A dark, lush and magical story set in a world that is inspired by ancient Arabia. Main characters that set out on an adventure – with a side dish ofA dark, lush and magical story set in a world that is inspired by ancient Arabia. Main characters that set out on an adventure – with a side dish of one trying to kill the other. Beautiful writing that will tuck you in and won’t let you go until you finish the book – and might stay even then. WE HUNT THE FLAME is Hafsah Faizal’s debut novel and more than worthy to get picked up. Bonus: lots of hidden Assassin’s Creed references!
First things first – I was lucky enough to become a part of Hafsah’s Street Team prior to the publication of WE HUNT THE FLAME and got to read the book before most readers. So while some might now think that this review isn’t completely honest, this isn’t the truth. I love this book with all my heart and devoured it in the span of a day way back in February. It instantly became one of my favourites but I am still not fully able to write a proper review. I am too fascinated by what Hafsah created and can’t wait to read the next installment of the duology. But since this won’t happen over the next few weeks (I mean, WE HUNT THE FLAME released two days ago. I’m not really patient, as you can see!), I’ll instead try to write my thoughts down.
Most of all, I fell in love with the characters. All of them have their own motivations as well as personal demons to face. They end up on the same adventure even though their goals differ. I loved some more than others (can’t say more, because this review shall be free of spoilers!), but overall I connected with all of them sooner or later. They were beautifully written and even though the synopsis focuses heavily on Zafira and Nasir, there are way more characters than just the two of them. A personal favourite was the topic of enemies-to-lovers, of which I can’t get enough of! But the romance here is very slow burn and while some people might not like that, it was perfect for the story.
What I also loved was the lyrical writing. Hafsah created a wonderful world and gave insights about what happened in Arawiya before the story starts. Her descriptions of this lush world are breathtaking and it was easy to imagine how it might look. The plot evolved in a great way and held so many twists and turns I didn’t expect. What I’m not completely sure about is the pacing of the story – at some times it felt a bit off or too slow. Some scenes were too far apart or felt like they dragged on. But as this is Hafsah’s debut, I don’t want to criticize this aspect too harshly. Her already beautiful writing might change in the future and she will definitely find her way as an author.
All in all, WE HUNT THE FLAME is a gorgeous book and a worthy debut for this young author. While there might be some issues, it’s still easily one of my favourite reads this year and I’d recommend it to everyone who’d like to have some magic in their life....more
“The world will be saved and remade by the dreamers.”
One can assume that because this series is one of my favourites it throughly gets 5 star ratings. But let me tell you - even though I absolutely adore this series I'm still treating it like any other book I review. I just can't help the fact that it's world and characters are simply amazing. After racing through the first four books I thought this book couldn't hurt me more. In fact - it broke my very soul. Not because the story let me down but because Sarah J. Maas exactly knows how to hurt her readers. The book left me in tears and my sister had to hold my hand through the last 40 or so pages. Everytime I thought it was already bad, it got worse.
I am still amazed at how gracefully all of the books are woven together - every event leads to another and while I sometimes forgot certain things they appeared again in another part of the story. And to see how many effects earlier encounters and decisions have on the things happening in Empire of Storms leaves me speechless. The whole world-building is somehow intertwined with the plot and until now this is the most intense book of the series.
While the other books mostly had their scenes in Adarlan and in case of Heir of Fire in Wendlyn, I now got to see more of Erilea. Major parts of the books are held in places such as Skulls Bay and Eyllwe. Of course I was excited to read about such different places even though I was let down in my hopes to get a better view of Terrasen. But visiting a pirate's island as well as the homeland of a beloved and well-missed character? It excused the lagging of Aelin's home. Throughout the journey I got glimpses of the skies which the Thirteen rode with their mounts as well of the deep and lush seas through which Lysandra soared after the most epic shift.
The plot of Empire of Storms was incredibly intense and action-packed - not in the negative way. All of the action was reasonable and well paced. All of the events from the former books had been going on for so long by now that many of the schemes and mysteries were now revealed in the most epic ways. Still there are many questions without answers so far - those will surely be faced in the last book of the series. Said mysteries aren't only from Aelin's own past but straight from Erilea's past, thousands of years before Throne of Glass takes place. More ancient thank anyone expected and equally tricking. There are new players introduced in this games - both old and new - some we already know and some we didn't. But also many sacrifices found their way into this novel - some of them breaking my heart more than others. Like I mentioned before - I was broken by this book.
While Aelin already started to settle into her position as Queen, she now started to behave more and more like one. With an oncoming war she needed to use all of the assassin knowledge she had to turn them into battle tactics to rescue not only Terrasen but also her friends. Being used to work alone she also learns to trust her own court more while not fully understanding she also has to tell them more about her own plans. Still she is far from being the perfect queen. While she maintains her magic more than ever, she is still about to find out how to control it entirely. But she gets more comfortable with and actually starts to really enjoy it.
