QUEEN OF BLOOD BY SARAH BETH DURST

QUEEN OF BLOOD BY SARAH BETH DURSTThe Queen of Blood (The Queens of Renthia, #1) by Sarah Beth Durst
Published by Harper Voyager on September 20th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Adult Fantasy
Pages: 353
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
five-stars

An idealistic young student and a banished warrior become allies in a battle to save their realm in this first book of a mesmerizing epic fantasy series, filled with political intrigue, violent magic, malevolent spirits, and thrilling adventure
Everything has a spirit: the willow tree with leaves that kiss the pond, the stream that feeds the river, the wind that exhales fresh snow . . .
But the spirits that reside within this land want to rid it of all humans. One woman stands between these malevolent spirits and the end of humankind: the queen. She alone has the magical power to prevent the spirits from destroying every man, woman, and child. But queens are still just human, and no matter how strong or good, the threat of danger always looms.
With the position so precarious, young women are chosen to train as heirs. Daleina, a seemingly quiet academy student, is under no illusions as to her claim to the throne, but simply wants to right the wrongs that have befallen the land. Ven, a disgraced champion, has spent his exile secretly fighting against the growing number of spirit attacks. Joining forces, these daring partners embark on a treacherous quest to find the source of the spirits’ restlessness—a journey that will test their courage and trust, and force them to stand against both enemies and friends to save their land . . . before it’s bathed in blood.

So, Queen of Blood was a book that I decided to pick up on a whim and because it is one of the books I bought last year and I am trying to read as much of those as I can. After the disappointment that was Dark Breaks the Dawn, I went into this with low expectations. But at the same time I was intimidated because it is an adult fantasy and I just find that to be a little… intimidating for me?

But oh my god, I was not disappointed at all. I can tell you that this book is now going on my favorites shelf till the end of time.

I’m going to be honest and say there was nothing I disliked about this book. This book was the perfect mixture of action, slight horror and some comical moments. Gosh, this entire book was just so different than what I had read before. It takes a lot of familiar concepts that you find in fantasy and does completely different things with them. The way the Queen is selected and how she is to rule the land… I just have so many feelings I don’t even know what to do with myself.

 

The setting and worldbuilding was so interesting. Villages are built in trees, and if I can remember correctly, I am pretty sure that the palace is also built around a tree which is pretty darn cool. The way the Queens are selected was so interesting and I myself have never seen that in a fantasy novel, so that was quite unique. In this world, there are spirits in everything which is quite terrifying because everything is so unsafe and you never know when a spirit will come out and try to kill you.

Don’t trust the fire, for it will burn you.
Don’t trust the ice, for it will freeze you.
Don’t trust the water, for it will drown you.
Don’t trust the air, for it will choke you.
Don’t trust the earth, for it will bury you.
Don’t trust the trees, for they will rip you.
Rend you, tear you, kill you dead.

What made this novel for me was the characters. Usually, in fantasy, you always have a main character who is so special and so powerful. Here we have Dailena who is the complete opposite. Yes she has power, but this girl has to work hard for her power and to prove she is capable to become an heir even though so many people keep telling her she won’t make it and that she isn’t good enough. Despite all of the challenges she goes through, she remains true to herself, helpful, resourceful… I just loved this character.

 

Another character I really loved was Champion Ven. He was a different type of character than what I usually see in YA fantasy, even though this is adult fantasy. It was just a breath of fresh air for me. The thing I loved the most about this book is the relationship between Ven and Dailena. I don’t think that I have personally seen a relationship like that in fantasy (I’m talking a father/mentor/daughter relationship) and it was just so adorable and my gosh I just loved it.

