Review: ‘Crown of Midnight’ By Sarah J. Maas

‘Crown of Midnight’

By Sarah J. Maas

Book #2 in the Throne of Glass Series

Publisher:Bloomsbury
Date: 2013
Pages: 418
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Fantasy
Days to Read: 21
Purchase Locations: Amazon & Kindle         Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie… and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

Plot: 8/10
Ease of reading: 7.5/10
Character Development: 8.5/10
World Building: 9/10
Quality of Writing: 8/10
Overall Rating:   5/5

Review: ‘The Burning Maze’ By Rick Riordan

Burning Maze

‘The Burning Maze’
By Rick Riordan
Book #3 in the Trials of Apollo Series

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publish Date: May 2018
Pages: 419
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Middle GradeFantasy
Purchase Locations: Amazon and Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

 

“Then humans destroyed most of the wilderness, and Pan faded into nothing. You humans. You’re why we gods can’t have nice things.”

Synopsis

The formerly glorious god Apollo, cast down to earth in punishment by Zeus, is now an awkward mortal teenager named Lester Papadopoulos. In order to regain his place on Mount Olympus, Lester must restore five Oracles that have gone dark. But he has to achieve this impossible task without having any godly powers and while being duty-bound to a confounding young daughter of Demeter named Meg. Thanks a lot, Dad.

With the help of some demigod friends, Lester managed to survive his first two trials, one at Camp Half-Blood, and one in Indianapolis, where Meg received the Dark Prophecy. The words she uttered while seated on the Throne of Memory revealed that an evil triumvirate of Roman emperors plans to attack Camp Jupiter. While Leo flies ahead on Festus to warn the Roman camp, Lester and Meg must go through the Labyrinth to find the third emperor—and an Oracle who speaks in word puzzles—somewhere in the American Southwest. There is one glimmer of hope in the gloom-filled prophecy: The cloven guide alone the way does know. They will have a satyr companion, and Meg knows just who to call upon.

‘She gave me a wry smile. “That’s nice. I like that. You’re sure you’re not the god of wisdom?”
“I applied for the job,” I said, “But they gave it to someone else, something about inventing olives.” I rolled my eyes.’

Thoughts

‘The Burning Maze’ is the third instalment in the Trials of Apollo series. We continue to follow Apollo as he attempts to reclaim the five Oracles from three very crazy, murderous Roman Emperors. So far we have explored oracles Dordona and Trophonius and now Apollo is set to free Erythaea. We are yet to reclaim the Sibylline Books written by Cumae or Delphi

As in the first two books Apollo is joined by heroes from the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series. In ‘The Burning Maze’ we follow up with Grover, Coach Hedge, Jason, Piper and Leo with mentions of both Percy and Annabeth along the way. This is one of the things I have been loving about Rick Riordan’s books, the connection between the series and the characters is one that really engages me as a reader. You never know when a character that you loved from a different series is going to pop up again.

‘The Burning Maze’ was definitely more fast paced than ‘The Dark Prophecy’  (book two is the Trials of Apollo Series) we jumped right into the action, or so it felt. We learn what Piper, Jason and Hedge have been doing since our last encounters with them and we begin to learn more about just how much power these Emperors hold.

Most of this instalment is set in Palm Springs, which is a location that holds an immense amount of history for one of our characters whom we begin to learn more and more about (yay for character development and backstory, I love it) as well as exploring the reach of this world that Rick Riordan has created and introducing us to different Dryads and exploring their importance in the world.

‘The Burning Maze’ acts as any third instalment does and builds us up for the end of the series – there are 2 more books to be released in this series as far as I am aware –  with no real resolutions to the overall problem of the series. However this book is emotional! You have been warned! We also see Apollo develop some more human emotions than he has shown is previous books, which again is great character development.

Overall this was a great read. I got really into it near the end and could not put it down.