But not only Aelin got her character development. There are also many things revealed concerning the Wolf of the North, Aedion Ashryver. While he seems to get more and more comfortable with Lysandra - in fact her promises to marry her someday even if it's under not-so-easy circumstances - he opens himself bit by bit. The biggest revelation is that he had many lovers of both genders and is in fact bisexual. Which just makes him more appealing to me since he talks about it so casually. While Aedion tries to maintain control over the court when Aelin doesn't, the relationship to his father is a complicated one - and one of which I want to see more of in the next book.
While former supporting characters like Chaol, Nesryn and Evangeline don't get many appearances in the book, at least Dorian seems to get a major character development. In fact he seems to change his behaviour from time to time - in all the good ways. The King of Adarlan slowly grows into his new role and when he starts flirting with Manon - who did an amazing job in helping to rescue him in Queen of Shadows - we get to see a whole other side of him. Manon shows him that it's okay to sometimes be bold and brave while he teaches her that kindness is not the same as weakness. Also it seems to me that Dorian finds joy in BDSM - at least after what he does with his magic. Also he starts bonding with the fae-prince Rowan himself in a brotherly way.
Rowan manages to be a driving force of the court together with Aelin. But it is shown on more than one occasion that he doesn't need her to interact with the other members of the court. He gives all of them the feeling of being equal and being worth something. He sees Aedion as a brother and teaches Dorian in his magic - at least as much as he is able to. And lastly his interactions with Aelin - not just as his queen, but also as his friend and lover. I yearend for their scenes and I was so happy to finally see them growing together more and more.
I heard from some readers that they didn't like the sex scenes between the characters because they were too graphic and unnecessary. But I strongly believe that these people haven't read A Court of Mist and Fury, because these scenes were definitely more graphic than the ones in Empire of Storms. And I also believe that those scenes were necessary - especially the first one between Aelin an Rowan. I don't want to talk too much about why I think those scenes are important, because that would be a huge part of the story. But it meant something and showed a deeper bond running between the characters.
After all those things I mentioned by now, I didn't lose a word about the ending of the boo. The ending that ultimately shattered my soul. There were so many revelations as well as whispered confessions of love - to lovers, friends and family - that killed me. Again I don't want to talk about these too much since it will ruin it for people who didn't read it by now. I don't now how to say it in any other way than - it hurts. A lot. It still hurts few days after finishing the book and I don't know whether this feeling someday will stop. But I still love this book so much and I will certainly read it again - just so I can endure the pain a bit longer....more
I don't know how to say it other than that I love thisThis review has been originally posted on jasmin's library.
“The king sent me to kill you.”
I don't know how to say it other than that I love this series. I already enjoyed Throne of Glass very much - thank you for making me a slave of yours, Queen Maas - but the second book was even better. I loved how Celaena was finally portrayed as what she essentially is - a badass assassin with her very own mind. And yes, it is as bloody as it sounds. The whole book got a lot darker than the first one and even if I'm normally not into gore and stuff this really got me.
What I especially admire about Sarah J. Maas - besides the constant breaking of my heart - is how she makes her own characters suffer. How she breaks them just so that they can improve. Not only had Celaena a lot to deal with, but also Chaol and Dorian as the male counterparts had their own problems, edges and complex flaws. But next to that there was also a hideous amount of character development going on. While Celaena seemed to be more childish in Throne of Glass she now seems to be more adult. At least she knows what to do in her job and sorts out her priorities like no one else. Chaol and Dorian also got more depth and more background one could learn. It is fascinating to read about how different all of these characters are all the while they are working together as a team. My favourite is still Chaol since I have a weakness for those dark-haired and sassy idiots I simply connect more to him than Dorian.
Against my normal beliefs I loved the ongoing romance. I never really saw Celaena and Dorian together so Chaol it was. And let me say - I really really enjoyed both of them together. I don't want to talk about this topic too much because I won't shut up once I'm getting started. But I also believe that there is something deeper, something more important than the ongoing romance. I strongly believe that this books shows a lot of true and deep running friendship. While Celaena and Dorian share some kind of bittersweet moments they're still there for each other. They care and just want to see the other one save - especially after the surprising turn of events - you know what I'm talking about when you read the book. If you didn't - just be prepared to get your mind twisted. But back to the friendship let's just say that they love each other like siblings do. The true and purest form and friendship is portrayed not between them but between Celaena and Nehemia. The assassin and princess share a true, but not always easy friendship. The further you read the more you realize that there are always problem building up between friends - which not necessarily means that the bond will snap. In this case it only deepens the love for the other girl. Still there are so many things to learn from both of them - not to trust blindly but also to forgive rather than requite. You can also see this in the friendship of Dorian and Chaol - next to their own development, the friendship also improves (more or less, depending on how you look at it). Especially the meanings of friendship as a form of love - though not always unconditional - makes me love this book so much. I cannot pray enough that everyone should read it to realize how important friends are. And also how important it is to think for one self and not blindly following orders.