 

To sum up my fangirling, I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to read a good fantasy with elements of adventure, a little horror, and competition with some light-hearted comedic moments.

five-stars
Rating Report
Plot
four-half-stars
Characters
five-stars
Writing
five-stars
Worldbuilding
five-stars
Cover
four-half-stars
Overall: five-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • FLIGHTS OF FANTASY 2017

Dark Breaks the Dawn by Sarah B. Larson

Dark Breaks the Dawn by Sarah B. LarsonDark Breaks the Dawn by Sara B. Larson
Published by Scholastic Press on May 30th 2017
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
zero-stars

On her eighteenth birthday, Princess Evelayn of Eadrolan, the Light Kingdom, can finally access the full range of her magical powers. The light looks brighter, the air is sharper, and the energy she can draw when fighting feels almost limitless.
But while her mother, the queen, remains busy at the war front, in the Dark Kingdom of Dorjhalon, the corrupt king is plotting. King Bain wants control of both kingdoms, and his plan will fling Evelayn into the throne much sooner than she expected.
In order to defeat Bain and his sons, Evelayn will quickly have to come into her ability to shapeshift, and rely on the alluring Lord Tanvir. But not everyone is what they seem, and the balance between the Light and Dark comes at a steep price.
In the first book of a remarkable duology, Sara B. Larson sets the stage for her reimagining of Swan Lake -- a lush romance packed with betrayal, intrigue, magic, and adventure.

Ah boy, where do I start with this review? Just a warning, this review is going to be brutally honest and perhaps a little angry because I am mad. I wasted 20$ and an audible credit on this mess so yeah, I’m very mad about this book.

This book is said to be a swan lake/swan princess retelling which I was super excited for because I have never read a swan lake retelling and the synopsis sounded super promising. Yet as I read the physical copy it was just… impossible for me to get into it. The writing was super boring and everything was so melodramatic I’m like are you serious right now. But I wanted to finish it so I spent an audible credit on this book and listened to it so I could do other things while listening to it. It wasn’t the best audiobook I’ve ever read, but I did happen to find it easier to get into.

I almost hate to say it but I only liked ONE thing about this book. I do like Sara B Larson’s writing, I thought it was beautiful and I do like the premise of the book.

Now, for all my gripes and be warned there are PLENTY and it is quite spoiler filled. This book was a mess of tropes, my most hated tropes.

Special snowflake savior: We have the main character Eve I’m not sure how to spell her full name and nor do I care to look at the synopsis, but she is the blandest character I’ve ever read. She is all so powerful, she is the fastest, she is the best. Oh, and she is the chosen one. Yet we had to be reminded of it all the time.

Insta-love: I’m pretty sure she and another character fell in love the first time they saw each other, I swear to you not. I mean I don’t mind insta-love in books but if that’s the case it needs to be done well. THIS WAS NOT done well. Not to mention the love interest was super bland and gosh he was boring. In my opinion these two had no chemistry at all, like I felt that they were thrust together for the sake of just… being put together. I though Eve and her best friend whom I couldn’t remember the name of had more chemistry and I honestly would have LOVED to see them become a thing instead of borefest Tanvir.

Again the special snowflake character, every character who had a POV mentioned how beautiful she was and this wasn’t just once, it was several times. Like alright, I get it, I know how beautiful she is, I don’t need to hear it every time someone speaks OKAY. I don’t need to know every time her best friend sees her the color of her hair and hear lavender streaks or her beautiful skin, I DON’T CARE. God, even the damn villains say how beautiful she is! Like why is this necessary? Why should the readers even care?

This gif right here is literally how I feel about these damn tropes in this book.

And the worst of all is the dark skinned aggressor vs. beautiful white main character. Let me tell you a thing about these villains… they are evil. So so evil if you looked up the word in a dictionary you would see them and guess what? They’re black! And the main character is white, pure and good. And I don’t care if the author “unintentionally” did that, there is no unintentionally having your evil characters be black and the good characters being white. If you do this, you know damn well what you are doing. People of Color have it hard enough, in reality, this shit doesn’t need to be in YA fantasy where they go to see themselves represented. This needs to stop. It’s not cool or fun, it has never been. White YA fantasy writers, please stop this dangerous trope. Yes, I know that in the book there are characters with different skin colors like… literally all the colors you can think of, yet you make the villains black. Hmm.

