When I first began reading The Winner's Curse, I was under the impression that it would be a sweeping and epic fantasy. I don't know where I got this...moreWhen I first began reading The Winner's Curse, I was under the impression that it would be a sweeping and epic fantasy. I don't know where I got this impression, but this was not quite the book I was expecting to read.
Regardless of my expectations, though, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. No, this book isn't exactly fantasy. There is no magic (as far as we know of in the first book), but we do get introduced to world that's shaped by slavery and military conquests. The book alternates from the perspective of two characters: a general's daughter and a slave.
Kestrel, the general's daughter, as grown up all her life knowing she will have to choose between marriage and a military life. Neither option is appealing, because she has no interest in military and has no desire to marry a man she does not love. Her true passion is music, and so, she impulsively purchases the slave Arin when she hears he has the ability to sing.
In purchasing Arin, though, Kestrel gets more than she bargained for. And she discovers things about her self, and about the world, that shape Kestrel into the strong and self assured women at the end of this book. It's the first book in a series, though, so her growth is not yet complete. I find Kestrel extremely relatable, in her struggle between duty and her own desires. She may not be the strongest fighter, but I believe Kestrel has a great deal of inner strength. And she does have a brain for military strategy, when she's willing to follow through.
Arin, on the other hand, is far more complex. He still remains a mystery to me, and I think that is a part of his charm. I can't say that I adored the romance, but I can appreciate that it wasn't instalove. It wasn't until the very end, that I managed to care about the two as a couple. But of course they cannot be together, their situations are vastly different and society would not allow it. This is what makes the romance interesting, I think.
Marie's writing was also very lyrical, but easy to comprehend. There was easy flow, and I have to admit I became more and more addicted as I continued to read. I don't think that I adored it, like most people, but I will not hesitate to recommend this book to fellow readers and I will most certainly be picking up the sequel (because that ending was killer)! This series has the potential to be huge and epic. I look forward to seeing what happens next.(less)
Heir of Fire is the third (but not the final) book in the Throne of Glass series.
And to be perfectly honest, Sarah had HUGE shoes to fill, after writi...more Heir of Fire is the third (but not the final) book in the Throne of Glass series.
And to be perfectly honest, Sarah had HUGE shoes to fill, after writing Crown of Midnight. That book was perfection. Despite not being my favorite book in the series, Heir of Fire is still a worthy addition. These books will always have a special place in my heart.
For those who haven't read Throne of Glass, this series revolves around an Assassin. After serving a year in the Salt Mines of Endovier, Celaena Sardothian is released to compete in a competition to become the King's personal Assassin. That's all you need to know.
In Heir of Fire, we travel away from Adarlan into uncharted territory. And elaena is on a mission.
I know that I say this with every Sarah J. Maas book, but I LOVE her worldbuilding. It's so rich, so detailed, and I am so excited that there are more books in this series. This book was a little slower paced, and it lacked the romantic aspects that made me love the first two books. Don't fret, though, dear readers: we still get to see Chaol and Dorian in action. And there's a new male character that appears: Rowan. He's not a love interest, but I have to say that he stole my heart. I loved him in the original Fictionpress draft (probably even more than Chaol or Dorian, if that can be imagined).
Anyone who has read my reviews, or discussed this series with me, know I am team Chaol. I wasn't Team Chaol in the fiction press draft, but I am now. Even so, I was frustrated with Chaol at times. And I think Dorian really hit the nail on the head. Celaena shouldn't have to change who she is. He's needs to stop worrying, and let Celaena be who she is. But I forgive him. I understand where he's coming from. And I think book four definitely show more growth from the Captain of the Guard.
I have to say, I really liked Dorian in Heir of Fire. He's grown of a lot since book one. I still am holding out on Chaol and Celaena, but I think I love Dorian--more than ever. He really stepped up his game in this book, and he really showed some backbone. To be honest, I wouldn't mind if he ended up with Celaena.
And what about our leading lady? She's in a foreign country, sent by Chaol and the King on a mission. Celaena, however, has other plans. And as she "befriends" Rowan, and begins to hone her new skills, readers will get more insight into her past. I think it's interesting to see Celaena humbled and struggling. It makes her more human, and I think far more relatable. If there's one thing that that Heir of Fire does right, it's character development. This book is rich with character development--for characters both old and new.
Speaking of new characters, I have to give a shoutout to a very special new character: Manon Blackbeak. She's a witch, and the heir of a very well-to-do clan. It takes a number of pages to see how her story will eventually intertwine with Celaena's, but it will. And I cannot wait to see Celaena and Manon meet. It's going to be epic. These two ladies are absolutely fierce, strong, and independent women. Also: I want a wvyren! Now!
Heir of Fire not a perfect book. In fact, I found the first half Heir of Fire a bit slow and tedious, but Maas ramps up the drama and intrigue at the end. And I think most fans will be satisfied and aching for book four! I know I am after those CRAZY last few chapters!
Thank you, Sarah, for writing such an amazing series. (less)
I don't think this series deserves the hype, but I can't deny that these books are addicting. And they're quick reads, too.
Overall, I feel like America showed a lot of character growth, and I'm pleased with who she ended up with. The ending was rushed, though, and it left so many unanswered questions about the aftermath of the rebels and the selection process. I kept hoping for a more complex and intricate world, and yet Cass continued to focus on the romance. That isn't a bad thing, but it definitely made this book seem shallow (but still enjoyable on a superficial level).
I think that fans of the first two books will love this one, so there's no need to worry. I think that what you want to happen, will happen. Cass throws in a few unexpected twists, but overall, it's a rather predicable series. And while this series has some high points (specifically in this book), I can't say that I loved these books. I enjoyed the books, but they would never be considered a favorite of mine. (less)
I actually enjoyed reading this final installment, but there are things that I had issues with. I can't give this book the 4 stars...moreACTUAL RATING: 3.5
I actually enjoyed reading this final installment, but there are things that I had issues with. I can't give this book the 4 stars that I want to give it. I can't. (view spoiler)[ Because Adam turns into a jerk (hide spoiler)], and because everyone in the book talks about "starting a war" (view spoiler)[ and it ends in a matter of 30 pages, without any sacrifices or character deaths. Yes, Anderson dies, but he doesn't count (hide spoiler)]. The whole book is filled with Juliette learning to harness her abilities, and while I was enjoying the book, NOTHING SEEMED TO HAPPEN.
Things I did love: Kenji (I will always love him), Juliette actually having some backbone and doing something FOR HER, and the writing.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)