‘I give you my heart
I mean metaphorically 
Put away the knife’

Rating

 

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

Review: ‘Percy Jackson & the Last Olympian’ By Rick Riordan

percy

Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian
By Rick Riordan
(Book #5 in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series) 

Publisher: Puffin Random House
Publish Date: 2009
Pages: 361
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Book #5); Camp Half-Blood Chronicles (Book #5)
Fiction/Non-Fiction:  Fiction
Genre: Fantasy
Purchase Locations: Book Depository Booktopia Audible Amazon & Kindle Dymocks QBD

Synopsis

All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of victory are grim. Kronos’s army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan’s power only grows. While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it’s up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.
In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy’s sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilisation rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.

My Thoughts

I ended up taking a small break from the Percy Jackson series after demolishing the first 4 books one after the other. I had picked up more books and was excited to get into some of them. At the start of June I decided to jump back on the Percy Jackson train in preparation for my trip to Greece at the end of this month.

I am so glad that I read this book. It was incredible. I never wanted to put it down. It was action from the get go. This story – as you know if you’ve read the synopsis or heard of any Percy Jackson book – follows Percy as he works with his fellow demigods to prevent Kronos from reclaiming Olympus. I mean based only on that information you can tell that the story is going to be INSANE!

The development of the characters throughout the series has been well written and realistic. I’m not a fan of when a character does a complete 360 in their personality by the end of the book or series. The characters in this series age and develop fantastically and are still the same relate able, lovable characters they were at the beginning, with new experiences and stronger back stories.

Rick Riordan’s writing is as always fantastic. The world’s he builds are amazingly accurate in their mythology as well as being utterly engaging. I have a great interesting in mythology – particularly Greek mythology – and love how these stories are adapted to this series. I am excited to continue the Camp Half-Blood Chronicles and have already purchased the books in the Trials of Apollo Series, all of which I am keen to start.

I could not recommend this series more! This is a series I will continue to go back too.

Rating

Plot: 9.5/10
Ease of reading: 7/10
Character Development: 9/10
World Building: 10/10
Quality of Writing: 9.5/10
Stars:  5/5

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Thoughts on this series?

 

Review: ‘Beneath the Sugar Sky’ By Seanan McGuire

beneath

‘Beneath the Sugar Sky’
By Seanan McGuire
Book #3 in the Wayward Children Series 

Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates Books
Publish Date: January 2018
Pages: 174
Series: Wayward Children Series (Book #3)
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Purchase Locations: Amazon & Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia QBD

Synopsis

Beneath the Sugar Sky returns to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. At this magical boarding school, children who have experienced fantasy adventures are reintroduced to the “real” world.
Sumi died years before her prophesied daughter Rini could be born. Rini was born anyway, and now she’s trying to bring her mother back from a world without magic.

My Thoughts

This is a world that I am just itching to learn more and more about. Through the introduction of the characters and the concept of a school for children who have travel to different worlds – the example we are giving being like Alice falling down her rabbit hole –  and returned to our world where they can never quiet be themselves.

To discovering more about one of these worlds on ‘Down Among the Sticks and Bones’ where we follow characters from book one into their story and how they came to be at Miss West’s school, following every step of their adventure.

‘Beneath the Sugar Sky’ is the newest instalment in this series and took us on another adventure that starts at Miss West’s school. Although it is different in that this follows an adventure that takes the students through multiple different worlds, meeting old and new characters along the way.

I thoroughly enjoyed that multiple students went on the adventure and that we were able to gain more detail and understanding about move than one world. Including the Hall of the Dead and Confection. Two polar opposite worlds. It enriched the books I’d just finished in the series so much more by just adding these details of the worlds characters I loved had travels to and from.

Overall, ‘Beneath the Sugar Sky’ was a fantastic third instalment in the Wayward Children Series. Continuing the story on if amazing detail that has me longing for the fourth instalment.

My Rating

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

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Is anyone else hanging out for the next instalment in the Wayward Children Series? Are there any good series that can fill my reading void?!

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