Another thing is the worldbuilding. This book had some of the worst worldbuilding I have ever read. I finished the book and I am still lost. Like who are these characters? What exactly are they? All I know is that they live long lives, and have powers like… are the elves or what. The worldbuilding and plot development was extremely poor and I just… I had such high hopes for this book and I was so let down. I have zero interest in reading the next book.

So that wraps up my review, I literally hated this book. Thank goodness this blog gives me the option to rate it what it truly deserves, which is zerio stars.

 

 

zero-stars
Rating Report
Plot
two-half-stars
Characters
one-star
Writing
two-half-stars
Worldbuilding
one-star
Cover
four-stars
Overall: two-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • FLIGHTS OF FANTASY 2017

A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN BY SARAH J MAAS

A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN BY SARAH J MAASA Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3) by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury Childrens Books on May 2nd 2017
Genres: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 699
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
five-stars
four-half-flames

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.
In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

A little storytime here… So I come home May 1st and I’m eager to check the mail because I was expecting my Feysand bookmarks to come in and I see a box from Amazon. I’m super confused because I know I didn’t order any books but then I remembered I ordered ACOWAR. To get to the point, I got the book a day early and it made my entire night and you bet I started it right away.

I will be honest here and say I had little to no gripes about this book. I thought it was incredibly well… amazing. It was everything I wanted the end to be and more. But no matter how almost perfect this book was it uh, did have its faults. Including the demise of a character that I felt made the character pointless and it was just… not the demise I would have liked to see for this character and his supposed greatness. View Spoiler » Also, Tamlin irked me. He wasn’t bad or anything he just bothered me. I didn’t like how she portrayed characters who were bisexual either, like not all people who are bisexual want threesomes with everyone, alright? 

Also, Sarah J Maas did something that made me cry and just want to throw the book and if you read the book already YOU KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT.

Now let’s get into the positives. This book pretty much concluded that Feyre and Rhysand are my all time favorite book couple. Rhysand is my all time or well… after Cal Calore because he reigns at number one for my bookish boyfriend. Sorry Rhys. But Rhysand is number two. I just… loved him. I love all of these characters and the new characters. They are all just incredibly precious and need to be wrapped up and protected forever. Anyway, I want to talk about Nesta. Also please don’t hate me for this but *whispers* I don’t ship Nessian. Never have, never will, can’t see it. Not sorry. I also uh… don’t ship Moriel? Oops? I like them as a platonic couple.

But back to Nesta. I actually hated her in the previous books and in the beginning of this one. Don’t ask me why, I just was not a fan of her and I can’t say more without repeating myself over and over again. I just did not like her. But during the book she goes through some character development and I was astonished at how quick Sarah turned her around and now I just…I love her. I love her snark, I love how she interacts with people. I also want to talk about Lucien. If y’all hate him after this book… what is wrong with you. View Spoiler »

Now let’s talk plot. Yes I’ll admit things went pretty fast in the beginning and there wasn’t much of the whole spy thing everyone expected, but I’m glad everything happened exactly the way it happened. There is a lot of homages to the first book that I found really touching except this one scene and as I said before if you read this, YOU KNOW. We got to learn more about the world, see the other courts and how everything works. It’s just… beautiful. I honestly really loved this book and I’m glad it ended as it did and my favorites got the ending that they deserve. This book brought me to tears, made me laugh, made my heart freaking palpitate in fear. Like Sarah… CAN YOU NOT. By all means, it doesn’t live up to A Court of Mist and Fury which is the best of the series and arguably the best Sarah has ever written in my opinion, but I for one think this was the proper send off if you will for Feyre and Rhysand’s arc.

