A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. MaasA Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #2
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on May 3rd 2016
Genres: Fantasy & Magic
Pages: 640
Format: Hardcover
Buy on AmazonBuy on Bol.com
Goodreads
five-stars

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

First Thoughts (BLOG)

The cover looks a bit ‘plastic.’ where the cover of A Court of Thorns of Roses was badass, the one for A Court of Mist and Fury just doesn’t appeal as much to me. I do like the colors, but the woman on the cover and the dress just seem a bit fake to me.

I had a few theories after finishing the first book, mostly about what happened between Feyre and Rhys at the end of A Court of Thorns and Roses and I can’t wait to find out if I was aiming in the right direction or not.

After the first few chapters: Nope, this is not Young Adult (refers to a very  steamy *cough* and detailed *cough* scene)

Thoughts upon finishing (BLOG)

H O L Y  S H I T. This was pretty much my line of thought for an hour straight after finishing A Court of Mist and Fury. That ending was out-of-this-world, batshit crazy, a ride through crazy town, and absolute utter torture. I’m not even attempting to explain the why to you because there is NO WAY I want to spoil this book for you.This is a bo0k you need to read and make-up your own mind about.

There are so many plot twists in this book that you won’t see coming and I’m afraid of mentioning things that will give it away. Which is why I am going to review this book a bit differently. I’m going to give you a list of reasons why I think you should read (and love) A Court of Mist and Fury. I have no doubt that there are tons of awesome ‘non-spoilery’ reviews out there telling you about the characters, the world-building, the plot, and anything else worth mentioning (because, believe me, everything about this book is worth mentioning). But I don’t fully trust myself, as I’m still an emotional wreck after finishing this book (and I finished it 5 days ago…).

10 reasons why

  1. Did you love A Court of Thorns and Roses? If your answer is yes I’m pretty sure you’ll love A Court of Mist and Fury as well, if not MORE. View Spoiler »
  2. It’s written by Sarah J. Maas. If you’ve read any of her books before, you most definitely know what I mean with this. Anything written by Sarah J. Maas is worth reading. She’s a wizard with words; her writing is out-of-this-world awesome.
  3. Everything you think you know, you don’t. The plot is so damn rich. Twists and turns and so many emotions around every corner. You just gotta read, read, and read until you reach the end (which will leave you begging on your knees for the next book).
  4. Steamy scenes. No kidding, this is NOT young adult guys, A Court of Mist and Fury has scenes that’ll have you blushing and fanning yourself. I loved every single piece of it.
  5. Feyre’s character development. In the blurb, it is revealed that she survived Under The Mountain “at a steep cost.” She’s pretty messed up over all that has happened and Sarah J. Maas does such an amazing job at describing Feyre’s thought process. It wrecked me just how well it was described. Feyre is depressed and has a serious case of PTSD, and take it from someone who’s suffered PTSD, it was so realistically portrayed that at times I had trouble keeping the tears at bay, because I know that feeling so well.
  6. New characters! Ones that are SO worth getting to know!
  7. Friends and family. Finding a home. This plays such a big role in the book!
  8. A Court of Mist and Fury will leave you addicted. I’m not even kidding. I didn’t want it to every end, and when it did, I craved more, SO MUCH MORE. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with myself until May 2017.
  9. The ending. I have no words for that ending. You have to experience it yourself, just so you can understand the pain I’m in after finishing this book. Sweet, beautiful, aweful torture.
  10. You just have to read A Court of Mist and Fury because I tell you to.

 

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

Something Like Normal by Trish DollerSomething Like Normal by Trish Doller
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on June 19th 2012
Pages: 224
Format: Paperback
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.

What I thought

Something Like Normal is a beautiful read: raw and unflinchingly honest. While I’m writing my review (roughly an hour after having finished the book) I don’t quite know what to do with myself. There’s this feeling inside me that took root when I started reading Something Like Normal and kept growing and growing while reading and I feel like it’s about to burst right now. This book is under my skin, and managed to secure a special place in my heart. THAT’s how beautiful this book was.

I love how this book isn’t about patriotism or politics. Simply put Something Like Normal is a story about people. Trish Dollar doesn’t turn her characters into saints, they’re flawed like any person is, and that is exactly the thing that makes this story so realistic. I care about the people in this book: about Travis and his friends, I laughed at their antics, and felt for them and what they were going through. Besides that, it’s incredibly realistic in the way the characters talk. She doesn’t water down their language use. We’re talking about 19 year old males here (besides the fact that they’re soldiers), and what guy our age doesn’t swear or say stupid shit? Like I said before, the characters aren’t saints, they’re flawed, and that includes them using the word “fuck” and them calling each other names.

