Roden: *smashes Jaron's leg to bits with big club* Jaron: OWWWW!!! You're supposed to be my bff!!! How could you?!? Roden: I WILL KILL YOU! Jaron: Ohh, n...moreRoden: *smashes Jaron's leg to bits with big club* Jaron: OWWWW!!! You're supposed to be my bff!!! How could you?!? Roden: I WILL KILL YOU! Jaron: Ohh, no, won't you please be my bestie and the captain of my guard instead? Roden: YESYESYES! A thousand times yes, MY LORD! *falls down on knees* I never really could have killed you!!!
Okay, I am so confused. I mean, did I miss something here? Don't get me wrong, I loved the book. Jaron/Sage is my man, and I adore him like no other. The new characters, especially Fink and Harlow, were awesome. Seriously, the characters in this book are a vast improvement from the last one, in which it was basically Sage vs. The World.
The one thing I don't really love is Imogen. She's all right, but to be honest she comes off as a bit bland and uninteresting compared to Jaron. I feel like someone else would suit him better. I don't think she can match up to him. Sure, she can get angry and "have words" with him, but it never really feels to me like they are on the same level, and NOT because she is a servant. I like the servant/king forbidden love stuff, but Imogen's personality is just too run-of-the-mill, so she really fades into the background.
I feel as if Jaron could really banter away with the right girl. Of course, this will not happen, but since I'm not in this for the romance I don't mind.
One of my favorite aspects of the novel was the glimpses we got of Jaron's softer side, of his inner child, the child wanting to be loved unconditionally, wanting his parents to be warmer to him. I think that really made me sympathize with him on a very deep level. His decisions come across as totally rash, uncalculated, and based more on emotion than logic (although he claims otherwise). I mean, do you really want the guy who just broke your leg and almost caused your demise to be in charge of your guard? Just because at one point in time you didn't hate each other?
My memory may be failing me, but I never felt as if Jaron and Roden were friends in the first book. I thought Roden grew to tolerate him at best, but Jaron seems to think they had a nice bromance going on. Is it just me? Maybe I need to do a re-read?(less)
I don't even need to justify myself. Ryan and Jenna are amazing characters. At first I thought I'd loathe Jenna with her "Ugly people don't have feeli...moreI don't even need to justify myself. Ryan and Jenna are amazing characters. At first I thought I'd loathe Jenna with her "Ugly people don't have feelings" garbage, but she turned out to be an awesome, caring, kind young woman who, with Ryan's help, really grew as a person. Their romance bloomed from friendship, which is the best way. Jenna's dad, though. Oh, man. If he was my dad I'd have run away from home when I was her age! And don't get me started on Ryan's mom.
She has two sides. I loved her at first, and then...But Cole was awesome. I love how he was Ry's mom's boyfriend, but also really cared about Ry as his own son. Meh. I'm gushing. Just read it. (less)
This is the type of book that starts out okay, and gets a little better with each chapter. I was interested for a while, then I started to grow bored,...moreThis is the type of book that starts out okay, and gets a little better with each chapter. I was interested for a while, then I started to grow bored, because the only likable character is our narrator, Sage. Thank God for Sage. He saved what could otherwise have been a very mediocre book, and made it into a good one. Often, authors don't bother to make their MC interesting, but Sage is very interesting. He's a bit crazy, but entertaining.
At first, the other characters come off as utterly unlikable, but the more you read the more you learn about them, and although they don't become characters you really love, they at least become ones you can understand. And that's where this book falls short. Even with the characters growing on me, the only one I truly cared about was Sage. Take Imogen, the love interest. Honestly, I found her a bit lackluster in comparison to Sage. I'd rather have disliked her than felt the indifference I did toward her character. In the next book, I truly hope the author takes the time to flesh out her character more, and this is coming from a girl who does NOT enjoy reading about female characters--or, barring that, have her spend more time on any character other than Sage (not that I want less Sage!).
