Review: Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) by Kendare Blake

Title: Three Dark Crowns
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher/Year:  HarperCollings 9/20/16
Length:   307 Pages
Series:  Three Dark Crowns #1

Overview

Fans of acclaimed author Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood will devour Three Dark Crowns, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen. And don’t miss the highly anticipated sequel, One Dark Throne!

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

My Thoughts

I needed something new to read and this was a series that i’ve seen pop up in my feed a bunch but i’ve never gotten around to it.  glad that i did.  what we have here is the introduction to an interesting story about a world where those who live on an island have powers or ‘gifts’ and those who are on the mainland do not.  each generation of Queens born is a generation of triplets, each of whom is supposed to have a gift, and only the strongest will survive to become the reigning queen of their generation.  She must kill her sisters.

So this is the story that we go through on a journey with the triplets, Arsinoe, Katherine and Mirabella.  It’s an interesting world that they live in.  the girls are separated from one another when they are very young, taken to the town where their gift reigns so that they can grown and hone their powers.  The way that this story is written is in alternating chapters between the sisters so that we can both get to know them a bit more and see what struggles they are going through since it’s clear that they are much more similar than they knew.

Katherine is supposed to have the gift of poisoning, and what that means, i’m not entirely sure.  She’s quite skilled at creating and crafting poisons, but she’s supposed to be able to withstand all forms of poison and that doesn’t seem to be the case with her.  she’s training her body to cope with it but everyone around her wonders if she’s truly giftless.

Arsinoe is supposed to have the gift of being a naturalist- which means that she’s connected to all living things, plants and animals.  The thing here is that she’s supposed to have a familiar – an animal that is linked to her soul and she doesn’t – she’s not even able to make a simple bud bloom to life.  So there’s yet another question on whether she’s truly gotten a gift or not.

Then there’s Mirabella – the one that throws a wrench in everything.  She’s the most beautiful and enchanting by far, and she demonstrated her skills at being an elemental from day one – she’s one of the most powerful that they’ve seen and this makes everyone nervous and afraid since the triplets know that she will be the one to reign.

If that were the core to the story – then there’s so much more that’s going to come out.  What we see throughout is how others play a role in their lives.  There are priestesses who have their own agendas, families who want power, and girls who just want friends and romance.  While we think the story line is simple, really just a fight to prove gifts and stay alive, what we see in the last third is a total change in what the point and direction of the story will be.  I think that it’s no surprise to see what happens, but i also think that we’re setting up for a really great book 2 since the world as we knew it has turned upside down.  I can’t wait to see what comes next and i’m going to track down that next book ASAP.  Enjoy!

Review: Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6) by Sarah J Maas

Title: Tower of Dawn
Author: Sarah J Maas
Publisher/Year:  Bloomsbury USA 9/5/17
Length:   586 Pages
Series:  Throne of Glass #6

Overview

In the next installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, follow Chaol on his sweeping journey to a distant empire.

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica–the stronghold of the southern continent’s mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.

But what they discover in Antica will change them both–and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.

My Thoughts

OMG – if you thought were the story went from the end of Book 5, when mysterious folks re-emerged, wars were fought, Aelin was taken prisoner again by Maeve was enough, well you’re wrong.  There’s still so much more to this story, and we’re now getting to see what it’s like outside of the direct battle that we’ve been in.

So we remember that Chaol’s spine was broken when Dorian’s father tried to kill him, and he and Nesryn are headed to the Torre in the hopes of finding a healer who is powerful enough to fix more of what’s wrong that Rowan wasn’t able to fix already.  The great thing here is that we know of a girl from one of the novellas that we met as Aelin was on her way to the Red Desert who had an ability to heal who she helped get to the Torre.  So it’s this girl – Yrene who we also find front and center.

This story is a really great extension off the main story since it’s happening parallel path  – but in a part of the world that’s untouched by what’s going on in the North, and is comprised of possibly the strongest kingdom or empire in the world.  So Chaol and Nesryn are there in the hopes of healing him so he can walk again, as well as getting them to side with Aelin and Dorian in the hopes that they can build an army that can take on Morath.