All I can say is thank you, Sarah J Maas, from the bottom of my heart for these characters, for Rhysand.

five-stars
Rating Report
Plot
four-half-stars
Characters
five-stars
Writing
five-stars
Worldbuilding
five-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: five-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 NEW RELEASES

Frostblood by Elly Blake

Frostblood by Elly BlakeFrostblood (Frostblood Saga, #1) by Elly Blake
on January 10th 2017
Pages: 376
Goodreads
two-stars

The frost king will burn.
Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.
Despite her unpredictable abilities, Ruby trains with the rebels and the infuriating—yet irresistible—Arcus, who seems to think of her as nothing more than a weapon. But before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to compete in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her—and from the icy young man she has come to love.

I won’t lie to you, alright? I really wanted to love this book. Like, really really wanted to love it. But honestly? I struggled to read this book, you guys. Struggled hardcore. Before going into it, I already know that it would be cliche and full of tropes and I was in the mood to read that kind of story. Also, this review is spoiler free!

You got your special snowflake main character who is a fire blood and who is of course, stronger than anyone else. You got your broody potential love interest who was honestly the broodiest that I have ever read about and it wasn’t in an enjoyable way. Next, we have the side characters; father figure, maybe father figure number two, and that one character who is there to make the main characters life miserable. This cast of characters was one of the big reasons I did not enjoy this book. They were boring and I found them to be flat, I could not connect with them at all and I just… did not care for them.

There was one instance where I did connect with the character because in one scene a fire breaks out and it spreads to a library and she tries to save the books like my hero.

Also just let me share this quote okay. “Go pick up your weapon, right now.” He said through clenched teeth. This quote was incredibly ridiculous you guys, oh my gosh don’t even get me started on it.

The plot is not entirely original. You have the special snowflake hellbent on vengeance and wanting to kill the evil king. You have a love interest and yes there is a love interest because this book is literally your standard Young Adult fantasy. I didn’t find anything unique about the plot or anything that stood out. But hey, if you want to read a cliche and a book filled with tropes, then I recommend this one.

This is probably the one part I liked about the book. The author did an incredible job with the world building and I am so glad that she gave background on how Fireblood’s and Frostblood’s came to be. The backstory was my personal favorite part because it was so intriguing and a little creepy! Unfortunately, this was not enough to save this series for me.

So that’s my little review for Frostblood. I do recommend this book if you are into stories like this and want to read something with tropes. Unfortunately for me I did not enjoy it and will most likely not be continuing on with the series.

two-stars
Rating Report
Plot
two-half-stars
Characters
one-star
Writing
four-stars
Worldbuilding
one-half-stars
Cover
four-stars
Overall: two-half-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • FLIGHTS OF FANTASY 2017

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Caraval by Stephanie GarberCaraval (Caraval, #1) by Stephanie Garber
Published by Flatiron Books on January 31st 2017
Pages: 407
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or a performance. It's the closest you'll ever find to magic in this world . . .
Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.
But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

I am not sure how to write this review because my mind is still blown from the intensity of this novel. Caraval is said to be like Night Circus and I uh, have yet to read Night Circus and after this I am definitely going to be picking it up! This was also one of the most anticipated books of the year so hearing that, I was skeptical about it because I have gotten carried away in the hype of books before, so I swore I would not do it with Caraval.

I went into this book really knowing nothing and expecting nothing, but I was not disappointed.

CHARACTERS:

I really loved the characters in this book, especially Scarlett who vaguely reminded me of Kestral from the Winners Trilogy. Why? No clue, she just did. I thought she was not your typical YA heroine who is snarky and brave, I’m not saying she isn’t, but you know what I am. The typical YA heroine. I felt Scarlett was sort of timid, maybe a little shy and I felt that strongly had to do with her upbringing. Julian, I knew I would love him since the moment he came on the page. You know, he is one of those characters you can’t help but love.

There were plenty of supporting characters I found to be quite interesting except two of them that I felt were completely uneeded and if you read Caraval… hopefully you know who because they literally contributed ZERO to the story. The character of Legend himself was what drove me insane this entire book, that is all I will say about him.

