Queen of Shadows – Yes! Yes! Yes!


Last night I finished Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas, well more like this morning at 2am. I have to say, this is the best one yet of the Throne of Glass Series. Maas has outdone herself both linguistically and through her plot. There was not one moment in the novel that I predicted, not one pause for me to catch my breath between incidences. I wish I had even half of Maas’ talent. 

I remember my review on her first novel, Throne of Glass was definitely harsh and cynical, but Maas has bloomed into an amazing author. The way she crafts a fight scene is unbelievable. I struggle with fight scenes myself, because how do you fit a flurry of movement that in reality would take 2 seconds into a description that will likely take the reader a minute to read without losing authenticity and the feeling of speed and chaos?

Usually when I read novels like this, I’m not really a fan of jumping between character perspectives. It tends to feel like a “too many cooks in the kitchen” scenario. But, Maas does this remarkably well. She utilizes this technique in order to enrich a scene, to show it from all angles and all eyes. She does this most effectively at the end of the novel where she has short snippets of the same scene viewed from multiple characters to show the chaos of the moment.

I can’t praise Maas enough. I dragged out the reading of Queen of Shadows because I honestly did not want it to end, then I finished the last 250 pages in one sitting last night. Maas’ next novel in the series, Empire of Storms is already out in hard cover, but being my OCD self I need to wait for the North American paperback version to buy it. I also don’t like not reading the copies of my own novels so I will be waiting until then to read Empire of Storms, so no spoilers!

I highly recommend to anyone, if you haven’t already started the Throne of Glass series, DO IT!

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The Girl with the Windup Heart – Title Not Relevant


I’ve finished The Girls with the Windup Heart by Kady Cross. That’s pretty much the gist of it.

I’ve always had something good to say about Cross’ work, but I feel as if this “novel” was a cop-out. It was the final novel in her Steampunk Chronicles and it was the shortest. I’m sorry but in any good series the books get fatter, not thinner. My shelf is a testament to this fact.

Cross was too dependant on her reader already being invested in both her characters and the relationships the characters shared that she didn’t put much effort into them. Not to mention the whole Mila and Jack dynamic was just a way to force an end to the love triangle between Finnley, Jack, and Griffin. I mean, really.

Also, the title refers to Mila, who yes is a large part of the novel but at this point she has a real, blood pumping, fleshy heart. I do not like irrelevant titles. It irks me.

Cross still had her punchy writing style, which got me to finish, but clearly she’s done with the series and needed a way to end it. Cliches and predictability to sum up something she clearly no longer has interest in. I can’t blame her really, if you’re not passionate about it anymore, it’s really not worth it.

Anyways, my copy of Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas finally arrived! I pre-ordered the paperback. My copy of Throne of Glass is paperback and I can’t have a series in different covers, it kills me. Yes, I have issues. I’m well aware. I’m so excited to read it, and look! This instalment is thicker than the last! Maas, you do it right.

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Don’t Ever Stop – The Wise Man’s Fear


Dear Readers,

I apologize for the delay in reviews, but I’ve been indulging in The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss for months. Yes, months. I’m a slow reader by nature, but I’ve been savouring this novel because, simply put, it is amazingly written.

Rothfuss likes to take his sweet time writing a novel, so I thought I’d do the same when enjoying it. If I ever become half as good a writer as Rothfuss I can die knowing that I’ve accomplished something incredible.

The subtle way in which Rothfuss uses language to convey a sensation or feeling is masterful. His words, while sometimes seemingly simple are clearly deliberate. There was not one word in The Wise Man’s Fear that I could have done without.

The story flows in such a way that you feel as if you’re traveling down a river in a canoe without a paddle, but the river’s direction is deliberate. No matter how fast or slow you float, you feel the determination behind what is happening to you. There is reason behind ever dip, turn, rapid, and shallow. I was never bored. My mind never traveled away from the page, as it has during countless other novels. Rothfuss is a masterful story teller.

