A Curse So Dark And Lonely | Review

Greetings readers!

Have you ever pictured yourself living in a fairy tale?

I have, yes. On many occasions.

I mean just look at how much Disney goodness there is being offered. Have you never once dreamed or perhaps for even one millisecond considered what your life would be like if you were swept away on a magical, swinging adventure?

I have, yes. On MANY occasions.

The next question of course is…how would you fair in a fairyland? Think of it as an inverse Enchanted….that is *sort of* what this book is like.

A Curse So Dark And Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

A Curse So Dark and Lonely

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pub Date: Jan 29, 2019
Price: $24.99 CAD
ISBN: 9781681195087
Goodreads

In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.


BUY IT!

Chapters Indigo | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble 


*Big thanks to Raincoast Books for sending me an ARC!*

What I Liked:

Characters:

I really enjoyed Harper. She was a very interesting character and her already unconventional life turned even more complicated when she got transported to Emberfall. I liked her spunk. She had this ferocity and she was made of pure determination. She was not perfect, makes a few fatal decisions, but overall I really enjoyed seeing her growth. She has Cerebral Palsy, which is something I’ve never read before and it was very important to her character. Her leg and ankle often caused her a lot of pain, but that didn’t stop her from having a high-stakes adventure in this book. And trust me she runs a lot.

Grey was my next favourite character. I can’t help it, I have a thing for the tall, dark, broody ones. He was definitely more background, but under all that steel is a lot of personality. And while the end of his story was just a weensy bit predictable, I am really excited to see if the author will do more with it.

Ok Rhen. Aka Beastie. I liked him and yet he was kind of just there. He was the arrogant, jerk type that had to learn how to be genuine, which is understandable because that is how the tale of B&tB goes. Yet…I don’t know, he just didn’t strike me as amazing at the end there. He does go through some crazy stuff and I don’t blame him, but mmmmmmmmmmmmm I just…I don’t know. I like him, but I don’t think I would have fallen in love with him to save his kingdom….sorry.

The World:

The modern world is in this very little, which I am very thankful for. I can only take so much Urban fantasy at once (I’m a hypocrite for *reasons*), but I did enjoy the fantasy land. I especially loved the Disi joke *You’ll have to read it to get it. I mean Emberfall was pretty generic and it didn’t have anything I could pick out that made it truly unique, but it had good people to entertain the reader.

I especially enjoyed the quirks that the modern characters had to face in Emberfall, and the way that they explained their mannerisms.

It Stayed True to the Tale:

It’s at its core Beauty and the Beast only with a beast much more hostile and dangerous and an Enchantress that is not so nice and lots and lots of blood. This book is definitely more bloody than the Disney version. And since we are comparing to Disney there is no Gaston. Which I’m okay with.

The Romance is Slow Burn:

Because it has to be hello. The ending actually quite surprised me because I thought it would have held a different kind of declaration, but it was still cute. Not gonna lie though, there was some triangular action going on near the beginning with tensions between Grey and Harper and I was no, no, this cannot be. Rhen’s the Beast, he’s gonna get the girl, stick to the script!! But I actually ended up liking how this tension was handled.

Plus it added drama hehehe

What I Found Questionable (Not necessarily unlikable)

The Villain was really not explored enough. I mean she was vicious!!!!, but I would have liked more depth to her. And because of that lacking information, I really didn’t get the magic that was present–although very minimal, but it had an important history.

The Ending was not an ending because it sets up for a companion novel. It does a really good job of keeping the intrigue alive, but the characters’ stories were left far from finished, I think.

It’s got some cheesy lines, like those fantasy kingdom creeds that I sometimes can’t take seriously but okay, I’ll let them slide.

The Math confuzzled me. So Rhen has been through 328 seasons (I actually don’t remember if that is the right number, but somewhere there) and each season lasts up to 3 months, but some seasons are cut short and yet only 5 years have actually passed? Something here smells fishy. Like can a season last a day? I didn’t really get how this was possible. (I know I’m focusing on such little things, but still.)

AND I’VE SAID IT BEFORE I’LL SAY IT AGAIN.

You’re gonna tell me that Harper gets:

A) Kidnapped and Taken to a magical land,
B) Locked away in a castle with a broody, arrogant Prince
C) Is told that the kingdom is cursed,
D) Has to fall in love with Prince-y to break the enchantment,
E) Later finds out that Prince-y actually turns into the beast that terrorizes that land

AND SHE DOESN’T ONCE REALIZE SHE IS IN A BEAUTY AND THE BEAST LIKE TALE???

