Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas

23848145Title: Queen of Shadows

Author: Sarah J Maas

Genre: YA fantasy

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Publication date: September 2015

Rating: 5/5

Warning the synopsis contains mild spoilers if you have not read the previous books in this series! Read at your own risk! 

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

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 will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. 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.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.Review2

Just a warning in advance that this review is very fangirling I couldn’t control it, I just had to spew my feelings all over the place haha!!

So this is My 5th review for my reread of this series in preparation for the final instalment: Kingdom of Ash. If you missed my previous reviews I also reviewed Assassins Blade, Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight and Heir of Fire.

I absolutely love this book. Every time I read it I enjoy it. If Heir of Fire was the book of character development then this book is where that development continues, but also so many more plans, consequences and actions arise from the development that has occurred.

I feel the action and scheming really ramps up in the series in this book and I am LIVING for it! Practically right from the get go every character has their own agendas and plans, and it leaves the reader enthralled. Wondering who may come out on top the “evil” character or the “good” ones. Not only that but where are these morally grey characters going to fall? What roll will they play? Who’s side are they on? There are so many twists, turns and unexpected moments in this book and even though I expect them and know they are coming now, they still leave me with so much adrenaline and emotions!

Although I hate that a certain Fae prince is absent in the first part of this book and I feel that emptiness as much as a certain Queen. I love that our MC has some time to Scheme on her own and show her strengths as a solo person. I love reading about the first mission occurring and everything our MC manages to do! The reunion between the two cousins is everything! I mean how cute, how much love amazing!

But speaking of reunions, the one between said Fae prince and Queen is absolutely everything! EVERYTHING I TELL YOU!!! If that scene doesn’t give you all the feels, what are you some stone heart monster? But seriously tears in my eyes so good! I love watching this particular relationship develop even more and the effect it has on their individual character growth.

And how could I talk about this book without mentioning my main girl the amazing Manon Blackbeak!!! I love how much more page time her and her 13 have in this book. I love her character development it makes me love her even more! And we find out so much more about her past and other members of the coven’s pasts! I also enjoy that her chapters give us a look into the workings of the “enemy”. This woman and the 13 deserve their own spin off series they are that bad ass and entertaining!

The ending of this book is so dramatic and so emotional even though our emotions have already been dragged through so much throughout the entirety of the book. I mean now that I have read Assassins Blade all of those Sam scenes hit my straight to the heart and opened up wounds that have not yet healed!  I really do think this book has one of the best endings of the series! Almost as good as the Crown of Midnight ending! And I live for the emotions and DRAMA!!

In conclusion this book really amps up the action for the books to come. The characters growth and development is fantastic and really pushes the story forward. I really did not feel like there were any boring parts in this story and so many things happen and change that it really sets up some nice new trajectory for the rest of the series. Therefore, this book was another 5/5 read for me!

Let's Chat!Have you read this book? Are you rereading any of the books before the release of koA? Would you choose to be fae, witch, magic user or human? As always happy watching and reading! 

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Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas

20617636Title: Heir of Fire

Author: Sarah J Maas

Genre: YA fantasy

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Publication date: September 2014

Rating: 5/5

Warning the synopsis contains spoilers if you have not read the previous books in this series! Read at your own risk! 

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

Consumed by guilt and rage, Celaena can’t bring herself to spill blood for the King of Adarlan. She must fight back…

The Immortal Queen will help her destroy the king – for a price. But as Celaena battles with her darkest memories and her heart breaks for a love that could never last, can she fulfil the bargain and head the almighty court of Terrasen? And who will stand with her?

Review2

Continuing on with my reread in preparation for Kingdom of Ash was one of my favourites from this series, Heir of Fire. If you missed them I also reviewed Assassins Blade, Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight.

If I was going to give the most basic review of this book without my usual rambling I would simply say: Amazing new characters are introduced! CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT!! Character development everywhere!!

But what fun would one of my reviews be without my rambling, fangirling nonsense? Not very fun at all! So, buckle up kids and grab a snack why we both try to sort through all my feelings about this brilliant book!

This book is one of my favourites of the entire series so far. One of the biggest contributing factors to this is the new characters that are introduced! Firstly Manon Blackbeak and we might as well throw in the whole 13! I absolutely loved Manon from the first moment she was introduced to me and upon rereading my love for her has only grown! She is beautiful and fierce and skilled. But she also isn’t perfect and has a lot of growing and developing to do. I believe little bits of this growth starts to occur in this book. The second character introduced in this book that I love is Rowan. Hot, skilled, tattooed fae male! Must I say anymore? Can he be an Ass? Yes! Does he also grow a shit tone throughout the story? Also yes! Honourable mention goes to Aedion as I don’t mind him in this book but I know he grows on me a hell of a lot in the next book!

