Review: Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J. Maas

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Goodreads Summary:

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Timesbestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what—and who—to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.


My Review

Alrighty folks, it took me waaaay longer than anticipated to finish reading this book, I had some deadlines to meet, and then I didn’t want to bring this precious paperback on vacation to multiple beaches etc….well…life got in the way! So, over a month later, and I finished it! OMG it was insane!!! And my heart is broken knowing I have to wait till the end of October to know what happens (insert crying-winy face emoji)!

Empire of Storms was a whirlwind of action and plot developments that had me reeling! There were so many character perspectives that finally came together. It was amazing to at last see all the main characters gather in one place and work together toward a common goal. Prior to this book, that was completely unheard of. I think that’s what made this fifth installment all the more exciting. There were so many new interactions to experience. I would also 100% recommend reading the prequel prior to reading this book! It is absolutely necessary in order to truly grasp who is who! Quite a few characters from those stories resurface in Empire of Storms. It had me all sorts of excited to see them come back into play!

Readers will also be pleased to see new and budding romances all over the place! Romances that surprised the crap out of me at first, but then proceeded to baffle me with how much it just all made sense. Maas has a way of making the most unexpected of relationships blossom out of seemingly nothing, but she does it so well. The romantic dynamics in this book make for a lovely counterpart to all the fight scenes and heartbreaking developments.

Speaking of heartbreaking….the ending is absolutely shattering!!!!! Like tear your heart out, stomp on it, then set it on fire, then throw the ashes in the garbage disposal shattering. I couldn’t believe what I was reading, and it all just hurt! I’m dying inside knowing I have to wait so long to find out what happens! I absolutely cannot wait for the ending of this series to come! I’m sure it’s going to be mind blowing! I would most definitely recommend you read book 5 of the Throne of Glass series.

Buy it on Amazon now!

 

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Review: Perfect Match (The Aere Saga #4) by S.T. Bende

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Goodreads Summary:

For honor. For love. For Asgard.

Valkyrie Brynn Aksel is ready for some downtime. But when an urgent warning arrives from Asgard, heralding the death of a beloved god and the dawn of Ragnarok—the not-so-mythological end of days—it becomes clear there’s no rest for the gods . . . not when the future of the realms is on the line.

Goddess of Love Freya Skönsten can’t shake the darkness that’s clung to her since her Helheim imprisonment. An unsanctioned romantic connection with a mortal is the only thing keeping her in the light, but Freya’s vow to the Norns prevents her from fully uniting with her perfekt match. When Hel returns to finish what she started, Freya must decide how much she’s ready to sacrifice to save the family she loves . . . and whether she’s willing to give up everything for the worlds she’s sworn to protect.

With the forces of darkness aligning to destroy the realms, it’s clear more than just Love hangs in the balance. Ragnarok has arrived. And it’s shaping up to be the perfekt storm.


My Review

S.T. Bende concluded this saga in a lovely manner that tied up all lose ends perfectly. The action and plot developments were non-stop!

This go around, we get to experience the perspectives of Brynn and Freya. These two badass ladies were a great duo to spearhead this story. Brynn is so light hearted and whimsical, and her personality is paired well with Freya, who is fierce and down to earth. Unfortunately, Freya is having a rough go of it in this fourth book. Now that she has been rescued from Hel after spending a length of time as her prisoner, Freya has not been the same. There is a darkness in her that’s holding her back. However, after a certain someone comes into her life, she is at last willing and able to find a way to keep the darkness at bay. Just on time too; Ragnarok is on their doorstep.

Perfekt Match brought with it all of the beloved characters that we’ve grown with throughout the saga. It was fantastic to see all of these couples come together and do life (and battle) together. And believe me, there was no shortage of battles this time. It was interesting to read about Ragnarok from the other side of the story with different characters. I love how Bende interweaves them all into one epic Norse universe! What I would give to be surrounded by what sounds like a plethora of gorgeous men lol! By the time the ending hit, all of the wonderful things you had hoped for as a reader came to fruition, and brought with it all the feels.

I would definitely recommend you continue your journey with this series and pick up Perfekt Match! And if you haven’t started the saga yet, then most definitely get your hands on these books!

Buy it on Amazon now!

 

 

 

Review: The Assassin’s Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1-0.5) by Sarah J. Maas

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Goodreads Summary:

Contains all five novellas.

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 Review

Wowza! I knew I was taking a risk reading The Assassin’s Blade knowing what I knew from reading the Throne of Glass series, but damn, that didn’t stop this book from packing a punch. I absolutely loved this prequel, it was surprisingly exciting and provided an extra level of depth to the story I didn’t know I needed.

