Queen of Shadows – Sarah J Maas (Throne of Glass series)

Title: Queen of Shadows

Author: Sarah J Maasqueen of shadows

Genre: Fantasy, young adult fiction, Fae, magic, adventure

Thoughts: Okay, just letting people know, this review may contain spoilers for Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, and Heir of Fire. I’ll try and keep Queen of Shadows spoilers out.

Alright, onto the review. This book was pretty amazing. I mean, there were a few problems, but most of the book is pretty good. Let’s start with action. Queen of Shadows is full of it. Anyone who was put off Heir of Fire, because of its slower pace, you won’t be disappointed by this book. It literally doesn’t have a dull moment. A couple of times, I thought that it would, but then something always happened. It was a
lmost too much. There needed to be a little space between events. I understood that Chaol, Aelin and their group needed to finish off and prepare for what they were doing, but it was too fast, too much going on at once.

“She was fire, and light, and ash, and embers. She was Aelin Fireheart, and she bowed for no one and nothing, save the crown that was hers by blood and survival and triumph.”
― Sarah J. MaasQueen of Shadows

Another thing, I’m not sure if it’s good or bad yet, is the complexity of the plot. If you didn’t pay attention that much while reading the three earlier books, then you will probably have trouble following what is going on. Also, you might want to read The Assassin’s Blade, the prequel book, as Queen of Shadows does mention quite a few events and punishments that happened in it. So basically, know the backstory and what has happened in the past for all the characters, and you’ll be good.

Now characters. [Spoilers] I love how Maas has created a whole new character for Aelin. Yes, she has a lot of similarities to Celaena, because they’re the same person, but she thinks differently, acts differently, and is a whole new person. There are parts in the book where Aelin needs to transform back into Celaena, and the cold assassin’s mask slides back into place. But then she comes back out of it, and once again, becomes Aelin Ashryver Galathynius. One thing I don’t like about this character, is that she is just too good. She’s good at everything. I think she needs to have something, like a weakness, to make her seem more believable. Also Manon and the Witches come into this book. Their part of Heir of Fire was a bit out of place, their storyline a bit random, and I found myself not liking it as much, but in Queen of Shadows, it fits right in and flows with the rest of the story.

“What a shame that the current owner of the Vaults, a former underling of Rourke Farran and a dealer of flesh and opiates, had accidentally run into her knives. Repeatedly.”
― Sarah J. MaasQueen of Shadows

The new characters, like Elide, Nesryn and Lysandra also fit in. I love all the female characters in this series, but I find myself liking Lysandra and Manon a lot more in this book than the others. And we can’t forget Dorian, Aedion, and Chaol. Dorian’s parts of this book are very short, one or two pages at most. This reflects wat is happening to him. [Spoilers] At the end of Heir of Fire, the King traps him inside the Valg Prince with the Wyrdstone collar. The short chapters that have Dorian in them reflect that Dorian’s consciousness is only there for short periods of time. It’s like Dorian himself is only there for some parts, fighting to get out, but the Valg always wins, and takes over him again. This is why, I think, Dorian’s chapters are so small. Aedion is also a very lovable character and very overprotective of Aelin. But I like this about him. It makes him seem more believable. The big bad warrior, becomes soft-hearted for Aelin only.

Now Chaol. The biggest thing wrong about this book is Chaol. It ruined him. It was like Maas completely forgot about his character build-up throughout the first 3 books, and made him into a completely new person. That everyone hates. Everything that happened between him and Celaena is forgotten, and all he thinks about is Dorian. Seriously. Just Dorian this and Dorian that. At first, I understood, with all that’s going on with the Prince, but after a while… Really annoying.

So, after ruining Chaol, and building up characters, and the plot, the ending was bound to be good. And it was!! Those last 100 pages were the best! Everything was written so well, and Chaol even became more likeable. And the ending. I though the ending was perfect. Ended on the perfect line, and resolved a lot of things. But that just makes me want the next one. And it will probably be published September next year. A whole other year to wait for the next book. That’s a very long time…

“Sometimes there won’t be a right choice, just the best of several bad options.”
― Sarah J. MaasQueen of Shadows

Why should you read it: Well, if you loved the rest of the series, then this will be action packed and great for you. Even if you were let down by Heir of Fire, as apparently many people are, then this book is still a pick-up. Any fantasy, young adult and assassin genre book readers, this is the perfect series for you

Book in a word: Action-packed

Rating: 8½/10

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Bitterblue – Kristin Cashore (Graceling Trilogy)

Title: BitterblueBitterblue

Author: Kristen Cashore

Genre: young adult, fiction, fantasy

Thoughts: After reading Graceling, I was very excited to see how things had gone after the end of the book. If you are too, then read this book! Bitterblue’s main character is, well, Queen Bitterblue. It’s set 8 or 9 years after Graceling finished, and in case any of you are wondering, yes, Katsa and Po are mentioned and are characters in Bitterblue.

“Katsa and Po were trying to drown each other and, judging from their hoots of laughter, enjoying it immensely.”
― Kristin CashoreBitterblue

As Bitterblue is older now than in Graceling, she can make her own decisions, but her four advisers are keeping her shielded, making sure she is kept busy all day in her tower, with stacks of paper. But, Bitterblue is soon very, very bored, and one night, disguises herself and sneaks out of the castle. There she meets two thieves.

If you’re a reader who enjoys codes, mysteries or puzzles mixed into the book, then this is for you. Bitterblue’s evil father, once King Leck, has written many diaries, and Bitterblue hopes to be able to uncover some secrets about her past. But unfortunately, the diaries are written in a different language, one unknown to everyone. There are also messages written in tapestries and Bitterblue’s list of “unknowns” that she keeps. These provide readers with a little challenge and mystery.

“Teddy grinned again. ‘Truths are dangerous,’ he said.
‘Then why are you writing them in a book?’
‘To catch them between the pages,’ said Teddy, ‘and trap them before they disappear.’
‘If they’re dangerous, why not let them disappear?’
‘Because when truths disappear, they leave behind blank spaces, and that is also dangerous.”
― Kristin CashoreBitterblue

Kristin Cashore also likes to make her characters a little funny, especially sarcastic. Bitterblue has no problem with low confidence, so she does make a few little snappy responses throughout the book. Also, Cashore has added a little surprise in the end. I won’t reveal it, but I definitely liked it. It finished it off nicely. The whole book, I was wondering if it was going to happen, and yes it did. Now you have to read it to find out what it is!!

“His name was Death. It was pronounced to rhyme with “teeth”, but Bitterblue liked to mispronounce it by accident on occasion.”
― Kristin CashoreBitterblue

Why should you read it: Like I said in the before, if you like little mysteries, codes and unknowns in the story, then you should like this one. You don’t have to read Graceling or Fire to be able to read Bitterblue, but it would help to have an understanding of Gracelings, and the back story of Leck. If you liked Cashore’s other two books, then you will like this one

Book in a word: Brilliant

Rating: 8/10

Heir of Fire – Sarah J Maas (Throne of glass series)

Title: Heir of Fire

Author: Sarah J Maasheir of fire

Genre: Fae, Magic, Fantasy, Adventure, Young adult fiction

Thoughts: So, thankfully, Heir of Fire is much better than Crown of Midnight. Even though it starts pretty slowly, the action does speed up until the end. The ending… Aggghhhh! Such a cliff-hanger!! I need the next book!!

“And then I am going to rattle the stars.”

Anyway more about the book, it introduces two new main characters, Rowan and Sorscha, and a whole new group of people, well witches. This book introduces Manon, an iron teeth witch, and a whole new part of the book. It gets more and more confusing with new parts of the story being added in each new chapter, but once you get into the book more, it’s easier to understand. And these new parts make a lot of sense as well. Once you finish reading it, a lot of unknowns about books 1 and 2, become known.

I must say, I like the new characters in Heir of Fire a lot better than the ones in the other books. Especially Rowan and Sorscha. They are both complete opposites from each other, Rowan in his strong Fae body, and Sorscha in her delicate one. She is also very nervous whereas Rowan has no such problems. By the end, I loved them both, and I think Rowan had become my new favourite character. I also grow to like Manon and the new group of characters – the witches.

“Wrong kind of witch”

When I read this book, the characters that the story is about are all in different locations, and it has to keep cutting off, leaving cliff-hangers and going to the next character. And it really annoyed me at first. What I really wanted to know was how Celaena was going, but it kept cutting to Manon’s point of view, then Dorian’s then Chaol’s then Manon’s then finally back to Celaena’s. It was very annoying. Because of this, I didn’t like the witches and didn’t really pay attention to what was happening. Then something exciting did happen, and I grew to like their parts of the story. And by the end, I did grow to like Manon. The book also gets more exciting around Dorian, Sorscha and Chaol, all back at the castle, and I grew to love all parts of the book.

Anyway, Heir of Fire reveals more about the characters than you ever knew before. It reveals, mostly, Celaena’s past, and what happened to her. It also explains some of Dorians past and more about the Royal family.

Also, let’s not forget about this ending. Oh, it was a great ending, especially the last line. It brings all three books together, in one great line. And the ending leaves you biting your nails, and sitting on the edge of your seat.

“She was Aelin Ashryver Galathynius—­and she would not be afraid.”

Why should you read this book: This book, along with the rest of its series, and most books I read, has a strong female character. I love books like this, especially because a lot of books have male heroes, and it’s a bit different. It also has an awesome plot and storyline, leaves you biting your nails. If you love a young adult fiction, or fantasy story, then this is the book for you!

Book in a word: overwhelming

Rating: 7 ½ /10