Popular Disliked Characters that I Like | An Unpopular Opinion Post I guess??? // Don’t @ Me please

Greetings readers!

Look people, we all have those characters we cannot stand. Exhibit A, me with most of SJM’s characters. And sometimes we can’t help but speak out on that dislike, see my case with Exhibit A again. But other times we like the characters that others don’t. Sometimes we like the very not popular characters and well…we all need some good drama in our lives.

I figured I’d out myself and tell you all about the popular disliked characters that I enjoyed! I fully recognize that they are not perfect and yet…I still like them okay gosh!

Scarlett Dragna (Caraval)

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Okay, I admit she is not too disliked, but people like to whine about her. They like to judge her for not being as daring, brash and outspoken as Tella which annoys me to a tee!!! Not every single YA heroine has to be fiercely cunning and risk-taking. Is she flawed? Yeah. Do her insecurities and does her shyness get her in trouble? Yeah. But that is who she is! If she grows and becomes more that is amazing, but I truly enjoyed seeing a YA heroine who didn’t have a spark so readily available and that she builds courage.

Alina Starkov (Shadow and Bone)

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She is not just a basic bitch people (Have y’all read Red Queen and met Mare???—yup that’s the tea). Look I totally see why people get frustrated with her so easily, I really do. But can a girl catch a break? When you are thrust with all this power and told to be one thing by a really evil attractive dude and at the same time be told to be something else by a whole bunch of other people, you are going to panic! You are going to make bad decisions and that is what happens with Alina. But I really enjoyed her character, her power struggle, and her own battle with her desires.

Malyen (Mal) Orestev (Shadow and Bone)

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I fully admit that the man is a fool, but I can’t help it! I really can’t! I know many people do not like him for how he treats Alina, especially in book 2, but he tries his best to make up for it in book 3…! My argument for him is weak, I know. But he’s just a kid as much as Alina is just a kid. He makes poor choices because he doesn’t know how else to compete with all the power that surrounds him. I am fully aware that he was not Alina’s best choice, but he was her choice so…¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I’ll be honest though this is more of me not wanting to be on the losing side of this love quadrangle so…yeah.

Katherine (Three Dark Crowns)

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This is mostly in response to a close friend who dislikes Kat very much and me fighting her because I love Kat. My wicked, wicked girl. Bare in mind, I have only read the first two books so I do not know what goes down in book 3 or 4, but all I can say is that I really enjoyed her descent to madness. I loved her evilness!!!! I know what she does is so wrong, but I sense some redeeming qualities, I do!

Chaol Westfall (Throne of Glass)

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One of my husbands. And also an SJM character!?! This is a hill I will die on. HE WAS A FREAKIN AMAZING CHARACTER. He was flawed, made poor choices, made great choices. Nehemia’s death was not his fault. His treatment by the other characters is not always fair. Like I get that sometimes he needs a talking to to face the facts, but some times I just wanted to yell at everyone else for treating him horribly for not worshiping the Alien’s ass. He was one of the greatest characters in that series, Alien, Rowan, and Aedion can suck it. *calm down, Rendz* I know he gets a good ending, but I will always–ALWAYS–be bitter. (Especially about the ToD cover)


I hope I didn’t give any of you heart attacks for having some unpopular opinions! But sometimes you can’t help but swim against the current! Now tell me! Who you love that others love to dump on? I want to know all your secrets! Especially with how you deal with the criticism of it all!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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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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Tower of Dawn | Review

Greetings readers!

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I have long awaited this book. Not because I have been dying to read more SJM, not because I want to know more about that super important revelation she mentioned. No. I read this because I LOVE, I repeat I LOVE Chaol Westfall. And if you disagree or are completely perplexed at this little confession of mine, well I don’t really care. 🙂

What can I say? I’m going to start with stating the obvious:

  1. My life would have been much easier had I not read the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas
  2. I’m in love with Chaol Westfall, so I go forth for him.
  3. I am Petty when it comes to this series. P. E. T. T. Y.

I will in advance warn you about my pettiness.

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Books stress me out guys, this series just makes me plain angry and argghhhhhh! I hold unpopular opinions in this fandom that would have me incarcerated by others. Just kidding. I just have a lot of arguments with a lot of people who try to “change my mind”. News flash: it ain’t gonna happen! I just can’t.  Thinking about *certain* characters raises my blood pressure and I get frustrated with everything!

If you haven’t read this series (I applaud you for staying away. Honestly save yourself the trouble) well I can’t protect you from spoilers of books 1-5 anymore. I will highlight the spoiler stuff from this specific book, but I cannot guarantee you not getting spoiled about anything else in the series. So sorry.

I feel like this review is going to be full of unpopular opinions…but not in the way you might expect.

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

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via Goodreads

In the next installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, follow Chaol on his sweeping journey to a distant empire.

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica—the stronghold of the southern continent’s mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.

But what they discover in Antica will change them both—and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.

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I love Chaol. Plain and simple. So many people fight me over why and all I do is point out that he is one hell of a flawed human, who makes mistakes, who has regrets, who is loyal, who sacrificed everything he had for his King, and tells it as it is. Did I mention this guy is 🔥🔥🔥?! Well, I’m shouting from the rooftops! CHAOL IS 🔥🔥🔥!!!!!! He gets so much hate and I can’t stand it, but I deal with it. Guys, I’m cool, okay? I deal with it. I disagree 1000000% and may get a little (very) flustered but I’m cooooool! I’m cool. *she said not very cool-like*

So yeah, if your an anti-Chaol kind of person, your reading a review by a pro-Chaol-anti-the-main-characters kind of gal. Just a fact.

I’m writing this in public and trying not to look like a flustered and obsessive fool….

*actual footage of Rendz*

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It’s so not working!

Okay, let’s get to it.

What I Liked:

Characters:

Chaol: *just gushing and swooning in public here* Ummm yeah. For all the reasons highlighted above. Flawed and human and hot and loyal and the total package! *at least one of you out there rolled your eyes…I sense you.* So Chaol, currently paralyzed waist down with a working manhood. Just facts guys, just facts. Don’t get weird on me. But yes, he travelling with Nesryn (friend w/ benefits?) to go and find the famed healers of the Southern Continent in hopes that he might be able to walk again. Chaol grows immensely in this book. He is a natural pessimistic so trying to see the bright side in things isn’t exactly his forte. He knows that the likely hood of him getting up again is slim so he learns to find hope. He is also trying to get together some allies to help aid them with the huge war brewing in the North. Neither tasks are easy and he goes through so many struggles, especially having to deal with the cunning and stubborn Khagan court.  But most importantly having to deal with his own inner turmoils.

Let’s just say…

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Nesryn: Yeah so our dear Nes here was brought into this series as a love interest really, it’s that obvious in Queen of Shadows. She isn’t so up front in that book, like she is in this one: so if your complaint for “not liking her” is equivalent to “not knowing enough about her” then I suggest you read this book because she is a pretty great gal!  She does have family from the Southern Continent so going back was like having a grand reunion with people she hadn’t seen in a while! I love how important her family is to her. And not just her immediate family, but all her relatives and people of the South. She is a resilient character, keeping her head up despite the many struggles she faces. I love how she found a sense of kinship even though she hadn’t seen her home in years, it’s so precious! Suffice to say that I loved that her character was explored in this book, that we got to see more than one side to her!

Yrene: I loved Yrene in the novella The Assassin & the Healer, I thought she had potential to move on to be a great character! I mean she was a healer in a time when magic was banned and she was going on an adventure to the south. Low and behold here she is in the midst of her adventure!!! I honestly fell even more in love with Yrene in this book. She was sassy and smart but still the gentle, kind and curious soul I remember her to be. She is fully fleshed out in this book, her past gets delved into deeper and some of the prejudices she harbours change too! Plus her bickering and teasing with Chaol always made my day!

Different World: Instead of it always being cold now it’s just tremendously hot. And you know what that means, Chaol has his shirt off all the time and that, ladies and gents, makes me very happy. As mentioned, this book takes place in the Southern Continent and the Khagnate which I believe was inspired by the Mongol Empire. So every character was pretty much a PoC, save those hailing from the North. I loved the change of setting a lot, I enjoyed this new built in world which had new laws and different societal norms. I liked that SJM really emphasized the differences between the north and the south and how it would come to affect Chaol’s goal in retrieving allies.

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Diversity was Better: This is true. In terms of different characters there is a wider variety. Most of the character are PoC seeing as it takes place in the south where skin colours range from light to dark brown. There are gay characters, one of the more principle royals is lesbian, and of course there is Chaol and his disability. Now I hesitate to comment on the disabled rep because I am not the person to say if it was done good or badly. I will however mention that Chaol did say that he hated people who said he would be “fixed” because he is not “broken”. So I appreciated that at least. Otherwise, I would have to look into someone else’s views on that particular rep. This is a step up from SJMs usual white washed world so pat on the back for that.

Suspense: I will be honest there is not a lot of action in this one. It’s mainly talking and healing and some more talking. There are most definitely action scenes! Nesyrn can be thanked for that! A new type of magical creature is introduced which was so much fun to explore!! But action I think really takes a back seat. What really kept me glued to the pages was the political circles that the Great Khagan and his Court were making Chaol and Nesryn run around.  So many twists.  So many moments where I was left a little perplexed as to how difficult they were making this journey for him. But it kept me glued and that is what I want people! To be glued. Not to mention Chaol’s journeys into himself and fighting whatever was brewing in that wound of his also added to the suspense and mystery of the story.

Romance: My baby is happy and that’s all that matters to me. Not going to lie though. This romance plot had me stressed to the highest levels and we had to revisit his last nasty break up which just hurt my soul. Y’all have no idea how affected I was when Chaolaena sunk. Sad doesn’t even cover it. Devastated. Distraught. Anguished. But now he’s happy and that’s the most I could ask for.  The sexy scenes were still more NA then YA, but I ship the ship so I was cool with it, not sure it’s appropriate for the 12 yr olds out there, though. However, I think they were less intense than EoS.

*might be spoilery*

Chaol’s face: I loved it before and now it’s just 10000000x better.

*end of might be spoilery*

What I Disliked

*Pettiness to come*

Slow Beginning: It took five-ever to get this going. Look, I appreciate a 600 page novel on my baby, but at least let there be something happening. I totally understand why people were kind of complaining because literally little to nothing happens in those first 100 pages! Still I stuck through because Chaol! And I hope you stick around too because it gets 1000x better!

The Cover: I.  WILL. NEVER. GET. OVER. IT. NO. NO. NO. CHAOL SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON THE COVER. FIGHT ME! I did rant about this in a separate post however so you can see more of my anger there: Tower of Dawn Cover & My Thoughts

The fan made one is still 100000000x better.

The Idolization of Rowan and Aelin: *pitch forks and torches suddenly surround Rendz* I hated this with a passion. *pitch forks get closer to Rendz* This book couldn’t go three pages without mentioning the mysterious Queen of the North, the Fireheart, the Queen and her Fae Prince, the….I DON’T GIVE A DAMN! Aelin is in no way a saint and this book honesty paints her as one every three pages. I literally counted how many times Chaol was mentioned in EoS; 13! 13. This is a 600 page novel and I have to endure her being talked about like a saviour every three pages! Sometimes twice on one page! There was however, one page where Chaol was going through a tough time and he said he hated Aelin and everything she did to ruin his life, I applauded. That was the best page ever. Things obviously change in the next page and we are back to praising her, but bless that page for saying the damn truth!

As you can see my pettiness with this series is strong and I’m not afraid to show it off!

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The Ending-Ending: I could have done without it, tbh. I know most others will however appreciate it.

Warning…More pettiness…..

Indigo (my big book retailer) had an Exclusive Edition…so of course I snatched it up! But I when I was thinking about a dust jacket poster, I was envisioning a beautiful scene from the book with my baby and perhaps Nesryn and Yrene at his side.

No.

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Gorgeous finished copies of the special editions of Tower of Dawn just landed on my doorstep!!! 😍😍😍 Can't believe I'm finally holding this book in my hands (don't let its size deceive you: this baby clocks in at 660 pages)! Thanks so, so much to the amazingly talented artists who so graciously let us feature their work!! From top left: Nesryn and Chaol by @taratjah in the Target edition (the back pages of this book feature pieces by @merwildandco and @charliebowater); the @barnesandnoble edition that features some sample pages from my notebook while writing ToD (not featured here bc of spoilers!); and the beautiful poster of ToG characters by @merwildandco, which will be available at @chaptersindigo and in Australia & New Zealand! Only one month left until ToD is out in the world!! #towerofdawn #chaolwestfall #yrenetowers #nesrynfaliq #throneofglass

A post shared by Sarah J. Maas (@therealsjmaas) on

Instead, I got Aelin & Co. ft. Chaol on the back flap. The back flap. I’m going to be honest, I was (extremely) mad when I first saw the poster, I was yelling a lot. I was angry for a good two hours, I just kept on repeating the words “disrespect” and “horrible” and making roaring noises. I laugh at myself when I think about my reaction now, since it is a pretty nice poster but still….I could have done without Aelin & Co. I would, however, keep Dorian and Manon!


Overall, I liked it. Will it top my love for Crown of Midnight…no. But it came close and I appreciate a whole book dedicated to my baby, Chaol despite it having a heavy mention of you know who. The info in this book is really important to the rest of the series so I obviously see why you have to read it and I am happy that I did!

Rating: 4 / 5 Stars (I would give Chaol all the stars though…anything for one of my book husbands!)

