Book Review

The Queen and the Cure (The Bird and the Sword Chronicles #2) by Amy Harmon

Queen and Cure

 

Rating: 5/5
Audience: YA, no language, a love scene, kisses, violence
Length: 342 pages
Author: Amy Harmon
Publisher: Independently published
Release Date: May 1st, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Kjell of Jeru had always known who he was. He’d never envied his brother or wanted to be king. He was the bastard son of the late King Zoltev and a servant girl, and the ignominy of his birth had never bothered him.

But there is more to a man than his parentage. More to a man than his blade, his size, or his skills, and all that Kjell once knew has shifted and changed. He is no longer simply Kjell of Jeru, a warrior defending the crown. Now he is a healer, one of the Gifted, and a man completely at odds with his power.

Called upon to rid the country of the last vestiges of the Volgar, Kjell stumbles upon a woman who has troubling glimpses of the future and no memory of the past. Armed with his unwanted gift and haunted by regret, Kjell becomes a reluctant savior, beset by old enemies and new expectations. With the woman by his side, Kjell embarks upon a journey where the greatest test may be finding the man she believes him to be. 

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ALL GOOD THINGS.

I forgot how much I LOVE AMY HARMON BOOKS. She’s not super well known, so hopefully this review will convince you to read her books. Emotional torture is her strong suit and she does great fantasies and contemporaries.

This particular book is a fantasy romance. YAAAAAS. Sometimes that’s what kind of book you need in your life. There was angst, tears, love, guilt, and courage.

I couldn’t put it down and it had me from the first chapter, especially since this was book two. I already knew and loved these characters.

Kjell is a cinnamon roll who melts my soul every time he talks. A fierce warrior who is more tender than he knows what to do with. Watching him with Sasha will make you swoon.

While you can see the twist coming, you don’t see the fullness of it. Even I was stunned for a second trying to figure out where we were going. The ending was blissfully what you need.

A YA+ book with no language. Light descriptions of naked people (when Changers shift they have no clothes). A soft, tastefully scripted love scene. Some kissing and make-out scenes. Occasional violence.

 

Book Review

Review: Sapphire Blue (Precious Stones Trilogy #2) by Kerstin Gier

Sapphire Blue

Rating: 3.5/5
Audience: YA, very little language, a kiss scene or two, a little violence
Length: 357 pages
Author: Kerstin Gier
Publisher: Henry Holt
Release Date: January 5th, 2010
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Gwen’s life has been a rollercoaster since she discovered she was the Ruby, the final member of the secret time-traveling Circle of Twelve. In between searching through history for the other time-travelers and asking fora bit of their blood (gross!), she’s been trying to figure out what all the mysteries and prophecies surrounding the Circle really mean.

At least Gwen has plenty of help. Her best friend Lesley follows every lead diligently on the Internet. James the ghost teaches Gwen how to fit in at an eighteenth century party. And Xemerius, the gargoyle demon who has been following Gwen since he caught her kissing Gideon in a church, the Diamond. One minute he’s very warm indeed; the next he’s freezing cold. Gwen’s not sure what’s going on there, but she’s pretty much destined to find out.

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BETTER THAN THE FIRST.

I have figured out some issues I have with this book, which the book comments on itself. Go figure. INSTA-LOVE. How are you this madly in love with someone in a day? You even think you’re crazy?! So while that’s silly, there was more intrigue between the two.

In my heart of hearts, I know Gideon cares, even if he didn’t mean to originally. This helps, because boy, he is MEAN. Gwen needs to put him in his place if you ask me. Maybe that’ll be rectified in the next installment.

We all know the Count is evil, but can SOMEONE TELL ME WHAT THE SECRET IS? I figured I’d find out in this book, but I didn’t. So now I’m waiting for the third book so I can understand. You only get the basest idea about where it’s all going.

Xemerius is arguably the best part of the book. While Lesley is annoying and seems to know-it-all, Xemerius makes you love his sassy self.

My other big issue is you really don’t get a feel for any characters. There’s not enough back story that helps you love or hate them. Everyone is rather neutral, and rather vague, about everything.

True YA, with very very little language. No romantic scenes, just some kissing here and there. Minor violence.

Book Review

Review: Ruby Red (Precious Stones Trilogy #1) by Kerstin Gier

Ruby Red

 

Rating: 3.5/5
Audience: YA, no language, a kiss scene or two, a little violence
Length: 324 pages
Author: Kerstin Gier
Publisher: Henry Holt
Release Date: January 6th, 2009
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Gwyneth Shepherd’s sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!

Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon–the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

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A TAD NAIVE.

I had multiple people recommend this to me, but it also had the unfortunate luck of following after reading my favorite series, so it lacked a bit. It’s an interesting story line enough that I will be reading the second book.

Gwyneth, while almost 17, acts closer to 14 most of the time. All of the time travel must truly be scattering her brain because she could definitely be more intelligent in some scenes. Her character does get better though. Towards the end as she understood what was happening she acted more mature about it all. I don’t love this narrative style where she comments on her own thoughts too often.

Since I personally haven’t figured out the ending, I’m going to keep reading them. I think the second book has the chance to build upon a unique world. As Gideon and Gwyneth have the chance to explore their friendship, I hope we get more of them.

There are A LOT of side characters with the time travel. It’s a bit to keep up with, but luckily there is a glossary of names at the back if you occasionally forgot who was who (whoops!).

The evil hasn’t fully presented itself either. There’s hints as to who the bad group is, yet have no way of knowing if that’s true or not. I hope I’m wrong, because I’m always down for a good plot twist.

The action picks up about half-way through and is a super quick read. There is no language, and only a kiss scene. Some violence (rather unexpected, go team for throwing me a little!).

Book Review

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

EoS

 

Rating: 5/5
Audience: New Adult, language, some kisses, descriptive love scenes, violence/torture
Length: 693 pages
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: September 6th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK 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 Times bestselling 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.

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Note: Review totally contains spoilers. I have read this series 3 or 4 times. I have no chill over this series. This is a re-read I’m doing specifically before KoA comes out in October.

Second note: I firmly believe while yes they’re similarities between her two series, they are SO DIFFERENT. Needed to throw this out there after seeing a lot of reviews claiming they were too alike. I think some phrasing, character type, etc. is similar, but overall the stories are unique.

I HAVE TOO MANY FEELINGS OVER THIS.

So you should join me in the comments to rattle the stars over this.

I stormed down the stairs after finishing this book *again* to exclaim my horror that AELIN IS IN AN IRON COFFIN. I mean, Maeve, come on now hunny, WHY WHY WHY. Imma come take you down my self when I figure out a way to literally go into a book world.

And my heart just BREAKS FOR ROWAN. His mate y’all. And she leaves, never expecting to return to Terrasen!??? Someone has to agree with me that there is no way Aelin, or Rowan dies right? The *dies* but *lives* stunt was pulled in her other series already so I’m thinking there must be a loophole to Elena’s problems. Seriously a case of “sounds like a personal problem”. *sighs*

Speaking of loopholes, HOLLIN. Did you forget Hollin? Because I did. Now I’m thinking he has to play a role somehow. At least I hope so.

I am thinking that Dorian might be the real sacrifice. I haven’t decided how I feel about this fact, but that’s where my inkling is leading me. He’s been darker since the Valg invasion, so I think this plays a part. Thoughts? The Gods are hell-bent on ruining someone’s life, why can’t we ruin there’s instead?

I’m also alllll over side characters in this book. Fenrys, he needs a hug. And someone to break him from that stupid blood-oath. His snarky, sassy self should get the freedom he deserves. I am seeing a Garvriel-saves-son-through-sacrifice as well. Someone’s gotta die. I’m just hoping it’s a sideish characters that won’t make me through a book across the room (thanks, Divergent series).

Also, totally in love with where Aedion and Lysandra are going. And Dorian and Manon. Okay, I secretly always hope that everyone gets a happy ending. Can’t help it. I need everyone to be happy so I’m happy. I hope they aren’t mates though. *side story*: I hope that NOBODY else has a mate. Perfectly content with others getting together/being in love/blah blah blah, but the mate thing is supposed to be rare. Rowan and Aelin have that, let’s let them have that.

Though now that I’m saying it, Lorcan should be Elide’s mate, IF ANYONE is going to have one. Lorcan’s character arc is still framing itself and I think needs a touch of Annieth, to bring him fully around. He’s already agreed to help in the end after BREAKING DOWN IN TEARS. He’s my favorite evil, broken soul. Elide is so strong and capable of doing more than she’s been allowed, and I appreciate so much she gets the opportunity to con, lie, and stand up for herself.

I do miss Dorian a bit in this book. I felt his part wasn’t really in here. This is making me thing he’s going to play a much bigger role in KoA. He’s on his own adventure with Manon now, so anything can happen at this point.

SJM ups the ante in her love scenes with this book. Definitely along ACOMAF lines. While I’m always pushing for a couple to finally come together, these scenes can definitely be a bit much. I prefer gloss-over/only slightly detailed scenes. Don’t let this deter you! You can easily skip them and not miss the story itself at all.

Language, and violence of course. VIOLENCE THAT WILL BREAK YOUR SOUL.

Book Review

Review: Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas

QoS

 

Rating: 5/5
Audience: YA, language, some kisses, almost love scenes, violence/torture
Length: 565 pages
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: September 2nd, 2014
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series continues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

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Note: Review does contain spoilers. I have read this series 3 or 4 times. I have no chill over this series. This is a re-read I’m doing specifically before KoA comes out in October.

Second note: I firmly believe while yes they’re similarities between her two series, they are SO DIFFERENT. Needed to throw this out there after seeing a lot of reviews claiming they were too alike. I think some phrasing, character type, etc. is similar, but overall the stories are unique.

DOWN WITH AROBYNN!!!!

I still threw out 5 stars to this book, but it definitely dragged more than others in this series. [Which is fine because EoS changed all of that]

Okay, but Arobynn dying by the hands of Lysandra? YOU BET I WAS ALL OVER THAT. I kept wondering after Assassin’s Blade when Arobrynn was finally going to meet his maker. He needed to pay for all that he did. I loved how evil (yet, “loving” — just go with me here) he was with Aelin. It made him more diverse and shows how deep jealousy can take someone.

WE GET AEDION IN THIS BOOK TOO. I love him. He’s one of the best side characters around. He loves so fiercely and cares so deeply. It’s also great that SJM gave Aelin, Lysandra as her new BFF. Those 2 could bring down the world together.

It was hard watching Chaol and Aelin come to terms with their relationship, but I love that it HAPPENED. There was a discussion it wasn’t just thrown to the side. It was nice to get closure on that chapter.

I keep remembering how many characters get added in this book, because LORCAN is here too. And I love him as well. Really, the side characters are awesome in this series. Now that I’ve read it so many times, I’ve been focusing on the other POV chapters besides Aelin, I’ve come to appreciate them so much more.

Manon meets Elide too. Their friendship (or guardianship?) between the two is the stuff. Getting out of Morath (and finding its secrets) was the goal and them working together was a wonderful dynamic. We also see that Elide can hold her own too. And while afraid, always brave.

Dorian has become a hidden POV at this point. I truly thought we were going to lose him at first to the Valg (PLOT TWIST, right?). Alas, that did not happen, we did see his character change though. After Sorscha, then the Valg, Dorian really starts to change. Still a sweet Prince, but now a more hardened and burdened King.

Okay, have to mention the scene with Aelin and the gold nightgown *falls out of chair laughing *. I LOVE SCENES LIKE THIS. Where things are simple, humorous, sweet, sexy, and nefarious all in one. It’s nice to have those breaks in between all of the action. I think SJM writes team dynamics really well (the Court of Dreams is #friendshipgoals).

Still language. Some love-adjacent scenes with discussions of things they want to do to each other. A few make-out/kiss scenes. As always, a heavy dose of violence and torture.

 

 

 

Book Review

Review: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas

HoF

 

Rating: 5/5
Audience: YA, language, some kisses, almost love scenes, violence/torture
Length: 565 pages
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: September 2nd, 2014
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak―but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth . . . a truth about her heritage that could change her life―and her future―forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

The bestselling series that has captured readers all over the world reaches new heights in this sequel to the New York Timesbest-selling Crown of Midnight. Packed with heart-pounding action, fierce new characters, and swoon-worthy romance, this third book will enthrall readers from start to finish. 

