Review: Empire of Storms

28260587Title: Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5)

Author: Sarah J Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Publication Date: September 6th, 2016

Summary: The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

WARNING: This is not going to be a spoiler review but if you aren’t caught up with the series, I would read at your own risk. There will be potential mild spoilers in this review.

So I’m going to do something different than usual for this review. Normally I take the time to type out a big complicated review, going in depth on things… But I’m not doing that this time. You guys are getting a jumbled speed review because I’ve sat at this computer for days now trying to write a review and I just can’t. My brain and heart haven’t recovered enough yet. So here we go…

AELIN: My poor baby, you big selfless, crazy, ridiculously stupid brat. I love you but I want to punch you so hard right now. Through the whole book she was just being her usual sassy badass self but I KNEW SOMETHING WAS UP. I KNEW IT. And I was right. That ending wrecked me.

ROWAN: I love this guy. And I cried for him so much. Like I just can’t even think about him right now. What he did for Aelin and just thinking about the next book… These tears are real.

MANON: Just when I thought it wasn’t possible to love his girl any more than I already did, she went and got more amazing. She is just the perfect blend of cold, killing evil badassery, with a gooey heart hiding underneath. CAN THIS GIRL JUST BE QUEEN OF EVERYTHING PLEASE?

DORIAN: Still love him. His part didn’t feel as big in this book but he still shone like a little star. His magic powers are seriously becoming really impressive, Aelin might have some competition.

AEDION: Can I just say, thank god for this kid… If he wasn’t around, no one would be challenging Aelin or calling her out. Sure, he might be wrong most of the time, but I’m just relieved to have someone around who doesn’t think she’s the bee’s knees 24/7. Oh and I would totes marry this boy.

LYSANDRA: ALL BOW DOWN TO THE NEW QUEEN IN TOWN, THIS SHAPESHIFTING GIRL IS KICKING ASS AND TAKING NAMES. Lysandra is so cool you guys. Like, to levels that I really wasn’t expecting. I doubted her for a little bit and I take it all back, she is perfect. And that sea wyvern scene just… I can’t.

ELIDE: This girl is in my heart like on a more personal level. I feel like if I was a character in this book, this would be me; forgotten about, no flashy magic, not unbelievably perfect… BUT THIS GIRL DON’T CARE. Holy wow, she was so resourceful and brave and tough and I really wasn’t expecting the feels I got from this. You go girl.

LORCAN: I really didn’t have much of an opinion on this guy and now I don’t know if I want to kiss him or chop his head off. I mean, I get it, I get him, but that just doesn’t make it better. But then… the whole period shirt thing just makes me want to bawl and shove him and Elide together.

MAEVE: I’m so ready for this bitch to die. I don’t even care about that other bad guy, this bitch needs to die. I hope Sarah J Maas takes several pages to describe her suffering when it happens.

Of course, I have to touch on the ships because there are so many for this stupid book series and my heart can’t handle it.

AELIN/ROWAN: Perfect. Enough said.

DORIAN/MANON: YES. I’ve shipped them since they first met and I’m so satisfied right now. Their relationship isn’t all warm romance and rainbows but I kind of like that because as they fix each other, then it can turn into that in their own way. Also, can Dorian please just marry her already so she can be queen of like, everything. K thanks.

AEDION/LYSANDRA: I can wait. This is worth waiting for, I can feel it. And can we just talk about how awesome it is that Aedion likes everyone and is still super close to and besties with one of his previous male lovers? What a cool guy.

ELIDE/LORCAN: I was so not expecting this and I’m still struggling to understand why I ship it so much. I don’t even love Lorcan or anything but my heart just broke when he told Elide he wanted to go to Perranth. I need them together but not until Lorcan grovels A LOT.

And everyone keeps talking about the fact that this book has some fairly descriptive sex scenes in it, so I suppose I’d better too. I keep hearing lots of people talking about how they are mad that Sarah J Maas put them in the book. Basically, I agree that the sex scenes aren’t really necessary. But do I care? Nope. I get that they didn’t need to be in here and I feel bad for anyone that was offended by them. But that being said, I still enjoyed them in a way. I ship these characters and sex is usually something that happens in a romantic relationship. And I can absolutely believe that these characters would have sex. So it didn’t feel forced or unbelievable to me. Would the books have been just as good without the sex scenes? Yes. But Sarah J Maas is the author and if she wanted to write some smutty scenes, good for her. I’m just here to read and enjoy and having some unexpected sex in my book did absolutely nothing to change that.

Anyways… THE PLOT: Brilliant. Mind blowing. Heartbreaking. Like, I’m trying not to think about it so I don’t cry. Sarah J Maas continues to amaze me. I’m a filthy fangirl when it comes to her, I know, but I can’t help it. And I loved that this book had the feeling of like, the dream team slowly coming together. Now we just need Chaol and Nesryn to swoop in at a key moment in the next book. Calling it now.

OVERALL: Darrow can die, Maeve needs to die slowly, no one on the dream team had better die, and I’m going to die after the next book.

RATING:

Advertisements

Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2016!

Fall is my absolute favorite season. Nothing’s better than curling up with a snuggly sweater, a steaming hot cup of tea and a great book while the world outside consists of gray skies and crunching leaves. Fall is also usually when a big chunk of my most anticipated books of the year come out. The fall season and new books go together like peanut butter and jelly.

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas: 28260587I’m not even sure I need to explain this one, and yes, I know it’s already out but I couldn’t leave it off the list. Sexy fae warriors (yes, that is plural, as in more than one), Aelin kicking massive ass with her flame powers, tons more smoochy scenes, Manon slicing people’s guts out, bad guys being bad, and guaranteed heartbreak. What’s not to love?

18584855Heartless by Marissa Meyer: Another book by Marrisa Meyer? How could I possibly resist? Not to mention the fact that it’s a freaking origin story for the Queen of Hearts. I’ve been hearing so many raving reviews for this book already, so I know Marissa Meyer is working her magic yet again. Plus, I really need to know how an innocent baker becomes the evil, head-chopping Queen. I can’t even being to imagine how that comes about.

28448239Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge: After reading Crimson Bound, I can help but be excited for another retelling, this time featuring Romeo and Juliet. I have a love/hate relationship with Romeo and Juliet but I have complete faith in Rosamund Hodge to make it interesting and creepy enough to hold my attention and hopefully capture my heart.

23207027Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake: I adore everything about this book. That cover makes my heart pitter-patter and the idea behind it, of dark magic and trickery, betrayal by those closest to you, and a rivalry between sisters that can only end in death… My stomach is fluttering just thinking about it. This book has so much potential to be one of my favorites of the year.

22299763Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo: Guys… this book. I can’t even begin to describe the feelings I get in my stomach when I think about it. Six of Crows was one of my absolute favorites last year and the wait has nearly killed me. But in a few short weeks, this book will finally be in my hands. There is not a single shred of doubt that I’m going to laugh and cry and probably scream at the heavens for ever cursing me with such a book.

22567184Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier: This author is one of the few that genuinely makes me cry from a place deep down in my heart. One of the most underrated actors that I love, she’s broken my heart many times with her incredible stories of love, faith, redemption, healing, and a little magic. This series is no exception. Blackthorn and Grim are back and no doubt, once again, getting in way over their heads with someone’s problems. Which I’m actually okay with because with every near death experience, the more their relationship grows and the more feels I get. Win win.

29236299Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: I’m not even sure how to describe Illuminae to someone who hasn’t read it, but if you haven’t, I’m pretty sure you should just go read it and find out for yourself. One of the most surprising and unique books I’ve read in a long time, and now the sequel is almost out. Be still my heart. But seriously, this book is going to wreck me if it’s even half as good as the first one.

What new fall releases are you guys most excited for?

Review: Illusions of Fate

Title: Illusions of Fate 19367070

Author: Kiersten White

Publisher: HarperTeen

Publication Date: September 9, 2014

Summary: Downton Abbey meets Cassandra Clare in this lush, romantic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White.

“I did my best to keep you from crossing paths with this world. And I shall do my best to protect you now that you have.”

Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.