Travis is struggling to hold himself together after losing his best friend in the war. He struggles with his grief and guilt, and it becomes so very clear that while he’s home, in some respects, he is very much still at war and Trish doller did a wonderful job at describing Travis’ emotional state. Throughout the story he develops his relationship with his mother, which made me want to cry at times. The way Trish Doller wrote about Travis’ mother and the desperation she felt over her son going to war was so palpable. I think she represented that in a great and (again) very realistic way.

Final verdict IRISJEXX!

Something Like Normal was quite the devastating, but most of all incredibly moving story with a flawed but appealing main character. I feel like everything I said in this review has been said by others already, but if this is your first time hearing about this book then please take my word and do yourself the favor of  reading this book. I promise you that it won’t dissapoint.

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas | Book Review

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas | Book ReviewHeir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #3
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on September 2nd 2014
Genres: Fantasy & Magic
Pages: 565
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
five-stars

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

What I thoughtYou have no idea how long I have been waiting for this book. Or maybe you do, because you’ve probably been waiting just as long, and just as impatiently. So when this book finally arrived on my doormat -two weeks after publication date (I’d pre-ordered it a long time ago, so the late arrival was so NOT cool)! My reaction must have been something like this:

Happy

As you all know, I am slightly OBSESSED with this series. And as I am still reeling after reading Heir of Fire, I am warning you in advance that this review will -probably- contain some fangirling.

In this book we learn even more about Celaena. We learn more about het backstory and get to see a whole different side of her. We ALL know Celaena is a badass, this we already established in the first two books, but it was so fascinating (and incredibly heart-breaking) to see who she is behind all those layers. In Heir of Fire she is confronted with her past and she can’t really hide from it anymore. We learn how she wrestles with her past and struggles with who she was before tragedy struck her family, and it made me love her all the more.

Another thing I loved? The new characters that are introduced. For starters: Rowan! Boy does he have the ability to kick some serious butt. As the story progressed I fell in love with his character. He’s just, GAH! (I might have developed a teeny tiny crush… Oh, who am I kidding, I developed a HUGE crush on Rowan) Emotional overload! OH AND AEDION! Whom I thought was a bit of a pompous ass at first, but grew so much on me throughout the story that I just couldn’t help but like his character (like his character a LOT). And Manon, the witch. I thought her POV was very strange at first, and I didn’t really get why she had her own chapters, but after a while I just didn’t mind it any more. The story came together and everything just clicked. Last, but not least, there’s Sorscha. Who’s incredibly cute and I very much enjoyed reading about her.

Heir of Fire was the first book where Chaol, Dorian, and Celaena aren’t in the same place anymore. Literally. They’re all on their own journey and it gave every character the possibility to develop more. I adored how the friendship between Celaena and Rowan developed, he challenged Celaena in a way that Dorian and Chaol couldn’t. Because of him, she developed  both mentally and physically, and it was wicked to read about. It was one of my favourite aspects of this book. Also, I loved reading about Dorian and Chaol. View Spoiler »

THAT ENDING! Please let me fall into this really LONG sleep, and wake up when the next book is out… Because I just can’t deal not knowing what happens next! I don’t even know why I am surprised… Sarah J. Maas does this EVERY time! She has this way with words and I keep reading and reading and then when I’ve almost finished the book – BOOM. So incredibly frustratingly awesome! But as much as I love her for it, I just really need her to take pity on me and hand me the next book!

Final verdict IRISJEXX!I loved everything about this book. From the old characters to the new characters and EVERYTHING else! The ending about killed me (as did the previous books…) and I’ll probably have trouble functioning for a while, but it is so worth it. If you haven’t started this series yet? GO READ IT! Everybody needs this series filled with awesomeness in their lives!

 

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas | Book Review

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas | Book Review

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas | Book ReviewCrown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #2
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on August 27th 2013
Genres: Fantasy & Magic
Pages: 420
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
five-stars

An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.
But her heart never wavers.

After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king's contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king's bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she's given a task that could jeopardize everything she's come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon -- forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.

Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?

What I thought NEW

“I worry because I care. Gods help me, I know I shouldn’t, but I do. So I will always tell you to be careful, because I will always care what happens.”

This book! I am so enormously grateful to my friend Kim, who pointed (or rather pushed) me into the right direction and made me read this book. While Throne of Glass was a book I finished in no time at all and utterly fell in love with, Crown of Midnight managed to be even more badass! There was more action, more character development, more surprises, more complications, more sexy, and a huge I-never-saw-it-coming twist.