I think this book takes the series in a new and exciting direction. We gain so much information about the world, certain characters pasts, the king and his plans. Is it a lot of information to take in? Yes, but I believe it is done in such a way, evenly throughout the book, that it only made me enjoy the reading experience more while getting excited about where the story could go from here.

I can’t really touch on the character development side of things more than I already have without spoilers. However, I will say almost every main character goes through events that allows us to learn more about them and for them to learn more about themselves. There are also many interactions between the main characters that play a part in the way they grow or go backwards. And we see how their personalities and wants etc change over time. I love this and especially like the journey Celaena goes through. Her development is by far my favourite of the book.

Lastly the other reason I adore this book is for the spectrum of feelings it forces me to go through and feel. Every time I read it. This book is all the feelings! ALL OF THEM! From heart ache to joy, despair, anger, love, triumph, surprises, shocks and everything in between! Basically, be prepared for an emotional roller coaster! Who am I kidding? You can not be prepared. Just feel it all, it’s easier that way! Haha!

In conclusion I love pretty much everything about this book! The characters, the plot, the feelings it’s all great. I really don’t think I can fault it. Other than for me personally Chaol’s chapters are a little boring. So, since I am pretty much grasping at straws for things I don’t like and overwhelmed by the things I loved this book is a 5/5 read for me! Let's Chat!What did you think of this book? Who is your favourite character in it? What is your favourite Maas book? Let’s chat in the comments below! As always, happy watching and reading!

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Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas

17670709Title: Crown of Midnight

Author: Sarah J Maas

Genre: YA fantasy

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Publication date: August 2013

Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

Celaena Sardothien, royal assassin, is the King of Adarlan’s deadliest weapon. She must win her freedom through his enemies’ blood – but she cannot bear to kill for the crown. And every death Celaena fakes, every lie she tells, put those she loves at risk.

Torn between her two protectors – a captain and a prince – and battling a dark force far greater than the king, Celaena must decide what she will fight for: her liberty, her heart or the fate of a kingdom.Review2

So as you may know by now I am rereading the Throne of glass series in preparation for Kingdom of Ash. You can see my review for Assassins Blade here and Throne of glass here. I think Crown of Midnight is my current least favourite in the series. If I was to write an extremely short review it would go something like this:

Part 1: NOTHING!!

Part 2: EVERYTHING!!

Special mention: Chaol is the worst. What a toss pot!

However, I endeavour to always be honest with my reviews and explain my feelings so here is a little more in depth look at my thoughts on this book. The book itself is divided up into two parts. So I think that would be the best way to divide up my thoughts as I have very different opinions on both parts.

Part 1: I described this part as nothing above because I feel that is literally what happens here. For almost the entire first half of the book nearly nothing exciting happens! Is there some important information brought up for the series to continue? Yes. Do certain relationships change and develop? Yes. But other than knowing Celaena is playing a dangerous game, I think the adventurous, mysterious side to this story is kind of non-existent to me in this part of the book. I also think that we barely get to see any of the bad-ass skills Celaena developed and used in the previous two books. But more listen to her remind us that she does have these skills and in fact is the best. Although I mostly do still like Celaena in the first half of this book I like her a whole lot more in the second half. Dorian is by far my favourite in the first half of this book and watching him deal with his struggles is one of the redeeming qualities of this first half.

Part 2: Boy oh boy do things get waaaayyyy more interesting in the second half of this book! If the whole book was like the second half this would be a five star read for me! So much happens!! So many emotions from soul crushing sadness to adventure to mystery to shocking revelations this part has it all. Relationships are changed yet again. We finally see some more of Celaena’s skills and I think the plot really develops here. I also love every interaction between Celaena and Dorian and seeing new dynamics develop between them. Also, the ending to this book was still great and impactful even reading it for the second time!

In conclusion, I absolutely love the second half of this book. However, I find the first half of this book pretty lack lustre with only a few interesting or redeeming aspects. Side note, I have always found Chaol to be meh but this book just confirmed for me that he is a tosser. Hence, although the second half of the book is probably worth 5 stars I can only rate this book 3.5/5.Let's Chat!

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Are you doing a re-read for KoA? Is Chaol an absolute tosser? Until next time, happy watching and reading! 

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Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

13519397Title: Throne of Glass

Author: Sarah J Maas

Genre: YA fantasy

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Publication date: August 2012

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly.
Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted? Review2

This read was a reread in preparation for the upcoming release of Kingdom of Ash. This was the first time I have reread this book although I have reread later books in the series multiple times. The first time I read this book I had not read The Assassins Blade yet. However as you will know if you have seen my review. This time around I have the background knowledge that those novellas provide. And let me tell you it is a whole different experience with that knowledge.

