BOOK REVIEW: Sarah J Maas “Kingdom of Ash”

9781619636118Title: Kingdom of Ash

Author: Sarah J Maas

Genre: Fantasy

My Rating: 5/5 stars

 

There are going to be major spoilers in this post so if you haven’t finished Kingdom of Ash yet, leave for your own good. GOODBYE NOW.

Okay, I’m starting now.

Can I first just say holy crap???? Like, what a journey, am I right? This series has been a favorite of mine since the very beginning, and I’ve been following Throne of Glass since practically the beginning. It’s been a wild ride, and I have always said that each book gets better than the last one. Sarah J Maas ups the stakes somehow, or introduces new, awesome information.

Say what you will about Maas, but she can write one detailed high fantasy, which can’t be said for many established fantasy authors out there. I know that Maas is criticized almost constantly, but I have to say that I think she’s an incredibly talented writer. She had to have done a ridiculous amount of research in writing this series, and it shows. She can write a great romance, but have you read any of her battle scenes?

So do I think she gets a bad rep for no reason? Kind of. I understand some of the complaints that people have, I do. But if you don’t like her books, then don’t read them. But I’ve seen so many people talking crap about her books, who haven’t liked her from the beginning yet keep reading them? I mean, to each their own I suppose, but typically if I didn’t like the first book of a series, I just quit and leave it at that. These people need to get a life.

*I* don’t even like all of her books. I’m not a huge fan of her ACOTAR series. I’ve always been partial to Throne of Glass, but I can at least acknowledge the huge fan-base that ACOTAR has and recognize that she must be doing something right.

Anyway, this wasn’t supposed to be a Maas defense post, this is a review of Kingdom of Ash.

I’ll start with the bad: Maas apparently has a problem with killing of her characters. Not to say that I’m mad or anything, because of course I’m thrilled that all of my favorites lived; but I also know that it’s not realistic. I definitely expected someone important to die in this book, and I’m almost disappointed that no one did. It seems like the last crucial character she killed off was Nehemia, and that was ages ago.

I gotta reiterate: I ain’t mad. I’m so happy that all my characters ended up happy in the end. But also not? Like isn’t it so convenient that everyone ended up paired off and married by the end? I can’t say I’m mad about that either because yay love! Yay marriage! Yay for my ships that ended up together! But also, not realistic.

If Maas hadn’t killed off Manon’s Thirteen, I probably would have been a little more peeved by all of this, but that scene was heart wrenching. I admit that when Manon and the Thirteen were first introduced, I wasn’t the biggest fan. I was still obsessing about how amazing Aelin’s character was becoming and how hot Rowan was.

However, by this last book, I was definitely on board with the Thirteen, particularly Asterin, and I ship Manon and Dorian forever.

Maas has written some of the most interesting, fleshed out characters in all of YA fantasy, and I am going to miss them with my whole heart. When Aelin said her goodbyes to Dorian and Chaol, I thought my heart was going to fall out of my chest. Such an iconic trio, there from the beginning! It’s the end of an era! Literally kill me!

Was the book maybe a bit too long? Um, yeah. Come on, Sarah, are you trying to kill me? Yet this was the perfect conclusion to an awesome series, and I can’t say I would have changed a thing.

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BOOK REVIEW: Sarah J Maas “A Court of Frost and Starlight”

36156268Title: A Court of Frost and Starlight

Author: Sarah J Maas

Genre: Fantasy

My Rating: 2/5 stars

 

Sarah J Maas, author of the Throne of Glass series and the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, deemed it necessary to bridge the gap between the first trilogy of the ACOTAR books with the spin-off books she will be releasing later. The first three books in the world of ACOTAR follow Feyre Acheron and the way her life changes when she’s brought against her will into the world of the fae. Apparently, the next books set in this world are going to follow a different character, but I imagine will feature many of the same. We’ll most likely see lots of Feyre and Rhysand and the rest of the inner circle in the future.

A Court of Frost and Starlight is supposed to be the transition between Feyre’s world into someone else’s point of view. It’s too bad that I found this so very pointless.

I’ll admit that I think the Throne of Glass books are superior to the ACOTAR series in basically every way. Still, I’ve read and have found something to enjoy about every ACOTAR book that’s come out; I still love Maas’s style and characters, even if I’m not as fond of the world and story. Sadly, I couldn’t bring myself to care about anything that happened in ACOFAS because literally, nothing, happened.

