Crown of Midnight

But he had no idea what sort of darkness lurked inside her, or what sort of monster she was willing to become in order to make things right.

Title: Crown of Midnight

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass # 2

Publication: August 27th 2013 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Pages: 418

Source: Purchased

Summary from Goodreads:

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 Thoughts:

There are no words for what I am feeling right now. Even though I’ve read Crown of Midnight before, it was a long time ago – and this book was a solid punch to the gut in the best of ways. Maas has crafted yet another masterpiece, as are the following books in the series – I am sure. Crown of Midnight is just as epic as its predecessor, if not more so now that Celaena is off her leash and allowed to do some real damage. This is the kind of book that makes you dread turning the page because you have no idea what is going to happen next. This is the kind of book that rips your heart out through your throat while you just sit there and take it. Crown of Midnight is a complex, spiraling web of betrayal, lies, badassery, romance, and so, so much more.

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Throne of Glass

You could rattle the stars,” she whispered. “You could do anything, if only you dared. And deep down, you know it, too. That’s what scares you most.

Title: Throne of Glass

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass # 1

Publication: May 7th 2013 by Bloomsbury USA Children’s

Pages: 404

Source: Purchased

Summary from Goodreads:

When magic has gone from the world, and a vicious king rules from his throne of glass, an assassin comes to the castle. She does not come to kill, but to win her freedom. If she can defeat twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition to find the greatest assassin in the land, she will become the King’s Champion and be released from prison.

Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her.

And a princess from a foreign land will become the one thing Celaena never thought she’d have again: a friend.

But something evil dwells in the castle—and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying, horribly, one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival—and a desperate quest to root out the source of the evil before it destroys her world.


My Thoughts:

The first time I read Throne of Glass was two years ago. I had an electronic copy on loan from my local library, and I devoured it in a matter of days while on the road trip heading off to my first year of college. The second time I read Throne of Glass was completed a mere moment ago, and I have to say, I have fallen in love even more the second time around. Throne of Glass is the kind of book that creeps up on you. It pulls you in, and then incapacitates you in swift, subtle movements -sort of like the heroine, and my favorite assassin, Celaena Sardothien.

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Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB at Books and A Beat

This week’s Teaser Tuesday is for Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas!

“You could rattle the stars,” she whispered. “You could do anything, if only you dared. And deep down, you know it, too. That’s what scares you most.”

“We all bear scars,… Mine just happen to be more visible than most.”

“My name is Celaena Sardothien. But it makes no difference if my name’s Celaena or Lillian or Bitch, because I’d still beat you, no matter what you call me.”

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The Assassin’s Blade

If you can learn to endure pain, you can survive anything. Some people learn to embrace it- to love it. Some endure it through drowning it in sorrow, or by making themselves forget. Others turn it into anger.

Title: The Assassin’s Blade

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass # 0.1-0.5

Publication: March 4th 2014 by Bloomsbury Childrens

Pages: 448

Source: Purchased

Summary from Goodreads:

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.


My Thoughts:

ARGH! The feels, I cannot handle all the damn feels right now. I just finished this before I sat down and started banging away at my keyboard and my brain cannot compute. If you’ve read Throne of Glass (which I’m about to go reread), you know how it starts off. Our beloved Celaena in the Salt Mines… but ever wonder how she ended up there? The Assassin’s Blade is a collection of five novellas in which Celeana’s past is illuminated in excruciating detail. It was so painfully beautiful. I don’t know how to talk about my feelings, this is the kind of pain you can only experience for yourself.

This collection details five of Celaena’s – my favorite precious cinnamon roll of an assassin – adventures and the road leading her to Endovier.  Some are shorter than others, but all pack one hell of a punch. After reading this collection, and even though I already loved Celaena, these stories have completely changed my views of her. She has always been amazing, and I love her even when she is being a bit of a bitch (but that’s part of the reason I love her), but this book has shot Celaena into new heights in my eyes. In this collection, you really get to see within the cracks. You get a peek at the girl who loved and who trusted, who was betrayed in more ways than should be humanly possible, and who was feared but soon became the thing of nightmares we see in Throne of Glass. She is so strong, so, so strong and independent. But, even Celaena Sardothien needs someone every now and then.