Recommend: Well duh! If you are gonna read the finale you kind of have to know what went down in this one. Plus, I need to find more Chaol-supporters out there!! Find me!!

Well, this is the end for now. The finale comes out next fall for all those wondering. I honestly am fine with this, I need a break from all this SJM. Who knows what I’ll do when I get to her other series, it won’t be for a while!

Let me know what you think! What did you guys think? Where my Chaol lovers at? Did some of the twists surprise you? If you want to rip me a new one about Chaol, go ahead, but I will always disagree. Just stay civil, no pitchforks!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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Empire of Storms Review: It’s Unpopular Opinion Time!

Greetings readers!

Sometimes I like to take a moment and think about how much easier my life would be had I not picked up Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. Had I avoided this overly-hyped series and steered myself in different fantastical direction.

But no.

Rendz succumbed to the pressure and read this overly hyped, fantasy series that has gone so down in her books. So, so down.

After having tolerated Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows, I avoided reading Empire of Storms since it came out. I didn’t even care if the spoilers rolled out left, right and center. I was done with this series.

Then I remember the reason I continue on with the series. I remember the character that keeps me going.

Chaol Westfall

*boos from the crowd*

You can hate him all you want. Rub his name in the dirt, but I LOVE him. He is one of the few reasons (the main reason) that I put up with this series!

I dreaded taking this book out of the library. I dreaded having to put my TLC reread on hold for this! I hated that I would sit for two hours and not even make a dent in my reading because the pages were so thin and this book was 700 pages long!!

Please prepare yourselves for a rather long and rant-y review.

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via giphy.com

*deep breaths*

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5)
via Goodreads

KINGDOMS WILL COLLIDE.

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. 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.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Timesbestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what—and who—to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.

I was never going to love – or even like – this book. I forced myself to read this. Forced. However, it would be false to say that I didn’t enjoy some parts of this book, but I definitely (as a whole) did not enjoy reading this. It was a completely different tone, mood, and overall story from the first books. I just wanted to get this agony over with.

The Very Few Things I Liked

Side Characters: (You will find the MCs in another section….down below!)

Manon: A LITERAL QUEEN. Another one of the reasons I stick around this mess, is for her. A blood thirsty, conniving and kickass witch!!! I love that despite all her “I have no heart that cares” she actually cares! She can be compassionate without being too gooey. I also loves when she tells Aelin to stop being such a sap and get over herself. (Golden moment)

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via giphy.com

Lysandra: Another queen! After being kind of iffy about her in QoS, I absolutely adored her in this one. She is so strong, intelligent and able! She is not just a pretty thing on the side, NO. She is upfront and ready to bear her teeth if necessary! Do not disrespect Lysandra! SHAPESHIFTER FOR THE WIN!

Elide: Cinnamon roll, who you want to protect, but your efforts are futile because she can do it (mostly) herself! I liked her a lot. I found her parts of the story the most interesting and I wanted to read more about her! She is deceiving, a fast-thinker and doesn’t let her disability keep her from playing the game! I really want more of her!

Fenrys: Fenrys…Fenrys…Fenrys. I really do like him. I’m not sure exactly why. Yes he is hot, but there is something else there too. Also his past…just…heart breaking.

Gavril: He’s okay. Not really explored as a character. I do hope he makes up with Aedion though and we actually get a good parent/child relationship going on.

Lorcan: Lorcan. Lorcan. Lorcan. (I totally forgot who you were, while I was reading the first chapters of this book.) I love you, but you’ve got issues. Fix them and figure out, hun. He’s the kind of character that I want to hug and at the same time strangle. Depending on his actions or words. Still love him though!

Dorian: My poor baby. Got ZERO respect from the other characters. ZERO. I felt bad for him. He wasn’t exactly the Dorian, I remember and love, but I still liked him more than certain others.

Female Friendships: The female friendships are still going strong in this series. There isn’t just one, there are several so I really appreciate that. The ladies work strongly together, they help each other through thick and thin! They are such goals!!

Action: I will not deny the large chunks of action scenes and suspenseful events in the book. They did keep me on my toes for the most bit, so I was sucked in at points. However, I do have have to complain about the magic used in battles. It’s very vague and how it is wielded did not vary from character or type of magic. It’s all the same and it got boring.

The Longish and Rant-y List of Things I Disliked

Main Characters:

Aelin (gags):

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via giphy.com
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via giphy.com

I just can’t muster up any sort of good feelings towards her. None. “She is so out of this world” *rolls eyes* Conniving and cunning and not to forget drop dead gorgeous *rolls eyes some more* Not gonna lie I have some respect for her and her cleverness but other than that she was nothing to me. She hasn’t been since book 3. She’s sooooo arrogant that it irks me! Like, hello the world will not fall at your feet! She’s not even remotely redeemable in my eyes and not fit to be queen, the one point I agree on Darrow with (who was in this book for 2 seconds).

Rowan (vomits):  *tomatoes thrown at Rendz*

 

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I honestly have never and will not ever see the appeal. I just don’t get why people like him so much. I don’t! I don’t even find him that attractive. Silver hair? Ummm NO. Abs? Sure. Territorial and jealous if another dude just so happens to look at his queen? Ew gross. I thought maybe in this book he might be able to keep it in his pants because let’s be honest that was his whole purpose in QoS. That so did not happen. I just don’t like him. I don’t understand him. And it irks me to see that so many people fawn over him and get all googly-eyed whereas I’m like; if he dared bite my friggin neck I chuck him out soooooo fast. That ain’t cute! I don’t care if he’s FAE, it ain’t cute!

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via giphy.com

Romance AKA The Sudden Evolution into NA: This is no longer a YA series. Not with that amount of sexual content. Now, I know more people are opening discussion about having sex in YA: should it or should it not be done. Here is where I stand. It can, but not like it was in this book. Not with these descriptions. First of all, I don’t ship Rowaelin so I knew I wasn’t going to like this aspect of the book. Aelin and Rowan’s sexual tensions and romance scenes literally made me want to gag. It was atrocious! And for those of you thinking “Rendz isn’t mature, she can’t handle this stuff” Honey no. I have read sexy scenes, ok. From NA books. I have watched sexy scenes in movies, but you know they are targeted to older audiences!! And these scenes. Ugh. They were so cringy. I was laughing at how absolutely ridiculous they were while going through them.

All I thought about while reading, NO skimming those scenes were the two little girls, barely 12 or 13 who went to the SJM signing who were carrying this book (obviously having read or are going to read it) and thinking about them reading chapter 38 or reading about the freaking blow job (yes I said it and its in the damn book). Just nope. Nope. NOPE. Even I was scarred.

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via giphy.com

And it’s not just Rowaelin with the sexy times, they just get a lot more of it (with more descriptions) but Manon and Dorian suddenly because sex crazy too and have to hook up. Also Lorcan and Elide (who I do ship) had to have sexy times as well, but I’m glad theirs was less detailed.

I just couldn’t people. Trust me when I say I was cringing and laughing at every sex scene. I was red in the face of embarrassment because I couldn’t believe I was reading that. It was so not what I signed up for.

And to think that this is probably going to happen in Tower of Dawn too! At least in that one, I ship the ship.

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via giphy.com

Nothing happened: It’s not that nothing happened at all, some battles, some betrayal some conquests. But it took forever to finally feel like something was happening! The grand revelation wasn’t so grand to me. *Spoiler* I knew she was going to have to die and I won’t lie: I laughed. Laughed because I know that she probably won’t die and it will probably be Dorian and I hate that. *End spoiler*

Some epic battle scene and boom I just read 700 pages of flipping view points.

Trying to Sprinkle in the Diversity (and it’s not even that great): At least she tried. SJMs world is white. Perhaps Nesryn is a poc or she’ll just be tan. Not the sun kissed gorgeous tan of the FAE (code for sun burnt white) or the haunting porcelain white of the witches. She’ll just be tan. (So wonderfully descriptive!) Every character had to be so damn beautiful, not a single thing can mar their perfectly toned muscles and abs. Their thin bellies and lush breasts.

Then she’s starts to sprinkle (and when I mean sprinkle I mean sprinkle) lgtbq characters here and there. One side character’s bisexuality is mentioned, but not developed. Just to say “hey I like dudes and girls, ok! Moving on”. A super duper minor gay character and there you have it.

Would it have made a bigger impact to have characters of colour and different sexual orientations up front. Yes. But were they there? No.

Territorial Fae: I know that some people find these controlling relationships as sexy and oh so romantic, ya me no. I don’t want to be claimed. I don’t want to be bitten/marked as though I were a piece of land. I don’t see the appeal. I don’t find it romantic. If Lorcan and Elide end up being like that well I’ll be very disappointed!

*Spoiler ahead*

The Conversation of Colonialism  and Conquest: In the book, Aelin and Rowan have a literal conversation about conquering more lands after taking back Terrasen. She legit said that if she gets “bored” of being queen she will conquer and gain more land to be empress! So her damned children can inherit the stars. EXCUSE ME! How dare you even think that. If you get bored go find a fucking new hobby! How can she possibly think that she would go out to conquer? After having her own land conquered and suffering at the hands of others she would dare to think that’s she would do that to others. She can’t possibly think that people will say “yes conquer us and takes what is ours!” Hell no! They will fight and there will be blood. I was so disgusted by this scene! Horrible. At least she admits its a dumb idea, but the fact that she even considered it. IRKED. ME.

*End of Spoiler*


So yeah, I’m gonna say one more thing: After reading it (like after turning the last page) I liked it. A lot. The ending was great and I had to applaud Aelin, even Rowan for their actions. But then I simmered and thought. I found myself knocking down stars. For the reasons mentioned above. Some things were just too much for me and it ruined the story sorry.

Rating: 3 / 5 ( Tempted to lower it) 

Recommend: I stopped recommending this series after book 3, I leave it up to you to decide. O_O

I know a lot of people out there love this series, this book even more. But I just could not deal with it. If you do love this book, that’s great! I hold no rancour against you. But personally, I didn’t like this.

I only read it so I could read CHAOL’S novel, Tower of Dawn. And to be honest I’m very worried. If that book is just as sexy time filled and empty in every other aspect, I will be very disappointed.

End of rant. *pants*

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

get-reaidng

Tower of Dawn Cover & My Thoughts

Greetings readers!

I don’t even now how to start this. I am laughing to myself right now really because of the emotions I feel when I saw this…

The Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas cover reveal.

via sarahjmaas.com

I hate it.

I hate it immensely.

When I saw it, I actually hated it with a passion.

Rage was not a word to describe my anger.

It was a mix of fury, disappointment, sadness, feeling offended, insulted.

A whole lot of that.

Context:

This book is part of the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas which I had a huge fall out with because of the turn of events and the 180º character personality changes. Mind you, I have yet to read the fifth book, Empire of Storms, but I am not anticipating it. 

This book specifically is about the captain of the guard, Chaol Westfall and his journey to the Southern Continent. It takes place in the same timeline as EoS but will not feature any of the characters like the main character Aelin. 

I was so happy that Chaol was going to get his own book. So damn happy. No Aelin. No Adarlan. No Fae (for now at least). No Rowan. NO AELIN! A breath of fresh air. Chaol and other side characters like Dorian, Manon and Elide are the only real reason I stick around this series.

So this cover was supposed to be epic. Chaol Westfall on his own cover! YES! GIVE IT TO ME! He deserves it! After all the hate and dramatics he has been put through in the books and from the fandom, he deserved to be on his own book cover.

But NO.

I open Instagram and all I see is a shield, with a bird and the Southern Continent cityscape.

Hell's Kitchen fox angry frustrated seriously GIF
via giphy.com

What makes it worse is that I had just written one of my exams and it went so well. I was so thrilled, only to have to be have my day crushed by this cover.

CHAOL SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON THE COVER! I DON’T CARE IF THE SHIELD IS A SYMBOL OR WHATEVER, HE DESERVED TO BE ON THIS COVER.

HE DESERVED IT.


I don’t think it’s ugly. 

It is just not what I wanted, nor what should have been decided as the final cover art.

There was so much opportunity here.

*spoiler for QoS* 

Chaol is paralyzed right now, they could have showcased an impaired character on the cover of a huge YA series. That would have been powerful. Respectful. The amount of cookie points it would have given SJM in the diversity sector because we all know she is lacking. Nesryn is a person of colour! (Well I pretty sure she is!) HELL, they could have put her on the cover just to keep in tune with the fighter girl front cover and the dressy girl back cover.

*end of spoiler*

BUT  NO.

A lame shield.

So now these art directors have really messed up.

Although, Chaol is not a woman, he being on the cover would have resembled the other covers with a HUMAN PERSON!

BUT NO!

*say it with me now*

A LAME SHIELD.


So yes, I hate this cover. Call me petty for hating a cover. But yeah, I hate it.

I know Chaol is not in the good graces of many of you. A lot of you think he is an ass, rude…blah..blah..blah. I cannot and will not agree with you on that.

But do you honestly think this cover matches the flow of the others?

It’s up to you.

IF IT WERE UP TO ME THAT COVER WOULD HAVE NEVER LEFT THE SKETCHING STAGES.

It’s the truth and I will not guard my opinion.


Then people on the internet started being amazing and adorable people. Hence why I love the internet at times.

They blessed my eyes with these.

For those of you who wanted a cover with my Abs. 
#chaoltalks #chaolwestfall #dorianhavilliard #aelingalathynius #manonblackbeak #rowanwhitethorn #throneofglass #crownofmidnight #heiroffire #queenofshadows #empireofstorms #towerofdawn #sarahjmaas #nesrynfaliq

There are others out there too that are pretty funny too! So thank you people for making these and making me feel a little better.

 


On a final note:

DEAR SARAH J. MAAS, BLOOMSBURY ART DIRECTION TEAM, THE COVER DESIGNER AND ANYONE ELSE WHO HAD A SAY IN THIS COVER,

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If not, then I have other means.

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This calls for divine intervention.

Thank you,

Sincerely,

The Heartbroken Rendz


End of long rant. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. I know it has been the talk of the town lately. You can try to woo me to like it, but I won’t. Still I respect your opinion and there as there is no room for bad blood among bloggers. 

I just have bad blood with this cover, okay!

Happy reading!

And here is to hoping this cover is a joke and something better will come along.

~ Rendz

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In Which I Attended a Sarah J. Maas Signing

Greetings readers!

I honestly wanted this to be one of the most exciting posts I have ever written. It is not. I wanted this to be thrilling, fun and entertaining for you all. It probably still is, it’s just that it is a sad kind of funny. As in my weekend was not great and I felt really bad for most of my Sunday!

Related image
via Pinterest! 

This picture, this kid!, summarizes my entire expression and all my emotions that I felt last Sunday! 

What can I say? I had been anticipating this event for MONTHS!

Sarah J. Maas, a huge, huge author coming to my hometown. I was going to be able to meet SJM! WHAT?!?! When I found out I couldn’t even concentrate on my school work anymore, which made me miss an entire chemistry lesson. I still aced the test. *flips hair*

SO why did it turn out to be so sucky?

Let’s start at the beginning.

*all gifs via giphy.com*


Sunday May 21st @ 4 a.m.
The Carbon Monoxide detector in my house starts to beep and holler.
My family wakes in a panic, thankfully nothing happens.
We go back to sleep and I notice the hard pounding of the rain outside.

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Same day @ 8:00 a.m.
My alarm goes off!
Time to get dressed for SJM.
Rendz is crazy excited.
Heads downstairs and makes breakfast. I check my iPod and notice that my wifi is wonky.
Damn it! The internet got cut from the rain, so I go down and fix it.
My dad says he’ll drop me off two hours before the mall opens so I can go stand in line.

9:00 a.m.
Internet is back.
Twenty different messages flood in from those hours I was away.
Most from a friend who was already at the signing.
She asks me where I am?
I tell her home and ask her how long the line is, should I rush.
She tells me that the line has reached capacity and there are no more wristbands left.
No wristband means no meeting SJM.

Heart sunk.

Family takes pity and we drive there anyways.

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9:30 a.m. at the mall
Over 250 people in line.
Indigo employees are kindly turning away any people who still try to stand in line.
There is no hope.
But I stand in the overflow line anyways.
Until angry looking security guards start glaring at us to move on and leave the line.
I leave the line.

sjm 1
In the overflow line


10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
I sulk.
And have lunch because I am hungry.

12:35 p.m.
Standing in Indigo with a million other people,
Craning my neck to see over tall heads.
I don’t see anything.
I overhear that there are Americans in the signing line who flew to Toronto to meet  SJM.
I get real bitter. (Are you serious how many events does she do in the US?)

1:15 p.m.
SJM shows up and you guessed it!
I cannot see her.
BUT I can hear her fine!
So I listen to her talk for 45 minutes.
She is funny and charming.

Here is what she talked about!


Discussion:

Musical Inspirations
Wrote ToG when she was 16 from listening to Cinderella’s “run away” song
Huge Lord of the Rings fan (president of Lotr club in her high school)
Fanfic writer of Harry Potter and Sailor Moon crossover!
Feyre came from listening to the first song on Princess Mononoke soundtrack  (She saw the whole first chapter in that one song)
Last scene in ACOWAR was inspired by final song in Princess Mononoke
SJM doesn’t have any talent in music whatsoever
At 12 she convinced her parents she wanted to take piano
Piano instructor was a witch with a B
They always fought
She had mortifying recitals (even her parents were mortified)
Played a very bad rendition of “my heart will go on ” at her last recital
After that no more lessons
Aelin plays piano because it’s  failed dream
No musical talent, yet music inspires her writing
Men on the Page 
When she writes a male character “it’s like how can I find a way to get his shirt off “
She still has her battered copy of Pride & Prejudice with gel pen hearts and all around the pages with Mr. Darcy
Real life conversations with her husbands often begin like this: “let me tell you about this hot man I saw!”
A little bit about Writing 
She had ACOTAR written since 2008, and in the middle of writing books for ToG she said she would share that story instead of waiting
She always said Rhys was the one.
SJM would never talk about sex to anyone (especially her parents)  but leaned about positive sex in books
Husband and Rhys not the same but they do share the quality that they love their partner unconditionally
“People who love you on your bad days are your family and friends” 
She is her own cruelest critic!
SJM doesn’t believe in guilty pleasures you, love what you love there is no shame
Side Character Details 
Nesta and Manon were gifts
Books would have been shorter without Manon but SJM fought and fought her editor to keep her
Likes writing all kinds of women, not all are sweet but some cold and nasty
Was there a brutal scene u wrote where you cried? 
ToG -last section of Empire of Storms destroyed her and she was in hysterical tears
Tower of Dawn: “talk about tears”
(A little bit about ToD)
Book that was supposed to be a novella
She sat down in November to write novella about Chaol
She ended up writing 4 chapters with 20000 words after 5 days 100000 words
7 months later it’s a novel
Takes place during EoS
Major stuff happens to understand last book
Chaol and Nesryn are MCs
AND Irene towers!
She loves this book
ACOTAR- Mist and Fury was emotionally hard to write
Chapter 70 onward she was cod tangly crying
In ACOWAR there is a certain event on  Pg 666….it’s so emotional and  she laughed laughed laughed!
What is Rhysand’s last name?
Hot pants
Harry Potter houses 
Rhys- Ravenclaw (because he looks good in those colours)
Cassian-  Gryffindor
Feyre-  hufflepuff
Aelin – slytherdor
Rowan – slytherdor
Manon – (Queen) slytherin
Aelin or Rhys who would win in a fight (Verbal or physical)?
Aelin would be too distracted by his good looks
Rhys would be too interested in magic: “show me those fire powers”
Of the 3 Night Court men order them in biggest to smallest Wingspan 
She won’t say
Where do you write/perfect place to write?
Wrote ACOWAR at desk in home office
Acts out all scenes in giant mirror
If you could ho anywhere with one character, where and who? 
The Louvre in Paris with Feyre
The Metropolitan Opera House in NYC  with Aelin
What are you currently reading? 
Flame in the mist by Renee Ahdieh
“So hard to put down”
*Yeah I was lazy so I just copied and pasted my notes how they were… but it makes sense, right?!*

2:00 p.m.
Overflow crowd a.k.a the parents of the kids in the signing line and the suckers who didn’t get wristbands (me) depart from the store.

