A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

Review: And I Darken (Kiersten White)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten
 
Book 17 on My Book List 2020
 

She sat beside his bed for a long while. Finally, she put a hand on his shoulder and whispered, “You are mine.”

If you’re looking for a fast paced book with lots of action and historical accuracy you better turn around and leave this review, because I can guarantee that you won’t get either of those two things if you start to read “And I Darken”. If you’re looking for a slow paced and very character driven story that has quite a unique setting and lives and breathes intrigues and machinations… Well, you’re welcome to stay! 😉

I really enjoyed this story because it was something different and even though there were some things you could argue about – for instance Lada’s full name being Ladislav which is definitely a male name that could have easily been changed into a female one – Kiersten White never claimed historical accuracy or well, I suppose just accuracy in that particular case. *lol* This book is placed in the genre of historical fiction after all and even though it borrows a few names and facts every now and then the story and the characters in it are clearly fictional. Just to put it out there as information for the people that might take offence when they read this. XD

And speaking of historical facts: Yes, Vlad II had two sons named Vlad (equivalent of Lada) and Radu who served as bargaining chips and were captives of Sultan Murad II. Funnily enough Mircea was actually Vlad’s elder brother and Radu (who was indeed called “Radu the handsome” or “Radu the fair”) was his half-brother. According to historical facts Vlad and his half-brother weren’t able to stand each other. Also Mehmed II (named Mohammed before he became the sultan) was actually Murad’s and Huma’s son. So there you go with the historical facts. History geek that I am, I probably could go into even more detail, but I’ll just leave it at that and talk about the fictional book instead. ;-P The history lesson is officially over now! You can breathe again. *lol*

2

So this is the moment when I welcome you to Edirne where machinations and plots are brewing as thickly as a Mercimek Çorbası. If you don’t want to be spoiled you better leave now! If not: Be my guest and eat soup with me. 😉

Lada:

”Lada had a sense for power – the fine threads that connected everyone around her, the way those threads could be pulled, tightened, wrapped around someone until they cut off the blood supply. Or snapped entirely.”

This girl is fierce, relentless, unapologetic and tenacious. And she’s driven! Driven by her love for Wallachia, her brother and yes, even Mehmed. I think I rarely met a bookish character that was so self-assured and knew exactly what it wanted. Lada wants to go back to her homeland and her deep love for Wallachia trumps everything else. I think she’s kind of similar to Aelin when it comes to this, only that Aelin’s Terrasen is more like a vague idea of something that used to be and Lada’s Wallachia is everything that’s out of her reach. She’s longing for her country and her people and she’s ready to do whatever is needed in order to get back there. But she’s also conflicted. So very conflicted. She refuses to give up on her religion, she doesn’t want to adapt to Ottoman customs and she fights against her tutor, yet there is one thing or rather one person she can’t seem to be able to refuse and his name is Mehmed. Throughout the entire book it felt like she was torn inside and I suppose she was. Between what she wanted and what she needed or craved for. I’m not sure the ending solved that problem but she made a choice and she’ll have to live with it. For better or for worse. >_<

”She had to be the smartest, constantly surprising and delighting him. She was terrified that the day she stopped amusing him would be the day he remembered he had no use for a daughter.”

”She kept a pleasant smile on her own, kept her hands loosely folded in her lap, kept control. Control was power. No one would make her lose it. And eventually the tutor would realize that she would let him hit Radu over, and over, and over.
And only then would Radu be safe.“

”On our wedding night,” she said, “I will cut out your tongue and swallow it. Then both tongues that spoke our marriage vows will belong to me, and I will be wed only to myself. You will most likely choke to death on your own blood, which will be unfortunate, but I will be both husband and wife and therefore not a widow to be pitied.”

”Why was she still here? What had become of the girl who was the daughter of a dragon? Was this it, then? Had she reached the pinnacle of her potential? A command of fifty men in service of a man she loved, who ruled an empire she loathed?”

Radu:

”Radu had gotten all the beauty their father had wished on his daughter. His eyes were framed by thick lashes, his lips full, his gentle curls kissed with a hint of Saxon gold.”

To say Radu is a precious cinnamon roll would be kind of insulting because even though he is, the Slytherin in him is still strong! *lol* I really loved that about his character because it made him so much more intriguing. There is this beautiful and sweet boy that knows exactly how to use his good looks and charisma to his advantage and he never even hesitates to do just that. As long as it helps him to protect Lada and Mehmed he won’t have any qualms about his actions. If I’d have to describe Radu in a brief sentence I’d say that he is: Beauty with a sting. XD But despite all his good cheer and easy nature he’s also a very lonely and insecure character which is easy to see whenever he’s around Mehmed. At first he doesn’t even realize that what he feels for Mehmed is love and once he figures it out he’s trying to suppress it. Because of his good looks and friendly nature he was always teased and I think the fact that he harboured feelings for his best friend only made it even harder to come to terms with himself. His father basically thought he was soft and worthless so it’s no wonder he’s super insecure about his feelings. Especially at a time like that and in a country where the Sultan has an entire harem of women. It’s no wonder poor Radu is lost and I’m kind of afraid of what will happen to him in book two. =S

”And then, seeing the relief shining in Mehmed’s black eyes, Radu knew what he hoped for: He hoped for the best for his friend. Regardless of what that meant for himself.“

”What had Lazar seen? What did he suspect? Could he tell simply by watching Radu that something was very wrong with him, when even Radu did not understand what it was? All he knew was that there was some light, some pull, some fire that Mehmed carried, and Radu only felt truly alive when he was nearby.”

”You have both been so busy learning tactics and studying battles, you have failed to see the truth of where thrones are won and lost. It is in the gossip, the words and letters passed in dark corners, the shadow alliances and the secret payments. You think I am worthless? I can do things you could never dream of.”

”I know it would help you, to have someone you could trust on that throne. And I want to serve you, to do whatever I can to help you gain Constantinople and be the sultan your empire has waited for. I will do whatever I can. But please, I beg you, do not ask this of me.”

Mehmed:

”The more I pushed, the more they looked the other way. My father never saw me, my mother could not be bothered to take so much as a meal with me. No one cared who I was or what I became.”

Dare I say it? Yes, yes I do. Don’t kill me but I think in comparison to the complexity of Lada and Radu’s characters, Mehmed was actually pretty… bland? *lol* Ahh it feels good to get that off my chest. XD I really don’t know why both of them fell for him because aside of his occasional kindness there is actually not a lot that speaks for him. He’s as spoiled as you’d expect the son of a sultan to be and even though there was an obvious effort to show that he was never loved by his father he still had it so much better than anyone else. Mehmed might not have been happy about his role but he still played it and used his harem to father children. I guess in some way he was as torn about this as Lada and Radu were about their allegiances, but this certainly didn’t stop him from seeking out his harem and for using his power as he saw fit. So yes, underneath it all he’s still spoiled and carries some sort of entitled arrogance with him. Which ultimately didn’t make him all too likeable in my opinion. I DID appreciate his efforts to protect his infant brother though and I was as heartbroken as he was when Huma arranged for him to be killed. T_T

”I want you to think of an amount you feel is fair but generous. It is important to me that your soldiers – and you – know that no one values you or can take care of you as much as I can.” Mehmed’s smile dropped off, his eyes becoming as shard as his tone. “No one can offer you what I can, and if anyone tried, it would be treason.”

”He knew then that his posterity, his wandering, homeless people, would rule the world. Is how far we have come not a testament to the truth of his vision? I have inherited that, Lada. It is a calling and a dream I cannot deny. The tree is mine to spread, and I must.”

3

Radu & Lada:

Radu nodded, snuggling into her shoulder. “Will you protect me?”
“Until the day I kill you.” She jabbed a finger into his side, where he was most ticklish, and he squealed with pained laughter.

In some way this is such a typical sibling relationship and then again it isn’t. I think everyone who has a brother or a sister can relate to the rivalry between those two and sometimes even to the animosity they feel at the beginning of the book. Lada realizing that she loves and cares about her brother deeply is something very typical for siblings. When you’re little they are always there and steal the attention from you, so you try to get some of your parents attention too, but the older you get the more you realize that the person you took for granted is very dear to you and that you wouldn’t want to miss them for the world. So regarding their early years this felt very relatable. Their relationship as they grow older is something entirely different though. Where normal siblings would have gotten along by then, Lada and Radu are still struggling. It’s obvious they love each other but at the same time they also kind of hate what they’ve become. Lada can’t forgive Radu for embracing their new home and Islam and Radu doesn’t understand why Lada is holding on to their old ways. This by itself is a pretty interesting dynamic and if you add Mehmed into the mix it gets even more complicated. At first it was their father that sowed the seed of discord and later on it’s Mehmed. Lada knows about Radu’s feelings yet she also knows that Mehmed has only eyes for her, and Radu is painfully aware that Mehmed only wants his sister and not him. Despite all that their bond is strong and when push comes to shove it’s Lada, Radu rescues. XD I really wish those two siblings would have talked more and that Lada would have explained why she let their teacher hurt Radu. *sighs* What being apart will do to their already strained relationship I dunno, but you bet I’m ready to find out. 😉

”But they were both silent in the shared secret of their escape, the truth that Mehmed could never know. Their secret was deeper and darker than the pool in the woods. Lada took her brother’s hand and squeezed it, a grip as painful as their new bond. They had betrayed Mehmed.”

”You – It does not seem like you. I never thought you could do something like this.”
Radu stiffened. “You may have been the one who stopped the dagger last time, but I am the one who will know before the dagger ever comes close to Mehmed.”

”You saved me,” she said.
“Of course I did.”
She shook her head. “Not when I was falling. When Ilyas had us both on the floor. You chose me over Mehmed.”
“You are my family,” he whispered. Lazar had been right, after all.

”She did not acknowledge it or the immense gratitude welling in his eyes. She owed him a debt. Nothing was more important to him than Mehmed’s trust. Perhaps it would have been kinder to break that trust and force a removal. Maybe then Radu could be free of the impossible love he carried. But she could not do that to him, not when it was so easy to take this blow on her own shoulders.”