This prequel consisted of five stories of varying lengths. Each one centered around a new adventure Celaena experienced during her time as an assassin, more importantly, during her time when she still answered to Arobynn. That was most certainly an interesting dynamic to delve into. What a twisted and warped relationship, but so utterly intriguing. Arobynn’s feelings for Celaena were so skewed, yet you could tell that there was some level of true affection between the two. Although, the Celaena-Sam dynamic was of course the only one I really wanted to read about. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a whole lot of time dedicated to their relationship. The moments you do glimpse are wonderfully sweet, and so completely heart wrenching. As a reader, you are given just enough of a taste, that when the inevitable ending comes, it does nothing short of tear your heart out. I thought I was ready for it, but folks, let me tell ya. I WASN’T READY.

Each one of these stories brought with it new tales and characters that we have only ever known from the later books. It was fantastic to meet them at their origin. Everything that makes Celaena who she is, is made all the more clear because of these stories. I am so glad that I read them. It was absolutely worth the journey.

Buy it on Amazon here!

Review: A Court of Frost and Starlight (ACOTR #3.1) by Sarah J. Maas

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Goodreads Summary:

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve.

Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.


My Review

After quite the long wait, I was so so excited to finally get my hands on this beautiful novella. And oh how sad I was to see it come and go so quickly. A Court of Frost and Starlight was a lovely glimpse into the everyday lives of Feyre and her friends as they face the aftermath of the events they have seen thus far.

For the first time in this series, we get to hear from not just Feyre and Rhysand, but Nesta and Cassian as well! Eep!! Actually you get to read the POVs of quite a few new characters this go around. And Maas has a way of pulling you right in as always. Despite the fact that this was a novella, I was still glued to the pages. Nothing particularly insane goes on in this book, but it doesn’t need to be wholly intriguing. Just seeing these characters live on after experiencing so much devastation was incredible. I felt like this book truly gives the reader a greater insight into the world that Maas has created, which is a rarity for many beloved series. And of course it hinted at the romantic events to come!

Reading about these characters again, especially Feyre and Rhysand was a dream! I will be sad to see their POVs go in the books ahead, but I’m so glad that this isn’t the last I’ll see of them. I’m very much so looking forward to reading Nesta and Cassian’s story in the next installment. Their story is sure to be a tumultuous one.

I would most definitely recommend you pick up A Court of Frost and Starlight if you’re a fan of this series! It is so worth the wait, if not a little bittersweet for how short it is.

Buy it on Amazon now. 

Review: Everlife (Everlife #3) by Gena Showalter

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Goodreads Summary:

STAND TOGETHER OR FALL ALONE.


THE FATE OF THE EVERLIFE HANGS IN THE BALANCE.

At seventeen years old, Tenley “Ten” Lockwood had to make the ultimate choice—where to live after she died. Loyalty to her selected realm has not wavered…until now. She is out of time. Sacrifices must be made, and a terrible price must be paid. But is she too late?

As the Everlife descends into darkness, a single truth becomes clear: Troika and Myriad must unite—or perish. In order to bring sworn enemies together, Ten must enter forbidden territory…and destroy the powerful Prince of Ravens. But there’s only one way inside—bonding with Killian Flynn, a deadly rival who sets her blood aflame.

When nothing goes as planned and betrayal leads to the edge of utter defeat, Ten and Killian will have to rebuild trust from the ashes of their hearts. Victory seems impossible, the odds stacked against them. In the end, how far will they be willing to go for the sake of their realms and the Everlife?


My Review

Everlife was a wonderful conclusion to the Everlife series. I was most definitely pleased with the direction the story went in. And although certain plot elements were a little bit frustrating at times. Overall, I was left feeling satisfied by this lovely story.

Everlife picks up right where Lifeblood left off, and unfortunately jumps right in to the insanity. Now that Killian has decided to change his loyalties to Troika and join himself physically with Ten, he must face the deadly consequences that come from the aftermath of such an important decision. Meanwhile, the war between Myriad and Troika grows ever more tumultuous, and soon the two rivals will finally meet in a battle of a lifetime.

There were very few slow moments in this third and last installment of the Everlife series. Although I couldn’t help but notice similarities in the plot to the previous novels, I still found myself intrigued by each new development. Despite its fast pace, I couldn’t help but be frustrated with the romantic direction this book went in. Just when you think there is hope for Killian and Ten yet, Showalter throws a massive curveball in to spilt them apart. Thus, there was very little real relationship time dedicated to Ten and Killian. Thankfully, there is still a happy ending for them.

