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

Books I Want to Reread in 2020

As a reader who has a hell of a lot of books on her TBR I have been quite strict with myself when it comes to rereading, however, in 2020 I’ve decided to allow myself to reread favourites each month to keep myself interested and enjoying reading. Enjoyment is key and a reading slump is my biggest fear.

These are the books that are either nostalgic to me or are ones that I absolutely love that I want to reexperience.

In summery I really want to reread a bunch of books that I absolutely loved reading the first time. I’ve already started my reread of the Twilight Saga and Harry Potter and I’ve reread ‘The Simple Wild’ so I am definitely taking this very seriously!

What is your favourite reread?

The Tyrant’s Tomb by Rick Riordan

The Tyrant’s Tomb
by Rick Riordan
#4 in the Trials of Apollo Series

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Date: 2019
Pages: 439
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Mythology
Days to Read: 4
Purchase Locations: Amazon & Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks

In his penultimate adventure, a devastated but determined Apollo travels to Camp Jupiter, where he must learn what it is to be a hero, or die trying.

It’s not easy being Apollo, especially when you’ve been turned into a human and banished from Olympus. On his path to restoring five ancient oracles and reclaiming his godly powers, Apollo (aka Lester Papadopoulos) has faced both triumphs and tragedies. Now his journey takes him to Camp Jupiter in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the Roman demigods are preparing for a desperate last stand against the evil Triumvirate of Roman emperors. Hazel, Reyna, Frank, Tyson, Ella, and many other old friends will need Apollo’s aid to survive the onslaught. Unfortunately, the answer to their salvation lies in the forgotten tomb of a Roman ruler . . . someone even worse than the emperors Apollo has already faced.

By the second last book in The Trials of Apollo series, so much has happened and The Tyrant’s Tomb is no exception. ‘The Burning Maze’ ended with the death of a beloved character that honestly rocked me as a reader. During the events that take place in ‘The Tyrant’s Tomb’ we also see characters grieving this death and how each individual deals with thr repocussions of this.

Throughout all the Rick Riordan series so many important themes are dicussed, especially for the age bracket that they are intended for. I find that Rick Riordan broaches topics such a gender fluitity, death, sexuality, race and religion in a manner that allows readers to understand concepts, ideas and even themselves in a deeper way. This also allows for everybody to be represented in a large range of books.

The way that Apollo is represented in the stories is one of my absolute favourites. I love that his personality is the same regardless of where he is represented. He is definitely very self confident and has a humerous way of expressing himself. I found myself laughing out loud at some of his lines.

The plot as a whole was enjoyable to read. We spent a lot of time with the heroes from the Roman camp and watched as they battled these ancient villains, always the self sarcrificer to save others. We also see more of the importance of every charcaters in the story with all of them developing so fluidly that the changes aren’t really visable in each individual book.

The Tyrant’s Tomb gave me another of the mythology stories that I live for. It is an important addition to the Trials of Apollo series. As readers we have been set up well for the finale to Apollo’s story of redemption.

Plot: 7/10
Ease of reading: 7/10
Character Development: 8/10
World Building: 6/10
Quality of Writing: 8/10
Overall: 4.5/5

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

New Moon
By Stephenie Meyer

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Date: 2006
Pages: 563
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Paranormal
Days to Read: 7
Purchase Locations: Amazon and Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

I knew we were both in mortal danger. Still, in that instant, I felt well. Whole. I could feel my heart racing in my chest, the blood pulsing hot and fast through my veins again. My lungs filled deep with the sweet scent that came off his skin. It was like there had never been any hole in my chest. I was perfect – not healed, but as if there had never been a wound in the first place.

For Bella Swan, there is one thing more important than life itself: Edward Cullen. But being in love with a vampire is even more dangerous than Bella could ever have imagined. Edward has already rescued Bella from the clutches of one evil vampire, but now, as their daring relationship threatens all that is near and dear to them, they realize their troubles may be just beginning

After rereading Twilight I knew I wanted to do a complete reread of the series. It has been a lot time since I have sat down and actually reread these books and the nostalgia is real!