What’s so amazing about this story is that we are introduced to another royal family that really shows us another way of living during this time that we have.  There’s a family that seems to be untouched by the evil in the world (or are they) and while they don’t have to deal with that directly, they have their own family struggles in the sense of who will take over as heir when their father passes.

We see some new relationships build here and they really do help keep the story moving.  Chaol and Nesryn come to the Khagan together – sort of in a relationship, but there’s a really odd chemistry between them since she knows that she was never the first choice.  Then there’s Yrene and Chaol.  She hates all that he is because it was the kind of Adarlan who killed her parents, and so she therefore hates him.  it’s quite the fight that she puts up both against healing him, and against her feelings for him.  which we see grow in an odd sort of way.

Then there are the royals – kashin who has feelings for Yrene that aren’t reciprocated.  Hasar who’s close friends with Yrene and has a power/manipulation thing going.  Arghun, the eldest brother who’s tough.  Duva who is married and pregnant.  Tumulun whom we learned died (or was murdered) just before arriving in the empire.  and Sartaq.  He’s the one to watch because we see that he’s possibly the most open to listening to what they have ot say about the need for an army and how it will help them in the future.  Then there’s the way that he interacts with Nesryn – especially since her family hails from their kingdom.

When secrets come out to what’s going on truly with the Valg, and how they perhaps originated in the world – where they came and what’s being hidden from them – we start to learn things that we should have seen throughout the series but maybe just didn’t have enough of the story to know.  I know that for myself-  it’s all obvious now, and i think that we are going to go to a really dynamic place in book 7 – once that makes it certain that there’s no way that all of our favorites will survive – but that we hope for strength and love to prevail.

So all in all – i’m thrilled beyond belief again with this story and how it continues to be written by our author – i still don’t know how she does it but i’m thrilled that she does.  It looks like book 7 will pick up with where Aelin is locked up by Maeve and we can only hope that Rowan or someone will come to her rescue before it’s too late.  we have to wait now until 2018 though…..such a long long wait.  Enjoy!

Review: Ruined (Ruined #1) by Amy Tintera

Title: Ruined
Author: Amy Tintera
Publisher/Year: Harpercollins 4/4/17
Length:   243 Pages
Series:  Ruined #1

Overview

Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war; her parents were killed and her sister was kidnapped. Even though Em is only a useless Ruined—completely lacking any magic—she is determined to get revenge.

Her plan is simple: She will infiltrate the enemy’s kingdom, posing as the crown prince’s betrothed. She will lead an ambush. She will kill the king and everything he holds dear, including his son.

The closer Em gets to the prince, though, the more she questions her mission. Her rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.

My Thoughts

The summary doesn’t do the story justice, but luckily it was more than enough to get me sucked into this new series.  Em, she’s the heir to the throne in Ruina, the kingdom of the Ruins, a people who have some type of power to control just about anything.  And because of those powers, they are feared.  Em’s parent’s had been murdered, along with much of the royal family and she’s now out for vengence.  She’s created this plan with a bunch of others both in her kingdom and across the warriors of Olso to avenge her parent’s death, and to get power back some how.  Em also wants to find her sister Olivia who was captured when her family was killed.

So…the plan was developed for Em to kill Mary, an heir of another kingdom and take her place to wed Prince Cas, who’s family was behind the order to kill her family.  Mary’s role in all this is that in order to wed Cas, she was ordered to kill Em’s family, Her own parents were murdered, so it seems to be going around.

Once Em infiltrates the castle, we see her role expanding.  Feelings that she never knew were possible were developing for Cas, making it that much harder since the end goal was that she was going to kill him to so that she could save her sister and overthrow the ruling family.

Throughout this story we have an interesting mix of relationships forming and developing.  There’s Em and Damian, one of the men from her home who’s in love with her, yet she’s not sure that she can reciprocate. He’s the acknowledged ruler of Ruina since Olivia has disappeared, and Em’s lack of powers makes her not worthy. Damian’s captured, and then things go all pear shaped.

