Wow, this book was simply purrrfect, I wouldn't change a thing! Seriously, when all is said and done, this book left me completely satisfied, and I doWow, this book was simply purrrfect, I wouldn't change a thing! Seriously, when all is said and done, this book left me completely satisfied, and I don't think the story could've been any different. And it's a game changer too! I think from now on I'll have to think of this series as before and after Magic Bleeds, I swear!
The book starts with Kate in lingerie, cooking dinner for Curran because of her lost bet. And the dude stands. her. up. WTF??? Yes , yes, Kate should've destroyed everything on her way to smack Curran but she's grown a lot in the past books and decided to do the mature thing... give him the silent treatment. It all sets the table for the action, and romantic drama to come.
I really liked the different story arcs for this novel. Kate is investigating a deity spreading different plagues in town and she has to bank on all her resources to solve the mystery. Of course, she needed her go-to-guy Saiman, who can't be nice to the sake of being nice. And that's how Kate finds herself at yet another date with him that will put her in trouble. I'm not quite sure how I feel about Saiman, he is kind of pathetic if I am being honest, but he has a quirky side I kind of like. And could the guy be anymore oblivious? When the Beast Lord stares you down, it's time to bow and back out quietly! But I am loosing track.. the deity!... So I really liked the chase for clues, and who the bad guy turned out to be in the end. It is really promising for the big smack down against Roland!
Kate's allegiances will also be challenged in this novel. Who can she turn too when her boss backstabs her, Saiman only wants her in his bed, Vampires, who would trust them anyway?? and your furry friends turn berzek when facing your foe. She could only count on herself, and her attack poodle, and she had to take some very difficult decisions and I command her for making the best of a terrible situation.
My favorite aspect is of course the romance between Kate and Curran. They FINALLY get physical in this book, and let's just say it's not your typical 'let's get laid'. Nothing's typical about these two anyway, so no surprise there. Despite their shortcomings they supported each other in this novel like never before and i LOVED it. The almost-end really broke my heart and I wanted to cuddle Kate and tell her everything would be ok, even though she'd never let me. She stayed strong in adversity and I was so damn proud of her!
Things have changed, C & K can't never go back and I can't wait to see how their relationship will evolve from here. If you haven't read this series yet, I seriously urge you to do so. One of the best urban fantasy series out there, I promise you!
My favorite quote, It's kind of a spoiler, so beware:
“I surveyed the rest of the Council and looked directly at Mahon. “Some of you know me. Some of you have seen me fight and some of you are my friends. Have your vote. But know this: if you come to remove me, come in force, because if you try to separate me from him, I will kill every single one of you. My hand won't shake. My aim won't falter. My face will be the last thing you‟ll see before you die.”
I jammed the knife into the table and walked out.”...more
Putting her foot down and refusing to send shipments of slaves to the Mort was Queen Kelsea’s first decision as a Queen, and it might be the one thatPutting her foot down and refusing to send shipments of slaves to the Mort was Queen Kelsea’s first decision as a Queen, and it might be the one that will destroy her Kingdom. The Mort won’t take no for an answer and they are marching on the Tearling to take by force what they think is their due, and Kelsea will have to push them back or die trying.
The Invasion of the Tearling was a great installment and I am happy to say it is not suffering from the second novel curse. The mood of this novel is different, Kelsea is a Queen and has to take decisions as such and stop being a child. She also has to understand and control the power coming from her Sapphires, deal with a new found sexuality and some weird visions/sleepwalking she’s been experiencing. To say her plate is full would be putting it mildly, but I really enjoyed watching her struggle and try her best to come out on top. I love that she is now taking her own decisions instead of simply relying on Mace and that she is trying really hard to play it smart. She seeks wisdom that will help her make the best choices and try to control her impulses. She’s growing up!
One of my favorite aspect of this novel is Kelsea’s visions of Lily. Lily lives in pre-crossing America and we witness her life in first-person narration. We get to see the kind of struggle the pre-crossing people faced, how it came to be so bad, and how some people actually crossed. I found her story really engrossing and I was avidly awaiting Kelsea’s next vision. I also love how their stories tied up at the end.
This novel is not action pack. Their are some tense scenes, some violence, but mostly it’s a psychological game. All the chess piece progress throughout the novel and we anxiously wait while both Queens play their moves. Also, if you’ve been anxious to know the Red Queen’s real identity, you will be pleased to know that it is revealed in this novel.
