Sunday, April 10, 2016

From the shelf: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3)

Title: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Date read: April 1-6, 2016
Dawn Rates:  (5/5)

Summary (cr: goodreads)

The was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.

Celaena Sardothien 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. To defeat them, Celaena must find the strength to not only fight her inner demons but to battle the evil that is about to be unleashed.

The king's assassin takes on an even greater destiny and burns brighter than ever before in this follow-up to the New York Timesbestselling Crown of Midnight.

My Review: (also in goodreads)

This was a gripping read.

No words can express how much I held my seat and let myself be blown away into Sarah Maas' world courtesy of this book, the 2nd part to be exact (Heir of Fire). The first part (Heir of Ash) was a bit slow on the uptake but I understand that Celaena had to go through all of that to try to accept and move on especially after Nehemia's death looming over her, leaving her friend Dorian and breaking up with Chaol. Coming into Wendlyn on the king's orders was a ruse made by Chaol to get her out of the city and somewhat protect her. Celaena stepping into Wendlyn is not the same confident assassin we once knew. She is a shell of herself operating only on the hope that Meave, the Fae Queen of her mother's bloodline, would somehow give the answers she needs to fuel her upon return to Adarlan, to Chaol and her friend Dorian. But she got more what she bargained for. She got a Fae prince (Rowan) breathing down her neck to train her in exchange for what she seeks. And with that she comes face to face with the fate she had abandoned a decade before the night her family died and her kingdom fell: to reclaim the rightful position as the heir of Terrasen, their queen.

There were new characters in play like Sorscha, Aedion Ashryver and a character whom I think would be one of my favorites: Manon Blackbeak.

I had goosebumps on the part where Celaena reclaimed and succumbed to her fate. The part wehre she was battling the Valg prince and she finally accepted that she is Aelin Galathynius (Galathynius, seriously this name seems like something from the outer space). And Rowan. I knew that she will once again be involved *ahem* romantically *ahem* with someone. Really, Celaena? Really? LOL! I can't wait to read the 4th book.

Till the next read...

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

From the shelf: Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2)

Title: Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Date read: March 28-30, 2016
Dawn Rates:  (5/5)

Summary (cr: goodreads)

"A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.

It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend."

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie... and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

My Review: (also in goodreads)

I always had qualms in continuing a series. The first book should be interesting enough to help me decide if I should pick up the sequel or not. Oftentimes the sequel for me would be my make or break if this particular series will hold my interest. Sometimes the first book sucks then the sequel gives them the redemption they deserve. Rare are those times where the sequel is a whole tad better than the first book. And this is one of those times.

I loved, loved, loved Crown of Midnight more than Throne of Glass. Finally! This is how I envisioned Calaena Sardothien who they claimed is the most notorious assassin who ever existed. Everyone feared her and trembled at the echo of her name. This is how I wanted to see her. In her true form. The first book was interesting, but Calaena was too girly and not quite herself there that I wanted to shake her to wake her up. And this sequel didn't disappoint. This is the most ruthless, cunning Celaena I hae ever seen and I liked it. Finally some action!

The moment that Dorian and Celaena bid their goodbyes ending their romantic relationship at the first book, I knew then and there that Chaol will grab the opportunity. Don't get me wrong, I love Chaol...but I don't see him with her romantically. Sure they had their time, (Yes, I was cringing when they had those couple moments) but I really didn't see Chaol with her in the long term. I saw him as her best friend. It even came to a point that  when I wanted to break them up, especially when a sorrowful, significant death happened: I was too happy reading her not wanting to have Chaol back in her life. Okay, so I was partly rooting for Dorian. I only wanted Chaol as her dear friend not in a romantic way.

I have this feeling that Gavin (First King of Adarlan) and Elena (First Queen of Terassen) have something to do with Dorian and Celaena's fates. At least that is what I would like to think about. I often wondered if they are the reincarnations of the two, but it will be awfully complicated if that were true.

This book is like a homecoming. This is where events must take place to pave all of the things that would happen later in the series. Yes, I loved the second book too much that I can't wait to get my hands on the third book. SJ Maas, you've done a great job. Although I couldn't imagine how empty I will feel the moment I will read the last book (so far) in the series.

Ashryver eyes
The fairest eyes, from legends old
Of brightest blue, ringed with gold.

Till the next read...

Sunday, March 27, 2016

From the shelf: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1)

Title: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Date read: March 24-26, 2016
Dawn Rates:  (4/5)

Summary (cr: goodreads)

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 Review: (also in goodreads)

My sister has been raving about this for quite a while now and even pestering me on reading this series. I am the kind of reader who does not care whatever genre the book is as long as it gives me a great story and that I would recommend to readers and non readers alike. Okay, try to scold me for reading this far too late (and having my book signed 'Court of Thorns and Roses' before starting this series. Yep, the author was here for a book signing and I will tell you all about it later). So did I enjoy this?


But first let me start on saying that saying the names in the book is a mouthful. Really? Celaena Sardothien. Oh, Okay....Ellywe....oh...right. Uhm, Nehemia Ytger. OHHHHKAAAAY.