The False Prince reminds me of The Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner, although not nearly in the same league; that's not to say I didn't like it, but it isn't nearly as sophisticated. Sage has a tiny bit of Eugenedes in him, which is always a good thing.
Now, about the twist. I figured it out about 1/3 through. It's just so obvious. Even though I saw it coming, I was rooting for it to happen, and I enjoyed every moment of it. The end was certainly the best part. But, really, Sage's (view spoiler)[utter lack of background (hide spoiler)] made it painfully clear that (view spoiler)[ he was really the prince. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I finished this yesterday and yet it feels like weeks since I've read it. Not sure what that means.
First of all, I'd have given this book four stars...moreI finished this yesterday and yet it feels like weeks since I've read it. Not sure what that means.
First of all, I'd have given this book four stars if Putney knew how to write anything realistically--which she does not. Granted, it is partly my own fault, because I know from past experience that I don't generally enjoy books by her with tortured heroes, simply because the heroes aren't actually tortured. The characters in the book claim the hero is tortured, and so does the hero himself, but this is not displayed at all in the actual story. I have no problem with non-tortured heroes, but if you're going to write a TH, then at least do it right.
I am reminded of Ian from another Putney book. He spent years in dungeon which was literally a hole dug into the ground. When he was freed, he was in perfect health. Mildly underweight, but otherwise in tip top shape. We are told he is claustrophobic, but he doesn't exhibit as much. Perhaps he thinks, Damn, this darkness kinda sucks-- oh well! - It's not that I wanted him to suffer, but how am I supposed to get into his character when he feels so unreal? Same thing happened with Grey. Imprisoned in solitary confinement for TEN years. Despite this, he is in pique physical condition-- he is slightly underweight, but only by a few pounds or so, and is in stunningly perfect health. Yes, I want him healthy, but not at the cost of accuracy.
I'm supposed to believe he spent ten years in a French dungeon and can just pop out back into society totally healthy mentally and physically? Oh, sure, he claims he's insane, but is there any proof? No. Supposedly, his temper is the proof. Okay. Also, he has a mild distaste for crowds now. Whatever that means. It just felt like his character post-prison was just slapped together at random. Oh, gee, he should be scarred. Let's see...how about he wants to beat up a few people and gets a bit irritated in crowds! Perfect!
On a high note, I found Cassie a pretty likable heroine. I found it refreshing how she wasn't the typical naive virgin - not to mention the fact that she could kick major butt. Plus, she actually showed affection to her hero-- I know, you'd think romances are full of that, but really it's mostly the heroes drooling and caressing the heroines. I like some equality myself.
As for Grey, nothing new or special here. He felt like a generic hero to me. I did however enjoy the fact that he readily admitted to needing Cassie and to wanting her around. He knew what he wanted from the beginning, HER, and he wasn't afraid to tell her so. He actually asked for her to go places with him because he wanted her support. It's fairly typical for the heroes to defend the heroine's name, but it's rarer to find the alternative. Cassie, for me, is that. I loved how she wouldn't let anyone badmouth Grey, not even his own mother. She respected him and cared about him as a person, and he did the same for her. In fact, the best part about this book was that the H/h liked each other--and ADMITTED to it.
