Tag Archives: Throne of Glass

Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass, Book 2)
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
(Spoiler Free!)

“Enough! We have enough enemies as it is! There are worse things out there to face!”

Celaena slowly turned to him, her face splattered with blood and eyes blazing bright. “No, there aren’t,” she said. “Because I’m here now.”

I am so overwhelmed by this book! I don’t know if it’s because this is part of a series and not a trilogy, or if it’s just due to Maas’s wonderful storytelling, but Crown of Midnight doesn’t have even a single trace of Middle Book Syndrome. Even though the story achieves everything that a middle book must fight to achieve (world building, character building, and plot advancement without an actual finale), this doesn’t read like filler–it reads like an essential and exciting part of the journey.

Here are some of the aspects that I loved: getting to witness Celaena as an assassin, SO much more action than in Book 1 (TOG), the explosion of culture building, learning about Celaena’s backstory, getting to know Chaol (though I STILL have no idea how to pronounce his name), and more unveiling of the king’s evil plots. And when The Horrible Thing happened, it completely sucker punched me, even though I knew it was coming. I actually had to put the book down for a day before picking it up again and racing through the rest of the story.

The one element I could have done without was the romance-related anxiety of the characters, specifically when it was not part of the main plot. To be extra clear, I’m NOT talking about the main romantic developments of the story, just the side stuff! While this story somehow avoids having a blatant triangle, there are several moments of internally expressed jealousy and/or heartache on the side. There is so much amazing plot happening here (both romantic and otherwise) that I found those moments distracting. They pulled me out of the badass fantasy and made me sad for all of these characters that I love.

As it is, though, I don’t expect this to go away any time soon, so I’m trying to cope by sticking with the mantra from my review of TOG: I am team Celaena all the way! Regardless of any romantic ties Mass makes and breaks along the way, this is Celaena’s story, and I’m just going to keep rooting for her to come out on top!

As I’ve said, this is an excellent sequel, and many others have said they liked it even better than TOG. I love this series on the whole, and I can’t wait to pick up Heir of Fire to see where Celaena will go from here 😀

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Top Ten Tuesday: Resolutions for 2016

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For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new theme and everyone is invited to join in!

Today’s Theme: Ten Resolutions I have for 2016

I’ve already written a 2016 Goals & Challenges post, but here a few more bookish things to round out my Top Ten.

Challenges:

  • Complete my Goodreads Challenge of 100 books.
  • Work through the PopSugar reading challenge to see how many items I can check off (without beating myself up trying to finish it)!

Specific TBR goals:

  • Catch up on the Throne of Glass series because it’s about time!
  • Finish the Poison Study trilogy because Magic Study has been on my TBR for ages, and I know I’m going to love it.
  • Finish the Parasol Protectorate series because I can’t let my frustrations with one character get in the way of my enjoyment of the rest.

Other bookish resolutions:

  • Keep track of my re-reads – I’m meticulous about tracking new books on Goodreads, but I don’t have a good way to track my re-reads. I’d really like to do a better job of that this year, but I’m not sure of the best way to do it. I’d LOVE some suggestions!
  • Turn boring chore time into relaxing book time through my library’s digital audio book collection – There are tons of books on my TBR list that I want to read despite the fact that they never make it to the top of the list. I think audio books are the perfect solution because they’re a great backdrop for cooking or folding laundry.
  • Read some new male authors – The majority of authors I read are women, and I’d love to read more male authors to balance the scales a little bit. If you have some favorites to suggest, let me know in the comments!
  • Don’t buy unread books if they are available through the library – Since I’m reading so much, I need to cut back on some costs. One good way is to refrain from buying anything unless I already know I’m going to get a ton of re-read value out of it.
  • Don’t fret about reading slumps or needing to take a break from a book – I’m usually pretty good about this, and I’d like to keep it up this year, too. Reading slumps happen, and sometimes you just need to set a book down for a while. The last thing I want is for reading to become a burden!

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That’s pretty much it for my bookish resolutions this year. What are you resolving for the new year? Link your TTT in the comments!

2016 Goals & Challenges

Now that I’ve looked back at 2015, it’s time to plan ahead for this year!

I don’t want to go too crazy with goals and challenges because I’d hate for reading to become a chore, but some have caught my eye. A couple are organized book challenges, and some are just personal goals I’d like to achieve.

