Fantasy · Fiction · Romance · Young Adult

Tower of Dawn

31450852

Title: Tower of Dawn

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Page Count: 680

Series: Throne of Glass, Book 6

Publishing Date/Publisher: September 5, 2017 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Format: eBook

Review: For the most part, when I review a book from this series I feel like I am constantly repeating myself, so my review of this book will be short and sweet.  My thoughts on this book are very similar to my thoughts on the previous five books, so feel free to look at those reviews if you feel so inclined.  That aside, it was nice to step away from Aelin’s story for a bit, and I really enjoyed the POV of Nesryn.  As with all of Maas’ books, nearly every character gets paired off with someone.  It’s nice but predictable.

I’ve made it this far, so I will definitely be reading the seventh and final book in the series.

Reader: Bekah

Rating: 

All_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_Gold

 

Fantasy · Fiction · Romance · Young Adult

Empire of Storms

28260587

Title: Empire of Storms

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Page Count: 704

Series: Throne of Glass, Book 5

Publishing Date/Publisher: September 6, 2016 by Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Format: Paperback

Review: My opinion of this book is very similar to my opinion of the last few books in this series.  The action throughout is thrilling and the ending is particularly strong.  Although this book is still categorized as Young Adult fiction like it’s predecessors, I would argue that it would more accurately be categorized as New Adult fiction.  Aelin is now 20 years old, and the romances depicted in this series have gotten increasingly steamy with each installment.  There is a whole lot of sex in book 5, so young readers be prepared if you are not expecting it!

My biggest gripe with this series in general is that Aelin’s elaborate scheming always seems to pan out just the way she envisions.  Of course there is a real wrench thrown in at the end to keep the series going, but overall, things just seem to always work out, no matter how great the odds are stacked against them.  A lot of it is rather far-fetched…for example, Aelin calls in a favor with one particular ally without actually communicating what it is she needs.  The ally just happens to glean exactly what Aelin wants by receiving cryptic reports from a spy.  Ohhhkkayyy.  Seems unlikely.  But I am going to move past it because I made it this far and I am still enjoying the series enough to finish two more lengthy books.

Reader: Bekah

Rating: 

All_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_Gold

Fantasy · Fiction · Romance · Young Adult

Queen of Shadows

18006496

Title: Queen of Shadows

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Page Count: 648

Series: Throne of Glass, Book 4

Publishing Date/Publisher: September 1, 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Format: Paperback

Review: I was so excited to start The Assassin’s Blade that I actually forgot to write a review for this book…oops.  I suppose this is a compliment to Maas, who continues to impress me with her epic sagas.

At the conclusion of this book, it seemed like the series had reached it’s climax, only for Maas to throw another curveball that completely changes the game.  I really appreciate this about Maas, because while some aspects of her story are predictable and formulaic, she somehow always manages to surprise me with the overall direction of the plot.  I would say that reading this book, it was the first time that I really contemplated whether this series takes place in the same world as her A Court of Thorns and Roses series.  For some reason I found this prospect to be thrilling, and I look forward to seeing new lands in the next three books.

As with the last book, Maas introduced new characters that I have grown very fond of, and I look forward to seeing how their storylines develop as well.

Also, revenge is sweet, and you get plenty of that in this particular installment.

Reader: Bekah

Rating: 

All_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_Gold

Fantasy · Fiction · Romance · Young Adult

The Assassin’s Blade

18243700

Title: The Assassin’s Blade

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Page Count: 448

Series: Throne of Glass, 0.1-0.5

Publishing Date/Publisher: March 4, 2014 by Bloomsbury Childrens

Format: Paperback

Review: Truly my only regret in picking up this collection of novellas is that I didn’t do so sooner.  This collection is broken into five short stories that provide more context for Celaena’s backstory.  Maas artfully interweaves storylines and characters that later appear in the Throne of Glass series into heart-pounding and thrilling adventures.  The only novella that really had me struggling to get through it was the last one, and that was simply because I knew what devastating outcome awaited Celaena.

Maas is very formulaic in how she builds her romances – two people formerly at odds become passionate lovers – and the romance that ties together these short stories is no different.  I found this to be slightly annoying at first, however, Sam was just so lovable as a character that I couldn’t help but fall for him.  To be frank, the rest of Celaena’s romantic history really lost some of its sparkle after reading this because, well, I still wanted her to be with Sam.  Because he is not actually present in any of the Throne of Glass books, I did not realize how influential he was in shaping Celaena’s later decisions.  Celaena’s character has a certain naivety in these stories that no longer exists after the events that transpire in these novellas.

Now that I have picked up back where I left off in the Throne of Glass series, characters and events that are mentioned in passing suddenly make more sense and I am provided subtle clarity as I comb back through my memories of what has happened so far.  I look forward to seeing more connections as I continue forward with the series.

Reader: Bekah

Rating: 

All_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_Gold

Fantasy · Fiction · Romance · Young Adult

Heir of Fire

20613470

Title: Heir of Fire

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Page Count: 565

Series: Throne of Glass, Book 3

Publishing Date/Publisher: September 2, 2014 by Bloomsbury USA Children

Format: eBook

Review: I personally found this to be the most exciting installment in the series so far.  We see entirely new settings, meet new characters, and get a deeper glimpse into Celaena’s past.  All these additions add more depth to Celaena’s character and make her a more inspiring heroine.

This book also introduced an entirely new character point of view, that of the witch Manon.  I LOVED her storyline, even though at this point it is hard to see how it will play into the larger plot.  Her chapters literally had my heart pounding and there were some scenes that literally gave me goosebumps.  I would finish the chapters feeling exhilarated and utterly disappointed to be moving back to another character perspective.  I had to strongly resist the urge to skip ahead to her next chapter.  I took a bit of a pause between reading books 2 and 3 in this series, but as soon as I turned the final page of this book I snapped up book 4 because I cannot wait to pick up her story again.

Reader: Bekah

Rating: 

All_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_Goldhalf star

Fantasy · Fiction · Young Adult

Crown of Midnight

17167166

Title: Crown of Midnight

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Page Count: 418

Series: Throne of Glass, Book 2

Publishing Date/Publisher: August 27, 2013 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Format: Paperback

Review: Sarah J. Maas is a truly an exceptional storyteller.  These days it seems most fantasy series are trilogies, but she manages to drag her stories into long sagas without becoming boring.  Her characters are engaging, her twists surprising, and her plot layering is superb.  The only reason this is not a 5 star book for me is because it reads very much like a second book in a trilogy (i.e. setting the stage for a final installment), at least at the beginning.  I have noticed this is a common trend in Maas’ writing.  She starts out slow and then hits you with a lot in the last 25% of the book.  Her ability to write strong endings is what keeps her readers chomping at the bit for more.  I am really looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Heir of Fire.

Reader: Bekah

Rating: 

All_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_Gold

Fantasy · Fiction · Romance · Young Adult

A Court of Frost and Starlight

31076583. sy475

Title: A Court of Frost and Starlight

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Performer: Amanda Leigh Cobb

Length: 6 hr, 24 min

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, Book 3.1

Publishing Date/Publisher: 2018 by Recorded Books

Format: eAudiobook

Review: I don’t know how this author churns out as many books as she does.  With both her Throne of Glass series and this one, she has supplemented her series with interspersed novellas.  This novella is much shorter and less action packed than the three full-length books that come before it, and it is focused on the introspection of our main characters as they deal with the aftermath of the great battle with Hybern.  It reveals more insight into our main characters and offers POVs that were not present in previous books.  I did enjoy the book and the reader, but I found this book to be much soppier than the rest of the series.  A lot of focus is put on the mating bond between Rhysand and Feyre, and the rest of the book is more of a snapshot in time as our characters prepare to enjoy a holiday together.

Reader: Bekah

Rating: 

All_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_Goldhalf star

Fantasy · Fiction · Romance · Young Adult

A Court of Wings and Ruin

36233660. sy475

Title: A Court of Wings and Ruin

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Performer: Amanda Leigh Cobb

Length: 25 hr, 8 min

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, Book 3

Publishing Date/Publisher: 2017 by Recorded Books

Format: eAudiobook

Review: This book was very much like the two that proceed it in that the plot starts out slow and then later picks up speed.  I was never bored during this story, but it sort of annoys me when things work out too perfectly in the end.  Sure there was a lot of bloodshed, but I never truly feared for any of the main characters, because they always seem to come through in the end.  I was also a little annoyed that Feyre was all of a sudden some sort of master spy and manipulator; however, I was greatly entertained by the shifting allegiances, political maneuvering, and a couple surprising character reveals.  This story certainly keeps you on your toes as friends become enemies and enemies become friends.  I don’t see a release date yet for the fourth book, but the Throne of Glass series should keep me busy in the meantime.

I was a little surprised that they changed the reader partway through this series, but was even more shocked at how similar she sounded to the woman who narrated the first two audiobooks.  At first I didn’t even realize that the performer was different because she did such an excellent job matching the character voices to how the original reader performed them.  Amanda Leigh Cobb is very talented, and the switch did not negatively impact my listening experience in the slightest.

Reader: Bekah

Rating: 

All_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_Gold

Fantasy · Fiction · Romance · Young Adult

A Court of Mist and Fury

17927395. sy475

Title: A Court of Mist and Fury

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Performer: Jennifer Ikeda

Length: 23 hr, 16 min

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, Book 2

Publishing Date/Publisher: 2016 by Recorded Books

Format: eAudiobook

Review: This book took the momentum from the first book and catapulted it to even greater heights.  Feyre grows so much as a character.  She suffers from severe PTSD and much of the book is focused on her journey of healing.  She demonstrates how our wants and needs can change as we evolve and that people in our lives can either serve as hindrances or catalysts to this change.

Rhysand fans will be very happy with the events that transpire in this book.  The ending was a bit frustrating, but Maas does an excellent job of setting the stage for the conflict that will driving the next books in the series.

Oftentimes the second book in a series is a bit of a bore as it lays the foundation for subsequent books, but I did not feel this way at all with this book.  It was emotional, romantic, thrilling, and utterly unputdownable.

My only gripe about this book, and this series in general, is Maas’ near constant use of certain words…male, snarl, growl, etc.  It didn’t bother me enough to lower my rating, but I did find myself rolling my eyes from time to time as the words resurfaced over and over again.

Reader: Bekah

Rating: 

All_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_Gold

Fantasy · Fiction · Romance · Young Adult

A Court of Thorns and Roses

16096824

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Performer: Jennifer Ikeda

Length: 16 hr, 7 min

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, Book 1

Publishing Date/Publisher: 2015 by Recorded Books

Format: eAudiobook

Review: For diehard fans of Beauty and the Beast *cough**me**cough cough*, this was a delightfully unique retelling.   It had a bit of a slow start, very much unlike her Throne of Glass series, and slowly picked up speed until it reached it’s heart-pounding conclusion.  I honestly didn’t think I was going to give it more than 3 stars for the first half of the book, but the last 25% of the book was epic enough to make me reconsider my rating.  It’s very easy to see the influence of the Beauty and the Beast tale in this book, however, based on the conclusion, the next book in the series will more than likely be moving in an entirely different direction.

My favorite character by far was Rhysand, and it makes me very excited that he will play a central role in the second book.  Maas seems to have a thing for building interesting love triangle-y sort of situations, and it does not seem that this series will be an exception.  Rhysand is clearly the polar opposite of golden boy Tamlin, which should make for an interesting rivalry.

Jennifer Ikeda is a great reader and I enjoy her narration.  I look forward to listening to the next book!

As a side note, my library categorizes this book as Young Adult Fiction, but I think it is more like New Adult Fiction.  It is one of those books that hovers in the gray area and is hard to categorize.  The sexual content is pretty graphic, which is not typical for the Young Adult Fiction genre, especially in the realm of Fantasy.

Reader: Bekah

Rating: 

All_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_Gold