The Assassin’s Blade Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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“If you can learn to endure pain, you can survive anything.” 

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Published March 4th 2014 by Bloomsbury Childrens

Pages: 448

Rating – 4.5/5

GoodReads

Hello everyone! I hope you all are having a great day! Today I will be completing a relatively spoiler free review of The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas.

In regards to The Throne of Glass series, I was so determined to start it this year since so many people have already read this and with the overwhelming hype, I just couldn’t keep myself away from it. Now that the series has come to an end, I found it a perfect opportunity to binge read these novels without having to wait through the heartbreaking pain of waiting for the next book. (For those of you who have been reading the series as they were released, how did you manage with the ending of Heir of Fire????)

The Assassin’s Blade is a bind up of the novellas to the Throne of Glass series but it reads pretty much like a regular novel since it follows the story of 16-year-old Celaena in a chronological order. Having seen a couple of reviews on BookTube, some reviewers have stated that it would be best to read the novellas before starting Queen of Shadows. And since this was the next book I had to read, I took a trip down to Barnes and Noble and made sure to grab myself a copy of the novellas! AND I AM SO GLAD I DID!

Summary: 

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin’s Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas – together in one edition for the first time – Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn’s orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

Characters:

Celaena Sardothien – I loved the many sides we got to see with Celaena in this book. in fact, that was my favorite part of this entire novel. I think there are certain details about her character we seem to miss when we first meet her in the series but it was great to have this novel shine a bit more light in that aspect. I loved that she stood my her morals – she knew her limits despite her profession – she had empathy, she valued friendship and she was so much more relatable!

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Sam Cortland – I feel as though my face has become the heart eye emoji just writing about his character! I loved literally all the scenes with Sam and Celaena. I felt that they complemented each other so well! There were scenes which made me laugh and there were scenes which made me tear up and get wrapped up in all the FEELS! But he brought in a beautiful element to the storyline and valued his role in the series a lot more with this backstory!

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Arobynn Hamel – So it should come as no surprise that I don’t really like Arobynn. I used to think that I despised him enough in the original series BUT I despise him even more with this one. Yes, I hate him with passion LOL

Final Thoughts: 

Where do I even start? First of all, I appreciated Celaena and Sam so much more in this book since we dive deeper into their minds and receive so much more backstory of what they had endured and I found it to be an amazing collection of stories to accompany the original series. There were moments where I found myself relating to Celaena which I found a bit hard to do with the original novels (other than the fact that she loves to read). The small moments where we see her gush over a pair of shoes, music, clothes, perfume and of course food HAHA We always see her to be a fierce and fiery assassin but these small moments really made her seem more human.

Sam. Oh Sam . . . if you have read the first book of the series, then you are aware of this character since he is mentioned but having read his backstory and his growth within these novellas made me appreciate him more as a character. He is clearly an essential part of Celaena’s growth as a character and I loved seeing the growth of their relationship. It really does warm your heart . . . I got wayyy too attached to him!

In regards to the writing, it was done really well. It was addictive and had the right amount of details needed to bring you into the fantasy world without being too overwhelming. I loved her use of Celaena’s iconic sharp and sarcastic commentary, her banters with other characters and the description of action sequences. It pretty much resembled the writing of the original series and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Besides the three main characters I listed here, I have a feeling that the secondary characters are going to show up in some form in the future novels. I felt that Sarah did leave some loose ends with a few characters and I hope I get to see some of them. (Ahem – I don’t really want to see Arobynn though)

In regards to the overall plot and THAT ENDING, I am not going to lie – it broke my heart. The tears just started flowing. I couldn’t help it. With the extent of challenges that Celaena faces, you only wish the best for her but it did not quite end that way as we see in the start of Throne of Glass. Despite this, I am honestly glad that I decided to pick up these novellas and I will for sure be jumping into the Queen of Shadows ASAP!

Have any of you read The Throne of Glass series and The Assassin’s Blade? What are your thoughts on it?

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Books On My TBR I’m Avoiding Reading and Why

Hello everyone! It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday! For this week’s prompt, we are going to explore the books on our TBR which we avoid reading. It could be for multiple reasons – they are intimidating, we fear it may not live up to the hype, it is not within our interest etc. As for me, I feel like it is a combination of the first two reasons.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the list!