As nice and peacefully this may sound - no one should be intrigued by that. Particularaly when it comes to Sarah J. Maas. Because she knew exactly when to hurt me and where to break. Not only was no true happy ending in sight but she made it worse. It seems to me that she is the queen when it comes to cliffhangers at the end - with thos horrible unanswered questions and my feelings shattered. With bone-crushing reality she makes me see the reasons of why the characters acted as they did - and it was not always that pleasant. It's hard to see a beloved character die but it is even harder to see a beloved charactered dancing on a dangerous line while very slowly tripping and sliding off the edge. As you might guess I'm not really stable right now when it comes to my emotions.
The plot from the first book gets thicker and more twisted with every occuring event. It's easy to find oneself entangled in the story and wanting to know more. I finished the book almost two weeks ago but needed time to process everything that happened. I am still in awe at how good Sarah J. Maas is at making her readers realize flaws as well as the important things in live. She makes her readers understand more about their own lifes - the positive as well as the negative aspects of it....more
“Fireheart – why do you cry?” “Because I am lost,” she whispered onto the earth. “And I doThis review has been originally posted on jasmin's library.
“Fireheart – why do you cry?” “Because I am lost,” she whispered onto the earth. “And I do not know the way.”
Sarah J. Maas isn't just an author - she is a weapon of mass destruction and knows exactly where to hit. This woman will always be my number one when it comes to fantasy authors. Because she knows exactly how to break her characters and how to make them suffer so that they come back stronger than before. This woman is glorious. So when I finished reading Crown of Midnight I knew that I wanted to dive into Heir of Fire right away. And it was the biggest emotional rollercoaster I ever jumped on (so far I haven't read the fourth and fifth book in the series, so I cannot judge about those).
Starting with the main character I definitely need to say that the journey of Celaena is an incredible one. While I got an insight of her life as an assassin in the first two books, the third one was indeed different. If you haven't read Heir of Fire by now I suggest you ignore the next sentences in case you don't want to read spoilers. So you have been warned. What I actually wanted to say is that Heir of Fire manages a shift on the view containing Calaena. I tend to almost write Aelin - because you get know more of her background story which is so important for her. But I actually don't want to call her by her birth name by now. I strongly believe that Heir of Fire is some kind of breaking point for the story. While the girl I learned to loved is neither Celaena nor Aelin she is also both at the same moment. To justify that I want to mention that she is on her way to accept herself - her true self - in the course of the book. And I also think that the following quote describes perfectly what Maas did to her main character:
“Your characters are like geodes. If you want to see what they are really made of, you must break them.”
The development of Celaenas character in this sequel is breath-taking. Not only has the book a breaking point, the same also applies to Celaena herself. On her very own journey she comes to point where she has to face her inner demons to finally realize who she really is. And while ripping herself open her characters gets incredibly raw. At least, that's the most fitting description I can find. She finds herself at the bottom of her own soul - literally. From there on she picks herself up and starts to build a new self, transforming step after step into Aelin. And she made me feel all of this as well. I wanted to take her in my arms and tell her that everything would be okay. It hurt to read about her grief, her loss, her anger and all of the other emotions she ultimately had to face. But when she came back, stronger than ever before, I was glad. Glad to see that my girl was finally on her way home.
Gladly she didn't need to find her way alone. She trained with Rowan - who immediately struck my heart - and while he sometimes seemed to trigger her to break, he also healed her. He knew what it felt like and helped her to find herself. He knew that she was afraid of what she could do, what she was. Still he believed in her and helped to master it all. So while they defeated each other and were close to killing each other - if only wishing for it from time to time, they grew together. Grew to be a perfect team. And I strongly believe that Rowan is exactly what Aelin needs to keep her grounded and strong.
“It was a long story, and sometimes she grew quiet and cried - and during those times he leaned over to wipe away her tears.”
The book also made me realise that Chaol isn't perfect. He is way away from being so. Even more when I learned how he acts when confronted with magic or the royal house of Terrasen. It hurt me to see him withdraw from his former friends, but I can still understand him. Like every person, he changed. He didn't know in what to believe anymore and was confused and kind of hurt. I think that all the changes he had to endure were pretty hard for him to deal with. And while he might not be the one for Aelin, he was perfect for Celaena. He was there for her when she needed him most and he mended her wounds back then. He truly loved her and so did she. So while many hate him for his own beliefs, I want to remind all of you that he was all she needed once. Even if things have changed by now.
While I love my female main character, I was so hyped when I read about Manon. I love my little witch and no one will ever convince me otherwise. She is one of my bookish queens by now and I cannot get enough from her. When she got Abraxos I squealed with delight. While the wyvern reminds is basically a flower-loving baby, Manon is a reckless and heartless witch. At least, that's what she pretends. Underneath I can see a woman who cares. About her Thirteen, about Abraxos. Even if she doesn't want to admit it.
And can we take a moment to talk about the Wolf of the North? I mean - come on. You cannot not love Aedion Ashryver. He is perfection in every way possible and his wit is ... well, perfect. He has build up a reputation I'm still trying to figure out but still - I need more of this erilearian Thor for myself.
All in all this book put me in a major emotional rollercoaster but it was definitely worth it. I can only assume where this is going and I might be a little bit afraid for all the characters. But I'm quite sure that Aelin will find her way - with her friends by her side....more
“She was fire, and light, and ash, and embers. She was AelinThis review has been originally posted on jasmin's library.
!! CONTAINS SPOILERS !!
“She was fire, and light, and ash, and embers. She was Aelin Fireheart, and she bowed for no one and nothing, save the crown that was hers by blood and survival and triumph.”
Queen of Shadows was a special book in this series for me. I had to deal with a major reading slump while going through it - without blaming the books for it. But since I definitely wanted to join Aelin on her journey, I plunged myself straight into Erilea and fought against the slump. And let me tell you - it was worth it. Every single page of it. I'm still not quite sure whether I am able to write this review - I finished the book a few days ago and I still cannot comprehend it. The world of Throne of Glass just got amplified and I desperately want to live there - even though I'd probably die there. But everything I learned from the first three books just got better and more intense - it was just like the tip of the iceberg.
Celaena herself finally became Aelin - even thought he whole atmosphere of the book became darker and more grim. Not just at the beginning but also throughout the whole book. The pace gets faster and there is so much going on in this book. It was impressive to see how much the demeanor of Aelin changed when she needed to fulfill her expected duties as queen or when she needed to fall back in her life as Celaena Sardothien. The most important part - for me - was when she rescued the one witch that tried to kill instead of letting her die. It was not weakness but mere kindness she showed at this point of the story. And while some say she is the ruthless fire-breathing bitch queen many call her, I believe otherwise. Aelin knows exactly when to be hard or unforgiving but at the same time she also knows when to be kind and selfless. She freed Lysandra and her little ward from their work and made the former a Lady to thank her friend for everything she did - even Aelin actually needed the money to rise an army for herself. Not only was her character development breathtaking but also how it was written by Maas. Her style notably increases with every book.
This can also seen within the development of the other characters. For example my beloved Chaol. The former Captain of the Royal Guard had to fight with his own demons during the book. He went through a personal hell and didn't let anyone near him. He needed to pick up the shards of himself to them anew. And while it seemed he blended more and more into the background throughout the book before, he now had his moments. He overcame his fear and disgust for magic to save his most vital friend. It was clear that he would do anything to get Dorian back and see him on the throne of Adarlan. So he quite literally sacrificed himself for his friend - but managed to stay alive but broken. But what hurt the most was when he asked Aelin to see her magic after the battle was over. And how he seemed to accept it more and more.
Speaking of Chaol I also need to say something about Dorian. He was never my favourite out of the male characters to start with, but seeing him captured in his own body was bad. I wanted to see him freed - of the collar as well of his father - and I would have given everything to ensure that. But what ultimately helped to free him was one of the purest kinds of love I have ever read about. Dorian freed himself after he thought his best friend was dead. Everything Aelin tried before to get him back was of no use. Only the thought of Chaol being dead led Dorian to the point to gain control over his own body. If that's not love I don't know what is.
Net to the original trio there were also many moments I fell more in love with the other characters - especially Aedion, Lysandra, Rowan and Manon with her Thirteen. While some people seem not to like Manon's chapters, I devoured them one after another. I lived the witch from the beginning and I wanted to know all of her story. Same goes for Lysandra - Aelin's former-enemy-turned-to-best-friend -, Aedion my beloved Wolf and Rowan. I can't find the words to express how much I love all of them and I don't even want to try right now since I know I'm not able to.
All in all this book was a major part of Aelin's journey - without saying too much about the plot and what exactly happens - and its greatness took me out of my reading slump. With everything that happened, Empire of Storms - the following book - can only get more intense and I can not wait to read it....more
“What we think to be our greatest weakness can sometimes be our biggest strength.”