Sounds fake to me. But okay.


Overall, I enjoyed this book. For being almost 500 pages long (it honestly could have been shorter), I flew through it, which I am super proud of! I am really looking forward to the companion novel because I have a big feeling it is gonna follow Grey (and I love Grey!!) and I am really curious as to what he is going to get himself into!

Rating: 3.85…heck, I’ll give it the 4 / 5 stars!

Recommend: A great retelling for those who like to stick to stories they know and love!

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? Are you looking forward to reading it? What are your favour B&tB retellings? What fairy-tale/legend would you love to read about?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Narnia is going to Netflix |What I hope to see in the new adaptations!

Greetings readers!

A few months ago, I saw the BEST NEWS I COULD HAVE HOPED FOR!!

I’M SURE ANY OF YOU WHO FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER OR INSTAGRAM WOULD HAVE SEEN ME YELLING ABOUT IT!!!

THE NEWS

I’m telling you all I lost my sh*t that day. Like I was on the floor. Where was I when I saw the news??? I don’t recall, I just remember losing my mind.

I AM GETTING MORE NARNIA MOVIES AND TV SHOWS

THANK YOU, NETFLIX.

edmund pevensie dance GIF

But of course, as much as I am enthusiastic about this movie/TV news, I have about the highest of the highest expectations. I don’t expect them to ever replace my love for the 2000s films, nor do I necessarily think Narnia *needed* another adaptation. I’ll be honest, it’s had its multiple runs and there is only so many times you can remake a story.

Yet, these adaptations are still going to happen and over the months I have been mulling it over in my head, how we can make the story better, different, unique and yet stay true to it’s magic and message.

Naturally, I write a blog post because zat ees vwat I do! *zis eez my Fronch accent!*

So What Do I Want From These New Adaptations?

Chronological Order please!

Can we not start with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe?

People, I adore LWW, but there is so much context that is given in The Magician’s Nephew that I really think can change up how viewers watch LWW. I mean A) Professor Kirk’s adventure in Narnia is pretty darn cool, B) We get the origins of Narnia, the wardrobe and the White Witch and C) Those origin tidbits can then feed into LWW’s adaptation!

Can we also not stop at LWW?

There is so much story to explore after the Pevensie’s leave Narnia. I mean the world needs to be exposed to Aravis Tarkheena’s greatness!

Jill Pole’s snarkiness.

The Final Battle *sobs*

There is so much more that needs to be seen!

the chronicles of narnia GIF

It Has to Make Sense

If you are gonna go a mix of TV Shows and movies Netflix, you are gonna need to come out with a set plan. A list of how exactly these shows/films will be produced and released. I do not want, for example, a movie of one of the books to come out mid-season of the show adaptation of another one of the books *although this would make sense for The Horse and His Boy* ANYWAYS. I just want clarity.

I know seven books is a lot, and I WANT all seven books to happen. I need you to really think this through Netflix and let me know how exactly this is gonna work.

Diversify

I *think* it is safe to say we have had plenty of Narnia adaptations with little, white kids. And we should all know the very obvious racist views of Mr. Lewis in the Caloremen and others. Like it’s no good.

So clearly we gotta make an old man roll in his grave and change the story to make it less harmful and more inclusive, especially for a wide range of kids today to appreciate the magic of Narnia.

I’m sure there were all kinds of kids carted off during the London raids, that weren’t necessarily Caucasian. Not every new kid that is introduced, nor does every adult, much less every Narnian or Telmarine etc. has to be white. The treatment of the Aravis and Calormen as a whole has to change, away from all the Orientalism and other tropes.

And of course these characters of colour can’t simply be token, they have to have substance, background and acknowledgement of their individuality like any character should have.

And yeah, people will be angry about it. But you know what? They can literally watch any of the other adaptations if they want a full white, straight, able cast!  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

narnia GIF

I am open to animation…but like the cool kind.

I feel like the best way to get all the magical effects is through animation because their is just so much that can be explored. I’m willing for a 2D or a 3D animation, it just has to be COOL. Like stay away from the animators of The Dragon Prince. No offense, but y’all that shows visuals are so plain.

But of course if we are gonna do this live-action, effects have to be on the pointiest of the points! Costumes and make-up have to square up! It has to be visually stunning to match the magic and adventure of the story!

Please do not make it gritty and dark and such

Netflix has a knack for taking things to a really dark level. *See Sabrina the Teenage Witch* and I really do not want that. Which is so contradictory because you all know how much I adore Dark Fantasy, but Narnia is not the story to fit that bill, in my humble opinion. I want it to be whimsical and I want the creators to be able to garner the suspense, action and intensity and tie it with whimsy.

DO I EVEN MAKE SENSE? Look, I don’t know how they are going to go about doing that. I just don’t want it to get all angsty, gritty dark. Please.

doctor who narnia GIF


Let me know what you think! Are you looking forward to this new Narnia adaptation? What are your hopes? What are your fears? What book(s) do you think Netflix should adapt?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

get-reaidng

Circle of Shadows | Review // This was just…it was just…not it…

Greetings readers!

Have you ever pushed through an entire book you know you should have DNF’d after like the first hundred pages?

Well, I’m feeling that now. I decided to give this book the benefit of the doubt, maybe it would turn around, alter itself, but no. I should have gone with my gut. But being the hopeful fool that I am, I continued reading and honestly I have thoughts.

Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye

Circle of Shadows (Circle of Shadows, #1)

Publisher: Baltzer & Bray
Pub Date: Jan 22, 2019
Price: $21.99
ISBN: 9780062643728
Goodreads

A thrilling new fantasy series full of magic and betrayal—from Evelyn Skye, New York Times bestselling author of the Crown’s Game series.

Sora can move as silently as a ghost and hurl throwing stars with lethal accuracy. Her gemina, Daemon, can win any physical fight blindfolded and with an arm tied around his back. They are apprentice warriors of the Society of Taigas—marked by the gods to be trained in magic and the fighting arts to protect the kingdom of Kichona.

As their graduation approaches, Sora and Daemon look forward to proving themselves worthy of belonging in the elite group—but in a kingdom free of violence since the Blood Rift Rebellion many years ago, it’s been difficult to make their mark.

So when Sora and Daemon encounter a strange camp of mysterious soldiers while on a standard scouting mission, they decide the only thing to do to help their kingdom is to infiltrate the group. Taking this risk will change Sora’s life forever—and lead her on a mission of deception that may fool everyone she’s ever loved.

Love, spies, and adventure abound as Sora and Daemon unravel a complex web of magic and secrets that might tear them—and the entire kingdom—apart forever.

*Many thanks to HCC Frenzy for sending me an ARC*

This book was just all over the place, in my very honest, humble opinion. And frankly it did not live up to my love for Skye’s debut, The Crown’s Game. After about 50ish pages or so I started noticing that this book wasn’t really going anywhere with me, but I felt the need to push through and as aforementioned, it wasn’t worth it.

It Was A Mess

Okay…umm how do I begin. The very first chapter was…meh. It introduced the MCs Sora and Daemon and well they were honestly just okay from the first chapter. I have a feeling that I was supposed to think Sora’s out-goingness and wit was like amazing and the Daemon’s modesty and determination made him a cinnamon roll, but they both really bothered me! *hides* It’s just that I felt their personalities were trying to be so amazingly-awesome and *wow*heart-eyes*everywhere* but I just felt like they were flat and boring. *shrugs*

And since this book is 3rd person omniscient, a range of characters perspectives were shown and just no one interested me in the least bit. Not the heroes, not the villains, no one. And let’s be honest, if you are gonna use a cliché twist to keep a character in a narrative there has to be something spectacular or even more deceptive to make up for their predictable presence. *I had to be vague because of spoilers*

The magic didn’t even intrigue me enough. I felt like the whole *ninja* idea was downplayed  by the fact that the enemy army had such a more superior magical skill. *Which [the enemy magic] was cool* But like actual fighting, technique and skill was not really showcased as much as I thought it would be. *And just being sneaky makes it boring*

Now the actual plot of the book is a bit…hmmm…everywhere and nowhere. It wasn’t a prophecy plot, but more of a Chasing Legends plot. It was frankly not that interesting to me. I’m not saying that human sacrifice is something that I deem irrelevant, but that was really the only thing that kept it dangerous. I also just…thought it was boring. The story had one of my favourite tropes *Divine Intervention* (i.e. when the gods come out to play and mess up everyone’s life) BUT EVEN THAT DIDN’T GARNER ANY INTEREST. Most of the book is just the Sora and Daemon on the run, or in captivity. I mean…if you are gonna have characters on the run, there has to be something that keeps the reader interested in reading their very tedious journey and I just couldn’t find it.

That grand revelation about Daemon: Saw it coming. And it was meh. And I don’t think it quite matched the story…

Action: Low.
Suspense: Meh.
Frustration levels: HIGH. (Mostly at the fact that it was so meh-boring)

So what on Earth kept me reading this book? I think sheer will to just finish.

The chapters were pretty short which I loved, but some were so irrelevant.

OKAY OKAY BUT ARE YOU READY FOR THE NEXT BIT.  *Might be spoilery*

The story spends the first 400 pages of the book explaining this forbidden romance of unrequited love.

Page 405 rolls around and BAM! New love interest is introduced, Character A thinks about moving on.

Page 412: Turns out the Character A’s old love interest actually reciprocates the feelings of Character A and now they have to hide their feelings so that the new romance can blossom, but there is major jealousy.

Setting up a Love Triangle (of sorts).

Page 456: The end.

unimpressed viola davis GIF


Overall, this book was just not what I had hoped it would be. I wanted super epic fantasy, with characters you could really connect to and a plot that twisted and turned this way and that deceiving the readers left and right. But no. Instead I got a really basic, flat fantasy. The potential was there, but the execution was poor. SORRY.

Rating: 2 / 5 Stars

Recommend: Personally, no. Not worth it.

Let me know what you think! Have you read this book? What did you think? If you enjoyed it, what do you theorize might happen in book 2? (Garner my interest, mayhaps I will read it). Have you ever been severely disappointed by a book?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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The Book Addiction Tag

Greetings readers!

It is ridiculous how behind I am on tags. I am sure I even forgot to make note of some of the more recent ones I have been tagged in–and for that I am truly sorry! I hope you know I how much I appreciate you every time you tag me in something!!

As for today’s tag, I found it in my Drafts folder so I thought I would give it a go! My thanks goes out to Bibi @ Bibi’s Book Blog for tagging me!! (I know it was such a long time ago, but I am finally getting around to it XD)

What is the longest amount of time you can comfortably go without picking up a book?

A week, maybe two. Eventually I’ll just get bored or have the craving to read something and find myself browsing my shelves or the library.

book read GIF by Tatiana

How many books do you carry on your person (or kindle) at any one time?

No more than one physical book and I have like five ebooks at the ready.

book read GIF by Lobster Studio

Do you keep every book you buy/receive or are you happy to pass them on to make space for more?

Yes. Sometimes I’ll gift them if I have duplicate copies, but I have a habit of holding onto all my books, even those I am not so fond of.

read stop motion GIF by A. L. Crego

How long would you spend in a bookshop on a standard visit?

Usually I am only allowed 20 minutes when I am with family or friends, but I could spend a good 2 hours there.

read beauty and the beast GIF by Disney

How much time per day do you actually spend reading?

2 hours. Usually happens on my commutes to and from school.

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Where does the task ‘picking up a book’ appear on your daily to-do list?

On the bus! If I am not feeling my physical book, then I will pick up an ebook.

public transit bus GIF by notofagus

How many books do you reckon you own in total (including e-books)?

Physical Books: 237

E-Books: 30

Total: 267

book GIF

Approximately how often do you bring up books in conversation?

Only with people I know who like the same books as I do.

pretty woman book GIF

What is the biggest book (page count) you have finished reading?

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas at 992 pages.

Rant Review Here

Is there a book you had to get your hands on against all odds i.e searching bookshops, online digging etc?

I’m still looking and hoping to get my hands on a copy of the Barnes & Noble Classic edition of The Chronicles of Narnia!

A book you struggled to finish but refused to DNF?

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas, I mean I have come this far haven’t I.

read classic film GIF by Film Society of Lincoln Center

What are 3 of your main book goals for 2018 2019?

I have six actually! You can check them out here.

Have you ever had the privilege of converting someone into a reader (maybe via inspiration or incessant nagging)?

Maybe my cousin? I got her to read a lot more YA fantasy, I mean she was already a reader, I just got her to like my kind of books. *evil laughter*

Describe what books mean to you in five words.

  1. Wonder
  2. Magic
  3. Adventure
  4. Inspiration
  5. Self-Discovery

I Tag…

MetalPhantasmReads | A Fictional Bookworm | Chelle’s Book Ramblings


Let me know what you think! Are you addicted to books? On a scale from 1-10, rate your addiction!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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THE GILDED WOLVES IS OUT TODAY!!! | Release Day Blitz! Meet the Characters!

Greetings readers!

I am so happy to announce that Roshani Chokshi’s new book, The Gilded Wolves is out today!!!

This book was pitched as “National Treasure but make it HOT!” and honestly…what more could you ask for! I’m sure many of you out there have heard about it and are running to get your copies! I am waiting for my hold to come in from the library…but I have a feeling that I might be taking a trip to the bookstore before hand because I seriously cannot wait to read this!

Roshani is a wordsmith! She can charm the socks off me and I absolutely adore her debut The Star-Touched Queen! I have yet to read A Crown of Wishes and Aru Shah, but I am super excited for them all.

I am sure that this book will have just as much charm, snark, and BANTER (and you guys know how much I LOVE banter!!!)

The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)

Publisher: Wednesday Books
Pub Date: Jan 15, 2019
Price: $24.99 CAD
ISBN: 9781250144546
Goodreads

Set in a darkly glamorous world, The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous but thrilling adventure.

Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can’t yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much.

Together, they’ll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.

BUY IT!!

Chapters Indigo | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

What Am I Most Excited About, You Ask!?

THE CHARACTERS

Book crews are the Thing now and I am 11/10 down for them all!!!!!

Weeks before the release day, Roshani was slowly revealing all the main characters from this book on several social media sites.

TODAY I WILL REVEAL MY THOUGHTS ON THEM ALL, BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT I DO!

For those of you wondering where you can find Roshani’s thread of thoughts, here is the link below!

ENRIQUE

A “nerdy Spanish-Filipino historian whose decision making is v food-centric.”

He reads!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I mean FOOD.

Automatically a cutie!

TRISTAN

I won’t lie….I am both frightened and intrigued at the thought of the tarantula character. And Tristan is a gardener, a work I will never be capable of doing!

HYPNOS

Rosh loves him, but he is terrible???? Sounds oh so intriguing!!! Look at that literal sparkling champagne!

ZOFIA

I love a girl who loves FIRE!!! I am very excited to see what science-y things my girl Zo has up her sleeve!

LAILA

Dubbed “Mom Friend”….I am the mom friend so I hope that I love her. I mean look at her. She already looks so fabulous!!!

SÉVERIN

I mean….just….”Nicholas Cage in National Treasure but make him sexy”

Goal achieved. Looking forward to meeting him *coughs*

These gorgeous character cards were all designed by Nicole Deal (@NicoleDealArt), whom you should definitely check out!


I hope you are all exciting for the release of The Gilded Wolves! I know I am and I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy soon!!!!

Let me know what you think! Have you read TGW? What did you think? Are you getting a copy today/tomorrow/soon? What character seems the most intriguing to you?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz


 

I read Kingdom of Ash | A Farewell Post to a Series I Will Not Miss

Greetings readers!

Well, here I am. I am finally finished with the Throne of Glass series. Thank God for that, phew. I am done and it feels good. I wasted precious time this Holiday season to read this monstrous book, and technically it is my first read book of 2019, but it is finally out of the way and I couldn’t be more relieved!

I can finally scroll through Instagram liberally without having to worry about spoilers!!!!

Before I truly begin, I just want to release an official statement as to how this post is gonna go down. It’s not gonna be all sunshine and rainbows. I’m petty, bitter and just tired. I hope you guys don’t take any of what I say to heart. If you love this series, that’s great. Amazing! I’m so happy for you.

That being said…

1. This is not going to be a formal review. I will critique certain parts of it, but it will become more of a rant than a review.

2. This is going to be spoilery!!! Both for this book and the previous books!

3. I have a very unpopular opinion on this series, so if you came here to fight me, be rude to me, insult me in the comments section, you can kindly find the exit button. Otherwise stay! Any rude comments will be kindly ignored.

4. If you disagree with me, that is a-okay! I welcome it! Just be civil and I will kindly agree to disagree!

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

You mean Kingdom of TRASH….*too much too soon?*

Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7)Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pub Date: Oct 23rd, 2018
ISBN: 9781619636101
Goodreads

Years in the making, Sarah J. Maas’s #1 New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series draws to an epic, unforgettable conclusion. Aelin Galathynius’s journey from slave to king’s assassin to the queen of a once-great kingdom reaches its heart-rending finale as war erupts across her world. . .

Aelin has risked everything to save her people―but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture. Aware that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, though her resolve begins to unravel with each passing day…

With Aelin captured, Aedion and Lysandra remain the last line of defense to protect Terrasen from utter destruction. Yet they soon realize that the many allies they’ve gathered to battle Erawan’s hordes might not be enough to save them. Scattered across the continent and racing against time, Chaol, Manon, and Dorian are forced to forge their own paths to meet their fates. Hanging in the balance is any hope of salvation―and a better world.

And across the sea, his companions unwavering beside him, Rowan hunts to find his captured wife and queen―before she is lost to him forever.

As the threads of fate weave together at last, all must fight, if they are to have a chance at a future. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever in the explosive final chapter of the Throne of Glass series.

Before Reading:

I tried to go in with the most open mind I could possibly have. Any preconceived notions about the book that I had, I tried to let go. But let’s be honest. I have a deep dislike for this series. Hatred may be too strong a word, but it’s not that far off from it.

I don’t hate SJM, that is not fair and I do not agree with people who hate authors because they dislike the direction of their stores. I wish no ill on SJM, I just fell out of love with the series.

Despite my best efforts, here are a few of the things I tried to not think about going in…but inevitably obsessed over.

  1. Chaol is going to die and nothing will stop me from hating this series.
  2. Dorian is going to die too because he is gonna sacrifice himself for Alien.
  3. I am gonna have to put up with the smuttiest of scenes between Aelin and Rowan *vomits*
  4. I am gonna have to put up with all the Alien Ashton Galifinakis worshipping (or whatever the Hell her name is)
  5. CHAOL IS GONNA DIE WHICH MEANS YRENE WILL DIE, WHICH MEANS I WILL HATE THIS SERIES FOREVER.

During Reading:

Y’all I opened to the very first page of the book, to the very first scene and I wanted to chuck it across the room already. I just could NOT. It’s Rowan’s POV and he says and does such Rowan things and I just couldn’t bleh bleh blehhhhhhhhhhh

Then came Alien’s POV and uuuugggghhhhh I just could not again. Did I feel happy that she was being tortured? No, I’m no sadist. It was just the realization that I had to read 992 pages of this that I could not bear.

It took 6 chapters to get to Chaol. 6! And even then I only got a page and a half from him.

I trudged through this book people, trudged. There were too many people to follow, too many couples that needed their romantic subplot, their own battles and their time to give glorious speeches about the amazingly-totally-awesome Aelin. Ew.

Some things I noticed while reading that I just could NOT deal with:

1. The use of “MATE.”

You could honestly make a drinking game with this word and we would all be drunk by the end of the fifth chapter. That is how many times this word is written? Who is it uttered by, you may ask? None other than Alien and her magical Fae Prince. *barf* I know some of y’all out there find this cute and romantic…I do not. I personally think they make themselves sound a lot more like wild animals.

2. Worshipping the Alien’s Ass.

Whooooweeee I COULD NOT STAND THIS. LIKE SHE IS NOT EVEN THAT GREAT OR AMAZING. WHY THE HELL IS SHE PRAISED FOR EVERY SINGLE LITTLE THING THAT SHE DOES? I AIN’T SAYING SHE HASN’T DONE SOME GOOD IN HER LIFE, BUT PUH-LEASE I DO NOT SEE HER LIKE SOME GOD.
And it’s not just the characters that worship her, but the literal plot and revelations of the story have to support those claims of her amazingness. Of course she is not only queen of Terrasen or whatever, but she has to be a Fae Queen too and all the magical creatures have to worship her.

Give me a fucking break. Nah.

And then there is her court, who are honestly ugh. I am so done with them. #1 is Rowan because honestly I find no interest in him. SO bland and boring and honestly all he does is snarl whenever somewhere dares question/challenge something Alien says. He obviously needs to relax and ooof there was one scene, I just needed him to get out. Fenrys is doubly guilty of this.

3. This book is too fucking long.

Almost 1000 pages and more than half is filler content where nothing happens and the characters haven’t moved from the same spot they started the chapter in. It got boring real fast in places (*coughs–Aedion’s chapters were the most boring of all*) and I just felt like skipping.

4. Everyone was horny.

This book has 4-6 straight couples in this book and they each need there sexy times. None more than Alien and Her Rowan of course *eye roll* and I honestly could have lived without it. There are some fifty-shades scenes up in there. Not everyone went full out and it was not as long as that beach scene from EoS, but blerrrrgggghhhhhhhh.

The sweet and tender moments were replaced with the hot and heavy action. It just killed a lot of the ships.

5. Milking Sorscha’s death.

Hurt like hell. Sorscha was a star in Heir of Fire, I loved her and the way that SJM tortured Dorian with her death hurt.

After Reading:

How absolutely underwhelming.

*SPOILERS ARE GETTING BIGGER–BEWARE*

1. First we must pay our respects for the dead

*moment of silence*

I’l be honest, one of these deaths hurt me more than the other. It was really sad and soooo unfair. I didn’t cry, but I was still emotionally hurt by their final scene. And I use “their” because this was a group death. It was totally epic and really impacted one of my favourite characters.

The other death, well okay it happened. Like I was sad that this person died, but was I struck down with major emotion?…No. I’m not saying I am happy that they died either…it’s just that it impacted a secondary character and honestly I felt the death was brushed under the carpet so that the romance could bloom.

2. Now let’s talk Ships *Super spoilery for this book so I caution you*

Aelin and Rowan: Couldn’t give a bigger damn. Actually want to vomit. Ew.

Lorcan and Elide: The best romance in the book. I liked both characters and am very happy with their ending.

Manon and Dorian: Don’t end up together-together, but still end up together. Idk…look I like them together and all, but like what is their connection? All I got from their relationship were the sexy times.

Chaol and Yrene: My baby is gonna be a daddy. I am such a proud momma. I feel like their romance was fully cemented in the ToD so there was nothing new coming from them in this book that particularly excited me.

Aedion and Lysandra: *Unpopular opinion here again* Lysandra deserved waaayyy better. I’m sorry, I know y’all adore Aedion, but I just do not see it. I do not hate him, don’t get me wrong, but ???? I just do not see it! I don’t get it. It is possible that someone can sway me here, you just have to be super convincing.

3. My actual thoughts on the plots ending.

A. I liked how SJM brought in all the novella characters and company to really tie in all the books together (because let’s be honest books 1 and 2 take place on another fricking planet than the rest). I didn’t remember the details of most of them, but I still enjoyed seeing semi-familiar faces.

B. I liked the tribute to Yrene’s heroicness. Because my girl is amazing and I adore her and would read SJM again if it is about her.

C. The destruction of Maeve was so anti-climatic. All these people do is talk. Talk. Evil talk. Glorious heroic talk. Blah. Blah. Blah. BLAST. Maeve is dead. COME ON. Did no one else find this severely underwhelming????

D. Ya’ll I did not get the symbolism in the final final scene. WTF is the Kingsflame? A flower?

MORE ELOQUENT REVIEW-TYPE THOUGHTS

The Okay things

  • I liked everyone, but Aelin and Rowan
  • It was suspenseful
  • The goodbye scene between the original trio–so much love (!!!!!!!!!!)

The NO-kay things

  • Toooo looooooonnnnnngggggg, this could honestly be a 500 pg novel and we could have the same ending. Really needs to cut the crap (about 500 pages of it)
  • The final-final battles are so underwhelming!!!!!
  • The deaths (although sad) not nearly enough to create raw impact.

Rating: 2.75 / 5 Stars

Recommend: I say no, but you guys do you.


Overall, I am relieved to be done. I didn’t hate this book, but I don’t care for it. This is not a series I will ever be picking up again, even if I have this major love for Chaol and other secondary characters, I just cannot deal with the others.

I do love Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight. I mean the “Get Up” scene is ICONIC. I will not deny you that. And I know a ton of you out there love this series and I am so happy for you. I hope that this ending fulfilled some of your wishes and that you enjoy your rereads if you so ever choose. I will never dump on you for liking these books, never, that is not me. I just dump on the books, not their readership. ❤

So I hope you are not all angry with me, I just have a lot of feelings and I need to vent.

And Finally

Farewell ToG, farewell my faves, farewell to all.

We will not meet again.

Let me know what you think! Are you a fan of the ToG series? (I love that you love it–no judgement!) Thoughts on the finale? Things you wish would have gone differently? A character you would like to see more of? Want to convince me that Aedion is not as crappy as I think he is? Shoot your shot!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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A Spark of White Fire | Review

Greetings readers!

This is my first review of the new year! (This is my first actual post for the new year–yay) And I am so excited to be talking about a book that I genuinely loved. I don’t read many space operas, but they have been a fascination of mine as of late for *reasons*.

I had an amazing time reading this book. I flew through it so fast! It’s a diverse, multicultural tale in space! How does that not make you want to read it?!?

A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna

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Publisher: Sky Horse Pony
Pub Date: Sept 11, 2018
Price: $27.99 CAD
ISBN: 978-1510733787
Goodreads

The first book in a scifi retelling of the Mahabrahata. When Esmae wins a contest of skill, she sets off events that trigger an inevitable and unwinnable war that pits her against the family she would give anything to return to.

In a universe of capricious gods, dark moons, and kingdoms built on the backs of spaceships, a cursed queen sends her infant daughter away, a jealous uncle steals the throne of Kali from his nephew, and an exiled prince vows to take his crown back.

Raised alone and far away from her home on Kali, Esmae longs to return to her family. When the King of Wychstar offers to gift the unbeatable, sentient warship Titania to a warrior that can win his competition, she sees her way home: she’ll enter the competition, reveal her true identity to the world, and help her famous brother win back the crown of Kali.

It’s a great plan. Until it falls apart.

Inspired by the Mahabharata and other ancient Indian stories, A Spark of White Fire is a lush, sweeping space opera about family, curses, and the endless battle between jealousy and love.


BUY IT

Chapters Indigo | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble


*I was provided a finished copy by Thomas Allen & Son in exchange for an honest review!*

What I Liked:

Characters:

Esmae: Amazing. I mean…amazing! She’s got (mommy) issues, but she’s amazing. Esmae plays by the heart and it gets her into a lot of trouble, but that brain of hers is also pretty out of this world. She is perhaps a little-just a little–snow flakey because she had to be the bestest warrior/fighter/strategist, but like I admired her tact, wit and will a lot!

Titantia: Yes, she is a spaceship. Yes, she is amazing. Yes, she reminds me of Iko when she dawned the Rampion…only a little less flamboyant than my dear Iko. But she had a real personality and wisdom that I enjoyed reading.

Other characters…there were many amazing characters to be had. A lot of them were unique. I really liked the depiction of the uncle! It was so contradictory and plays with your feelings, until you just do not know what to think!

The Family Conflict Plot!:

LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. Can I just say that I LOVED this part of the book? There was so much drama to be had. So many twists and turns of the head. Family struggle is one of my favourite points of conflict in novels, I mean you want Esmae to side with one side of her family…but like the other side has good points to them too. And the cons of both sides are revealed and you just don’t know what to do and you’re stuck like Esmae! It’s a great, horrible feeling to have if you know what I mean. (DO I even make any sense? Probably not.)

The Prophecy:

I am a sucker for prophetic plots. It is definitely overdone, but I can’t help it. I absolutely adore the challenge of fate!!!!! Trying to weave a path around was is inevitable and will eventually come to be! And then there are more revelations and just when you think that inevitable has been avoided it is thrown right at your face. I LIVE FOR THIS STUFF. AND THIS BOOK HAD IT. AND IT KEPT ME ON THE EDGE OF MY (BUS) SEAT (CUZ I READ THIS ENTIRELY ON COMMUTES) AND ALL THE BUILD UP WAS WORTH IT!!!

THE GODS COME OUT TO PLAY!!!!!!!:

I have said it before, I will say it again. WHEN THE GODS COME OUT TO PLAY, TROUBLE IS COMING TO THE CHARACTERS WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And my goodness, did these gods cause trouble. Absolutely terrific!

The Plot:

So much fun. From the games, to the back and forth of family meetings, to the final dual. It was all so fantastic! It is a retelling of the Indian epic, Mahabharata. I cannot say whether it is like really well done or not because I am not familiar with the tale and I don’t really think a quick skim of the Wikipedia page makes me any kind of expert. I WILL HOWEVER say that the fish challenge was super awesome!

The Romance:

They are not cousins. That is all.

But it was also very cute and not the focus, but added to the drama!

What I Disliked:

I don’t have many complaints. Um a map would have been nice. There are a lot of planets, kingdoms and ships to keep track of. I also hope that the mom character is delved into a little bit more. She was a major source of conflict in this book, but not present at all so I’m hoping that will be coming in the sequel!


Overall, I really enjoyed this book! It was fast-paced, full of action, the prophecies were amazing. Mandanna really took me on an adventure! I flew through it and you know that means that I had a great time with it!

Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars

Recommend: UM YES. THIS BOOK IS SO UNDERRATED AND YOU NEED TO GET ON IT NOW!

Let me know what you think! Did you enjoy this book? What epic retellings would you like to read? Can anyone recommend me a good Mahabharata movie/series/book that I can watch or read that will give me a better appreciation for it?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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