Then there’s Cas – someone that you want to hate, yet a man who’s showing that he’s got different opinions than that of his family, and you want to think that he can be on the side of good.  He and Em have a roller coaster of sorts and where we see things go makes you wonder if there’s too much against them.

Then there are the sub stories.  Galo and his friend, Olivia, Aren…Iria.  All in all,lots of great stuff to take us through out.  Ms Tintera does a fantastic job of creating this world where power is the ultimate goal, either in magical power or assumed authority, and there’s really no clear sense of who’s going to make it out of the story alive and who will be in control.

Cas’s mother and cousin seem to have their own objectives, while the warriors from Olso make things tough.  It’s definitely a battle to the death and too many die at the end of book 1 to really make us feel like there’s going to be much left afterwards.  The cliff that we’re left at towards the end though is one that makes me really excited to see what’s coming next.  So on that note – i hope that you guys give this one a chance and i can’t wait until book 2.  Enjoy!

Review: Blood Rose Rebellion (Blood Rose Rebellion #1) by Roslyn Eves

Title: Blood Rose Rebellion
Author: Roslyn Eves
Publisher/Year: Random House 3/28/17
Length:   321 Pages
Series:  Blood Rose Rebellion #1

Overview

The thrilling first book in a YA fantasy trilogy for fans of Red Queen. In a world where social prestige derives from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic, one girl has the ability to break the spell that holds the social order in place.

Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.

Her life might well be over.

In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.

As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romani, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.

My Thoughts

I wanted to like this book – really i did, but it was just ‘eh’ in my opinion.  Here’s what we have.  There’s a great set up for a story – Anna is trying to belong – when she knows that she doesn’t since her magic isn’t quite working properly – she’s able to break spells but not cast spells.  She’s also in an interesting position where her sister is the center of attention since she’s demonstrating her powers, and yet Anna is able to find a few minutes of peace through a relationship that she has with someone who is well established in society and has powers.  Of course though, their relationship is a secret since Anna isn’t really welcomed with open arms.

What we see though is that the event where Catherine ‘comes out’ turns into a mess because Anna some how breaks the spell that was being cast at the debut, and all hell breaks loose.  Anna’s relationship is revealed and we also learn that Catherine had something with this same man, and well, it all results in Anna being sent off with her Grandmother in the hopes that life will return to normal.

So you can see, a decent set up – and the idea that life could be better or different outside of England holds my attention.  Where we go wrong is that the story from there gets all mixed up.  We learn that the Binding which is what keeps all the magic with the ‘elite’ is a spell that some want broken.  Since Anna is able to break spells, she’s now the focus of a few different folks efforts so that she can go into the spell and break it.  While that’s all going on, Anna also learns a bit more about herself and who she is since she’s being used as a pawn.

Throughout this story, we meet a few new folks that are deemed Gypsies and one of whom we can see a love interest forming.  We also see a broken family relationship start to build since there’s no choice but to rely on each other.

Where things go wrong for me is that there are so many things happening that don’e really drive the story forward – so i’m left trying to jump ahead a bit to see if there’s something looming in the future to make it better.  There are monsters and creatures that are feared if the spell is broken, and there are hopes that may be lifted or dashed at the same time with this spell.

What we do have at the end of this first installment is some level of resolution for what needs to be done to either help launch a rebellion to overthrow the Circle who manages the magic, or to avoid it all together.  We also see some of our favorite characters throughout not make it to the end of the story because of any number of reasons.

So where i’m left here is a tough spot.  I refuse to let a book beat me, and this is an intro to a series, so there’s a chance that i’ll try to pick up the next one.  I feel like the Epilogue teased us with a completely new piece of the series and that in itself gives me a glimmer of hope.  So that being said – i’d love to hear if anyone else has read it and maybe has a different opinion.  Enjoy!

Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J Maas

Title: A Court of Wings and Ruin
Author: Sarah J Maas
Publisher/Year: Bloomsbury 5/2/17
Length:   626 Pages
Series:  A Court of Thorns and Roses #3

Overview

Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

My Thoughts

AMAZING.  beyond AMAZING/  that’s what i have to say about this third book.  There’s so much that happened in the last book to set this one up, deceit from Hybern and the Queens – friendships and loves broken up.  Where we were left and therefore where we started this story is such a place that you know that something catastrophic was going to happen.

So as the description says, Feyre is back in the Spring Court – playing the part of the returned lover to Tamlin, who wants nothing to do with Rhys or the Night Court.  This is all in the hopes if getting information that will help the Night Court and hopefully get her back to her true love and mate.

Of course things get complicated – where Lucien, Tamlin’s closest friend even starts to show that he’s maybe a bit skewed in his loyalties.  Ianthe – the high priestess that sold out Feyre’s sisters returns and the wrath that Feyre has towards her, well you know it’ll be unleashed at some point and it’ll be HUGE.

We spend much of this story trying to understand what it is that Nesta and Elain became from being sent into the couldron . We also see Amren playing a larger role in the hopes of finding a way to break the spell and the couldron so that some of the power shift that seems to be happening doesn’t sway in the wrong direction.

We also see that the biggest underlying story here is who’s alliances are truest and what does family mean.  The High Lords are all called to take a side and Hybern seems to have a power over folks that makes you wonder who will be successful.  He’s got the queens still in his power as they were the ones who laid seige to Velaris and Jurian is playing his lackey quite well so you wonder if there’s any room for error.

The end goal – breaking down the wall is not something that the Fae are willing to allow happen because it means that the humans will be doomed and set for death.  The problem becomes that while they all spend all their energy to find solutions, Hybern manages to wake the couldron to bring the wall down and start an all out war far sooner and far trickier than anyone expected.

A few things about this book that i feel like i have to call out .

1)our author – i don’t know how she does it with this series or ‘Throne of Glass’  – she makes is so that there really isn’t even a supporting cast – all are major characters with really important stories that are intertwined.  their histories so deep and detailed that you are engrossed from moment go

2) this third installment is quite a bit more passionate than the others – Very much so given the nature of Feyre and Rhys’ relationship.  I think that the heat and sexuality was taken to the limit here with how these scenes really portray what this couple means to each other and it was hot.  especially for the genre

3) the way this story unfolded – it makes you need not just want another installment – and thankfully in the last bits it says the story continues.  i feel like there can’t be an ending since there’s an open eded question about a few characters, ones that we love, ones that we lost, ones who’s role and powers changed. Definitely so much more to enjoy.

So on that note, i’m beyond bummed that i read it in a few days since now i don’t have their world to be inside, but i’m so happy with how the story played out as is.  Enjoy!

 

Review: The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles #2) by Mary E Pearson

Title: The Heart of Betrayal
Author: Mary E Pearson
Publisher/Year: Square Fish 8/2/16
Length:   300 Pages
Series:  The Remnant Chronicles

Overview

Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Lia’s erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar’s interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: There’s Rafe, who lied to Lia but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be barbarians. Now that she lives among them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country . . . and her own destiny.

My Thoughts

So, to be completely honest, i’ve totally forgotten all about this series since i had received the first installment via Netgalley.  When i looked back at what i thought of the series then, i have to say that i was willing to give book 2 a chance.  My issue though is that i really had no idea what was going on since i couldn’t quite remember all the details but at least the gist of the story came back to me.

So here we are, with Lia finding herself in the hands of the leaders of Venda, with Rafe along with her being captured.  What i needed a second to remember though is that Rafe is the prince that Lia was supposed to marry – and whom she fled from because she hadn’t known him before her wedding day and didn’t want to be married off to someone that she didn’t know.  Interesting enough that they find that they have a true attraction to each other, but a shame that they are now in the situation that they are in right now.

So we find them in the hands of the ‘enemy’ – one who killed Lia’s brother so she’s even more enraged.  All she wants is to find a way to keep Rafe safe, and keep his secret identity safe.  Kaden proves to be a huge help, yet he has alliances with the Komizar (the leader of Venda) and that makes things all that more complicated.