The conclusion really is a game-changer and I am anxious for the next installment (no title nor tentative release date yet). I can’t wait to see what will happen to certain key characters and I really hope we will see more of Lily!...more
Taya and Mandir have worked through their old grudge in the previous novel and are slowly building a relationship together. Still new and fragile, theTaya and Mandir have worked through their old grudge in the previous novel and are slowly building a relationship together. Still new and fragile, their new found love will be put to the test when Mandir is sent to his old home and Taya insist on accompanying him. She is NOT ready for what awaits her. Will their blooming romance hold to the test?
I am extremely lucky to serve as a Beta reader for Amy and she makes things so easy for me. It's the third or fourth book I've read for her, and I haven't found a single mistake yet. The coalition mages series might be self-published, but it's just as (if not more) polished as the next traditionally published book.
The first book in the series, The Fire Seer, introduced a rich fantasy world with an original lore involving three Goddesses. Now that we are fully emerged in this culture, Raby focuses her story-telling on the character's psychology, their developing romance and a very surprising murder investigation. The story really flows nicely and the rhythm is very natural.
I think my favorite aspect about the novel is how Raby wisely chose to show us how Mandir grew-up. In the previous book she told us, but this time we get to witness first hand the violence and the depravity the poor guy had to deal with as a kid. It was truly shocking, and it really allowed the reader (and Taya) to really understand how Mandir tics.
Taya served as an anchor for Mandir in this novel and I really appreciated it. She supported him the best she could, without judgment and full of compassion. An ordinary girl would've run away, but Taya is not ordinary. And she will risk her own neck not to save only him, but also other victims of Mandir's father. Truly commendable.
The murder investigation was really great. There were multiple possible culprit and the hunt for clues was very engrossing. I loved that it was not predictable and that i discovered the culprit, and his motive, alongside the main characters.
I really enjoyed The Fire Seer and Her Quradum and I am definitely awaiting the next novel. I wonder how the new addition to Taya and Mandir's traveling group will affect their journey and if those characters are temporary friends or long term additions.
I strongly suggest you give this oriental flavored fantasy story a try. I bet you won't be disappointed!...more
Celaena was forced into exile, sent on a mission by the King of Adarlan, but once she get there her plans must change.
Heir of Fire is an awesome instaCelaena was forced into exile, sent on a mission by the King of Adarlan, but once she get there her plans must change.
Heir of Fire is an awesome installment in this series but I would lie if I said I got into the story right away. See, the Throne of Glass series has a very intricate world, filled with details, weird names and many past- and present- enemies, and with my terrible memory, I had a hard time getting my bearings once more. I don't want to tarnish this novel's shine, it really is my own fault hehe. Once I got back into the saddle though, it was quite a ride!
All our favorite characters -and some new ones- are now apart, living their own lives in parallel. Celaena is in Wedlyn learning about her magic and her history (which is quite amazing!) with a new awesome character - Rowan. He is one grumpy old as dirt Fae, but he really grows on you hehe. Damian is still in Adarlan, dealing with his magic and his father, but also overcoming his loss of Celaena with a new female character! Chaol, as amazing as he is, is completely lost in this installment, trying to find the right path, and I really felt for him. Witches were also given a more important role in this novel, and we meet Manon. Her story isn't that relevant in Heir of Fire, but I think she'll be important in Queen of Shadows.
My favorite part of this novel is definitely Celaena and her new friend Rowan. I loved their interactions, two bulls facing each other to see who will come out on top. Even though they start as reluctant partners, they end up being really good for each other and I loved it. It's not a romantic relationship, nothing like what Celaena had with Chaol, but it's also really great.
The plot was very engaging! Every characters are knowingly - or not- getting ready for a full blown war. The stakes are really high and battles, big and small, are being fought on every front. It's very exciting to witness everyone getting ready, seeing the pieces get in line and set the ground for the upcoming battle. Celaena really impressed me with her attitude, her quick mind and her abilities. She not only faced physical enemies, but also her inner demons, brilliantly! We also finally learned what really happened the night her parents died!
Heir of Fire is one big buildup of anticipation for Queen of Shadows, coming out September 2015. I really can't wait to read about this epic battle and I truly hope my favorite characters will make it through. Many did great sacrifices in Heir of Fire and I hope they will be worth it!