If I’m being brutally honest, this novella feels like a money grab. Maas could have easily clued us in on what may have or may not have occurred in the gap between these two installments, yet she filled a 200 page book with mindless nothingness for fans of the series to buy.

For die-hard fans of the books, they will probably find enjoyment in seeing their beloved characters in a more relaxed setting. In this book, they’re all celebrating the Solstice, which is basically their equivalent of Christmas. And that’s all they do. For 200 pages.

I’ve never been so disappointed in a Mass book before and I hoped that day would never come. Oh well.

 

Sarah J Maas: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

March Wrap-Up

Hey, y’all! I know it’s a little late for a wrap-up, but better now than never, right? I read a total of 15 books in the month of March, and only one of those was a DNF! I’m trying to be better about the books that I leave unfinished, especially since it’s difficult and also frowned upon to review unfinished books. However, it’s also my philosophy that life is too short to read books that you’re not enjoying, so why waste your time? Thankfully, the books I read this month were mostly good!

9781616959555The first book I started and the only book that I did not finish was Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed. I wanted to like this book and I was hoping that it would be more moving and meaningful for me, but the only thing I was feeling was the weird, cringey romances. I couldn’t even see anything beyond the awkward love triangle that the main character found herself in. So unfortunately, a potentially important story was ruined by bad teen romance.

51oGTLiumOL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Istanbul Days, Istanbul Nights by Leonard Durso was sent to me by Smith Publicity and was my second read in March. This was pitched as a Romeo & Juliet reimagining and while I was thrown by the lack of Shakespeare parallels, this is still a lovely story for those who enjoy diverse characters, multiple POVs, love, loss and friendship.

513hgSybYgL._SX337_BO1,204,203,200_Next up, in preparation for the movie that came out earlier this month, I read A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. This was a strange but sweet little book that I’m glad to finally have completed, and was also glad to have been able to see the film. It was well-made and surprisingly heartfelt. Sadly though, I don’t think I liked this enough to continue the series unless someone convinces me otherwise.

35422236The biggest disappointment so far this year had to be Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston. This was pitched as an Anastasia retelling which is basically all you have to do to get me to buy something: slap Anastasia on it. I’m obsessed with anything related to Anastasia and this book ripped my heart out, man. It was just so bad. Absolutely no traces of the original Anastasia; just a lost princess story with a weird robot romance. No freaking thank you.

11410430Guilty pleasure time: Defiance by C. J. Redwine was, objectively, horrible. It’s full of plot holes and was honestly sort of ridiculous, but I had so much fun reading it. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I can’t wait to read the next two books. They’re definitely on my immediate TBR because I’m stupid and want to lose more brain cells? I don’t know, but I’m so ready for more.

51FueHjFskL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Next one was a random read: Pitching for Success by Doug Coates. I won this random little book in a Goodreads giveaway, and when I say little I mean tiny. I read the whole thing in about 15 minutes. Still, I wouldn’t have read it otherwise, but I felt I owed it to the author who I won the book from to actually read and review it, so I did. You can check it out on my Goodreads.

914DeALdMcLAnother quick read was Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. This book was a little too immature for my taste, but I did manage to finish it one less than a day.

Six-of-Crows-CoverDefinitely one of my favorite reads in March was Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. Technically, I read this book back when it first released, but I’m pretty sure I was in a slump and I forced my way through the book when I really wasn’t in the right frame of mind for it. This time around, though? It was absolutely incredible and I can’t believe I didn’t read it to the fullest extent sooner! Crooked Kingdom is definitely going to be on my immediate TBR, hopefully to be read sometime in April.

51nKCFTyz9LThe Widower’s Wife was read for a book club and I have to say: while the end was semi-satisfying and justice was served in the end, I can’t say I really enjoyed any of the rest of this story. It was predictable and I didn’t think it was written particularly well, either. Disappointing considering the fact that I love mysteries and thrillers, and this didn’t turn out to be either one.

covers_244928For my Throne of Glass series reread, I read Crown of Midnight for the month of March and it was just as incredible as it was the first time. I’ve been surprisingly really enjoying rereading these books and find that I have a newfound appreciation for the earlier installments. Sarah J Maas is a genius and Throne of Glass is an absolutely incredible series.

ready-player-one-book-GalleyCatAnother favorite read this month was Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and I adored this. The movie definitely did not do this amazing story justice so I’d advise anyone who watched the movie and thought they could skip the book to read the book anyway. I promise you won’t regret it.

