3.5 stars. I had to read this for one of my modules at university and I actually found it surprisingly captivating! The Liar is pretty much the story3.5 stars. I had to read this for one of my modules at university and I actually found it surprisingly captivating! The Liar is pretty much the story of a case similar overall to the one presented in the film Spotlight. ...more
25/01/2017 UPDATE: It has a cover!!!! OMG it is so pretty! That dress is so beautiful! And this means that the release is so close and I literally can25/01/2017 UPDATE: It has a cover!!!! OMG it is so pretty! That dress is so beautiful! And this means that the release is so close and I literally cannot wait!
My theories for this book are all in my ACOMAF review but basically, I think that: - Amren is a dragon - Nessian is endgame and most likely maybe mates as well YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS! - Tamlin may get a redemption arc (I don't think that it will happen in ACOWAR but in future installments) - Rhys and Feyre are going to continue being angsty, horny and they're going to have a Dramatic Reunion™ and then proceed to fuck shit up - we're going to learn more about Azriel's past and I'm assuming there was a female figure in his life (probably mother?) that was abused at one point - Tarquin & the Summer Court are going to be back and we're probably going to meet people from other courts as well - we're going to meet more daemanti/people with Rhys and Feyre's 'mind-reading' abilities - Miryam and Drakon are going to become important characters - we're going to see Rhys' beast form - Cassian's wings are going to be healed IDK IF THIS WILL HAPPEN BUT I NEED HIM TO BE OKAY - Nesta will fuck shit up
For explanations behind all of that, check out my ACOMAF review where I explain it all and feel free to message me/comment to talk about this because I am going bonkers waiting for this book!
This book is 100% absolutely going to ruin me and I am not ready ...more
I've never put this much thought into a review or been this excited about a review so prepare yourself for this! I've waited two days to be able to wrI've never put this much thought into a review or been this excited about a review so prepare yourself for this! I've waited two days to be able to write this review and meanwhile I've re-read both ACOTAR and ACOMAF because this series has got me completely fucked up. As we all know, I am the queen of long, rambly, and generally over-emotional reviews but boy, oh boy, is this a new low… Also, this review is fuelled by wine, so that's that. Without further ado, here are my thoughts on this book and theories and hopes for the next installment. As usual, spoilers galore ahead so proceed with caution.
(For the short version of this review just read my paragraphs on Nessian and Amren because that's where all the theories are and where shit goes down)
I'll start with the main character first, Feyre. She has gone through so much in just one - albeit rather long - book and her character development has been quite substantial. At the beginning of this book she is very obviously stuck in an unhealthy, controlling and abusive relationship. The abuse cycle is all woven into the narrative. In the beginning she knows that Tamlin's over-protectiveness is not okay, but then she accepts it as normal and makes excuses for his behaviour, only to realise later how wrong his behaviour actually was.
Tamlin's behaviour is explained, though - by emphasizing that it's his primal desire to protect and that his family's turbulent history has influenced him as well - and that makes me think that Maas is going to write him a redemption arc sooner or later, which tbh I'm not a fan of. I've mentioned before that redemption arcs for characters who are on the villain side of the spectrum usually end up being really unrealistic in my opinion so I hope that Sarah writes a convincing storyline for Tamlin in the future. While I don’t think his redemption will come in the next book, from how the story has progressed so far, I have a feeling it will happen sometime in the series.
That being said, Tamlin's issues go beyond his over-protectiveness. He is extremely passive in his dealing with most things. This was particularly evident in the parallel Maas created between how Rhys helped Feyre deal with her nightmares and how Tamlin did - or rather, didn’t. This passive behaviour was present in ACOTAR as well: he was completely impassive while Feyre was taking her trials while Rhys helped her and even Lucien called out to help her while she was running from the wyrm in the first task, he remained impassive while the Attor was torturing Feyre, when he had the chance to be proactive and to help Feyre escape, he wasted it completely, and when Amarantha was torturing Feyre, he was reduced to begging while Rhys was the only one trying to help her. Moreover, not only does he completely refuse to accept Feyre's reasoning for why she left but he completely disregards the mating bond as well and treats Feyre as a posession. In his mind, his behaviour is excusable because he 'was trying to protect her' and that's why I fear that a redemption arc is a very fragile topic when it comes to Tamlin. Still, I bet the dynamic between Tamlin, Feyre and Lucien is going to be extremely interesting in the next book.