WORLDBUILDING +PLOT

I would have appreciated a map that was not just of Caraval, but I won’t gripe about it. The world was so unique and intricate and spellbinding. The plot itself was incredible and so well written, it was more than I could have hoped for. The entire plot is Scarlett trying to solve the mystery of Caraval and find her sister, but I felt I spent more time figuring out who the hell Legend was and what his endgame was and guess what? I still have no clue because this book left me with so many questions.

My ONLY gripe about this book is the insta-love. For me, it was the kind that I absolutely devour and it’s my guilty pleasure, but I know that is kind of a deal breaker for some people so… yeah, just a warning. There is insta-love. It’s insta in my opinion, because how many people fall madly in love within the span of 3 days?
Anyway, so that concludes my review for Caraval. The ending was definitely a cliffhyanger and I can’t wait for the next book!

four-half-stars
Rating Report
Plot
five-stars
Characters
four-half-stars
Writing
four-half-stars
Worldbuilding
four-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: four-half-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 NEW RELEASES
  • WILD GOOSE CHASE CHALLENGE

Windwitch by Susan Dennard

Windwitch by Susan DennardWindwitch (The Witchlands, #2) by Susan Dennard
Published by Tor Teen on January 10th 2017
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
five-stars

Sometimes our enemies are also our only allies…
After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.
When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?
After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.

Let me start off by saying rarely do I cry while reading a book. I mean sure a book will tug at my heart, make me a little teary, but rarely do I full on cry. And yeah, I cried reading this book. This was also my most anticipated book of the year and it took me almost a month to read it because I was in such a huge book slump after reading the mess that was The Burning Sky and I instantly regret not reading this gem right away.

The story takes off immediately after the events of Truthwitch and the stakes are so much higher in this book. Thankfully a lot of the questions that I had in Truthwitch were answered… and thankfully I did not have the problems with Windwitch that I did with the first book.

CHARACTERS

Is it possible for someone to love every character in a book? Because I do. There were some characters that I did not expect to love at all, and there were some that truly surprised me. My favorite is still Merik of course, like doubtful that would have changed! But the ones that really got me were Cam, Vivia and Caden. I need more of them. Also there was so much character development for the four core characters and I can’t wait to see how they end up! Hopefully alive.

The two main things I really want to talk about is the friendship between Cam and Merik and the relationship between Merik and his sister Vivia. ALSO WARNING, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS HERE.

Cam is a character who could be described as transgender? Please correct me if I am wrong but they are a girl who identifies as a boy in the book. This friendship was one of the best parts of the book. Cam stuck with Merik even though he made the dumbest choices and every time Cam was in danger, Merik did everything he could to save them, Cam was the first thing Merik always thought about, like if they were safe or they could get killed. You just need to read it yourself but this friendship was glorious.

It was also incredibly refreshing to read a high fantasy book without any romance whatsoever. I mean granted they had no time for it. Friendship is such a huge part of this series and it plays such an important role with all the characters and… I just have a lot of feelings about this book okay?

WORLDBUILDING/PLOT

When I first read Truthwitch, I was sort of confused with the world and how everything connected with each other and going into the sequel I was a little hesitant because I wasn’t sure how the author was handling the world. Let me tell you, this world is incredibly intricate and the world building is so much better than it was in the first book. There is not a lot of confusion about all the different kind of witches cause well you hear plantwitch or firewitch and it’s pretty self explanatory. The stakes are so much higher in this book like… so much is going on and things are happening to my favorite characters and I just want all of them to be happy and safe.
In conclusion this book was incredible and I highly suggest everyone reads it.

five-stars
Rating Report
Plot
five-stars
Characters
five-stars
Writing
five-stars
Worldbuilding
five-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: five-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 NEW RELEASES
  • FLIGHTS OF FANTASY 2017

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

The Burning Sky by Sherry ThomasThe Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy, #1) by Sherry Thomas
Published by Balzer + Bray on September 17th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 449
Format: Paperback
Goodreads
dnf

It all began with a ruined elixir and a bolt of lightning.
Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's been told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the most powerful tyrant and mage the world has ever known. This would be a suicide task for anyone, let alone a reluctant sixteen-year-old girl with no training.
Guided by his mother's visions and committed to avenging his family, Prince Titus has sworn to protect Iolanthe even as he prepares her for their battle with the Bane. But he makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the tyrant closing in, Titus must choose between his mission—and her life.
The Burning Sky—the first book in the Elemental Trilogy—is an electrifying and unforgettable novel of intrigue and adventure.