I really don’t know how else to describe what I just read. You need to read it, but I would recommend waiting to read it at least until after you’ve read Throne of Glass. Though this is a prequel to the actual series, Throne of Glass introduces Celaena as you’re supposed to see her – The Assassin’s Blade softens the edges and makes it easier to understand her motives. I’m in love, honestly. Sarah J. Maas can do no wrong in my eyes. I could let myself ramble, try to come up with ridiculous metaphors while attempting to explain just why these books, this series, are so amazing – but that’s an impossible feat. You must read these. Sheer perfection, that’s what The Assassin’s Blade is. Sheer perfection, heart-break, and otherworldly amazingness.


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A Court of Thorns and Roses

“I threw myself into that fire, threw myself into it, into him, and let myself burn.”

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses # 1

Publication: May 5, 2015 by Bloomsbury Childrens

Pages: 416

Source: Bookshelf

Summary:

A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it… or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

My Thoughts:

I love it when an old fairy tale gets revamped, especially when it is done well. A Court of Thorns and Roses did not disappoint, it was still Beauty and the Beast but it also had an enticingly new aspect of faeries. Reading this was sort of like Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey books eloped and had a child with the amazing story of Beauty and the Beast that dressed up in the finest of writing styles. I have to admit, I went into this book biased for three reasons. One, I love faeries. Two, I love Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series. And three, Beauty and the Beast competes for the top position of my favorite fairy tale ever with Peter Pan.

This book sort of starts off like The Hunger Games, with the main character hunting out in the woods so she can feed her family. The world this story takes place in is one of complete fantasy, though the society of the humans is fairly reminiscent of a Victorian London with its propriety and the seasons for finding a husband. This world has many lands, but we start in the Mortal World and eventually end up in the place called Prythian – or the Faerie Lands. These two “worlds” are separated only by a wall and some well-placed Glamour(magic), but that doesn’t stop the lesser Fae from crossing over and terrorizing whatever humans they come across. There are a lot of reasons for the wall, reasons which also could potentially spoil certain aspects of the book because the main character only knows certain parts. I don’t want to spoil anything, but what I can tell you that the wall is in place because there was a war between the Fae and the humans – and that the humans managed to win. There is actually a lot more to it than that, but like I said, spoiler alert.

Now that I have the basic world building out of the way, the characters. I loved them, simple as that. Maas has this amazing ability to make multidimensional characters that can be both terrifyingly strong and completely broken and as fragile as a china doll all at the same time. The four main characters, Feyre, Tamlin, Lucien, and Rhsyand are all prime of this fact. I will say this, for all intents and purposes of this book, Feyre is Belle and Tamilin is Beast. Of course, as we know from the synopsis and our basic knowledge of Beauty And The Beast, Feyre is human and our main protagonist. By very definition of what she is, she is weaker than these frightening and magnificent higher fae – and she knows it and accepts it. But, she is so strong and I love her for it. She knows that she is way out of her league when dealing with the higher fae, yet she will still do whatever it takes to survive or protect the ones she loves. Another part I really liked about her was her loyalty to her family. When reading the book, a large part of me really wanted her to just turn her back on them and leave them to fend for herself because of how they treated her – but she didn’t because she isn’t that sort of person, and that is really admirable. Her father is basically worthless, as we see through her descriptions of him, so she is the one solely responsible for taking care of her family because neither of her sisters lift a finger to help. Also, another ode to her strength, when she gets dragged off to spend the rest of her life at Tamlin’s estate, she does so with full consciousness of what she has done to put herself in that situation. I find it really admirable that she can admit her faults and do what needs to be done to fix them. Also, instead of crying and whining like we would expect to see, she vows to do all in her power to escape. She was kickass in all the moments that needed it, but she was also very vulnerable and fragile in other moments. It made her realistic, easy to relate to, and a wonderful point of view to read the story from.

Now that I have the basic world building out of the way, the characters. I loved them, simple as that. Maas has this amazing ability to make multidimensional characters that can be both terrifyingly strong and completely broken and as fragile as a china doll all at the same time. The three main characters, Feyre, Tamlin, and Rhsyand are all prime of this fact. I will say this, for all intents and purposes of this book, Feyre is Belle and Tamilin is Beast. Of course, as we know from the synopsis and our basic knowledge of Beauty And The Beast, Feyre is human and our main protagonist. By very definition of what she is, she is weaker than these frightening and magnificent higher fae – and she knows it and accepts it. But, she is so strong and I love her for it. She knows that she is way out of her league when dealing with the higher fae, yet she will still do whatever it takes to survive or protect the ones she loves. Another part I really liked about her was her loyalty to her family. When reading the book, a large part of me really wanted her to just turn her back on them and leave them to fend for herself because of how they treated her – but she didn’t because she isn’t that sort of person, and that is really admirable. Her father is basically worthless, as we see through her descriptions of him, so she is the one solely responsible for taking care of her family because neither of her sisters lift a finger to help. Also, another ode to her strength, when she gets dragged off to spend the rest of her life at Tamlin’s estate, she does so with full consciousness of what she has done to put herself in that situation. I find it really admirable that she can admit her faults and do what needs to be done to fix them. Also, instead of crying and whining like we would expect to see, she vows to do all in her power to escape. She was kickass in all the moments that needed it, but she was also very vulnerable and fragile in other moments. It made her realistic, easy to relate to, and a wonderful point of view to read the story from.
There are three main fae in this book, Tamlin, Lucien, and Rhysand. Tamlin, as I have already said, was our so called beast of this story. He was exactly as I remembered the beast’s character and I loved every second that he was included in. He was perfect. He had moments where he was rough, grouchy, and basically an overpowering asshole – but he was trying throughout the majority of the book, and that was what made me love the beast so much in the first place. He tries to make Feyre happy even though he made her his “prisoner”. It added a certain level of complexity to his character that you have to see for yourself, it is absolutely remarkable. Also, his chemistry with Feyre was mind blowing. I swear to God that the pages were so full of electricity that I could feel it all the way down to my toes, do you see where I am going with this? Another thing I really liked was Maas’ literal interpretation of beast. Tamlin has this awesome ability to shape shift into some sort of chimera like beast with a lion’s head and etc. His form is basically identical to the original animated beast from Disney’s film, and I really loved seeing that alluded to. Lucien, the always welcome sarcastic and somewhat crude side kick, always brought a smile to my face. Feyre and Tamlin were pretty entertaining on their own, but throw Lucien into the mix and things got really interesting really quickly. I also really loved his story with his brothers, I won’t get into it much because it is something Feyre doesn’t know for a while – so the readers shouldn’t, also. Then we have Rhysand. I don’t even know how to describe Rhysand, I guess you could say he is sort of like a better, less evil version of Sebastian from The Mortal Instruments. He had this serious charm about him, but he was also extremely dangerous and you had no idea if you could trust him or not. He was really complex, just as Tamlin was, and I honestly can’t wait to see more from him in the sequel. And, I don’t know if I am completely right here, but there won’t be a love triangle – at least I’m hoping not.

Another aspect I really love about this book is the fact that it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger as a lot of books do, especially the ones that already are planned for a series. In fact, A Court of Thorns and Roses can be read as a standalone if you really wanted to – but I would still recommend reading the entire series when it comes out. Because, trust me on this, you will want the next book so badly it is going to hurt.

The setting, I can’t even begin to describe the setting without turning this into some sort of five page essay. The setting was so hypnotizing and fascinating, I could lose myself within it just day dreaming if I really wanted to. The world was so complex, the scenery so graphically beautiful yet terrifying. The farther you got into the story, the more and more layers to this intricate world there were. The world building was phenomenal, as I have already described, but I found myself wanting more with every little bit that was given. Maas’ writing was absolutely stellar. As usual, I give her some serious props for her ability to throw in twists and turns I never see coming (which is a rare thing). She created amazing foreshadowing, a beautifully intricate plot, there was outstanding organization, and her prose was like a breath of fresh air compared to some of the other books I have read. Also, there are so many different layers to this book – it is like a fifty foot wedding cake with one hundred tiers or something close to it. There are inspiring moments, light moments that make you laugh so hard you cry, sad moments that break your heart, happy moments that make you smile, and devastating moments that crush you into little pieces and leave you wanting to curl up into a ball and ignore the world. Sara J. Maas has always had this wonderful ability to mess with our emotions, even in Throne of Glass. She can yank on all of our heart strings and play them like a world renown harpist. The best part, she probably does this while laughing maniacally from behind her computer screen and learning what makes us tick even more (I applaud her evil genius, I really do).

A Court of Thorns and Roses is a wild ride that will leave you both satisfied and the end and craving more. If you love any version of Beauty and the Beast, faeries, romance, action, and heartbreak – hunt down the nearest copy of this book and make it yours. I would leave this book for those ages fifteen and up because of the explicit violence, gore, and sexual content. The description doesn’t lie when it says this book could be the Young Adult version of Game of Thrones. I loved this book, I can honestly tell you that it will always be high up on my recommendation list.