Empire of Dust

Title: Empire of Dust

Author: Eleanor Herman

Series: Blood of Gods and Royals # 2

Publication:  June 28th 2016 by Harlequin Teen

Pages: 432

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

In Macedon, war rises like smoke, forbidden romance blooms and ancient magic tempered with rage threatens to turn an empire to dust

After winning his first battle, Prince Alexander fights to become the ruler his kingdom demands—but the line between leader and tyrant blurs with each new threat.

Meanwhile, Hephaestion, cast aside by Alexander for killing the wrong man, must conceal the devastating secret of a divine prophecy from Katerina even as the two of them are thrust together on a dangerous mission to Egypt.

The warrior, Jacob, determined to forget his first love, vows to eradicate the ancient Blood Magics and believes that royal prisoner Cynane holds the key to Macedon’s undoing.

And in chains, the Persian princess Zofia still longs to find the Spirit Eaters, but first must grapple with the secrets of her handsome—and deadly—captor.

New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman entwines the real scandals of history with epic fantasy to reimagine the world’s most brilliant ruler, Alexander the Great, in the second book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.


My Thoughts:

Well… bah humbug. That was really, really disappointing. Empire of Dust illustrates one of my biggest bookish pet peeves, hell, one of my biggest writing pet peeves: no growth. Empire of Dust is chalked full of the exact same problems I had with the first novel. Those being too many characters, not enough development, shoddy world building and descriptions, and just this overall bleh that keeps everything from improving along the way. It is simply ridiculous. I was not a big fan of Legacy of Kings not in the slightest, so I really have no idea why I decided this was a good idea. Hope, maybe? Who knows.

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Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted each week by Breaking the Spine and lets us spotlight a book that we are eagerly waiting to be released.

This week’s Waiting On Wednesday is And I Darken by Keristen White!

Publication: June 28th 2016 by Delacorte Press

Summary from Goodreads:

NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL.

And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

From New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes the first book in a dark, sweeping new series in which heads will roll, bodies will be impaled . . . and hearts will be broken.

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Me Before You

“Some mistakes… Just have greater consequences than others. But you don’t have to let the result of one mistake be the thing that defines you. You, Clark, have the choice not to let that happen.”

Title: Me Before You

Author: Jojo Moyes

Series: Me Before You # 1

Publication: December 31st 2012 by Pamela Dorman Books/Viking

Pages: 409

Source: Purchased

Summary from Goodreads:

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.


My Thoughts:

Although I adored Me Before You, it also illustrates the dangers of an over-hyped book. All I have heard for the past few months is how Me Before You is a sob story, a heart-breaking and gut-wrenching love story about a quirky young woman and a man who has lost his will to live after a terrible accident. And while the novel delivered on the quirkiness of Lou and the dreadfull Will, I found it to be sorely lacking in the romance and sobbing department. Well, there is one part where I cried – but it’s not what you’re thinking. I cried when Lou went back to the maze for the first time, and that was it.

See, the problem here is a simple one: the book is marketed as a romance but, in reality, that is not what it is at all. The romance is miniscule and barely there. The first inklings of it don’t appear until near the very end. I did not like Me Before You because it was a heart-felt romance. Nor did I like it because it handles the delicate topic of assisted suicide with poise and grace. No, I fell in love with Me Before You for one very singular reason – Louisa Clark.

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Queen of Shadows

“She was fire, and light, and ash, and embers. She was Aelin Fireheart, and she bowed for no one and nothing, save the crown that was hers by blood and survival and triumph.”

Title: Queen of Shadows

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass # 4

Publication: September 1st 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Pages: 648

Source: Purchased

Summary from Goodreads:

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.

The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series continues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.


My Thoughts:

HOLY BATCRAP ROBIN! Ahhh! All the feels, this book has all the damn feels. It was so amazing.. I can’t even begin to explain how amazing this book is. Queen of Shadows is a particular kind of masterpiece where everything goes to hell and simultaneously everything finally seems to be alright. Queen of Shadows delves deeper into the lives of our new characters from Heir of Fire, it illustrates harrowing escapes and dangerous plans, we get to see just how badass and amazing Celaena – or Aelin – can be, and so much more.

My brain has literally exploded from all the amazingness this book contains. Filled with far fetched schemes and plots that somehow make perfect sense, hilarious territorial male Fae bullshit (and just hilarious male Fae), brutal fights and brawls that make everything else look like child’s play, and swoonworthy moments that make you melt out of your skin. Queen of Shadows is both the perfect installment for the series to move it forward and the perfect mix of happiness and despair. It will kill you slowly while also lifting your spirits. It will make you scream and cry while also making you weep with joy, join in the battle cry, and laughing at Rowan and Aeidon’s antics.

Let’s just say this, our fire-breathing-bitch-queen is back in full force and I couldn’t be happier. While Heir of Fire was Aelin’s heartbreaking journey of rediscovery and redemption in her own eyes, Queen of Shadows is a window into just how powerful and determined she can be. Aelin, Celaena, is unstoppable. She is unrelenting, yet she is kind and willing to make sacrifices for the greater good. She is willing to forget her need for revenge to give someone she cares about what they need. She is selfless, yet she is also, undeniably, Celaena. Celaena who loves music, books, pretty things. Celaena who knows how to torture, how to cause the most pain, how to keep someone alive, how to maim and kill without breaking a sweat. Celaena who just wants to go home and be free. You’ve known this from the start, but Aelin is my absolute favorite. She is everything to me, my favorite heroine and all that – I don’t know what it is about her but she has a very, very special place in my heart.

Speaking of characters…. Aelin’s Court! Oh my goodness I do not know what to do with myself. Rowan is amazing. I’ve loved him from day one, too. I mean… it’s Rowan: territorial, badass, ancient, powerful, Fae, and completely devoted to Aelin Rowan. I am glad to say my ship has fucking sailed, and I will leave it at that.

“You make me want to live, too, Aelin Galathynius,” he said. “Not exist—but live.” He cupped her cheek, and took a steadying breath—as if he’d thought about every word these past three days, over and over again. “I spent centuries wandering the world, from empires to kingdoms to wastelands, never settling, never stopping—not for one moment. I was always looking toward the horizon, always wondering what waited across the next ocean, over the next mountain. But I think … I think that whole time, all those centuries, I was just looking for you.”

We also have Lysandra, and yes folks, she’ back and she’s fucking amazing. If you’ve read The Assassin’s Blade, you know who she is and why Celaena hates her. In Queen of Shadows, there is an amazing bond formed. Celaena has needed a female friend since Crown of Midnight – and Lysandra becomes just that. Also, I CAN’T BELIEVE SHE DID THAT. It made me so damn happy, so, so damn happy. If you’ve read it, you know exactly what I am talking about. Not only did Aelin give her friend what she needed, I CAN’T BELIEVE LYSANDRA FUCKING DID WHAT SHE DID AND I LOVE IT SO MUCH.

“You and I are nothing but wild beasts wearing human skins.”

Then we have Aedion, precious Aedion who needs a great big hug. I love him, I really do. Aelin’s cousin and eternal body guard, just… awww! I thought he was adorable, albeit a bit scary at times. I also think he is hilarious – I mean, especially when he was getting into some sort of verbal pissing contest with Rowan. Aedion was amazing. All of the characters are amazing in their own way, but he’s a special little cinnamon roll. The moment when he sees Aelin again for the first time, when they are finally reunited was so heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time.

“Whatever you had to do to survive, whatever you did from spite or rage or selfishness … I don’t give a damn. You’re here—and you’re perfect. You always were, and you always will be.”

Overall, Queen of Shadows has to be my favorite book in the series yet. There is little bit of everything: political intrigue, subterfuge, brutality, romance, friendship, family, forgiveness, revenge and vengeance, all of it. Queen of Shadows is a wild adventure – it is an adventure I will never forget. Queen of Shadows is about finally taking your place, about accepting who you are and using it to your advantage. It is about finding your home, loving your family, and protecting those you care about. It is about love, loss, and redemption. It is everything.

“She was fury, she was wrath, she was vengeance.”


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