Moving on to darling Rhys. I've said it before in my review of ACOTAR that I was sure Rhysand was going to be the main love interest so going into this novel, my biggest issue was: how is SJMaas going to make Feyre and Rhys fall in love in just one book and have it be realistic? And of course, Maas did not disappoint because Bloody Hell and Heavens Above they've been mates all along! The love story was absolutely perfect and slow-burning and teasing and built on a solid foundation of trust, understanding and respect. Rhys is so bloody selfless and also extremely progressive - I'm so down for feminist Rhys. I love how he's all like 'Feyre is powerful and can fuck shit up. You fear me? Lol, you should fear my wife.' Also, I love how Maas has written a main male character who is extremely powerful and feared but also vulnerable and broken. In a dynamic which is similar to that of Manon and Dorian in Empire of Storms (check my EoS review for more), Rhys and Feyre both use flirting as a way to try and get the other to 'snap out' of their depressed state when they're down. Rhys showed from the very beginning that actually cared about Feyre's wellbeing and he did everything he could do get her to feel like herself again. I positively died at their flirty interactions, like 'you could try rubbing [the tattoo] on certain parts and I might come faster'. Can that line win best double entendre of all time, please? Also, their magical note sexts and mental smut was too much.
"The paper vanished. It was gone for a while - far longer than it should have taken to write the few words that appeared on the paper when it returned. I'd much rather you licked my wounds for me.
Lol, Rhys knows that feeling when you're trying to decide whether to send the risky text or not.
I can't wait to see an extremely dramatic reunion between him and Feyre in ACOWAR because let's face it Rhysand is Death Incarnate Night Triumphant Drama Queen™. And the way he crashed Feyre and Tamlin's wedding is proof of that. Another piece of evidence is the epic moment when he 'stepped around Tamlin as if he were a piece of furniture'.
Also, can I just mention that Feyre throwing her shoes at his head made me laugh out loud and made me instantly think of the Bush shoe-throwing incident. Does anyone remember that?
Last thing about Rhys, I need to mention that it was extremely interesting to read about his background and the way he grew up and about his absolutely badass mum who wanted to make sure that her daughter in law was no wimp.
Next, brace yourself because I am going to talk about my absolute babies Nesta and Cassian and I can't contain myself when it comes to these two. I absolutely loved them in this novel, but then I accidently stumbled over the extra chapter that Sarah J Maas wrote for the Target edition of ACOMAF and I absolutely died. Read it here now, in case you haven't, and thank me later. Also, keep in mind that scene happens before Cassian wipes Nesta's tears (RIP my heart) First off, Nesta has already established herself as a very intriguing character for me from the first novel but she managed to shine even more in this one and I am sure that we'll get more of her in future novels and that she'll get to play quite a big part in the story. Cassian, however, I had just met in this novel and I absolutely fell in love with the cocky bastard. I love how he's flirty and fiery and witty but at the same time he's got a soft side and goes to concerts with Feyre and is gentle and worried about her and jumps in front on Azriel to save his life. Similarly, Nesta is the tough and angry at the world but would do absolutely anything for sweet Elain. And they are such a perfect match. After reading that extra chapter, I am 100% certain that the mighty 500yo Illyrian warrior, Cassian, who got kneed in the balls by a human girl because he wanted to kiss her too much and all of his blood had gone from his brain to his dick, is absolutely and irrevocably whipped for Nesta. And while I am 100% sure that they are mates, I also think that perhaps the mating bond has already snapped in place for Cassian. And I think that Mor has also realised this as well.
Cassian stirred again, his shredded wings twitching and spraying blood, his muscles quivering. At Nesta's shouts, her raging, his eyes fluttered open, glazed and unseeing, an answer to some call in his blood, a promise he'd made her.
I watched a tear slide down Nesta's cheek. And I watched as Cassian reached up a hand to wipe it away. She did not flinch from his touch. I don't know why but I looked at Mor. Her eyes were wide. Not with jealousy, or irritation, but … something perhaps like awe.