Kiersten White captured readers’ hearts with her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy and its effortless mix of magic and real-world teenage humor. She returns to that winning combination of wit, charm, and enchantment in Illusions of Fate, a sparkling and romantic new novel perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, The Madman’s Daughter, and Libba Bray.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

If I’m being totally honest, I knew nothing about this book when I ordered it, I just saw the gorgeous cover, noticed the word magic in the summary and I was sold. And seriously you guys, take a second to admire that cover, it’s so pretty. But when I picked this up from the library, I was alarmed to see how short it was. I felt cheated. I was promised a tale with interesting characters, a swoony romance, great world-building, magic and fate… Kiersten White couldn’t honestly fit all of that in a measly 275 pages, could she?

Well, the answer actually ended being up mostly yes. I know, I was surprised too.

The book starts with Jessamin, a young lady from the island of Melei has moved to Albion, to study in a college and avoid the hordes of eligible husbands her mother keeps flinging at her. One day she runs into a handsome young man who saves her from being assaulted, even though she could have taken care of it herself. Unfortunately for her, Finn, the handsome young man previously mentioned, falls madly in love with her, dragging her in the middle of a political war involving magic.

I really enjoyed Jessamin as a character. She was brave and smart, and I really liked that she was pretty capable to taking care of herself and working her way out of tough situations without always needing to be rescued like a damsel in distress. Also, she was super stubborn which is something I can always respect in a lady. I wish that her cultural differences had been addressed a little more, but her mother made sure she was raised like a proper young lady from Albion. Which I couldn’t help but feel was the author’s excuse to make her exotic and different, but not too different, if you know what I mean. And it was nice to see a girl who is normal for once, but then takes it upon herself to learn all she can, so she can fend for herself or feel like she wasn’t at such a disadvantage.

Finn was also a really fun character. While his back story was a little lacking and predictable, I could his personality to be strong enough that he was likable and memorable. I also really liked that he wasn’t too proud or stubborn to let the women around him help him out in the way that they could. I like that he recognized their strengths and didn’t try to keep them in the dark. Also, his sly personality was so fun, I found myself constantly laughing at him getting Jessamin all riled up with some charming, witty banter.

While I was a little alarmed at first with Finn falling madly in love with Jessamin after just meeting her then giving her his shadow, she was very opposed to the whole thing which made the relationship feel more realistic. A lot of time went by in this book, time for them to study and work together, to get to know each other, a reasonable amount of time for them to fall in love, and I was so happy. Also, they worked so well together and respected each other, but were still flirty and playful, so there was passion but also a good foundation for a lasting relationship. It felt realistic and cohesive, not forced at all, which was rather refreshing. When I’m reading a book and finally get in far enough to realize that there in no was for a love triangle or insta-love situation, I have to let out a huge sigh of relief.

My main problem with this book however, was the villain. Lord Downpike was very sinister through the whole book, obviously not above getting his hands dirty. He was constantly plotting and scheming, wiggling his way out of situations or turning them  to his advantage, and I found him intriguing. So I was waiting the whole book for the big reveal, the true reason for him being so evil, or the back story to show us why he was the way he was. But when the time came, it was very disappointing and rushed. I just kind of sat there for a second and was like, “Really? I mean, really?!”

The plot itself was very engaging and I liked the world this story took place in. Since the book was under 300 pages long, some aspects were obviously a little lacking, but the political and magic parts were fairly well explained and interesting. Also, the pacing was great. Right when you felt like things were maybe calming down, the author lured you into a false sense of security, only to throw something new at you and suck you back in. I love when I’m reading and being kept on my toes, knowing something is coming up but not sure when or what it’s going to be. Between Lord Downpike trying to basically take over the world, and the sweet romance between Finn and Jessamin, I couldn’t put it down.

Overall, I heard a lot of mixed reviews about this book but I was pleasantly surprised. I flew through this book, unable to put it down for a minute without thinking about the characters or wondering what was going to happen next. And that ending, holy crap, that ending… it got me. Curse you Kiersten White, curse you. I was just a surprised to see that this was only one book. With all the world building and great chracters, it felt like there was so much potential to have these be a series, but I guess not. I find that I’m rather disappointed.

