The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

TAB

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

Published: March 4th 2014 by Bloomsbury Children’s

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.

Let’s be honest, if Maas hadn’t written and released Tower of Dawn, I would never have gotten around to reading these novellas. I read this purely because I needed to before reading Tower of Dawn and, whilst I enjoyed most of them, there are a couple of unpopular opinions heading your way. Also, I should mention that I actually ended up listening to the audiobook of this (shock horror) purely because every time sat down to read it, I was getting distracted by other things – plus it helped when I was ill and didn’t really want to read!

The Assassin’s Blade contains all five prequel novellas, which started off with The Assassin and the Pirate Lord. The events of Skulls Bay set the rest of the events in the following novellas into motion which ultimately led to where Celaena (as she was known back then) to where she was at the beginning of Throne of Glass (trying to remain spoiler free, somewhat). I do feel like these prequel novellas could have really all been put into one prequel book, rather than five separate novellas. All the events from Skulls Bay leading up to the ultimate ending happened within months of each other and really followed as a consequence to the previous novella – so it would have made more sense to me to create one larger book, rather than 5 smaller ones.

What I really enjoyed about these books was the insight that it gave into Celaena’s character and who she really was and just how much she had grown from who she was then, to what she became in the Throne of Glass series. It was extremely easy to forget, most of the time, just how young Celaena was during these novellas – but then something would happen to show just how naive she was and her age was slap you in the face. Whilst she was mature in some areas (considering she’s Adarlan’s Assassin), she was naive in others (relationships with Sam and Arobynn) and it showed. Her naivety is really what got her where she landed because she put blind faith into someone she knew that she couldn’t trust…

I was most excited to be introduced to Sam. We heard a lot about him in the main series, but we can only meet him in the novellas. I was disappointed to find that I didn’t really like Sam and he’s much like a Tamlin, but not as extreme. If you have read the A Court of of Thorns and Roses series, you will know who Tamlin is – before you get your pitchforks out, let me explain. For me, the way I interpreted the book, Sam was very manipulative of Celaena – he often used her feelings for him against her (asking her questions like “Do you want to be with me?”) to get what he wanted. I understand that he was trying to keep her safe and trying to start a new life with her somewhere far away, but I think he went the wrong way about it. He refused to let her come along on a job (which is what she does because she was THE assassin of Adarlan) even though she wanted to – he wanted to keep her safe (understandable), but in the end, it should have really been her decision to make. He also knew that she didn’t want to leave the continent (although he may not have understood why) but he went and made arrangements without consulting her first to move away, and then expected her to accept it. He got angry when things didn’t go his way and he was constantly doing stuff that she didn’t like, and argued with her when she didn’t accept it. The difference between Tamlin and Sam was that Sam didn’t go to as extreme lengths as Tamlin did and Celaena, whilst naive, held her own against Sam. I think, if events had gone differently, the relationship would have turned sour, just like Tamlin and Feyre’s. For me, Sam’s sweet gestures (buying her sheet music) didn’t make up for the rest.

I think my least favourite novella was probably The Assassin and the Healer purely because it wasn’t as fleshed out as the others and it was a sort of middle point between what had happened with Arobynn in Rifthold and where Celaena was going for her punishment. It was still enjoyable, but if I had to pick my least favourite, it would be that one.

After seeing more of Arobynn and what he was like toward Celaena in these books, I would love to see a novellan from his perspective from this kind of time period, before Celaena went to the Salt Mines. I would be so interested to see what his thought processes were and what he was truly feeling at the end of The Assassin and the Empire, because he was such a twisted character – he definitely added another layer to the story!

All in all, I really enjoyed these novellas and the insight that they gave into Celaena’s character and the insights it gave into the characters that came back later on in the series. I am looking forward to seeing how some of these other characters play a role later on in the story! I gave this book 4/5 stars.

 

 

Goodreads Monday

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend 🙂 My pick for this week is a group of novellas all packed into one book!

