They say to never judge a book by it’s cover and I’m glad I didn’t with this one. If I’m 100% totally honest, I’m not aReview taken from my website
They say to never judge a book by it’s cover and I’m glad I didn’t with this one. If I’m 100% totally honest, I’m not a lover of the cover art for this series, in actual fact I almost didn’t read it, but being a huge fan of ACOTAR, Sarah J Maas’s other YA book series, I had to give it a go. It took a little bit for me to get into because it’s not normally one I’d pick up, generally I steer towards dark fantasy books about faeries and magic, and it isn’t obvious the Throne of Glass series features it. At least not until later in the books, when the storyline envolves to include hidden fractures within the kingdom.
Don’t worry, I won’t ruin it with spoilers! Just keep in mind that if you’re a fan of magic and films/series like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, you will love this series.
As it goes for Empire of Storms, I would recommend reading Assassin’s Blade by SJMaas before this book. I didn’t. I definitely should of though, I don’t think I appreciated the additional characters that came into play. Nor did I appreciate Celaena’s underhand sneaky moves as much as I should of, all because I wasn’t previously aware of the full back stories. You can definately tell with this book that SJMaas is building the plot up to the series finale in the last book: Kingdom of Ash. Connections are being made and back stories being filled in, it’s all building to a rather exciting crescendo. I cant wait! I really enoyed reading Empire of Storms, although it has the feeling of being mid-story – with no real ending – it’s definitely got me hungry for more. It’s a good job the next book Tower of Dawn is already out.
All in all, if you haven’t read Throne of Glass, I thoroughly recommend it. The and unrequited love galore! Everything I love to have in my books....more
Circle of Shadows follows two apprentice Warriors of the Society of Taigas, Sora and Daemon, live in Kichona, a kingdom of peace. As their graduation
Circle of Shadows follows two apprentice Warriors of the Society of Taigas, Sora and Daemon, live in Kichona, a kingdom of peace. As their graduation approaches, Sora and Daemon look forward to proving themselves worthy of belonging in the elite group—but in a kingdom free of violence since the Blood Rift Rebellion many years ago, it’s been difficult to make their mark.
As part of their graduation, the pair are sent out on a routine scouting mission, where they discover a band of mysterious soldiers. As reckless apprentices, they decide the only thing to do to help their kingdom is to infiltrate the group. Taking this risk will change Sora and Daemon's life forever—and lead on a mission of deception, betrayal and mysterious magic.
Cloak of Night, Heart of Light
I don't know where to begin with this book. It was originally one of my most anticipated reads for 2019, but in hindsight I'm not sure I'd add it to the list. It's not that I didn't enjoy reading it, because I did, there's just a lot that didn't sit well at the same time.
Circle of Shadows feels a little lacking in the development. It almost feels like a first draft, without any further editing or polishing. The world is very basic and loosely built. There's not a lot of description into the kingdom or its history, which is a shame because the idea of deities shaping the kingdom is very interesting. The Blood Rift isn't really spoken of, or in any detail, even though it's supposed to be a major horrific event in the Kingdom's history.
The Magic doesn't feel well thought out either and is another factor that is underdeveloped. The Taiga's magic has a very primitive and thoughtless feel to it; the character seem to say what they want 3 times and BOOM it happens i.e. Eyes of a hawk, eyes of a hawk, eyes of a hawk. In comparison, the villainous Magic of the Ryuu feels a little more put together and involved.
The Characters feel very surface level and their personalities flick and change about seemingly without cause. One minute, Sora is a known troublemaker, then next she want nothing more than to become the best Taiga ever and gives up her rowdy behaviour. And don't get me started on Daemon's love interest in the final chapters! Skye doesn't seem to delve very deep with her character's emotions and motivations, so the characters feel very 2D and underdeveloped.
Towards the end of the book I found I was skim reading without realising it, and I don't feel like I missed out on too much. The ending was a little disappointing and ambiguous - feeling a little bit like lazy writing, just your standard characters fly off and regroup scenario.
