Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Date: 2018
Pages: 984
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Fantasy
Days to Read: 14
Purchase Locations: Amazon & Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

The final battle is here.

Aelin Galathynius has vowed to save her people―but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture. The knowledge that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, but her resolve is unraveling with each passing day…

With Aelin captured, friends and allies are scattered to different fates. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever. As destinies weave together at last, all must fight if Erilea is to have any hope of salvation.

Years in the making, Sarah J. Maas’s New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series draws to an explosive conclusion as Aelin fights to save herself―and the promise of a better world.

Kingdom of Ash is the final book in the Throne of Glass series. We follow multiple perspectives throughout the story and travel throughout the lands of Arellia and beyond. The basics of the story (so you won’t be spoiled, dear reader) is that Aelin and her friends must go to war against Erawan, the demon lord who is taking over the continent.

Aelin has developed as a dynamic and kick ass character, she continues her growth throguhout Kingdom of Ash, becoming a beacon of strength, resiliance and empathy. I love Aelin as our leading lady. She shows what a main character should be, flawed and oh so human but willing to change. She also shows a passion for equailty among her peers and her people.

Our support cast is full of magical and mighty players in this hectic and chaotic war provide additions of much needed humor as well as showing us what is happening in other parts of this vast, expansive world.

The conclusion to this 7 book (plus one prequel book) series is in a word, epic. The setting of Arillia has changed so much over the course of the seven stories that it becomes almost like the reader is experiencing a whole new world. The description and detail really adds to this experience.

To say that Kingdom of Ash is a Tome is an understatement. The sheer mass of this books is something that I found off putting when it came to finally reading the conclusion to a series I was deeply emersed it. It was a commitment that I was anxious about making, however is not one I regret.

The Throne of Glass series as a whole includes so many great tropes. Competition is rife, Fae are many and the detail in back story and connection between past and present is made so semlessly and effectively.

Plot: 8.5/10
Ease of reading: 4/10
Character Development: 7.5/10
World Building: 5/10
Quality of Writing: 8/10
Overall: 4.5/5

Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

Queen of Nothing
by Holly Black
#3 Folk of the Air Series

Publisher: Little, Brown
Date: 2019
Pages: 300
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Fantasy
Days to Read: 12
Purchase Locations: Amazon & Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

He will be destruction of the crown and the ruination of the throne.

Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold onto. Jude learned this lesson when she released her control over the wicked king, Cardan, in exchange for immeasurable power.

Now as the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is powerless and left reeling from Cardan’s betrayal. She bides her time determined to reclaim everything he took from her. Opportunity arrives in the form of her deceptive twin sister, Taryn, whose mortal life is in peril.

Jude must risk venturing back into the treacherous Faerie Court, and confront her lingering feelings for Cardan, if she wishes to save her sister. But Elfhame is not as she left it. War is brewing. As Jude slips deep within enemy lines she becomes ensnared in the conflict’s bloody politics.

And, when a dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition and her humanity…

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, comes the highly anticipated and jaw-dropping finale to The Folk of the Air trilogy.

‘Queen of Nothing’ was the final book in the folk of the air trilogy. This was a book that I hav been looking forward to at the end of ‘Wicked King’ – The second book in the series – we were left with a shifted world, particularly for Jude, our protagonist. I was in such anticipation of how this was all going to be wrapped up and ‘Queen of Nothing’ delivered.

When it comes to Fae stories I am a huge fan of how Sarah J. Maas portrays them. ‘The Cruel Prince’ was my first experience reading Holly Black’s portrayal and I found that I was enjoying the way they were written and saw a lot of what I had read previously in her writing. ‘Queen of Nothing’ stayed true and consistent to the characters we meet in ‘Cruel Prince’ witch great growth and development.

Both Jude and Cardan show a great amount of growth from our first encounter with them. Their growth was fluid for readers – something I find very important when engaging in a story – making us want to see them succeed. They way that every was tied together and wrapped up in our final book was something that I think was done well with the limited pages we got (300 is just not enough!)

Overall, if you enjoy reading fae stories the Folk of the Air series is one that you will enjoy. Throughout the three stories we see how typical fae characters interact with humans who have known the fae world for a very long time. It’s a story that will keep you engaged and hopeful for the characters.

Plot: 7/10
Ease of reading: 8/10
Character Development: 7/10
World Building: 6/10
Quality of Writing: 7/10
Overall:3.5/5

O.W.L.S Readathon: What Exams Did I Pass?

I can’t believe the O.W.L.S readathon is done and dusted! I had so much fun participating in this readathon hosted by Gee at Book Roast.

Now that the month is over lets get into what exams I passed and what that means for my career goals within the Wizarding World.