Low points include: The reunions. Grey and Kirkland...meh. It was okay. Grey and his family...below average. I just didn't feel the emotion at all. It felt distant. Not to mention that his brother immediately did the whole (view spoiler)[ boohoohoo my bro's back from the dead, now I can't be the heir! (hide spoiler)] thing, which is just dumb. I'm getting bored of the "crappy family members care more about titles than loved ones" scenario. Especially in this case, since (view spoiler)[ his brother didn't even want the title! He wanted to be an actor! And of course immediately after Grey says he'll support Peter in his acting career, Petey Boy is all glad Big Bro is alive again. Whatta guy. (hide spoiler)] Also, the male friendships here should be a major point, but they came off as weak. For a guy who spent years trying to find his friend, Kirkland's reaction to his return was ho-hum. I get that they're men, but come on. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I enjoyed this book despite the annoying heroine. I LOVE Seth, and I love the fact that he's a tortured hero who has actually done some torturing hims...moreI enjoyed this book despite the annoying heroine. I LOVE Seth, and I love the fact that he's a tortured hero who has actually done some torturing himself. Usually the supposedly "evil" heroes won't hurt a fly. It ended up not mattering what he'd done because with a past like his, I could excuse him for pretty much anything. Maybe not excuse, but understand. I spent this whole book wanting to hug him. Poor guy actually believed the crap the evil dudes have been spewing, believes he's stupid and pathetic. He could have been unoriginal, but...for some reason he seemed to stand out to me. I can't say exactly why, but I think it has something to do with his vulnerability. It was more...obvious than it usually is and it made him seem more real to me, rather than one of Kenyon's generic heroes.
As for Lydia, I liked her at first but then she started doing little things that bothered me, liking calling Seth "pathetic." Why does she call him this, you ask? Because she thinks it's pathetic that Seth chose to stay in his room and read while trapped in the demon hell realm instead of going out and exploring demon-central. Why is that pathetic? That's just a mean thing to say and did not endear her to me at all. There are some aspects of her personality that I like, such as her loyalty, but I just wish she thought before she spoke.
Lydia KNOWS Seth's past. His past of having a mother who left him out in the middle of the desert and broke his legs by beating him with a hammer so he would be trapped there unable to die while he starved and dehydrated and was pecked at by birds. After this a family adopted him to do all their chores and work for them and then sold him for pennies to a demon who tortured him mentally and physically for 4500 years. That was his life. She knows this. She actually saw it first hand with the help of Jaden, who can see into people's memories. And yet still, she says things like, "You have no social skills. I swear you were raised by monkeys," and then claims not to understand why saying that would hurt him. Is she the absolute dumbest person of all time? Kenyon can't create a heroine that doesn't say stupid things and make unfunny jokes about "where she's going to hide the body" of her hero. Seriously, Lydia contemplates this while having sex with him.
She also has to find insult in everything. Like when Seth called her "lily" in his native tongue and she freaked out thinking he'd called her "Susan." Give me a freaking break. And then she gets pissed when he allows another women to TALK TO HIM. This man had not seen the sun in literally 45oo years. He'd been in the outside world for a few minutes and a women approaches him. Is that HIS FAULT? He's utterly lost and confused. Was he supposed to...what? Kill the random women? And THEN she gets angry when he turns away after she tries to kiss him. She gets pissed KNOWING that he associates kissing with pain and does not understand that kissing can come without pain. She KNOWS this. And she's so self-centered she doesn't even realize it.
Also, Jaden. I reeeeeaaaaaallllyyyy want to know more about him. And I want him to get out of that stupid freaking demon place! Oh, and the end was rushed and took away from the book as a whole. I don't like when a story jumps ahead in time and leaves out important info.
This makes it sound like I don't like it, but that isn't the case. I enjoyed Lydia and Seth's relantionship and I especially enjoyed watching him very slowly learn to trust her. It was so sad how long it had been since he'd seen the sun, so when he finally saw it for the first time in 4500 years it was really a special scene. And even Lydia had her redeeming qualities. I liked the way she used endearments for Seth, because he'd never experienced such a thing, so it was very important to him and therefore important to me as well.
Wynter is not good enough for Christopher. She's likable enough in this book, but pretty terrible in the next one. She's sooo full of herself, as well...moreWynter is not good enough for Christopher. She's likable enough in this book, but pretty terrible in the next one. She's sooo full of herself, as well as being ashamed of Christopher.
I'd like for Wynter to be real so I can beat her up. Really. She needs a good knock to the head. She has NO idea how lucky she is to have a guy like Christopher.