This was my chance.
I crept slowly to the side of the store so I could get a visual of SJM.

My pictures don’t do any justice to what I saw, but I saw her at least.
My horrible pictures are shown below.
I was still so far away and these were taken with zoom!

Walked away from this mean-looking security guard who was staring me down for taking pictures.

And I went home.


I didn’t buy any books that day. I feel really dumb for not buying because there were some good deals I could have taken advantage of. However, I felt so deflated after the discussion, my neck hurt from trying to see over the heads of people and I had a headache emerging at the base of my head. I was tired and felt bitter. So I went home. I know now that there are some extra signed copies at that bookstore, but who knows when I will have the time to go back and get one!

I saw a couple girls, younger then me crying after they met SJM and my bitter mood elevated several levels. However, the worst part was definitely doing the walk of shame as I passed all the people in line and I got looks of pity from them. I couldn’t stand that.

 annoyed ryan reynolds ugh eye roll eyeroll GIF

So it was not my favourite event. The Lady is a Champ still holds that title. I know I shouldn’t be too upset, it’s not anyone’s fault. Just mine for not thinking about how passionate people are, that they would go and wait outside of a mall at 3 a.m.

I have not been able to look at any SJM book without cringing, but I know one day I will laugh about this. I also know that one day she will come back and I will get another chance.

I also know that if Marissa Meyer comes to Toronto I will be camping outside of whatever store a week in advance. She is my true queen, I cannot miss her. But she hasn’t announced any tours yet and I’m crossing my fingers for Renegades


SO yeah…a rather long and sad post. ( I totally understand if you skimmed) But I think I shall start laughing about this day now! I still have money to spend on books so at least that is a plus!

Did you ever have any bad signing experiences or actually tell me about the good ones! Let’s keep the comments cheery!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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The Assassin’s Blade Mini-Review

Greetings readers!

Fun story….

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via giphy.com

An accurate sum of time it took me to read this book.

I started reading this on November 20th, 2016.

I finished reading this on April 2nd, 2017.

133 days.

Now I have a perfectly good excuse.

This was the first time I tried an audiobook. I borrowed it from the library in November and I would listen to it as much as I could. Well, from this experience I learned that audiobooks are not my cup of tea. Considering the fact that I don’t even like tea. Or coffee for that matter. It was just odd listening to someone but not actually seeing anyone. The narrator was fine, but listening to the book and not getting to see the words or flip the paged left me feeling blank and I just could not suck in the stories well.

Also, my mind would wander as mentioned in my previous Wrap-Up and thus I found out the struggle of trying to rewind an audiobook.

So, I stopped listening to it and instead borrowed the ebook. Much more suited for me. Still…it took me a while to read because December and January were tumultuous months in my personal life. I had to take some time off from reading and really focus my energy elsewhere. ALSO, other more important books came into my life..so..yeah.

Anyways, I’ve prepared a mini review for this because A) I wouldn’t do it justice with a full length review and B) I’ve already made this post so long with my intro.

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass, #0.1-0.5)
via Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

Contains all five novellas.

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin’s Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas – together in one edition for the first time – Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn’s orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

What I liked

  • CELAENA SARDOTHIEN THE OG! She might be horribly vain and selfish in this book, but regardless I liked her way more than Aelin. She is epic and I loved her in these prequels.
  • SAM CORTLAND, AT LONG LAST WE MEET! He is honestly so perfect. Just perfect. So perfect *breaks down crying* Perfect.
  • Exploring the worlds! We went to so many places!
  • So many characters. Some that come back in the later books of the series!
  • THE DORIAN AND CHAOL CAMEO IN The Assassin and the Underworld literally had me jumping around!
  • I think The Assassin and the Healer was my favourite story next to The Assassin and the Underworld I’m really hoping the healer comes back!
  • Such great villains. So many epic fights. It was a bloody mess *tries not to sound like a creep*
  • The heart-breaking ending I was expecting.
  • “My name is Sam Cortland and I will not be afraid”

What I Disliked

  • Slow parts in abundance. There were some parts that just dragged on and nothing happened.
  • Not always memorable. Umm…this could be partly my fault because it took me forever to read.
  • The Assassin’s Guild is still very vague to me in its structure and hierarchy. I wish more people from the Keep had been introduced or at least I would have liked to know about Arobynn’s other assassins.

Overall, I really enjoyed these prequels. I really wish I had read it before starting Throne of Glass or at least Queen of Shadows, it would have helped clear up a lot of backstory. I finally met Sam, and even through he is perfect on every level, Chaol Westfall still holds the #1 spot from the ToG men in my heart.  Sam is a very close second.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Recommend: Read this either before Throne of Glass or Queen of Shadows! Do not be like me and read it after!

Now…I promised myself I would read Empire of Storms right after this. But I have two review books due very soon to get out of the way so I probably will not start this until May?! Who knows!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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2016 Year in Review Tag

Greetings readers!

I come to you with another tag, there seems to be a lot I need to catch up on for being absent a couple of days. Even though we are a two weeks into 2017, it is still early enough to share fun stuff from 2016. Right?

I was (once again) tagged by Mandy from Book Princess Reviews to do the 2016 Year in Review Tag. She has a fabulous post up on her blog which you can see here. She always has great posts and tags so you should really go hang out on her blog too!

Let’s get started!

Trump vs. Clinton: Name is your favourite character rivalry.

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)     Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)

Chaol Westfall vs Rowan Whitehorn from the Throne of Glass series.

*minor possibly major spoilers here*

This is less of a character rivalry and more of a Fandom rivalry. The amount of arguments caused over these two characters is both ridiculous and laughable. I don’t like to fight people over plots we cannot control and although being on the losing side stings , I respect other peoples opinions.

I really liked LOVE Chaol. Let me put it out there. Crown of Midnight is amazing and absolutely thrilling. He has his good attributes and his flaws. He’s human, (like the only one in this series…) so he makes mistakes. I still enjoy his character, even though he’s been pushed aside. Then in Heir of Fire (book 3), Fae Warrior, Rowan is introduced. And he had a great PLATONIC relationship with Celaena, who by the end of the novel becomes Aelin. Rowan was never a favourite of mine. He was just a big, bulky, warrior who had to teach Celaena some tactful fae-warrior-ness, to defeat her enemies. I was alright with that.

But then in Queen of Shadows, this guy spent the whole novel, trying to keep it in his pants. Yes, he was helping Aelin (note: She is no longer Celaena, whom I liked better)  get revenge, but all the while having lustful thoughts and or trying to calm his hormone levels., i.e. dumping ice water over his head (not a lie, it’s in the book). I don’t find him interesting at all and honestly wish his relationship stayed a friendship with Aelin.

The point is, is that I’m on team Chaol. I do not have any interest in the new Aelin/Rowan ship, nor do I ship Aelin with Chaol, at all. I am Team Chaol because I do not think he deserves the hate and blame he has been getting throughout the recent novels. Being blamed for a certain characters death *when this character orchestrated their own death* is unfair and tiresome.

So although the rivalry doesn’t really involve pitting Chaol against Rowan physically, the amount of bitter remarks and retorts from each side of the fandom is enough to fill in this tag.

Turkey Failed Coup: A book you started but failed to finish? DNF.

Forbidden (Forbidden, #1)

Forbidden by  Kimberley Griffiths Little

I started this book at the beginning of the year and only made it nine chapters in. Parts of the novel intrigued me, like the culture and world. However, the first chapters didn’t grip me enough to continue on. There were definitely intense scenes, but not good enough to keep reading.

Pokemon Go: What book did you buy or read based on the hype? Did you enjoy it?

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

Another Throne of Glass answer. I read books 1-4 of the series in 2016 because I heard so much hype revolving around book 5, Empire of Storms.

Enjoyment levels:

  1. Throne of Glass: 5 stars YESSSS
  2. Crown of Midnight: 5 stars ALL THE STARS YASSS
  3. Heir of Fire: 4 stars Okay, this is cool. I like this Manon character. And SORSCHA! SORSCHA IS ME, I AM SORSCHA! SHE ROCKS!
  4. Queen of Shadows: 3-3.5 WTH. This was not up to par…
  5. Empire of Storms: I avoided it. But I will read it…eventually.

Stranger Things: What’s one book you want everyone to read?

Gosh, there were so many amazing books I read in 2016. I know the tag asks for one but I am going to pitch 3! (tehe, I’m a rule-breaker)

An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)  A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2)   The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)

1 & 2) An Ember in the Ashes/ ATorch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir Why? This series is epic, diverse and AMAZING!

3) The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski Why? This series gave me chills and I relate to    Kestrel so much. It’s fast and intense!

Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Mr. Robot: What was your favourite book cliffhanger within a series?

Crystal Storm (Falling Kingdoms, #5)

Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes.

This. Book. Left. Me. Trembling. It was absolutely fantastic and the ending was by far the best (worst) one I read all year! (Review to come)

The Tragic Crisis in Aleppo: Name the last book that made you cry or teary-eyed.

Frost Like Night (Snow Like Ashes, #3)

Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch

I don’t usually cry when I read fantasy, even moving and emotional deaths don’t bring tears to my eyes. There are the exceptions though. For instance this book. The last two paragraphs just destroyed me. The words were not sad, but full of hope and healing. Raasch takes some time at the end of her novel to reflect and look back at the intense scenes and emotions within the character’s lives. Not with action but with thought. A beautiful thought that brought tears to my eyes and made me sob.

Brexit: Name a book you have an unpopular opinion towards.

Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2)

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

I liked Red Queen. I gave it 5 stars, but now that I think about it I didn’t like it that much. Glass Sword was not a great sequel. It was slow, repetitive and Mare was unbearably annoying. I am looking forward to King’s Cage however, solely because the ending of Glass Sword was so intense. Otherwise, Glass Sword was not great, 3 stars.

Four new elements discovered in the periodic table: Name an author you discovered/read for the first time this year.

Evelyn Skye, Jessica Cluess, Sabaa Tahir and Sarah J. Maas

Evelyn and Jessica are debut authors of 2016 and I loved their novels. The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye was by far my favourite debut of the year and A Shadow Bright and Burning was by Jessica Cluess was also amazing. (Review here)

Sabaa Tahir debuted in 2015, but I read her books in 2016. Unfortunately I missed the opportunity to meet her when she came to my town and it is my biggest regret ever. *Here is to hoping she comes back soon*

Sarah J. Maas has been around for a while, but as mentioned I just started her books this year. I look forward to readng her other series A Court of Thorns and Roses when I get the chance!

#AllLivesMatter: Your favourite diverse read.

The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath & the Dawn, #1)      Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

The Wrath and the Dawn/The Rose and the Dagger by Rene Ahdieh

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

These two series vary in race, culture, sexual identities and character personalities. I find them to be eye-opening and intriguing. Reading from different races, backgrounds and experiences is really wonderful and I look forward to more diverse reads in the future.

I especially want to read more books based on Latin/Hispanic culture becuase that is my background and if anyone has any recs throw them at me!

Zika Virus: A book that spread like wildfire.

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

This book was IS everywhere! From bookstagram to book blogs to booktube to Twitter. I never hear the end of it. This has also caused me to be heavily spoiled as to what goes on in the books, but I am still anticipating the day I get to read this series!

Leonardo DiCaprio FINALLY won the Oscar: What was your most anticipated book release this year?

Caraval (Caraval, #1)    Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 (Wires and Nerves, #1)

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Wires & Nerve by Marissa Meyer

These two books both come out in January (on the same day and I cannot wait to own/READ/pet them endlessly!) XD Caraval has such an intriguing and mysterious synopsis that I have been dying to read it. And Wires & Nerve is part of the Lunar Chronicles and written by Queen Marissa Meyer, so I’m obviously going to read it!

In Memorium: Name a memorable character death. 

Frost Like Night (Snow Like Ashes, #3)

Frost Like Night by Sarah Raasch

*SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS*

As mentioned before, this book made me sob. The last two paragraphs were of Meira glancing around the ballroom and talking about all the gaps that filled the crowd. The spaces where Henn, Finn, Noam, Nessa, Garrigan and Sir should be standing:

And that unity makes the holes in the crowd feel complete. Where Sir should be standing next to Mather as he talks with Jesse, Rares, and Oana; where Nessa and Garrigan should be following Conall as he weaves toward me through the crowd; where Henn and Finn should be talking with Greer at the edge of the room; where Noam should be laughing with Nikoletta and Caspar.

I don’t fight the smile that eases across my lips, the tears that blur the colors and light of the ballroom into a shifting, sparkling kaleidoscope.

Rares and Oana were both right. We are our own magic now. And nothing can stop us.

I think Sir’s death hit me the hardest because Meira never fully established that father-daughter bond she really wanted with him and had to leave him to die in order to save the world…Also Nessa and Garrigan </3 😥

The hope and heartbreak from reading the scenes of their deaths came back and I felt so overwhelmed. The tears started spilling out of my eyes and I couldn’t stop them. This is my favourite passage from the entire novel and I’m getting choked up just writing about it right now! *cries*

Samsung phones: One book that blew your mind this year!

A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2)

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

I now realize how repetitive this list is. OH WELL.

This book just took my breath away. So many twists and turns. The amount of hope and inspiration that ran within the hearts and thoughts of these characters in order to survive the brutal and evil world they live in is eye-opening. The representation of a female protagonist who is not brave and strong from the start, but has to find the courage to move forward from loss in order to find those she loves. The painstaking search for freedom that is always being deterred by another challenge, another choice, another twist that keeps him trapped. Being inside the mind of a character who is being broken, tested and eventually remade. The violence and the hope. It’s about finding a way to govern your own destiny.

It tore me apart and blew the pieces away.

I loved it.

Runner up: The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Tagging time!

I tag you! YOU! YOU! YOU and….that’s right YOU!

Go ahead and rant like I did. 2016 may be over but book feels never pass!

Happy reading and tagging!

-Rendz

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Totally Should Have Book Tag

Greetings Readers:

Thank you to Book Princess Reviews who tagged me you can check out her version of this tag on her blog! It’s my first book tag and its a tough one..but I can do it!

1 “Totally Should’ve Gotten A Sequel”

Rook by Sharon Cameron

Rook *

I really enjoyed this book. It is set in a dystopian Paris and is a reenactment of the French revolution. It is so interesting and the final scenes are so engrossing I just could not put it down! Please give me another book Sharon.

2 “Totally Should’ve Gotten a Spin-Off Series”

The Legend Series by Marie Lu

Legend (Legend, #1)*

This was such a great series. I am still so heart broken after the ending of the third book, Champion! I really want to know what else happens in this world and I would really like to read from Tess’s point of view and her life before or after Champion. She was such an interesting character but I got to see so little of her. A spin off about Day’s little brother would also be very interesting, how about a book about his time in Antarctica?

3 “An Author that Should Totally Write More Books” 

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)*

MARIE RUTKOSKI

PLEASE  I  BEG  OF  YOU,  WRITE  MORE  YA!

If you cannot tell, I love, love, LOVE Marie Rutkoski and The Winner’s Trilogy! If she wrote more books I would gobble one each up. She is such a wonderful storyteller and if you have not picked up the Winner’s Curse go do yourself a favour and READ IT. I believe she is working on a novel for 2018 and has some middle grade series, so I shall go check those out!

4  “A Character That Totally Should’ve Ended Up With Someone Else”

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)*

I am going to hit a very sensitive nerve for some of you, but I don’t really care.

CHAOLAENA should have been endgame.

I loved Chaol and Celaena together. I thought they were so cute and their bickering was adorable. They were opposites yes, but they would have grown together and learned from each other’s mistakes. This is a ship I sunk deep with. I love Chaol so, so much and I want him to be happy. I am not a fan of Rowan (sorry, not sorry), he is boring and flat to me and not too mention far too hormonal in Queen of Shadows. *sigh* I died with this ship. BUT I am too invested in this series to give it up.

5 “Totally Should’ve Ended Differently”

Champion (Legend, #3)*

As mentioned before this series BROKE ME! It was a good ending-nay a hopeful ending! It was a cliffhanger-sort-of-ending.  Not satisfying enough! I need a different ending, that is concrete and happy! *cries*

6″Totally Should Have a Movie Franchise”

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)*

THE LUNAR CHRONICLES!

I WOULD WATCH IT EVERYDAY OF MY LIFE!!

7 “Totally Should’ve Had Only One Point of View”

I honestly do not have a book for this category. I like multiple POVs. If I ever do come across one, I shall surely come back and change this! XD

8 “Totally Should’ve Had a Cover Change”

Witchlanders*

Witchlanders by Lena Coakley

The cover is so misleading. It’s about two young men who are witches. I still wonder to this day who is on the girl on the cover if the female characters were not as significant in this novel. Still, it is an interesting read.

9 “Totally Should’ve Kept the Original Covers”

The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath & the Dawn, #1)  > The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)  > The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath & the Dawn, #1)*

The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath & the Dawn, #2)  > The Rose & the Dagger*

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Adhieh

The hardcovers covers will always be my favourite. They were beautiful and vibrant. The first edition paperback of The Wrath and the Dawn is okay, but the new paperback editions are ugly in my opinion. To dark and the font is not my favourite.

10 “Totally Should’ve Stopped at One Book”

The Fire Wish (The Jinni Wars, #1)*

The Fire Wish by Amber Lough

I have yet to read the sequel, but I’m pretty sure this would have made a good stand alone if the author had tied up the loose ends in book one.

Tagging Time

I tag YOU! If you want to try this, be my guest!

Thank you once again to Book Princess Reviews for the tag. I look forward to doing more book tags in the future!

Happy reading!

-Rendz

*All cover images via Goodreads

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October TBR!

Dear readers:

Today I am bringing you my To-Be-Read for the month of October! *insert pumpkin here*

I have decided I will not have a specific theme (even though it is the month of Halloween) since I am more of a mood reader, regardless these are the books I will be tackling this month.

Replica by Lauren Oliver

Replica (Replica, #1)
image via Goodreads

This novel just sounds so epic! When I first heard that you have to flip it over to read the second perspective I flipped and clicked WANT TO READ so fast. I will leave the Goodreads summary below.

Gemma has been in and out of hospitals since she was born. ‘A sickly child’, her lonely life to date has revolved around her home, school and one best friend, Alice. But when she discovers her father’s connection to the top secret Haven research facility, currently hitting the headlines and under siege by religious fanatics, Gemma decides to leave the sanctuary she’s always known to find the institute and determine what is going on there and why her father’s name seems inextricably linked to it.

Amidst the frenzy outside the institute’s walls, Lyra – or number 24 as she is known as at Haven – and a fellow experimental subject known only as 72, manage to escape. Encountering a world they never knew existed outside the walls of their secluded upbringing , they meet Gemma and, as they try to understand Haven’s purpose together, they uncover some earth-shattering secrets that will change the lives of both girls forever…

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

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image via Goodreads

I have read most of the Throne of Glass series, but I have decided to read the prequels before diving into Empire of Storms. So hopefully  I can keep away from spoilers for the time being. I will finally meet Sam and I am so excited yet am already dying from the foreseen heartache.

Goodreads summary:

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin’s Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas – together in one edition for the first time – Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn’s orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire, #1)
image via Goodreads

I have been eyeing big this book for a while now. The synopsis just sound so intriguing because you know MAGIC! I cannot wait to get started. Goodreads synopsis below.

I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer. The prophesied one. Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. When she is brought to London to train with Her Majesty’s sorcerers, she meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, young men eager to test her powers and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. As Henrietta discovers the secrets hiding behind the glamour of sorcerer life, she begins to doubt that she’s the true prophesied one. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city–and the one she loves?

I know it’s only three books but considering that I had an ambitious TBR last month which went half completed I decided to stick with a short list. If by any reason I read other books they will be in the wrap-up at the end of the month!

What are you reading this month? Let me know down below. That’s all for now!

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source: giphy.com

Happy reading!

-Rendz

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