I feel like I worked extra hard during the O.W.L.S season this year and this is reflected in what I achieved. Before the end of April I was able to pass:

Overall I managed to pass 7 exams! I am so happy with this achievement. The exams I passed were:

  • Potions: read a sequel (for this I read ‘Exile’ By Shannon Messenger)
  • Defence Against the Dark Arts: Read a book beginning with R (For this I read ‘The Red Queen’ By Victoria Aveyard)
  • Care of magical Creatures: read a book with a land animal on the cover (for this I read ‘The Outcast’ By Taran Matharu)
  • Herbology: Read a book with a plant on the cover (for this I read ‘Estranged’ By Ethan M. Aldridge)
  • Arithmancy: Read a book with multiple authors (for this I read ‘Skyward: My Low G Life.’ By Joe Henderson, Lee Garbett & Antonio Faela.)
  • History of Magic: Read a book that was published 10 or more years ago (for this I read ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ By Cressida Cowell)
  • Charms: Read an Adult Work (For this I read ‘The Greatest Love Story Ever Told’ By Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally)

This means that I passed all the exams needed to pursue my goals of being a Care of Magical Creatures Professor.

Now bring on the N.E.W.T.S in August!

Did you participate in the O.W.L.S? How did you go?

Review: ‘The Wicked King’ By Holly Black

‘The Wicked King’

By Holly Black

Book #2 in the Folk of the Air Series

Publisher:Source Books Fire
Date: 2018
Pages: 322
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Fantasy
Days to Read: 6 
Purchase Locations: Amazon & Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

In ‘The Wicked King’ we are following on the events from ‘The Cruel Prince’. Jude is now working to keep the power she gained. It has been a while since I read ‘The Cruel Prince’ so I was a little fuzzy on the details when I read it.

I found the beginning of the book a bit slow. I was struggling a little bit to stay engaged. I wanted to see where the story was going because I had heard from other reviews that it does pick up in pace later in the book. It is definitely the case! By the last 50 pages, I honestly could not put it down!

We are really delving into politics and deceit of the Fae world and although I found it difficult to read at the start, having all of the back story when it came time for the end of the book I felt like I really had a grasp on things to understand the magnitude of it all.

Overall I would recommend this book if you enjoyed ‘The Cruel Prince’. Its definitely a good series and one I am looking forward to continuing.

Plot: 6/10
Ease of reading: 6/10
Character Development: 7/10
World Building: 6/10
Quality of Writing: 7/10
Overall Rating:  3.5/5

October Wrap Up

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The end of October has come, which means its time for my OCTOBER WRAP UP!

Spring is here and I am so ready for it, its time for floral dresses and fresh air!

So this month I read 5 books. I completed:
* ‘The Burning Maze’ By Rick Riordan
* ‘Yes Please’ By Amy Poehler
* ‘Illuminae’ By Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
* ‘An Enchantment of Ravens’ By Margaret Rogerson
* ‘Gemina’ By Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
* ‘Even the Darkest Stars’ By Heather Fawcett

 

 

Reading Stats

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Posts of the month

October TBR

September Goal Update

Travel Guide: Osaka

September Fairy Loot Unboxing

Review: ‘The Dark Prophecy’ By Rick Riordan

Bookish Survey: Greek Mythology

Review: ‘Illuminae’ By Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Goodreads ‘To-Read’ Sort #9

Review: ‘The Burning Maze’ By Rick Riordan

Review: ‘Yes Please’ By Amy Poehler

Spring Book Haul

Review: ‘Gemina’ By Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Books I’ve Pre-Ordered

Review: ‘An Enchantment of Ravens’ By Margaret Rogerson

 

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How was your October? What was the best book you read this month?

 

Review: ‘An Enchantment of Ravens’ By Margaret Rogerson

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Enchantment of Ravens

‘An Enchantment of Ravens’
By Margaret Rogerson

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publish Date: 2017
Pages: 300
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre: Fantasy
Purchase Locations: Amazon and Kindle Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD 

“As the years passed I grew disenchanted with enchantments, which were just as much a lie.” – Isobel

SynopsisA skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

“Walking along a blades edge was only fun until the blade stoped being a metaphor” -Isobel

Thoughts

So I’ve been tentative to pick this book up. I’d first read a fae story in the ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ By Sarah J. Mass. I wish I hadn’t been so nervous to pick this book up because… AMAZING!

The plot of this story picks up with Isobel, a portrait artist from Whimsy – a small human town set in the the Summer Court. We follow her adventure as she is is painting a portrait of Gadfly. A fair one (or fae) who is a continual patron of Isobel’s. We soon follow has as she meets a new fae. The Autumn Prince. Let the adventure begin.

As the story continues, we meet many fae, each with a very specific personality. Isobel must try and navigate her way through the fae world.

The character development in the 300 short pages of this novel are amazing!  I loved how they progressed at a speed fast enough for the length of the book, without being illogically fast or unreasonable.

There were some points in the plot where I was able to guess what was going to happen, however there were a few things I didn’t see coming which I LOVE!

Overall this is a great fae novel and depicts the fae in a different way than what I have read before. Somewhat more vapid and vein. Although I know this is a key characteristic of fae I felt like it was appropriately played upon in ‘An Enchantment of Ravens’. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a fae tale!

