLASS and CROWN OF MIDNIGHT, if you have not already read them. **

HEIR OF FIRE in one word? Brilliance. I’ve binge read the series up to this point and I think that makes it even more obvious to me how much Sarah J. Maas has already grown as a writer throughout this series as it stands. With each book in the series, my love for it only grew and by the time I finished HEIR OF FIRE, I was pretty much in total awe of what Sarah’s done with this series so far.

HEIR OF FIRE is by far the longest book yet at over 500 pages, but it’s one of those books that never felt long. The book follows the story lines of characters we’ve grown to love in previous books (Celaena, Dorian, Chaol) but we also get a new major plot and character with Manon Blackbeak, a fiercely awesome witch with a badass attitude. At first I was afraid with the introduction of a new character receiving their own story line (though I know it will eventually tie into the main-Celaena story line) because I recently had a more negative experience with this concept and it kind of ruined part of the book for me. BUT I know I shouldn’t have doubted because Sarah J. Maas is a master-plotter and even though Manon didn’t end up connecting with Celaena and the gang in HEIR OF FIRE, there’s no doubt that she’s going to play an important role in this series and I never once felt like her story was irrelevant. It added a hefty amount to read, but I loved every minute I spent with Manon and I can’t wait to see more of her in future books.

My absolute favorite thing about HEIR OF FIRE was the fact that now that we’re three books in, readers are able to see larger pieces of the puzzle. Since this series is longer than the current trilogy fad, there’s so much more time to be able to detail not only the characters but the plot as well. Longer arcs don’t have to be rushed and there’s so much more time to let ideas and mysteries simmer. In HEIR OF FIRE, we see certain items and events and places from THRONE OF GLASS and CROWN OF MIDNIGHT and how they all tie together. There were several instances in which I had totally forgotten about something because it had already been used as a major plot point in previous books BUT its role in the series isn’t done and that just totally blew my mind. I feel like I’ve read so many series lately that use certain elements and then they get discarded, specifically put in the story for that one event. Not that I have an issue with that — more so that I was just so impressed to see how carefully Sarah J. Maas has crafted this overall series arc and how well all of the books flow from one to the next.

The character growth has also seriously impressed me. If you’ve read the novellas, you’ve pretty much seen Celaena’s entire history (aside from the more mysterious aspect of her childhood but no worries because *flails* you get more info in HEIR OF FIRE!!) and know exactly how she acted when we first met her — confident, cocky, brash, and invincible. After her time in Endovier, she became much more closed off, but still had an air of arrogance about her. Even after everything she’s been through, Celaena still somewhat has a sense of entitlement, but new character Rowan is NOT having it — and I was SO thankful for his presence in this book! I like Celaena. I really do… but she needed someone like Rowan to come in and really change her perspective a bit. Celaena IS so good at what she does and she does have that confidence in what she can do that it’s hard for someone else to really challenge her. Rowan is the perfect person to really push Celaena to become a better person in many different aspects of her life and I loved how much he enhanced this book and helped Celaena keep moving forward. I think she really needed someone like him to do that.

I feel like I could talk about this book forever but I’ll wrap it up with the reiteration of how much this book amazed me. At only a quarter of the way in, things were already escalating to the point where I was floored by what was going on and there were still so many adventures left to have in the book. By the time I reached the end, I was nearing the point of being speechless. HEIR OF FIRE was simply magical to read and I absolutely cannot wait for the rest of the series. It’s clear that Sarah J. Maas just keeps improving her writing with each book and I look forward to seeing where she takes us for the rest of this journey.

view_from_goodreads1

“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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THIS BOOK THOUGH. I don’t usually swear in my reviews/updates/on Twitter but “holy shit” were the only words I could use to describe that last part of the book. 