If you don’t know Twilight follows our main character Bella as she moves to the town of Forks to live with her dad after she decides that her mum should go with her new husband on his travels as a minor league baseball player.

Once there we are introduced to the mysterious Edward and the ever friendly Jacob.

Within the sequel ‘New Moon’ Bella is faced with hreat break and forced to move on, however instead of doing so Bella decides to embark on fixing motorbikes with Jacob. The development of the relationship between Jacob and Bella is one that I will always enjoy. Both are a little over dramatic but I was defnitely here for it when I read it in high school and I’m here for it now.

Although New Moon develops the character of Bella from the inital book, I don’t find it to be a positive development. She seems like a classic over dramatic heart broken teen, who really can’t function without thier ‘Soulmate’. It’s definitely not healthy but it is I woulf say accurate to intense teenage romance.

The setting of LaPush is one that I’ve always injoyed in both movies and books. It is such an interesting place in terms of its history and the community aspect of the peoples of the reservation. There was a developemnt of the mythology that surrounds the tribe as well as a progression from beleiving the myth to realising its reality. The scenery was definitely one that really does encaptulate me when it comes to the Twilight Saga.

Overall this reread is one that brings up so much nostaligia as a reader. I am deeply enjoying my time revisting the Twilight Saga and experiencing the characters again.

Plot: 5/10
Ease of reading: 8/10
Character Development: 6.5/10
World Building: 6/10
Quality of Writing: 6/10
Overall: 4.5/5

Year-a-thon: February Wrap Up

Our February week long readathon in the overarching Year-a-thon has come and gone. I set out to complete 3 books. 2 individual books and one series.

I didn’t end up reading as much as I thought I would during February’s Year-a-thon. Although finishing two books in the week was definitely not too bad.

‘The Simple Wild’ by K.A. Tucker was a reread in preparation for the sequel coming out on February 18th (can you tell I’m excited). ‘The Bear and the Nightingale’ by Katherine Adren was a book that had beed chilling on my TBR for a while.

Both books where definitely enjoyable to pick up for the readathon. You can check out the review of The Simple Wild, already on my blog and the review for The Bear and the Nightingale will be coming soon!

What books did you pick up for the readathon?

Favourite Romance & Contemporary Books

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Whether you celebrate or not, it’s nice to spend some time reflecting on those we care for deeply.

With that being said I decided it’s also a perfect time to list some of my favourite romance and contempoarary stories. As an aside from Valentine’s Day, I usually find myself reading more romantic stories during the summer months. These are just a few of the books I’ve enjoyed.

These are only some of the books that I’ve enjoyed from the contamporary/ Romance Genre. All featuring adorable couples that I abslutely love, so if you are in the mood for a fluffy read, I would definitely recommend all of these stories!

I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day! Send me any of your favourite Romance and Contampary reads, I’d love to read more!!

Legacy by Shannon Messenger

Legacy
by Shannon Messenger
#8 Keeper of Lost Cities

Publisher: Aladdin
Date: 2019
Pages: 3688
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Fantasy
Days to Read: 3
Purchase Locations: Amazon and Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks

Illusions shatter—and Sophie and her friends face impossible choices—in this astonishing eighth book in the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Keeper of the Lost Cities series.

Sophie Foster wants answers. But after a lifetime of lies, sometimes the truth is the most dangerous discovery. Even the smallest secret comes with terrifying new responsibilities.

And Sophie’s not the only one with blank spots in her past, or mysteries surrounding her family. She and her friends are part of something much bigger than they imagined—and their roles have already been chosen for them.

Every clue drags them deeper into the conspiracy. Every memory forces them to question everything—especially one another. And the harder they fight, the more the lines blur between friend and enemy.