 

“No human has ever visited a fairy court and lived. Or at lease, none had ever done so and remained human” – Isobel

Rating

“Make no mistake, it’s a small price to pay for the power and beauty of immortality. Yet it does make one wonder, doesn’t it? Why do we desire, above all other things, that which has the greatest power to destroy us.” – Gadfly

Plot: 8.5/10
Ease of reading: 6.5/10
Character Development: 8.5/10
World Building: 9/10
Quality of Writing: 7.5/10
Stars:  4.5/5

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Review: ‘A Kingdom of Exiles’ By S.B. Nova

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‘A Kingdom of Exiles’
By S.B. Nova
Book #1 in the Outcasts Series) 

Publisher: Night Owl
Publish Date: 2017
Pages: 598 (Kindle Edition)
Series: Outcast #1
Fiction/Non-Fiction:  Fiction
Genre: Young adult Fantasy
Purchase Locations: Kindle

Synopsis

The brightest of stars are always born on the darkest of nights.
Serena Smith is unusual. 
Growing up in a backwoods village, her life is lonely and dull. Then, on her eighteenth birthday, she’s gifted a magical heirloom only to be snatched by fae and condemned to a lifetime in chains.
Dragged to Aldar, a fae kingdom ruled by a tyrant witch, Serena discovers a forbidden love, and meets fellow outcasts, each with their own dark secrets. 
As the lives of warriors, rebels, and witches clash, they find a shared destiny. For only together, and with Serena’s unique gifts, can they survive long enough to build the flames of a revolution. Only together can they go to war. 

My Thoughts

I jumped into this books after watching Book Sunday‘s video discussing her March wrap up. I was instantly intrigued  in the story. I have only just discovered Fae and Fae novels (I know did I grow up under a rock!) and had read and LOVED the ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ series after seeing Imogen rave about them.

I was not disappointed, well not until the end and I discovered that there isn’t a release date or eve  a title for the next novel! I’m addicted.

Serena, our main character is a strong protagonist. We meet her in adverse circumstances, experiencing grief. She is growing up in a village where she doesn’t feel or is treated like she belongs. We follow Serena until our story really begins and she turns 18. She ends away from her village – and trust me reading how that happens will have your emotions going crazy! – and on her way to Alder, against her will.

We meet a flurry of characters after this who I seemed to always have strong feelings about which i was really surprised about and give great credit to the writing.

This book had me totally engaged, I was so mad any time I had to put it down (which was a lot) and just wanted to keep reading what was happening and experiencing this world with Serena.

The world building through out was absolutely spot on. every detail was covered and I didn’t finish it feeling like there were holes in the story.

Overall an amazing read. I really don’t like reading things on my phone or laptop (personal preference) and actively avoid things like kindle BUT I’m so glad that I decided to pick this one up and give it a read. I would say the only negative I have is AVAILABILITY – I cannot find it in physical form anywhere I’ve looked.

My Rating

Plot: 8/10
Ease of reading: 7/10
Character Development: 8/10
World Building: 9/10
Quality of Writing: 8.5/10
Stars:  5/5

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What are some Fae/Faerie novels or stories you would recommend?

 

 

Review: ‘A Court of Wings and Ruin’ By Sarah J. Mass

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‘A Court of Wings and Ruin’
By Sarah J. Mass
(Book #3 in the Court of Thorns and Roses Series) 

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publish Date: May 2017
Series: A Court of thorns and Roses (Book #3)
Pages: 699
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Book Type: Fiction
Purchase Locations: Book Depository Amazon Booktopia Audible

Synopsis: 
Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.
Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.
As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places.
In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

My Thoughts:
When I got to ‘A Court of Wings and Ruin’ I had already binge read ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ and ‘A Court of Mist and Fury’ and I was addicted! I just wanted to read more. I purchased the hardcover copies (just because) and I thought after reading the 624 page ‘A Court of Mist and Fury’ that I was on the home stretch, that was the thickest book. Oh boy was I wrong. ‘A Court of Mist and Fury’ was 699 pages! I could not wait to see how everything was going to go!

War was practically upon Perythian. It was interesting to see how each of the courts and the High Lords were going to react to the prospect of war and I was not disappointed. It was great to see all the characters develop in a situation that calls for so much.

‘A Court of Wings and Ruin’ delivered. It gave us more back story to characters, development of the characters as well as development of the world as a whole. Which in my opinion is fantastically done especially for a third novel in a series.

There were places near the end of the story where I was so enthralled in the plot that I was almost in tears (almost because I was on public transport at the time). The plot is so well written that from page one you are enthralled, you feel as though you are there with Feyre and Rhys and the rest of the Night Court, and I just became more and more invested with every turn on the page.

I cannot wait to read ‘A Court of Frost and Starlight’ to see where the story goes.

I will say that I feel now I have very high expectations for any other Faerie based novel. ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ has developed such a strong group of Faerie Characters that it might be hard to match!

My Rating:
Plot: 9/10
Ease of reading: 4/10
Character Development: 8/10
World Building: 8/10
Quality of Writing: 8/10
Stars:  5/5