TAB

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

Published: March 4th 2014 by Bloomsbury Childrens

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.

This needs to be read before I can read Tower of Dawn, which releases tomorrow! :-O Looks like I need to snap to it!

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Empire of Storms

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas 

Published: September 6th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Children’s 

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

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

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

Just a quick note – If you guys see some really random spelling errors, it’s because I have claws Nails and it’s made typing an issue!

Where do I even start with this book?!? After all the kerfuffle with Amazon about this book and pre ordering, I was anxious to get to this book! I couldn’t wait – hello, it’s Maas, after all! I absolutely loved this book and the ending despite the fact that it broke me! How the heck do I wait an WHOLE YEAR for the final instalment?

I loved the multiple perspectives in this book. I do wish there had been more from Elide and Lorcan though. Having said that, I still loved it! The characters didn’t bleed together at all and I found it really easy to keep up with who I was reading about at the time, even I had to put the book down and come back to it!

I LOVE MANON! *Ahem* Well, it’s true. I feel like she has come an extremely long way from the witch new first got to know in Heir of Fire and I am so glad that she ends up where she does! I loved her transformation and I was not expecting her to be who she turned out to be! I felt so sorry for her!

Again, I wanted more from Elide and Lorcan, but when I did get to their story I was one happy bunny. They have the most twisty story, I think and it was interesting to watch it unfold. Their ending broke me as well – I was so sad! I really hope they manage to get it together in the end!

Aelin is son cunning and smart and I wish she was real and that I could make her my best friend! I was not expecting half of the stuff that she had planned! Also, can I just mention THAT ENDING!!! What the heck was that for an ending??? It broke me in all the best ways possible and in all the worst and I basically cried and moaned to my husband about the fact that I have to wait for the next book.

Can I also just address the controversial issue that is the sex scenes. In my own opinion, I think it added something to the book itself and it added a depth to the characters involved that I think we wouldn’t have gotten in any other form. It definitely did not bother me and I really wouldn’t mind seeing more of them in the future.

Another issue that people had with this book was the ships… I felt the connection between all of the characters and I don’t feel that it was written so that everyone would have someone by the end. Especially because of the ending!! Again, this is my own opinion, but I ship all of the ships!

I absolutely loved this book and I honestly don’t know how I am going to wait a year for the next book! I gave this book 5/5 stars.

Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and Bookish

Hey guys! It is time for another TTT. This weeks topic is top ten favourite books in X genre. I’ve decided to go fantasy, because that is what I read the most of! Without further ado and in no particular order:

10. vault of dreams Vault of Dreams by Luke Taylor. This book was lyrical in a way that I don’t think I will ever find again! I absolutely loved it!

9. throne of glass Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. Ok, I’m cheating a little bit and I am using the whole series for this! I absolutely adore this series and I cannot wait for tomorrow because my pre ordered copy of EoS is coming… a week late -.-

8. ACOMAF A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. This is turning into a Maas fest… No, whilst I liked the first in this series, I LOVED this one! I need the third book like… now!

7. bonds of venom and magic A Bond of Venom and Magic by Karen Tomlinson. This book releases next month (Oct 14th), but I received an ARC of this and it is my favourite read of this year! Heck, it’s up there with Maas as my favourite Fantasy of all time!! I need the next book… but the author is evil and isn’t releasing it till next year!! Plus, this cover is gorgeous! I want a poster for my wall!

6. emerge- The awakening Emerge: The Awakening by Melissa A. Craven. I definitely think this book is underrated! The next book in this series is releasing at the end of this year and it cannot come soon enough!! Talk about needing a book!

5. air awakens Air Awakens by Elise Kova. I have read the first three in this series and I am hooked! I am hoping to be able to read the fourth soon… the ending of the third book broke me inside, which is probably why I waited so long! I don’t think my heart can take much more!