1-3) Serpent and Dove, Kingdom of Souls, There Will Come A Darkness

These three books might be the most anticipated releases of this year. Nearly all the early reviews have been positive and I think that is what is keeping me from reading it. I’m a little worried whether they will live up to the hype because there were cases where some books did not live up to the hype in the past and it was quite disappointing. Hmm . . . maybe I should just go into it with no expectations/ blank slate? LOL I feel that may be one way I can avoid running into this issue 🙂

4-6) Priory of the Orange Tree, The Name of the Wind, Kingdom of Ash

Have you seen how massive these books are? They are so intimidating! But I have heard nothing but great things about these books so I really want to try them out. I feel as though Kingdom of Ash I will have no choice to read because I am on the fourth book right now and it is so addicting!

7-10) Wicked King/Queen of Nothing, Children of Vice and Virtue, Escaping from Houdini 

Gahhhh sequels! I have such a love/hate relationship with them. I think one of the most intimidating aspects is answering the golden question – Will it be good or even better than the predecessor?  And this is probably why sometimes I avoid reading them unless I know for sure that it will be good based on other reviews or if it is a beloved series in the book community. Or I may end up reading it if there was a huge cliffhanger and I had to know what happens! 🙂

How about you? What books do you avoid reading?

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post!

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Sorcery of Thorns Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Margaret Rogerson

Published: June 4th 2019 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

Pages: 456

Rating: 3.8 /5

GoodReads

This was pretty good for a fantasy standalone book. I think we tend to receive so many YA fantasy series and I never really found a book that fit within this genre and was able to deliver a story within 500 pages. Most of the time this is due to the intense amount of detail and world building incorporated into fantasy novels so if the world is not believable, then it falls flat. However, Margaret Rogerson was able to deliver with this novel with her stellar writing abilities and creative mind! While I did have some issues with the overall plot, I thought it was an awesome delivery of a standalone fantasy novel.

Summary (from GoodReads): 

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.

Characters:

Elisabeth – Brave, Loyal, Optimistic – I absolutely loved reading this story through Elizabeth’s perspective! She is so different from the typical YA “Katniss-like” fiction leads and I found that to be so refreshing. Hearing stories from different voices and different characters are the ones which I find to be truly entertaining and enlightening. Elisabeth also has a fierce determination in her which I loved to read about. She does have her flaws, but thats what makes her character so genuine and relatable.

“What is the point of life if you don’t believe in anything?”

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Nathaniel – Sassy, Smart, Witty – Can I just say how much I enjoyed reading Nathaniel’s quotes in this book? They were so hilarious and utterly charming at times that I found it super entertaining. One of the best elements of this book is the characters. With both Nathaniel and Elizabeth, I found that they perfectly complemented each other and it was amazing to see their growth.

” . . I only turn girls into salamanders on Tuesdays. Luckily for you, it’s a Wednesday, which is the day I drink a goblet of orphan’s blood for supper.” 

percy

 

Final Thoughts

One of the best aspects of this novel was Margaret’s ability to provide a rich yet mysterious atmosphere that captivated your attention and pulled you into the story. She really does have a talent for creating beautiful imagery which transports you to another world. I think this is the main reason why this book was able to do so well as a stand alone. Typically, YA fantasy novels are usually told as series since it is quite dependent on world building and expanding on magical/ political systems which usually takes multiple novels to do. If a world is NOT well developed, then it makes it harder for a reader to fully immerse themselves into the world which can be disappointing. I found it to be the exact opposite for A Sorcery of Thorns. This was well developed – the setting, the world, the magic system and characters.

I think one of the main areas where I found some issues in the book would be the overall plot. While I found the concept to be truly unique and captivating, I found that the story could have been better. I loved the usage of the magical grimoires and this did peak my interest from the beginning. However, I didn’t find myself fully immersed and captivated by the storyline as the novel continued.

Despite this drawback, I still thought this novel was still a great read since it does incorporate a creative concept that book lovers will truly enjoy to learn about. Have any of you read A Sorcery of Thorns? What did you think of it?

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Enjoyed That Are Outside of My Comfort Zone

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Looking back at the past posts on my blog, it does not come as a surprise to me of my profound love for YA Fantasy novels. In my opinion, I think that would be my Go-To choice on any occasion. I think my desire to escape into fantastical worlds filled with magic, royalty, knights, and sorcerers could be the main reason why I love it so much.

However, there were moments where I picked up books which were outside my comfort zone due to recommendations by other reviewers or due to the hype online. I am quite thankful to the books on my list below since many have introduced me to new genres which I have found a love for and others have surprised me with their unique story telling within a relatively known genre.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the list!

1-2 ) Stalking Jack the Ripper and Prisoner of Night and Fog

 

I personally enjoyed both these two books since it introduced me to a new genre of books – Historical fiction! And now, I just can’t get enough of it!

3-4) Fangirl and Everything, Everything

 

This was another example where I found books which pleasantly surprised me. I usually do not pick up contemporary books but these two really changed my perspective on it and I am willing to pick up more of this genre.

5, 6,7) The Book of Ivy, Dark Inside, Angelfall

 

Although the Dystopian genre has become quite an overused setting in many YA novels, I found that these books approached the genre with an interesting perspective and I couldn’t help but fly through them. Along with the addicting writing style and captivating, yet diverse plot line, I was deeply engrossed in the story lines.

8) These Broken Stars

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I am very thankful for These Broken Stars since it was the first book which peaked my interest in the Sci-Fi genre and I became obsessed! After this, I reached out for novels like the Illuminae Files, Aurora Rising, The Lunar Chronicles, etc.

9-10) A Darker Shade of Magic/ Ella Enchanted

 

And finally, these two books made me appreciate books of all genre whether they are targeted towards Young Adults, New Adult, Adult, or Middle Grade. With each of these different categories, I find myself reading about different character dynamics and themes which I found very insightful.

Were there any books which you enjoyed that were out of your comfort zone?

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post!

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The Cruel Prince Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Holly Black

Publication: January 2nd 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 370

Rating: 5/5

GoodReads

It’s official! I finally did it! I read the Cruel Prince MWAHAHAHA

Ahem . . . but I also have a confession. I ended up annotating this book – GASP!!! I couldn’t help it!!! One moment I was on BookTube browsing through some reviews and I happened to come across an annotation video and down the rabbit hole I went!! But truth be told, I kind of enjoyed my experience . . . cause I had a lot to say about this book!!! LOL

Summary (from GoodReads):

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Characters:

Jude – Intelligent; Defiant; Determined: In a highly dangerous and political world where her kind are treated with the least amount of respect or acknowledgement, I was amazed at the level of endurance and strength she had to maintain her composure and also fight back when necessary. I loved seeing her internal battles as well where she tries to navigate through the world and determine whether she has the qualities of a human or Fae.

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Prince Cardan – Wicked; Cruel and Arrogant; I am not sure what to think of Prince Cardan since his treatment of other beings (faerie or mortal) are completely vile and absurd. Although there were moments where I noticed he does have his limits and you do have some sort of empathy towards him, I still do not consider him to be a completely good character – he seems to operate in the gray line . . .

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Final Thoughts

So the Cruel Prince is the first in the Folk of the Air series by Holly Black who is basically referred to as the Queen of Faerie stories and I can see why! This book was absolutely captivating from the start! Within the first 50 pages, the characters and plot already evoked so much emotion from me that I pretty much sensed that this was going to be a five star read. I just could not put it down. Holly Black’s writing is so addictive that I found myself reading one page after another which soon turned into late night reading routine! I have no regrets!

This book was definitely more political than other YA fantasy novels I have read and I found that aspect to be quite refreshing. Throughout the course of the novel, Holly Black was able to place so many bread crumbs hinting at the upcoming climatic moment and she was able to do this so cleverly.  AND OMG the amount of twists and turns within this novel had my mind spinning – in a good way of course! There were times when I literally gasped!

On a side note, I found that annotating this book to be really helpful since I was able to read more carefully and fully immerse myself into this fantasy world. I think annotating also helped me retain more info and capture all the details since there was a lot of topics, issues, plot points which were discussed that underlining, tabbing and using index cards and post-it notes really helped me to read more carefully and I found it to be a great experience. I am not sure whether I will continue to annotate all my books but perhaps the ones which I know I am for sure going to enjoy.