So the journey in this second installment is one of survival – how will Lia, Rafe and Kaden survive all that’s going on.  What’s the final hope for Lia – in the sense of will she get home and if she gets home, what will she find there since her family thinks that she’s a traitor because of running away along with them hearing news of where she is now.

The Komizar also proves to be an interesting person.  The way that Venda is run, to become the ruler, you have to kill the standing ruler and that’s what he has done already.  He’s feared by everyone, yet there are bits of the story that we learn that make you wonder if there actually is a nice guy in there.  You start to warm to him at some moments, but when he forces Lia to do things that she is truly against, spinning his story instead of her own, and then forcing her to marry him – well you know that things are going to go downhill.

The other side bit of this story is that we see a plan being hatched – Rafe has 4 of his guards on their way to save them both, and while that seems like a lost cause since we know that Venda has hundreds of thousands of soldiers being trained to take over the land, we can hope that maybe they are skilled enough and sneaky enough to be successful.  Their identities are only known to each other and Rafe – at times Lia is still in the dark.

There are a few things that are really interesting to me about this story – there’s the ‘sense’ – the magic that Lia seems to possess that few have and many are afraid of, yet she doesn’t seem to have full control over her visions.  there’s also the fact that the ‘Song of Venda’ and all of their folk lore talk about sisters and a girl named Jezelia who will be able to bring down Venda’s horrible ruling body and make them flourish once again.

So we’re seeing a lot of foreshadowing on what will be coming, and we can only hope that Lia survives whatever the Komizar has in store for her so that she can bring down their kingdom, some how get back to her family, and be with Rafe all in the end.  There are flipping alliances throughout this story which make things confusing.  Characters that we think are on one side turn out to be on the other and there are supporting characters that prove to be incredibly valuable that you want to be as invested in them as you are Lia, Rafe and Kaden even.

So on that note – i hope you guys take a read and enjoy.  I’ve got the final book in the series to get to one of these days and i hope that it brings the story to the conclusion that it deserves.  Enjoy!

Review: Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J Maas

Title: Empire of Storms
Author: Sarah J Maas
Publisher/Year: Bloomsbury USA 9/6/16
Length:   595 Pages
Series:  Throne of Glass #5

Overview

Kingdoms collide in Sarah J. Maas’s epic fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series.

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.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what — and who — to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.

My Thoughts

There is SO MUCH going on in this 5th installment that i tried to make reading it take longer since i know that we’ll be waiting ages for the next one to come out.  i LOVE this series and i can’t say it enough.

We have seen Aelin come into her own and really get her strength in her power and control over her kingdom.  It’s not an easy quest and it’s going to get much harder.  She’s still on the trail of all the wordkeys and challenging isn’t even the beginning of what she’s up against.

We saw that her alliances throughout the series have become interesting – how she’s now so completely tied to Rowan that you have to wonder what that will mean for him as a Fae prince and for the others in his cadre since there seems to be quite the unbreakable bond there, even though he’s no longer tied like they are to Queen Maeve.

Then there’s the story around Manon.  we have seen her rise to power in her coven, yet it looks like things are going to get so much worse given that there’s information being kept from her from Erawan and her grandmother, and she’s starting to distrust them all.  What’s so nice about this story line for her is that we see that she’s got emotions and a heart and that while she’s thrown into a situation that’s completely unexpected, she’s able to show that she’s perhaps more valuable than anyone knew.

then there’s Elide – the girl from Terrasen who was held captive by her uncle in Morath, and who we learn that there’s more to her back story than we knew before.  She’s becoming more important since Manon claims care over her and yet, she’s still finding that maybe that’s not the right path for her.  The way that her story goes, and how it intertwines with Lorcan, one of the other strong Fae men in Maeve’s court, well you know that it’s going to be interesting.  Neither of them trusts the other, and yet there’s something unique growing between them.

Then there’s Dorian – well, he’s now the king, yet he’s trying to control his power so it means that we’re going to see that as a tough journey for him.  How strong is he and will he help Aelin take over control of things.