Challenges:

  1. Goodreads Challenge: 100 Books – If my 2016 is anything like my 2015, this number is going to go up. I’m starting out lower, though, to give myself a little more wiggle room. I track all of my new reads on Goodreads anyway, so this one’s a no-brainer for me.
  2. PopSugar Challenge: I’ve seen a couple of other bloggers/vloggers who are doing this one, and it seems like a great, low key way to expand your reading horizons. My plan with this one is to keep track of which boxes I’m checking, and to use it as inspiration when I need helping choosing my next book. For more info, checkout my progress page.

Personal Goals: Finish (or catch up on) the following series:

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)  Poison Study (Study, #1)  Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1)

  1. Throne of Glass – I’ve only read book one so far, and it’s time to catch up!
  2. Poison Study – Finish the original trilogy. I’ve had Magic Study on the top of my TBR list for months.
  3. Parasol Protectorate – I own the entire series, but I stopped after book two because I was so grumpy at Lord Maccon. Time to pick up book three and get some resolution!

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That’s pretty much it for my 2016 reading goals. What are some of your hopes and plans for the new year?

Top Ten Tuesday: My Fall TBR

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For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new theme and everyone is invited to join in! (Note: all book cover images in this post link to that book’s Goodreads page.)

Today’s Theme: Top Ten Books on my Fall TBR

This one was so easy to do – there are a ton of books I’m excited to read this fall, so I just picked ten that I can’t stop thinking about. Almost all of these are young adult books, so I guess it’s going to be a YA season for me. A bunch of them are also books I first read about on other TTT lists throughout the summer, so thank you to everyone for filling my TBR with great picks! In no particular order, here they are:

Fangirl  Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1)  Jackaby (Jackaby, #1)  On the Fence  Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – Having been recommended to me more times than I can count, my library copy finally came through and I can read it now! Hopefully I will have a review up within a couple of weeks.

Angelfall by Susan Ee – This is one of my TTT finds. The whole series was recommended, and I’m excited to give book one a try!

Jackaby by William Ritter – I’ve actually had this one for a while, but I came across the synopsis again recently and it sounded so perfect for autumn that I had to bump it up the list. It is a paranormal, young adult mystery that is described as Doctor Who meets Sherlock Holmes 😀

On the Fence by Kasie West – This one is leftover from my Summer TBR but I don’t want to wait another whole year before reading it, so I’m declaring it a fall read…

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – Another TTT find, I finally have a copy of this one, and the complex world sounds perfect for whisking me away once the weather turns dreary. It has also been highly rated by five of the authors I follow on Goodreads, so that can only mean good things.

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)  Paris Time Capsule  Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1)  Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)  Magic Study (Study, #2)

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – As a new fan of Sarah J. Maas, I had to add this one to my TBR. My library copy has finally come through, so hopefully I’ll have a review up soon.

Paris Time Capsule by Ella Carey – The concept of this story grabbed me right away – a woman inherits a “perfectly preserved” Parisian apartment that hasn’t been touched since the Belle Époque period (1871-1914), and she travels to France to unravel the mysteries of the woman who left it behind.

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi – Here’s my last TTT find of the list. I do enjoy a good dystopian novel, and this one has been recommended to me a few times now.

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas – Time to read the second book in the Throne of Glass series! I loved book one, and I’ve been saving book two for the perfect time. That time is definitely this fall! (Here’s a link to my review of book one.)

Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder – Another second-in-series, I can’t wait to dive into this one, too! (Here’s a link to my review of book one.)

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If you’ve read and loved any of these books, tell me which. Also, let me know about your own Top Ten in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday: Completed Series that I Have Yet to Finish

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For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new theme and everyone is invited to join in! (Note: all book cover images in this post link to that book’s Goodreads page.)

Today’s Theme: Ten Completed Series that I Have Yet to Finish

I am including a few series in this list that are not technically completed – they are far along, or have new, previously unexpected books coming out. Either way, I am woefully behind in all of them! Most of my unfinished series fall into three categories: 1) I loved it so much that I want to make the “first read” experience last, 2) It is one of my new discoveries and I just haven’t had time, and 3) Something frustrated me enough to stall my progress.

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)  Kindling the Moon (Arcadia Bell, #1)  Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)

My “Make it Last” Picks:

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – Starting the list with a bang, the first book of the Throne of Glass series blew me away! I already have book two, but I’m saving it for the perfect day, which will likely be an afternoon when I’m feeling bogged down by school and want to read about some badassery… Here’s a link to my review of book one.

