Book Review- Queen of Shadows

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* This review may contain spoilers for Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, and Heir of Fire

 

Queen of Shadows by  Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury on September 1st, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Pages: 648
Goodreads
Amazon

The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

I’m having a hard time writing this review because of how much I loved the book.

You know when something is super amazing and it’s just too hard to find the right words to describe it? Well that’s this book. And pretty much every book in this series. But I’ll try….

Okay, so I’m gonna start from the beginning. Aelin is on her way back to Rifthold, leaving Rowan (who I LOVEEEEEEEEE) behind. AND SHE MISSES HIM AND IT’S SO CUTEEEEEEE. Also everyone is kind of in trouble because the King is evil and Perrington and the witches etc. etc. etc.

This book is pretty different from the first three for a few reasons:

1) Celaena is now called Aelin (something I thought would really annoy me but actually it’s kind of perfect because it’s like a whole different version of her and kind of perfect okay I’m going to stop now but I think you get the point).

2) There are more serious romantic relationships. Yeah, I know, I know, Chaol and Celaena in Crown of Midnight… but this kind of takes it to a new level. And there is a lot of NSFW scenes, which (despite me not liking romance-y books) were kind of perfect and adorable.

3) There is a lot more of a “resistance”/”rebellious force”. As in there is an actual group of people going against the King and hunting the Valg and stuff.
There are other things that make it feel a little different too, but those are the main things.

Like I was kind of saying in the first paragraph of this review, I love this book. There is no one thing that makes it great, but rather just the perfect balance of character driven and plot driven events, and how somehow there is so much going on yet it is easy to understand and it is just A GREAT STORY. It’s so entertaining and it just draws you in and doesn’t let go.

If you haven’t read this series already, please believe the hype. I stayed away from these books for so long because I was like “no way that can be that good” AND THEN THEY WERE THAT GOOD. Like yeah, they aren’t for everyone, but still. It doesn’t hurt to give them a try!

I am going to give Queen of Shadows five out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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Book Review- Heir of Fire

Don’t miss the Epic Throne of Glass themed Giveaway ending TODAY!!

This review contains spoilers for Throne of Glass (book 1) and Crown of Midnight (book 2).


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Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury on September 2nd, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Pages: 565
Goodreads
Amazon

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?

Before I read this book, I was told by a few people that it “wasn’t quite as good as the first two”. I disagree. I thought, if anything, this book was even better.

Celaena is broken. Nehemia is dead, her relationship with Chaol was shattered, and now she was sent North to the very Aunt that her parents tried to keep her away from. Even worse: she is forced to train and use her magic if she wants to have an audience with her Aunt.

Then there is Rowan. I happen to love him, even if he is a jerk throughout the first half of the book. Rowan has gone through just as much heartbreak as Celaena, and their relationship evolves beautifully (once you get past the beginning, but even that is necessary for what comes next).

Chaol and Dorian are back in Rifthold, and have challenges of their own. Also, Manon Blackbeak is introduced: the Heir of the Blackbeak witches. She is cut-throat and ruthless but also awesome. I didn’t really know how to feel about her at first, but I’ve grown to love her as much as the other characters in the book.

This book is certainly action packed and emotionally loaded, and if you’ve read and liked the first two books-Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight-I definitely recommend you continue the series!!

I am going to give Heir of Fire five out of five hearts!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Crown of Midnight

Don’t miss the Epic Throne of Glass themed Giveaway going on now!

Also this contains spoilers for the first book, Throne of Glass (see my review for that here)


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Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury on August 27th, 2013
Genres: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Pages: 418
Goodreads
Amazon 

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.

One of the worst things in the world is Second Book Syndrome (aka when the second book kinda sucks compared to the first). BUT THAT IS NOT THE CASE WITH CROWN OF MIDNIGHT.

There is so much going on in this book. Celaena is now the King’s Campion, and is sent out to assassinate people that the King wants to get rid of. Chaol is fighting his feelings about Celaena’s new role: he is both repulsed by her actions and feeling things for her he didn’t think were possible. Dorian, who also doesn’t love the idea of Celaena’s new role, is getting over her and trying to find a way back into her life as a friend.

This book is packed with action, and balanced out with the connections between the characters. The friendship between Nehemia and Celaena is beautiful and heartbreaking, and Celaena’s relationships with Chaol and Dorian are also beautiful and hearbreaking.

Actually, beautiful and heartbreaking sums up the whole book pretty well.
AND THEN THE ENDING. WOOOOOAAAAHHHH. Not gonna give spoilers, but even though I already knew the “major reveal” at the end, it still was a huge moment and all I can really think to say about it is “WOOOOAAAAHHHHH”.

If you read Throne of Glass and liked/loved it, I highly recommend continuing the series!!

I am going to give Crown of Midnight five out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Throne of Glass

Don’t miss the Epic Throne of Glass Giveaway going on right now!!


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Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury on August 2nd, 2012
Genres: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Pages: 404
Goodreads
Amazon

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

This book blew me away.