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Celaena // Character Obsessions: Magic, training, protection.
I think Celaena really grew up in this book… quite a bit. That was a really great thing for me personally because sometimes I got a taaaad bit annoyed with her attitude and cockiness but I think she really just needed someone to help her realize that she may think she’s acting like an adult and yes, she may really have the skills she feels confident of but there’s still so much more to learn. Celaena needed to learn how to conquer some things she was hiding from and also how to let the right people in.
Rowan // Character Obsessions: Training Celaena, duty, responsibility, loyalty.
Rowan is my new favorite character. I absolutely loved his role in this book and there couldn’t have been a better time for someone like him to appear here. His character really just blew me away and I LOVED the relationship that he and Celaena developed. They really grew to respect one another and I couldn’t have asked for more.
Manon // Character Obsessions: Honor, winning, leadership, wyverns.
Manon was also awesome and I did not think I would feel that way about her. Her story was amazing to witness and it was great to see how much my feelings changed for her the more I read about her. I can’t wait to see how she fits in to the overall plot when her storyline does connect!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Big books. I’m so thankful for how long this book was. I NEVER say that. Usually I’m afraid of the bigger books because they just take so long to read and even though this did take me a while to finish, I enjoyed every word and didn’t want it to end. Don’t let the size intimidate you because every word was enjoyable and absolutely necessary!
Left Me Wanting More: … Of the series? I binge read the series up until this point…. MAYBE not the best idea since I had instant gratification with being able to read the next book and now I have to wait a loooong time for the next. Whoops?

Addiction Rating
BUY IT

I already loved the series, but whoooooo boy, HEIR OF FIRE totally floored me. I’m so impressed with how much the series has grown so far and I can’t wait to read more of it! If you’re hesitant, take it from me — IT’S ALL WORTH IT.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE HEIR OF FIRE

(Click the cover to see my review!)

     dreams of gods and monsters    rift nightshade #1

 

 

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) – Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) – Sarah J. MaasTitle: Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas
Publishing Info: August 27, 2013 by Bloomsbury Publishing
Source: Amazon
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: August 7, 2014
Related Posts: The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1 - 0.5), Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1), Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3), A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1), Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4), A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2), Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5), A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3)

    She is the greatest assassin her world has ever known.But where will her conscience, and her heart, lead her?After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king's contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.
    Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king's bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she's given a task that could jeopardize everything she's come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon -- forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice. Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she willing to fight for?

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** This is a spoiler-free review for CROWN OF MIDNIGHT but please note that there ARE spoilers for the first book, THRONE OF GLASS, if you have not already read it! **

True to everyone’s word, CROWN OF MIDNIGHT really was the sequel that blew THRONE OF GLASS out of the water. Don’t get me wrong — I really did love THRONE OF GLASS — but Sarah J. Maas really stepped everything up a notch in this fantastic sequel and I was hooked from the first page!

Okay so… where do I start? Really everything about this book was quite amazing. One thing that really sticks out to me is how much more the relationships developed between all of the characters, really. I love the friendship that develops between Dorian and Celaena after where they leave things in book one. Dorian is actually one of my favorite characters. I love that in THRONE OF GLASS, there was a bit of tension between the two best friends — Dorian and Chaol — regarding Celaena, but it never really felt love triangle-y. CROWN OF MIDNIGHT could have easily carried the series straight through a love triangle, but I’m so thankful that instead, Dorian becomes more of a friend to Celaena. Yes, he does still have his jealous moments at times when things flare up between Chaol and Celaena (and do they EVER) but it was handled so well and everything felt really natural. The characters just have such authentic reactions and feelings — I really just loved how they all intertwined.

I really felt like the plot grew exponentially more complex as well. It was so great to have some really wonderful surprises! I felt like THRONE OF GLASS was a little predictable at times (though not in a bad way because I really enjoyed the book) but CROWN OF MIDNIGHT really kept me on my toes! There are a few really great twists and one REALLY BIG SHOCKING THING. Sarah J. Maas really kept the punches coming in this book, whoo boy.

It was really great to see some more fantastic world building as well. I felt like a lot of world building and setting the stage was done in the novellas (which I read even before THRONE OF GLASS), but THRONE OF GLASS dove more into the plot and characters than it did the world. I loved seeing more of the history behind each region, a few backstories pop up for some of the characters, and a real understanding of what exactly the magical system is and how it works since we received a basic understanding in book one. Each one of these things is so well described in CROWN OF MIDNIGHT and the depth of it all really allowed me to sink so much further into this series and let myself get lost.

