I was excited to read this when I first heard about it. It sounded pretty awesome, and that cover, yeah, that had me pulling towards it faster than an...moreI was excited to read this when I first heard about it. It sounded pretty awesome, and that cover, yeah, that had me pulling towards it faster than anything else could. When Netgalley accepted my request, I was so anxious to dive right into the story. I was never really worried that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. And it did. Even going beyond what I was hoping for, and promising so much more.
I find pirates rather intriguing. Maybe that stems from my liking of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, but don’t pillaging, sword fighting, treasure seeking pirates have a ring of adventure and mystery to them? Even if some of them are good for nothing scoundrels. The pirates in this here book were fashioned quite well. The story is told from a young pirate girl’s point of view. Which I honestly find quite appealing. A pirate girl isn’t going to be a TSTL heroine who relies on her hero to save her. Ananna was fierce and independent. She takes action, and she doesn’t wait for the dazzling hero to get her out of the situations she gets herself into. And this is what drew me completely into the story.
I found myself falling in love with Ananna’s voice. She was just such fun to read. She was a strong character. She was the fierce, independent pirate girl, but she also shows a soft side. A side that cares about people and that could love. And she shows that she’s not completely fearless. There are things that scare her senseless. But she doesn’t let her fright get the better of her. She rises after the scare with strength and determination to set out to do what she needs to. Then there was Naji. The assassin whose life Ananna saved and now they’re bonded together and they have to find a way to break the curse. Naji was a pretty cool character, and I felt was created really good. He’s an awesome assassin. Black as night that can move without a sound and can kill with precision and skill. But Naji isn’t your typical prince charming who has girls falling over their feet to get him, who dazzles everyone, including the heroine, with his charms and extremely hot looks. Naji is scarred, physically and internally. And this shows the reader his weakness. It shows that he is not just the fearless, stealthy assassin. He has demons he’s trying to fight, and he tries to hide it. And I really did feel for him. I find myself liking the tortured hero, because it shows they’re not perfect, and that they have a past.
I liked the subtle, slow growing romance. I liked that Ananna didn’t immediately fall in love with him (which would be pretty hard to do when he just tried to kill her). I liked that they were forced to be together which they both resented, but that through this bond, this curse, they grew to understand each other. I liked that Ananna was able to see past Naji’s scars, and focus on the man who desperately needs help. I felt that the buildup of their friendship, and potential, inevitable romance was done well and was beautiful. I’m extremely excited to see how their romance will blossom.
And the ending. The ending was perfect! The last line made me smile and made my heart grow warm because of its beauty and love. This novel was beautifully crafted and executed. It was by no means perfect. When I really think about it, there are a few flaws, but I just don’t want to think about those, because the book was otherwise so awesome that I don’t want my love of it tainted in any way. So, I’ll focus on the bright spots instead. K? The characters were very well rounded, and I loved them, the plot was exciting and intriguing, the world was luscious and wonderfully built, the writing was amazing. Pretty much I just loved the whole book. Clarke did an awesome job, and I cannot wait for the sequel. Which should be coming out any day now. Sometime next year. Or maybe sooner if I can bribe the publisher, and find some ingenious way to force Clarke to write faster. Because we all know how readers hate to wait. Anyway, I applaud Clarke for writing an incredible, worthwhile young adult novel that hopefully readers everywhere will love.