And last, but not least of folks that we know and love, Lysandra and Aedion.  They are a pair that’s becoming a force to be reckoned with.  Lysandra’s role throughout this story is one that no one realizes until it’s too late. Aelin sees what she’s able to become and uses that to their advantage, and to see what that means as this story progresses is incredible.

A war is brewing – that much we know.  There’s no question that there’s going to be a lot of lost lives, lost loves, and there’s really only one chance that they’ll get to get control of the continent.  Maeve proves to be worse than anyone knew, but Aelin is more resourceful than anyone else expected and we see her pulling out tricks right and left.  The problem though is that there’s not enough time for her to get things together before all hell breaks loose and we’re left at a point in the story where hope is lost, friends have been taken hostage and we really have no idea what’s next and how they can win.  if they can win.  i can’t wait until book 6 comes out.  i need it now!!!!

The Assassin and the Empire (Throne of Glass #0.5) by Sarah J Maas

Title: The Assassin and the Empire
Author: Sarah J Maas
Publisher/Year: Bloomsbury USA 1.3.12
Length:   40 Pages
Series:  Throne of Glass #0.5

Overview

Celaena Sardothien is the assassin with everything: a place to call her own, the love of handsome Sam, and, best of all, freedom. Yet, she won’t be truly free until she is far away from her old master, Arobynn Hamel; Celaena must take one last daring assignment that will liberate her forever. But having it all, means you have a lot to lose . . .

My Thoughts

I’ve been waiting for this finale of the novella prequels – just so that we could what led up to Celaena’s capture -and it’s as emotional and heartfelt as i think we were all expecting.  We knew that she had taken a contract to kill one of the biggest crime lords in Rifthold and that it had gone sour, resulting in Sam’s death – but we didn’t quite get to see what led up to that contract.

We know that Sam and Celaena made the decision that they couldn’t be part of Arobynn’s keep and that they needed to free themselves and start a life of their own.  It comes at a cost and it’s not just monetary sadly that we learn this .

They pay off Arobynn to get out of the Assassin’s Guild and find out that while they want to leave the city, it’s going to cost them everything and they need to make sure that they have enough to survive on alone. That’s where trouble starts since Sam comes across a contract to kill people that are untouchable and you know that it can’t end well.

The journey on this final book is seeing if their love is enough to take such risks, and then seeing that perhaps there’s more to Arobynn than we saw before, although it was alluded to plenty in how Celaena calls him ‘father, brother, lover’ – but without action on the lover part.  There are comments that Arobynn makes that you really wonder what the motivation is there.

There’s a lot of build up to the actual attempt on Farran’s life and Jayne’s life and then we see how things go drastically wrong.  I think that in my mind, Celaena was successful with killing Farran, and yet the way that we read this installment, the story is different.  Nonetheless, i’m still so incredibly sad at how we read their demise, and seeing what Celaena has ahead of her in Endovier….well it’s heartbreaking yet you have some hope.

I really admire our author in the telling of this whole story.  I feel like there’s so much depth and intrigue throughout each installment, and the fact that i read this series of prequels at the point that i did allowed me to paint a picture in my head of things and then watch how they played out in the timeline of the story.  All in all, amazing.  Now i’m ready to get into book 5, although it means that i’ll have to wait ages for book 6.  but i’ll do it.  Enjoy!

Review: The Assassin and the Underworld (Throne of Glass #0.4) by Sarah J Maas

Title: The Assassin and the Underworld
Author: Sarah J Maas
Publisher/Year: Bloomsbury USA 1.3.12
Length:   40 Pages
Series:  Throne of Glass #0.4