From the first chapter I was swept away by the story and the characters and the vivid imagery. Celaena is taken from the salt mines of Endovier, where she was kept as a slave for a year, to the royal palace, where she is forced into a competition to be the champion for the King. I know some people have an issue with Celaena’s empty threats and lack of action, but I actually liked that. It showed me a lot of who she is as a character: she has a quick temper and even at her worst she still wants to fight.

All of the characters in this book were so dimensional and intriguing. They each had their own unique voices, and I had no problem differentiating between even the smallest of characters. I loved Dorian and Chaol especially, and they both were such strong characters, yet in very different ways.
Another thing I loved about this book was even though there were some “romancy” moments and plot lines, there was no “insta-love” or anything like that. What romance there was was very organic.

I honestly would recommend this book to everyone. It’s a book that I went into thinking I wouldn’t enjoy at all, and then loved more than I thought was possible. I know that this series is super hyped up (another reason why I put off reading it for so long) but  THE HYPE IS REAL GUYS. IT’S REAL.

I am going to give Throne of Glass five out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

It is finally here: The EPIC THRONE OF GLASS THEMED GIVEAWAY!!!!

I have been promising this for weeks. Needless to say, I’ve been a bit behind schedule. But it is here!!

Over the past two months, I’ve read all of the published ToG novels (The Assassin’s Blade through Empire of Storms) and loved them all! I don’t know why I waited so long to start this series.

Maybe I was afraid of the hype… who knows.

Anyway, I haven’t posted any of my reviews yet, but they will be going up soon (probably in the next week or so, but you probably know by now that I’m terrible at staying on schedule) . In the meantime, you have this awesome giveaway to enter!

Here’s what you can win:

(And please forgive my less-than-adequate photo taking skills….)

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You can win all of these goodies and a hardback of the next ToG book: Tower of Dawn!! (ToD will be ordered from Book Depository and sent directly to winner)

Let’s take a closer look at what you stand to win:

  1. IMG_3410This beautiful 18×18″ pillow from BookishStuff on Etsy! The case is super soft and the pillow is very plushy! The art on it features a Stag silhouette with a dark forest behind it, and a starry sky and a quote inside of it.  It says:

    the Stag, the Lord of the North. So the people of Terrasen will always know how to find their way home. So they can look up at the sky, no matter where they are and know Terrasen is forever with them.

  2. IMG_3412A one-of-a-kind handmade Journal from KleeTreasures on Etsy! This beautiful journal is hand painted and has a cute bookmark with a yellow star charm and a spiral of stars charm.
    The art on this journal features the Stag of Terrasen surrounded by a golden circle with a crown on top!
    It is small enough to be carried around in your purse or pocket!
    Also, this came all the way from Australia!! (I think that’s really awesome)
  3. A gorgeous metal stamped necklace from Bookish IMG_3413Adventures on Etsy! This necklace is silver colored and says:

    Fireheart

    It also has a little heart charm off to one side!
    This necklace will make such a cute accessory with any outfit!
    You can check out Bookish Adventures on Instagram here!

  4. A 13×13″ Tote Bag from Society6 (this is the only thing not donated IMG_3411for the giveaway, but when I saw it I was like “ahh this is so cute! I need to include it in the giveaway!”)
    The artwork features a gold dream catcher on a black background with stars and has the quote:

    The world will be saved and remade by the dreamers.

    Just so you know, that is my favorite quote from the books!!

  5. A Hardcover of Tower of Dawn (ordered from Book Depository, as said above)

How to win:

*This giveaway is going to be open to anywhere that book depository ships!!

To win, just enter the rafflecoper giveaway below!

Rafflecoper Giveaway

Good luck entering the giveaway!

The giveaway ends on September 11th, 2017 and the winner will be emailed the following day!

And keep an eye out for the upcoming reviews of the Throne of Glass series!!

Thanks for reading!!

 

August Wrap Up: Summer can’t be over! I’m not ready for school!

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So remember last month when I was like “Oh hey how did the summer go so fast?!?!?!”

Well now the summer is actually over and I’M NOT READY FOR SCHOOL TO START AGAIN.

I mean, I am…. but I really just want another month of summer before I have to face actual school work.

I could also use an extra month of summer to do the summer course work that I haven’t exactly started yet…. *cue frantic scrambling for my summer reading*

Talking about reading… I didn’t read as much as I planned to this month.

That’s mostly because of the road-trip I went on (more on that later). But even so, I still had a good reading month.

Books I have reviewed this month:

5‘s: Wait Till Helen Comes // Little Monsters
4 ‘s: Gemina // Cruel Crown // Haunting the Deep // Hunting Prince Dracula// P.S. I Like You
2 ‘s: A Week of Mondays
1 : Scrappy Little Nobody // The Infinity of You & Me // Dreamology

Books I’ve read but haven’t posted reviews for yet:

These reviews are coming soon along with a Throne of Glass themed giveaway. I’m planning on posting that this upcoming week!! So if you are a Throne of Glass fan, be sure to keep an eye out!!

Books I’m reading right now:

I’m almost done with City of Thieves (I have less than 50 pages to go), and I’m still in the beginning of The Breathless.

I really only read 10 books this month, but that’s still pretty good considering how busy I have been!

So what exactly have I been busy with?

  • I went on a huge road trip down the east coast with my best friend!! (Check out all the details in my post about it!!)
  • Setting up the epic Throne of Glass giveaway that I keep talking about (I promise it is coming and it is going to be amazing)
  • Taking care of Nike (our new puppy! who you can check out in the road trip post!)
  • Making sure I have everything I need for my dorm and for school
  • Seeing some friends that I haven’t seen in years (it was great!!)
  • Babysitting
  • Painting (or at least trying to…)
  • Visiting my cousin at her college
  • Dropping off my best friend at school and then going back to visit her a day later because separation is hard
  • Re-watching Suits because I haven’t seen it in years and it’s amazing
  • Watching the Game of Thrones season finale even though I haven’t watched since the middle of season three
  • Driving around aimlessly because I’m nostalgic and like seeing the town I grew up in
  • Driving past my old house enough times to raise suspicion because #ChildhoodMemories
  • Reading other blogs in all of my spare time

And now for a list of things that I probably should have done this month but haven’t gotten to yet:

  • MY FREAKING SUMMER COURSE WORK (I’m kind of screwed at this point)

Yeah that’s pretty much it. So I’m just gonna go ahead and call this month a win.

But guys I have some awesome news: I now have close to 650 blog followers!!! I seriously love you guys!!!

I also have no idea what prompts you to follow my humble little blog, BUT I’M NOT COMPLAINING!!! You guys really make me feel accomplished in life.

I don’t want to make this post too long, so I’m gonna wrap it up here… but I want to hear all about your August!

Did you read everything you wanted to?

Did you go on any adventures?

Did you do your summer course work? (Hahaha does anyone? Wait… don’t answer that)

Let me know how your month went in the comments below!!

Thanks for reading!!

Where was I last week? I befriended a seagull, took a road trip, and got a puppy!

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I’ve been a bad blogger this past week. I didn’t have any time to write new posts, and I used what little time I could find reading the first posts that popped up on my WordPress reader.

But no, it’s not because I’m putting Keystroke on the back burner. It’s because I went on a road trip with my best friend!

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But let’s back up for a second….

I’ve been spending my summer living in down east Maine. For those of you who have never been there: it is beautiful. I was so lucky to be able to spend my summer there!

A little over a week ago, my best-friend-since-elementary-school came up to stay with me for a few days, then we went on the road for a week to drive over to her house!

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This is Marge, chilling on her perch and watching us.

 

Before we left on the trip, I took her to Schoodic Point, one of my favorite places in the Acadia National Park. We took a picnic, and a little seagull decided she (he? idk) wanted to hang out and watch us.

We named her Marge.

Also, while we were on the rocks we decided to (try) to paint the view. My first attempt was a complete failure (like seriously it looked like a five year old did it), but I’m pretty proud of try 2:

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Try #2 (the bird is Marge)

 

A few days later, it was time to hit the road. We packed our things, loaded up my (wayyyyy to old) minivan, and started driving south.

 

I promise that we had no intention of getting a puppy. It just kind of happened.

(but no one is complaining so I count that as a win)

After spending almost an entire week on the road, I only accomplished a few things:

  1. Not sleeping nearly enough
  2. Blowing all of my money on restaurants
  3. Making some epic memories with my best friend

Here are some things I didn’t accomplish:

  1. Finishing The Breathless by Tara Goedjen (the ARC I am in the middle of) (goodreads)
  2. Reading, well, anything whatsoever
  3. Writing new blog posts
  4. Keeping up with all of your (amazing) blog posts
  5. Doing my summer course work (I’ll do it this week, I promise!)

But I did get a puppy, so it’s all forgiven, right?!

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Okay, so by now you are probably wondering what the deal is with this puppy. Well let me go ahead and tell you.

While driving through upstate New York, I spotted a sign  on the side of the road advertising Australian Shepard puppies. We didn’t end up getting one of those, but seeing that sign sent us into a puppy-needing frenzy, and we spend the last day of our trip scouring the internet to find the perfect puppy to bring home to my best friend’s family.

We ended up finding the perfect one, and drove out to a farm to get her! She is so sweet and adorable and fluffy and well-tempered. And when we got to my best friend’s house, the whole family fell in love with her too! We ended up naming her Nike (after the Greek Goddess of Victory).

So in summery, this has been my last week:

  • I befriended a seagull
  • Went on an epic road trip with my best friend
  • Bought quite possibly the most amazing, cutest lil pup in the world

But guys, I am back, and even though school starts soon, I am going to try to be more active in the blogosphere than ever.

And I have something very exciting coming up this week:

I AM DOING A HUGE THRONE OF GLASS THEMED GIVEAWAY!! Watch for my post explaining how the giveaway will work, and get ready to win big!

What have you been up to this past week? What blog posts did I miss? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!!