As the events reached a head, I was utterly astonished and impressed by the allusion that Gena Showalter created with her protagonists. Never have I ever seen an author spin a scifi story into one that has Christian roots! I loved it, and I commend her for going against the norm.  That might have been my favorite part of the ending overall.

If you have already begun your journey with the Everlife series, I strongly encourage you to finish it and read this third book.

Buy it on Amazon now.

Review: Graceling (Graceling #1) by Kristin Cashore

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Goodreads Summary:

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po.

She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace—or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more.


My Review

I have been looking forward to reading Graceling for well over a year now! I had heard mixed reviews but I was hopeful. Unfortunately, I think after having read most all of the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, I couldn’t help but feel like this was a poor imitation in many ways. Which is even more unfortunate, because Graceling came out before Throne of Glass.

Graceling centers around the life of Katsa, a girl who is gifted or “graced” with the ability to kill. Many children across the kingdoms are born with different graces that allow them to have special abilities, some as mundane as being adept at swimming, while others are as intimidating as mind reading. All of her life Katsa’s grace has been manipulated by her devious uncle, that is until the day she decides to truly take matters into her own hands. Little does she know how drastically her life will be changed the day she decides to leave her home.

Katsa’s abilities allow her to be the perfect assassin, feared by all the land, and trained to kill even the most fearsome of creatures with only her bare hands. Seems badass it’s true, but unfortunately, the hype of events seemed to be understated when the author decided to make things move so quickly, I couldn’t even take the time to enjoy them. This was a common pattern with this story. Every time developments would begin, they were over just before they got good. I felt like the author stayed at the surface of everything. All of a sudden, boom, Katsa is leaving her uncle, boom, she’s in love, boom the conflict is resolved. Nothing was explained or drawn out just a little. And what was drawn out, was unnecessary to draw out. I just could not get involved in this book. I wish that’s wasn’t the case. The concept was most definitely intriguing, but the surrounding content just didn’t do it for me.

Many people feel differently than I do, so if you’d like to give it a try, don’t say I didn’t warn ya. Buy it on Amazon now.

Review: Lifeblood (Everlife #2) by Gena Showalter

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Goodreads Summary:

My Firstlife is over, but my Everlife is only now beginning.

With her last living breath, Tenley “Ten” Lockwood made her choice and picked her realm in the Everlife. Now, as the war between Troika and Myriad rages, she must face the consequences.

Because Ten possesses a rare supernatural ability to absorb and share light, the Powers That Be have the highest expectations for her future—and the enemy wants her neutralized. Fighting to save her Secondlife, she must learn about her realm from the ground up while launching her first mission: convincing a select group of humans to join her side before they die. No pressure, right?

But Ten’s competition is Killian, the boy she can’t forget—the one who gave up everything for her happiness. He has only one shot at redemption: beating Ten at a game she’s never even played. As their throw-downs heat up, so do their undeniable feelings, and soon, Ten will have to make another choice. Love…or victory.


My Review

Reading book two of the Everlife series was so long overdue! I had to reread Firstlife to make sure I had all my facts straight, and I’m most definitely glad that I did! Lifeblood was a good addition to the series, not fantastic by any means, but definitely enjoyable.

Lifeblood continues the events of Firstlife as if book one had never ended. Now that Ten has died and made her decision to join Troika, she must learn to quickly adapt to her new way of life. Unfortunately, there is quite the learning curve to be conquered, as she meets more allies yet encounters even more potential foes. Throughout it all, her love for Killian remains steadfast, but neither of them can deny the impending clash between Troika and Myriad. Killian will soon have to make the choice between his love for Ten and his loyalty to Myriad.

I most definitely appreciated the way in which Troika was constructed. The entire concept is still so exceptional to read about and experience. I love the idea of there being these places you go before your “second death.” Furthermore, my fondness for Killian grew much greater in this second installment. I must admit, I was kind of on the fence with him after reading book one, but no more. I love his relationship with Ten, its sweet and selfless beyond compare.

My only qualm with Lifeblood involves the redundancy of plot events. It felt like a lot of developments were on repeat with a few details changed here and there. Essentially, Ten gets a new mission, things go unexpectedly, and a battle breaks lose between Troika and Myriad again. I can’t tell you how many times that happened. It just sort of lost its excitement over time. I still enjoyed the book don’t get me wrong, but it was far from amazing. Nevertheless, I love this world that Showalter has created, and all that comes with it. I will most certainly be reading book three soon.

Read Lifeblood now.