Lada & Mehmed:

”Would you command me to stay? And if I refuse? Will you have me beaten? Whipped? All that and more I have faced in your father’s courts. I did not bow before your god or your sultan then, and I will not now. Why did you bring me here, Mehmed? I will not be ruled.”
Mehmed’s face fell. He lowered his hand, and the line of his back – so straight – curved. “I have never wanted to be your master. I have servants. And teachers, and guards, and a father who despises me. I want you … to be my friend.”

I think this relationship was doomed from the beginning because neither Lada nor Mehmed are able to change the way they are. Lada’s first and only true love is Wallachia and Mehmed is the sultan of the Ottoman Empire and has responsibilities he’ll never be able to escape. If Lada would have given in they might have had a chance but she’s too independent and stubborn to give up her dreams. Also I probably would have disliked her if she would have chosen Mehmed over everything she loves. If you break it down to the basics all Mehmed can give her is being one of many women to bear him children, always standing on the sidelines, designated to be nothing more than the shadow of the sultan. Lada has to go her own way and even though she had to rip out her heart in order to do so, she made the sacrifice willingly because she knew it was necessary. She’ll never be a docile wife and Mehmed should have realized this way earlier than he did. Their cultures and stances just clash too much. So I think this ship has sunk even though I doubt that we’ll have seen the last of them together. *lol* There’s still book 2 and 3 after all so I’m sure they’ll meet again eventually.

”And the harem, I – It is not real, Lada. I visit, and they flit about like phantoms, like paintings. None of them are real to me.” He paused again, placing a hand flat against the door. “You are the only real thing in my life.”

Mehmed blinked rapidly, then shook his head. “Lada, I was not talking about my son. Do you think he is the only thing here I value?”
“Then what?”
“You! I will not take you into battle! You have no idea what the conditions are like, no idea how many ways there are to die.”

”Say you are mine.” He trailed his lips down her neck. She arched into him, digging her fingers into his back.
“I am yours,” she whispered. The words cut like knives, barely out of her mouth before he stole them, sealing them with his own lips.

“Because thinking like that is the only way to keep from losing our minds.”
“What about our souls?” Mehmed whispered.
Before Lada walked out, she paused at the door. “Souls and thrones are irreconcilable.”

Radu & Mehmed:

Mehmed put a hand on his shoulder, his smile healing the hurt of Lada’s mocking. “I know what you meant. This pool is as old and as pure as that story, I think.”
“It will be ours, then.” Radu beamed.
“Our secret,” Mehmed agreed.

First of all I’ve to say: DAMN IT!!! How could Mehmed not realize that Radu didn’t come along with them?!!?? Like seriously!! He’s his best friend and he didn’t realize his absence until about an hour or so has passed?! WTH??  Poor Radu! T_T It broke my heart! As did Radu being in love with Mehmed. I was constantly wondering if Mehmed is even aware of it but considering that he didn’t even notice Radu was missing he obviously only has eyes for Lada. It’s like Radu is some sort of afterthought and I hurt for Radu because he deserves so much better than that. I still don’t know how I feel about Radu’s marriage with Nazira but I suppose in some way it will be good for them both. I mean Nazira can be with her maid Fatima and be happy and maybe she’ll be a good companion for Radu. Someone he can confide in when he feels lonely and lost. That he had to kill Lazar because he betrayed Mehmed made me very sad but I understand why he did it. >_< Still, Lazar was an old and trusted friend that only tried to protect Radu so that he died at his own hands was a cruel twist. =(( I wish I would have gotten Mehmed’s POV because I think some part of him is aware that Radu loves him and even uses it to bind him to his side… His POV certainly would have been helpful in that regard. *lol* And I don’t even know who that guard from Constantinople was that held Radu’s gaze for such a long time but I’m pretty sure he would have been way more healthy for Radu than Mehmed. XD I’m kinda disappointed nothing happened between those two. *lol* But I’m pretty sure sooner or later Radu will meet a guy that will reciprocate his feelings and hopefully he’ll be ready to take the leap. =) He deserves to be loved and I hope it will happen in book two. XD

”He wanted Mehmed to look at him the way he had looked at Lada.
He wanted Mehmed to kiss him the way he had kissed Lada.
He wanted to be Lada.
No, he did not. He wanted to be himself, and he wanted Mehmed to love him for being himself.

„Radu knelt beside Mehmed, putting a hand on his shoulder. Mehmed looked up in surprise, but whatever he was about to say died on his lips as he squinted at Radu. Without a word, he threw himself forward. He wrapped his arms around Radu’s torso and buried his face in his shoulder.”

”She is lovely and a good match. And you will still be here.” He stopped and looked up. A hint of fear mingled with the trouble behind his eyes. “You will still be here.”
“Of course.”
“I depend on you. I trust you as I trust no one else.”
Radu smiled, lifting a hand to his heart. “And I you.”

After she was gone, Radu held Mehmed as he wept, Radu’s joy at cradling Mehmed was like a kick to the stomach, overpowering and destined to linger with bruises long after it was over.
“Never leave me.” Mehmed’s grief-choked voice still rang with command.
Radu closed his eyes. “I will never leave you.” Mehmed was in his arms, but he knew Lada was the only thing in Mehmed’s heart.

4

Kiersten White took historical names and spun her own story around them and what a marvellous tale it turned out to be! If you like historical fiction and books with a slow plot and multifaceted, independent characters this one certainly will be for you. Add a little bit of love, jealousy, an LGBTQ rep and lots of intrigues and you’re all set for a while. ;-P

 
 

A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Brigid Kemmerer)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 11 on My Book List 2020


”My father once said we are all dealt a hand at birth. A good hand can ultimately lose – just as a poor hand can win – but we must all play the cards fate deals. The choices we face may not be the choices we want, but they are choices nonetheless.”

So after reading “A Curse so Dark and Lonely” I was actually kind of surprised to discover that a lot of my favourite bloggers only rated this book 3 or 2 stars. I get that they are tired of “The Beauty and the Beast” retellings but I don’t get the low ratings. O_o In short: Yours truly is confused! *lol* Sure, there are a lot of retellings at the market right now and yes, ACOTAR is among them, but that doesn’t mean that this wasn’t good. Quite the contrary, in its own way it had quite a unique spin. Well, at least in my humble opinion it did. 😉

For instance Harper, the love interest, has cerebral palsy, the beast is no beast right away but slowly turns into one the more time passes, and even more interesting Rhen actually has a (best) friend. XD (Though I’m pretty sure a lot of people might disagree with me, when it comes to that last part.) Also there’s an evil sorceress that apparently has nothing better to do than to torment our MCs. Who doesn’t love a wicked witch? *lol*

Joking aside this was a lot of fun to read and it definitely kept me reading. Sure, you might argue that the jump from modern DC to Emberfall was quite sudden and jarring and yes, I’m the first one to admit that Grey (the side-character) was my favourite character in this book. Still, I might have not been as attached to Harper and Rhen as I was to Grey, this doesn’t mean that the book or its characters were bad though. Sometimes you just like the side-characters more and this is certainly one of those particular cases. (Come to think of it this seems to be a recurring thing when it comes to “The Beauty and the Beast” retellings. After all I loved Lucien and Rhys way more than Tam too. XD) Anyway, if you’re looking for a fast and entertaining TBATB retelling I’m pretty sure you’ll like this one too. 😉 And now that we got that out of the way, let’s jump right to my characters section!

2

Welcome to Emberfall where we always have autumn and it never gets cold. But that’s not all!  We also have a lot of amazing sights like for instance lots of spoilers, a beast, enemy troops and a super evil enchantress. Just like the spoilers you might want to avoid the enchantress though. *lol* This is a fair warning! If they get their hands on you I’m not responsible. ;-P

Harper:

”She wasn’t conscious. She wasn’t going willingly.” Her words are fierce. “And for the record, I’m not either.”

Ahh that fire! I really liked Harper right from the beginning. This is a girl that thinks on her feet and stands by her opinion! She is certainly no damsel in distress and I was happy to see such an independent character. Harper is ready to fight for her life and for what she thinks is right and she won’t back down just because of an evil enchantress and a curse. I think in some way that made her the perfect match for Rhen because she’s not broken and he actually needed a strong willed person like her. This said, I don’t know a lot about cerebral palsy but for me the rep was done really well. I liked that Harper was honest about it and that she considered herself to be lucky. Just like epilepsy, cerebral palsy seems to come with different characteristics and with a different severity for every person that’s affected by it and I could really relate to that. I’m really curious where Harper’s character will go in the next book and I can’t wait to see more of her relationship with Rhen.

”It affects everyone differently,” she says. “Some people can’t walk, or they can’t speak, or they have to use a wheelchair. I was a lot worse off when I was younger, so I had to have surgery to correct my left leg. I still have trouble with balance, and I walk with a limp, but I’m really lucky.”

”You are not angry about what Lilith has done?”
“Oh, I’m furious. But not about my face.”
“Then what?”
Her voice fills with steel. “I’m mad I missed.”

Rhen:

”I remember a time when my people feared the day I would come to lead – because I was seen as spoiled and selfish and not half the man my father was.
Now I am spoiled and selfish in another way, and no better fit to rule.”

Lord Vincent Aldrhen, Prince of Emberfall, son of Broderick, King of the Eastern Lands. Wow! That’s quite a long title, no wonder he goes by Rhen. *lol* Rhen was a very difficult character to gauge. I guess this is mostly due to him having to endure not only the curse but also the company of Lilith. At first I thought he was just reserved and cautious but the more I found out about him, the more I realized that he was thoroughly broken. He didn’t dare to hope that the curse could be broken and after so many years he was demoralized and resigned. Not even desperate, just done with the world and the curse. Well, and then Harper came along and gave him hope. I really liked that he always did what was best for his people and it’s no surprise Grey was so loyal to him. What Karis Luran told him at the end was quite a revelation though and I’m more than just ready to find out if it’s true. XD

”My lady, please – please know I meant you no harm. I meant your family no harm. I have tried everything I can think of to break this curse. I have tried to destroy myself. I would undo it if I could. I promise you.”