Arcadia Bell by Jenn Bennett – This one is mostly a “Make it last” out of necessity. While I love the world and characters, they require me to be in a certain frame of mind. It isn’t a series that I would be able to rush through and still enjoy as much. Here’s a link to my review of book one.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead – I read and loved the first two books in this series, and I actually own Kindle copies of the whole kit and caboodle. This is definitely one that I’ve tried to stretch out.

Poison Study (Study, #1)  Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

My “Newly Discovered” Picks:

Study by Maria V. Snyder – Much like Throne of Glass, the first book in this series knocked my socks off. I immediately bought book two and I can’t wait to start it! I have a feeling this is going to turn into a “Make it Last” series. Here’s a link to my review of book one.

Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer – This is another relatively new discovery for me. To be honest, though, I’m a little stalled on book one. It’s very good, and I’m expecting to love the whole series – something is just taking me a little longer than usual to finish book one.

Splintered (Splintered, #1)  Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1)  City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)

If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)  The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia, #2)

My “Frustrated” Picks:

Splintered by A.G. Howard – This one is really fresh for me, since I just finished the first book. The world was amazing, so I’ll probably read the rest of the trilogy eventually, but the characters drove me crazy! Here’s a link to my review.

Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger – So far, I’ve made it as far as the end of book two. Without giving away spoilers, let me just say that I got so frustrated with Lord Maccon that I had to put the series down for a while. I’m saving book three for a day when I can just sit down and race through it.

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare – This series was more of a “fizzle out” situation than a “frustrated”one. I raced through the series when I should have stretched it out, and my stamina finally gave out halfway through book six. I remember thinking I would just take a break for a day or so, but then I never picked it back up. Now I feel like I’d have to reread the whole series to get all of the context back…

If I Stay by Gayle Forman – This one may be a bit of a cheat since it’s only a duology, but I really liked If I Stay as a standalone. The ending felt so somber and final that I felt weird about reading on. If you’ve read and liked book two, let me know!

Chronicles of Narnia  by C.S. Lewis – I read most of this series as a kid, but the farther I got the less interest the stories held for me. Maybe that would be different if I reread them as an adult.

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I know a lot of these series are really popular. If you’ve read them, let me know which of my “frustrated” picks I should definitely continue with! Also, let me know about your own top ten in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my Syllabus If I Taught “Kickass Heroines 101”

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For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new theme and everyone is invited to join in! (Note: all book cover images in this post link to that book’s Goodreads page.)

Today’s Theme: Ten Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If You Taught X 101

I’m a day late on this one, but better late than never! It took me forever to figure out which theoretical class I was going to teach because my interests within the romance genre are pretty broad. I finally settled on one common thread that links together so many of the books I love: the Kickass Heroine. She’s compelling, capable, and intelligent – not to mention a force to be reckoned with – and she can be found in any genre! To that effect, I tried to come up with a well-rounded “syllabus” that includes a variety of genres and different incarnations of “kickass.”

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)  Grim Shadows (Roaring Twenties, #2)  Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1)  Venetia

Celaena – Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas – (YA Fantasy) Starting the list with a bang, Celaena is both deadly and cunning. For fans of YA fantasy with a hefty does of assassins and political intrigue, this is a must read! (Here’s a link to my review of book one.)

Hadley Bacall – Grim Shadows by Jenn Bennett – (Historical – Roaring Twenties) One of the foremost experts on macabre artifacts, Hadley is sharp as a tack and has spent most of her life in museums. When an ancient Egyptian curse brings her out into a world more suited to Indiana Jones, raucous adventures ensue 🙂 (Here’s a link to my review.)

Cat Crawford – Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost – (Paranormal) Cat is the ultimate vampire hunter. I love this series because it spans a decade or so of her life, and you really get to watch her grow, both emotionally and as a force of nature. If you’re a fan of darker vampire stories, you should definitely give this one a try.

Venetia Lanyon – Venetia by Georgette Heyer – (Historical – Regency) Heyer has written so many wonderful heroines, but of those I’ve read so far, Venetia is my favorite. She’s witty, honest, a bit sheltered from the world, and not afraid to go for what she wants in life. (Here’s a link to my review.)

