Posts Tagged ‘Throne of Glass’

Throne of Glass III & The Raven Cycle III

HOF US

I really like how they’re keeping the uk covers for this series.

And btw that cover is BADASS.

Of course I haven’t exactly read Crown of Midnight yet so I’m probably missing any continuing plot points that are evident to people who are caught up. However I will say that the outfit design is AWESOME and Celaena is looking KICKASS.

 

Oh my god.

Oh. My. God.

OH MY GOD.

So yeah, that about covers my reaction.

The cover is GORGEOUS. I have no idea what the title refers to (though I do spot BLUE in there), and I like the change up from the three word titles that the first two had.

Who is this mysterious flowered person on the cover?

Will we ever know?

Yeah, probably.

Both of these books will be released sometime in 2014 so this year shall be filled with lots of great reading. And luckily, these book series are both longer than the usual trilogy length, so we won’t have to mourn the ending of them just yet.

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Crown of Midnight – Sarah J Maas

Thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy of this ARC!

So let’s get straight down to what everyone is thinking: will the sequel live up to the first?

Short answer = :(. It wasn’t as good as the first – maybe even by far.

The strange thing was, while I was reading this book, I was loving it, but I also saw many flaws and problems which I didn’t like as much. Nevertheless, it didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the book.

Warning, may contain slight spoilers/ spoiler hints!

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)Summary (from goodreads)

An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.
But her heart never wavers.
After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king’s contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.
Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king’s bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she’s given a task that could jeopardize everything she’s come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon — forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.
Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?

Cons

Love Triangle

The first half of the book was good, in this sense, because Celaena had ended things with Dorian and had stuck to Chaol without wavering. Having said that, it did frustrate me when we were in Dorian’s perspective and all he could do was act like a lovebird and constantly groan when he saw Celaena and Chaol together. As if the only reason it was happening was to make him a contender in the love triangle. But really – in a book like this advertising gore and blood – how many people would be that interested in love triangles?

Then moving onto the second half of the book. Suddenly Celaena is crawling back to Dorian and forgetting Chaol even though they had spent “quality time” together.

Celaena’s Victims

At the end of the last book I clearly remember the king telling Celaena that, if she didn’t do everything as planned, he would kill Chaol, then Nehemia, and finally the rest of Nehemia’s family.
So what I don’t understand is why wasn’t she killing her victims? Yeah, I understand that she wants to have a clean conscience, but she is an assassin. If she can’t do her job then what is her purpose?

“Plot Twist” (NB this is the plot twist which has to do with who Celaena is)

When I was first introduced to some of the information in the plot twist these were my thoughts:
“That would be too predictable, and so I won’t predict it.”

So by being too predictable it became unpredictable and when it happened for sure, I was groaning inside. The plot was already complicated enough and the “twist” was unneeded and annoying.

Oh, and speaking of plot twists, I also saw the plot twist with Archer coming. I’m not sure why, but this time the plot twists were a lot more obvious, or maybe I’ve just gotten used to the style.

Future books

I saw on goodreads (so it may not be 100% true) that this is going to be a six book series. While I know I will probably read the first three, I don’t know about the rest. A long book series is always risky, and more often than not it ends up going downhill, or losing its plot. So I’m just sitting here now waiting to be proven wrong because I really don’t want to see this series, with such awesome potential, go downhill.

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)Celaena’s threats:

I know it’s part of her character, but I really just despise her threats of “cutting ears off,” or “eating those cut off ears,” etc. It would be okay if I knew she would actually do them, but each time she does it, it’s so obvious a bluff and everyone keeps falling for it. It’s so frustrating.

Pros

World

I loved it. I loved the magic, the mythical creatures, the royalty, the setting. It all seems to blend together and just work.

Pace

It kept me completely hooked, pretty much all my spare time was put into reading this and I don’t regret it. It started with a fast pace and since the beginning it never slowed down.

Characters

Loved the character development of basically everyone. I especially loved Celaena, Chaol and Nehemia. I also loved it after the second half when Celaena was back to hating Chaol, It was like old times again, as well as making character development interesting. I’m also eager to see though what will happen in the next book because I’m sure (ish)  that somehow Celaena will forgive and trust Chaol again.

Nehemia

I know she kinda counts as a character, but really I think she is too awesome and devious to not have a whole paragraph dedicated to her!
From the start of the first book when we first met her I loved her. Her deviousness and cleverness made her just the character that the book needed. I both liked and hated how she was smart enough to influence Celaena and I loved her “hidden life” that she kept secret from Celaena. She would be the Sherlock of this book: capable of mass destruction but decided to be “on the side of the angels”.

Second Half

I personally preferred the second half just because there is less lovey dovey stuff going on and Dorain acting like a heartbroken kid. I also loved how the sudden change, changed everyone. For Celaena it meant trying to kill everyone who stood in her way. For Dorain it meant he had another chance with Celaena. And for Chaol it meant he was dead inside.
One part in this half though that really got me was when Chaol found Celaena’s will. It was written perfectly and when I thought of myself in Chaol’s position it just made me want to melt from the inside out.

Overall
So while my review is half filled with cons, it doesn’t actually reflect properly what I felt about the book: I actually loved it! It was awesome. It’s like a cake – if I take the ingredients separately then I will have a long list of food which I don’t like – but all together it just works and becomes one of the best tasting things in the world!
So aside from my cake baking fantasies, overall I would give this book 4 shuriken stars because I loved it, but it just missed the zang of the 5 stars which the previous book had.

The Assassin and the… – Sarah J Maas (Throne of Glass short stories)

Because I’m lazy, I’m going to do all four prequel short stories in one quick post!

So these short stories are in the world of Throne of Glass, which is the first book in a series, and I personally really enjoyed reading that book!

Summary (I’m just going to do it book by book, and because they’re short stories I’m not going to actively try to avoid spoilers- just warning!)

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord (Throne of Glass, #0.1)The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
Celeana and her rival Sam went to negotiate a deal with the Pirate Lord as compensation for him killing some of their assassins (I think). But then she realizes that the compensation is actually in slaves, everything changes (without trying to sound cliché). She then does everything to try to free them with the help of Sam. (note. If you have read Throne of Glass before at this point she isn’t in love with Sam. In fact she hates him. Him on the other hand…). And so it ends with them freeing the slaves and killing the pirate lord and then going back to Arobynn, who is going to be very very angry at having lost so much money.

The Assassin and the DesertThe Assassin and the Desert (Throne of Glass, #0.2)
After going back to Arobynn having freed the slaves with Sam she is sent to the Desert to train as a punishment for a month. At the desert she is trying to get a letter of approval from the head guy to prove that she didn’t just run off. While there she makes friends with this girl called Ansel who then in turn betrays her and the locals- she comes with them with an army because the guy with the army promised her an army to regain her homeland. But while this was all happening Celeana was also having flashbacks of what happened when she got back. Once she got back from the Pirate Lord Arobynn was very angry and therefore beat her up in front of Sam, and throughout the whole short story she was trying to remember what she heard him saying while Arobynn was beating her up. In the end it was “I will kill you”, showing that he suddenly is on her side rather than the guy who basically acted  as a very bad father towards them.

The Assassin and the Underworld (Throne of Glass, #0.3)The Assassin and the Underworld
To try to make up beating her up Arobynn lets her have a mission to kill someone who is supposedly with the slave trade. But Shock. Horror. He isn’t. He was actually against the slave trade and was trying to work a path of safe houses and a route for escaped slaves. So in this book Celeana actually becomes the villain. This book also progresses her relationship with Sam as they were on the mission together.

The Assassin and the EmpireThe Assassin and the Empire (Throne of Glass, #0.4)
This was probably my favourite out of the short stories. Celeana and Sam have broken away from Arobynn because he is just evil, but he doesn’t want them to leave. So they struck a deal with him saying that if he allowed them to leave they would pay him a great sum of money. But the slight problem is, they are unable to get that sort of money, until this assassination comes up which involves killing their old clan’s rival; a seemly impossible task which many have attempted and failed. Sam eventually after much persuasion goes alone to deliver the final blow, but he then goes missing for a night and doesn’t return on time. The morning after Arobynn turns up uninvited at their apartment and delivers the note that Sam is dead. Celeana obviously angry goes to seek revenge and tries to kill all of the people who lead to the death of Sam. But it turns out to be a trap and she then gets captured. The book then ends with Arobynn standing and looking over her prison cart as it drove away, and being questioned by someone why he did it. His reply was “Because I don’t like sharing my belongings”

Cons

The length of the titles
It just take me so much effort to type out but at the same time I’m too lazy to copy and paste letters and words.

Celaena
For some reason, I’m not sure what, she just seems different in these short stories than in the actual book. I can’t quite place my finger on what it is. Maybe I just imagined it.

Pros

Backstory vs Present
I liked how in these books it kinda explained the personality of Celaena and why she is like that. For example when she goes “I will not be afraid”  because it was what Sam used to do and why she won’t trust any girls because of Ansel (sexist. I know.)

Backstory
I always feel that once you know someone’s backstory you end up knowing them better and I did feel this was true for Celeana. It made us understand her more and why she is so icy and steely.

Arobynn
He was a good hero/ villain. Even at the end he was still a “hero”ish in Celeana’s eyes. Even in Throne of Glass she was refusing to admit to herself that Arobynn was the one who sold her out even though there was no other good suspect. I just kinda liked/ hated their relationship.

Favourite Quotes

  • “She lifted her chin. “I’ve been shouting for you.”
    Sam shrugged, sauntering over to her. “I figured you could wait a few minutes, given that I saved the day and all.” His brows rose high on his ash-covered face.
    “Some hero.” She gestured to the ruin of the tower around them. “I’ve never seen such sloppy work”
  • “Well she’d kill him if he was dead”
  • “Words could be just as deadly as steel.”
  • “If you can learn to endure pain, you can survive anything. Some people learn to embrace it—to love it. Some endure it through drowning it in sorrow, or by making themselves forget. Others turn it into anger. But Ansel let her pain become hate, and let it consume her until she became something else entirely—a person I don’t think she ever wished to be”
  • “When we die,” she said, “I don’t think the gods will even know what to do with us.”
  • “Now that Sam was dead, there wasn’t anything left outside of the dungeons worth fighting for, anyway. Not when Adarlan’s Assassin was crumbling apart, and her world with her”

Overall
So yeah. These stories were good. I personally read these after Throne of Glass but I don’t think it really matters. It might be better to read before just so you know all the characters and stuff, but then reading it after would intensify the mystery of who sold her out and who is Sam, but I’ve basically just gone and told you the plot anyway so too late now 😉
I would probably still give these 5 shuriken stars overall as a short story series, but I felt that some of them were clearly much better than others.

Throne of Glass- Sarah J Maas

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

You know the saying “Never judge a book by its cover?” I think it should be used more, When I was getting round to reading this book, I kept trying to put it off because I didn’t like the cover. It seemed like a book which would have a good concept and potential but would just fall flat because the main character was needy and annoying. While some people may agree with the latter, this character was in no way needy.

I’m rambling.

But what I’m trying to get across is that if you read the first few chapters, pages, 100 minus your age, 50 pages, or whatever rule you use; and still end up hating it, then just give up. But this book is a lot better than it looks 🙂

Summary (sorry in advance for the excessive use of brackets. Ironic how this is in brackets… :P)

There’s this girl called Celaena who, at the beginning, is in the salt mines prison because she was this awesome master assassin. Although she has been in prison for around a year (I think) she has no idea who betrayed her and got her captured.

Just to let you know – by the end of this book we still don’t know “how” she was captured, so being me and hating mysteries (which is why I can never read murder mystery stories!) I read all of the short stories straight after (review to come) and they revealed who betrayed her. (dun dun dun!)

She then strikes a deal with the Crown Prince Dorian: she must take part in a competition which, if she wins – after a few years secretly serving as the kings assassin – she will be free. This book focuses on the competition, however, then, some fellow competitors turn up dead.

Cons

Suspected love triangle
I just hope in the next book this doesn’t become a big thing because loads of books with loads of potential just get ruined by a love triangle.

Celaena
I personally loved her, but that doesn’t mean that there were faults with her that I can see other people having an issue with. She was quite – or very, in fact – arrogant. I personally found it amusing. However, she just seemed too perfect. She was a master assassin having trained for years, she loved to read, to go to the library, as well as look pretty and play games. We also know that she only started her training at around 10? (not entirely sure, but I think its around that age) and I just don’t understand how someone can have so many hobbies and be so skilled at killing.

Cover
I’ll call them cover 1 and cover 2 🙂 Cover 1 is the one nearer the top of the page and cover 2 is the one which is lower down the page.
Lets start in order with cover 1: it looks too artificial and like a chickflick and well, to be blunt – crap. “Oh look, I’m a pretty girl who has just been starving in the salt mines for months as I survive off non-nutritious food, but who cares if it’s not accurate as long as I look nice. I’ll just pretend to be strong by standing in a “strong” pose and flexing my arm which has basically nothing but skin on it and clenching my fist. I’m so strong!”
Now onto cover 2: “Move the hell outta the way or I will slash you down where you stand.”

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)Pros

Plot
Fast paced. Interesting. Complex. Fit well together. What more could you want?

Characters
It was just so strange how at one point I would be raving for the awesomeness of the character and then a few pages after I was hating that person. I kinda both loved and hated how the writer had the capacity to change our feelings so quickly and dramatically.
Celaena: Although I had a small paragraph about her in the “Cons”, there are still are few awesome parts of her that I think it would be a shame not to mention. She is one of those “strong female lead characters” but there is something different about her, as she wasn’t just a strong role, but she had a feminine side which just makes her a more well-rounded character.

The Concept
Come on! Thieves, Assassins, Murderers… etc. competing against each other for the ultimate prize, and then we weave in some magic and people start dying unexpectedly and then some awesome characters 🙂

Love Triangle
Don’t get me wrong I am not approving of the love triangle or love triangles in general, I would just like to say that, although a love triangle was present from almost the first few pages, it didn’t take over and dominate the book like a lot of other books tend to do. Instead it was done quite subtly and well… it wasn’t really a triangle at all as it wasn’t made that clear who liked who.

Excitement for the next book
So many unanswered questions, which I’m just going to blare out now, so, sorry if you haven’t read the book! (NB: some of these questions get answered in the short stories).

  • Where did the king go on the odd journey?
  • Why were all the guards dead after the odd journey?
  • Who exactly is Perrington?
  • How did she get caught?
  • Who betrayed her?
  • Who was Sam?
  • Is Arobynn still alive?
  • What is she going to be made to do?

The good thing is though, even though there are so many unanswered questions the book is coming out soon!

Favourite Quotes

  • “Libraries were full of ideas–perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons”
  • “We all bear scars,… Mine just happen to be more visible than most”
  • “My name is Celaena Sardothien. But it makes no difference if my name’s Celaena or Lillian or Bitch, because I’d still beat you, no matter what you call me”
  • “Sometimes, the wicked will tell us things just to confuse us–to haunt our thoughts long after we’ve faced them”
  • “Names are not important. It’s what lies inside of you that matters”

Overall
I loved this book. Although there were some flaws overall I still thought this book was great, as long as you are willing to put up with the “perfectness” and “arrogance” of Celaena even if the two characteristics contradict each other to a certain extent :P. When I read this book I was in a good mood, so I decided to give it 5 shuriken stars :).