17838528Next up was Morgan Matson’s latest: The Unexpected Everything. This book had literally everything going for it… except a likable main character. At least for me, I’m sure there are many people who liked Andie, but me? I couldn’t relate to her on any level; not the decisions she made or the things she said or the lies she told, none of it. The book had tons of potential otherwise, and in the end, still a great Matson read.

33643994Another slight disappointment this month was Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levensellar. This book had all the potential: snarky, strong female character, swoony love interest, interesting magical elements. Unfortunately, I felt the book was incredibly repetitive and Alosa spent most of the book doing the exact same things. It wasn’t until the last 75 pages or so that things got interesting, but by then I was so ready to be done that I couldn’t bother to care. Still, I’m definitely planning to read the sequel because I have hopes that it will be better than the first book.

academy-coverAlso, finally trying to continue the rest of the Series of Unfortunate Events! I’m absolutely loving the Netflix show which is inspiring me to want to read the rest of this series, which I started years ago and never finished. So I read The Austere Academy which was appropriately frustrating, unfortunate and dark. I’m longing for a day when the Baudelaires finally get a happy ending.

9780812988079And finally, the last book read in March: Slade House by David Mitchell. This was a haunted house/ghost story that put off some very nostalgic vibes for me, reminding me of some of the scary stories my grandpa used to tell me. I mean, my grandpa’s stories were better, but it’s the feels that count. This book was strange and creepy, and while it had some good writing, I never felt fully connected or invested in the story.

And that’s that, folks! I’m pretty proud of all I read this month and I’m happy with the progress I’m making on my Goodreads reading goal. At this rate, I should definitely be hitting my 100-book reading goal for the year 2018.

How are y’all doing on your reading goals? Let me know in the comments, and let me know if you’ve read any of the books I listed in my wrap-up! Aloha.

BOOK REVIEW: Sarah J Maas “Crown of Midnight”

covers_244928Title: Crown of Midnight

Author: Sarah J Maas

Genre: Fantasy

My Rating: 4.5/5 stars

 

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.

*Summary provided by Goodreads.

WARNING: this review will contain spoilers for both the first and second books of the Throne of Glass series. Proceed with caution.

My thoughts:

This is it. This is the book where things start to get crazy. And we’re only at book two.

Sarah J Maas is a genius crafter and creator, her books constantly taking wild turns, revealing shocking secrets and being chock-full of action, wit, humor and feeling. I’ve said this before and I will say it again: her stories only get better and better. She one-ups herself every dang time and it is emotionally exhausting, can you please just chill, SJM?

I remember reading the book the first time around and being like, “Oh, this is cool, an assassin with a mysterious past and woah now, what’s this about summoning monsters and Wyrdmarks and what?” Then I read the second book and I was like, “Okay, cool, I know what to expect now, there’s some magical/supernatural elements and some creepy Valg things and HOLY CRAP, CELAENA IS FAE?” And it just kept getting better as the books went on. Every time I opened a new one, I’d think, “I know what’s coming, I know this world now, it’s all good,” and by the time I was finished, I was on the floor gasping for breath because wow.

Plus that huge reveal at the end? I can’t say that I didn’t see it coming, and I can’t say that lost princesses are a super original story trope. But you have to admit, that reveal was so dang satisfying. Chaol slowly putting the pieces together, the facts slowly dawning on him and the book ending with him finding out? It was brilliant.

The scenes under the library were so chilling and creepy that I quite literally had to read with my back against a wall so I could see the entire room. I don’t care that I’ve read this before and I know what happens, it’s downright terrifying.

I have to say that I docked half a star for two reasons: I thought it was sort of ridiculous that Celaena didn’t realize that Asher was playing her. It was obvious to me from the beginning that he was being shady, and so that whole part of the plot was frustrating to me. I also hated what occurred between Celaena and Chaol. Sure, should he have told her about the possible threat on Nehemia’s life? Maybe. But as the reader, I could understand Chaol’s dilemma and I never ever blamed him for Nehemia’s death. And Celaena is smart enough to realize that her newfound hatred for Chaol was pointless. Sure, it would probably have put a rift between them romantically, but she shouldn’t have wanted to kill him for what he did.