This book was really just epic — there’s no better way to sum it up. The romance, the friendships, the character building, the world building — really everything just becomes so much more detailed and I really sank my teeth into CROWN OF MIDNIGHT. Oh my gosh, THE ENDING. From about halfway through until the end, the book just takes off — full of action, deceit, love, adventure, mysteries, loss — it’s just incredible and it left me reeling in anticipation of HEIR OF FIRE!

view_from_goodreads1

“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Celaena // Character Obsessions: Wyrdkeys, friendship, nobility, honor.
I loved watching Celaena slowly change and mature from the novellas, through THRONE OF GLASS, and into CROWN OF MIDNIGHT. Despite the fact that she’s an assassin and she has amazing confidence in herself, she often has an inner-battle with choosing the right thing to do and moments of cowardice. It’s really incredible to see how realistic this inner-struggle is and to see how Celaena chooses to react to things based on what she knows of herself as well as how her friends around her perceive her actions.
Chaol // Character Obsessions: Celaena, duty, respect, friendship.
Um, YES. Okay. I’m getting the whole Chaol obsession now! I really liked him as a love interest (and yes, as a person too) in book one, but he’s really grown on me quite a bit! I love his passion for everything that he does — his position in the castle, his friendship with Dorian, his feelings for Celaena. Oh, it just kills me!
Dorian // Character Obsessions: Honor, thinking for himself, answers, the future.
DORIAN. I love him! I honestly think he’s my favorite character — even more so than Celaena and Chaol. I just really connect with him for some reason. I love his personality and honestly some THINGS happen with him in this book and that was one of the most exciting parts of the whole book for me haha!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Fae. Omg you guys, look at me growing to like books involving worlds with fae! You know I’m not big into fairy worlds and plot, but I really love how all of that is incorporated to the series story line. It was really interesting to learn more about it!
Left Me Wanting More: Um… sensitivity? I’m evil. You know the one big thing in this book that is like THE biggest shocker and heart-wrencher? Didn’t hit me as hard as it did everyone else. I won’t give away what it was, but those of you who have read, we can discuss!

Addiction Rating
BUY IT

I’m so happy to be falling in love with this series! CROWN OF MIDNIGHT really made sure of that too. I’ve already started HEIR OF FIRE and am thrilled to be gobbling it up! (Although that creates difficulties waiting for the next book… Oops. Didn’t think about that.)

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE CROWN OF MIDNIGHT

(Click the cover to see my review!)

     dreams of gods and monsters    rift nightshade #1

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) – Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) – Sarah J. MaasTitle: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas
Publishing Info: August 7, 2012 by Bloomsbury Publishing
Source: Barnes & Noble
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: July 20, 2014
Related Posts: The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1 - 0.5), Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2), Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3), A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1), Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4), A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2), Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5), A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3)

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

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I first tried to read THRONE OF GLASS almost two years ago when it first came out and for whatever reason, I just couldn’t get into it. I wasn’t a big fantasy reader back then so maybe it was just the wrong time for me, but I eventually let it go back to the library unfinished, knowing I wanted to give it another shot someday. When Bloomsbury introduced their Throne of Glass series read along, I knew that was the perfect time to dive back in and hope I would enjoy it this time around!

As I said in my review for the novellas, I owe Nikki from There Were Books Involved a huge thanks for encouraging me to read the novellas first. Since I was hesitant to get back to THRONE OF GLASS due to my less than exciting first attempt, I really wanted to get to know the world and characters better and I felt like I had a good grip on what this world was really all about when I started THRONE OF GLASS. The only downside to reading the novellas first, I think, was that… well, I actually enjoyed the atmosphere of them a bit more. Well, don’t get me wrong — I really did enjoy ToG too, but there was definitely a different feel, and rightly so. Celaena went through hell and back before ToG even started so when we first see her in the beginning of the novel, she’s already quite a different person in some ways than she was before.