Work Hard, Mischief Harder
As I said, I did however ultimately enjoy this book even with the shallowly built world and disappointing ending. The language used is simple to read and visualise, and the chapters are short and quick. Making progression through this book quick and painless, perfect for a lazy evening read. Circle of Shadows is definitely a lower level of reading to what I'm used to, making it the perfect book for introducing younger teens to fantasy fiction.
There were parts of the storyline I found interesting that I would love if Skye goes into more detail for the sequel. More specifically the gemina bond that's shared between pairs of Taiga. I also really loved the idea of deities shaping the world, harking back to Trudi Canavan's amazing Age of Five series.
I will be reading the sequel to Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye when it eventually comes out, mostly so I can find out if Daemon sorts out his love life because that just ticked me off.
Have you read Circle of Shadows? What do you think about Sora and Daemon's relationship? ...more
King of Scars has been one of my most anticipated reads for 2019, to the point that I even bought 2 copies, the standard edition and the fancy pants IKing of Scars has been one of my most anticipated reads for 2019, to the point that I even bought 2 copies, the standard edition and the fancy pants Illumicrate edition. I honestly couldn’t tell you how excited I was to receive my copy and read it, kid in a candy shop does not even cover it. I even drew some teen Nikolai fanart, scroll to the bottom to see!
The Monster is me, and I am the Monster.
King of Scars is the first book in Leigh Bardugo’s new duology set in the Grishaverse. The same universe that Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom and the original Grisha trilogy takes place in. If you haven’t read them, I recommend reading the other Grisha books before reading King of Scars, there’s a lot of spoilers for the rest of the series throughout.
Set 3 years after the Ravkan Civil war, King of Scars follows Nikolai, Zoya and Nina as they struggle to right a kingdom after the Darkling spilt the country in two. As their enemies draw closer, Ravka’s borders weaken, and the Lantsov King must stop a rising threat to the country and fight the monster within. Yet everyday the infected darkness in Nikolai grows stronger and bolder, threatening to destroy everything they have started to rebuild.
You are strong enough to survive the fall.
I could have definitely benefited rereading the original series; it wasn’t that long ago I read the trilogy, but I found there was so many characters and events referenced that I felt I didn’t get the full picture. Especially because I somehow completely forgot about the Apparat, but that may have been an intention mind-blank due to his douche-baggery.
King of Scars doesn’t have a natural flow whilst reading, and for this reason I found it a struggle to get into. I couldn’t settle into the storyline, starting and stopping repeatedly as I tried to fight my way through the plot and characters.
(view spoiler)[ There feels like a lack of plot in King of Scars, the book loses focus and meanders across events for a while. Nikolai’s struggle with darkness gets lost for a while and pushed aside, and all of Issak’s POV chapters seemingly pointless given his death in the final chapters. (hide spoiler)]
Given that this book is 500 pages, making it fairly hefty for a YA novel, it still felt like not a lot happened. What eventually did happen, felt glaringly obvious and unsurprising.
King of Scars almost feels like it’s rushed, your not left to stew in the realisations of characters or any major plot reveals, no space to breath and take in what’s happening to the characters. It feels like there’s a lack of detail that would’ve been vital in caring for the events of the book. Generally, I’m not a cold person, but I felt like there wasn’t enough emotional investment in the storyline. I care about the characters because of the investment I had in the original books, almost inspite of this book.
(view spoiler)[ There’s a major reveal in Nina’s POV with a factory filled with drug-addict babies and pregnant women, and I found I just didn’t care. Of course, I knew I should do, I mean abused babies!?! But even considering this, it wasn’t far up on my scale of shock horror, and that’s a pretty harsh thing to realise, considering how much I balled with feels at Kaz and Inej. (hide spoiler)]
Most women suffer thorns for the sake of the flowers.
Given the amount I can gripe about my read through of King of Scars, there were somethings I did enjoy about the book. In particular, Zoya.
I really loved seeing and reading more about Zoya and her back story; it was nice to finally find out why Zoya comes across as cold and unloving. To finally see her hidden depths and smooth off some of her harsh bitter beautiful edges. It was definitely a welcome change to see and realise, that Zoya does truly care for the other characters in the series, that shes not just in it for herself.