Five stars because I adore Christopher and he was in this book a LOT. Otherwise, there was a bit too much crazy drama/depression. Human sacrifice? Fine. Humans being sacrificed coming back as ghosts for further drama? No. It was too much even for me. There's a point when death can be overdone. By the eightieth uncalled-for death (usually always a man, since Kiernan has issues with killing women), it got to be a bit much. For a book that has no war in it, it certainly has enough deaths for one.
Additionally, I don't like Razi. I know I'm the only one, but he's grumpy 99% of the time and he's often very cold an aloof and his actions counteract his supposed traits. He's supposed to be selfless, but he's actually really selfish and childish most of the time. He puts his own hardships above everyone else's and doesn't even realize it and no one else realizes it, but sure. Sometimes the characters feel almost too real, and I literally feel their emotions and become extremely stressed whenever one of them is upset, which is on every page, of course. The characters and the setting. And, for an epic fantasy, it's far from boring. Usually with these types of books, you have to slog through three-hundred pages of boring descriptions, so thank God for none of that.
Despite this, the characters are so real that I can't help being entranced by them, even if most of them piss me the hell off.
As for Wynter...girls who cry for sympathy get under my skin. (less)
This could have been a five star book. I'll start with the bad and then move to the good. There isn't much bad anyway.
1. Wynter. I do like her, but a...moreThis could have been a five star book. I'll start with the bad and then move to the good. There isn't much bad anyway.
1. Wynter. I do like her, but a few things annoyed me. I didn't mind that she started off arrogant and cold/calculating, because it was fun to watch her grow, however, two things bother me about her. The first is that she is homophobic and basically comes right out and says she might not love her brother if he were gay. That made me icky toward her--I don't care about the time period or how she grew up. Secondly, at one point she actually FORGETS that one of her friends is being held in the dungeon at night, possibly being tortured. Who would freaking forget something like that?
2. I like Lorcan, Wynter's father, but I feel there was way too much of him. He's in 99.99% of the scenes and sometimes I felt like everything in the book was revolving around him. That's not to say I didn't feel sorry for him, though. Also, not enough Christopher. I know, I know. Wynter is the main character. But come on. SEVEN Christopher-less chapters. No. Nope. I'm not having it.
ONTO THE GOOD.
I like the world. It's unique and eerie and just really cool. I haven't read anything quite like it before. It's magical.
And the characters. They're all very unique and full and real and have so many hidden layers.
I could have killed Razi on a number of occassions for being a complete a-hole, and yet I still like him and feel so much sympathy for him. Should I kick him or hug him? Yeahhh.
As for Chritopher. OhGod. He begins as a character who seems like a stereotype, but that's because Wynter immediately begins judging him and putting him into categories and thinking she knows his every secret. Now, I loved him from the moment he stepped on the scene, but the more I got to know him, the more I wanted to steal him for myself. He's just so. Freaking. Sweet. He has no right to be so honorable and kind and funny and caring and loving and smart and AHHH. I almost want to eat him. Except no. He needs to be my husband. Anyone have magic powers to pull characters out of books, huh, huh? The scene where he's telling the story to a little boy in the palace. Holy God. WHY? He kills me. And the way he says 'afeared' or 'mortal feared.' So freaking cute.
Okay, okay. Moving on. I cried quite a few times reading this, mostly in relation to Christopher, but also about the terrible things that happened to some of the ghosts. I won't say what it is, but I didn't even know OR like one of the ghosts, but I felt so damn bad for him and was bawling my eyes out. That is how you write, people. You make your readers feel things other than annoyance.
This scene ensues when a little 'spit boy' asks my darling Christopher how he lost his two middle fingers.
"They were eaten by a bear," whispered Christopher, with such easy conviction that for a moment Wynter believed him, though the story was patently ridiculous.
The child's eyes showed silver under his lashes again and he peered at Christopher across a huge chasm of sleep, not sure if he believed him. Christopher breathed another soft laugh. "I was fishing for flies..." he said confidentially.