Celaena was just goddamn badass. There, I said it. There’s no way I would ever mess with her! She became the assassin I expected to see in Throne of Glass, but only got glimpses of. She was even more fierce and more ruthless, and I can honestly say that I’ve never met a character like Celaena Sardothien before. She’s lives up to the title of Ardalan’s  assassin, and as the King’s champion she’s even more ruthless than before. Her confidence and self-assured arrogance is as present as it was in Throne of Glass, as is her flirtatious sense of humour. She’s brutal and never fails to live up to her title. The best part of all, is that despite all the severed heads and bloody scenes that made my skin crawl, she’s still the character that ate near a half pound of candy in the morning that I fell in love with in the first book. She’s so much more than a killer with a pretty face. And as her relationships with Nehemia, Dorian and Chaol develop and grow more intense, it is hard not to like her. I felt for her through the entire story, as did I respect her and wanted to shake some sense in her (though I’d never dare to do so, because I like my head attached, thank you very much!). She truly is one of the best characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading about and she manages to evoke all feelings you need to feel while reading this book.

And then we have Dorian Havilliard and Chaol Westfall. Where I had no preference in the first book, I started leaning more towards the Captain of the Guard in the sequel. Though, if I’m really honest, I have to admit that I have huge crushes on both of the guys. They each have their part in uncovering the true Celaena and they are characters equally lovable. This series has some of the best characters I’ve ever encountered. Between the characters mentioned above, Fleetwoot’s presence, and a non-living thing that has the uncanny ability to speak, the characters and all their quirks and interactions make this series as epic as it is.

The plot carried some revelations that I never saw coming, and jaw-dropping plot twists that changed the outcome of this story. The plot and the word-building was just out of this world (yes, that good!). We learn a lot about Erilea, Adarlan, and the history of the country, and also delve some deeper into the Fea magic, and magic on itself.

There are really no words for how much of an impact Crown of Midnight has influenced my love for this series. While it was in my top 10 after reading Throne of Glass, I am very pleased to say that it now moved up to first place. Within the fantasy genre, this is the best read I’ve ever read. Its the best fantasy world, with a somewhat darker atmosphere, a lot of mystery, magic, and above all amazing characters!

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas | Book Review

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas | Book Review

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas | Book ReviewThrone of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on August 7th 2012
Genres: Fantasy & Magic
Pages: 404
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads
five-stars

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 three years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. 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.

What I thought NEWRemind me again why I didn’t read this book sooner? Lately it seemed that I was the only one that hadn’t read this book yet. Everybody kept raving about it, and boy did I feel bad for not reading it… So I ordered myself a copy (which I should have done when it first came out!) and can finally talk about the total awesomeness that is Throne of Glass!

When you throw an assassin in a story, that’s bound to have me hooked. So when you throw in Celaena (aka the assassin) as a main character, that’s going to leave me with a book hangover! She was just that awesome! A perfect bled of badass, stubborn and girlish. One moment she’s plotting to kill everyone around her, and the next she’s like a little kid eating one and a half pound of candy in the morning.

If you follow this blog regularly you’ve probably seen me write, again and again, that I love strong and badass female characters. Celaena was all that and more. She just has this sheer determination, wit, and so much strength as a character that it makes me want to pound my fist in the air. She is a quick thinker and her knowledge of all the many ways to kill somebody is quite scary, but also fascinating. She knows who she is, and she doesn’t pretend to be anyone else than herself. While she is an assassin, she’s also surprisingly girlish. That side of her leads to quite some hilarious scenes that had me guffawing. She’s playful, sarcastic and unashamed about really anything she says. Her love for dresses, and unashamed love for candy make her seem almost childish in a way. While she came across a bit arrogant at times, it all just added to her charm. She is, without a doubt, one of my favourite female characters ever!

While the synopsis screams Love Triangle, I have to say that it didn’t quite read like one to me. We have the Captain of the Guard, Chaol Westfall, and the Crown Prince, Dorian Havilliard, both important characters in the story. However, while it didn’t read like a love triangle to me, I can easily see it developing into one. While I have the feeling that I’ve gotten to know Dorian best. He was more open, and flirtatious I might add. Chaol didn’t fail to leave an impression. There were brief glimpses of humour and personality coming from underneath that hard exterior. Both men play an important role in the story, they’re both appealing and I grew to love them more and more as the story progressed. I think this is actually the first time that I don’t have a personal favourite. Both are amazing characters and I look forward to see where this is going.

With such strong characters it is so easy to lose yourself in a story. The world created is so entrancing. Magic and the mentioning of Fae makes me anticipate what’s going to happen next. There are so many things going on besides the primary plot! The depth of this book is amazing! While quite a few things are left unexplained, for instance, Celeana’s past is mostly left unaddressed. Her past is probably going to be a little bit dark and I am anxious to know more about it. I am ,however, positive that these unexplained parts will be addressed in the books to come. Overall this plot was very gripping, it had action, intrigue, mystery, and the right amount of romance.

This was such a good read! I am going to get myself the sequel right away, as well as going to get to the bottom of the e-novella’s I saw available for purchase. This book was every bit as awesome as everyone has been telling me for so long! A truly captivating read, Crown of Midnight here I come.