But overall, I really enjoyed reading this first novel of this series and I will for sure continue on with the other books!

Have any of you read the Cruel Prince? What were your thoughts on it?

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post!

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WWW Wednesday – August 7, 2019

Hello everyone! Hope you all are enjoying your week! I’m here to share with you my current reading status with another WWW Wednesday post which is a weekly meme hosted by Taking On a World of Words. 

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Without further ado, let’s get started!

What are you currently reading?

spin the dawn

I just started this one and it has been one of my highly anticipated reads of this year. I have not gotten too far into it but I do like the pacing and the writing. I really hope I enjoy since I heard nothing but great things about this book. Have any of you read Spin the Dawn? What did you think of it?

What did you recently finish reading?

the cruel prince

OMG!! OMG!!! I finally did it! I finally read the Cruel Prince!!! Whoohooo!

You know the kind of books that you finish and countless days later, you still think about it? Yep, this was one of them and it will probably be one of my favorite reads of this year. And please stay tuned for my book review because OMG we need to fangirl about this together!

What do you think you’ll read next?

 

Oh Lord. . . my never ending TBR! It was difficult but I managed to narrow it down to these two – Queen of Shadows by Sarah. J Maas and Vicious by V.E Schwab and I am in a serious dilemma!!!

I hope you all find it easier to find your next read than me haha Thank you all for reading and I hope you all have a fabulous day!

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post!

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A Curse so Dark and Lonely Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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“I’m always surprised to discover that when the world seems darkest, there exists the greatest opportunity for light.” 

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Published: January 29th 2019 by Bloomsbury YA

Pages: 484

Rating: 4/5

GoodReads

Ok. That ending had me shook! OMG!! It’s going to make an interesting set up for the next book and I will definitely be reading the sequel! It took me some time to get used to the characters, but after a few pages, I found myself glued to the book eagerly anticipating what’s going to happen next. If you have not picked this one up, I highly urge you do because it was an awesome twist on the classic Beauty and the Beast fairy tale!

Summary (from GoodReads):

Fall in love, break the curse.

Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

Characters

Harper – Expressive; Compassionate; Strong; – What can I say? I really enjoyed reading Harper’s perspective. She is a strong character but I liked her since she was different from the typical YA leads since she exhibits a balance of strength and emotion. She loves her family – her brother and mother  – and is persistent to find them. Despite having Cerebral Palsy, she is still a determined individual and that’s what makes her so inspiring.

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Rhen – Strategic; Disheartened; Trapped – Rhen was just the sweetest. In the beginning we see him to be a tortured soul whose glimpses of hope are constantly being depleted and we can’t help but feel for him.

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Grey – A character who slowly grew on me. Initially, it was hard to discern his qualities due to his stoic personality; however, as time went by he slowly started to reveal layers of his character and it made me appreciate him even more.

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Final Thoughts 

I will admit that it took quite some time for me to get into this novel. I am not sure why but it did progress quite slowly in the beginning. However, within the 100 page mark, I noticed a lot of interesting dynamics and plot elements being introduced and this caused me to grow more intrigued. Since this book was described to be a Beauty and the Beast re-telling, I already had preconceived notions on how the plot would play out but I was surprised to see the different elements which were being introduced into the story. I found it to be refreshing since it offered a new look into a world which was build within this fairy tale backdrop.

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I also appreciated the hilarious banter between the characters! It brought a lighter atmosphere to the novel’s dark ambiance. The novel also intertwines the themes of inner strength and resilience against the most overwhelming and gruesome tribulations. It was amazing to see these characters go through this incredible journey to become the best version of themselves. The romance was a slow burn and I loved seeing the progression of their relationship and how they grew to be bit more open with each other. It made everything quite believable. The only reason why I could not give this book a complete 5 star rating was because I ended up questioning a few plot details here and there and I did have a couple of questions on certain issues. But overall, I really enjoyed it and I personally think this is the best Beauty and the Beast re-telling out there!

Have any of you read A Curse so Dark and Lonely? What did you think of it?

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post!

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