I can just imagine Cassian realising they're mates in ACOWAR and Nesta being just like 'Nope. Not happening.' But I have a feeling that maybe possibly Nesta knows as well?... Exhibit A: "Nesta looked between Rhys and Cassian, then to me. […] 'That was why you painted stars on your drawer.'" Yo, why did she look at Cassian as well if she was just talking about the mating bond between Feyre and Rhys? I need answers! Also, I can't wait to see how they both deal with what has happened to them, Cassian will surely be depressed over what has happened to his wings (God, let his wings be alright please!) and Nesta is going to have to come to terms that she's become that one thing that she hated the most. Nesta was already a complete bamf as a human - not only did she resist Tamlin's glamour but she also made the bloody king of Hybern look unnerved - so I'm 100% sure that she is going to be really powerful as a faerie. I need Nesta to become the scariest, most badass faerie ever and after she gets over the fact that she hates that she's become fae, I want her to start training and to harness that hate and rage she's got and to be ready to fuck shit up. Feyre has hinted at something similar:
Nesta was different. Even before she took her first breath, I felt it. As if the Cauldron, in making her … had been forced to give more than it wanted.
Next, I need to mention how much I love the Inner Circle. The Inner Circle is a little family of damaged people who came together and found each other and the Rhys, Cassian and Azriel trio reminds me so much of young James, Sirius and Remus from Harry Potter (and if you know me, you know I absolutely adore the marauders). First off, I definitely can't wait to see more of Mor because I feel like there's definitely more to her than what we've seen so far and please let her and Azriel have a happy ending because they care about each other so much and he's literally been pining for her for centuries! And speaking of Azriel, I absolutely adored that little scene when Cassian shields him with his wings and I loved that Maas highlighted how strong and important their friendship is and didn't just focus on romantic relationships. I find Azriel such a fascinating character and there have been hints throughout the book that his traumatic past goes beyond what we've already been told about how his brothers treated him. He gets a really haunted look on his face when they're talking about how Illyrians treat females and Cassian mentioned how when they met Azriel couldn't even fly. So my guess is that his abuse goes a lot deeper than what we know and that he's also had a female figure in his life be abused (I'm guessing the mother that he was only allowed to see once a week?)
Next, I need to talk about Amren and oh man, I've got a whole theory down when it comes to her. I am sure that Sarah is going to reveal what sort of creature Amren actually is in ACOWAR and I've got a feeling I know what creature that is. I had a guess after I first read ACOMAF and then when I re-read it I checked it against all the things we know about Amren and it kind of checks out. First of all, I need to say that the secret to foreshadowing and excellent plot twists is planting very subtle clues throughout the book so when you get to the point when the plot twist happens and everything falls into place, the reveal is unexpected but also credible because the foundation has already been laid. So let me tell you that SJ Maas is so good at it that if you didn't know where to look, you'd have no idea the clues are there. That being said, I think Amren might be a dragon. Hear me out! We've been told she's a one-of-a-kind creature in the ACOTAR world, and there haven’t been any dragons yet. We've been told she loves jewelry and treasures and Feyre's been strongly advised not to steal her jewelery by both Rhys and Amren herself (does that sound familiar?), she's vain and she's constantly being compared to a firedrake (which is a bloody dragon). Also, I think SJ Maas hinted at it through this line that Feyre said as well: 'So if we get in brawl and I rip off her necklace, she'll roast and eat me?' Roast and eat as in a fire-breathing dragon? I think so! She always wears grey or 'smoke-coloured' clothes as well so she's either a creature/dragon with literally grey skin or that can be an allusion to smoke that a fire breathes. She drinks the blood of lambs and goats as well and while dragons don't necessarily drink blood but rather eat the whole animal, livestock like lambs and goats are among some of the most popular things that dragons eat in the legends. Now she does usually wear pearls so at one point that made me think that she's either an underwater creature or a sea dragon but I feel that if she was stuck to living underwater that would kind of limit her power so I don't think it's that. Also, Rhys has at one point mentioned that Amren is stuck in a prison of flesh and bone so either he meant that as a human body rather than an actual body (since a dragon's body is made of flesh and bone as well) or my theory is wrong and she's a creature without a body(?) but again, I think that's not the case. Lastly, we know that she knows the Holy Tongue the book was written in since she was the one who decoded it. I did some research and Leshon Hakodesh or The Holy Tongue is basically Hebrew. Now, I'm not Jewish so don't quote me on this but there are some mentions of Jewish dragons, the most popular of which being sea dragons so that goes back to my sea dragon theory but as I mentioned, I think she'd be more powerful as a land dragon and it's been mentioned that she's extremely powerful. Either way, my bet is on Amren being a dragon so I can't wait to see if that checks out. Moreover, I wonder why has Maas hinted at something between her and Varian and I'm curious to see where that is going to lead, since I'm sure he'll feature in future novels.
