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!

Review: The Assassin and the Healer (Throne of Glass #0.2) by Sarah J Maas

Title: The Assassin and the Healer
Author: Sarah J Maas
Publisher/Year: Bloomsbury USA 1.3.12
Length:   38 Pages
Series:  Throne of Glass #0.2

Overview

Meet the Assassin: beautiful, defiant, destined for greatness. Celaena Sardothien has challenged her master. Now she must pay the price. Her journey to the Red Desert will be an arduous one, but it may change the fate of her cursed world forever…
My Thoughts
Another prequel to the story so that we can see what Aelin went thorugh before we started Throne of Glass with her.  As you’ll remember if you read the first prequel, Celaena and Sam made the decision to go against Arobynn’s request and feed the slaves.  we knew that there would be punishment, and in addition to beatings that they both had, this is when Celaena was sent to the Red Desert to study under the Mute Master of Assassins.
Personally i think that it’s a necessary bit of the story to see how Celaena got to where she is, and then to see that while we all knew that she was human and was fighting demons of her own past, that there’s something real and hearty to grasp onto.
The other nice things about this novella is that if you have read up through book 4 already, you’ll remember that there’s a moment when they feel that there’s a big need for a skilled healer for one of our main characters and the only place to send them is to Antica – where there is an academy of skilled healers.  Makes you wonder if there’s one in particular that Celaena was thinking of or just hoping that their incredible skill all around could save their friend.
Anyway – i love these novellas and now it’s off to read the next one!

Review: The Assassin and the Pirate Lord (Throne of Glass #0.1) by Sarah J Maas

Title: The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
Author: Sarah J Maas
Publisher/Year: Bloomsbury USA 1.3.12
Length:   38 Pages
Series:  Throne of Glass #0.1

Overview

On a remote island in a tropical sea, Celaena Sardothien, feared assassin, has come for retribution. She’s been sent by the Assassin’s Guild to collect on a debt they are owed by the Lord of the Pirates. But when Celaena learns that the agreed payment is not in money, but in slaves, her mission suddenly changes – and she will risk everything to right the wrong she’s been sent to bring about.

My Thoughts

After reading quite a bit of the series, it’s really great to take a slight step back to see what Celaena was like when she was Adarlan’s Assassin – the most deadly out there.  What we have in this first prequel is the story of Celaena with Sam – in Skull Bay, where they’ve been sent on a recovery mission from Arobbyn, but where they learn that the task they were told about isn’t the task at all.

What i like about this though is that we see there’s an emotional side and a very human side to Celaena at this point in the story – it’s 8 years post the disappearance of magic, and we see that while she’s not thrilled with who’s in control of her life, she’s able to have a bond with some.

It’s also really interesting to see how things were between her and Sam, since we kept reading about him in the main installments, and here, they are clearly not in the same place – although you can see hints of what’s to come.

These novellas are really great, especially since the main books are soo long and really deep.  Sometimes it’s nice to have this snackable content – knowing that there’s something big coming up.

On that note – i’m going to dive into the next one shortly.  Enjoy!

 

Review: Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J Maas

Title: Queen of Shadows
Author: Sarah J Maas
Publisher/Year: Bloomsbury USA 9/6/16
Length:   561 Pages
Series:  Throne of Glass #4

Overview

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 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.

My Thoughts

Honestly, i don’t think that there’s any way to make this series better.  This third installment has taken us to such an amazing place that i feel like we’ve really set the stage for something amazing since we’ve overcome so much with our characters, yet there’s still so much that’s going to happen that we have no idea who’s going to be left when it ends.

Where we were left off in the last book is where Aelin knows what she has to become and what she has to do, and hopefully she has the power to do it.  Interestingly enough, she’s going to find herself joining forces with some folks that she never would have considered before, and hopefully at the same time restore some of her friendships that were so broken because of lies and just because of who they are.

Just like we had in book 2, we have parallel stories happening here – but it’s a bit less clear since the stories are starting to merge.  We have Aelin’s story, we have Manon again, and then we see glimpses of Dorian and the Val Prince that’s taken over his body.

So in this 3rd book, we see Aelin finding herself with strengthening power through the tutelage of Rowan, a Fae warrior who’s taken the blood oath to Maeve – queen of the Fae.  Rowan pushes Aelin so far beyond what she ever thought was possible, just to get her to control her powers and learn the secrets that have been hidden from her and the world for 10 years.  The things that she learns from Maeve and even from Rowan cause her to question everything and wonder who’s side everyone’s truly on.  The bond that we see develop though between the two makes you wonder what will become of it since it seems like there’s more than just the love hate of mentor/mentee but who knows.