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Note: Review does contain spoilers. I have read this series 3 or 4 times. I have no chill over this series. This is a re-read I’m doing specifically before KoA comes out in October.

Second note: I firmly believe while yes they’re similarities between her two series, they are SO DIFFERENT. Needed to throw this out there after seeing a lot of reviews claiming they were too alike. I think some phrasing, character type, etc. is similar, but overall the stories are unique.

ROOOOOOOOWAN.

I am so team Rowan. TO WHATEVER END Y’ALL. I know some people have an issue with him being “ancient”. First off, you’re reading waaay to into the story about the ancient issue. He’s a Fae, he’s handsome, a warrior, etc. Let’s just let them love each other, kay? At least this wasn’t her first pick. An appreciate nod to SJM to give some other love interests (but, not in a love triangle way) before she meets the real one.

This book was a bit slower for me. I generally don’t like when the main character ends up in a totally different place for a book, but this one at least had more reasoning than some books I’ve read. We got a lot more history of Maeve, and the cadre (WHICH WE ALL KNOW PLAYS A BIG ROLE LATER).

Dorian and Sorscha, while cute, I found through this re-read, odd? It was kind of thrown in there for Dorian to have more of a presence throughout the book. I will say towards the end I started to see the point. He needed to break. Calaena never loved him in return so he wasn’t fully invested, but since Sorscha and Dorian loved each other it was horrid when she met the King.

And this is where we meet, Manon. I did not like her at first. I didn’t know where she was going with the story and how it was going to flow together. She was too random at first. By EoS, I definitely appreciate and love her witchy self. And I’m obsessed with Abraxos. Can I get a wyvern? I’m suuuper curious what happens in KoA with the Witch Kingdom in the Wastes. I hope a happy ending evolves there. I think she needs Aelin as much as Aelin needs her to accomplish this.

Language, but not in your face. No full love scenes, some late night thoughts about it though. Some kissing scenes and definitely violence.

 

Book Review

Review: Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas

crown of midnight

 

Rating: 5/5
Audience: YA, language, love scenes, make-out scenes, violence/torture
Length: 418 pages
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: August 15th, 2013
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

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.

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Note: Review may contain spoilers. I have read this series 3 or 4 times. I have no chill over this series. This is a re-read I’m doing specifically before KoA comes out in October.

Second note: I firmly believe while yes they’re similarities between her two series, they are SO DIFFERENT. Needed to throw this out there after seeing a lot of reviews claiming they were too alike. I think some phrasing, character type, etc. is similar, but overall the stories are unique.

TALK ABOUT BREAKING SOMEONE DOWN.

I feel like everyone was hurt in this book.

Nehemia sacrificing herself for the greater good of the world, still hurts my feelings. I thought she was a cool side character and was going to play a bigger role overall.

CHAOL. Who, by the way, I pronounced as ‘coal’ rather than ‘kay-all’ for the longest time before I decided I should say his name “correctly”. I still think Coal sounds better.

He made a few too many choices towards the King, and watching Calaena claw him, also tore me up. Of course, first read, ALL TEAM CHAOL. Now reading through, I get it. She wasn’t ready for Rowan. Chaol truly helped her heal from Sam, and while it ended poorly, it added more depth to both characters.

Calaena starts to have more feelings that continue to round out her character. I continually love her sassy, sarcastic, not-give-a, attitude. She holds her own. Especially when she drops down into a warehouse and WREAKS HAVOC on those who have stolen something from her.

I think this is one of the best books in the series. You know the characters well enough to feel for everyone. The action flows really well and you continually flips pages trying to soak it all in.

Love scenes that are minor descriptive, kiss/make-out scenes. Violence, torture, and language (I do appreciate that SJM uses phrases like swore colorfully, rather than using F* words, but other language is present). I think language needs to be wielded in a way that isn’t over-bearing, but that actually encourages a scenes emotions.