Review: THE GLITTERING COURT by Richelle Mead

Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: April 5th, 2016
Series: The Glittering Court, #1
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via First to Read
Genre(s): High Fantasy, Romance
Synopsis from Goodreads:

A dazzling new fantasy series set in a mix of Elizabethan and frontier worlds that’s dripping with romance from Richelle Mead, #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy.

Big and sweeping, spanning the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies capable of arranging powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together, they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first, as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and later, when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands. . . .

my rambles

Special thanks to Penguin First to Read for providing me with an advance copy of the book for review!

The Glittering Court is the first book that I’ve read by Richelle Mead. While her Vampire Academy series has been on my radar forever, I’ve never been quite sure if it’s something that I wanted to commit myself to. I’m not a big fan of vampires. So when I first heard about The Glittering Court, I was intrigued. I loved the idea of a high fantasy set during a time period similar to that of the colonial Americas. Unfortunately I can’t say that I loved this book. I really wanted to! There were some aspects of the story that I really enjoyed, but other parts were lacking, leading me to have “meh” and mediocre feelings toward it.

As I said before, I loved the premise and overall storyline. But when I get down to the nitty gritty, there were some things that I just couldn’t ignore. The book seemed like it was never-ending. Sure it’s on the longer side, but I felt like the pacing was pretty slow throughout. That being said, the book takes place over quite a long period of time. I guess what was frustrating to me was the way the the “boring” parts of the story that were supposed to last a few months, were brushed off in probably 10 pages. While on the other hand, the action and more “exciting” parts that took place in minutes or hours were given more pages. I understand the want to avoid endless description of boring details, but it threw me off with the book’s timeline.

My other main problem with the book was the amount of “things” going on. There were lots of characters, and lots of storylines intertwining. Some authors can pull that off, but I just felt like many of the storylines were rushed and underdeveloped. The book covers such a range of time, characters, and settings. I think the story would have been less confusing if there was more development.

Continue reading “Review: THE GLITTERING COURT by Richelle Mead”

Review: Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: August 18th, 2015
Series: Blood of Gods and Royals, #1
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre(s): Alternate History, High Fantasy, Historical Fiction/Fantasy
Synopsis from Goodreads:

Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.

Alexander, Macedonia’s sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world but finds himself drawn to newcomer Katerina, who must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But Kat’s first love, Jacob, will go to unthinkable lengths to win her, even if it means competing for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince. And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet fiancée, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.

Weaving fantasy with the salacious and fascinating details of real history, New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman reimagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known: Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.

my rambles

Special thanks to Harlequin Teen and NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy of the book for review!

First of all, can we take a moment to appreciate that incredible cover and amazing synopsis? Just from looking at the cover and then reading that blurb I had a feeling Legacy of Kings was going to be a new favorite of mine, and I was right! After reading this book I’m not going to lie, I’ve become significantly more interested in Alexander the Great and all of the history surrounding him and the other real historical characters that Eleanor Herman was sure to incorporate in the book.

Like many other historical fiction and fantasy books, Legacy of Kings is filled with clever, sly, intelligent and sometimes evil characters that lead to one of my favorite things lately in books: POLITICAL INTRIGUE! The book switches to the stories of many different characters, allowing the reader to view all sides of the action, and see how characters who haven’t even met will become intertwined. While there are many different characters’ stories happening throughout the course of the book, Eleanor Herman did a wonderful job of keeping them completely distinct and creating personalities for these characters that are entirely their own.

While I would have been totally happy with just the “normal” conflicts and action that ensues in a historical fiction book, Eleanor Herman adds fantasy and superstition which was the icing on the cake for me! Legacy of Kings begins to delve into the different kinds of Blood magic that some characters have been gifted with, but also the effects that the said magic has on everyone in the kingdom, and abroad. The main conflict of the book is a major result of magic, and I am eager to learn more about it and see how the battles will end in future books!

I can’t forget the romance, because there is definitely a complicated and tangled web of relationships. Just when you think you like a couple together — think again! But there are some super steamy scenes that I did enjoy!

When I got to the end of Legacy of Kings, I didn’t even realize it, which is my only complaint! I could have kept reading on and on. There are a bunch of characters who we don’t see as much toward the end of the book, which left me hanging and desperately wanting to know what happened to them!

I could go on gushing about just how detailed and incredible Legacy of Kings was. Fans of high fantasy and historical fiction will be extremely pleased by the action, intrigue, romance, and characters that Legacy of Kings brings to the table. A fantastic and must read!

xo

Mini[ish] Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: August 13th, 2013
Series: Throne of Glass, #2 | Throne of Glass
Pages: 418
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Genre(s): High Fantasy
Synopsis from Goodreads:

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

Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become the King’s Champion. But she is far from loyal to the crown. Though she hides her secret vigilantly, her deadly charade becomes difficult when she realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. No one is above questioning her allegiance—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 decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie … and whom she is willing to fight for.

my rambles

I’ve put off writing this review, which I am quite mad at myself for because after reading Crown of Midnight I had SO MANY FEELS. I guess that was part of the reason why I didn’t write my review straight away, but still, an incoherent review is better than one with very little words. Oh well…

Crown of Midnight totally lived up to my expectations after reading Throne of Glass. I picked it up because (not going to lie here) I was in need of some Chaol in my life. Once I delved into the book and really got immersed in the story and world again, I was in it for much more than the swoony guy.