I was excited to read this book and I went into it expecting it to be good. Expecting it to be amazing due to the likes of Marie Lu and Sarah J Maas blurbs on the back. I regret going into this with high expectations cause let me tell you fam, this book was a MESS. This review is full of spoilers, but this is my honest opinion.

I will be honest okay… I DNF’d this. I made it to a hundred pages and could not go any further. It literally felt like a chore to read this book. I even used up a credit for this on audible with the hope that listening to it would help and get me more invested into the story? Oh boy was I wrong and I am so bitter for using up that credit.

There is nothing special or different about this book or it’s characters. In fact this is probably the most cliche’d YA book that is chalk full of tropes I have ever read. You have your obscure prologue which actually tells you what happens in the darn book and there was literally no use for it.

There is insta-love which I pretty much expected because that is generally a given with YA fantasy but I found this to be so annoying! Like they literally met maybe five hours ago (I am being dramatic but yeah) and literally, “She found herself staring at him. In a way she couldn’t remember ever looking at someone else.” OR “Their eyes met. Her stomach fluttered.” And a scene where he was admiring the beautiful curvatures of her body and had to shake his head to stop looking at her. Not to mention the insta-love is pretty predictable because it states in the synopsis that ‘the prince makes a terrible decision of falling in love with her.’

You got your evil overlord who is utterly evil and he takes the powerful ‘mages’ which I suppose is a term for wizards/witches or whatever the heck these people are and they are never seen again. Of course he wants to take the special snowflake main characters powers for his own.

This book is told in two points of views which is Iolanthe’s and Prince Titus. The author sometimes does a POV switch in the middle of the damn chapter with zero indications of who is speaking unless the character says something that the other would not generally know. Speaking of the characters: They are full blown cliche’s.

You have Prince Titus who’s appearance description we did not get until the book was 70 pages in. I bet you already know what he looks like. Of course Titus is handsome… with dark hair, deep blue eyes, high cheekbones. The typical YA prince. Since we got his physical appearance so late into the book, I pictured him to look like this and I can’t unsee it. Titus is also broody, he must protect the MC and he is as bland as a rice cracker.

Image result for dimitri belikov

Now we have Iolanthe. I don’t remember getting a clear picture of how she looks. She is our heroine. The special snowflake of the story who must accept her destiny and save the world. She is the most powerful of all the mage’s and EVERYONE WANTS HER. Of course she has no clue about all of this and cannot fathom why she is so sought after. What goes on in her mind is just… my gosh I have to show you.

“You’re crushing your sandwich by the way.” Said the prince.

She willed her stiff fingers to unclench, “How? How do I have anything to do with the bane remaining powerful?”

“Do you know how old he is?” She shook her head and raised her teacup to her lips. She needed something to wash down the sandwich in her mouth which had become a dry paste she couldn’t swallow.

Now onto the world. This is probably what ruined the book for me above everything else. One minute we’re in this magical fantastical world and next our main character is on a train looking out onto dreary London. This was all before it was said that there are alternate dimensions that is actually called domains in this book. The magic system is also really weird. You have the mage’s who do spells, elixirs, THEY HAVE WANDS. Just think of Harry Potter.

So that’s all I have to say for this book. I feel like I should feel bad for having nothing good to say about this book but… yeah I don’t. My rate for this is one star. The star is for the cover.

dnf
Rating Report
Characters
one-star
Writing
one-half-stars
Worldbuilding
one-star
Cover
three-stars
Overall: one-half-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • FLIGHTS OF FANTASY 2017

Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes

Crystal Storm by Morgan RhodesCrystal Storm (Falling Kingdoms, #5) by Morgan Rhodes
Published by Razorbill on December 13th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 379
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
five-stars
zero-flames

The ruthless Empress Amara of Kraeshia has taken the Mytican throne, and now uncertainty looms over the three kingdoms. Since Lucia unleashed the fire Kindred, wreaking havoc throughout the land, Myticans have been looking for someone—anyone—they can trust. They believe in Amara, not knowing her grand promises are built on lies.
In Paelsia, Magnus and Cleo reluctantly follow King Gaius to the home of his exiled mother, Selia. Selia is a powerful witch and claims she can help unlock the magic of the Kindred—if the visitors agree to her terms. When Jonas arrives from Kraeshia, he is shocked to find that his rebel army now includes his sworn enemies. Along with Nic, Felix, and the mysteriously resurrected Ashur, the contentious group agrees to cast aside old grudges—for now—and united against their common enemy: Amara.
Meanwhile, bearing the child of a Watcher and feared by all, Princess Lucia travels across Mytica to find her family. But time is running out. The impending storm signals the dark prophecy Timotheus warned her about. Her fate is written, and it includes none other than the rebel Jonas. When their paths collied, Jonas and Lucia must decide between blindly following their destiny or fighting for their own free will.
The battle for power culminates at the Paelsian palace, where Amara resides. Rain pours. Blood spills. And soon all will discover that the darkest magic comes at an even darker price.

This book was wild okay. I am not exactly sure how I am going to write this review at the moment. This was my most anticipated book of the year, this is my favorite series of all time and I love everything about this series and wow it took me so long to read this book because I did not want it to end, but I finished it in a day and boy it did not disappoint.

We continue from Frozen Tides with the core four in some deep trouble. If you think things will get easier for them in this installment you are in for a surprise. I felt like this book was sort of a filler because not A LOT of things happened compared to previous books. But there were so many revelations and twists and a lot of my questions were answered pertaining to some characters.

I felt there were some unnecessary drama in this book when it came to certain things. I was just like why… why is this happening? WHY IS THIS NECESSARY? The character of Cleo also highly annoyed me because I felt she was too extra in this book like girl take it back a few notches, please.

My favorite scenes was all the scenes with Gaius and Magnus. Like… ALSO, HERE IS A SPOILER BUT

I just loved every time they bickered because it was just, it was great. Speaking of Gaius, I don’t know what it is about him, but I just LOVE him. He is such a fascinating character who keeps readers on their toes and you just never know what he is planning. View Spoiler » but he was a major part of the book. And then there is Magnus…. oh Magnus, I love him so much.

So that sums up my thoughts for Crystal Storm. I can’t believe we have to wait a year. A YEAR. That cliffhanger was absolutely crazy and I am just, I’m mad it ended like that.

five-stars
Rating Report
Plot
four-half-stars
Characters
five-stars
Writing
five-stars
Worldbuilding
five-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: five-stars

REVIEW: CROOKED KINGDOM

REVIEW: CROOKED KINGDOMCrooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) by Leigh Bardugo
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on September 27th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 546
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
five-stars

When you can’t beat the odds, change the game.
Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

cr

     Another one of my most anticipated releases of the year. This book was so hyped up and I am pretty sure many people will agree with me that this book exceeded the hype. Without a doubt, this is the best book I have ever read. Quite frankly, nothing will EVER top it. Ever.

     In my mind this is how a sequel should be. This is how the last book of a duology/trilogy/series should be. Crooked Kingdom was such a crazy ride I cannot get this book out of my mind and I am not sure how to really write this review because this book was so good, like how do I words???

     We start off a week after the crew arrives in Ketterdam and they are on the hunt to rescue Inej from Van Eck. They get her back rather easily, but things don’t get easier from there. The plot is so wild and all around epic and Leigh Bardugo is a darn genius like write my life story please. There were so many plot twists that left me with my jaw dropping, I just could not believe some of the things that went down!

Let me talk about the dregs. Oh my beautiful babies.