I couldn’t help but make comparisons to THE HUNGER GAMES for some reason. In the novel, Celaena is entered into the competition to become the king’s champion and for whatever reason, I got a real Katniss vibe from her, though I think this easily happens with several strong female characters in similar situations. But this wasn’t a bad thing! I really admired Celaena’s dedication to her friends, her determination to win the competition to better her life, and her flat out talent. The aspect of the whole competition thing that I wasn’t a huge fan of was that it seemed fairly predictable. I guess it can’t really end any other way, but I was hoping for a bigger twist or two, I think.

I think what I enjoyed most is that while this was an enjoyable first book and I felt like it could have used a little more “oomph” here and there, Sarah J. Maas doesn’t rush into cramming all of the twists and surprises and plot elements all at once. It’s a longer series (six books instead of the common trilogy nowadays) so there’s plenty of time to allow plot to develop and for characters to grow. It had a very specific story line that wrapped up nicely for book one and at the same time led in perfectly to book two, and the best part about all of that is that it got me excited for the rest of the series.

THRONE OF GLASS was definitely an interesting read for me and thank goodness it held my attention this time! I think it was just right book but wrong time when I first attempted it and the novellas really did ground me in this world so I didn’t have to discover what it was all about all at once. The book didn’t totally knock me over but I really, really enjoyed it and I’m so excited to continue on with the series. I totally understand why so many people are in love with Sarah J. Maas’ books!

view_from_goodreads1

I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

tog

I started this book almost two years ago and just wasn’t in the right place for it. So glad I came back and tried again!!

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Celaena Sardothien // Character Obsessions: Freedom, becoming the King’s champion, trust, friendship.
It’s interesting to see the change in Celaena from the novellas to THRONE OF GLASS. She’s definitely not the same person after everything that happened to her and everything she went through in the salt mines… I definitely appreciate reading the novellas first so I was able to see the person that she was before the most terrible things in her life had happened to her, and yet, you can still tell she’s very much the same person in many ways as well. I loved getting to know her better and now the reader gets more of a detailed plot line with more adventure whereas the novellas were more getting to know Celaena and her history.
Chaol Westfall // Character Obsessions: Duty, honor, pride.
Starting to understand the whole Chaol love obsession here! I really enjoyed his character in THRONE OF GLASS and I loved him as one of the main characters. He’s definitely in a precarious position for so many reasons and I loved watching how he handled each delicate situation. It was a bit maddening at times… but in a good way!
Dorian Havilliard // Character Obsessions: Family, friendship, standing up for what is right.
I kind of loved Dorian. He was such a personable character that even when he was painted in, shall we say, not the fondest light, I still loved him. He felt very human and I really connected with him probably even more than I did with Celaena and Chaol. He’s in a tough spot in his family and he wants to do what’s right but at the same time doesn’t always know what that means in his life. Definitely a gem and I love what Sarah J. Maas does with his character.

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Kept Me Hooked On: High fantasy. I think I’m pretty much solid on the fact that I really enjoy high fantasy now. I felt like it was important to note because when I first attempted the book, I really didn’t. I was just starting to dip into fantasy and for some reason this book wasn’t catching me… No issues with that now! It’s become one of my favorite things to read.
Left Me Wanting More: Adventure. There are six books in the series so yes, we’re slowing building up the adventure bit by bit. The training and competition scenes for the King’s Champion were… okay. I enjoyed them still but it felt a bit like The Hunger Games in a way. Not in a bad way, but I guess I just expect more glorious adventures in high fantasy… Although not to worry since I’ve already read CROWN OF MIDNIGHT and I know things DO pick up!

Addiction Rating
Buy it!

This is really the start of a great series and I can already tell I’m going to get really into this one. I’ve already read CROWN OF MIDNIGHT and I’m toying with starting HEIR OF FIRE ASAP!

book_recommendations1

BOOKS LIKE THRONE OF GLASS

(Click the cover to see my review!)

 Graceling    The Kiss of Deception

 

The Assassin’s Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1 – 0.5) – Sarah J. Maas

The Assassin’s Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1 – 0.5) – Sarah J. MaasTitle: The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1 - 0.5) by Sarah J. Maas
Publishing Info: March 4th 2014 by Bloomsbury Childrens by Bloomsbury Publishing
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: July 13, 2014
Related Posts: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1), Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2), Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3), A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1), Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4), A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2), Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5), A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3)

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan's most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin's Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas - together in one edition for the first time - Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn's orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out

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** In full disclosure, I actually read the novellas individually but for conveniency’s sake, I’m reviewing as the full book, The Assassin’s Blade; therefore, I am missing the one novella that was not available for purchase outside of TAB **

I had been meaning to start THRONE OF GLASS for a long time and was juuuust about to start it when Nikki from There Were Books Involved advised me to read the novellas first. See, this would haven’t been my first read of THRONE OF GLASS. I had actually tried back when the book first came out in 2012 and made it about 80 pages before my book was due back the library… But I hadn’t been really interested it in. I had found it a bit hard to get into and I think I wasn’t at a point in my reading life at that point in time where I could really appreciate fantasy as much as I do now. When Nikki advised me to read the novellas first because they actually helped her appreciate THRONE OF GLASS that much more, I decided that was definitely the best route for me.

The funny story is… I was only able to borrow some digitally from my local library so I had to purchase the others… and ended up accidentally reading them out of order (I read the third one first and the first one third). It didn’t really affect my overall opinion too much, but more of a funny little story which obviously wouldn’t have happened if I was actually reading THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE. Oh well!

THE ASSASSIN AND THE PIRATE LORD is the first novella of the bunch (and the one I ended up reading third. Oops) and I’m actually kind of glad I ended up reading it out of order. I really loved all of the novellas but I think this one was my least favorite. Since I read the third one first, I already knew essentially what happened here and it wasn’t that it was anticlimactic but more so that I had already seen a more mature Celaena — even two novellas later — so I grew a bit impatient with her at times. It wasn’t a huge deal for me, but I did notice it a bit. I also felt like the plot was probably the least interesting out of the four that I read and felt more like a string of sequences than something that really flowed. It did have quite a bit of important foreshadowing in there, though, and it was really great to get that foundation for both the world and the characters. This was also an extremely important story because it really sets to motion absolutely everything that leads up to THRONE OF GLASS.

The second novella (skipping over the one that is only in TaB… so technically # 0.3) is THE ASSASSIN AND THE DESERT. I think I enjoyed this more than THE ASSASSIN AND THE PIRATE LORD because Celaena really starts to learn things about herself and is both mentally and physically pushed to the limits on so many levels. It’s easy to know who you think you are but once you’re put in extremely trying situations, you start to see the person you really are and what weaknesses emerge. It was heartbreaking too, because I think Celaena really opened up and discovered a lot about herself but then both of those things made her close herself off again. I really loved the relationships in this novella a lot and I think it was a really important piece of Celaena’s background that we got to know.

The next novella was THE ASSASSIN AND THE UNDERWORLD (that I accidentally read first) and I just fell in love. It was so intriguing and so complex for a novella! I really felt like I got to know all of the characters so intimately and each of the characters — as well as the plot lines — really begin to grow. There were TWISTS and things I did not see coming and it was probably one of the best novellas I have read in a long time (maybe ever?)… That is until….

THE ASSASSIN AND THE EMPIRE — HOLY CRAP, you guys. This novella BROKE me. It was flat out amazing and also set up a lot for THRONE OF GLASS but there were so many things I didn’t expect and so many things that completely floored me. If you read the main novels first — as goes for any of these novellas — you already know what happens in the end but I got to experience all of that backstory first hand and it was… well it was a wild ride. This is one of THE best novellas I’ve ever read and all of these are worth the read, whether you’ve already read all of the books so far in the series or not.

My overall opinion of the novellas is that they’re must-reads for fans of this series. I know a lot of people actually aren’t a fan of novellas but these four (and I’m assuming the fifth that I haven’t read yet) all fit together to really kind of form a whole new story in one book. I read them all before I started THRONE OF GLASS which you don’t have to do, but I really enjoyed it because these are all prequel novellas and I really felt like I was reading the series in chronological order. Given what I’ve learned so far in CROWN OF MIDNIGHT, I think it’s important to read these novellas before book two because there is a lot of history explained there that really makes more sense and draws on more emotions if you’ve read the novellas first.  

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Celaena // Character Obsessions: Clothes, books, training, fighting, Sam, and erm… kiling.
Celaena is totally badass. She’s not always my favorite heroine in terms of the way she handles herself and reacts to certain situations but I really respect her and hell. It’s not like I could ever be in her shoes. I really enjoy her stories and I loved learning about her past in these novellas.
Sam // Character Obsessions: Working his way up in the ranks, loyalty, pride, Celaena.
Oh, Sam Cortland. I just loved him. I thought he was the perfect balance for Celaena in so many ways. I actually think he’s still one of my favorite characters in the entire series so far.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Prequels. Even though I read this before I started the series so it was like “starting at the beginning” for me, I just love prequel novellas. I’m sure authors have tons of background that they probably have to write down in order to really round out some of their characters so I love reading that extra information and getting that info in a novella!
Left Me Wanting More: Connection with Celaena. I actually really grew to like her a lot more in each novella the more I got to know about her, but it wasn’t a little bit hard to really feel like I related to her in the very beginning.

Addiction Rating
READ THE NOVELLAS!!

If you’re a fan of this series at all, I think the novellas are really important to both world building and character development, but especially character development for me. There’s so much history in them and I think it’s really important to know and see it firsthand.

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BOOKS LIKE THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE

(Click the cover to see my review!)

Graceling    The winner's Curse

 

Summer Showcase: Blockbusters

summer showcase blockbusters

This summer I wanted to share with you a collection of posts to feature a few books that I just absolutely have to recommend to you for fantastic summer reads a well as books I plan on reading this summer myself! Summertime is a fantastic time of year for so many different kinds of books. I don’t know how many people out there are mood readers or even “season readers” but I feel like summer is the great time for epic books, cute contemps, and emotional roller coasters — basically any book you can totally and completely get lost in. Enter: feature.

THE BLOCKBUSTERS

One of my favorite types of books to read in the summer are those epic “blockbusters”. These are the major series, the epic fantastics, the best books you’ve ever read in your life. Typically what I would consider a blockbuster is something that really has it all: action, adventure, romance, danger, intrigue, and of course, the fan-base and anticipation of being THAT BIG BOOK that will take the reading community by storm!

I have quite a few favorite “blockbuster” books and series. Some of them will come as no surprise, but nevertheless, I HAVE to recommend them because I KNOW there are people who haven’t started them yet. Well, my lovelies. SUMMER IS THE TIME!

the grisha trilogy leigh bardugo

Full Length Novels: Shadow and Bone (#1) // Siege and Storm (#2) // Ruin and Rising (#3)
Novellas + Extras: The Witch of Duva (#0.5) // The Taylor (#1.5) // The Too-Clever Fox (#2.5) // Little Knife (#2.6)

With the RUIN AND RISING — the conclusion of the series — having just dropped, fans are all about The Grisha trilogy! And right they are. I was not a big fantasy fan at all when I first read SHADOW AND BONE, but Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy instantly took me by storm. I fell in love with this amazing fantasy world that she creates and how she incorporates the most wonderful ties to czarist Russia while still creating a world that is uniquely her own and fabulously detailed. I love everything about this trilogy — the world building (of course), the characters, the plot, the twists, the relationships, the magic… Everything is just perfect. If you haven’t started The Grisha trilogy yet, now is the time! All of the books have now been released and you can spend your whole summer catching up!

the lunar chronicles marissa meyer

 