(view spoiler)[ Unsurprisingly, even with Zoya’s character arc, the book felt rushed through. Although I loved the twist with the amplifiers, it felt like Zoya learnt how to work through them, past them too quickly. Literally the Shortest training montage ever. Zoya seemed to deeply care for Sankta Juris, but there wasn’t any evidence as to where this love sprung from, seemingly appearing from nowhere, to be cut short as she kills him. Again, not enough time spent to actually live through the characters feelings. (hide spoiler)]
We hope or we falter.
This book, I have no idea where to start with this book. I was so looking forward to reading this, so excited, but I may have put it up on too higher pedestal.
I feel a little disappointed in this book, so much was promised that just wasn’t given. I gave King of Scars only 3 stars out of 5 on goodreads and I stand by it, controversial I know. I know you guys are going to have opinions, so many opinions on this book, but I just really couldn’t give it higher, and believe me I wanted to.
I’m not sure if I’m being harsh or generous, it wasn’t necessarily a bad book, it just didn’t live up to the hype or my expectations. Leigh Bardugo is an amazing writer and I love the way she creates her characters.
The dialogue she writes is always fantastic and snarky, I love it. But the development of the story and emotional investment in the characters and events just wasn’t there for me this time.
Also bearing in mind, for a series dubbed the ‘Nikolai duology’ there was surprisingly little page time spent on Nikolai. King of Scars spent more time following Zoya and that for me was part of it’s saving grace.
This was fairly long review given my previous posts, but I’ve got a lot of thoughts for this book. And a lot of love for the author, I will definitely be finishing the duology when the sequel is realised, but I’ve learnt my lesson with the hype. Reading King of Scars, has however solidified my need to reread all the previous books in the series again.
I will literally read anything by Holly Black, she’s where my journey and joy with reading began. I have yet to come across a story written by Holly tI will literally read anything by Holly Black, she’s where my journey and joy with reading began. I have yet to come across a story written by Holly that I haven’t enjoyed. When I first came across this book last year, I knew I just had to have it and devour it immediately.
The Cruel Prince follows Jude Duarte, mortal Girl in a Fae world, and her struggles with living as a powerless mortal amongst the trickster Fae. The story begins with Jude, her twin Taryn, half sister Vivi and parents at home, doing the standard family activity – watching tv. Cue Madoc, feared general of the High Court, come to claim his stolen daughter Vivi, which leads to the brutal murder of their parents.
Ten years later, Jude and Taryn have be raised by Madoc, amongst the fae. But they are not raised as changlings but as part of the upperclass gentry. Sharing lessons with princes and princesses. Jude never entirely fits in, no magic, susceptible to enchantments and completely and utterly powerless. Jude wants nothing more than to belong in the land of fae. Everthing changes when King Eldread abdicates his throne as High King, and civil war threatens the court. Jude must fight for her place in the court and to save her family.
As I said, I am a huge Holly Black fan, all starting from Tithe, which had me from the first page. But despite being a fan, initially I found reading this novel at the start hard going. The first chapter brought me viciously in, wanting to find out more about the dark general- Madoc. But the pace of the novel soon slows to snails pace as it begins world building and fleshing things out. For me, I think the story almost slows too much, which might be where it kind of lost a little of the excitement of the book.
Holly Black’s faery books are all based in the same urban fantasy world. Having previously read her other titles like Tithe and Valiant, the world building felt almost unnecessary. But perhaps it’s because I’ve lived in those worlds before, and for those that are just beginning in Black’s world it won’t feel as slow.
Despite the slowness, I carried on reading (like hell I’m leaving a Holly Black book DNR!) and eventually the book begins to pick up with more in-depth characters and a thicker plot with intriguing underlying currents.
Jude begins the novel feeling a little a whiney, almost too powerless. But she soon develops a backbone as you read on. She becomes a Warrior, Lover, Spy and Killer. The character grows on you, and the inner dialog she has becomes more interesting. You learn about her inner traumas, and how she uses them to develop her skills and build strategies.
Being raised by the General to the High King, blood and court intrigue is nothing but everyday life to Jude. Nothing but a game, and the fae soon become unwitting pawns for her to move and deceive. Soon twisting their expectations of her powerlessness into a strength, proving she is not just a mere mortal girl.
Black has created a staggeringly in-depth character, which plays simply on the surface. Jude comes across as a simple teen, bullied and lost in the cruelty of the fae world, but the further you read, the more complex the character becomes. Jude has a strict sets of ethics and morals that she struggles to place within her everyday life, especially in regards to her feelings towards Madoc. The man/faery that raised her, taught her, fed her, that became her father; is also the man that butchered her mother and father in cold blood, and ripped them away from a mortal life.
The result is a novel that, despite its slow pace, the plot tricks and turns, feeling delightfully honest and enjoyable in parts, to downright dark and betraying in others.
And oh my god, that ending!!!
I really can’t wait to move forward and devour the next in the series: The Wicked King by Holly Black. Because things will only starting picking up and speeding through from here....more
I love these cards, every illustration is beautiful beyond belief. The Artists that collaborated on this deck have done an amazing job at keeping a myI love these cards, every illustration is beautiful beyond belief. The Artists that collaborated on this deck have done an amazing job at keeping a mystical feel with more a brighter contemporary illustration style.
I found the only major down side to this set is the box. The outside design is nice and rigid and the magnetic closure is great...but the inside...the inside is a mess. There's no permanent packaging for inside the box, just some scrappy cardboard divider tubes to attempt to keep the cards in place. Which is a pain in the butt when trying to take out and put back your cards. But this would all be fine if you're someone that keeps their cards in a separate deck bag.
I will say that when you first take the deck out, make time to go through and separate each individual card because the sprayed edges have caused the cards to stick together during manufacturing....more
I really wanted to like this book, but unfortunately I got so frustrated while reading it I had to DNF at 40%.
This book starts off well and interestinI really wanted to like this book, but unfortunately I got so frustrated while reading it I had to DNF at 40%.
This book starts off well and interesting, the way Candace describes the characters and the scenes is very well put together, but it's when the events of the book start to pick up is where it lost me. I found the book's pacing off, one moment your living in the moment with the characters with good descriptions and dialogue; the next its jumping about too fast to follow. I felt like I was thrown into the middle of certain events and had no idea what was going on, and I started to get frustrated and found I wasn't caring as much as I should have.
I personally found there wasn't enough world building, at 40% through I would've liked more of an idea of how this world works and how magic fits into the lives of the main characters. But I still have no clue as to how the magic works in this world, or why Naomi's is different and sort after.
I initially liked the main character of Naomi, she came across as headstrong and intriguing. But almost immediately after seemingly getting kidnapped be him, Naomi trusts Reynolds with her life; all because some women she's never met talks to her. This trust came on way too fast and without much explanation and I really didn't like it. Especially because from then on, Naomi relies on him way too much, just too naive and unrealistic for me to get on with.
I had to DNF this book because there was no sign of an overarching story by 40%, not even a hint of one, just a mention to the character 'Browneyes' who may have been a bad character.. This book feels like a overly long prologue, I understand that this is book one of a series but I still expect understand the world, magic and see some sort of build up of a overall narrative by 40%.
This book has the potential to be good and some of the more polished writing reminded me of Red Queen or The Novice, which are books that I love. But there just wasn't enough of that writing for me to carry on reading. Overall the lack of worldbuilding and lack realistic characters just left me frustrated and confused....more
I enjoyed this book. It wasn't 100% amazeballs but a standard enjoyable slightly smutty read. The writing style reminds me a lot of Mary Janice DavidsI enjoyed this book. It wasn't 100% amazeballs but a standard enjoyable slightly smutty read. The writing style reminds me a lot of Mary Janice Davidson's Undead and Unwed series.
My one main gripe with it is the character Sara at the start comes across as a strong independant women and firefighter, but she later falls in to the helpless maiden category which was a little disappointing.
More indepth review to follow at a later date....more