Spoiler Review: A Court of Mist and Fury

17927395 Title: A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Publication Date: May 3rd, 2016

Summary: Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

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This is going to a be a spoiler review of ACOMAF so if you haven’t read the book yet, read at your own risk. I did post a non-spoiler review which you can check out here.

Obviously, the big thing that I need to address is the fact that Feyre and Rhys are relationship goals for life. I can’t express how much I adored this relationship. Rhys is exactly what Feyre needs because he knows how broken she is but he also knows how she is strong enough to overcome it. He helps and supports her so much, but also realizes that she has to find the strength in herself to keep living and fight. He gives her everything she needs and is there for her time and time again. I love when he says, “Feyre is whatever she chooses to be.” He never holds her back or discourages her. All he wants is for her to be happy and achieve her fullest potential. That is a relationship that is worth fighting for. The relationship between them is deeper on a different level than Feyre and Tamlin. And I nearly died when he confessed that he had visions of her and knew who she was and did all of these things to protect her. He was perfect but still flawed and broken in his own way so his love and their relationship never felt fake.

A lot of people were mad about how Tamlin treats Feyre, calling him OOC and that Sarah J. Maas made him OOC just to give Feyre and Rhys a reason to get together. I couldn’t disagree more. Even in ACOTAR, Tamlin is controlling, overprotective and possessive. But now, he comes home with Feyre after being abused, getting his power taken away, and being forced to watch the love of his life risk hers. While he could literally do nothing. I personaly don’t find it a little unreasonable that he is struggling with being overprotective and having a lot of rage built up inside him. I find it ridiculous when people expect characters to remain the same throughout a series, even when they have to deal with some messed up shit, then act like the author is doing something horrible by being realistic and showing change. I think it would disrespectful to the readers and the characters to just act like nothing affected them and change doesn’t happen. I thought that the deterioration of Feyre and Tamlin’s relationship was sad but not OOC and not unexpected.

I also adored Velaris and the everything about it and when Rhys and his friends talk about being the Court of Dreamers, I was legitimately tearing up. Feyre just seems so perfect and comfortable there, like it’s her home and where she was always meant to be. I love everything it represents and says about Rhys and how hard everyone was willing to fight for it. Listening to Rhys’ story of everything he did and had to go through was so heartbreaking but wonderful at the same time. My emotions are so jumbled. I hated seeing how he was treated by everyone and how much being a slave killed him, but I have so much respect for everything he did to save Velaris and to help Feyre. I think the fact that he did everything he did in the first book, like behind the scenes, and to realize how much he loved her, then that he was going to let her live her life with Tamlin, just speaks volumes about him. I just want him to scoop Feyre up and fly her home to Velaris where they can spend forever together, watching the stars and dreaming. If Velaris is not still standing by the end of this series, I’m going to have some issues.

And is anyone else freaking out over how awesome Feyre’s powers are? She is a mega badass to the max. Her and Rhys are the ultimate power couple. And my heart melted when he declared her his equal, like formally to the court. Rhys is such a dream boat. But seriously, I can’t wait for Feyre to fully discover the extend of her powers and mess some bad guys up in some huge battle. Just imagine her and Rhys flying side by side, winnowing in and out of places to slaughter bad guys. Ughhhhh, I can’t wait. I’m also super excited to see where Lucian and Elain go because uh, apparently they are mates… Didn’t see that one coming. I wonder if Cassian and Nesta are mates too because they definitely had something going on there. The chemistry between the two of them was sizzling. I think Nesta needs to seriously pull that stick out of her butt and go for Cassian because they would be an awesome couple and he seems like the sort of guy that she needs desperately.

Speaking of the ending, I’m having a hard time keeping my thoughts straight. I’m so happy that Rhys trusts Feyre to spy on Tamlin and the Spring Court and I nearly sobbed in relief when he said they still had their bond. I can’t wait for Feyre to screw up all of Tamlin’s evil plans and go flying back into Rhys’ arms. I’m really upset that at least the beginning of the next book is going to focus on her and Tamlin which means less lovey time with Rhys. But Rhys is probably going to be busy trying to save Cassian from dying (that poor baby, I’ll die if his wings are gone forever) and keeping Velaris from being destroyed. I’m actually really nervous to see how Elain and Nesta handle being fae now but I feel like Rhys will take good care of them and his court is a good place to be since they don’t have many formalities and can handle Nesta raging out. I don’t even know what I think about the bad guys except that I want the queens to die horrible deaths and suffer for all of eternity.

I realize this was a huge jumbled mess and I didn’t talk about the plot nearly as much as I’d wanted to but I’m too emotional overwhelmed right now to care. Mostly, I’m dying inside because I want the next book so bad. Help. I don’t know how to handle this right now.

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Shadow Queen

Title: The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire #1) 23299513

Author: C.J. Redwine

Publisher: Blazer+Bray

Publication Date: February 23rd, 2016

Summary: Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.

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Just in case anyone hasn’t noticed already, I absolutely love a good fairy-tale retelling and this book definitely seems to be playing around with a few Snow White aspects. Except Snow White is now a bad ass magic wielder/lost princess/savior of the people instead of a cutesy animal loving maid. Is anyone actually going to have a problem with these changes? Yeah, I didn’t think so. On top of that though, we also have potential for some steamy forbidden romance and buckets of angsty goodness. I love reading books about royals trying to save their kingdom because you know at some point it’s going to come down to them getting all conflicted and emotional about picking love or their people. I’m sure Kol is in for a great time. Also, I’m assuming this book is going to bounce between Kol and Lorelai’s POVs which I’m already super excited for and hopefully it means we get tons of character growth from both of them. The main thing I’m really hoping for is that the evil queen actually has some back story instead of just being evil for the sake of being evil, and maybe we can actually get a well developed villain for once. Fingers crossed. Overall though, this book looks super promising and exciting and that cover is just giving me a serious case of the grabby hands. I want it now *grabby hands*

Review: Crimson Bound

Title: Crimson Bound 21570318

Author: Rosamund Hodge

Publisher: Balzer+Bray

Publication Date: May 5th 2015

Summary: When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.

Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.

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This fairy tale retelling craze shows no signs of stopping and I couldn’t be happier. So when I saw that this book was inspired by Little Red Riding Hood, I almost started screaming out of excitement, mostly because it’s a fairy tale that I don’t often see getting any attention.

One of the main things that first drew me in, besides the gorgeous cover and Little Red Riding Hood influences, was the undoubtedly strong heroine. Rachelle was a very realistic character to me, in the way that she treated the whole situation she was in, knowing that she deserved the way she was treated but still hating everyone for it all the same. I found that despite her allowing herself to get mentally messed with and manipulated, she knew how to pick her battles and what things were worth fighting for. However, whenever you have a character who is very angst-ridden, it’s hard to keep it from feeling forced and overly dramatic, which was something I think was a bit of a problem. But I just enjoyed how refreshing to was to have a heroine that viewed herself and others in a very honest, if sometimes harsh sort of way. Besides that, I obviously loved that she was a tough lady and knew how to hold her own, serving up some cold hard butt kicking when needed.

As far as the story went, I found it interesting and engaging. In Crimson Bound, Rachelle is a bloodbound, gifted with certain abilities, and searching for a sword from ancient stories that can destroy the Devourer. She is forced to be a bodyguard to the King’s son Armand while continuing her quest to find a sword, with the deadline for the day the Devourer will return and bring about Endless Night looming over her head. One of my favorite parts of this book was actually the ancient story of the first time the Devourer was defeated by siblings, Zisa and Tyr. I loved the style in which the story was told and the dark undertones. I found it to be really haunting and expertly woven into the actual story. My main problem though was that this book really had a lot going on. The world was so interesting and so many elements and characters were woven in, making it really feel crammed and overwhelming at times. I almost wished the author had cut out some of the less interesting thing and focused on giving more information and time with the more intriguing aspects.

The romance wasn’t an overwhelming part of the story, which I really appreciated, and I found that I did really like this “love triangle”. I’m love triangle in quotation marks because it’s not really a traditional sort of love triangle. Rachelle’s relationships are two very different things with two very different men, but they are both meaningful to her and kind of represent different parts of herself. I found that very refreshing, especially the honest way that she looks at both of them and their relationships.

Crimson Bound was a really refreshing and interesting story, full of unique characters and a creative world and mythology. I was very disappointed to not really notice much that tied in with the story of Little Red Riding Hood, something I was excited to see influencing and directing this book. Despite that, I did really enjoy this story and found the writing really engaging and I was definitely pulled into this world. Although I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this to fairy tale retelling lovers specifically, I would recommend it to people who enjoy fantasy and strong heroines.

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Review: Strands of Bronze and Gold

Title: Strands of Bronze and Gold

13721341Author: Jane Nickerson

Publication Date: March 12, 2013

Publisher: Random House Children’s Books

Summary: The Bluebeard fairy tale retold. . . .

When seventeen-year-old Sophia Petheram’s beloved father dies, she receives an unexpected letter. An invitation—on fine ivory paper, in bold black handwriting—from the mysterious Monsieur Bernard de Cressac, her godfather. With no money and fewer options, Sophie accepts, leaving her humble childhood home for the astonishingly lavish Wyndriven Abbey, in the heart of Mississippi.

Sophie has always longed for a comfortable life, and she finds herself both attracted to and shocked by the charm and easy manners of her overgenerous guardian. But as she begins to piece together the mystery of his past, it’s as if, thread by thread, a silken net is tightening around her. And as she gathers stories and catches whispers of his former wives—all with hair as red as her own—in the forgotten corners of the abbey, Sophie knows she’s trapped in the passion and danger of de Cressac’s intoxicating world.

Glowing strands of romance, mystery, and suspense are woven into this breathtaking debut—a thrilling retelling of the “Bluebeard” fairy tale.

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I had some many mixed feelings about this book, I’m not really sure where to begin. I actually kind of liked Sophie, which normally I don’t really do the simpering female characters. But she had a lot of hidden strength and it came out when she really needed it. I liked that she actually used her brain and played it smart after a while, and it was a breath of fresh air to have her actually sit down and rationalize about everything that was happening and logically come to the conclusion that something bad was happening, no matter how much she didn’t want to. She was honest to herself.

However, in books like these, I can’t help but put myself in Sophie’s shoes, and as I’m reading, I just always think that I would leave. I would just run away immediately. So it always bothers me when they come up with some reason to stay, and I can’t stop thinking that she must be an idiot for not running. Now that being said, I’ve obviously never been in some horrible situation even remotely similar to hers, so my opinion doesn’t really hold much weight.

Now the romance. Right off the bat, I was never wooed by her godfather. Not for one second. Even if I hadn’t read the description and realized something sinister was going on with him, he still would have given me the creepy crawlies. So it was honestly hard for me to read all of Sophie’s romantic gushing thoughts about this creepy old guy. Then the second love interest guy just pops right out of no where. I felt like Sophie was just desperate at this point to prove she could love someone young and not creepy and rage filled who possibly murdered women in his spare time. I mean, she jumped all over that new guy and was head over heels for him in like three seconds. Eh.

I did really enjoy the story though and this time period and the writing and the undertones about slavery and the Underground Railroad was a nice touch. I liked the big old mansion she lived in and all the dusty rooms and secrets they held. The end was a little too anti-climactic for me though, and it felt like it was nicely wrapped up and topped with a big glittery bow.

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