Anyway, the premise really caught me. A skilled assassin fighting for her freedom. YEP! Fae? Sign me up. I am a fan of Holly Black's Tithe series (guys, read that...because....Rath Roiben Rye 'nuff said.) and with other elements in the scene, this really made me curious. The story starts with Celaena wasting away in the salt mines of Endovier not until Chaol Westfall comes to her and tells her that she has been chosen as the crown prince's champion. And in order to regain he freedom she must win and server the king for 4 years. That is a good bargain for her so she accepts although not at first. Also, she has to conceal that she is THE Celaena assassin feared by many. 

It was too obvious that Dorian, crown prince of Adarlan, is obviously smitten during the course of the book. But of course there was a foreshadowing of complications if their relationship will push through: first of all, HE is the crown prince of Adarlan, a country who keeps on declaring war to conquer the countries around it and she is from Terrasen. I could also see a possible triangle between Dorian, Celaena and Chaol. I would like Chaol to be that one friend that Celaena could trust and not as a love interest. There are many questions left by this book: first of all, what the heck happened to Arobynn, who is Sam, what happened to Nox when he escaped, the wydmark on her forehead and many among others. Will I read the sequel? Definitely.

Oh, and I saw that Rick Riordan loved this book. I am a fan of his works. Definitely a fan, I have all of his hardbound.

Till the next read...

Thursday, March 24, 2016

From the shelf: Glass Sword (Red Queen #2)

Title: Red Queen (Red Queen #1)
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Date read: March 22-24, 2016
Dawn Rates:  (5/5)

Summary (cr: goodreads)

If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control. 

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors. 

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat. 

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

My Review: (also in goodreads)

Anyone can betray anyone.

I  read this for 3 days (whyyy) in between things in life. Oh well.

Mare keeps this in mind and it makes her distrustful of anyone especially her brother and even her closest friend. Julian really seared this statement into her memory and she came to believe it when this has been done to her so many times. I know for a fact that she is obviously in love with Cal but distances herself because she needs to focus on the mission in surviving and tracking down people like her who is red blood but with silver abilities. I have a hunch though: is this because somewhere in history a red-blood mated with silver-born? LOL! But that's just me. Kilorn finally tells Mare how he feels (which was too obvious and too cliche: a childhood friend in love with the female protagonist) but Mare obviously turned him down. Yep, she is still pinning over Cal even though her mind tells her not to. Farley and Shade get together (I am a fan) but something terrible happens and that made me too sad. I wanted to ask Victoria, whyyyyy Victoria Aveyard? WHYYYY!!!!!

Everyone, even at the book signing, was in Team Maven but obviously I want Cal for Mare. I think they have this dream of having Mare let Maven realize the error of his ways and that she could turn him back into the Maven he used to. But for me that's not the case. Queen Elara might have pushed thoughts in his head but I think he already was like that. He was always in his brother's  shadow. Someone who won't get the crown, someone who their father won't favor openly. I think he is that jealous. And that is why he is obsessed with Mare. What he feels for Mare might have been love at first but what I can see is he thinks of her as a prize. Someone that could break Cal and someone he could call his. What he's doing is out of pure obsession. He is a serious stalker dude. Part of me wanted to strangle him and curse him out into oblivion. His malicious intent reminds me of Joffrey of 'Game of Thrones'. This boy has serious issues in life. Oh, and an important death happened. That definitely startled me. I wasn't expecting that character would be gone too soon but I guess it had to happen so that we could see the consequence and Maven's take on it.

Another character that made me curious is Jon. I think he will be one of the key players in the third book. Speaking of the third book, UGH! That last scene was one of the greatest cliffhangers ever. This is why I have a love-hate relationship when reading any series, the waiting game. The 3rd book will come out in 2017 and here I am waiting.

Till the next read...

Monday, March 21, 2016

From the shelf: More Than This

Title: More Than This
Author: Patrick Ness
Genre: YA, Science Fiction
Date read: March 14-15, 2016
Dawn Rates:  (4/5)

Summary (cr: goodreads)

A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies.

Then he wakes, naked and bruised and thirsty, but alive.

How can this be? And what is this strange deserted place?

As he struggles to understand what is happening, the boy dares to hope. Might this not be the end? Might there be more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife?

From multi-award-winning Patrick Ness comes one of the most provocative and moving novels of our time.

My Review: (also in goodreads)

I was in a bookstore one day just scanning the shelves when I saw this particular book and got curious. I immediately researched all reviews online and bought it saying 'what the heck, this would be like a blind date'. It also helped when a read that John Green had this review telling people to just read it.

The story starts with a very descriptive death of a boy then waking up in a place just hours after. It shifts from Seth's memories to his current state. At first I was confused but at the same time I was curious as I dove in deeper into the story. Its like being confused and addicted at the same time which makes it a brilliant read. If you look at the story in a literal way, you would be too confused at its flow but the nice thing about this was, the story could be interpreted in a much deeper way. There are times where I exclaimed OMG and there was even a time where I wanted to throw the book because I was surprised and that made me a bit dazed. I couldn't do a review without giving anything away so I will just mimic John Green's review: "Just read it". Just pick up the book and try to read it.

Till the next read...
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