Also, where are all the Chaol-haters at? I want someone to explain to me why they don’t like him, because I honest-to-God don’t understand it. I promise not to try to sway you or change your mind, I’m simply curious about the reason for the negative feels!

This book series is incredible and I’m so excited for the new book and if I sit here and continue talking about it, I could type for days. Have a great weekend, everyone.

 

Sarah J Maas: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

February 2018 Wrap-Up

Well lookie there, it’s the end of February already! I haven’t written a wrap-up post in quite a while but I suppose now is as good a time as any to remedy that. Unfortunately, if I go on about every book I read in February, I would be here a while: I read a total of 20 books!

Now, I’ve had quite a bit of time on my hands lately so this makes sense. I’ve only just recently started school but even that isn’t taking up too much of my time. My husband is going to be leaving for 4 months in March (he’s military so he’s going on a mission), which means I will be left alone with even more time on my hands. I’m going to knock this 100-book reading goal out in no time.

untitledFirst book I read was Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu. This one was so much fun, and a vast improvement on the first DC Icons book by Leigh Bardugo (I’m sorry, queen.) I wrote a full review of this actually, so you can check that out here.

The-ForgettingNext up was a DNF, The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron. I don’t typically write full reviews for DNF unless I feel obligated to (an arc copy) or if I feel like there’s a reason for the DNF that needed to be touched on.

I had very high hopes for this book. It had a very intriguing concept and a beautiful cover, but the execution was awful. I was so bored and turned off by the writing that about 20% of the way through, I couldn’t handle it anymore.

TOG-NYT-CoverMy first and only reread of the month of February was Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas. This is one of my favorite series and I’m actually rereading one book a month in preparation for the release of the final installment in October of this year! I am so excited for the conclusion of this series but so sad to say goodbye to some of my favorite characters. Seeing as it’s been about 5 years since I read Throne of Glass for the first time, I thought it would be a good idea to reacquaint myself with the story once more.

SerenityTPBCoverAlso this month, I was on quite the graphic novel kick. I found some Firefly comics at my local library and absolutely had to check them out! There were four of them total, two I read in physical form and the other two I found digitally online. I binged the whole dang series this month, which wasn’t difficult since they were all very short. Still, it was a very sentimental read and it made me happy to see some of these characters again. The last book, Leaves on the Wind, was set after the events of Serenity, which was like a stab to the heart but a bandage all at once. If you’re a fan of the TV show Firefly, definitely check these out!

falling-kingdoms-morgan-rhodesContinuing with my Falling Kingdoms binge read, I finished Frozen Tides and Crystal Storm, books four and five in the series. I started this series in January and never reviewed it because I figured I would write a complete series review once I read Immortal Reign next month. I continue to have mixed feelings about the books, of the conclusion that while the story is very interesting, the characters are incredibly flat and I care about literally none of them. Oh, and the insta-love is real.

33784373Hunting Prince Dracula was a book I was excited to read this month but ended up being disappointed by. After the amazingness that was Stalking Jack the Ripper, I was so sure I was going to love the second book but was so wrong. Still, it wasn’t enough to scare me away from the rest of the series. Keep ’em coming, Maniscalco!

71fXyrRrXCLAmy and Roger’s Epic Detour was yet another DNF and a disappointment. Hunting Prince Dracula put me in a terrible slump and I chose a Morgan Matson book to hopefully pull me out of it. Sadly, I discovered that road trip books are not my thing, and this book only sunk me deeper. DNF’d at about the halfway mark.

36986066Worst Case by Beck Anderson is sadly another DNF for the month of February. (Hey, I’ve got a life. And I already make myself miserable, why do I want to force myself to read books that make me miserable, too?) I just wasn’t into the writing style or the characters. Couldn’t bring myself to finish.

25041504After You, the sequel to Me Before You, was picked up on a trial basis. Me Before You made me so angry, but I loved Lou’s character and wanted to see her happy and well. Unfortunately based on the opening chapters, it was obvious that I wasn’t going to like the direction the book took. I wanted to see Lou on a healing journey, not being friendly with Will’s long-lost teenage daughter. No, thank you.