Thank you to Strange Chemistry and Netgalley for the arc.(less)
This book was rather boring. And I’m sad to say that, because it did sound interesting. But it failed to interest me, or excite me, or make me eager t...moreThis book was rather boring. And I’m sad to say that, because it did sound interesting. But it failed to interest me, or excite me, or make me eager to keep reading. Most of my disinterest was because of the characters. They were flat and boring. They didn’t feel real to me. And Lena was the worst. (which is really bad, because if the MC doesn’t generate enough interest in the reader, her involvement in the plot will seem pointless, and her relationships with the other characters will be stupid and boring).She was one of those too stupid to live ‘heroines’. The choices she made were so stupid. And I know characters make stupid choices all the time, but some authors have the ability of making the reader understand the character’s decision, and can make that stupid choice they did help them as they grow and learn and are shaped into that likeable, believable person. Lena was not this person. She betrayed a few people, and I never saw any real redemption or personal growth in her. I didn’t see how this wrong decision helped her to change, or realize the horrible thing she did and have her try to make things right. She knew what she did was wrong, and she did feel bad, but I saw more of her feeling sorry for herself, and wondering if they could ever forgive her, which, I guess they did right after she committed it, because they never really felt like they’d been betrayed, (at least that’s the feeling I got when I was reading). And here’s another thing I didn’t like about her. She was selfish, and thought more about her sorry self and her disgusting hands and feet, and thinking that Jimson could never love her because of what she is, even when Jimson is kind to her and pays her more attention than she deserves.
Another thing that took me away from the book was the dialogue. It was too formal and stiff, and therefore made the characters feel stiffer. The plot wasn’t captivating like I wanted it to be. Exciting stuff happened, but I didn’t feel excited. The ending wasn’t so great, and didn’t make me at all excited to read a sequel, (if there will be one, and most likely will be).
So this book was rather unsatisfying for me. Hopefully there are people who will like it much more than I did.
Thank you to Amulet Books and Netgalley for the arc.(less)
This was a cute, sweet story. Shayla is half human, half faerie, who is trying to discover herself while living in a world of humans who couldn’t poss...moreThis was a cute, sweet story. Shayla is half human, half faerie, who is trying to discover herself while living in a world of humans who couldn’t possibly understand her if they knew who she really is. But then she starts to make friends in her new school, and they understand her, and treat her no differently when they find she’s not entirely human. Shayla gains confidence in herself and her abilities. I liked seeing her journey and growth. She isn’t the strongest, independent heroine I’ve read, but she learned to become stronger, and in the face of adversity, she challenged it head on, if only to save the people she loved, and I appreciated seeing that in her.
This was a more simple tale. It wasn’t really original, and didn’t have a terribly exciting plot, but I still really liked the story. I enjoyed all the characters. They were written well and felt real to me. I liked the plot, and the fairytaleish feeling the writing and story had. The end of the book kept my attention more thoroughly as the plot thickened, and events were unfolding, presenting a clearer, intriguing picture. I also liked the romance. It was cute, and simple, and I enjoyed seeing Shayla and Jace fall in like.
I would recommend this book to young readers looking for a cute faerie story with a little romance in it.
Thank you to Cedar Fort and Netgalley for the arc. (less)
Bloodmaiden was nice little fantasy story. Short as it is, it still managed to carry a wonderful tale of dragons and sprites that kept my interest thr...moreBloodmaiden was nice little fantasy story. Short as it is, it still managed to carry a wonderful tale of dragons and sprites that kept my interest through to the end. In the land of Sulaimon, dragons and the people whom the dragons have sworn to protect, live in harmony. Except for one of the four dynasties in the land, where the dragons have betrayed the people, commanding each year, a sacrifice of a young woman, whom they name Quelda, and her newlywed husband to be put to death. Crislin, made Quelda at the beginning of the book, and her childhood friend now her husband, escape this treacherous place in hopes of stopping the dragons lust for blood.
I loved the beginning, and how the setup for the marriage was done. It makes you wonder what is going on, what is the Quelda, why is Crislin being forced to marry, and why she is sentenced to die. It immediately caught my interest and I was so eager to know what was going to happen. The world was described in detail from the very beginning, and it helped with the setting, and giving me a better picture of the land and the people and dragons in it. The writing helped in doing this. It was very nice, beautiful even.
The land itself was very interesting, very colorful and magical that breathed with life and music. The characters are searching for an aria, that will help them defeat the dragons who kill the Queldas. I really appreciate books that have music interwoven with the story. It gives the book a sense of beauty and majestic quality that enchants me. And here it was displayed beautifully.