Overview

When the King of the Assassins gives Celaena Sardothien a special assignment that will help fight slavery in the kingdom, she jumps at the chance to strike a blow against an evil practice. The misson is a dark and deadly affair which takes Celaena from the rooftops of the city to the bottom of the sewer–and she doesn’t like what she finds there.
My Thoughts
I LOVE this prequel series – it’s the greatest.  We are finally at the turning point of everything that’s come to be part of what makes Celaena who she is, and i think that we’ve all been waiting soo anxiously – the whole story about Sam and what made her turn so quickly on Arobynn.
The sam thing has thrown me the entire time we’ve been reading the Assassin’s Blade since it’s been rather clear that they don’t care for each other at all.  And since their relationship was such a big thing throughout the main series, I was just waiting for the moment when the curtain was lifted to see how they really came together.
This installment takes us to the point in time when we see Celaena is back from the Red Desert, she’s been betrayed by the one person she considered a friend, and she has a plan how to get away from Arobynn forever.  it’s still quite a bit from the point where she throws down the gauntlet.
So we’re back at the keep, and she’s kept the gold that she was gifted a secret so that she can buy her freedom.  Arobynn is acting a bit off when she comes back – although he continues to bestow lavish gifts on her in the hopes that she’s able to forgive him.  She then gives her a mission that pulls at her heart strings which personally i felt was a bit off, but she bought into it.
It’s this mission that brings her to the dark side of things since there’s so much more at stake than she knew.
Then there’s the bit of Sam.  It’s been 3 months since she had seen him, and well, a lot has transpired since then.  We see that he’s become quite friendly with Lysandra who we all know Celaena doesn’t have warm fuzzies to at this point in the story – and so we see jealousy and hatred come out at full force.  Clearly Sam doesn’t feel about Lysandra the way that Celaena thinks is at play, and we start to see that there’s more to the relationship between Celaena and Sam even if they won’t admit it.
So like i said, a lot comes into focus in this 4th prequel and i think that we’re finally connecting all those dots that brought us to the main series and into what we have seen Celaena transform into.  Knowing that there’s just one more, we know where it’s going to end and i’m a bit apprehensive about reading it because i don’t want to see how things turn…but i guess it’ll get me up to speed on the pre-story and then i can get back into book 5.
Have a great day all!

Review: The Assassin and the Desert (Throne of Glass #0.3) by Sarah J Maas

Title: The Assassin and the Desert
Author: Sarah J Maas
Publisher/Year: Bloomsbury USA 1.3.12
Length:   40 Pages
Series:  Throne of Glass #0.3

Overview

The Silent Assassins of the Red Desert aren’t much for conversation, and Celaena Sardothien wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s not there to chatter, she’s there to hone her craft as the world’s most feared killer for hire. When the quiet is shattered by forces who want to destroy the Silent Assassins, Celaena must find a way to stop them, or she’ll be lucky to leave the desert alive.
My Thoughts
Again, has to be said – i LOVE these prequels.  i think that every time we get another story in the life of Celaena before we came upon her on Throne of Glass, we get to see a bit more into her soul.  and that’s something that truly impresses me.
In this third story – we get to see what her life was like for that month when she was sent to the Red Desert to atone for what she did in betraying Arobynn’s deal with the slaves – so that she could get trained by the Silent Assassin Master.  What she got instead was quite the life lesson.
Celaena finds that there’s so much more to being trained than just showing up.  She has to get to the point where the master chooses to train her and for some, that day never comes.  It’s only through a friendship with Ansel, another beautiful girl who lives in the fortress that she’s able to live – and train a bit while she waits.  It’s through a trip into town on an assignment that things change for Celaena, she’s convinced to steal the Aseterion horse – a masterpiece of a stallion.  We’ve heard the hints of the story throughout the main series but to see what happened to make it come to life is even better.  To learn that it wasn’t her plan to do it – that means so much more since we know that she’s quite ruthless.
It’s how she handles herself when she returns to the fortress that somehow makes the Master decide to train her and from there on out we see how she’s taught the mannerisms and skills of that tribe.
It’s only when there’s a spy amidst them – when we see someone that we trust turn against them all, Celaena is poisoned, the master is as well and so many lose their lives.  What comes of it though is such a sweet ending to it all, and i think that we have seen how that’s woven into what makes our leading lady into who she is.
Honestly, i don’t know where Ms Maas comes up with this stuff, but it’s amazing!