9780349414256-328x480The Hating Game by Sally Thorne was a refreshing read. The romance was fun and the characters were real and this was a great way to get out of a slump. I’m not planning to review this due to some mature content that I skipped through (I’m not a fan of the smutty stuff, I’m here for the rest of it).

33158561Another book this month was Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore. This had a very interesting concept but was altogether much too slow for me to handle. I’m a fan of much more fast-paced story telling, and while the flowery writing was beautiful, it put me to sleep in the end.

coverBizarre Romance was written by Audrey Niffenegger (author of the Time Traveler’s Wife) and was basically the weirdest, creepiest book I’ve ever read in my life. It was a series of short stories, some illustrated by Eddie Campbell, and they were freaking weird, dude. And not a good kind of weird, like a twisted kind of weird. It left me with a gross feeling in the pit of my stomach and ultimately, I left the last three stories unread because I couldn’t take it anymore. I won this ARC in a giveaway so I don’t know if I would have ever picked this up on my own. If you like wacky, out-of-this-world stories that end abruptly and creep you out, check this out.

51irO0dsQDLAnother (slightly less) creepy book I read was the Coraline graphic novel. I never liked this movie as a kid and thought it was way too dark, but I recently read The Graveyard Book, another graphic novel by Neil Gaiman, that I loved. So I figured I’d give this another shot, and if I ended up liking it, I told myself I’d try to watch the movie again now that I’m older. It was still quite creepy but without the Tim Burton vibes, it was much more tolerable. I didn’t enjoy this as much as The Graveyard Book but I’m glad I tried it out.

eliza-and-her-monstersEliza and Her Monsters was one I’ve been pretty excited to read and ended up having mixed feelings about it. I’m planning to review this soon, but I’m still trying to make up my mind about it.

DIG017563_1._SX1280_QL80_TTD_I read two more graphic novel/comics this month, the first being Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader. This was actually and incredibly enjoyable and powerful Batman read which surprised me. I can’t say a whole lot about it, only that if you’re even remotely a DC or Batman fan that you should check it out.

9781250078285And the last book that I completed this month was Gone Rogue, the second volume in the Wire and Nerves graphic novel series. I absolutely loved these books and am so sad to see them end! Iko was such a fun character to get to know better and I’m just so thrilled with the way everything played out and ended. What another lovely installment in the Lunar Chronicles world!

There you have it folks, my ridiculous monthly wrap-up! I can’t wait to see what the rest of you have read in February! Let me know in the comments below. For now, have a great day!

BOOK REVIEW: Sarah J Maas “Throne of Glass”

TOG-NYT-CoverTitle: Throne of Glass

Author: Sarah J Maas

Genre: Fantasy

My Rating: 5/5 stars

 

Ardalan’s Assassin Celaena Sardothien has been slowly dying as a slave in the mines of Endovier as punishment for her crimes for the past year, yet the Crown Prince Dorian Havilliard offers her the strangest of salvations. He asks her to compete in a competition to become the King’s Champion, and if Celaena wins, Dorian promises her eventual freedom.

This being her only opportunity to get out of Endovier, Celaena accepts this deal and accompanies Dorian back to the glass castle, where she is pitted against other brutal, equally dangerous contestants. The tests are difficult, and some even perish, but this isn’t the only thing that Celaena must worry about. Another, possibly supernatural evil lurks within the castle, and magic that hasn’t been touched in years. Soon, it’s apparent that this competition, the glass castle and its inhabitants are much more than they appear.

My thoughts:

This is not the first time I’ve read Throne of Glass. I have been a huge fan of this series for almost 5 years now, but I decided it was time to reread the entire series in preparation for the final installment coming out in October 2018. In addition, I never reviewed this book when I read it the first time, so I thought it would be perfect to write something now that I’ve re-familiarized myself with the events of the first book once more.

Reading this the second time brought back all the feelings of the first round. I can recall exactly where I was when I read Throne of Glass for the first time, and the way my heart raced and my jaw dropped at every awe-inspiring moment. This book was so dang cool to me then, and it was just as cool to me today.