I love this novel and its predecessor The Name of the Wind was just as intoxicating. I found no flaw in either novel, and you folks know how much I enjoy finding flaws. Rothfuss is officially the top of my favourites list. (A certain friend’s husband will likely be throwing an “I told you so” or two my way for this).

If you haven’t already, pick up a Rothfuss and dive into Kvothe’s world, you won’t regret it.

A Light in the Darkness: A Review of Shadow and Bone


As my reading frenzy continues, I devoured yet another novel: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardvgo.

Final thoughts: Great story, weak ending.

I had the same problem with A Court of Thorns and Roses, I know there are second novels to come and unanswered questions but it ends in too much of a happy ending. Granted, you can’t really call the end of Shadow and Bone happy, but our main character prevailed and there is no immediate danger. I know this is just a personal preference, but at the end of the first novel there should be more problems than resolutions and more questions than answers. I have a very bittersweet relationship with cliffhanger endings, but I find I’m usually disappointed when they aren’t there.

Bradvgo does a good job of skirting that line between good and evil, but I wish the Darkling had a bit more of a human edge. I understand that it’s important to the story that he doesn’t and that the character itself has developed to be less humanly, but I think it would have been harder to dislike him, which would have made the read all the more thrilling.

My favourite character has to be Mal. No, not just because he has the same name as one of my all time favourite space captains, but he is the unwavering tree that you take shelter under during the storm. He seems like a real guy to me, which I don’t find very often in novels, as usually I find male characters the embodiment of what women expect, which is not even close to what they are. Mal, actually falters with his feelings, he’s slow to realize them and quick to act on his impulses. He’s actually a dude! He even develops like I expect a boy would in a circumstance like his. It’s safe to say I like Mal more than I like Alina.

I did really enjoy reading this novel. While, I didn’t order the next two novels just yet, you can rest accused that they are definitely on my to-buy list. If my other half has to keep his gaming purchases in check, it’s only fair I do the same with my book-buying obsession. But I digress…

Bardvgo has a great handle on character development and I find myself eager to find out how Alina develops further. Her handle on the psychological edge that Alina teetered along the whole book was spectacular. I do love it when main characters are damaged and have a fragile human core just like the rest of us…

(Cat interruptions – U////////////…..)
I love my furry baby, but she can’t keep her paws off my keyboard!

Excuse the interruption, I will now valiantly press on with the looming siege of kitty paw’s close at hand.

As I was saying, we all love when protagonists seem so bitterly human that we can relate, I mean that’s why we read don’t we? As Alina we want to feel less alone, no matter the amount of loneliness that holds it’s place within us.

This has evolved into more of review of the reader than the novel. Oops.

Anyhow, I do indeed recommend Shadow and Bone. It’s a good quick read. I look forward to seeing Alina’s progression, as well as Bardvgo’s.

Top of the Charts: A Review of A Court of Thorns and Roses


Literally, moments ago I read the last few pages of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas and I’ve got to say, Maas has done it again. I’ve loved every single one of her Throne of Glass novels and now she’s got a new series I’m so excited about I pre-ordered the second book, A Court of Mist and Fury before I even finished reading the first book.

I’m sorry Snyder, just Maas has just beat you to the top of my favourites list.

A Court of Thorns and Roses seems to start off slow, building your understanding of the main character, Feyre. Also, I have to appreciate that within the first ten pages, Maas actually explains the pronunciation of Feyre so that I stupidly wasn’t reading it wrong through the whole book. It was very subtle and perfectly placed.

Some of the later plot points are kind of obvious and you can tell from which stories Maas has used these incidences, but we’re all guilty of that. I believe someone said there are only a finite amount of stories in the world and they’re all re-told in different ways.

Maas’ prose keep you captivated throughout the novel and her descriptive talents are intimidating to say the least. Rarely was I reading, but rather watching the story unfold in my mind’s eye.