     Nina: She is my spirit animal okay. Her love for food and no shame of it is utterly amazing to see. She received some new powers due to the effects of Jurda Parem which were completely creepy but amazing at the same time. I just can’t express my immense love for her.

 

     Matthias: Such character development here I swear. I loved Matthias in Six of Crows, but this book just… my love grew for him. I loved that he accepted Nina as Grisha, he was in the dregs just… my gosh. I DO HAVE ONE GRIPE … matthias deserved better. Like why leigh, why?

 

     WYLAN + JESPER: My babies. My beautiful beautiful babies. Wylan was another character who had an immense character development. Wylan Van Sunshine, that’s all. And Jesper, oh my Jesper. ALSO SUPER HAPPY THEY ARE CANON.

 

     Inej: The Wraith is back in full force! She is so great. I love her so much and I am so happy that she was reunited with her parents!

 

     Kaz: I saved him for last… Oh Kaz, my dearest precious Kaz. He is beautiful. He is such a fantastic criminal mastermind. He was so cruel in this book, but he kept me on my toes from start to finish, I had no idea what he was going to do next with all of the tricks he had up his sleeves. When things were going wrong, Kaz would be like lol nope, b*tch you thought. ESPECIALLY during the auction scene… I thought things had gone seriously sour for the dregs but it appeared Kaz had an even bigger scheme in mind. In the end for Kaz, I am so happy he finally got his much needed revenge. Also, I laughed every time he poked someone with his cane.

 

     ALSO STURMHOND, GENYA AND ZOYA WERE IN THE BOOK AND I JUST…. Nikolai and Kaz GRACING the same exact page TALKING to each other was the best thing ever.

 

     AND KAZNEJ… I can’t believe what he said to her.

‘I would come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight out way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.


     So that’s it! Thank you Leigh Bardugo for the most beautiful book I have ever read, this book will always be in my heart.

five-stars
Rating Report
Plot
five-stars
Characters
five-stars
Writing
five-stars
Worldbuilding
five-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: five-stars

REVIEW: EMPIRE OF STORMS

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
REVIEW: EMPIRE OF STORMSEmpire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5) by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on September 6th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 693
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
five-stars
four-flames

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

eos-review

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this book and let me start off by saying that my rating of this book does not effect my knowledge of the issues in this series. I am aware this book/series is problematic for some people and I completely understand everyone’s issues with it. These are my thoughts and opinions.

This book took me about three weeks to finish. I mean, it was almost 700 pages of pure awesomeness, but so much was happening and I never wanted it to end. I loved being back in this world and in the characters minds I just… thank you Sarah, thank you.

Let me tell you that this book was not what I expected. At all.

     It is the same as QoS with a whole lot of point of views, but this time… this time it works. It flows so well and I actually CARED for all of the characters! Not just the mains but characters like Lorcan and Elide, Manon. I fell in love with characters like Aelin and Dorian (even more than I was before okay) and even Rowan! And as for a certain beloved character…View Spoiler »

The writing as also fabulous as well. Like ALL of her books. However, my only gripe was that at times it was slow and how often Dorian was cast to the side by the crew and how underestimated he was.

As I read this book I realized all the little kernels Maas has left for us in previous books. All the little hints and foreshadowing… let me tell you a lot of it came full circle in this book. Each of the characters have developed so darn well, ESPECIALLY Dorian in my opinion. I loved all the little scenes with him and Rowan, like BROTP here for real.

Let me talk about the sex scenes… View Spoiler » while the View Spoiler »

Maas has set up something truly wonderful. Aelin’s allies are finally coming, it seems like the whole world is banding together to fight not only one, but TWO forces of evil because this war isn’t just against Erawan, at least not anymore.

The plot is on a different level. The stakes have been raised, lives are in danger. View Spoiler » I am truly afraid of what will happen in the last book because let me tell you, it is going to be big.

five-stars
Rating Report
Plot
five-stars
Characters
five-stars
Writing
five-stars
Worldbuilding
four-half-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: five-stars