RATING: 

Must-Read Monday: Throne of Glass Series

I decided to start my Must-Read Mondays off strong with some of my favorite books ever, the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. These books are some of the most amazing fantasy books that I have ever read. Period. With one of the best heroines of all time. Possibly the best.

To start with, these characters. Holy snap, these characters. 13519397

Celaena is such an amazing character, she is so layered and realistic, and through the three books that are already out, her personality just grows and grows. Not only that, but she also happens to be one of the most bad ass people ever. She is an assassin, a great assassin, betrayed and forced to be a slave in the salt mines, only to be pulled forth and thrown into a tournament for her life. Watching Celaena in action is beyond exciting, her skills at sneaking and killing are both impressive and terrifying. But under all of that, you get to see that she has a warm heart of gold when it matters. Her sass and snarky comments dominate the pages, only adding to the complete package of amazing that is Celaena Sardothien.

All of Celaena’s friends are well written and amazing too. Dorian, Chaol, Nehemia, they all bring so much to these books. I just can’t stop gushing about how well written all of these characters are. I always find it so impressive when an author can not only make the main character great, but all of the secondary characters too. I feel like that takes some serious skills. Dorian is the smooth Prince, son of the evil King that Celaena is competing for, an evil King who may or 17167166 may not want to annihilate the world. Luckily, his son is a pretty nice guy. Chaol is the captain of the guard, even though he is so young and inexperienced. In charge of helping Celaena (and making sure she doesn’t murder anyone), he provides support and a big dose of tough love, determined to not let Celaena die. They are both handsome and swoony, possibly in love with Celaena and willing to do anything they can to protect her (not that she needs it). This sounds like the perfect set up for a long triangle right? WRONG! Well kinda… You’ll have to read to find out but let me just say that the romance is unbelievable.

The thing about these books is that every single book just gets better and better. There have only been three released so far, with six planned, last I heard. The first book is great as the beginning, introducing all of the characters, setting up the political power struggles, introducing the villains and big baddies, and bringing forth a huge mystery. The second book just adds on to all of these, giving answers and more problems, creating more complex relationships and adding a bit of world building. You can see the transformation Celaena goes through between the first and second book, how the people around her change her, making her better in my opinion. 20613470

But the third book is where it’s at. Just released in September, this book topped the other two by far. The amount of character development that Celaena goes through is mind blowing. And the world building… Dear god, the world building was beautiful. In this book we are introduced to so many new places and characters, and suddenly there is so much more going on in this world, more than you realized in the last books. This book makes you realize just how Sarah J. Maas is setting up for something absolutely epic to happen in the next three books.

If you like any books with fantasy, romance, amazing characters, a kick ass heroine, an epic world, evil bad guys out to destroy everything, mystery, fight scenes, just about everything else that makes a book amazing, READ THIS SERIES! Basically, if you don’t read these books, you’re saying you don’t like any of those things and therefore you are an awful person and should never read again.

Review: The Winner’s Curse

Title: The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy #1) 16069030

Author: Marie Rutkoski

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Publication Date: March 4, 2014

Summary: Winning what you want may cost you everything you love.

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction.

Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

This is my second book in a row without some stupid insta-love or an awful love triangle. Maybe YA authors are finally starting to step it up.

The Winner’s Curse follows Kestrel, a young, brillant, strong willed young woman who purchases a young slave at an auction, only to have him be more than she bargained for. Stubborn and full of hate for Kestrel’s people, Arin works as a blacksmith in her home, but is hiding a deadly secret. As they become closer and Kestrel starts unraveling his secrets, her world is turned upside down and she has to ask herself where exactly she stands.

First of all, can I just say how much I really loved the plot of this book? Set in a world that seems part historical fiction and part fantasy, there are so many twists and turns. The politics kept me intrigued and the suspense, holy shit, the suspense had me burning through the pages so quick that I got a headache. The power struggle between the Valorian arisocrats and Herrani slaves really brought you into some intense shades of gray. You kind of hate everyone at some point because it’s war and sacrifices must be made, but there are lines that both sides have crossed and both sides prove that they are malicious and bloodthirsty. I like that’s really brought into perspective, with views from slaves who want to be free and those who don’t even know what they would do with their freedom. Kestrel’s beliefs were being throw all over the place, switching loyalties and sympathies so fast that I felt bad for her.

Kestrel is now one of my favorite heroines. She was so quick and intelligent, raised by her father to be observant and to understand her enemies. I love that she isn’t really a mega bad ass, although she can definitely defend herself, but uses what she knows she is good at to her advantage. She learns from her mistakes and presses forward to attack her next problem with determination and smarts. I love that she knows she has to constantly make hard decisions, and she does because she refuses to give up. She is loyal to her friends, but most of all the is loyal and true to herself, never giving up the things that mattered to her, no matter what other people thought.

I loved Kestrel more than Arin, which was surprising since I’m usually head over heels in love with any fictional boy. Arin was stubborn and definitely an ass through most of the book. But what I liked was that his rude behavior was actually warranted. Usually in a book, when the guy is rude to the girl, it’s because he is angry he is so attracted to her or something equally as ridiculous. In this book, Arin hates Kestrel because her father basically destroyed and took over his country, slaughtered a lot of his people, and now they are all enslaved because of it. Even though you could argue that it’s not Kestrel’s fault, this is the world she lives in, but she still chooses to keep slaves and order them around. That seems like a pretty good reason to hate someone. And I loved seeing Arin battle with this, starting to love Kestrel but hating her kind and not knowing how to handle his mixed emotions.

To be honest, I’m glad that Kestrel and Arin started smooching it up, but the romance wasn’t a strong point for me. I loved them as individual characters, not as a couple. I had no problem with them getting together, but I didn’t see the romance build up as much as in other books, which was actually a plus because it focused more on other points of the plot that carried this book and made it so amazing. I’m just hoping to see their relationship grow and develop more in the next book, and to see the romance fit in a bit more.

To be honest, another character I actually really liked was Kestrel’s father. I feel like I wasn’t supposed to like him, since he is kind of the bad guy, destroying and enslaving countries and everything. But I found him to intelligent and caring. He admits that he doesn’t always agree with the things he does, but it’s not his place to question orders. He supports his daughter when she offers compromises to her joining the military, and encourages her to be cleverer than others and to stand strong. And I really loved that even when he found hadn’t won a fight in the traditional way, choosing to use her brains over brawn, he was proud of her for winning in the way she recognized that she could. He definitely isn’t the best father, but he might have been what Kestrel needed to be the woman she is.

I really liked how women were actually given some rights in this book. Sure, they had to choose between marriage or joining the military, but at least they were given the choice. They weren’t just immediately destined to become baby making machines, ready with their husband’s home cooked meal the second he gets home from work. And women could go far in the military, they would never be held back because of their gender. I liked that women could carry weapons and challenge duels and were trained to fight, instead of being forced into being submissive.

This book was so well written and engaging, I couldn’t put it down. Seriously, I read until like two int he morning last night. Reading this book really made me think of when Mark Twain referred to the 1870s-1920’s as the “gilded age”, shiny and gold covered, but rotten to the core. Between the balls and huge estates and pretty dresses, the world seems beautiful. But underneath it all, their lifestyle has been won through bloodshed and the slavery aspect of this world is despicable. I could see everything so vividly as I read, thanks to the author’s beautiful writing, and the ending was the perfect set up an exciting sequel!

RATING:  

Review: Stolen Songbird

Title: Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1)17926775

Author: Danielle L. Jensen

Publisher: Strange Chemistry

Publication Date: April 1, 2014

Summary: For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

This book was so much fun and not what I expected at all! I was definitely hesitant to read it at first, because you know, trolls, but I’m so glad I did. Full of adventure, great characters, mystery, and a sweet romance, I couldn’t put it down.

This book follows a young girl named Celine who has a beautiful singing voice and an uncanny talent for making people do what she wants. Headed home one day, she gets kidnapped, dragged under a mountain, and sold to trolls. She is their only hope for breaking the curse that keeps them imprisoned beneath the mountain, a curse placed there by a witch years before. Trapped in the lost city of Trollus and forced to be the bride of the young troll prince Tristan, she searches for a way back home. She needs to find a way out fast though, because the longer she stays, the more she gets draw into the city’s politics and the more in love she falls with Tristan.

