Review: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1) by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

For lack of a better word—WOW!!!

This book was completely, totally, freakin’, AMAZING. I’ve found a new Favorite of All Time. Ms. Maas, you are officially one of my idols. I am now on a severe Reader’s High (a sense of lingering euphoria resulting from reading an outrageously good book).

I’ve had two copies of Throne of Glass on my shelf for a few weeks now, but haven’t picked either of them up because I’d read the novellas and knew that once I started it, I wouldn’t be able to properly function as a sane individual until I finished it. (And I was right.)

I started it in the afternoon and my eyeballs were practically glued to the book until I reached page 300-ish about 11:00 at night and I finally decided to go to sleep. But I couldn’t get the story out of my head and woke up at 3:30 in the morning dying to know what would happen. After tossing and turning for awhile, I broke down and read the final 100 pages while everyone else was properly asleep.

Once I finished it, I stayed awake for about another half hour, grinning like a moron and running over the awesomeness of the story in my head.

The plot:

The plot was quick paced and relentless, but not so fast I was emotionally exhausted by the end. There were places where I could stop and catch my breath, but the pace never came to a complete stop. Though a satisfying amount was explained at the end, there’s still plenty of questions unanswered and I’m very, very excited for the next book.

The characters:

Well, Celaena won me over for good by the second chapter of The Assassin and the Desert, yet she did it all over again here. She is the perfect blend of arrogant, vulnerable, kind, deadly, and strong. People, don’t you dare go comparing her to Katniss and Katsa, she is far more awesome.

Dorian was a likeable character, though I could get frustrated with him at times. (Which was just another thing that kept yours truly flipping the pages.) I found his moral struggles with foreign policy and his father’s conquering mentality to be very compelling and he was very helpful in providing the occasional ridiculous comment to soften the tone.

Okay, so I said I liked Dorian, which is true. But I’m still for Team Chaol, 100%. Chaol wasn’t nearly as prone to jealousy as the prince, which I thought was charming. He falls for Celaena against his better judgment. I admired his loyalty (even that to the King), his level-headedness, and his bravery. He’s also quite compassionate and kind under that gruff exterior.

Nehemia, the foreign princess who befriends Celaena, is another excellent character. Strong, intelligent, courageous, skilled in (spoiler), I think she is a great friend for Celaena and I look forward to seeing more of her.

Usually, I mention the bad guy in this paragraph. Problem is, there are about a half dozen to pick from. So I guess I’ll go with Dorian’s father, the King, since he seems to be the main baddie. The King reminds me of Darken Rahl from Legend of the Seeker. That means he is a wicked, powerful, evil character you just can’t wait to get bumped off and at the same time you’re morbidly fascinated by his seemingly pure evil nature. As far as villains go, the King is perfect. Celaena’s fear of him is completely understandable and I thought that was something else that made her relatable as a character (don’t we all have something we’re scared of?).

I am wondering about what’s going on with Arobynn Hamel and how life’s treating him. He’s mentioned a few times, but we’re not really sure about him. After reading the ending to The Assassin and the Empire, I’m vindictively hoping something unpleasant happens to him.

So that was a pretty long review. Well, what can I say? I’m entitled to gush. This book is the best I have read in a very, very long time and in my opinion, it leaves all the popular books I’ve read behind in a cloud of dust. In other words, go read it. Please, and then we can all gush about it. =)

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Review: The Last Dragonslayer (The Last Dragon Slayer, #1) by Jasper Fforde

The Last Dragonslayer (The Last Dragonslayer, #1)

In the good old days, magic was indispensable—it could both save a kingdom and clear a clogged drain. But now magic is fading: drain cleaner is cheaper than a spell, and magic carpets are used for pizza delivery. Fifteen-year-old foundling Jennifer Strange runs Kazam, an employment agency for magicians—but it’s hard to stay in business when magic is drying up. And then the visions start, predicting the death of the world’s last dragon at the hands of an unnamed Dragonslayer. If the visions are true, everything will change for Kazam—and for Jennifer. Because something is coming. Something known as . . . Big Magic.

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

A friend loaned me this book for a road trip, thinking I would enjoy it. Man, did she think right!