Knowing what I know about the rest of the series, I can read this now and appreciate the way Maas eases the reader into this world that, in a few books, is going to get way crazier. I love the way that she slowly introduces the magical and supernatural elements of the story and that we’re not just thrown into this world with foreign terms that haven’t been explained yet. Maas takes the time to explain it and build her world and I’m so thankful for it.

Celaena is so wonderful to read. I can understand why readers are sometimes put off by her because she can be pretty vile at times. However, I think that’s what I love about her: the things that rub other readers the wrong way are what make her realistic. Yes, Celaena is vain and a little too sharp-tongued for her own good, but as you read on, you see also how brave and selfless and loyal that she is. She’s a complex and absolutely beautiful character, and I will always love her.

I also don’t care what all you Chaol-haters think: I always liked Chaol. Yeah, he’s grumpy, but that’s also what makes him kind of hilarious. Y’all need to chill. I love the way he takes to Celaena, even in spite of himself because you know he didn’t plan on liking her. I enjoy reading Celaena and Dorian’s banter and just think they make such good friends. (Yes, I have shipped them two before and I thought they were adorable. But I’ve also shipped her and Chaol. Celaena would be amazing with anyone because she’s amazing, okay?)

Everything about this series is amazing. The characters, the magical elements, the world building, the action, everything. I love it all. I’m going to be oh so sad to see this series end. A piece of my heart will die once I’m finished.

That’s all, folks. 10/10 would recommend forever and ever, please read this series, thanks.

 

Sarah J Maas: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW: Sarah J Maas “Tower of Dawn”

22016302_1813523355344414_1272837128_nTitle: Tower of Dawn

Author: Sarah J Maas

Genre: Fantasy

My rating: 3.5/5 stars

 

Disclaimer: possible spoilers from previous books in the Throne of Glass series and Tower of Dawn. Proceed with caution. 

When Sarah J Maas revealed that she was going to be writing an entire book about Chaol and that we’d have to wait another year for the final Throne of Glass installment, many were unhappy. I didn’t realize this until recently, but Chaol is a very controversial character apparently. There’s a large population of the community that dislikes Chaol, but I really hope that this book changed their minds.

Tower of Dawn is a parallel novel to the last Throne of Glass book, Empire of Storms. Many noticed that Chaol sort of fell off the face of the earth and wondered where he had gone. Well, this book follows him and Nesryn and tells that story.

Chaol is chair-bound, unable to walk due to the events that occurred at the glass castle. Now he travels to Antica for two reasons: to convince the nobles to join their cause and fight, and to find someone to heal him. They send him one of their best healers, Yrene, but unfortunately she holds a grudge toward Ardalan and hence, toward Chaol.

My thoughts:

This book was boring. I hate to say that of a Maas novel, but it’s true. This 600+ page book could have been easily condensed and it still would have been enjoyable. It’s a fine story: one of redemption and love, and the end was very heartwarming, if not a little predictable.

Chaol and Nesryn’s relationship never really made sense to me, and I don’t really understand why they kept acting like they were together or why others treated them as such. They never showed any affection and while they both seemed to care for each other, it was obviously not romantic.

In fact, I think Maas should have just left Nesryn out of this book. I did not like her. I didn’t like the little side-quest she went on and I just didn’t care about anything she did. The only good that came from her POV in the story was some new interesting information that came to light concerning the Valg kings and Queen Maeve.

I enjoyed reading about Chaol’s journey to recovery and seeing his relationship with Yrene develop. I also thought it was good to see Chaol unload some of his emotional baggage too, and now I enjoy his character all the more. Chaol has always been a great character, and while I thought he was sometimes irritating, I liked having him around. Now he’s got a new lady-thing and it’s made him a lot nicer. Good job, Yrene.

One of the things I appreciate about Chaol is that he had so much admiration for Yrene. His love for her wasn’t born from mere attraction, or because she was healing him. He saw how strong and powerful she was, and it didn’t freak him out like it did with Aelin.

I thought this book was fine. Would I have preferred to read the last Throne of Glass book instead? Yes. But this was fine, too. It’s definitely not my favorite Maas book, but I’ll get over it. I do think this would have done better as a short novella rather than this ginormous book.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments! I’d love to hear what others thought of this book, and what you think of Chaol Westfall.

Sarah J Maas: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr