Genre: High Fantasy


A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas | Book Review

March 18, 2017 Book Review, Young Adult 8 ★★★★★

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas | Book ReviewA Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Published by Bloomsbury on May 5, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic, High Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Source: From the Publisher
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5 Stars
A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Timesbestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

I don’t even know how to review all the gloriousness that is A Court of Thorns and Roses. This is honestly my favorite book in the universe. I experienced the most vicious book hangover of my life. Seriously. It lasted about a week and a half and I could not even read anything else because I was in mourning.I had to go to Sarah J. Maas herself and have her tell me what to read next because I could not get over her book. No the book is not sad… but it ended. And that’s my only complaint about this book.

Coherent thoughts are not possible. I’m sorry, but they are not. It has been about three weeks since I finished ACOTAR, and all I can do when I think about it is melt into a puddle of swoons and sighs. So I’m going to have to resort to my very unorganized list review style and just blurt out everything I loved.

1. SO MANY FEELS. I will refer to my Goodreads status updates to illustrate my point:

ACOTARProgress
See? This book put me through the ringer, and I was happy to do it.

2. This is my favorite Beauty and the Beast retelling ever. Actually, I loved it more than Beauty and the Beast and THAT is saying something. It was so beautifully done, and there were so many hat tips to the original story.

3. Sarah J. Maas is a genius with words. I can’t believe how perfectly written this book was! Her writing reminds me of those taffy stretching machines. It’s so smooth and flowing and glorious. I just wanted to roll around in it.

4. The world is stupendous and beautiful. Sarah is a master at world building. This is the fairyland beyond your wildest dreams. The descriptions took my breath away. But this land is being taken over by evil, and the quest to defeat this evil kept me flipping pages as fast as I could.

5. There were some VERY sexy moments and I loved them all. The romance is off the charts, and so spellbindingly perfect. I’m in love with this book.

6. I want to be Feyre when I grow up. She’s a super hardcore bad-a, she’s loyal to those she loves, she’s artsy (like me), and she gets Tamlin all to herself.

7. Tamlin is mine. I’ll fight you for him if needs be. He’s a perfect blend of loyalty, protectiveness, chivalry, bravery, nobility, angst, and fierceness. Oh, and the mask he wears that has been permanently affixed to his face by magic makes him super mysterious. I can just picture his piercing eyes. He gets me all fluttery in my chest.

8. Lucien. *swoon* I’m going to be selfish and claim him as well. Picture Rhys as a man with a heart of gold and the ego of Gaston. I adore him.

9. The twists and turns the story took are amazing. SO much happens! Just when you think you can close the book for the night, you’ll be sucked right back in because something huge has happened.

10. There are villains you LOVE to hate and monsters that only live in your nightmares. 

My goodness, I think I need to quit while I’m ahead. I’m amazed I even got any words out because my love for this book is stronger than any combination of words I can string together. I am dying for the second book. I’m pretty much an official Sarah J. Maas fangirl. She can do no wrong. Do yourself a favor and buy this book for yourself and everyone you know.

*This review was originally published on April 8, 2015, and was re-posted in celebration of A Week of Beauty and the Beast.

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson | Book Review

June 10, 2016 Book Review, Young Adult 0 ★★★★

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson | Book ReviewThe Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #2
Also in this series: The Kiss of Deception, The Beauty of Darkness
Published by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers on July 7, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 470
Format: ARC
Source: From the Publisher
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4 Stars
Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save Lia's life, her erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar's interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: There's Rafe, who lied to Lia but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be savages. Now that she lives among them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country... and her own destiny.

I am having the hardest time coming up with a strategy for reviewing this book! I read it in February of this year, and I’m so overwhelmed by my feelings that I’ve pretty much rendered myself speechless. I also tend to struggle with reviewing the second book of a series because things are not resolved yet and I love the world and the story and the characters just like I did in the first book. So naturally, my review always ends up looking a bit like my review of the first one. I can’t put off reviewing this book any longer, though, especially since my wish was just granted on netgalley and I’m one of 50 people who gets to read the final book in this series, The Beauty of Darkness, two months early!

Bottom line, I love this series and I loved this book. There are twists and turns throughout both books, and the world is super dynamic and well fleshed out. Basically everything I said in my review of The Kiss of Deception still applies (I told you this would happen). We also get to learn more about Lia and her gift, which has changed since her arrival in Venda. Again, we are torn between who to trust and what to think. The culture and really the entire world of Venda is terrifying and unique, and even though I did not love the setting and the barbaric secondary characters, I really drank everything in because it was just so unique to me. We get to learn more about Kaden and his life. His bond with the Komizar is creepy, yet captivating. Rafe, of course, is still noble and wonderful. I don’t know how Pearson does it, but I am such a fan of her ability to weave such a crazy detailed story together in way that makes sense! AND to do it through multiple points of view? She’s a phenomenal writer!

The writing is still amazing, and my heart is still fully invested even though Pearson threw all of us off the edge of a cliff with this ending. Guys, it’s brutal. Considering how close we are to the release of the final book in the series you might want to heed my warning and wait until you have The Beauty of Darkness in your hands (or are able to instantly download it off Amazon with the click of a button) before reading The Heart of Betrayal. It might actually extend your life if you do.


Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo | Book Review

September 29, 2014 Book Review, Young Adult 4 ★★★★★

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo | Book ReviewRuin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #3
Also in this series: Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on June 17, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic, High Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 417
Format: Hardcover
Source: Birthday present
Amazon Add to Goodreads
5 Stars
The capital has fallen. The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

Oh MY gosh. Ruin and Rising is here!!!! Right!? Don’t worry, I read this right when it came out. It has just taken me this long to figure out how to write a review for it. Leigh Bardugo is my hero. Now, I can’t guarantee there won’t be spoilers for the first two books. And I can’t guarantee this review will be anything but a bunch of fangirling with no real point. But either way, here are my thoughts. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. Before I even begin, can we all just have a moment of silence for the end of the Grisha trilogy? I am SO sad it’s over.

2. This book broke my heart and then put it back together again. I mean, oh wow. The Darkling. Mal. Sturmhond/Nikolai. I just can’t.

3. I will take Nikolai for myself and not let you have him. He is just so perfect. I have grown to love him so much through each book.

4. Everything I said I loved about the first two books, Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm, are still valid. Plus I love these things MORE.

5. Leigh Bardugo made some very brave and almost rebellious decisions with how everything turned out and how everyone ended up. People die. And you’ll care about it. Since Leigh owned these decisions, though, they WORKED. She did not go about this halfway. She jumped in the middle of a dark and deep pit of sharks with a bloody paper cut on her thumb and said, “Bring it on.” This lady has GUTS.

6. The writing just slayed me. Oh, the beauty and the dynamism. If Leigh re-wrote the dictionary, I would read it.

7. There was so much action and excitement, and ALL my questions were answered. And the ending was amazing.

I wish I had been more emotionally equipped to write a more thorough review, but we all know that doesn’t happen often with the end of a trilogy. I loved it, bottom line. You need to read this trilogy. And, chances are, you already have since you’re being brave and reading my review. But if you haven’t or if you haven’t finished it yet, just DO it. It’s amazing and wonderful and definitely my favorite trilogy ever.


The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson | Book Review + Giveaway

July 15, 2014 Blog Tour, Book Review, Giveaway, Young Adult 31 ★★★★★

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson | Book Review + Giveaway

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson | Book Review + GiveawayThe Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #1
Also in this series: The Heart of Betrayal, The Beauty of Darkness
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on July 15, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 496
Format: ARC
Source: From the Publisher
Amazon Add to Goodreads
5 Stars
In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assasin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.

People. I do not know what to do! I have no idea how to review this book, because I really, really loved it. There were a few slow moments, but I became so enthralled and excited about it as the story went on. By the end, I was just dying to get my hands on the second book! As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. This book grabbed me from the first sentence, which does not happen. Ever. “Today was the day a thousand dreams would die, and a single dream would be born.” How great is that? Don’t you want to read more?

2. The Kiss of Deception has a really complex plot that I totally was not expecting. It was a pleasant surprise, because this book is LONG and we need that complexity to keep us going.

3. I think my absolute favorite part of the story is Pearson’s ability to weave things together in a way that keeps you guessing and/or questioning everything you think you know. When two men show up in Lia’s new hometown, she has no idea that one of the men is the prince she was supposed to marry and the other one is the assassin who was sent by her father to kill her. And the best part? The reader is not entirely sure which man is which either! And as Lia begins to feel things for one of the men, the reader agonizes over whether she fell for the prince or the assassin. It does not get better than this.

4. I love it when an author can blow my mind. She DID. I mean, I might have screamed.

5. Lia is a wonderfully spunky character. I love that she fled an arranged marriage, and I love that she cared more about finding the right man and falling in love than marrying the wrong one for wealth, recognition, and prosperity. She knew betraying her father would have extreme consequences, but she did it anyway. She’s also amazing at standing up for herself. I wish I could tell people off like she can!

6. The assassin and the prince, even though we do not always know which is which, have very unique and separate personalities. I found this to be incredibly important because these men HAD to not blend in to one person, or Pearson’s story would not have worked. Pearson did a wonderful job painting a mysterious pair of characters.

7. There’s a hint of a love triangle, but mainly because you don’t know which man is which. Again, this was done so well! I loved the mystery of trying to figure out which man she fell for!

8. In addition to the main story of Lia’s fleeing her kingdom, two men vying for her attention, and tons of deception… there’s side stories of Lia figuring herself out, kingdom politics, treks across barren lands, gypsies, adventure, and supporting characters you’ll fall for. AND it all takes place in a world you can’t wait to learn more about. It’s the total package.

9. I love the writing. It’s beautiful and funny and I loved immersing myself in it.

You know an author has done a wonderful job with their book when it takes me over FOUR MONTHS to write a review. I was so spellbound and captivated by The Kiss of Deception that I was seriously rendered speechless. I’ve already decided that I need to go read Pearson’s Jenna Fox trilogy, not to mention I’ll be moving mountains and slaying dragons to get my hands on The Heart of Betrayal, which comes out next year!


Thanks to Macmillan for providing a giveaway for the readers of That Artsy Reader Girl! Make sure you enter for the chance to win a hardback copy of The Kiss of Deception. This giveaway is open to residents of the USA and Canada.

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Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas (Book Review)

August 5, 2013 Book Review, Young Adult 3 ★★★★½

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas (Book Review)Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #2
Also in this series: Throne of Glass
Published by Bloomsbury Children's on August 27, 2013
Genres: High Fantasy
Pages: 432
Format: ARC
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4.5 Stars
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?

I really enjoyed Throne of Glass, and was very excited when I was approved for Crown of Midnight on Netgalley! I dropped everything that I was doing, and began reading immediately. Sarah made me a fan of epic fantasy, and I’m still a huge fan after Crown of Midnight! As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. Celaena is such a strong female character, and I absolutely love reading about her. We get to learn more about her and her past in this book, as well as her future and what she is capable of. She’s much more magical and mysterious that I thought she was in Throne of Glass! And even though she’s supposedly this ruthless assassin, she has a conscience. She’s not just the king’s lap dog. She does what she wants. And she likes to giggle, she can down chocolate cake faster than most people, she loves pretty things, and she is obsessed with books. There are so many sides and facets to her, and I’m enjoying getting to know her.

2. Chaol and Dorian are still both vying for Celaena’s heart, but there’s no wishy-washiness on her part. She knows who she wants and she sticks with it, which is a true testament to her strong personality. I really, really like Chaol. He’s sweet and concerned… protective and romantic. But I also really like Dorian. He’s finally having to grow up and find the answers to his own questions. He’s spent his life watching his dad hand out killings and death, and now that it’s Celaena doing it, he’s having a REALLY hard time with that. He has seen her go from a silly little girl to a hardened assassin, and he’s not sure if she’s the same person he fell for, or if she is still the same deep down inside. He’s becoming more noble, and beginning to stand up for what’s right now, and I found that to be a really attractive quality in him. It doesn’t hurt that he’s the suave, debonair prince. I’ve always been a fan of Prince Charmings. :)

3. Crown of Midnight is heartbreaking. I’d heard a little scuttlebutt about things, and how this book would be sad, and I was like, “I highly doubt it. My heart is strong.” While I did not cry, things happen that are just downright sad! There is so much emotion and feeling instilled within the book’s pages, and it all ends up a rather rough roller coaster. Celaena, Chaol, Nehemia, and Dorian go through a LOT of stuff.

4. There is SO much magic, and I loved it! This glass castle is definitely enchanted, and more people know it than are letting on. It holds so many secrets within its walls, hidden in the library, lurking in dark corners, sequestered behind locked doors. We get to explore the castle a lot more in Crown of Midnight, and it makes for a creepy adventure.

5. The writing is just gorgeous. The descriptions put you RIGHT THERE. The feelings are written so perfectly that you feel them yourself. I didn’t read this book, I was a part of this book.

I’m keeping this review short, because I don’t want to spoil anything! Basically, Crown of Midnight is an amazing sequel to Throne of Glass, and even though it just broke my heart, everything that happened needed to happen in order to make Celaena progress in her mission. I’ve seen a lot of comments floating around from people who are worrying that Crown of Midnight will be a huge letdown, with no real plot, a focus on a love triangle, and a bunch of emptiness. Let me ease your fears! I guarantee you will not be disappointed. Don’t be scared to read Crown of Midnight, especially if you loved Throne of Glass! I’d recommend this series to anyone who loves amazing world building, strong characters, tons of action, and even those who claim to not like epic fantasy. I think Sarah will change your mind like she did mine.


Siege and Storm (Grisha Trilogy #2) by Leigh Bardugo (Book Review)

June 14, 2013 Book Review, Young Adult 8 ★★★★★

Siege and Storm (Grisha Trilogy #2) by Leigh Bardugo (Book Review)Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #2
Also in this series: Shadow and Bone, Ruin and Rising
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on June 4, 2013
Genres: High Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 435
Format: ARC
Source: From the Publisher
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5 Stars
Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

Oh. My. People, Leigh Bardugo is my hero. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I loved Shadow and Bone. I thought for SURE there was no way to top it ever. BUT Siege and Storm is perfection! I was over the moon when I received my ARC, and I dropped everything to read it. Honestly, I have no idea how to even review this one. No idea. My brain wheels are spinning so fast, but then I type and nothing makes sense! I just loved it, and that’s that. I will do my best, but basically it all boils down to the fact that you just HAVE to read this even if you think Fantastical futuristic Russia, sexy male leads, a kick-butt heroine, and feeling is not for you. As always, my main points are bolded.

1. Everything I loved about Shadow and Bone showed up in Siege and Storm. I was flooded with feels, swoons, and gasps. OH MAN. It’s like I’m reliving it.

2. The World. We learn so much more, and we are introduced to new places! Like the OCEAN. And there’s a sea monster and privateers! Need I say more?

3. Alina is SO much stronger! I didn’t think it was possible, but she’s just crazy nuts now. She’s more powerful, and she knows it. And I love watching her struggle as she tries to keep this power in check without succumbing to the darkness. She’s beginning to identify more with The Darkling, which puts a bit of a rift between her and Mal. And I totally understand why she’s drawn to him, as he is still just as alluring in that dangerous bad-boy kind of way. But oh, is he scary. But then he’s not… because he can be so understanding towards Alina. He totally gets her, and this softens me a bit. It’s kind of romantic. He’s like a drug. I kinda love him, but he’s just not good. I’m so torn.

4. So, we have this new guy Sturmhond. I LOVE HIM. He’s one of those suave sailor guys who can’t say anything wrong, and he totally steals the show. He’s just so dashing and cocky that you can’t help but flutter your eyelashes. The things he comes up with had me laughing. He’s so dynamic, that even though he’s new to the scene he makes a place for himself and makes sure he’s not overlooked. He brings out a lot of great things in Alina, as he coaches her and sticks by her side. And he’s really mysterious and hard to figure out because he’s a privateer. Who is he looking out for? Which side is he on? Gah, the complexity. I’m already planning our winter wedding.

5. Mal… I feel like he’s fallen to the back of the pack a little. I’m not sure if it’s because he’s a soldier among Grisha and royalty, if he’s not supportive enough of Alina and her place in this world, or if he’s just got a lot on his mind. Whatever the case may be, I’m totally ok with this because we’ve got more room for action and craziness. Rather than focusing on him and Alina, Leigh has chosen to showcase other characters (like my future husband), as well as the ongoing battle between Alina and The Darkling. I love that this entire trilogy has SO much more going on than love triangles.

6. Leigh’s writing is still gorgeous. She can go from writing deep feelings to crazy battle scenes to detailed descriptions of Grisha powers. I mentioned it in my review of Shadow and Bone, and I’ll mention it again: if Leigh’s writing was not so amazing this book would be just another fantasy novel.

7. And… again… everything happens! There’s no mindless dialogue or details nobody cares about (I really hate needless details). Everything written on these pages is written for a purpose. Events are strung together so fast, but with transitions that do not cause whiplash. I was always on my toes wondering what was going to happen next, and I was completely engrossed. Siege and Storm really reads like a movie.

OH MAN. I want to go back and read S&B and S&S all over again for the first time! I just love this series. Leigh really has jumped to the top of my most beloved authors list. I will follow her and her books to the ends of the earth. Just read them.


Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (Book Review)

May 2, 2013 Book Review, Young Adult 18 ★★★★★

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (Book Review)Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #1
Also in this series: Siege and Storm, Ruin and Rising
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on June 5, 2012
Genres: High Fantasy, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Romance
Pages: 356
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought from Amazon
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5 Stars
The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfil her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

PEOPLE. I have no idea why I took so long to read Shadow and Bone. Maybe it’s because I’m not a huge fan of fantasy, but I AM NOW! This book was chock full of awesomeness and excitement and mystery. I just can’t contain my love for this book, and for Leigh Bardugo, who I am now a fan of for life. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. This WORLD. Oh wow. My absolute favorite thing about Shadow and Bone is the world Leigh created for us. I love all of it, from its setting in futuristic Russia, to the elaborate keftas, to the mysterious Shadow Fold (a dark and barren wasteland filled with volcra, which I swear are some kind of dragon on steroids), and all the awesome talents of the Grisha. This world is complicated and complex with its own language. It’s amazing.

2. Leigh’s writing is out of this world. OH man. Have you seen that episode of Friends with Ross’s wedding in London, and Joey is having a hard time figuring out how to read his map, so he puts it on the ground and stands on it, putting himself INTO the map so it made more sense? That’s what Leigh did to me! I was IN the book, and I could picture and see everything. It all made so much sense, and I absolutely loved everything. Had the writing not been so amazing, this book would have flopped.

3. Alina. Oh, Alina. Talk about an amazingly bad-a heroine. I love her! She’s just a run of the mill girl one day, and then all of a sudden she’s Ravka’s everything. She gets swept up into the magic and excitement of the lavish castle, and gets to wear fancy clothes, dine on yummy foods, and be the topic of every conversation. But through it all, she stays humble, really just wanting to become a part of the wall or the floor rather than shine. She’s timid and scared and confused, and she feels inadequate. But as the story progresses, she grows into this brave, confident young woman who will sacrifice and cause problems and fight for herself.

4. Oh, the Darkling. MAN. I’d heard stories about him floating around the blogosphere, and now finally understand what everyone has been talking about! He’s dark and sexy and charming and dangerous, and people are just drawn to him for some mysterious reason. Reading about him was rather intoxicating. I was drawn to him too! But like I said, he’s dangerous… and I swear, I always love the dangerous character!

5. MAL. Can I have Mal for myself? Mal is Alina’s childhood friend, who she has never really been able to live without. But when she is taken to the castle, and he is made a tracker for the kingdom, they lose each other. What a beautiful friendship they have. He’s brave and protective and SO full of secrets and depth. 

6. The romance is perfection. There’s not too much, not too little, nothing really insta-love… it all makes sense for the circumstances. I loved it. And that’s all I will say, because it’s too good to even come close to spoiling.

7. I feel like everything happens! Shadow and Bone is chock full of adventure, mystery, action, emotion, romance, opulence, relationships, and questions. The ending is just… urg.se.rgusheg;sghus.ergisjherg!

Clearly, I loved Shadow and Bone. I have nothing bad to say about it, and can’t stop thinking about it at ALL. I read this one really fast, and when I was not reading I was thinking about it. If you love fantastic world-building, strong characters, mystery, intrigue, romance of extreme proportions, and beautiful writing, you will love Shadow and Bone.

Watch the book trailer for Shadow and Bone! Pretty amazing!


Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (Mini Book Review)

August 17, 2012 Book Review, Young Adult 8 ★★★★½

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (Mini Book Review)Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Also in this series: Crown of Midnight
Published by Bloomsbury Children's on August 7, 2012
Genres: High Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 404
Format: ARC
Source: From the publisher at ALA
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4.5 Stars
After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another.

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

Let this be known… Throne of Glass is my very first high fantasy! After meeting Sarah at ALA, I came home really excited to read it. She’s so nice, and I had fun chatting with her. And seriously? Epic fantasy? Wow! I’m becoming so versatile that I’m surprising myself! I’m totally a convert to the genre, though, and I think this was a great way for me to enter in. I’m loving the glass castle, deadly secrets, hardcore assassin vibe happening with this book, and I can’t wait to see where this series goes.

I really loved the story, and all the elements that went with it: magic, romance, suspense, politics, mystery, a glass castle, an assassin, hidden identities, mythology, fairies, demons, crazy creatures, fight scenes, secret passageways, a handsome prince, a mysterious captain of the guards, a love triangle, pretty dresses, a masquerade ball, a princess from another land, a fight for survival, an amulet, a freezing winter, portals to another world, and scheming, all wrapped up into an exciting package with beautiful writing.

Celaena is awesome. She’s extremely dynamic and exciting, not to mention mysterious. She’s like this wolf in sheep’s clothing, and I loved watching her surprise people. Oh, and she loves candy. Like, a lot. Actually, she loves all food. It’s a unique trait that we don’t see very often in young adult fiction. She also has the ability to really soften people up with her charm, especially Captain Chaol, who wanted to dislike her but ended up really enjoying her company. And then there’s Dorian, who turned into a puddle of mush around her. The love triangle with these three was so much fun, and I had a really hard time deciding on which guy I liked the best.

Really, this book had everything I could ask for, and I loved the glimpse I got into this magical world. I’m left a little speechless, which is why my review is so short. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this author, and the Throne of Glass series. Oh, and now I’m off to get the 4 prequels to this book that were released before its publication date.