Full Length Novels: Cinder (#1) // Scarlet (#2) // Cress (#3)
Novellas + Extras: Glitches (#0.5) // The Queen’s Army (#1.5) // The Little Android (#2.5)
Future Releases: Fairest (#0.1) // Winter (#4)

The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favorite series OF ALL TIME. I honestly, truly compared it to Harry Potter. My love for it is of Harry Potter proportions, so that’s really saying a lot! For those of you who haven’t read it… I know, I know. A cyborg Cinderella? That’s too sci-fi. Can’t possibly be good. Right? NO. WRONG. This is amazing! CINDER was so great but the series honestly just gets better from there too. More amazing characters, incredibly plotting, fantastic action, and OH, the swoons! FAIREST, although a prequel, is actually a full-length novel coming out in January 2015 and WINTER is closing out the series late 2015 and that will be a long wait, but well worth it!

dangerous girls abigal haas

Dangerous Girls
Future Releases: Dangerous Boys (not a series but titles are related)

I read DANGEROUS GIRLS from start to finish in one day. I left for BEA and started it in the airport in Chicago. I read it all through the plane right and couldn’t believe I had to stop reading it when I got to NYC. But then I was waiting for Alyssa’s train to get in and I managed to finish! YES! This was not at all what I expected. I had heard plenty about how amazing this book was but for some reason I still haven’t believed it. I honestly think it was because of the super poor original cover, actually. It made it look so cheesy. But this was honestly fantastic, you guys. It was how YA mystery-thrillers should written. It was realistic. It was terrifying. And it totally knocked my socks off.

the 5th wave rick yancey

 The 5th Wave (#1)
Future Releases: The Infinite Sea (#2) // Untitled (#3)

Surprisingly enough, THE 5TH WAVE was another book I read in one sitting. I was so enthralled that I just sat in my apartment and read it from cover to cover. I am really, really not a fan of aliens. But THE 5TH WAVE was so much more than aliens. It was really exciting with so much action, suspense, and a really great twist as well! I know that movie news is starting to pop up so if you plan on reading the book and haven’t yet, I highly advise avoiding the movie news and hunkering down with this book ASAP!

MY SUMMER 2014 BLOCKBUSTER READ

THRONEOFGLASS

Full Length Novels: Throne of Glass (#1) // Crown of Midnight (#2) // Heir of Fire (#3)
Novellas + Extras: The Assassin and the Pirate Lord (#0.1) // The Assassin and the Healer (#0.2) // The Assassin and the Desert (#0.3) // The Assassin and the Underworld (#0.4) // The Assassin and the Empire (#0.5) // The Assassin and the Princess (#1.1) // The Assassin and the Captain (#1.2)
Future Releases: Untited (#4) // Untitled (#5) // Untitled #6)

This summer I’m reading Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series! I actually started THRONE OF GLASS (let’s be accurate here and check Goodreads…) back in September of 2012. I made it just over 80 pages into the book but really was having a hard time with it and my allotted time was up with the library copy so back to the library it went. Even back in 2012 there was already a lot of hype for this series so I think I was intimidated by that and that I wasn’t really reading fantasy yet as much so I really think it just wasn’t the right time. I decided it was finally time to pick this series back up again and then two wonderful things happened: Bloomsbury announced that they were doing a series read along (slash, re-read along) and they’ll start discussing THRONE OF GLASS in mid-July and I had tweeted about re-starting this series on Twitter and Nikki from There Were Books Involved told me that she read all of the novellas first and it really helped her enjoyment of THRONE OF GLASS (A LOT)! Since I already felt like I had struggled with it the first time, I decided to take Nikki’s advice.

I am happy to report that I just read the first novella and I LOVED it. It made me really, really excited to continue reading the novellas and hopefully I’ll make it through all five of them (FIVE!!!) before it’s time to start the official read along with Bloomsbury! I’m so excited to be starting a series that so many of you have loved and I can’t wait to enjoy it just as much as you do! (Although if I fall in love with it, I may have issues since I bought the paperback of ToG, gave away my ARC of CoM, and have an egalley of HoF… We’ll see!)