Where Throne of Glass was mainly action and Celaena being a complete badass, Crown of Midnight was all that PLUS more magic and fantasy aspects that just make it that much better. There were so many twists and turns in the plot, and as I mentioned before, parts that made me FEEL ALL THE FEELS. Well, pretty much every bit of Crown of Midnight made me feel it all, but you get what I’m saying.

There’s lots of depth to the story, great relationships, friendships, and amazing fantasy aspects. The ending was a killer. (Again with the feels…) I wanted to run out and get Heir of Fire the minute I finished this one.

Basically, if you enjoyed Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight is a must read. While there is something I can’t quite pinpoint that made me knock off a half a star, I believe Crown of Midnight deserves a very high 4.5 rating. It’s a sequel that will not disappoint those who adored Throne of Glass!

xo

Review: The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Release Date: March 3rd, 2015
Series: The Winner’s Trilogy, #2 | The Winner’s Curse
Pages: 416
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Genre(s): High Fantasy, Romance
Synopsis from Goodreads:

Book two of the dazzling Winner’s Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

my rambles

I don’t know if I’ll be able to write a coherent review for this beautiful, heartbreaking, book, because even after reading this book a few days ago from when I’m writing this review, I still feel like this:

*Yes this book requires gifs in my review. I cannot convey my feelings properly.*

 If you have been following me (whether it be on this blog or on Twitter), you will have probably seen me mention my obsession and love for this series at least once. I most likely made it well known how much I’ve needed this book for months, and I will 100% live up to the fact that I went to MAJOR blogger jealousy when it came to The Winner’s Crime ARCs. My review for the first book somehow didn’t showcase my emotions properly. I actually seemed composed, which was the exact opposite of how I felt after reading not only book two, but book one as well!

The Winner’s Crime surpassed my greatest expectations. Marie Rutkoski has crafted a world, characters, relationships, and story that will keep you entranced.

Everything about the world is so clever and sharp, from the game of Bite and Sting to the political intrigue. In this book we get to explore the world a bit more, travel to other lands, and the world building deepens.

There is also the addition of new characters, along with my beloved Kestrel and Arin. The development of the characters is also amazing. You get to see a new side of Kestrel and Arin, as well as people like Jess, Ronan, and Kestrel’s father.

And THE RELATIONSHIPS. Oh. My. Gosh. I think Marie Rutkoski is trying to break our hearts one thousand times over! The angst! I couldn’t handle it. Kestrel and Arin are my current OTP, and they are well deserved because their storyline in The Winner’s Crime is heightened to a whole new level. I seriously couldn’t contain my emotions or stop reading thanks to the happenings in the book, particularly involving the pair.

Just when you thought things were going to take a turn for the better, Marie Rutkoski throws us a cruel, evil, awful, sad, curveball that brings on the feels once more. And that ending will leave you with your mouth hanging open and then soon you find that you’re crying…

All in all, The Winner’s Crime was everything I hoped it would be. The wait was well worth it, and if you enjoyed The Winner’s Curse, then this book is a must read that will make you fall in love with the story all over again!

xo

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: January 1st, 2012
Series: Throne of Glass, #1
Pages: 404
Format: Paperback
Source: Gifted
Genre(s): High Fantasy
Synopsis from 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 rambles

I FINALLY READ THIS BOOK! AND IT WAS AMAZING! AND BADASS!

I don’t even know where to begin, because I can’t pinpoint one thing that I didn’t like in Throne of Glass. To everyone that has been recommending this book to me for years: you win. I am in love with this book, and I could. not. put. it. down. I know I sometimes say that a lot, but when I was reading Throne of Glass, I actually didn’t put it down. My mom can confirm that, as she was constantly telling me to stop reading and clean my room.

I’ll start with these awesome characters. Celaena is the epitome of kick-butt, won’t take anyone’s crap kind of girl. She’s brave and strong, oh and AN ASSASSIN, but Sarah J. Maas doesn’t write her to be some killing machine — she’s so human and I loved that. You really feel for her, and you definitely root for her from page one. She’s just one of those characters that you can’t help but adore!

You really see the humanity within her when you see her relationships develop with the other characters in the book: Nehemia, Chaol, Dorian and Nox. Nehemia is another kick-butt character, but not in the physical way like Celaena. She’s clever and quick with her words, and I loved the snarky girl that spoke her mind, much like Celaena did, too. The two of them together is quite a pair! Then there are the love interests. Yes, there is a love triangle, and YES I DON’T CARE. From the beginning I labelled myself as a Chaol girl because I mean, how could you not? He’s a guard and he’s handsome and he is skeptical of Celaena. But then Dorian enters the picture and he’s arrogant but when you read the book I think you’ll understand that Dorian definitely makes choosing one of these men very difficult. And both relationships are filled with something I love dearly: BANTER.

I’m not going to lie, the romance was one of my favorite parts of the book. But, the fantasy aspects and worldbuilding was also wonderful. Although we don’t get too much of it until the very end, it’s easy to see that Sarah J. Maas has created an intricate world that I am eager to revisit in the next book, Crown of Midnight!

Overall, Throne of Glass was just the fantasy I needed, living up to all of the hype and expectations surrounding it and the series. I cannot wait to continue reading about this amazing world and incredible characters!

xo