I was able to understand subtleties in the plot a lot better and certain references and or wording hit me right in the feels! I was able to understand Celaena’s thoughts, actions and emotions a lot better now knowing her background. It made it a lot easier for me to feel all of her ups and downs along with her. All of which made the overall reading experience that much better.

Just like the first time around I think the concept of this book and the plot line is great and one big adventure. Although I much prefer the action scenes, the contest, and fighting etc. I think showing Celaena developing friendships and enjoying clothes, and sweets and gifts make her a more in depth believable character. I also am a sucker for romance as I have said many a time before. So that part of the plot for me just added to the story.

Celaena, Nox and Dorian are my favourite characters in this first novel. And any interaction between these characters were some of my favourite to read about. I think the world building of this story is done quite well. It doesn’t feel like a complete info dump, but more like you are finding things out with celaena and as you need to.  Having said this though there are many characters in this book and many names and I still sometimes need to stop and think a bit harder about who’s related to who and what their role in the story is etc. Given that I generally read for escape and fun this is slightly annoying but not enough so to put me off the story.

Overall, I rather enjoyed this reread. This is one of my favourite series and I really enjoy the world and the story. Some of the characters I absolutely adore, and it just has me wanting to rush into rereading the next books to spend more time with them. The only reason that this is not a 5 star read for me is because I know it is not my favourite of the series as well as the whole many names issue. Therefor a solid 4/5 and would recommend if you have not given this series a go yet. Let's Chat!

Have you read this series yet? Who are your favourite characters in the first book? Did you read this one before or after Assassins blade? Let me know in the comments below! As always happy watching and reading! 

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Review: The Assassins Blade by Sarah J Maas

18315788Title: The Assassin’s Blade

Author: Sarah J Maas

Genre: YA fantasy

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Publication date: March 2014

Rating: 4.5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

Celaena Sardothien owes her reputation to Arobynn Hamel. He gave her a home at the Assassins’ Guild and taught her the skills she needed to survive.

Arobynn’s enemies stretch far and wide – from Adarlan’s rooftops and its filthy dens, to remote islands and hostile deserts. Celaena is duty-bound to hunt them down. But behind her assignments lies a dark truth that will seal her fate – and cut her heart in two forever…

Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine and find out how the legend begins in the five page-turning prequel novellas to the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series.Review2

I finally picked up this book for the first time a couple of weeks ago to read as part of my overall ToG reread in anticipation of the KoA release. I can not believe it took me so long to pick this book up! This collection of novellas about Celaena’s past, filled in so many gaps in her back story that I didn’t even know I was missing! I should mention that although this is my first read of this particular book, I have read all of the other books in the series at least once (excluding Tower of Dawn).  This collection of stories made me feel every emotion under the sun! Just as Celaena did as she experienced the events that unfold.

This book was an adventure and a half just like you would expect. Full of swagger, killing, betrayal, friendships, feelings, romance and everything in between. I think the writing style of these novellas is actually slightly better than the first few books in the series, expected given a writer’s style will develop and grow the more they write (this was published after ToG and CoM). I think this writing is neater and more descriptive and even more emotive. However, I may find scene’s in later books more emotive now that I am more aware of the backstory.

Now that I have yelled at you about my feelings on the collection overall. I am going to try to list my opinions on each of the novellas without rambling too much! haha who am I kidding? Here comes more of me yelling at you about my feelings!

The Assassin and the pirate lord

  • Classic swaggering, angry Celaena but who can’t help but fight for those worse off. I love this side of her.
  • So, this is the infamous Sam Cortland. I didn’t think I would like him this much from the get go. But he is just one of those people you can not help but like.
  • why does Rolfe hate Celaena so? OH!!! That will do it! Although well deserved!

The Assassin and the healer

  • I didn’t know it was possible to hate Arobynn Hamel more!
  • So, this is the Yrene Towers I have heard about but was yet to read about. By the end of this Novella I grew to like her and hope big things come from her later.
  • Overall my least liked Novella. Somewhat slow paced. I don’t like seeing Celaena down and worried or unsure of herself. But likely contains important info for ToD and KoA.

The Assassin and the desert 

  • Loved seeing yet another part of this world.
  • Loved learning more about Ansel and her back story with Celaena.
  • Great to see one of the reasons Celaena is so good and seeing her with another teacher.
  • But that ending! why!