One thing that I feel could have been better was the characters. I did like them, they were portrayed nicely and I did feel emotion from them at times. But Crislin and her husband, Chalom felt a little flat at times. I think they could have used more description and more time to develop for me to understand them better. But this wasn’t enough to detract me from the story. In the end, I found I really did like the book. I would recommend this to readers who don’t mind a short, light fantasy story. (less)
O.O What?...*Looks closer* No, I'm not seeing things. It is what I think it is. *cue the major fangirl screaming* Seriously?! A new trilogy from one o...moreO.O What?...*Looks closer* No, I'm not seeing things. It is what I think it is. *cue the major fangirl screaming* Seriously?! A new trilogy from one of my favoritest authors taking us back to the world of the Iron Fey?! *me jumping up and down unable to contain my excitement* That completely made my day! Oh, I cannot wait!!
Julie, you evil genius, what will you come up with next?
Edit 8/7/12: I got approved for this! I got approved for this! I GOT APPROVED FOR THIS!! Netgalley and Harlequin Teen, I love you.(less)
Seraphina was a beauty. And not just because of the beautiful writing, or the characters I came to love, but also because of the emotion suffused into...moreSeraphina was a beauty. And not just because of the beautiful writing, or the characters I came to love, but also because of the emotion suffused into the story. There is so much heart in this novel, in the characters, that it took my breath away, and I was literally swept away into this fantastic world of dragons and humans striving to coexist, yet harboring ill feelings toward the other because it is their nature. And defying this nature is a seemingly impossible feat.
Here enters the heroine of the story, Seraphina, who is harboring her own secret that could threaten to destroy her if anyone found out. Her mother was a dragon, her father a human, making her a very rare person, as dragons and humans do not mix. The very thought is unheard of, and disgusting to both dragons and humans. Yet the unthinkable happened when Linn fell in love with Claude, and Seraphina was born. But knowing that she is different, doesn’t keep her from excelling. She rises above this horrid secret, always striving to do her best, and trying to unite the two diverse groups.
There are moments when her secret becomes too hard a burden, from lying to the people she cares about, to trying to understand dragons better, while still wishing that she wasn’t one. There was one part where Seraphina realizes something, and her hatred of her dragon half is more than she can bear. She tries to cut her scales, and then, with great difficulty and pain, she pries one scale off. Even thinking back about it, it makes me squirm. Hartman, through that scene, was able to make me hate the dragon part of Seraphina, and I saw the revulsion and hatred that Seraphina has for herself, which prevents her from truly accepting who and what she is. I sympathized for her, and I wished that she could find someone, a friend, who could love her even despite her dragon half, and accept her, scales and all. And that moment did come about. One of my favorite parts of the novel was the end, when (view spoiler)[Lucian gently takes Seraphina’s wrist and kisses it. (hide spoiler)] That was a beautiful scene, showing that if someone can love her despite her scales, then so can she.
I loved how music was incorporated into the story. I have a thing for music in novels. It brings a special beauty and wonder to the story. I find myself being drawn in deeper with its musical tones, and lilting songs. Even though it’s only presented to me in prose, I can feel the music, and how it affects the characters. Seraphina especially, as this is her specialty. She tutors Princess Glisselda in music, and is assistant to the choir director. And when she plays her instruments, it fills her soul with vivacity and love. I would love to hear her play. It would be an unforgettable experience.
Princess Glisselda is one character I enjoyed immensely. She’s energetic, and seemingly naïve, but when placed in positions when she must fall into her role as heir to the throne, you can see the majestic queen she will become. She’s determined to do what is morally right, while being diplomatic, while keeping a measure of her innocence within. Her engagement to Lucian was created for political advancement, and while they are fond of each other, and perhaps love each other, I never felt that there was any romantic love. I felt that Lucian understood Seraphina better. What they have is something that is blooming into love, and it was beautiful, and executed well. But of course there are complications, seeing as he is engaged to the princess. But, I feel that Glisselda would be understanding, and maybe even support them.