4. first year The Black Mage: First Year by Rachel E. Carter. ummm… I think anyone who has read this will know it is epic! This is not your normal wishy washy magic – this is serious business!!

3. spelled Spelled by Betsy Schow. This book had me in stitches! I couldn’t breathe I was laughing so hard!! The author is releasing what looks like the second book in this series early next year, so I am preparing my lungs and my diaphragm for this!

2. snow like ashes Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch. I loved this book. It has me hooked from the get go! I have the second book in this series, which I am definitely looking forward to picking up! Even if I hate the rest of this series, I will always love this book!

1. defy Defy by Sara B. Larson. Whoever hasn’t read this series clearly lives under a rock! A very large one at that! This is one of my all time faves and I love the colour schemes on the covers!

So this is it!! These are my favourite fantasy reads ever!! Have you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them?

Which favourite books do you have on your lists? Feel free to leave links and comments and I will check them all out!

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The Leaving by Tara Altebrando

the leaving

The Leaving by Tara Altenbrando

Published: June 7th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Six were taken. Eleven years later, five come back–with no idea of where they’ve been.

Eleven years ago, six kindergarteners went missing without a trace. After all that time, the people left behind moved on, or tried to.

Until today. Today five of those kids return. They’re sixteen, and they are . . . fine. Scarlett comes home and finds a mom she barely recognizes, and doesn’t really recognize the person she’s supposed to be, either. But she thinks she remembers Lucas. Lucas remembers Scarlett, too, except they’re entirely unable to recall where they’ve been or what happened to them. Neither of them remember the sixth victim, Max. He doesn’t come back. Everyone wants answers. Most of all Max’s sister Avery, who needs to find her brother–dead or alive–and isn’t buying this whole memory-loss story.

I have had this on my TBR for ages. I was really excited to read it because… well, hello? Six children taken, five come back and no one knows what happened to them – not event he kids? I was sold. I needed to know what happened just like my body needs kidneys. However, when I closed the book, I was left with the feeling of “What did I just read?” I was totally underwhelmed by the book and actually disappointed. I think I am going to go all listy on this review just because I think it will probably be the most coherent way to get my thoughts out about this book. There may be spoilers! So read at your own risk!

Likes:

  • The mystery element. We as a reader know as much as the kids who have just randomly reappeared and I loved it! I loved not knowing what happened to them and wanting to find out what was going on and why they were gone for the past eleven years. The mystery behind it actually left me turning the pages until I had finished the book itself.
  • The book is told from the POV of three different characters. Normally there is a danger, when a book is so written, that the characters blend and don’t have their own voice or the just all sound exactly the same and there is no defining element to them. This was no the case! Scarlett (one kidnapped kid) was very disjointed and it actually showed in the way in which the words were written on the page. There were loops and cliffs and steps and it was amazing! Lucas (another kidnapped kid) is angry and wants revenge on whoever did this to him. He needs to know what happened to him and can’t just let it go like some of the other kidnappees have done. Avery is the sister of the kidnapped kid who didn’t come back and she wants to know what happened to her brother. But she also wants it to be over and she is actually really irritating… at least, I found her annoying.
  • I love the way that there was a book in this book that was also called The Leaving. Talk about crazy elements!
  • The psychology behind it. I was actually a psychology student myself during sixth form and Freud was my all time favourite person to study! He is like a psychology experiment himself! So, of course, I really should have guessed that it would have somehow come back around to him because he is the bane of psychology!
  • The layout of the book itself had me sold from the beginning. I loved the way in which some of the words were represented in other formats rather than straight and formatted lines. I loved the loops and swirls and steps etc. I definitely think it added something to the story itself in the sense that you could feel the way in which the character was feeling.