The story flows very well, and while I sometimes struggled with the rather “quaint” intelligence of Feyre I really loved the novel. To be fair, her character is a minimally educated, young and impoverished girl so I can’t really blame her lack of knowledge on anything but her situation.

I highly recommend this to those looking for a great fantasy read. Especially if you’re into faerie lore. I absolutely devoured this book.

I don’t really recommended it to the guys though, despite some really great “steamy” scenes, this novel is really geared towards a female reader.

Back in the Saddle: A Review of Night Study by Maria V. Snyder


Last night, I did that thing we all do. I stayed up late, sitting up in my bed to finish an enticing novel.

I know I mentioned a review of Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates by Tom Robbins, but I finished that and felt like it was a lesson I’m going to need to mull over for a while.

Any who, I finished  Night Study by Maria V. Snyder, one of my favourite fantasy authors. Now, when I read Shadow Study, Snyder’s first attempt to revive the Study Series I was not impressed. Shadow Study felt forced. It was as if I was being spoon-fed one “oh shit!” scenario after another without much plot in between. Snyder relied too heavily on her reader’s former investment in the majority of her characters to really have them rounded out this time around. The only character in Shadow Study I thought had any real plot to handle was Valek, and that’s only because he had multiple flash-backs.

Night Study is a completely different experience.

The best way I can describe the two novels is that moment when you stumble over your own feet while walking and you break into a run so no one notices. Shadow Study is the stumble and the panic, Night Study is the lurch forward and the run that exhilarates and redeems you.

Snyder, to quote a 90’s cliche, got her groove back with Night Study. My favourite characters felt rich and alive again, the plot ran a twisted course which kept me going, and the “Eureka!” moments I had about the plot before the characters just made me feel that much more satisfied.

All in all, Snyder has found her way back into my heart. When I started reading yesterday I was on page 140, the novel ends on page 444. I feel like that says it all. My only two pet peeves are that the new Study Series titles don’t feel anywhere as relevant to the plot as the first three did. Also, the covers of my first three don’t match my fourth and fifth novels because they stopped making the covers I have! Which really pisses me off because they are the best looking covers, in my opinion, and my bookshelf OCD is now going insane. Also Shadow Study has different cover measurements than Night Study. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT ABOUT MIRA NOVELS?!?!? I feel as if the publishers are trolling me.

If you haven’t yet read all of Snyder’s Study Series, I suggest you get to it! Poison Study, the first in the series is still one of my favourite reads and I blew through Magic Study, the second in the series, in 48 hours and I was going to school then. Go, go dear readers and experience the heart-breaks and the triumphs of the Study Series. I can’t wait for Dawn Study, which I have to wait another year for!

The Assassin’s Blade


Just before my own journeys begin, I’ve finished The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas. This collection of novellas is a prequel to Maas’ debut novel Throne of Glass, which I reviewed not too long ago.

I really enjoyed learning the origins of Celaena Sardothien, Maas’ main character. While a lot of her first novel’s plot seemed almost borrowed from many other stories these novellas felt far more original. I feel as if these novellas were written after the original manuscript.

It was a quick and relatively lax read. I did like it though, despite my minimal judgements.

One thing about Celaena that bothers me is her inability to accept the obvious truths in front of her. Now, normally that would be an acceptable character flaw for most, but considering her past it doesn’t work for this character… the one who betrays her in the end was so obvious from the get go, through EVERYTHING and yet this world-remound assassin can’t see it? Denial can only blind any person so much. That’s one thing in Maas’ character logic that just doesn’t make sense to me.

I do recommend reading The Assassin’s Blade before Throne of Glass if only to give yourself some background on Celaena. I do have a different outlook on the character than I did when I first read Throne of Glass.

My first travel post will be coming in a matter of days, however it will be relatively mundane as it will mostly be me trying to figure out what the heck I’m getting myself into by traveling to distant countries with little to no planning. It’ll be interesting to see how I hold up alone, far away, with my only wits and sense to depend on. If anything, it should produce an interesting narrative.

Cheers and keep reading.