Lastly, here are some things that I want to see in ACOWAR: - Tarquin, which I'm sure we'll see more of because of the whole feud between the Night and Summer court and the blood rubies. Can he and Rhys get over the whole thing and become friends and partners please? - Ianthe. I can't wait to see that bitch get what's coming for her - Lucien who unlike Rhys or Aelin who let their mate discover their bond on their own or get used to the idea, instead just blurts out you're my mate. Also, I swear I died when Nesta was just like 'Like hell she is!'. I can't wait to see how he is going to cooperate with Feyre to get to Elain. - The Bone Carver. I'm not sure we're going to see more of him but I need to know what the scene he carved on Feyre's bond was! Also, who was the little boy with dark hair and blue-sometimes-violet-eyes that Feyre saw? Was he a young Rhys? - More daemanti. I'm sure we're going to meet more people with Rhys' and Feyre's 'mind-reading' abilities because otherwise Sarah wouldn't have mentioned that there's more than just them and that they can be evil - Miryam and Drakon. I can bet my right arm we'll meet them at one point and they become important characters. - Papa Archeron. Is he going to just come back and see that all his daughters are gone? Is someone going to kidnap him? Is his ship going to sink just to quickly get him out of the picture? - The fucking Queen bitches. Let them burn! - Rhys' beast form - Cassian's wings to be healed. This is all I ask! - Tamlin's face when he finds out that Feyre is High Lady of the Night Court. Like no such thing as High Lady? Ha, bitch, challenge accepted! - more of the motivation behind the king of Hybern. He's not a very convincing villain at the moment - The Suriel aka Gossip Girl in the flesh - What happens when you destroy the Cauldron. The bone carver said that if it was destroyed, all the things it had Made would cease to be. Capital M Made, like how Nesta and Elain were Made. - The rest of the courts - Nessian. Yo! I'm 100% Nessian Trash and mark my words they are mates!
Thank you for making it to the end of this train wreck of a review. The conclusion is that this book was a masterpiece, I'm Feysand and Nessian trash and I've got a horrid book hangover. Please comment below/send me messages because I need to fangirl with someone about this brilliant book!
5/01/2017: It is 4am and I am a fucking wreck because of this bloody book. I can't remember the last time I sobbed so hard becausr of a fucking book. Damn it, SJ Maas I hate and love you so much.
A somewhat coherent review is soon to come after I've regained my sanity ...more
2016 was one of my best reading years (best year in terms of number of books, second best in number of pages - blame those poetry books). Nevertheless2016 was one of my best reading years (best year in terms of number of books, second best in number of pages - blame those poetry books). Nevertheless, I don't dwell too much on the numbers, and I can safely say this was my best reading year in terms of good books that I've read. There are definitely too many to talk about them all but I've narrowed it down to my top 15. But before we jump into that, I would just like to thank everyone who makes this site great and all the lovely people who love to interact with other users. I hope you had a great year, and I hope you have a great reading year in 2017 as well!
So here are, in no particular order, my favourite books of 2016:
1. Empire of Storms (and all of the other TOG books) I finished the last novel a couple of days ago and I'm still unable to form any kind of coherent review for it. It was fantastic! I can't recommend this series enough!
I thought the first book had a lot more illustrations than this one - there were quite a few key scenes that I wanted to see illustrated. NeverthelessI thought the first book had a lot more illustrations than this one - there were quite a few key scenes that I wanted to see illustrated. Nevertheless, the illustrations that were put in the book were really beautiful and the story was wonderful, of course (but I already knew that). I'm hoping we'll get more of Jim Kay's beautiful illustrations in the next editions....more