Die for Me (Revenants, #1)  Riveted (Iron Seas, #3)  Fortune's Pawn (Paradox, #1)

Kate Mercier – Revenants Trilogy by Amy Plum – (YA Paranormal) I’ve mentioned this series on my blog several times now, and it’s because I just can’t get enough of it. Kate is loyal, intelligent, hard-working, compassionate, and the list goes on and on. (Here’s a link to my review of book one.)

Annika Fridasdotter – Riveted by Meljean Brook – (Steampunk) Annika stands out on this list, because there are plenty of things she doesn’t excel at (most of which involve social interactions), but she is so loving and open. It’s refreshing to read about a character who isn’t weighed down by social constructs and takes risks most of us would be terrified of. (Here’s a link to my review.)

Devi Morris – Paradox Trilogy by Rachel Bach – (Science Fiction) Devi is another warrior heroine. Her goal in life is to join the most elite rank of guards at the disposal of her king, and she will fight tooth and nail to get there.

Winterblaze (Darkest London, #3)  A Spear of Summer Grass  After the End (After the End, #1)

Poppy Lane – Winterblaze by Kristen Callihan – (Steampunk/Fantasy) Poppy Lane is an ice elemental. She also happens to be the leader of London’s supernatural police force and intelligence agency. This series on the whole is a great blend of steampunk and fantasy – I highly recommend it!

Delilah Drummond – A Spear of Summer Grass – (Historical – Roaring Twenties) Delilah’s magnificence is in her force of will. She has both good and bad qualities, but she does everything with aplomb, and she’s willing to sacrifice it all to do what she feels is right. If you’re in the mood for a compelling read with a vivid setting in Africa, give this one a go!

Juneau – After the End Duology by Amy Plum – (YA Dystopia) I had to put Juneau on this list. Having grown up in the Alaskan wilderness, she’s truly a jack of all trades. If there’s anyone I would want to be stranded with in a life or death situation, Juneau would be her! (Here’s a link to my review of book one.)

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What course would you teach? Let me know about your top ten in the comments!

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas is a young adult fantasy novel that kicks off a series of the same name. Celaena Sardothien is the most accomplished assassin in Adarlan – she is even a household name. After having been caught and surviving a year in an unthinkably horrible death camp, Celaena is taken back to the capital city with Prince Dorian and Captain Westfall. With a chance to finally win her freedom, she must compete against other renegade “Champions” and prove that she is deserving of becoming the King’s most powerful weapon.

“You could be different,” Elena said quietly. “You could be great. Greater than me–than any of us.”

Celaena opened her mouth, but no words came out.

Elena took a step toward her. “You could rattle the stars,” she whispered. “You could do anything, if you only dared. And deep down, you know it, too. That’s what scares you most.”

I grew to love Celaena over the course of this story. There are times where she can be a bit whiny or vain, but she is an eighteen year old who never had time to just be young. Throughout everything she faced growing up, and everything she faces during the competition, she stays true to herself. Her freedom and her personal code of honor remain of the utmost importance.

Regarding Celaena’s badassery and her apparent reputation: You know how some novels tout the fighting prowess of a character but fall completely flat when it comes time to portray an actual fight scene? That didn’t happen here! When Celaena’s skills make an appearance, they impress (at least they impressed me), even in scenes where she is forced to downplay her abilities. Maas knew how much action to include to keep the story exciting and build Celaena up without overdoing it.

Celaena straightened her spine as she stepped into the ring. She quickly bowed to the king, then to her opponent.

She met Grave’s stare and smiled as she bent her knees, holding the staff in two hands.

You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into, little man.

I also loved the world that Maas created. She wove it into the plot lines seamlessly, and upon finishing the book, I’m dying to know more about Erilea. I especially want to know more about Nehemia and her country.

Love Triangle Warning! This series definitely has one, and it seems to be the kind with two excellent men, and a woman who obviously cares deeply for them both. Someone is bound to have their heart broken.

I’m usually very wary of love triangles. I hate agonizing over the third-wheel’s heartache and it always feels like unnecessary anguish. In Throne of Glass, however, I didn’t mind it so much. I think the difference was that this is not a story about a woman falling in love. It is about a woman fighting for her freedom, learning how, and whom to trust, and enjoying experiences she never thought she’d have again. For that, I am team Celaena all the way. We’ll see if the rest of the series brings on the anguish…

All in all, I am eager to pick up Crown of Midnight and continue the story. I wasn’t ready for this one to end and I’ve got to see where Maas is going to take things from here. I may or may not also be itching to find out if we see Mox again down the road…

See my review on Goodreads