Jasper Fforde’s writing is a glorious mix of moral messages and delightful humor. While we were driving, I would spontaneously burst into laughter and my brother would stare at me like I was nuts.

The plot:
The plot twisted and turned like a roller coaster. I was never really sure where it was going, but it was moving so fast and so well, that didn’t matter! I kept my eyes on the pages as we barreled along miles and highway and lost track of time!

The characters:
Jennifer Strange is sixteen, but has more responsibilities than many adults. She runs what is basically a group home for magicians, sorceresses, apparitions, ghosts, and things that no one’s really sure what they are. I adored her dry wit, her affable nature, her dedication to do the right thing no matter what, and her quarkbeast.

Quark, or simply “the quarkbeast,” is like a little shaggy terrier with razor-sharp spikes instead of fur, that eats metal as a main food group. He was an adorable, faithful, lovable addition to the scene and now I want a quarkbeast!

Tiger, who is more or less in training to take over Jennifer’s job in two years, is another cute addition to the cast.

There were plenty of other faces, King Snod, Magawon, Arthur the moose apparition, Maltcassion the Dragon…each brought something special to the story and each was enjoyable in his/her own way.

This was a great book! I was impressed with how the clean the ending was and I do hope you go look into it!

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EXCITING NEWS!!!

I  would like to announce something very, very exciting! I have just completed my first-ever novella and it will be published January 22, 2013!

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Now it’s all rather hush-hush…

But what I can tell you is that the title is Fanged Princess, it’s about vampires,  there’s a good dose of romance, the cover reveal is going to be next month, and the main character is an eighteen-year-old vampire named Hadassah Chadwick (and I am very proud of myself for coming up with that name). You can even check it out on Goodreads, here! So, until November, guys can all be like…

Ta-ta!

Review: Guardian (Creepy Hollow, #1) by Rachel Morgan

Guardian (Creepy Hollow, #1)

1. Receive assignment.
2. Save a life.
3. Sleep.
4. Repeat.

Protecting humans from dangerous magical creatures is all in a day’s work for a faerie training to be a guardian. Seventeen-year-old Violet Fairdale knows this better than anyone—she’s about to become the best guardian the Guild has seen in years. That is, until one of her assignments—a human boy who shouldn’t even be able to see her—follows her into the fae realm. Now she’s broken Guild Law, a crime that could lead to her expulsion.

The last thing Vi wants to do is spend any more time with the boy who got her into this mess, but the Guild requires that she return Nate to his home and make him forget everything he’s discovered of the fae realm. Easy, right? But Nate and Vi are about to land themselves in even bigger trouble—and it’ll take all Vi’s training to get them out alive.

(A novelette)

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

 

Short book=Short review

I got into this book very easily and stayed hooked until it was done. Vi is determined, all-work-no-play kind of girl who is good at what she does and strives like no other to be the best. At the same time, there is an endearingly vulnerable side to her and I was kept on the edge of my seat watching the romantic sparring between her and Nate. This story ends in a cliff hanger that has left me dying for the next novella, and the others in this series are high on my to-read list. =)

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Review: Pyxis (Pyxis #1) by KC Neal

Pyxis: The Discovery (Pyxis, #1)

Corinne lives an average teenage life working at her dad’s cafe, hanging out with her best friend, and trying to forget a falling-out with her almost-boyfriend Mason. Things take a strange turn when she uses her late grandmother’s food dyes for a bake sale, and her customers suddenly find her irresistibly alluring. Then she discovers she and Mason are haunted by the same dreams of a dark force that consumes everything in its path.

Pursued by shadowy figures and a crazy woman with secrets from the past, Corinne must find out who her grandmother really was. In her quest to unravel her family’s history, she learns she is destined to protect this world–and the dark world of her dreams. She races to find the answers she seeks before her nightmares break free.

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

Short book=Short Review
An enjoyable, fun read. I think that this book was excellent, it just didn’t grab me. I have a problem with the modern mentality of the teenagers and dating and that just put me out a bit. (I’m a prude, yes, I get that a lot. Please don’t hate me!) Still, I recommend this book to fans of urban fantasy. It was a good story and I hope you’ll give it a shot!

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