The Assassin and the underworld

  • Did I mention I hate Arobynn?!
  • Love seeing the planning behind Celaena’s missions.
  • Aw Sam!!
  • Hey there sapphire eye’s! Don’t think I didn’t notice you!

The Assassin and the empire

  • Celaena’s apartment, romantic cuteness
  • I HATE AROBYNN HAMEL!!!!! AAAAHHHHH!!!
  • I will never read the words I am Celaena Sardothien, and I will not be afraid in the same way ever again!
  • I am broken there is nothing left. Someone send help!!!

In conclusion this book gave me way more than I expected. I now feel that the rest of the series will make even more sense and more of an impact on me having read these novellas. Overall, I thought the book was well written and took me on an emotive adventure! all of this is why I have given The Assassins Blade a rating of 4.5/5. That .5 was taken off because this is not my favourite book of the series and because I am still trying to put back together my heart after Maas shattered it into a million and one pieces!Let's Chat!

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Did you read this before or after reading the other books in the series and how do you think this effected your reading experience? Until next time, happy watching and reading! 

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The Netflix Book Tag

Hello again beautiful people! What have we all been up to? What are you reading watching? Today I bring you another tag. This one however speaks to my soul!! As next to reading my favourite hobby is watching TV/Movies hence the blog. So this is the Netflix book tag. I am not sure of the original creator but I was tagged by Lexie at Reading in the wings. So let’s grab some popcorn and some cozy blankets and get started! divider 1

Recently Watched: The last book you finished reading.

Well it’s only a novella not a full book but A court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas. You can see my review here if you’re interested. 🙂

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Top Picks: A book that has been recommended to you based on books you have previously read.

Being a big fantasy reader and YA reader many of the books I read are recommended in the way they are grouped together at the book store. Or because I follow a lot of readers who also read fantasy if I see them talking about a book and they have liked books I have loved then I usually will give it a go. So I can’t really pick just one!


Recently Added: The last book you bought.

Image result for red rising cover
2 I have read:
  • The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
  • Nevernight By Jay Kristoff

2 I am yet to read:

  • Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. (I do mean to read this I know it’s going to be great I just am not ready to let go of those characters yet).
  • Lord Of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. I own this, it just took me so long to get through Lady Midnight. I am just not sure if I want to continue.

 

Dramas: A character who is a drama queen/king.

This tag is quickly revealing how much I am Sarah J Maas trash. But if Rhysand isn’t the biggest drama queen you have ever met than you must be yet to meet him! That boy’s love for dramatic entrances/ reveals alone is enough to give him the crown! hahaha.

ACOMAF


Animated: A book with cartoons on the cover.

I don’t really own any books with what I would call cartoons on the cover. But I guess the Harry Potter books I own kind of do? They are illustrated at least. Does that count?


Watch it Again: A book or series that you want to re-read.

I have said it before and I will say it again. I am a huge re-reader I love to reread my favourites all the time! And Love to re-read just before a new instalment in a series comes out. I have had the urge recently to reread the Throne of glass series by Sarah J Maas. However I want to wait till closer to the release of the final book even though I am yet to read Assassin’s Blade or Tower of Dawn. 

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Documentaries: A non-fiction book you’d recommend to everyone.

I am not going to lie I very rarely read non-fiction books. I mostly read to escape or relax so non-fiction isn’t really my thing. I will say I did really enjoy Lauren Graham’s book: From Gilmore girls to Gilmore girls talking as fast as I can.


Action Adventure: An action packed book.

Despite most fantasy books being packed full of some kind of action. The first book that came to mind for this is definitely Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. The fights, the scheming, the plotting, the violence. Just everything about the dregs LOVE LOVE LOVE!!

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New Releases: A book that just came out, or will be coming out soon, that you can’t wait to read.

My mind is almost completely blank right now on new releases that are coming out! I know of some later this year into early next year that I am very excited for. But have been so busy lately I haven’t really kept track of ones coming out soon! I will say I am excited for One small thing by Erin Watt. It comes out June 18th. As although I read mostly fantasy I absolutely loved When its real and read it in almost one siting! And this sounds like another All the feels young love story. ❤divider 1

I Tag: Book Beach Bunny / Howling Libraries / Shelfish For Books / Windowsill Books

If you have already done this tag or don’t do tags then as always please feel free to ignore! Otherwise I would love to see your answers! As always if you’re not tagged feel free to do this tag and let me know your answers! 🙂

*note all book covers/ characters are property of the authors and or publishers by whom they were created.

Let's Chat!

Do you also love Netflix? Any recommendations? What have you binged lately? Do you agree with my answers? Let me know in the comments below! Happy watching and reading! 

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