If you haven't read this amazing series yet, I strongly urge you to do so, starting with The Assassin's Blade. It's a collection of the short stories of this series, and I strongly suggest you read the first 3 ones before you start on Throne of Glass....more
The Storyspinner was quite an original tale and I really enjoyed it, even though it's nothing like I imagined it would be when I requested it. With anThe Storyspinner was quite an original tale and I really enjoyed it, even though it's nothing like I imagined it would be when I requested it. With an archer on the novel I really thought the main character would be an epic fighter, a Katsa-like girl with an alpha female presence and I couldn't have been farther away from the truth! Oh Johanna has quite a presence, but it's her art, her stage presence, that mesmerize anyone listening to her tales, not her physical prowess.
The lore is definitely a really strong aspect of this novel. A 'normal' medieval society fighting for a throne on one side of the mountain and mystical soldiers blessed with magical abilities ruling the other side. Things get ugly though when humans try to find and kill the young lost heiress to the throne and the Keepers get involved. The basis of this story is completely different from anything I've read and I really enjoyed it. Add a little gypsy spirit to the mix and you've got quite a great recipe.
One of the down sides, for me at least, to this story is the numerous narrators. There's just too many of them (5 or 6?) to really relate to a particular character and while I understand the author's desire to show many different perceptive, I think it could've been achieved much more smoothly with a maximum of three narrators. That being said, I really liked Johanna's dedication to her family and she impressed me with her strength of character. She was a strong multifaceted lead role.
The plot was engaging but I felt like it was a bit held back because of all the perceptive the author chose to include. I would lie if I said I was riveted to the pages the entire time, because quite honestly, I thought of giving up on this book many times. I'm glad I held on though because I liked the story and the end was a killer. Now I really want to read the next book, and I truly hope the aspects that bothered me will be more polished in the sequel.
All in all, it's a good debut novel, but I think it would've been even better with a little more work in the editing department. You should definitely give it a try though!...more
Yelena, once so scared of magic grew dependent on her powers, and she realize when they are suddenly gone. A weird attack rendered her powerless and fYelena, once so scared of magic grew dependent on her powers, and she realize when they are suddenly gone. A weird attack rendered her powerless and feeling oddly vulnerable. How did she live all those years so defenseless before she discovered her powers? She must keep it a secret though because many of her enemies would jump on this opportunity to put an end to her life.
I have been waiting for years for another Yelena & Valek book and I was so happy when Maria announced she’s working on a new series featuring them. As much as I loved this novel, and I’ll tell you all about it later, I’m afraid the years between the releases ( 7 since the last study book, 5 since the last Glass book) played hell on my memory and I grew frustrated about all the details I had forgotten. To avoid this situation, I would suggest you reread the books before you get to Shadow Study, if it’s something that would bother you too.
Yelena gained quite the reputation as the Soulfinder and liaison between Ixia and Sitia. She is almost bigger than life if you listen to all the gossip, so fer her to be suddenly powerless and away from Valek was quite the challenge. I loved that even though giving in to despair was tempting, she never gave up and fought back with everything she had. This girl just doesn’t have it in her to hide and wait it out. The mystery surrounding her magic’s disappearance is quite thick, and I’m afraid we’ll have to wait for the next never to really know what actually happened. Thankfully, Snyder pointed us the culprit, which make the tension barely, but barely. I really want to know how that person did it!
My favorite aspect of this novel, and by far, are all the visit to Valek’s past. What happened in his youth, how he became an assassin, his struggles, meeting with the commander and finally, killing the king. I was completely mesmerized by those bit of tales speckled all over the book and I was craving the next one again and again. I admired his focus, determination and resourcefulness. Really, Ari & Janco can only dream of being that good, I was thoroughly impressed.
Fans will be happy to know many old friends -and foes- are featured in this novel. A peculiar new character is also introduced, and she is bound to leave you scratching your head in wonder.
The plot if of course filled with intrigue, battles and twist & turns. I never would have guessed the extend of the different betrayals taking place in this book, and I can’t wait to see all the consequences in the next novel, Night Study, expected in 2016.