Then there’s the witches – Manon has to work to gain the lead position that should be rightly hers of all witches, all at the request of the King of Adarlan – meaning that his dark plans are going to take shape through the help of the immortal witches.  Whats nice about her story in this book is that we see that there’s more to Manon than we initially knew and that she’s forced to battle herself quite a bit, not just battle her coven because of questions that she’s forced to ask regarding her coven, her history and what’s being asked of the witches by the King and the Duke.

Then there’s the bits with Dorian.  We see his story with Choal and Aedion grow while they are all still together – we see that they want to do something to gain power back from his father, yet they know that there’s a dark power that he has that will make it impossible.  Dorian tries to stand his ground but that comes at a price – especially when he is forced to use his magic and that means that things will end badly.  We see a love lost, and it’s really a breaking point for these guys.

So – it’s quite a long book and i can’t get into all the amazing story lines, but what we see is a reappearance of Arobbyn, and we see that Aelin is so beyond hatred for him, that it’s more like a game at how this is being played and how it will end.  We see that there’s an interesting twist in a story with Clarisse – the ‘madaam’ of sorts, and her core worker.  Aelin finds out a few things that truly change the story a bit.

Then there’s Choal, Aedion, a girl named Elide who’s from Terrasen but who we don’t fully know enough about, and there’s everyone else.  There are a million questions about what the motivation is of the King with the rings and the collars and the Val Princes, and we have to wonder if he’s really the force of power or if there’s someone else pulling strings.

There’s so much death and destruction, so much that’s going to change the face of things as we go into the next installment – people are dead.  Lands are in ruin – and i think that there’s still a HUGE question as to who will survive and who has survived and what the new towers are going to bring.  I absolutely can’t wait for the next book  but i’m sure i have to be very patient.  Enjoy!

 

Review: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J Maas

no-brainer

Title: Heir of Fire
Author: Sarah J Maas
Publisher/Year: Bloomsbury USA 9/1/15
Length:   516 Pages
Series:  Throne of Glass #3

Overview

Celaena Sardothien, heroine of the New York Times bestselling series, rises from the ashes to burn even brighter than before.

Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak-but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth…a truth about her heritage that could change her life-and her future-forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

My Thoughts

Yes, it’s taken me quite a long time to finish this third installment and it wasn’t for lack of trying.  Life gets in the way sometimes right?  Anyway, this third piece of the story is AMAZING.  Each book gets more intricate and more complex that there are sub stories in each.

What we have here is the continuation of Celaena’s story – now that she’s going to Wendlyn on assignment for the king, but at the push of Choal who wants to protect her now that he knows her secret.  It works for Celaena because it gives her an opportunity to get away, wallow a bit (which she does quite well) and then to learn more about her past and the history behind the wyrdkeys in the hopes of solving the puzzle.

Celaena’s journey is a tough one.  We see her have trouble coming to terms with everything – the death of her friend, the fact that Choal can’t be trusted yet she loves him, her relationship with Dorian.  And the fact that she’s now forced to admit to everyone who she really is.  Throughout this book, she comes into her own, learns how to own her power and how to control it, all through the help and tutoring of Rowan, a Fae prince who is tied to the Fae Queen Maeve through a blood oath.  Their relationship is one that is a roller coaster as well, mentor/mentee, hated friends, and yet there’s something more i think.  it’s too soon to tell way though.

There’s the side story of what’s going on back in Adarlan though with Choal and Dorian.  They are at odds with each other, and the way that their friendship is being written shows that there’s still so much loyalty that trumps everything.  Add in Aedion, one of the king’s best generals and Celaena’s cousin (although they haven’t connected yet), and you have an even more interesting story.  He’s definitely in the kings pocket and causes us to take a pause to really understand his motivations and what side he’s playing and that all comes out in this story as well.

Then, enter an entirely new storyline of the witches.  We met Baba Yellowlegs who Celaena killed in the last story – and now we have all 3 major covens in this story – all being summoned to help the king – yet what they are helping with, they don’t know what.  I feel like the dynamic there is interesting since they were cursed at the same time that all the magic was taken from the continent, and i feel like once they are given the right information, the tides may turn in unexpected ways.

So all in all, you can see that there’s something amazing about how our author is able to weave these stories together.  They are all happening parallel path, yet they all are woven into one another making it so complex and dynamic.  I don’t know how she does it, and yet i can’t stop pushing myself to read more and more (even when i should be doing other things).  So on that note, enjoy and i’m off to the next installment!!!

Review: Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J Maas

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Title: Crown of Midnight
Author: Sarah J Maas
Publisher/Year: Bloomsbury USA 9/2/14
Length:   448 Pages
Series:  Throne of Glass #2

Overview

Celaena Sardothien is the king’s Champion-yet she is far from loyal to the crown, for the man she serves is bent on evil. But working against her master in secret is no easy task. As Celaena tries to untangle the mysteries buried within the glass castle, she can trust no one, not even her supposed allies Crown Prince Dorian, Captain of the Guard Chaol, and foreign princess Nehemia.

Then, an unspeakable tragedy shatters Celaena’s world. She must decide once and for all where her loyalties lie . . . and whom she will fight for.

My Thoughts

The story continues now that we know that Caleana has been named the king’s champion and that’s where we pick up the story.  Of course it’s made even more complicated since we know that there were feelings between Caleana and Dorian but she put an end to that because of what she is expected to do, and that opens the door for Choal.  Mind you i know that there are a lot of ‘Team Choal’ folks out there, i’m not one of them.

The biggest thing about this second book is that we are seeing Caleana come to terms with what she’s been told to do by the king, and of course she’s going to do it in her way.  We also see that Queen Elena keeps coming back to her with her task and it’s really hard to see what it is exactly that she’s being asked to do.

On top of that, we still see that there’s dark magic at play like we did in the first book and don’t now where it’s coming from.  That’s the biggest bit of the story that we have to see manifest throughout.  Nehemia continues to be a really good source of information, but there’s so much distrust for her throughout the story that you don’t know exactly what she’s involved with and what side she’s on.  Caleana spends a lot of the time on both sides of that friendship, trusting and not trusting her.

Then there’s the threat of a rebellion of sorts – there are rumors that the true heir to Terresan isn’t dead like presumed, and that if there’s any hope in overthrowing the King in Adarlan, it’s this mystery heir since she supposedly has the military backing that would e needed and a magical heritage that would lay down a path of something so much bigger than anyone else.

Throughout this second book we see the stage laid out – wondering who’s going to survive and who’s relationships are going to hold strong.  Caleana continues to be plagued by Elena and the magic in the castle and when she finally realizes the meaning to some of the clues, that there are 3 keys that can open a portal to another realm, and that the king has at least one, we know that her mission is clear that she needs to get the power back.

Where we are left at the end of this story is a very exciting place.  We learn that Dorian has magic in him but we have no idea where it came from and what he’s capable of.  We also learn more and more about Caleana’s past and how it makes her so much more than she appears.  We also see that there’s really no way to trust anyone since there’s so much magic floating around.  I’m excited to see what’s next since one of our favorite characters has been killed, a favorite is being sent to another world, and one has made the decision to leave Adarlan in the hopes of saving everyone.  So….onto the next.  Have a great day!

Review: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J Maas

no-brainer

Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J Maas
Publisher/Year: Bloomsbury USA 5/7/13
Length:   393 Pages
Series:  Throne of Glass #1

Overview

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

My Thoughts

I found this author when i stumbled on her other series A Court of Thorns and Roses, and i was drawn in so quickly that it’s not a surprise at all that this older series is just as amazing.  What we have here is similar in the sense that there’s a world with magic or a magical history, but the depth and breadth of the story is different and unique.

Like the summary tells us, our leading lady Caleana is the most well known assassin in the land and has been put into a slave camp after being captured (someone turned on her apparently).  She’s taken from the camp by the Crown Prince to be his Champion to fight against those 23 others to be the kings assassin essentially.

The story from there is one that’s really complex.  We see the humanity in the story, of how Calaena was made into an assassin although we never really get the full back story.  We see that she has some level of moral when she chose her jobs in the past and that’s what kept her head straight.  IT’s something that she’s fearful of when and if she becomes the king’s champion because she will have no say in what she’s told to do.

If that weren’t stressful enough, she’s got a few folks in the story that make things more interesting.  there’s the Crown Prince that she begins to see as a decent person and over time there’s definitely something more that builds between them.  there’s a romantic spark that they act on yet don’t, and it’s interesting to see how that changes once the story gets hot – especially since their roles are so disparate.  then there’s Choal – the Captain of the Royal Guard.  He becomes a friend of sorts to Calaena, although you can clearly tell that there’s something more between them, at least from his side.  I think that it makes for an interesting love triangle that you kind of feel can never come to life.