"Aye." Christopher's thumb kept up its easy stroking of the little forehead. "Ain't you never fished for flies?" The child shook his head, his eyes closing despite his best efforts. "Huh," said Christopher, "how do you feed your frogs then?"
Christopher straightened and then chuckled as the sleepy little voice said, "Don't got me no frogs."
Christopher bent forward again, murmuring low so that Razi and Wynter had to strain to hear. The fire shot blue and lilac highlights through his curtain of black hair and outlined his chin in gold as he said, "Oh, you must get some frogs, lad. They are excellent good companions."
"How you fish for flies?" the boy mumbled.
"Well..." Christopher's scarred hand lay on the side of the small head. "You just dip your fingers in honey and wait. "'Course, I fell asleep, didn't I? And when I woke up, that bloody bear was making off with my fingers. I chased him, of course, and he dropped all but the two that are missing. And your good Lord Razi, he sewed the others back on for me, because he is a great doctor, and a most excellent man."
"You know what the worst part was, mouse?"
"Those two fingers had all my best rings on them. Now, whenever I see a bear I follow him home to see if he's shat out my jewels."
The child squeaked out a little laugh of delighted revulsion. "Ew! You roots in bear poop!"
"Silly boy," tutted Christopher, "I use a stick."
Oh how I love this boy book.
Christopher (With short hair and modern clothes, of course ;)
**spoiler alert** Can someone explain to me why Enzo would tell Martinelli that he LOVES HIM after Martinelli kidnapped his younger brother (the broth...more**spoiler alert** Can someone explain to me why Enzo would tell Martinelli that he LOVES HIM after Martinelli kidnapped his younger brother (the brother he is waaaaaaaay over-protective of!) and kept him as a SEX SLAVE for SEVERAL YEARS and BEAT HIM and BROKE HIS BONES and essentially turned him into a VEGETABLE? I'm sorry, but no. That would not have happened.(less)
This is one of the most unique romances I've ever read. Totally gruesome and eerie and I should NOT have read it at night, that's for sure. I was so s...moreThis is one of the most unique romances I've ever read. Totally gruesome and eerie and I should NOT have read it at night, that's for sure. I was so shocked by who the killer was, I actually gasped aloud--but that may be because I purposely didn't try to determine the killer. I have to admit I don't like the age difference thing in romances. Eighteen and twenty-eight just...isn't my thing. I managed to overlook this, though, because Phoenix was such a unique, interesting character. That said, I didn't like him at all, and he treated Daniel like crap. Of course, he has reason, and it only makes sense, but he just generally creeps me out with the way he manipulates poor Daniel. I'm glad Daniel at least stood up for himself, though, and didn't let Phoenix get away with his bad behavior.
The one star is off because of the ending. It was SO abrupt and annoying and I hate this type of ending. One second we're in the middle of the action, the next it's BAM over. There's a tiny little wrap-up at the end that's just...pathetic.(less)
I love this book! From the very first page I was reeled in. I just love this type of storyline. One half of the couple believes the other half to be a...moreI love this book! From the very first page I was reeled in. I just love this type of storyline. One half of the couple believes the other half to be a heartless asshole, and then he/she learns that that's the opposite.
I've read some people who think Alec is weak, but I disagree wholeheartedly. I didn't find him at all weak. I found him strong. He had a hard life, and after his dad died, he was still a kid and got taaken advantage of by his asshole of an agent. When Jordan came into his life, he learned to stand up for himself more, which was great to see.
I just love Alec. He's so unbelievably adorable and I just wanted to grab him in hug! Jordan was a great match for him, despite the age difference, and I love how Jordan's personality changed when he was with Alec.
There were also great supporting characters, like Jordan's sister, Bec, and the reporter, Taylor. It was great to read about a reporter that was actually a really good person.
I will admit this book went on too long and became a little too sickeningly sweet.(less)