If I had one complaint to formulate, can we please have Yelena and Valek together?? They were apart the whole time! *pouts*...more
The only survivor of her race, Nalia was captured and sold on the black market to become Malek's personal jinni. He mistreated her, hurt her, and yetThe only survivor of her race, Nalia was captured and sold on the black market to become Malek's personal jinni. He mistreated her, hurt her, and yet he is craving her affection. Meanwhile, the leader of a rebel group who clearly hates her is trying to recruit her services to save the oppressed jinnis back in Arjinna. Could he also claim her heart in the process, or will Malek earn the privilege?
Right from the start I'll tell you I have mixed feelings about this novel, and unfortunately for me I can't really pin-point the more negative elements. It took me 3 weeks to read this novel. That's A LOT of time. At times, I thought that I should just give up, but I really wanted to know how the story would end, so I soldiered on. But the weirdest thing is I don't know why I was dragging my feet.
The Jinni theme and the 'For fans of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone series and Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy' bit was what first made me request this book, and really I enjoyed the lore and the world. It's my first jinni book, and probably not the last since they seem to be popping left and right, but I loved the rich exotic culture Demetrios infused to the story. The middle-east atmosphere (even though the action takes place in Hollywood) was really refreshing. The author did a really great job introducing the jinni's world, their way of living, their culture and gods and the animosity between the dead royalty and the cerf population.
The magic was probably my favorite element. There are four jinni races (pr class if your into RP) and each has an affinity with an element: earth, air, water and fire. Nalia, being royalty, has affinity with all four. I liked that different things could be done with different element and that the wish each jinni could grant was limited by their elemental powers.
The characters were great as well. I liked Nalia and her determination and her dedication to her brother. She is the new Empress because all the royalty died, but she's not interested in power. I loved that she cared for the people around her, and appreciated the beauty of both worlds even though she was raised to think otherwise. Raif was a great prospect and I liked his strength and desire to do the right thing. And Malek, despite his being kind of a bad guy, really caught my attention. I'm convinced there is much more to him to discover and I kind of pitied him. He felt like a like boy craving for mommy's attention at time, despite the fact that he is one of the most influential being on the planet.
I think the one negative aspect I can think of is the pace. I liked almost everything in this book, even the romance, yet it felt like this book was never ending! So I guess it's the one aspect I would've changed.
If the sequel ends up on edelweiss I will read it, but I don't think I would buy it. This novel received a lot of praise, and really, I liked most of it, so you should definitely give it a try. Jinni are definitely a new trend, and this novel is as good a place to start as any :)...more
The official summary is a great introduction to the world, so I won’t bother writing one. I don’t really agree with the Graceling comparison though (cThe official summary is a great introduction to the world, so I won’t bother writing one. I don’t really agree with the Graceling comparison though (can’t comment about The Selection, I haven’t read it). The only point it has in common with Graceling is people having special abilities. But in Red Queen, the abilities are a lot more like wielding magic, rather than being extraordinarily talented for something AND the range of possible abilities isn’t as wide and is much more predictable then in Graceling. So yeah, The Graceling mention played it’s part – it got me to request the book – but it’s not a fitting description.
Red Queen is a fantastic debut novel! I really thought I had it all figured out. Poor girl meets rich boy, rich boy pities her and helps her, turns out he is a prince, they marry and she becomes queen. TA-DAM! … NOT. The strongest and most important element of Red Queen is its unpredictability. ‘Anyone can betray anyone’ is a motto mentioned many times in the novel, and it’s probably the most important and representative sentence of Red Queen. You can never take anything for granted while reading or it’ll bite you, just like the characters.
I liked Mare even though she was a little naive despite all the warnings. I understand that she finds herself in a very difficult situation, away from her family, submerged in a world she knows nothing about and had to lie through her teeth for survival, but unfortunately she hangs onto the wrong buoy, hoping not to drown. Cal isn’t perfect, and I like that he did his best to serve his people the only way he knew how. I just wished he was a little more daring and courageous in the end. Maven is one cryptic character and I’ll have to let you figure him out for yourself!
Victoria tried to play the love triangle trend and it didn’t quite work. Mare has a bit of a crush on Cal at first and then finds herself betrothed to Maven. She isn’t really in love with neither boys, and use them both to her advantage. There is also a childhood friend orbiting around her, that might have been an option, but nothing major there either. I didn’t really care for the romance for that reason, but it might work better in the next installment.
My favorite aspect is by far the lore. I love how social ranking is determined by blood color (reds are slave and silver the elite) and their respective powers. The world is set in a future in which we’ve destroyed each other in wars and the new world is a blend of great technology and great poverty. The difference between both world is incomparable.