Dislikes:

  • Avery bugged me (which I mentioned earlier). She was actually a really petty character who seemed to only really care about her jealousy over Scarlett and Luke having been a thing and the way int which she treats others around her bugged me too. I just wanted to slap her really really hard.
  • The reactions to the kids coming back were just… not realistic. They would cry and hug and whatever, but 5 minutes later, its just like they don’t really care. They leave the kids to go off and do their own thing and what not. Pretty sure if my son went missing for 11 years and then randomly came back, I would superglue my hand to his and never let him out of my sight again!!
  • The explanation behind it was a little underwhelming. I think the explanation could have been better and I was just disappointed by it. Interesting experiment… but still.
  • I did not ship any of the romance. There was no real depth to it in my opinion and it felt insta love like. Lucas and Scarlett thought they had feelings for each other so they just went for it on a whim? Seriously? No. The rest of the romances were not much better!
  • I wanted to see more of the other kidnapped kids. We obviously see a lot of Lucas and Scarlett, but I wanted more from Adam, Kristen, Sarah (I think her name was)… I wanted to know what was going on with them, how they were dealing etc. I saw so little of them I have even forgotten one of their names! But I am pretty sure it is Sarah.
  • We are never even introduced to the guy who did it! I mean, I think it would have been much better if it had been someone we already knew in the book, like the memory guy. No, I was left feeling confused and irritated because we didn’t even know the guy who did it. Plus, he is never even caught! -.-

All in all I was left feeling pretty underwhelmed by this book. I loved the mystery aspect and the actual layout of the book, but I wanted more! I gave this book 3/5 stars.

 

Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted here. To participate, choose a random book on your TBR and show it off. If you do participate link back here and send me a link so I can check it out!

Hey guys! It is time for another Goodreads Monday! I feel like my TBR has grown exponentially, so I am pretty spoilt for choice!

the leaving

The Leaving by Tara Altebrando

Published: June 7th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Six were taken. Eleven years later, five come back–with no idea of where they’ve been.

Eleven years ago, six kindergarteners went missing without a trace. After all that time, the people left behind moved on, or tried to.

Until today. Today five of those kids return. They’re sixteen, and they are . . . fine. Scarlett comes home and finds a mom she barely recognizes, and doesn’t really recognize the person she’s supposed to be, either. But she thinks she remembers Lucas. Lucas remembers Scarlett, too, except they’re entirely unable to recall where they’ve been or what happened to them. Neither of them remember the sixth victim, Max. He doesn’t come back. Everyone wants answers. Most of all Max’s sister Avery, who needs to find her brother–dead or alive–and isn’t buying this whole memory-loss story.

I have had this on my TBR for a while now and I cannot wait to read it! I have been reading a lot of books like this lately – I just love the suspense!

What books are on your TBR? Feel free to leave me a comment!

Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and Bookish

Hey guys! Firstly, I just want to say happy blogoversary to the Broke and Bookish! 6 years is a long time! This weeks TTT is top ten favourite releases of 2016 so far. A couple of these books haven’t been released this year yet and some of the books were released last year because I haven’t read 10 books that have been released this year so far! I’m a rebel, what can I say? In no particular order:

10. the crown The Crown by Kiera Cass. Published May 3rd by HarperTeen. I loved the entirety of The Selection series! So, you can imagine my relief when my wait for this book was finally over!

9. ACOMAF A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas Published May 3rd by Bloomsbury USA Children’s. This was the book of the year for me! I bought this book the day it came out on my kindle, I read it, and then went and bought a physical copy of the book – I am that much in love!

8. Glass sword Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard. Published February 9th by HarperTeen. Again, another book I bought myself a physical copy of for myself, because it is another series that I love! Plus, the title for the third book is being released tomorrow by Epic Reads – if anyone is interested!

7. wink poppy midnight Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke. Published March 22nd by Dial Books. If your looking for a book that isn’t all that it seems that is full of a bunch of whacked out teenagers… then this book is perfect for you!

6. this is where it ends This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp. Published January 5th by Sourcebooks Fire. I hyped this book up to myself long before its release date and it didn’t disappoint! i had been looking for a book that took place during the shooting for quite some time and this book delivered in every way!