Emotion is a big player in the novel. Dragons are emotionless. They don’t understand human emotion; they think it’s beneath them and their intellectual minds. But through a few dragons human eyes, we see them discover emotion, not understanding it, but not being able to turn away, because they are feeling something, and it’s broadening their understanding of humans and the world. As a reader, being given this fresh view of emotion made me connect with the novel more, because I was feeling those emotions. Then there are the human’s feelings (Seraphina, Lucian, Glisselda) about the dragons, and the evolution of those feelings as they’re given new insight about them.
The world-building was spectacular. The base of the story really did read like a classic fairytale with knights in shining armor, damsels in distress, and dragons. In a very loose, light way. The world Hartman created takes this storyline and turns it upside down, mixing everything up, while still retaining a ring of truth to the classic tales. We have the knight in shining armor, Lucian Kiggs, captain of the Queens Guard, who protects the royal family, and in a way, Seraphina. Then there’s the damsel in distress, Seraphina, who is distressed with her secret, and hideous dragon parts. And then, of course, dragons. But then it has political intrigue, and religion, and a murder mystery, and words of wisdom from past literary scholars in their world; all of which was handled with tact and skill. Not being too complex with the politics, or being overbearing with the religion. There was one line Lucian quoted from a scholar that I particularly liked. “Let the one who seeks justice, be just.” That could be applied to everything. If you want to be treated kindly, you must be kind to others, if you want to be loved, you must love, etc. Basic law of reciprocity. If you look closely, there are deeper meanings to be found in Seraphina.
I am just, in awe of this book. It was incredible, executed with finesse, created with love. I enjoyed every second of it. With beautiful prose, Hartman spun a tale reminiscent of fairytales, darkened with dragons, and hatred, lightened with music, and love, infused with breathless wonder, underlined with excitement. This book deserves so much praise, and I’m glad to be one singing my love of it. I would reccommend this book to fantasy lovers, dragon lovers, and people who like mysteries and mind puzzles, kind of like Bitterblue. I hope that you endeavor to step into this wonderful book, and I hope that you come out of it completely enthralled. So, bravo Rachel Hartman, you’ve won me over, and I cannot wait for Dracomachia["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Well, this is the first time that I’m not gushing about my love for one of Colleen’s books. It feels so wrong to not love Tiger’s Destiny. But for cer...moreWell, this is the first time that I’m not gushing about my love for one of Colleen’s books. It feels so wrong to not love Tiger’s Destiny. But for certain reasons, I couldn’t. This is really weird for me to say this, because I’m one of the biggest fans of this series. The first three books I loved wholeheartedly, I couldn’t get enough of them. They left me breathless and excited. And I was so flipping excited for Tiger’s Destiny. But, to tell you the truth, I was actually worried that I wouldn’t love Tiger’s Destiny like the other books. I felt that if things didn’t change, and I didn’t get what I wanted, this book would end up disappointing me. And in the end, it did disappoint me, and I felt a little angry too.
I didn’t hate the book. I just don’t know how much I like it. There were moments that I loved, that were so awesome, and kept me riveted. The mythical, magical aspects of the story enchant me, and kept me reading excitedly to see what would happen, and how it would all connect. I’m actually rather intrigued with the plot. It’s not the best executed, but it’s pretty interesting. My favorite part was probably the last battle with Lokesh. Houck managed to rivet me with the fighting scene, and of Kelsey fighting. And what happened after the fight ripped my heart out. I knew that it would not, could not end that way. Yet still I cried, my heart crying out “NO! NO! NO!” Because this book was able to elicit such strong emotions in me, and make me invested in needing to know the outcome and how this journey will play out, there’s a little bit of love for Tiger’s Destiny in me. But there isn’t very much, and it isn’t very strong. And I’m so sad to say that. It’s rather depressing, actually.
I always knew that Houck’s writing wasn’t the best. It’s good, but I could see so much room for improvement. And I think since Tiger’s Curse, she’s improved a little. But I honestly don’t think it’s going to get much better. Her writing seems to have plateaued, and that doesn’t bode well for her readers who are wishing for something more, something better, and are being bogged down a little by the writing. It’s really not that terrible. There’s a nice flow to it, and Colleen is able to keep me interested, so her writing has to at least be pretty good. I just wish that I could see a bigger improvement in her writing.
The thing that drove me bonkers, and made me literally want to scream in frustration, (and was the main reason why I couldn’t love this book), was the triangle of love. Before TD, I immensely enjoyed the love triangle between Kelsey and her two tigers. I truly felt that it was the best triangle I’ve read about. It just seemed so logical, and real, and Houck did a fantastic job at making me fall in love with both men. I thought it was well done, and added to the story. *And now come some spoilers about this situation.*(view spoiler)[Now, I am so angry about the whole thing, because it is still. Not. OVER! I was desperately hoping that it would end in TD. That was my biggest hope for this book, and it never happened. (Of course, the arc I got didn't give me the ending, which will have her ultimate decision [I suppose to make me more excited for the actual release, and to make sure I buy it, I guess], so I didn't get to see Kelsey's choice which is the only thing I wanted from the whole book, and is the only thing I didn't get). And that’s why this book failed to completely enrapture me, and made me a little angry. But, I do have to confess, that part of the reason for my not liking the book so much, is because the whole book, Kelsey was with Kishan. (hide spoiler)] Kelsey and Kishan together was never able to give me those romantic, heart fluttering moments that I always got when Kelsey was with Ren. I love Kishan. He is a fantastic character, I love his personality, I love seeing how he’s grown and learned through this journey and through loving Kelsey. BUT! I love Ren so much more. He is my man. I don’t know why Kelsey can’t just wake up and see how much he ardently loves her, and break open her thick head and realize how much she loves him and can’t stand being apart from.
Kelsey, she just rankles me. I honestly don’t know why, when the love she felt for Ren was so true, and powerful, she would desert that love, (several times I might add) and decide to be with another man that she does love, but a love that just doesn’t compare. She’s so stupid. I really just want to strangler her, knock her upside the head so her thoughts get straightened out. Come one girl! Make up your dense mind! ARghhh!! Okay, so she really makes me angry. But, in truth, I like her. I like her character; I’ve liked seeing her growth. And in TD, she’s actually a pretty mean kick butt heroine. And I admire her for that. That’s part of what made this book so exciting for me. I just, don’t understand her heart and the choices she makes about the men she loves.
I didn’t exactly like Kishan’s character in this book. He was always acting jealous. Even when he had Kelsey claimed as his own, he was jealous of his brother, and was continually staking his claim. I think Kishan is acting that way because he’s afraid. He’s afraid that he’ll lose Kelsey to Ren. Because he knows that the love Ren and Kelsey shared was real, and no matter how much she loves Kishan, the part that loves Ren will always be there, and will never diminish. And his love for her can’t quite compare to Ren’s love. I can understand his fears. And I do sympathize for him. I guess I just wish that he would wake up, and realize that he deserves better than being in a relationship with a woman who isn’t 110% committed to and in love with him.
If you have read Colleen’s other books and didn’t like them, I can pretty much guarantee you will not like this one. It’s basically the same thing. So to you readers, I would not recommend this book. There are other books you can read that will be worth your time. To the fans of the Tiger’s Curse series, well, I believe there will be some of you who will wholeheartedly love and devour this book. I didn’t. But that isn’t to say that are others who won’t. And I have to say that I’m glad there’s only one more book. Not that I’m saying I’m tired of the series, and just want it to end. Because I love this series, I love the adventure, and for the most part the romance. I’m just ready for the love triangle to end.
Note: I recieved an arc from the publisher via Edelweiss. Thank you!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)