After waiting months in agony for this book, I was so happy when I finally laid my hands on this. A Court of Wings and Ruin is he sequel to one of my favourite books ever and I was ridiculously insufferable until I got it. I was prepared to be destroyed by this work and still I dove right into it - not able to stop. I had so many expectations that needed to be fulfilled. So many questions that needed to be answered. After finishing it, there seem to be even more questions than before. And I'm still not over everything that occurred during these pages. No wonder I needed some weeks to gather my thoughts until I was able to put this review together.
The most important thing you need to now before reading further: I am still in awe. And ACOWAR managed to put me in a reading slump since nothing seems to compare to this book by now. I want to grab it again and read it again. But I'll be rational enough to concentrate on other books and calming down before plunging once more into Prythian. Otherwise I'd still be not thinking right. Because while it had me laughing and adoring it at moments, there were also passages that had me crying and cursing.
I was expecting the worst when it came to Feyre being once again in the Spring Court. I thought that it would take ages to get to the point of her heading for the Night Court and I was positively surprised at how fast this happened. I was so happy that the friendship between Feyre and Lucien bloomed after the betrayal and that they trusted each other despite everything that happened. When they finally met my favourite winged warriors Cassian and Azriel, I was crying. Because I needed to see that they both were right and flying. And I really needed the friendship between the Illyrians and the High Lady. It was so sweet and pure, I almost was assured that everything would play out well. Almost. But before I got punched in the face again after all happened in the two books before, I got to enjoy the reunion of the Inner Circle as well as Nesta and Elain. All of my beloved characters were there. All healing. All alive. And then there was Rhys, my absolute favourite. I was so happy to have him there, to see that he was alright. Because I worship this male on a slightly unhealthy level. But I won't relieve my crush on him for now since this would go beyond the scope.
Talking about something else that I absolutely love. One of my biggest expectations was the one of seeing the rest of the Courts. So far I only got a glance at Night, Summer and Spring and while I really wanted to read more about the High Lords, I wanted to travel through their lands. Dwell in the light of the solar courts, run through the white landscapes of Winter and dive into the crisp leaves of Autumn. And I was not let down. Together with the characters I got to roam these lands and caught glimpses of how they were designed. I particularly loved the Winter Court - which may be because I adore winter as a season - and I wished to dwell in its cities and not just its lands. But still it was incredibly beautiful.
They High Lords themselves were also interesting - so many different characters, different views gathered on one meeting was amazing. I loved to see how they worked together in order to save their homelands and how much power they had. Some of them I loved while others I couldn't stand. The most interesting were the High Lords of Day, Dawn and Winter. Day because of the possible fatherhood of Lucien, Dawn because of his gentle behaviour and the undeniable love to his male and Winter because of his icy behaviour towards the others while being kind to the love of his life. I don't know how to express my feelings any other way. I simply loved the combination of all the characters.
Speaking of the characters I want to talk about some of the ships I expected to see. While I ship almost everyone, I particularly want to talk about Morrigan and Azriel. I loved to see them through the second book and couldn't wait for more in A Court of Wings and Ruin. And it broke my heart when it became clear that this was a ship I would never ever see. Don't get me wrong, I'm not judging the fact that Mor is - in fact - bisexual but prefers women. This is absolutely fine to me. But I judge her behaviour towards Azriel. Azriel how is always fighting for her. Azriel who would give his life for her. I just think that it's not fair to let him wait for 500 years without telling him that he won't have a chance with Mor. This is what's really bugging me. Before I'm getting to emotional about that, there are also the sisters. While nothing much happened between Elain an Lucien - sadly - I was so impressed to see how the relationship between Nesta and Cassian changed.
“I have no regrets in my life, but this. That we did not have time. That I did not have time with you, Nesta. I will find you in the next world - the next life. And we will have that time. I promise.”
I love the fire between both of them and how they deal with each other. But to see how much Nesta actually cared for the warrior made my heart melt. How she looked for him in battles, how she tended to his wounds. All without them being really close. But what broke me the most were the words Cassian offered her. Solely reading them now makes me want to tear up. Because Cassian being that emotional, offering so much of himself to Nesta is how love in the purest form looks like. This is nothing how I imagined Cassian confessing his love - but it is better. And then kissing her while being on the verge of dying is just too much for me to bear. And Nesta actually trying to protect him gave me the rest. For I will always ship those two - especially after all that happened during the war.
The final battle is something I still cannot comprehend fully. I still mourn the losses of so many great characters that I breaks my heart to only think about it. I know that most of them were necessary for the story, but I would have preferred them to be still alive. But well, I can't have everything, can I? I was amazed about how good the monsters leashed by Feyre and Rhys were interacting with each other, wrecking havoc over the enemies. I was so proud to see that the Archeron father actually cared for all of his daughters and managed to gain an armada for their sakes. But what mattered most to me was the fact that the Suriel came to help Feyre. Came to help because she showed kindness when it didn't expect it. So the death of the Suriel was the one that hurt the most. I would have been wounded if it had betrayed Feyre in this book. But now after it's death, I'm ripped apart. I want it back and be happy in the forests of Prythian. But I know that I won't get to see that.
As you can see, I think I'm still not fully able to present how much I actually loved the book. How I wish I lived in Prythian and could roam through these lands, sitting with the different courts and enjoy everything it has to offer. My heart aches at the thought that this is a fantasy world and nothing I can see for real....more
“Trust will get you killed – and trust will keep you alive.”
First things first - I tend toThis review has been originally posted on jasmin's library.
“Trust will get you killed – and trust will keep you alive.”
First things first - I tend to always start my reviews with something about myself. That's fine because hey, this is my review. So everyone who knows my reading pattern knows that I'm a sucker for good dystopian books! I've read some that were very bad and after this I'm always a little bit cautious when it comes to this genre. A month ago I found a beautiful book through the instagram account of tildareads and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. Article Three promised me so much when I only read the text on the back and let me tell you - I fell in love. Hard. The author Anna Jakobsson Lund originally published Article Three in swedish and is an indie-publisher, which made me love the whole thing even more.
Article Three is set in the future when the world crashed down. I'm serious - humanity made some major mistakes and has to pay for it now. The refreshing thing about this book is that it is set in Europe - I'm not quite sure where exactly but I think Great Britain and Scandinavia might be a good place to start? - and not in the USA like most of the books of this genre. The System runs everything and only the rebels seem to fight against it. Throughout the book, Levi - who's neither a rebel nor a trustworthy citizen - meets Ava and Leymah - two rebels - and is forced to work with them to rescue his beloved sister from the hands of the System.
Now you might think that with two girls and one boy there might be a chance for a love triangle. Since I don't like constellations like these, I was pretty surprised to find out that there isn't one. There might be a lot of sympathy between the three of them, but I found by no means a love triangle. So YEAY for that! What I did found was some diversity I really loved. On the one hand there's Leymah - a beautiful smart girl of color - and later on one of Levi's friends who's gay. I'm no person that's screaming after diversity, but I enjoy some of it nonetheless.
The writing in Article Three is simply beautiful. Every character - especially Ava - has its own unique way of talking and the author is brilliant in describing so. While reading I could even feel the differences of their origins and it gave me hearteyes. It's written in the third person from Ava's and Levi's POV and it was great to dive into two different characters while not knowing all of their secrets. Like the world you get to know the characters step by step, learning about their deepest demons time after time. There have been surprises I didn't expect and that caught me off guard.
I just can't wait to get my hands on the second book and get to know the characters and the world run by the System more and more.
So if you haven't noticed it by now - I loved Article Three and YOU NEED TO READ IT RIGHT NOW. It's a unique dystopian story and also is the author incredible sweet and I just want to hug and thank her for writing this book and deciding to translate it into english!...more
“I would have come for you. And if I couldn't walk, I'd crawl to you, and no matter howThis review has been originally posted on jasmin's library.
“I would have come for you. And if I couldn't walk, I'd crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we'd fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that's what we do. We never stop fighting.”
My feelings are shattered like a million stars over the night skies. I'm not sure anymore what to feel or what to do. My life seems so empty now that i finished Crooked Kingdom and I don't know what to do with it. I finished the book almost three weeks ago but my brain was not able to order my thoughts enough to write an adequate review. I'm not even sure whether this one will be really helpful. After reading Six of Crows I couldn't wait to dive right into the second books - my beloved Dregs were waiting for me in Ketterdam and I yearend for more adventures with them. I thought I loved them after finishing the first book - but after reading the second one my love was taken to a new level.
All of the six main characters got more depth and Leigh Bardugo gave me more insight in their believes as well as their stories. I fell in love with each of them again and again - not able choosing a favourite. All of them had their flaws and edges. But they also were lovable no matter how antagonistic they seemed from time to time. It's mostly their tragic and sometimes heartbreaking background that makes them act as they do. Especially through the POVs of them you get a whole new view. I also think it is really important to see that some of the characters had to actually deal with serious problems like getting away from a gambling addiction, the aftermath of taking drugs and dealing with forced prostitution while learing to trust again. These motives could easily be used for the plot without facing the consequences but Leigh Bardugo choose not to ignore them. And this gave Kaz, Inej, Nina, Matthias, Jesper and Wylan even more depth.
The plot itself was incredibly twisted. Every time I thought I knew what was going to happen the book proved me wrong. The story is as twisted as the streets of Ketterdam are and almost as dark in some of its parts. Together with the awesome world building one simply cannot not want to stay with this incredible gang.
While I have to confess that I really loved how Bardugo chose to end the book, I'm still a bit numb about certain events that took place. I want to know more about this world, about these characters. I want to go through another adventure with them. But looking at it ignoring my enormous love for this series - the ending was perfect. There were many things left open for imagination - most of all what the characters will do after the book and without the readers watching their every steps. I adore Bardugo's writings style and the decisions that she made.
As after finishing Six of Crows I would strongly recommend reading the Grisha Trilogy first since you might encounter some major spoilers of the ending if you don't. Also there are some of the characters of the trilogy appearing in Crooked Kingdom and the joy you feel while reading about them again is simply overwhelming. As I said - my thoughts are still not ordered enough to write something acceptable bur still I had to let all of the emotions out....more
“She wouldn't wish love on anyone. It was the guest you welcomed and then couldn't be ridThis review has been originally posted on jasmin's library.
“She wouldn't wish love on anyone. It was the guest you welcomed and then couldn't be rid of.”
By the time I finished the Grisha trilogy by the wonderful Leigh Bardugo I had already heard a lot of the Six of Crows duology and the felt the hype around it. The books were already on my wishlist for some time and I just couldn't resist buying them. I hoped to race through them but my life thought otherwise and put a lot of stones in my path. So I needed quite some time to read Six of Crows - but none of the reasons was because of the book itself.
What made me especially happy was not only the fact that some of the characters of the Grisha trilogy were mentioned throughout the story, but that I got to see more of the territories around Ravka. I got a wonderful insight in Kerch and Fjerda and this is exactly what I wished for in an earlier review of the trilogy. The world-building was simply amazing. I loved how Ravka of the trilogy was built after the Russian culture and Shu Hun was based on China. But Ketterdam reminded me strongly of European - particularly the Netherlands - and Fjerdan of the northern countries like Sweden or Norway. The world is well imagined and I simply love to dive right into it. I loved how Bardugo took places of our world and modeled them into high fantasy ones. And the map was amazingly drawn. I already knew Ravka and the eastern part of this world through the trilogy but seeing the new parts grow around the already known ones was beautiful.
When the main characters were introduced, I felt like jumping up and down. After reading other books with a lot of main characters I fell into the expectation to always read about a bigger group with thoughtfully written characters. And Six of Crows gave me exactly that. The crew around Kaz Brekker is full of individuals that seem to be nothing alike. From time to time it reminded me of the Ocean's Eleven of the Grishaverse - don't get me wrong, I meant this in an all positive way! More or less they're all able to survive on their own, but when they come together they form a formidable group.
Kaz Brekker - kind of mafia boss with an exquisite clothing style Inej Gafha - ex-acrobat and kind of the mother hen keeping her children together and grounded Nina Zenik - not-so-fearless Grisha with an undeniable love for waffles Matthias Helvar - ex-grisha-hunter with remarkable eyes and an authoritative voice Jesper Fahey - sharpshooter with a love for gambling and beautiful runaway sons Wylan Van Eck - runaway son that can draw magnificently but cannot read; also kills it on the flute
The characters were hands down the best part of the book. I just got chills on so many different occasions and I cannot describe how much I loved all of them. There was so much diversity going on - powerful women, proud people of colour, non-heterosexual love interests and not-so-skinny women who love how they look. And let me tell you - these are all the main characters. I loved how Bardugo wrote her characters and even the couples - while not really bonded by now - made me weak in all the good ways.
“I will have you without armor, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all.”
I shipped Kaz and Inej almost instantly after reading the first few chapters and I cannot even explain why. Kaz is the one everyone in this fandom seems to love - yes, me too. You know how much I love this dark-haired witty characters? I definitely need to write a list about that! - and well ... he is the absolute best! While his demeanour is mesmerizing, his back story had me in tears and wanted me to hug Kaz. But I probably shouldn't do that ... considering his back story. And Inej. What to say about Inej? She is Kaz' Wraith and the one who keeps all of the other characters grounded. While she is strong an empowered, I also loved to see how much she longed for her family and to be with them. And oh my, the end of the book. I still cannot get over that. I just want to take both of them and gently smash their heads together.
“I have been made to protect you. Only in death will I be kept from this oath.”
When it came to Nina I was positively surprised. Not because she is a Grisha, but because she is a woman of curves and well-built with a love for eating while knowing how beautiful she is. I rarely read about these kind of women as most of them are skinny or simply perfectly formed when it comes to descriptions. As a Grisha in Ketterdam she tries to keep her head up and fight for herself. It was devastating to hear that she was still young when the civil war hit Ravka and she now misses her home country so much. Nina is my precious and if anyone hurts her, I'm going to tear the world down. But gladly there's Matthias. As a former drüskelle - a grisha-hunter - he was originally to hunt down Nina and bring her to trial but they found that each other aren't as bad as they seem. The circumstances under which they met are extraordinary and I love it even more that they're so inseparable even if they tried to stay away from each other at the beginning.
“Pull your shirt up over your mouth,” he told Wylan. “What?” “Stop being dense. You’re cuter when you’re smart.” Wylan’s cheeks went pink. He scowled and pulled his collar up.
Jasper Fahey is the easiest character of the six. He hasn't as much secrets as the others - even if there are some really surprising ones - but still he is absolutely loveable. He has an undeniable love for both his guns as well as gambling and has some serious problems with the latter. He is the kind of character who can't sit still and need something to do all the time. Luckily he not only gets grounded by the mother hen aka Inej but by Wylan, the angel of the group. As a runaway son he joins the crew out of different reasons but proofs himself more important than initially thought. Even if he is oft teased because of his heritage - mostly by Jesper because of playing the flute *coughs* or dancing - he finds true friendship among the others and forms a bond with Jesper that definitely needs to deepen in the second book!
maybe you realized by now that I absolutely loved all of the characters, but the plot was also remarkable. The story was fast paced and had a lot of action in it. There were lots of twist that I never expected to happen and that almost made me throw the book against the wall. Bardugo is a genius when it comes to plotting and scheming - I already loved the Grisha trilogy to pieces and I thought it couldn't get better. But she did it again and fascinated me with the duology. I strongly recommend reading the original Grisha trilogy before the Six of Crows duology simply because it gives a better overview over what happened with the Grisha and the countries before. There are some important political decisions which should be known if you ask me. Also there are some spoilers which are only revealed at the end of the trilogy. So if you don't want to spoil yourself, you should listen to me.
All in all I enjoyed reading this masterpiece of high-fantasy and everyone who loves this genre should being reading this. You will fall in love with the characters easily even if the book will show you that the morally questionable don't necessarily need to be the antagonists of the story....more
soft enough to offer life tough enough to drown it away”
I'm simply not the type ofThis review has been originally posted on jasmin's library.
“i am water
soft enough to offer life tough enough to drown it away”
I'm simply not the type of person who reads poetry. I never liked it in school and certainly did not enjoy it when I tried to read it again at a later age. So the encounter with Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur was somehow ill-fated from the beginning. I picked this book up because there was such a rouse over it on the social medias and I thought to myself "why not give it a try?". And this is how the love story between poetry and a strong-headed but sometimes too emotional girl started.
I was swept away by how raw and strong this work of art is. I needed not more than an hour to read all of the poems - even if I had wanted to stop and devour them one after another, it would not have been possible. The words were so full of emotion and the meaning behind them is so important. You might ask to whom? To everyone. But especially to us women. Especially to women and girls who are still trying to find their way in this mess of a life. Especially to all of us who are still growing. Because the poems deal with so many important topics like trauma, love, loss, healing and femininity.
What I liked about Milk and Honey was the simple fact that it was so minimalistic - and I adore this kind of aesthetic. The cover and every second page were adorned with complimentary drawings. And the poems themselves were short, but incisive. They all told different stories but were all so fitting. Sometimes they were whispering, sometimes they were screaming at me. But all the time it was like they wanted to tell me that they know. That they had been where I am now. That they know how I am feeling. And a promise that this will be over soon.
What made me happy was the fact that I could actually recommend it to somebody - I want to tell the whole world about it, but that's not what I meant. Since not many of my friends are from the reading folk, I was so much more impressed by the fact that my best friend wants to read it for herself after I told her about the book and showed her some of the poems. It fills me with honour and so much happiness that I cannot grasp it or put it into words.
“you were a dragon long before he came around and said you could fly
you will remain a dragon long after he's left”
You don't know how much I love the above mentioned poem. After a time where I didn't felt particularly strong or loved myself, this one spoke to me on a whole new level. It made me overthink myself and it had me smiling at the end. Because Rupi speaks true with that - I am strong without someone else and should not define myself by what another person says. I need to learn to believe in myself first. And that's a pretty good lesson from a piece of literature I never intended to read. By now I am incredibly grateful that I decided to pick up Milk and Honey out of sheer curiosity and read it.
After I was heartbroken for the first time in my life - like my first real heartbreak - it wasn't easy for me to recollect myself. I dealt with it for over a year and couldn't quite quit the suffering I put myself in. But after reading Milk and Honey I am once again impressed at how wonderful literature can be and how much it can help in dealing with your life. I find myself picking up the book every now and then, sometimes even more than once on a notably hard day. I just flip through the pages, looking for some words that will comfort me. And I'm never let down, always drawing strength from them.
So this book is easily one of my favourite books I'd recommend to everyone who asks. It now has a place on my nightstand so I can grab it whenever I need it the most. I just want to thank Rupi for expressing her own feelings in words. For publishing this stunning book. For making me feel less alone with me feelings and more understood. Thank you for Milk and Honey....more