Then there’s the princess from Eyllwe – she’s definitely not at all what she seems – although it’s good that Calaena is the one that learns all this.  We see that Calaena can speak the Princess’s language and that forms a quick bond, but when we see that the princess can actually speak the ‘common language’ – well it means that there’s something going on that we don’t know about.

Aside from those that are living – we see that there’s something more – something magical going on under the tone of the story.  The big thing here is that we learned that all magic was banished or killed long long ago and it’s outlawed and all that.  However, there are strange murders going on at the palace, and there are wyrdmarks, these hyroglyphics of a sort that are showing up marking the deaths – showing us that there’s magic at play.  Calaena is lead to an underground passage that ends at the tombs of the first king and queen of the land and the queen – Elena – she appears from another parallel plane with a protective amulet and words of direction for what needs to happen etc.

You have to wonder how much magic is at play here, who’s involved and what it means.  We know that for the most part it’s evil magic being used, and we don’t know who it is.  There are moments when we think that it’s no one we know, then others where we think that it’s the princess, and then you have to wonder why Kaltain (another supporting lady) gets headaches, why the king is gone so much and returns sans his entire guard and why Calaena is able to see things that others can’t.

What we get is a really exciting story on so many levels.  One about a competition, one about friendships, another about romance and a last about history and magic.  I think that it sets up the rest of the series so well that i can’t wait to see what happens.  I was really sad to see some of the decisions made at the end, but i have a feeling that we’re going to see it all come out for the best over the rest of the installments.  Have a great day all!

Review: Kings Cage (The Red Queen #3) by Victoria Aveyard

no-brainer

Title: King’s Cage
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Publisher/Year: Harper Collins Publishing 2/7/17
Length:   430 Pages
Series:  Red Queen #3

Overview
In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the lightning girl’s spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continues organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

My Thoughts

i LOVE LOVE LOVE this series.  I don’t know about anyone else, but there’s something so powerful in this book that it is a tough call between Red Rising and this one!  What we have here is the continuation of a story that you really have no idea where it’s going to end.  We’ve been on the journey of Mare having to fake being a silver because of an ability that she just happened to have, and then being the betrothed to Maven, the 2nd son of the king.  Then that all goes to crap when the first son has his mind controlled and he kills the king, and then flees for his safety.  We then saw Mare do the same essentially, with the help of the Scarlet Guard.

Then, the story took us through book 2 where they were discovering the newbloods – essentially what Mare is – one with red blood but stronger powers than silvers.  We learned that Shade (Mare’s brother was alive), we saw Mare sort of fall in love with the first son Cal, and we see that Maven has taken on the role of king and has a bone to pick because he actually has these emotional feelings for Mare.

When Maven gets too close during the 2nd book, and Shade is killed, Mare trades herself for the safety of everyone and that’s where we begin this third installment.  She’s Maven’s captive, and she’s having her powers stripped from her by Arvens, ones who have power to silence other’s powers.  We see that Maven has some strange pull to Mare even though he’s not betrothed to Evangeline (ironically the girl who was linked with Cal before), and we see that it’s because he’s got some tie to her, he can’t kill her.

The gist of this third book is that we see a huge bunch of plot twists.  There are questions on whether Mare will ever get free, and what role Maven will play.  We also see the other side of things with the Scarlet Guard and their hope for more equality and a way to overthrow Maven’s reign.

There’s so much going on here.  We see Farley pregnant, we see Mare make a decision about love (one which i wasn’t necessarily buying earlier in the series) and we see not only a lot of death but a lot of mistrust. A new kingdom is formed with the help of someone totally unexpected, and we see that there’s still so much that’s unsettled that there’s really no way to know if Maven will win.

Maven has been married to the daughter of the kind of the Lakelands in the hopes that he can gain their army and power, while also ending part of what’s caused the war – the division of Reds and Silvers.  He doesn’t know what he’s getting into and that’s to the benefit of everyone else i think.

I thought this was a trilogy so i was expecting resolution but thankfully the story continues since there’s SO much that’s left unsaid.  Where’s Maven, what’s next for Mare, what about Cal?  is Monfort really the holy grail of safety and peace and living together?  What’s Evangeline’s next move and what’s the motive with Anabel.  So you can see why it was so great – Ms Aveyard gave us so much to enjoy reading but so much more to question and wonder about.  I’m bummed i have to wait ages for book 4, but at least the story goes on!!!