5. wrecked maria Wrecked by Maria Padian. Publish date October 4th 2016 by Algonquin Young Readers. ok, so technically, this book doesn’t belong on this list because it has yet to be released. However, I am a rebel. I read an ARC copy of this book and I loved it! Such a unique take on sexual assault!

4. one was lost One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards. Publish Date October 4th 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire. Another book that technically shouldn’t make this list. However, I read an ARC over the weekend and it was an amazing read!

3. endure Endure by Sara B. LarsonPublished December 29th 2015 by Scholastic Press. This was the third and final instalment in the Defy series and I was sorry to see it end!

2. spelled Spelled by Betsy Schow. Published June 2nd 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire. This book had me laughing out loud – in a pretty unladylike manner – and I had stitches in places I didn’t even know existed! Definitely worth the read!

1. what we sa What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler. Published September 22nd 2015 by HarperTeen. This book was based on a true story (The Steubenville High School Rape Case) and I think it represented the controversy of the case well. It deals with some really tough issues and highlights important ones too!

That’s me! I loved all of these books! What books have been your favourites so far this year? Feel free to leave links and comments and I will check them all out!

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

queen of shadows

The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series continues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world. (Goodreads)

Obviously after reading Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows had to be read! Especially because I had it waiting for me to finish reading Heir of Fire! I really enjoyed this book and I literally cannot wait till the next book comes out!

I finally got useed to calling Celaena Aelin. It took me a while, but I got used to it. I actually prefer it because I feel like Aelin represents something that Celaena never did. Aelin was a queen – she was there to do what needed to be done and to protect her people the best way she could. Celaena represented the person she was before when she was trying to excape everything that happened to her and in her past! Reading the book, I was worried the Aelin was going to maybe slip back to the way she was before because of the way the people around her *cough* looking at you here, Chaol *cough* were treating her/speaking to her. I didn’t want her to slip back into that shell she had before. She didn’t (everyone can relax now).She stayed strong and she became the queen that she needed to be. She also stayed true to her ways as she went through the entire change… I mean, really… yu had to go an provoke Manon!!

Aedion literally bugged me half to death at the beginning – after her was reunited with Aelin. He became petulant, almsot like a child when he didn’t get his own way and I just felt like slapping him and then some!! At least he changed throughout and got a grip on himself and accepted what had happened wasn’t going to change and he started being an addition to the team rather than someone who was there to bug me to death!

Can I just say Rowan? Do I really need to elaborate? He didn’t change and I loved him for it! He was exactly as he was in the last book and I think he is just absolutely swoon worthy!

Is anyone else of the opinion that we need to get Manon and Aelin to team up? I mean – they would make such an awesome team it is unreal? Of course, we have to get Elide together with them as well.

I was not expecting that ending! I basically sat there, catching flies, wondering what the hell I was going to fo with my life after that ending! The King, Chaol, Dorian, Manon, Aeling – the whole lot of them! I don’t want to give too much away in case you (like me) are seriously behind in reading this series, but I just … I need to sit. Possibly have a lay down. A lay down sounds fantastic right about now!

I literally cannot believe this book took me this long to read! I am seriously kicking myself for not catching up to this series sooner! I mean, it’s Maas! I should have known better. I loved this book and I don’t think I can wait for the next instalment! I gave this book 5/5 stars.

Waiting on Wednesday

WoW

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Hey guys! It is time for another WoW! I think thanks to this weeks TTT I am pretty spoilt for choice! I added so many books to my TBR yesterday, courtesy of quite a few blogs, that I don’t even know how to dig myself out of that list anymore! So, without further ado:

Empire of Storms

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Expected publication: 6th September 2016

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

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

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

So, I am currently reading Queen of Shadows and I am loving it so far (I mean, duh, it is Maas!). This author is basically an automatic buy for me!

What are you guys waiting on? Feel free to leave links and I will check them all out!