I enjoyed the plot line full of twist and turns, keeping me engaged until the very end. I particularly liked the final battle and I can’t wait for the second installment. I want to know what awaits Mare now that so many secrets have been revealed. I strongly suggest you get your hands on this debut!...more
Let me start this review by saying, FINALLY! I've been awaiting another Shifters book for so long, and it's finally here! For those who don't know, LiLet me start this review by saying, FINALLY! I've been awaiting another Shifters book for so long, and it's finally here! For those who don't know, Lion's Share is the first book in a new spin-off series. The original series, Shifters, was Rachel's first published series and it was really awesome. This original series featured Faythe, Marc and Jace and from what I gathered, this new series will feature a different couple each novel, following the traditional paranormal romance series (Shifters was more Urban Fantasy). You don't NEED to read the Shifter's books to read Lion's Share, but I strongly suggest it. It will allow you to really grasp the nature and laws of the Shifters, Jace & Abby's pasts and honestly, it's heart-poundingly good, so why skip it?
Jace is everything a girl could hope for. He is swoon worthy, powerful & loyal. I was sooo very happy to learn this book would feature him, because let's be honest, he had more then his share of trouble, and unfortunately, he gets even more this time around. At least, he now got the girl for his trouble haha. Abby was a traumatized girl who's grown into a confident woman and I loved that change in her. She definitely needs to learn some self-control, but it makes for some interesting scenes! I really loved the two of them together, their chemistry and their fights.
The plot was action-packed and I was totally hooked even though the intrigue was very predictable. I wished Rachel didn't remind us every other page that Abby was hiding something because I figured it all out pretty quickly. It did not hamper my enjoyment of the novel so no harm done.
The conclusion was a killer though! I DID NOT expect that! I had a couple of possible scenarios in mind, and it wasn't one of them! I would've paid good money to see the face of all those stuck-up alphas at the end and I can't wait to see how the series will evolve from there.
Rachel Vincent is self-publishing this series because no publisher wished to purchase the rights because it had been too long since the last Shifters book. Because of that, the very existence of future books depends on the sale of Lion's Share so I URGE you to purchase this amazing novel and encourage her. I really really hope there will be more novel in the series and I wonder which couple will be next!...more
Mara enrolled the order to atone for her crimes. When she finally sets out to seek her charge, she has a very idealistic idea of how things should be,Mara enrolled the order to atone for her crimes. When she finally sets out to seek her charge, she has a very idealistic idea of how things should be, and she hits really far from the mark. Even though things are nothing like she had hoped, she finds her path anyway, for better or for worst.
Empire of Shadows is a companion novel to City of a Thousand Dolls, a book I have not read. I usually don’t read books out of order and the whole time I was wondering if I was missing anything because I hadn’t read the first book. Don’t get me wrong, I never felt lost or anything while reading, but it kept bothering me. Until the very end that is. When I realized that Empire of Shadows actually takes place roughly 15-20 years before the events of City of a Thousand Dolls. Now I just want to read CoaTD!
First I have to say that I really liked Mara. She is haunted by her past, but she’s determined to atone and she has a fierce desire to do the right thing. She earned my respect with her decision to completely refuse to shift to her Sune form has a kind of punishment, but found a way to be strong as a human, and fight for her beliefs.
An aspect of this novel I particularly liked was the friendship between our fierce Mara and Revathi. It wasn’t love at first sight between Revathi and I. She was kind of snobbish and arrogant with Mara at first, but I loved how she did not denigrate the Arvi clan at the beginning, so I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. Turns out I was right! Their growing bond was a star to this story and I loved to see two young girls driving a YA plot instead of the usual love triangle.
Speaking of love, I really liked Emil on his own. His troubled relationship with his father and his brother, his desire to protect the latest, his yearning to be something else than he is destined to. He was very endearing with his actions both toward Mara and Esmer, his Sune friend. What I liked less, is the way Mara & Emil’s relationship evolved. I can believe in chemistry, or even instant attraction, but the way they became each others’ center of the universe after only a few shared sentences was not believable.
That being said, I really liked the world-building and the plot. Full of mysteries, action and conspiracies, there was plenty to keep me interested the whole time. And the end? LOVED it. The epilogue completely sold me, and as I said in my intro, I now want to read CoaTD!...more