BUT GUYS, GUESS WHAT?!?! NO INSTA-LOVE BULLSHIT! AND… NO LOVE TRIANGLE! IT CAN BE DONE! MY FAITH IN YA BOOKS HAS BEEN RESTORED!

Celine is a strong and likable heroine. She fights to escape, sneaks around to discover everyone’s secrets, and has a kind heart. Sure, she can be a little emotional and makes a few decisions that had me beating the stuffing out of a pillow in anger, but no one’s perfect. The thing I liked most about her was that she had an open mind and was fairly smart. Once she in free to roam Trollus and starts meeting it’s citizen’s, she begins to understand and sympathize with the class difference. The problem surrounding that and the trolls wanting to be released back into the world has several different points of view, and she considers all of them while searching for a solution. She is dealing with the conflict between her head and her heart through the whole book. But when her heart starts to win, I wanted to cheer. The relationship that developed between her and Tristan was glorious. When they finally decide to work together to fight for something more important than both of them, I almost started cheering.

Tristan was just as likable, if a little bit of a jerk at first. But that whole situation was predictable, we all know he was just mean to her to protect her and keep her away from his secrets. Once he starts showing his true self though, he is caring and brave and has to make so many hard decisions. It was a little bit annoying that a lot of the royal trolls have deformities (due to inbreeding, yuck!) but prince Tristan is absolutely perfect. I knew he was going to be, but I had really hoped that he would maybe have some soft of flaw, just to make it a little more interesting than gorgeous girl falling for equally gorgeous guy. I guess I shouldn’t have expected to have everything in this book. And the chemistry between him and Celine was swoon worthy. Everything about him was so intense, whether they were fighting or making lusty eyes at each other. Speaking of fighting, holy shit, could these two fight. They were just both constantly going for each other’s throats then running off to sulk about it. You’d think after the first fifty times they’d stop getting so butt hurt about it.

The thing I loved most about this book was the world building. Trollus was such a beautiful place, and the lore surrounding it was so intriguing! That was the thing I wished we could have learned more about, but there is clearly a level of secrecy surrounding trolls and where they come from, and I can’t wait for all to be revealed. The way that their magic works, and when it’s compared to witches, it really interesting and I hope that in the next book, since we should be encountering more witches, we will be getting to see more of that. The city itself is so bleak and dark (literally), but they still have so many beautiful things from artists placed around. The mental image the author’s writing conjures up is just a cold dark city, filled with little lights and shadows, but beautiful colors and hidden treasures.

The plot is very well paced, I never found myself bored or skim reading. I really enjoyed the few chapters we got in Tristan’s POV, it was never enough to really give stuff away, but it teased you and confirmed your suspicions. It made waiting for the two of them to stop fighting and start smooching a million times more painful. And the idea of bonding is so romantic but sad at the same time, I loved how it affected the story and hearing other characters’ experiences with it.

There is constantly enough conflict going on that Celine is always struggling with different people or situations or trying to solve mysteries. I liked that Celine is caught in the middle of  rebellion, being on the side of the rebels and the royalty, and trying to find a solution that will save both. Her few friends in Trollus are also interesting characters, even if the friendships seem a little shallow at times. Not with Marc though, he was the best and reading about him makes your heart feel all warm. Anyways, she has friends on both sides, half-blood one’s that work in the mines or as servants, and royalty like Tristan, who she just so happens to be totally in lurve with.

How I knew I liked this book was that at the end, my heart was just a swirling pit of emotion. I was so sad and angry and frustrated and worried, I felt sick. And the emotions that Celine felt, it brought tears to my eyes. Even if I was thoroughly annoyed by some of the decisions made by certain characters, and I wished some of the overly dramatic parts were a little toned down, I found that it didn’t take away from the story. It was so well written, maybe a little long, but never boring to the point where I wanted to put it down, and the characters had such good personalities and chemistry, it really carried the story. I can’t wait for the next book!

RATING: