BR: Empire of Storms, by Sarah J. Maas

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

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Genre: High Fantasy

Published: 2016

Pages: 693

My Rating: 4/5 stars


Synopsis from Goodreads:

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?


Hello Everyone,

welcome to my review of Empire of Storm, by fantasy queen Sarah J. Maas! I got this book the day it came out and read it really quickly, but had to wait some time before diving into writing a review. As a warning, this review will have a short spoiler-free section just because so much happens, and so much has happened in the previous 4 (and a half) books that it is really hard not to slip. If you have read this book, please let me know what you thought about in the comments, because I definitely need to talk about it!

SPOILER-FREE SECTION

  • Plot: oh boy. The plot in this book was probably one of my favorite things. So much happens, and what I really appreciated was that Sarah really thought it out, and readers can definitely tell: so many details present in previous books are now interwoven in the bigger picture, and everything comes together beautifully.
  • Characters: some of the main characters, and other secondary characters go through such a huge development. Every character is different in his or her own way, each character has a different way of behaving towards certain situations, and I think that is great. The author definitely focused on characterization.
  • Writing: this book is very fast-paced. It kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end. Maas also has a beautiful way of describing situations and internal conflicts, even though the novel is written in the 3rd person singular. Very remarkable.

These are my spoiler-free thoughts. If you have not read the book, I advise you not to read further, if you have, please do and comment your own opinions about it!

Until next time,

Keky

**SPOILER-ALERT** SECTION – Do not read further if you don’t want to be spoiled.

Okay, I don’t even know where to begin. Let’s go by characters, otherwise it’s going to be a mess. Elide and Lorcan: I loved Elide, I think she is a strong female character and isn’t afraid of being assertive or demonstrating her points. She is also very confident. I didn’t know how to feel about Lorcan in the beginning, but then he grew on me, even though at the end I hated him. Why did he have to call Maeve? Is he stupid?!! I don’t think that Elide is going to be able to forgive him.

Manon and Dorian: I love her. She’s so badass, and I think the part where I felt the saddest was when she learnt about her heritage: she is a Chrochan, and her grandmother had her kill her own sister. That was awful. Dorian is so different now than who he used to be. I feel like he has grown so much, and he is actually becoming a man. I also liked how the relationship between the two of them is mainly based on lust, which I think is a liberal way of writing in Young Adult fiction, and I appreciate that. I am also curious to learn more about Dorian’s raw magic, and I love him so much as a character. Maybe even more than Rowan.

Aelin and Rowan: I cannot deny that the fact that Aelin schemes by herself frustrates me a bit. Yes, the ending was great with Ansel coming back into the picture, at the same time I wish she’d told the others about her plans. However, I was heartbroken in the end, when she had to go to Maeve. I have to say I was expecting that she had to die for the cause, even though I really hope it is not going to happen! I really like Rowan. Although, sometimes I think he is overshadowed by the mating bond that takes up so much space in his dialogues. I loved how he and Dorian got along though. I was really glad of that.

Aedion and Lysandra: I love them both so much! I was so scared that Lysandra was going to die at Skull’s Bay but thank god that did not happen! I love Aedion too and his encounter with Gavriel was so interesting to see! I want them to be endgame.

Overall, this book was a freaking rollercoaster! I am so scared for the next book, because it’s going to be the last one, but I don’t want anyone to die! I am just really curious to see how things are going to be wrapped up, and how the characters we love will find a way to save a broken world!

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Sunshine Blogger Award

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Hello Everyone!

I am so excited to announce that I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Jasmine @HowUsefulItIs! Thank you so much Jasmine, and please everyone, go check her blog out because it is amazing!

RULES OF THE AWARD

  • Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the eleven questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate eleven new blogs to receive the award and write them eleven new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog.

JASMINE’S QUESTIONS

1) What is it about writing that you like so much? I love that I can zone out from the everyday life and just create some time for myself. I love the feeling of just doing something that is unique to me as a person.
2) Do you ever experience writer’s block? Even when you write a book review. Sometimes I definitely do. Not for book reviews, but sometimes I don’t have many ideas on what to blog next.

3) What do you like about having a blog? I love that I can share with people my passions and thoughts and get feedback from them, so that I can discuss what I truly like.

4) What do you dedicate your time most on? Read to review or participate more on blogging memes? I read a lot because I love to. If I think that a book I read is particularly interesting, and I have something to say about it, then I will review it. I definitely want to try and do as many reviews as possible.

5) If you have a 5 days vacation, where would you go or what would you do? I would go to Bali and relax and meditate! And eat all the food haha!

6) What interesting things have you done this past year? I feel like I have done many interesting things. I have studied in London, taken a graduate class on Emily Brontë which I loved, I have traveled and met new amazing people. It has been a good year so far!

7) What is your favorite book at the moment? Probably A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë.

8) Is your bookshelf in another room or in your bedroom? In my parent’s house in my bedroom, but here in Chicago in my living room. My roommate and I both love books, and so we have a bookshelf and all the windowsills full!

9) What do you collect the most of? Books haha!

10) How often do you get a haircut? About 3 times a year.

11) What is one positive thing you hope your blog accomplishes? I hope that people will be able to take something away from it, and cherish it.

MY QUESTIONS

  1. Why did you decide to start a blog?
  2. What do you want to do when you “grow up”?
  3. What was the book that got you into reading?
  4. If you were to be a character from any novel, who would you be and why?
  5. If you could move tomorrow to any place in the world, where would it be and why?
  6. Coffee or tea?
  7. What is your favorite season and why?
  8. What is your favorite book genre and why?
  9. What is your favorite quote of all time and who is it from?
  10. Paperback or hardcover?
  11. If you could name three things on top of your head, what would they be?

I NOMINATE:

Meghan @bookslayerReads, Nicole @Booksinked, Laura @readinglust, Jane @GreenishBookshelf, lindsey @apieceofparadis, @universeofyabooks, @mreadsbooks, @onebookishgirl, @RealTastyPages, @onceuponabookshelfblog, @writingthedreamblog

Keky Recommends: Classics for Beginners

Hello Everyone,

and welcome back to another installment of Keky Recommends. I have decided to start this series to share with you some books that have meant something to me in a particular way, and I am happy to know if you have read any of these and what you thought about them. So today I decided to talk about a tricky category of books: Classics. Some of us love them, some of us think they are boring, and some of us have been assigned them at school and just despise them. Being an English major I always read Classics, and they have definitely grown on me since I started high school, so much that now they are one of my favorite fiction category. Classics have a denser style to them, and they take a little more time to get through, but other than being a rewarding read, they are interesting in terms of content and depth of themes. If you are a beginner, here are five Classics you should read to enter the scary realm of older fiction.

  • The-Secret-Garden.jpgThe Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Start off with a children’s book, so then if the language is a bit outdated, you will be able to still pick up on it. This novel tells the adventures of orphaned Mary Lennox, who is taken in by an uncle in his big house, and everyone is cold to her. One day, she discovers a secret garden, and while she goes there to play, she develops a relationship with her sick cousin. Definitely a good read to start entering the world of the early 20th century.
  • Animal Farm, by George Orwell. animalfarm-1ltgi2tThis novel is a little masterpiece. It tells the story of the animals that live in a farm and one day they decide to take over the humans and establish their own government. If it does not sound appealing to you, read it anyway. Thought to be a tale for kids, I think that if read by an adult the insight on this little book can take you long ways: it is an implicit guide to how a totalitarian regime can ascend to power. Pure genius.
  • Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. This is the classic of Classics and for a good reason. Austen manages to give a good portrait of English society at the end of the 1700s, through irony and wit. An underlying criticism lingers throughout the whole novel, and if you find it hard to get into, listen to the audiobook red by Rosamund Pike. You will have some good laughs.
  • 9781471141638_hrWuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë. One of my all-time favorite Classics, I have read it countless times and I own at least 4 different editions of it. I always recommend this novel because it is very modern in its themes (what is the distinction between good and evil? Is there any distinction at all?), and also because it has some gothic/mystery elements to it. I read it when I was 15 not knowing what it really was, and it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I read it in a day and a half. Definitely worth it.
  • Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley. Yes, I know, you will say, why? It’s so boring! Well, it is not. Delete everything you think you know about Frankenstein that has been transmitted to you through pop culture and start with a blank slate. This is a tale of self-identity and perception, of love and loss, and it explores the bioethical question: what is the difference between creature and monster, and what does make someone human? Fairly fast-paced, another amazing read.

This is my 5-books Classics guide for beginners. I hope it was helpful and that it will inspire you to read more classic literature. By reading things that pertain to a distant past, we understand what makes us human, and I think that is a beautiful thing. Please let me know if you have read any of these or if you plan on doing so!

Until next time,

Keky

 

BR: A Torch Against the Night

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Title: A Torch Against the Night

Author: Sabaa Tahir

Genre: High Fantasy

Published: 2016

Pages: 452

My Rating: 3.75/5 stars


Synopsis from Goodreads:

After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.
Laia is determined to break into Kauf – the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison – to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.
But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene – Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.
Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own – one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape… and kill them both.


Hello Everyone,

and welcome to my book review of A Torch Against the Night, by Sabaa Tahir. I recently read the first book in the series, An Ember in the Ashes, which I really enjoyed and I gave a 4/5 star rating. It was really easy for me to fall in love with the characters, and so I was higly anticipating the release of the second book in the series, and sure enough, I received it the day it came out. so, without further ado, let’s get into the review.

SPOILER-FREE SECTION

  • Plot: the plot was one of the most fast-paced plots I have ever read. I could not draw a breath in between scenes because it was if there was no scene break, where the characters rested. Even though this made me read the book in only a couple of days, and made me really enjoyed it because I was not bored at all, sometimes this was a tiny bit too fast. On the one hand I really appreciated how all the small details that I overlooked in book one came together and intertwined in the bigger picture, on the other hand I also felt it was not explained enough, or that the action was not described thoroughly.
  • Characters: I love Elias and Helene, I find that I can really sympathize with them, because both of them are in extremely difficult situations, and I think they react well to them. Laia I found being a bit more selfish this time around, and I will explain more about this in the spoilery section. I love the figure of the Warden and little Tas, they were a nice add to the picture. Also, Afya is so badass I want to be like her!
  • Writing: the writing was good, as I mentioned very – too – fast-paced, and sometimes cliche, although this did not prevent me from enjoying the book a lot. Sabaa’s style of writing is definitely not descriptive, and sometimes I wished she described the landscapes a bit more just to get a nicer view of the world.

These are my non-spoilery thoughts about the book. Let me know if you have read it and what you thought about it. I really hope they will release a third one, because I thought that there are so many questions that need to be answered.

Until next time,

Keky

**SPOILER-ALERT** SECTION – Do not read further if you don’t want to be spoiled.

I hated what happened to Elias. Right when Laia finally realizes that she is attracted to him, he needs to become Soul Catcher, what?! I want him to rest a bit from all the horrible things that happen to him.

Laia, I have to admit, I did not really like this time around. I understand she needs to save her brother, but too many people are dying in the process. Also, why does the Nightbringer want her and not Darin? I want to find out what kind of creature Laia is. It killed me that Elias and Laia did not have a steamy moment until the very end of the book! It kept me to the edge of my seat until the end, and I really wanted it to happen before.

My heart broke when Izzi died. She had the most honorable death, and it really pained me to see her go, because she was such a good character. Also, who the hell is Cook? What does it mean that she is ‘the Commandant’s creature’? I really want to see Keris dead, I despise her, and I am curious to see where Quin has gone in hiding, since he might be the key to destroy her.

I loved – loved – the very last scene. “Look at you little sister. Look at you.” Gosh it almost made me cry, really.