Honestly what didn’t happen in ‘Legacy’? There were so many additions to an already complex plot that I am blown away with how well the story all fits together. The world is utterly incredible.

Throughout Legacy we get so many answers. Not only to questions that readers have been wondering since the beginning of the series as well as questions we didn’t even though we had. By the end of the book too, I had even more questions.

The characters in Legacy are definitely growing up with different social issues arising that have been brewing in the other books but aren’t yet addressed until the characters are older. Now is that time. Most readers will either be a Keffie or a fitzfie shipper and at this point I’ve got to say I am all for Keefie!

I always enjoy my time reading this series. I absolutely love the world building that has occurred from book one. absolutely has be blown away. I am so invested in the outcome of this story because I feel like I understand the world so deeply as well as the sacrifices many of our characters have made thus far.

Legacy with an amazing 8th book in a long and intricate series that is perfect for readers that want to become utterly lost in a magically detailed and far reaching world.

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

January Book Haul 2020

So I have definitely stuck to buying less books in January than what I read in December… Yay! Here are the books I grabbed!

Angel Mage
by Garth Nix

Hardcover

More than a century has passed since Liliath crept into the empty sarcophagus of Saint Marguerite, fleeing the Fall of Ystara. But she emerges from her magical sleep still beautiful, looking no more than nineteen, and once again renews her single-minded quest to be united with her lover, Palleniel, the archangel of Ystara.

A seemingly impossible quest, but Liliath is one of the greatest practitioners of angelic magic to have ever lived, summoning angels and forcing them to do her bidding.

Liliath knew that most of the inhabitants of Ystara died from the Ash Blood plague or were transformed into beastlings, and she herself led the survivors who fled into neighboring Sarance. Now she learns that angels shun the Ystaran’s descendants. If they are touched by angelic magic, their blood will turn to ash. They are known as Refusers, and can only live the most lowly lives.

But Liliath cares nothing for the descendants of her people, save how they can serve her. It is four young Sarancians who hold her interest: Simeon, a studious doctor-in-training; Henri, a dedicated fortune hunter; Agnez, an adventurous musketeer cadet; and Dorotea, an icon-maker and scholar of angelic magic. They are the key to her quest.

The four feel a strange kinship from the moment they meet, but do not know why, or suspect their importance. All become pawns in Liliath’s grand scheme to fulfill her destiny and be united with the love of her life. No matter the cost to everyone else.

Aphrodite Made Me Do It
by Trista Mateer

Paperback

Bestselling and award-winning author Trista Mateer takes an imaginative approach to self-care in this new poetry and prose collection, Aphrodite Made Me Do It. In this empowering retelling, she uses the mythology of the goddess to weave a common thread through the past and present. By the end of this book, Aphrodite make you believe in the possibility of your own healing.

Children of Virtue and Vengeance
by Tomi Adeyemi

Hardcover

After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too.

Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari’s right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy’s wrath.

With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.

Come Tumbling Down
by Seanan McGuire

Hardcover

When Jack left Eleanor West’s School for Wayward Children she was carrying the body of her deliciously deranged sister–whom she had recently murdered in a fit of righteous justice–back to their home on the Moors.

But death in their adopted world isn’t always as permanent as it is here, and when Jack is herself carried back into the school, it becomes clear that something has happened to her. Something terrible. Something of which only the maddest of scientists could conceive. Something only her friends are equipped to help her overcome.

Eleanor West’s “No Quests” rule is about to be broken.

Again.

Macbeth
Adapted by Gareth Hinds

Paperback

Shakespeare’s classic story of dark ambition, madness, and murder springs to life in a masterful new graphic novel by Gareth Hinds.

Set against the moody backdrop of eleventh-century Scotland, Gareth Hinds’s captivating, richly illustrated interpretation takes readers into the claustrophobic mind of a man driven mad by ambition.An evil seed takes root in the mind of Macbeth, a general in the king’s army, when three witches tell him he will one day be king. At the urging of his wife, he resolves to take the throne by the most direct path: a dagger in the heart of King Duncan. But “blood will have blood,” and when others grow suspicious of his sudden rise to power, is Macbeth prepared to commit more murders to keep the crown?

The Bad Boy of Athens: Classics from the Greeks to Game of Thrones
by Daniel Mendelsohn

Hardcover

Mendelsohn takes the classical costumes off figures like Virgil and Sappho, Homer and Horace … He writes about things so clearly they come to feel like some of the most important things you have ever been told.’ Sebastian Barry

Over the past three decades, Daniel Mendelsohn’s essays and reviews have earned him a reputation as ‘our most irresistible literary critic’ (New York Times). This striking new collection exemplifies the way in which Mendelsohn – a classicist by training – uses the classics as a lens to think about urgent contemporary debates.

There is much to surprise here. Mendelsohn invokes the automatons featured in Homer’s epics to help explain the AI films Ex Machina and Her, and perceives how Ted Hughes sought redemption by translating a play of Euripides (the ‘bad boy of Athens’) about a wayward husband whose wife returns from the dead. There are essays on Sappho’s sexuality and the feminism of Game of Thrones; on how Virgil’s Aeneid prefigures post-World War II history and why we are still obsessed with the Titanic; on Patrick Leigh Fermor’s final journey, Karl Ove Knausgaard’s autofiction and the plays of Tom Stoppard, Tennessee Williams, and Noël Coward. The collection ends with a poignant account of the author’s boyhood correspondence with the historical novelist Mary Renault, which inspired his ambition to become a writer.

In The Bad Boy of Athens, Mendelsohn provokes and dazzles with erudition, emotion and tart wit while his essays dance across eras, cultures and genres. This is a provocative collection which sees today’s master of popular criticism using the ancient past to reach into the very heart of modern culture.

The Secret History
by Donna Tartt

Paperback

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and betrayal, and at last – inexorably – into evil.

When We Were Vikings
by Andrew David Macdonald

Paperback

A heart-swelling debut for fans of The Silver Linings Playbook and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Sometimes life isn’t as simple as heroes and villains.

For Zelda, a twenty-one-year-old Viking enthusiast who lives with her older brother, Gert, life is best lived with some basic rules:

1. A smile means “thank you for doing something small that I liked.”
2. Fist bumps and dabs = respect.
3. Strange people are not appreciated in her home.
4. Tomatoes must go in the middle of the sandwich and not get the bread wet.
5. Sometimes the most important things don’t fit on lists.

But when Zelda finds out that Gert has resorted to some questionable—and dangerous—methods to make enough money to keep them afloat, Zelda decides to launch her own quest. Her mission: to be legendary. It isn’t long before Zelda finds herself in a battle that tests the reach of her heroism, her love for her brother, and the depth of her Viking strength.

When We Were Vikings is an uplifting debut about an unlikely heroine whose journey will leave you wanting to embark on a quest of your own, because after all…

We are all legends of our own making.

We Used to be Friends
by Amy Spalding

Hardcover

Two best friends grow up—and grow apart—in this innovative contemporary YA novel
 
Told in dual timelines—half of the chapters moving forward in time and half moving backward—We Used to Be Friends explores the most traumatic breakup of all: that of childhood besties. At the start of their senior year in high school, James (a girl with a boy’s name) and Kat are inseparable, but by graduation, they’re no longer friends. James prepares to head off to college as she reflects on the dissolution of her friendship with Kat while, in alternating chapters, Kat thinks about being newly in love with her first girlfriend and having a future that feels wide open. Over the course of senior year, Kat wants nothing more than James to continue to be her steady rock, as James worries that everything she believes about love and her future is a lie when her high-school sweetheart parents announce they’re getting a divorce. Funny, honest, and full of heart, We Used to Be Friends tells of the pains of growing up and growing apart.