”This was my father’s kingdom,” he says. “This is now my kingdom. I may not be able to save myself – but I may be able to save my people.”

Grey:

Grey sights and gather up the cards. “You asked how I got her to play with me. As if there were some trick to it.” He wraps up the stack. “My lord, I did nothing. I sat down and asked.”

Ahhh my precious Grey! I haven’t been as enamoured by a side-character ever since I read ACOTAR and this says quite something! Lucien was/is so intriguing and Grey is too! XD For me he was legit the best thing about this book and I can’t wait to read “A Heart so Fierce and Broken” because I’ll finally get his POV! I loved that he was such a complex character yet at the same time he was so easy to be around. He took everything in stride and his loyalty to Rhen and Harper was amazing. ❤ This said I think that he suffered at least as much from the curse as Rhen did because he is a good person and to stand aside while Rhen was tortured by Lilith must have been pure hell for him. He’s compassionate and kind and he has some special brand of dark humour that was especially endearing. (at least for me it was. *lol*) In short: He’s an angel and an honourable soul and I really hope that he won’t suffer even more in the next book. I hate that Lilith and Karis Luran drove a wedge between him and Rhen and I really hope they’ll be able to talk things out in book two. >_<

”If His Highness allowed it, I would take her provocation by tenfold. I would fight her until I had no breath left to breathe.” His voice turns almost lethal, and in the dim light of the hallway, Grey’s eyes seem to darken. “My duty is to bleed so he does not. And now,” he says, “my duty is to bleed so you do not.”

”I speak too freely. This cursed drink has bewitched my thoughts.”

3

Harper & Rhen:

”Rhen,” she calls after me.
I pause in the doorway and face her.
“I’m not going to fall in love with you,” she says.
Her words are not a surprise. I sigh. “You won’t be the first.”

Mhmm… I know they are the two MCs that were supposed to fall in love but I didn’t really feel their relationship. If anything it was more some sort of friendship that formed between them and even though they were attracted to each other I never had the feeling that they were I dunno, head over heels? Truly, madly, deeply? *lol* But then again this was the same problem I had with ACOTAR. Only attraction just isn’t working for me and considering that they apparently fell in love by the end of the book their relationship was actually pretty chaste. I think the most outrageous thing they did was hold hands and brush lips. XD What a scandal! *lol* Sorry, my sarcasm is surfacing. ;-P I think what it comes down to, is that I missed the passion between those two. But maybe I’ll get more of it in the next book? *shrugs* One thing is for certain though, for the main MC couple their love story was pretty lukewarm and probably the only thing I didn’t like about the book. Let’s hope I’ll be persuaded and swept of my feet by them in the next instalment.

She studies me. “I never know when to trust you. Everything always sounds so calculated.”
I jerk back, stung.
“Until you said all that.”

”What will you offer to stop it? What will you offer for passage home?”
“Anything.” She draws a hitching breath. “God, Rhen. Any –“
“No!” My voice is sharp, and she jumps. I put a finger over her lips. “Never offer blindly, my lady. Not for your family. Not even for yourself. Certainly not for me.”

”I want so desperately to turn it into more, to see where this blossoming attraction will lead. But I have come close before. I have found this moment before. The only difference is that I have never wanted it so badly. I draw back, then press my lips to her forehead.
“I want to know it’s real, too,” I say.

”I’m sorry,” Harper whispers. “I’m sorry I didn’t break the curse.”
I lift a hand to brush the tears off her cheeks. Oh, Harper. I wish she had. Not because of the curse, or because of Karis Luran, or because of Emberfall.
Because I have fallen in love with her.”

Harper & Grey:

”I’m finding that Grey has a dark sense of humor hidden under the formality. It’s subversive. I like it.”

Haha! I really liked those two! And yes, in my opinion they had more chemistry than Harper and Rhen. Might have been due to Grey’s intensity though. *lol* Either way I enjoyed their friendship and it was such a natural thing. Like they were just honest with each other and appreciated each other’s company. Nothing about them was complicated and it was the easiness and their companionship that made their scenes together so nice to read. =) Also that scene at the inn! *lol* I loved that Grey just followed Harpers order and how surprised she was at what he did. Haha! One of the best scenes in the entire book. XD I’m not sure I like the insinuation of Grey being romantically interested in Harper though. For me they had nothing but a great friendship and that conversation between Grey and Rhen when they drank together didn’t sit well with me. It came out of nowhere and sure Harper is great but we all know she’s Rhen’s love interest so why insinuate a love triangle that will lead nowhere? Just for the sake of it? Nope. Not buying it. They will be friends and that’s it. ;-P

I look at Grey, remembering how he made faces at the children in the snow. “You’re good with kids,” I say. “That’s like the most … incongruous thing about you.”
“Is it?” he says, his voice dry. “Truly, my lady?”

I hold his gaze and refuse to look away. “Commander Grey. Prove how serious I am.”
Grey’s hand flicks out. The man shouts and drops to the ground. The hilt of a knife protrudes from his knee. Whoa. I have no idea what I expected him to do, but that’s even better.

Harper & Jake:

”You think I’m going to sit upstairs eating cake with Noah while you’re out risking your life?” he snaps. “Quit staring at me. I’m coming with you.”

Harper and Jake gave me all the sibling vibes! ❤ I loved their relationship and that they were so close. We might have only gotten them together near the end of the book but the few scenes they had were really wholesome and typical for siblings. The bickering, the conversations, the wish to take care of each other, their protectiveness, it was on point. Also I kind of liked that Jake had a bf and that no one was bothered by this. *lol* In fact Grey’s reaction was hilarious! The healer’s concubine. I’m still not over it. XD I can’t help but wonder what they’ll do now that they are stuck in Emberfall though. Harper was always supposed to end up with Rhen, but her brother and Noah came there by accident and I’m curious if they’ll stay in Emberfall or if Grey will return them to DC one day. Guess I’ll have to find out by continuing with the series. 😉

”No,” says Jake, speaking for the first time in a while. “Harper, you didn’t do this.”
“But I could have stopped it. I couldn’t get out of my own way –“
“No,” he snaps. “And damn it, for once would you listen to me? You didn’t curse him. You didn’t bring yourself here.” He takes a long breath. “You didn’t – you didn’t give Mom cancer. You didn’t force Dad to borrow money from the wrong people –“
“You didn’t, either,” I say to him. “But you still went to work for Lawrence.”
“I did what I had to do,” he says. “To give Mom time. To protect you.”
“Me too,” I say.

Then he smiles, a shadow of the old Jake, before life clobbered us all. “Mom would be really proud of you, Princess Harper.” He kisses me on the forehead, then heads back through the doors into the castle.

Lilith & Rhen:

„I cannot wait to see how your monster manifests this season,” she says. “Perhaps I will keep you on a chain and put you on display for my enemies.”
A sudden chill grips my spine. This is an outcome I have never considered.
“Would you like that?” she says, moving closer again. “Mine for all eternity, Prince Rhen?”

I rarely witnessed such an abusive relationship in a book and whilst Harper’s and Rhen’s relationship was super chaste the same couldn’t be said about Lilith and Rhen. That woman tortured him in every way possible, manipulated him, enslaved him, sexually and emotionally abused him, humiliated him and did everything in her power to make him submissive. >_< I felt so sorry for Rhen and it’s no wonder he gave up hope and was broken. Seriously, Lilith’s relationship with Rhen was such a harsh contrast to his relationship with Harper and the differences couldn’t have been even more pronounced. Which was most likely Brigid Kemmerer’s intention. An abusive relationship vs. a wholesome one. Still, I hated Lilith for what she did to Rhen and Grey and I really hope Grey managed to end her. Hopefully she won’t appear in the next book. Good riddance!

”Humiliation burns my eyes, my throat. When she breaks the kiss, relief nearly breaks me. I want to shove her away, but I am pinned to the wall. My breathing is rough and ragged. I cannot look at her. I can barely move. My hands are still in fists, my muscles so tense I am trembling. And hope that bloomed in my chest has now withered and died.”

Rhen & Grey:

”Are you prepared to die, Grey?” I demand. “Because that is all that exists at the end of this path. I am sure of it. This was never a curse to be broken. This is a death sentence. The true curse has been the thought that we might find escape.”

What they both endured and what they went through together… I think it’s safe to say that they aren’t just friends but actually brothers. (no pun intended, I swear. *lol*) They tried to keep it professional for so long but the longer the season proceeded the more they gave up on their formality. And I think that was good the way it was. After so many seasons it was about time they admitted that they are friends. You can’t survive things like they did without forging a bond and theirs is strong. I’m confident that whatever Karis Luran and Lilith threw their way … they’ll overcome it in the next book. They have too much history together and I believe in them. Grey might think he won’t be welcome at Emberfall but we all know that Rhen misses him sorely! So there’s that! I really hope they’ll meet in “A Heart so Fierce and Broken” and that they’ll finally be able to have the friendship they were supposed to have all along. =)

”I do speak freely, my lord.”
His loyalty should inspire me. It does not. I have done nothing to earn it. I find that I regret his oath.
“Leave me,” I say.
The door whispers shut. Grey has always been good at following orders. And for the first time, I wish he wasn’t.

”Your first order was to seal the borders. You sent word to each city to govern from within.”
I do not understand how he can speak of my failures as if they are victories. “It was all I could do.”
“You asked why I keep my oath. In that moment, I never meant it more.”
“I do not deserve your loyalty, Grey.”
“Deserved or not, you have it.“

”You are incorrigible. I have no idea how I put up with you for so long.”
I raise an eyebrow, more amused than anything else. “Is that the drink talking?”
The shadow of a wicked smile finds his lips. “You told me to speak my mind.”

4

“A Curse So Dark and Lonely” definitely lived up to its title. Some scenes were truly dark and I felt really sorry for the lonely MCs! XD In this case I’ve to admit that I loved the side-character more than the MCs though. Grey just stole them both the show and I was quite fine with that. ;-P Still, for another TBATB retelling this was as good as they come and I can’t wait to get my hands on the second book. I’ve been told there will be Grey’s POV so I’m already pumped! *lol*

A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

Review: A Charm of Finches (Suanne Laqueur)

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Rating:5 Pfoten

”Listen and learn it, learn to tell it, and tell it to teach it.”

I think I’m just beginning to realize that no matter what I say about Suanne’s books, it will never be enough. I feel kind of unworthy to talk about her stories because they are just so, so, SO good and believe me when I say that in all the years of my existence I never read anything like them… EVER. There are books that are epic, there are stories that have wisdom, there are tales that take you to another world and narratives that make you think and feel, but there is nothing, I repeat nothing that even gets moderately close to how I feel when I read Suanne’s wonderful books.

I can try to describe them but all the words in the world won’t do them justice. Nothing I say will suffice. They are filled with so much humour, with relationships that are so real you can taste them on your tongue and feel them in your heart, they make you ache and bleed, but they also console you and hold you when you’re breaking down. They are pure joy and your darkest hour! They are all the good and bad things and all the nuances in between. They are life! In all its facets and with all its ups and downs. They feel like a living and breathing thing, like a beating heart you’re holding in your palms while you read it.

Suanne’s books are everything and even more and I can’t believe I just discovered them because quite honestly I can’t even imagine a life without them anymore. (I already dread the day when I’ll run out of them, because sooner or later I will. At least when I continue at this pace. *lol*) I love “An Exaltation of Larks” and I adore “A Charm of Finches” and if all of Suanne’s other books are that good I’ll probably die about a thousand deaths until I’ve read them all. It will be worth it though. XD

This said I decided to make this one of my long reviews because I have so many thoughts and feelings that need to be written down. I know this is going to be a huge mess with lots of emotions that will run all over the pages but it needs to get out. XD So to all of you who don’t want to be spoiled: You better stop reading now! I’ll only say one more thing before I go for the real deal: READ THIS SERIES!!! You won’t regret it, because it’s so damn good!!!! ❤

2

Warning: Don’t cross this border! There’ll be lots of emotions, even more feels and plenty of spoilers. Of course it’s up to you if you continue or not, but don’t say I didn’t warn you! 😉

Javier Landes:

Jav exhaled heavily. “Twenty-three years I had this perfect social life. Perfect date after perfect date. I’m really becoming aware of what an act it was. What a repertory of roles I played and none of them were really me. It’s kind of put me in a mini existential crisis. I have moment s when I don’t know who the fuck I am.”

My review about “An Exaltation of Larks” was an ARC review so I was careful not to spoil anything but since I read this without the aid of NetGalley I can finally gush about Jav!!! I love this man so damn much and I think that’s mostly due to the fact that we’re very similar. Jav experienced so many things, he was hurt, he was lost, he knows loss and pain and even though my experiences might be different than his, the feelings and emotions we share are still the same. I can relate to him and there were countless moments my heart truly ached for him. It was so beautiful to see his journey, to see that he finally accepted himself and was ready to fall in love with Stef. Jav is such a compassionate and wonderful man and it was so good to see that he was finally loved back!!! I just love the way he thinks and feels and when he zoomed out writing things in his head or used his journal I was like: This is me when I write! XD I adore him for always being there when someone needs him, the way he helped Geno out even though they were kind of at odds at the time and how nervous he was! He didn’t want to screw up and this only made me love him even more. ❤ I swear, when he opened up to Stef after meeting his aunt… Oh gods!!! I cried buckets reading that scene!! Jav was hurt so badly by his family’s actions and he suppressed it for so many years. I was so glad Stef was with him and was able to catch him when he fell. >_< This man deserves all the love and I just want him to be happy for eternity!!! <333

”Why do you do it?“
„Why?“
Jav’s shy smile unfolded. “Asking people what they do is boring. Asking why they do it is so much more interesting.”

A beat of silence that felt like a gamble, then Jav said, “I know what it means. I’m on my way.”
“Jav, I’m sorry,” Geno said. “About-“
“It’s all right,” Jav said. “None of that matters tonight. Let’s just get you the hell out of there. You stay with Ed. I’m coming.”

”This is how I was born to love.
The world can call me whatever label they want. I know who I am.
I’m Stef’s.”

”Everyone just leaves,” Jav said. “I don’t get to say goodbye to anyone. I don’t get a say at all. They leave and I just sit around making up stories to explain why.”

Stef Finch:

”I didn’t choose this particular road, it kind of chose me.”

I never thought I’d love another character in “Venery” as much as I love Jav but then Stef came along and I had to revise my opinion. *lol* This man is perfect in every sense of the word! I even told Suanne as much! XD But I don’t mind because ahh he’s so great and I just adore him! I don’t know how he does his job but I’m glad there exist some Stefs in the world because they are needed! I mean he passed out after he saved a girl that wanted to kill herself and even scarred his left eyebrow when he fell. That’s a true hero right there!! Also can we appreciate his love for books?! I mean one of his first thoughts when he met Jav was ”Dude, if you don’t read, we ain’t got no future anyway.” *LOL* Of course he didn’t know that it was Jav’s book he was reading so yeah. XD There are so many things that make Stef special and his compassion, his calm nature, his way to deal with problems, they are just a few of them! =) Plus I loved how self-confident he is. Stef takes everything in stride and knows exactly who he is, which was wonderful and made him a perfect man for Jav! So at the risk of repeating myself: Stef is perfect! Period! <333

”Connect, he thought. I want to connect.
His heart closed around the thought like catching a firefly.
I’m lonely and I want to connect with someone. Mind and body. Something that means… something.”

”He was wearing a grey shirt today. It would fucking have to do. He went straight from work to the bar. No going home to shower, shave, pick a blue shirt and hang out in front of the mirror like a twink.
Dig me, dig my crappy shirt.”

”It’s all right,” Stef said. “You cry as much as you want.”
Max moaned and wept harder.
“I’m right here. I got you.”

”Sometimes,” Stef said slowly. “I come home with part of a case sticking to me, and I don’t want anyone or anything. I don’t want to be touched until I deal with it. But other times, the only way I can deal with it is being touched. Sometimes I can only shake off the echo of a sexual abuse story by making love.”

Geno:

Someone has to be in charge. I am Mos, rhymes with dos, and I’m in command here. I have the strength of two now.”

Geno’s story moved me so much I can’t even put it into words. This boy went through something no one should ever go through and even though it broke him, he came out of it stronger in the end. I don’t know how he did it but I agree with Stef: ”they didn’t get the best of him”.  I’m not going to sugar coat it: The first 10% of this book were so damn hard to read, because we get a good glimpse at Geno’s ordeal and it was tough to read. Rape is horrible and for Geno… it was pure torture. What those men did to him, what he had to endure… I can’t even imagine what this must have done to him. There is this 17 year old innocent boy and they raped him until he almost died. T_T And believe me when I say that I want them all to rot in hell for it! To hurt a young boy like that! It’s unforgivable! Geno suffered so much! This poor boy! His twin died and he had to live with the aftermath, with knowing that his own brother brought him to them. I could understand why Mos came into being, why it was better to let it happen to someone else. >_< Carlito’s death, his own ordeal, the death of his father… gods it was just too much for him to endure. I have no idea how Geno managed to survive but he did it, he fought, he clawed his way back into life and he’s one of those characters that will stay with me forever. Whatever he’s doing now, I hope he’s happy! And that he’s still friends with Micah, because their friendship was everything. Two different generations that survived ordeals no one should ever have to survive and they still made the best of it. When they hugged and Geno cried in his arms I was crying with them. T_T

”All of it still hurt so much.
Lying in the dark, a soft, sleeping girl in his inked arms, he blinked through irritated tears and feared it would always hurt.”

”I’m all alone here.
He stood again, his view free of the bars but still feeling just as caged.
I want to go home.
I want all this to be happening to someone else. Why can’t this be someone else?“

Micah rocked him, a hand stroking Geno’s head. Inked numbers in his dusty skin. Strong arms and a stronger heart.
“Hijo querido,” he said. “You and I know what it’s really about.”

3

Jav & Stef:

„Hey there, handsome.“
Stef looked back.
Hey there, indeed.
A guy was at the top of the gallery’s stairs. Tall and built in jeans and a black blazer. Taking off aviator shades to show his face.
Whoa.“

There is so much I want to say about those two men and I’m really afraid it will become an essay! lol* BUT oh boy!!! They were so great together!!! After everything Jav went through it was so good to see him in such a solid and healthy relationship! It was a great contrast to the heavy parts of Geno’s story and Suanne managed to find a balance which is searching for its match. (Suanne, did I ever tell you that I love you? No? Well, I do! ;-P) I loved to see their first meeting from Stef’s POV and haha his reaction to seeing Jav for the very first time was priceless! ❤ They were so truly and madly in love it was overwhelming and made me giggle like crazy. I loved how they got to know each other, how they accepted each other’s boundaries and talked things out! Yes, they spoke about their problems and fears and it was AMAZING!!! They were so attuned to each other they noticed the smallest gestures of discomfort from a mile away. XD And their conversation about how being bi feels for them! It felt so true and real that I found myself speaking to the pages saying: Yes!! Yes, that’s it! They were each other’s safe haven and whenever the sea got unsteady and tempestuous they could rely on each other. ❤ That moment Jav broke down in Stef’s arms?! Ahh it hurt so much but I was so happy he was with him guiding him through the rough sea! Those two men! I can’t get enough of them and I’ll make sure to read all the accompanying stories I can find. I need more of their happiness! So, so much more! XD

”Crying out loud, Landes, what?” he said.
“What?”
Stef’s smile broke apart laughing. “Stop looking at me.”
“No puedo dejar de mirarte,” Jav said, tackling him. Because he was a fucking hot mess and couldn’t keep his hands off the guy.

”The attraction is tougher?” Jav said. “More tenacious?”
“Yes,” Stef said, his voice rising. “Tenacious. Exactly. It can take my weight. I can push on it hard, be rougher with it. It’s not a connection I overlap or fall into. It’s something I lean on. Hard.”

”I like you so fucking much,” Stef said. He’d never in his life said such a thing to a man.
“I like you, too,” Jav said, as if the words were bubbles on his tongue.”

”When Stef locked arms around Jav’s waist at the stove and leaned on him, Jav had to stop cooking and taste the moment. Close his eyes and hold it tight, unable to remember the last time he felt this content. This complete.“

”The last chapter.”
Stef blinked. “You lost me.”
“You’re the last chapter,” Jav said. “I went from the prologue to you. I skipped everything in the middle and now I’m in love with you and I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.”
A rush as everything in Stef’s body dilated, returned to normal levels, and then rose up. “Jesus Christ, Jav,” he said, rubbing his face. “I swear, I’m going to kill you or fuck you. Pick one.”

”You didn’t know I’d end up fucking for a living. Making me waste twenty years of my life when I could’ve been something to somebody…”
Then he was crying.
Stef pulled him in tight and stood still against the storm, his hand running in slow circles between Jav’s trembling shoulders. “You’re something to me,” he said. “You’re everything to me.“

”Mm.” Jav fitted his thumbnail into the scar across Stef’s eyebrow. “Man, I don’t know how you do what you do.”
“I don’t know how you write books.”
“I make up bullshit. Your work is so much more important. You know how men make love with each other and you know how men make war on each other.”

Stef, Jav & Geno:

”They got him.”
“It’s over.” Geno slid off the couch, onto the floor and into Stef’s arms. “It’s over.”
Stef caught him up tight, a hand on Geno’s head. “They got him,” he said, rocking their bodies side to side.

Now the three of them certainly had an interesting dynamic. Especially because Stef had a professional relationship with Geno and Jav’s relationship with him was rather a friendship. And once again I’ve to praise the fine nuances of Suanne’s stories. Their relationships to each other were so palpable and they felt real and true. I loved that Stef got all protective of Jav when he discovered that Geno had read his journal and therefore his personal thoughts but I also loved them both for still being there for Geno even though he violated Jav’s privacy. I always knew that Geno finding out about Jav and Stef’s relationship would end badly, but after everything he went through it was no surprise. Still, I’m glad they managed to sort things out in the end and I’m so happy Geno has those two as his friends now. Stef being there for him as his therapist was so important but I think Jav being his friend was at least as vital for his healing process as Stef’s therapy. ❤ You need friends in your life and with Jav and Stef at his side Geno kind of won the friendship lottery. =) True friendships between men! I think the bookish world needs more of them.

”I’m on guard, little brother.
You fought hard and brave. Rest your heart now. Don’t be afraid.
I’m here.
They’ll have to come through me to get to you this time.”

”Geno took a long swig of ice water and asked Jav, “Do you believe everything happens for a reason?”
“I do,” Jav said. “But not everyone gets the privilege of liking the reason. Of feeling the reason was worth the ordeal or the experience.”

Jav & Ari:

”Oh my god, T, are you crying?” Ari said. He called Jav T, for Tio. Spanish for uncle.
“Shut up.”
“Come on, I bet you have an absolute surplus of toilet paper now.”
“This is true. One box of cereal lasts forever and I only have to buy a half-gallon of milk.”
“See? You don’t miss me at all.”
“You’re right. Glad to have you out of my hair. Don’t ever come back.”

I still adore this uncle-nephew duo! =) Jav and Ari’s relationship was one of the best things about “Larks” and it continued to be amazing in “Finches”. They might have found each other under difficult circumstances but they made the best of it and formed a bond that will connect them forever. Also can we acknowledge how supportive Ari is?! That boy is still so young but he already knows what’s important in life! Their conversations were once again some of the best in the book and I had to laugh so hard when Ari told Jav that he shouldn’t have sex in front of his dog. *LOL* Poor Roman! I’m sure he appreciates Ari’s concern. ;-P

”I hope you find someone,” Ari said. “You deserve it. Male or female, it’s about fucking time you had someone you can be yourself with.”
“Thanks.”

Jav & Gloria:

”When Jav lost Flip, he found in Gloria the one person who loved him unconditionally. The woman who had taken him in when his own people cast him out. He went to court and legally changed his surname to Landes. He would never think of her as his mother. He chose her name because it was the thing he respected most in the world.”

As you can see my relationships and ship section is huge this time around and the reason for it is that Suanne writes them like no other! I mean for instance Jav and Gloria!! Gloria was probably the only person that cared about him when he was alone and lost and even though to help him to become an escort might have been kind of harmful for Jav on the long run it was still something he enjoyed to do when he was younger. Gloria guided and comforted him. She provided a safe haven and helped him to help himself so for that alone she deserves respect. Plus she’s his voice of reason and a very wise woman. I love that they still have contact and that she’s the first person he comes to when his heart is troubled. ❤

”You’re right. As usual.”
“Often wrong, never in doubt.”
“Which is why I love you.”

”Love doesn’t always play nice. Love plays games you haven’t had to deal with before. Love is going to serve up a buffet of emotions you neatly avoided for decades.”

Alex, Jav & The Larks:

”And if you met someone, and it feels easy and you’re waiting for the axe or the shoe or the whatever to drop, it’s because you think you don’t deserve easy. What did I tell you about that?”
“Yeah, I know,” Jav said, exhaling.
“Say it.”
“I’m worth more and I deserve it.”
“Damn right you do.”

Ahh the tension between Alex and Jav is still tangible. I can’t help but wonder if they’ll ever get over it or if it will be one of those relationships that will always have that special spark. Sometimes you meet people that draw you in and no matter how much you try to get some distance between you, it’s bound to fail. You’re drawn like a moth to the flame or like a moon that’s pulled into the orbit of a planet. So you either find a way to live with that involuntary attraction or you don’t and put some distance between you. And let me tell you this as someone who’s tried to live with it, it’s tough!!! I managed to do it for a few years but then the contact broke because it was just too much to handle. For both of us. >_< So I can’t help but wonder how the relationship between Jav and Alex is going to develop. Still, despite all the things that are going on between them and Val basically watching them like a hawk they are a family and support each other. Which is truly amazing! Val definitely has all my respect for forgiving Alex and Jav and for trying to give them space. This woman is a saint!!! Period!

”Well, maybe I’ll meet them someday.”
Jav smiled at the safe, gender-neutral pronoun. “Maybe you will,” he said. “If I don’t fuck this up.”
“Oh my God,” Alex said. “You’re still the same idiot.”
“The only one allowed in the room,” Jav said, laughing.

”Let go now,” Alex said, slapping Jav’s back, then his ass. “Or I won’t.”

Jav hugged them both. “Thanks for coming.”
“Wouldn’t miss it,” Alex said.
“We’re your family, dumbass,” Val said. “We’d do anything.”

Stav & Stef:

”Is this the guy you called me about the other day?”
“Yes.”
“Dude, does he have a brother? Named Rav?”
“No.”
“Where did he come from?”
“The fucking sky.”

Haha! I LOVED this sibling relationship!! Stav and Stef were so much fun to read about and they reminded me of my sister and me. I swear, we have conversations like the one above too and I love spending time with her and to be silly. We do that frequently and have been told that we’re like a comedy show when we’re together. (I swear sometimes it’s like people get their popcorn to watch us. Well, my brother-in-law actually did but that’s another story for another day. *lol*) So yes, I adored this sibling rep and could relate to it! Stav and Stef are two amazing people and even though Stav went through a lot of heavy shit she’s still a very optimistic and funny character! Which is remarkable! The world definitely needs more Stavs too! =))

4

“A Charm of Finches” was INCREDIBLE and I just couldn’t get enough of it. The many thoughts, ideas and feelings that went into this, the way Suanne managed to put this on paper! How she writes life the way it is and creates characters that feel like real people! (For me they actually are!) The heavy topics she’s addressing! With so much respect and care. I’m in awe of Suanne Laqueur’s mind and writing style and I’ll never get tired of advertising her books! Seriously, more people need to read her books because they are so, so, so GOOD! All the stars! All the stars, por siempre jamás!

A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

ARC Review: An Exaltation of Larks (Suanne Laqueur)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

*A forever grateful thank you to NetGalley and “Cathedral Rock Press” for providing a free ARC*

”They shared breath, poised on a shared edge, shaking all their separate pieces into one.”

Do you know the kind of book that swallows you whole? That makes you want to pick it up even though it’s in the middle of the night and you just closed it. The sort of story that takes over your mind, body and soul? The kind that makes you restless and achy with the need to continue? This special sort of book that touches you on such a profound and fundamental level your heart quite literally bursts from hurting, but, boy it hurts so good?!

“An Exaltation of Larks” was everything of the above and so, so, so much more! I had no idea what I was getting myself into until it was already too late. Until I found myself so deeply immersed in this story that it seemed to be impossible to get away from its words. They followed me around, taunted me, teased me, wanted to be read with such a relentless fervour that I couldn’t even think about uttering the word “no”.

”All his movements were clumsy and reluctant. His fingers balked at tying his sneakers. Turned locks the wrong way while opening the door. He stumbled going down the hall and the elevator door banged him on the elbow as it was closing.
He didn’t want to go.”

That’s exactly how this book made me feel and even after finishing it two weeks ago it still didn’t let me go. This story swept me off my feet, dug its claws into my skin and sang me to sleep. And to be entirely honest, this effect is still going on. By now I think “An Exaltation of Larks” was written to bury itself in my soul so that I would never feel alone again. And if that is truly the case, then all I can say is that it can have every inch of my heart it conquered.

”Many people like being alone, but nobody likes to be lonely.”

There are so many things I loved about this book, so many in fact that I don’t even know where to start. I adored Val and Alex, I worshipped Jav, whose character was so similar to mine that it sometimes felt like torture to read on. I connected with him on such a basic level that it killed me to accompany him on his difficult journey. But just like him I longed for more and no matter how much I got, I just couldn’t get enough. Of the strong friendships in this book, of the relationships between the characters, of the family they became. I swear the relationships in this book were everything!!! Just everything!! The humour, the banter, I loved how they joked, how comfortable they were around each other, how effortlessly those two families merged into one.

”Te lo agradezco mucho,” Alex said.
“You don’t have to thank me.”
“No sé cómo agradecértelo.”
“Stop.” Jav kissed his head. “You guys are my family. I’d do anything.”
He kissed Val’s head. Then six arms wove and wrapped and they held each other tight.

There are three people that found each other because they were meant to, because destiny had chosen them before they even knew it themselves and they love each other so deeply, so madly, so unconditionally that it broke my heart. The way Suanne let them deal with their troubles, how they acted around each other, how they were angry and mad but still so very much in love. How they fought for their love, how they realized that they had to accept their feelings with all their consequences, weaknesses and flaws. It just blew me away!! Suanne can write! And it’s so convincing, so realistic that it killed me. The chemistry of those characters, the cozy atmosphere, the strong feeling of belonging, of kinship and above all else the affection and love that connects them all.

”It’s not the Larks that kill you. It’s the exaltation.”

I swear at times I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I felt so fragile you could have shattered me with a soft breeze. Val’s and Alex’s marriage was so wonderful, yet I also loved the idea of Alex and Jav. To be entirely honest, the mere thought of all of them together kind of blew my mind and I suppose in some way or another those three actually kind of were in some sort of relationship. They were so connected, it was hard to even imagine them not being involved with each other and their children Ari and Deane only seemed to add to that intense sensation of all-encompassing love.

”I want you to be all right. I wanted that long before all this other stuff showed up. I wanted you to stay in Guelisten, I wanted my home to be your home. A place where you feel good. A place you can come as yourself and bring along your happiness and your pain. I wanted you around since the beginning.”

Of course none of those characters had it easy, because as we all know life may be described with an abundance of words but “easy” is certainly none of them. This said there are quite a lot of serious topics that are tackled by Suanne and they were woven so gently into the rug of this story that you don’t know where the seam begins or ends. They are as much a part of the book as they are a part of the characters and I’m still in awe of the author’s ability to let those stories speak for themselves. “The Disappeared” of Chile, 9/11 and its effects, the way our family and our personal history shapes us. I’m not ashamed to admit that I cried throughout the entire chapter that dealt with 9/11 and that the only thing that made it better was to remind myself of the things that are good in this world. Namely, a short peek at my kid while she was fast asleep in her bed. This chapter wrecked me, big time, as did so many other moments in this book… ¡Vale! I just had to take a deep breath because my emotions are still all over the place and I’m pretty certain this will never change.

”It caught Jav under the ribs and his teeth trembled together. He felt the ground tilt beneath his feet. His heart flailed, making desperate minute adjustments, frantically trying to find center. Find his way home, even as home insisted it was here. Right here in this house. With Alex.”

4

So this was my rather futile attempt to convey how much this book means to me and I can’t help but feel like I failed miserably. There is no way to put all of those emotions into words and if I’d live a million years I still wouldn’t be able to describe this painful contentment that I feel. “Therapy Fiction”, “Contemporary Train Wreck”, “Emotionally Intelligent Romance” those are all terms that are used to describe Suanne’s books. Well, I guess I have a new one for you: “Heart-breaking Realism”.

Make of that what you want, but I can guarantee you one thing: If you read this, you will never be the same again. All the paws! All the paws, por siempre jamás! ❤

A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

Review: A Court of Frost and Starlight (Sarah J. Maas)

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Rating: 3 Pfoten

”Mother above and Cauldron save me.”

Yep, that’s exactly what I thought when I read another one of Feyre and Rhy’s naughty scenes! The words might have been the same; my thoughts came with an eye roll instead of pleasure though. As did a lot of other things while I read this novella. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed almost every second of this and it was really nice to spend some time with all those characters again BUT (yes, it’s a big but) there were a lot of things that didn’t sit well with me and you can bet your lovely behind on the fact that I’m going to point them out later on when I get to the spoilery parts of this review.

Generally speaking this wasn’t bad. We got to see a little bit of our characters normal lives and I think we can all agree that after everything they went through they deserve some normalcy and happiness. It was nice to walk through Velaris, to go Solstice shopping with Mor and Feyre and to see those beloved characters interact with each other. They all survived the war and each and every single one of them is trying to cope with the aftermath. There are plenty of wounds that still need to heal and I’m kind of grateful Sarah decided to give her characters some room to come to terms with everything. So yes, this novella might not have a huge plot but definitely provides a good transition into the next series. 😉

Still, there were quite a lot of interesting dialogues and a bunch of things that either made me happy or caused me to get angry. Mostly it was the relationships between the characters and so this is exactly what I’m going to write about. Buckle up! This is going to be a hard ride! *lol*

From here on out, I’ll talk about the relationships and ships of the characters, so this isn’t only going to be rant and gush feast but also a spoiler celebration! If you still continue to read and haven’t read ACOFAS yet, it’s at your own risk! Don’t say I didn’t warn you! 😉

3

Feyre & Rhys:

”But you are bothering – you’re both still working to make this peace last. Peace, Rhys. We have peace, and the true kind. Enjoy it – enjoy each other. You paid the debt before it was ever a debt.”

I totally agree with Cassian and even though this might sound harsh now I still need to say it: I want them to enjoy each other too, but please not as the MCs of the following books. I love Feyre and Rhys, I really do, but I think from ACOWAR on out their character development was kind of detrimental. I already mentioned it in my review of ACOWAR and I’ll say it again Feyre’s and Rhys’s holier-than-thou attitude is beginning to get on my nerves. Feyre and her friends weren’t the only ones that suffered and it would be really nice if she’d get out of her pink bubble and would acknowledge the fact that others hurt too! It’s good that Rhys and her have each other but not everyone is as lucky as them and it would help to remember that they made mistakes too! Also if I read about “toes that curl” in Feyre’s boots one more time I’m going to be sick. Yes, we got it, Rhys is such a sexy male and they really love each other. If you ask me their story should have ended after ACOWAR because right now I have more negative feelings towards them than positive ones and this is actually kinda sad. >_< Okay, Feysand shippers are allowed to take out their pitchforks and torches now… Just give me a little head start, will you? ;-P

Feyre & Lucien:

”And what, exactly, does this Band of Exiles plan to do? Host events? Organize party-planning committees?”
Lucien’s metal eye clicked faintly and narrowed. “You can be as much of an asshole as that mate of yours, you know that?”

I think Feyre was a real bitch to Lucien in this book. And no, I’m not sorry for saying it out loud. After all someone has to do it and I don’t mind it being me. I mean if she really wants him to be friends with her, she has to accept that he has his own life and doesn’t want to depend on her and Rhys. If she’d be honest to herself she’d realize that Lucien isn’t welcome at her court and that he has his reasons to stay away from them. I think the only two people who feel real sympathy for Lucien are Az and Amren and they only do it to some extent. So yeah, she can’t expect him to be happy with the situation. Lucien lost so much over the centuries and now he even lost Tam and his second home. It’s not Feyre’s call to decide what’s best for him! Especially because she’s actually the reason why Lucien isn’t welcome at Tam’s place anymore. So nope, take care of your own court and leave Lucien be! Thank you very much! And a huge YAY for Lucien! Because he dared to call Feyre and Ryhs out on their bullsh*t and didn’t back down! That’s my man!!! <333 Also I totally agree with him! Rhys shouldn’t have said what he did and the way he treated Tam cost him a lot of my sympathy.

”Your mate should have known better than to kick a downed male.”

”I can’t stand to be in the same room as her for more than two minutes. I can’t stand to be in this court and have your mate pay for the very clothes on my back.”

Elain & Lucien:

”He hadn’t mentioned Elain, or his proximity to her. Elaine had not asked him to stay, or to go. And whether she cared about the bruises on his face, she certainly hadn’t let on.”

So if you already put away your pitchforks and torches, guess now is the right time to draw them out again, because this isn’t going to be nice and tell you what: I actually don’t care! I’ll say it as it is: I HATE Elain! There, I said it! And I’m not even sorry for it! You think Nesta is a witch? Oh well, guess Elain is even worse because she hides it behind her super sweet appearance and gentle actions. By now I’ve reached a point where I despise her and I’m sick and tired of everyone defending this woman just because she is so sweet! Where was Elain when Feyre was taken by Tam? What did Elain do when Feyre went out hunting for them? Nesta might be a witch, and I can’t even believe I’m saying this, but at least she went looking for Feyre. What did Elain do? She got engaged to Grayson! YAY! Way to go! Also everyone loving precious and dear Elain! WTF?!!! Did Elain ever do anything except of looking lovely?! (Yes, she might be a great cook and good at gardening but seriously is that all!???!!!) AND WHY THE FREAKING HELL IS EVERYONE DEFENDING ELAIN WITH THE WORDS “Elain is Elain”!??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!??? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN!!!???? I’m sick and tired of her getting away with everything because she’s everybody’s darling! Lucien deserves so much better than that! She can’t even talk to him for a few minutes? She can’t even thank him for the present he got her? Where was her present for him?! And just for the record: LUCIEN DIDN’T WANT HER TO BE HIS MATE!!! He’s as innocent when it comes to their mating bond as Elain! It’s not his fault that they are mates and people better remember this when they judge him for trying to get to know her! She doesn’t even give him a chance to get to know her so she’s just cruel and mean in my eyes. If she doesn’t change her attitude in the next trilogy I’ll never ship her with anyone. Not even Az. No one! For all I care she can live with her precious flowers and become one of them! GRRRRRRR!!!! AKDFASDFJASLDFJKASDFJASDKLFJASDFLK! Okay, I’m fine now. XD

”Elain, at least, would be too polite to send Lucien away when he wanted to help. She was too polite to send him away on a normal day. She just ignored him or barely spoke to him until he got the hint and left.”

Those doe-brown eyes turned toward me. Sharper than I’d ever seen them. “And that entitles him to my time, my affections?”
“No.” I blinked. “But he is a good male.” Despite our harsh words. Despite this Band of Exiles bullshit. “He cares for you.”
“He doesn’t know me.”
“You don’t give him the chance to even try to do so.”

Cassian & Nesta:

”A storm is going to hit in a few days. I’d like you to distribute this amongst those who might feel its impact the hardest.”

Cassian is so, so damn precious and he’s stuck with Nesta! That’s not fair! I think when it comes to me disliking characters in this series it’s a tie between Nesta and Elain. I just hate them both. (I know I’m making a lot of friends with this review. *lol* But I just can’t help it!) I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to ship them but after seeing that Nesta still didn’t change… Well, I just can’t ship them. By now I don’t even know if her character can be redeemed and if Sarah doesn’t work her magic with her I’ll never board this ship. And it will take a HUGE amount of magic to make her character at least a little bit more likable! And to everyone out there who likes Nesta and thinks I’m mean: I know she has PTSD too and I know that she suffers at least as much as all the other characters around her do, but that’s no reason to lash out at the others. If she wants to be secluded from them, live in a cheap apartment, drink all day and sleep with every fae male that comes her way: Okay! But to hurt the others, to fight them even though they are trying to help her, to spend Feyre’s and Rhys money without asking them: That’s not okay!! How many people have to offer her help until she accepts it? How often will she hurt poor Cassian because she’s just too proud to acknowledge that she has a serious problem? Just like Lucien, Cassian deserves so much better than her and I think I’ll make a petition for both of them! #FreeCassian&LucienFromTheClutchesOfTheCruelArcheronSisters

”Nesta is Nesta. She does what she wants, even if it kills her sister. I’ve offered her job after job, and she refuses them all.”

Tamlin & Rhys:

Forgiveness could be a gift to both, but what he’d done… “Do you want her to?”
His green eyes were empty. “Do I deserve it?”
No. Never.
He must have read it on my face, because he asked, “Do you forgive me – for your mother and sister?”

I’m not okay with the way Rhys treated Tamlin! Yes, he made mistakes, yes he hurt Feyre, but that doesn’t mean that they have to hurt him too! Rhys should have known better than that, he should have been better than that and he shouldn’t have kicked Tam when he was already on the ground. Everyone can see that Tamlin is hurting and to treat him like that? To say what Rhys said to him? WOAH!! That was just cruel, mean and uncalled-for. I’m feeling really sorry for Tam now and Rhys helping him with the elk doesn’t make this any better. He only helped him because he might need him in future, not because he actually cared. Where is your compassion for Tam, Rhys? Where is the Rhys of ACOMAF I fell in love with? I don’t see him anymore. *shakes head*

”I hope you live the rest of your miserable life alone here. It’s a far more satisfying end than slaughtering you.”

Elain & Az:

Cassian sat up, the portrait of outrage. “No?”
Azriel tucked in his wings. “Would you want people betting on you?”

I think the only reason Az reacted like that is because he might feel guilty for liking Elain. It’s so obvious that Sarah wants them to end up together and all those little tense moments between them speak volumes about her intentions. But as I said: I can’t ship Elain with anyone right now. Az is too sweet and gentle to end up with her and I really don’t want them to be together. Not because I would begrudge him a relationship with her, but because I think that he deserves better than her. After Mor played with him for centuries Az deserves the world, and then some! If Elain doesn’t change and acknowledges her misbehaviour against Lucien then I can’t ship this ship. And quite honestly, if I’d be Az I wouldn’t want to be with someone who treats their mate like that.

”Azriel emerged from the sitting room, a glass of wine in hand and wings tucked back to reveal his fine, yet simple black jacket and pants.
I felt, more than saw, my sister go still as he approached. Her throat bobbed.”

Rhys & Lucien:

”I can let go of the taunts,” he said, scanning my face. “And the fact that he still harbors some hope of one day reuniting with Tamlin. But I cannot let go of how he treated you after Under the Mountain.”

I’m just glad that Lucien became friends with Vassa and Jurian because as I already mentioned above, he obviously isn’t welcome at the Night Court. Rhys still doesn’t like him and Lucien deserves more than to be tolerated. He deserves to be respected, to be loved and cherished and not to be treated like sh*t! Also what the hell does Rhys even mean with how he treated Feyre after Under the Mountain? Lucien did nothing wrong, he was there for her, tried to help her, defended her against Tam, spoke up for her and confronted Tamlin. And what did he get in return? Tamlin reprimanded him and might have even physically hurt him, Ianthe abused him and Tam let it happen because he refused to take part in the ritual, and Feyre?! Do I really have to point out what Feyre did? She lied to him, claimed that Rhys had turned her and even after she came back to the spring court she continued to lie to him and hurt him even more by destroying the only place he called home. Hell, she even used him to antagonize Tam and to destroy his friendship with Lucien. A great friend she was to him! And this after everything he did for her Under the Mountain. Hell, he even got whipped because he helped her and almost died as well. To destroy your friends’ life is a great way to show him gratitude. Well done, Feyre! So WHO EXACTLY TREATED WHOM LIKE SH*T AFTER UNDER THE MOUNTAIN, RHYS???!!!! Mhmm??? Care to enlighten me? And one more thing before I come to the end of this rant review: Lucien was in no position to help Feyre because he suffered from PTSD too. That’s something everyone always seems to forget. You can’t help someone else if you’re drowning yourself. And people better keep that in mind before they talk badly about him.

4

I really thought I’d enjoy this novella and then move on to the next trilogy but for some reason those 229 pages kinda irked me. Big time. *lol* I guess that’s mostly due to the fact that all the things I already criticized in ACOWAR seemed to be even more prominent in this short story and I just couldn’t ignore it any longer. Also all the chapters we got from Mor’s POV didn’t contribute anything to the story, which is the main reason I didn’t even mention her in my review. All told this was a nice addition to the first trilogy and a good segue into the next one and I really hope that Sarah J. Maas will tackle all those issues I just pointed out. After all, “Hope dies last”! ;-P

 

A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin (Sarah J. Maas)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

“Only you can decide what breaks you, Cursebreaker. Only you.”

I really enjoyed this third and last instalment of the ACOTAR series BUT (and there always seems to be a “but” when it comes to “A Court of Wings and Ruin”) I still think that it’s the weakest book in the entire series. Even after rereading it and appreciating the little details that were dropped throughout the entire story I couldn’t help but see the weaknesses of it too. Yes, Sarah J. Maas wrote a great book, but it lacked something the first two books had. Something important that every book should have: A good ending. *lol*

It’s as simple as that! As much as I appreciate all the different threads of the story coming together at the end, the way to get there and how the ending was executed just didn’t do it for me. A huge part of the book has its focus on the war and how to either prevent or to win it, people are persuaded to join ranks, a few surprise guests make their appearances, there are some fighting scenes and a meeting with Feyre’s and Rhy’s allies. Well, and then there’s the war and the final battle. See, it only took me a few sentences to convey the main plot of the book. Don’t get me wrong, there actually happens a lot but many of the things that happen ultimately don’t seem to be important for the overall storyline, which is a shame.

There were so many topics I would have liked to explore, yet Sarah never digged any deeper. All this build up, all those revelations and at the end everything is dealt with in a couple of pages. No matter if it’s the Mor/Cassian/Az dynamic, Lucien/Elain, the Queens from the continent, Rhys long lost allies, etc. Or my favourite:

spoiler

Feyre’s father!!! I mean WTH??!!! Let him come to their rescue even though he apparently never gave a shit about his daughters before, let him name his freaking merchant ships after them and join their forces and then for good measure let us kill him and wrap it up with a bow! Yes, that’s exactly how you dispose of a storyline you would have never been able to explain otherwise. Let it be buried and dead. No questions asked, except of that I have a million of questions and will never get any answers!

So yeah, was this book good? Yes, it was! It kept me glued to the pages and I wanted to know what would happen to my beloved characters. I think we can all agree that Sarah J. Maas can write and that her characters are intriguing and complex. Still, despite all that I can’t help but be salty when it comes to the ending. I wanted a little bit more and I didn’t get it. >_< Which is the reason why this only gets 3,5 paws rounded up to 4 from me. Am I being petty? Maybe, but it is the way I feel and I stand by it. *lol*

This said let’s head to my characters section! There are a lot of things I need to talk about and as expected the GR word limit didn’t suffice! So here I am posting my essay on my blog! 😛 Buckle up!

2

Welcome to my spoilery spoiler section! If you haven’t read the book you better turn around and leave this path as soon as possible. To everyone else who already read ACOWAR: Be my guest and enjoy the ride! ;-P

Feyre:

”I suppose that in the past weeks, I had crafted my demeanor as intricately as one of these paintings. I suppose that if I had also chosen to show myself as I truly wished, I would have been adorned with flesh-shredding talons and hands that choked the life out of those now in my company.”

What can I say about the Feyre in ACOWAR? Well, let’s be honest, shall we? I still feel conflicted about her character in this one. I loved how strong she became by the end of book two and I’m all for more independent and badass female characters, yet I’m still not happy about the way her character arc proceeded in this book. It’s like she lost some part of herself along the way. A part I loved and adored: her compassion! I get why she wanted to destroy Tamlin and his court, but she never even thought about the innocent people that still lived at his court. She just didn’t think about the consequences of her actions and this ultimately led to her regretting them in the end. Which is good because I would have been really mad if she would have been called out on it and wouldn’t have given a damn. *lol* Still, to be strong and self-determined doesn’t mean that she had to treat others the way she did. For instance Lucien. I get it, she has a new family and she’s super content with them, but urgh you can still be happy with your new life and appreciate the good parts of your old one. Truth be told, her behaviour towards Lucien and how she spoke about him with Rhys really made me dislike her A LOT. But oh well, I’ll talk about this in my “the relationships & ships” section and you can bet your lovely behind on the fact that it’s going to be a long, long rant! *lol*

”I will use these powers – my powers – to smash Hybern to bits. I will burn them, and drown them, and freeze them. I will use these powers to heal the injured. To shatter through Hybern’s wards. I have done so already, and I will do so again. And if you think that my possession of a kernel of your magic is your biggest problem, then your priorities are severely out of order.”

Rhysand:

”I was willing to lose my mate to another male. I was willing to let them marry, if it brought her joy. But what I was not willing to do was let her suffer. To let he fade away into a shadow. And the moment that piece of shit blew apart his study, the moment he locked her in that house…” His wings ripped from him, and Lucien started.

It’s kind of funny but I think Feyre’s lost compassion was somehow added to Rhys character instead. *lol* Now that we know about his true feelings and have seen the real Rhysand he seems to be more and more human and we get to witness his weaknesses as well. He is still cunning, sassy, caring and all the other adjectives I used to describe him in my review of ACOMAF, but there’s a soft core to his character now and you can see it shine through. His actions and everything he does, it’s way easier to understand the mind behind it all. And we see how truly broken he was while he had to serve Amarantha during his time under the mountain. What it did to him to do her bidding, what he had to sacrifice in order to keep others safe. Quite honestly, I have no idea how he even managed to keep his sanity. 50 freaking years! T_T I’m can only agree with Feyre here: I love every single part of him. Okay, well, except of the part that dislikes Lucien. *LOL* (Also is it just me or did Rhys actually become too good to be true? No wonder everybody wants a bf like him. XD)

”Rhys sacrificed his legion in the process, got all of them captured and tortured afterward. Yet everyone insists Rhysand is soulless, wicked. But the male I knew was the most decent of them all.”

Lucien:

Lucien sat against a nearby tree, folding one booted ankle over another. “Whatever you’re planning, it’ll land us knee-deep in shit.”

I LOVE HIM WITH ALL MY HEART!!! <333 Yes, I’m obsessed with Lucien but really, how is it possible I’m the only person who loves this man?!! Why is everyone so mean to him?! I don’t get it! The inner circle is weary of him and doesn’t really trust him, even worse Feyre and Rhys talk bad about him behind his back and this even though he went through hell and back!!! It’s like Sarah created his character just to torment him. My poor boy is like a kicked puppy and no one is even willing to lend him a hand. WHY??!!! After everything he did for Feyre: he got whipped and tortured because he helped her, he almost died because Amarantha wanted him to pay for it, he tried to talk some sense into Tamlin and got hurt because of it, he got raped and abused by Ianthe because he did what Tam couldn’t in order to keep the spring court alive. His own family hates him and wants to see him dead, his best friend isn’t talking to him anymore, his freaking mate can’t even be bothered to look at him!!! ARHKADFKASJDFAKSDFJASDFK! Sarah I ask you: When will you finally have enough of torturing my boy?! And now to add even more fun to it, it’s revealed that he’s Helion’s son! My heart broke so often for him in this book. Like every single moment when Elain didn’t look at him, when he was surprised about the children in Velaris, when Tam ignored him… I swear if he doesn’t get the spotlight and a HEA after this I’m going to riot and won’t continue to read the other three books of ACOTAR. I mean it!

”Would you want it – your father’s crown?”
“No one’s ever asked me that,” Lucien mused as we moved on, dodging fallen, rotting apples. The air was sticky-sweet. “The bloodshed that would be required to earn that crown wouldn’t be worth it. Neither would its festering court. I’d gain a crown – only to rule over a crafty, two-faced people.”

At last, Lucien looked at me. At us.
He said, “There are children laughing in the streets.”
I blinked. He said it with such… quiet surprise. As if he hadn’t heard the sound in a long, long time.

”And you love him. And he – he truly does love you.” Lucien dragged a hand through his red hair. “And all these people I have spent my centuries hating, even fearing… they are your family.”

My friends glanced to each other. Mor said, “It will be – very dangerous.”
A half smile curved Lucien’s mouth. “Good. It’d be boring otherwise.”

Cassian:

”Good,” Cassian said, glancing at Nesta. “If I end my life defending those who need it most, then I will consider it a death well spent.”

Cassian really grew on me in this one and I’m glad he’s part of Rhys inner circle because he actually seems to be the only one who dares to call Rhys out! *lol* I loved that he confronted him with the fact that he always wants to save everyone and doesn’t even think about the possibility that people feel the same way about him. His character has so much potential and even though we got to see more of him in ACOWAR I still feel like I don’t really know him. I need more of his character and I’m pretty sure that we will get a lot of him in those next three books. Well, at least I hope so! XD

”So you’re allowed to be mad about our choices to protect you – and we’re not allowed to be furious with you for your self-sacrificing bullshit?”

”I’m a warrior. I’ve walked beside Death my entire life. I would be more afraid for her, to have that power. But not afraid of her.” He considered, and added after a heartbeat, “Nothing about Nesta could frighten me.”

Mor:

”I hate war.”
“Likewise.”
“Not just for the death and awfulness,” Mor went on. “But because of what it does to us. These decisions.”

How is it possible that Mor is such a wise and strong woman but completely insecure when it comes to other things? I hated to see her get all weak in front of Eris, Beron and her father. She hides it well, but deep down within her she’s still so very broken. What they did to her… No one should have to experience anything like that. >_< Poor Mor! Still, after everything that was revealed in this book I can’t help but feel very conflicted about her character. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Mor, but urgh seriously Sarah, how could you?!! This is the worst, I repeat: THE WORST bi rep I ever read about in my entire life. In fact I’d even go as far as to say that this is the reason why people think that you can’t have a serious relationship when you’re bi. Urgh! Just urgh! Right now I have no words and that’s really, really rare!!! Let’s hope I’ll be able to write something coherent in the “relationships & ships” section. >_<

”We’re all broken,” Mor said. “In our own ways – in places no one might see.”

”I do find pleasure in them. In both.” Her hands were shaking so fiercely that she gripped herself even tighter. “But I’ve known, since I was little more than a child, that I prefer females. That I’m … attracted to them more over males. That I connect with them, care for them more on that soul-deep level.”

Azriel:

Again that dry, quiet smile. “Why do you think Illyrians are so fit?”
“Why did no one warn me about this cocky side of yours?”

Let’s move on to more pleasant themes, like for instance Az! I really began to appreciate his character in this. In ACOMAF he was always the silent presence in the background and we didn’t get to see an awful lot of his character. This time around however, more facets of him and his life were revealed and I loved every single one of them. ❤ Azriel is such a sweet character and in the right company, when he feels secure enough to open up, he’s even pretty funny. *lol* I really hope to see more of him in the next 3 books and considering his particular situation with Elain, I’m pretty sure my wish will be granted. XD

Azriel, wreathed in shadows by the front door, chuckled quietly. Cassian shot him a glare. “I don’t see you sprouting poetry, brother.”
Azriel crossed his arms, still smiling faintly. “I don’t need to resort to it.”

Amren:

”You should kill Beron and his sons and set up the handsome one as High Lord of Autumn, self-imposed exile or no. It will make life easier.”

I always knew why I love Amren! *lol* For that sentence alone she would have gotten in my good books. XD I think after this book we all know how she feels about Rhys and his inner circle. 😉 I always knew it, but it’s good I was proven right! To hear about how she got out of the prison was heart-breaking though and I can only imagine how she must have felt living in her new body. So much raw power trapped in that small form of hers. I was really shocked when I realized that she betrayed Feyre but she did it for a good reason and after everything that was revealed I can’t hold it against her. Also her and Varian!!! <33 I loved those two and I wanted to see more of them! Varian has guts! Boy, does he have guts to pursue a relationship with her! He’s my hero and once again a character I’d love to see in those other three books! 😉

”You did not fit – the mold that they shoved you into. The path you were born upon and forced to walk. You tried, and yet you did not, could not, fit. And then the path changed.” A little nod. “I know – what it is to be that way. I remember it, long ago as it was.”

”I yielded my grace – my perfect immortality. I knew that once I did… I would feel pain. And regret. I would want, and I would burn with it. I would… fall. But I was – the time locked away down there… I didn’t care. I had not felt the wind on my face, had not smelled the rain… I did not even remember what they felt like. I did not remember sunlight.”

”I wasn’t entirely sure how Varian managed to walk them out of the tent while still kissing her, Amren’s hands dragging through his hair, letting out noises that were unnervingly like purring as they vanished into the camp.”

3

Feyre & Rhys:

”I’m grateful,” he said after a while, as the camp beneath us stirred in the building light. “To have you at my side. I don’t know if I ever told you that – how grateful I am to have you stand with me.”

Their relationship is still solid and wholesome! ❤ I love how they respect each other and talk things out. They don’t have any secrets (well at least none regarding their relationship) and they are the equal of each other, which makes for a really nice relationship dynamic. A lot of YA books have that alpha male vibe going on so it’s refreshing to have a counterweight with Sarah’s books. If there is one thing I feel an urge to point out, then it’s the fact that they are almost too good to be true. *lol* They finally found each other in ACOMAF and they somehow became an inseparable item in ACOWAR. Sometimes it’s hard to tell where Feyre ends and Rhys begins. XD I know that’s some sort of weird criticism but I feel like both of their characters lost their independence and a part of what made them… well them, because of their relationship. It’s something I already noticed in Sarah’s “Throne of Glass” series and it happened in here again. Maybe that’s because Sarah is such a fan of all consuming and encompassing love? Yes, you’re allowed to call me a bean counter. I won’t hold it against you. ;-P This relationships is still one of the best in the entire YA genre so there’s that. XD

“I see all of you, Rhys. And there is not one part that I do not love with everything I am.”

Feyre & Lucien:

”This situation is terrible,” I said, and it was the truth.
A low snort.
I knocked my knee against his. “Don’t let Jurian bait you. He’s doing it to feel out any weaknesses between us.”

Well, yes Feyre, what was your grand plan for Lucien? He would have been fine? Really? IS THAT REALLY WHAT YOU THINK??!! Fine while Ianthe rapes and abuses him, fine while Tamlin hurts him, fine while his only home is destroyed? Nope, no he wouldn’t have been fine and you know it! I think it’s exactly the other way around; Lucien is a better friend to her than she ever was to him! Also Feyre’s holier-than-thou attitude! She’s disgusted by the idea of Lucien being intimate with Elain, because her sister is such an oh so precious flower and he’s got autumn fire in his veins? Really? Seriously? You and Rhys romp around the entire book and you’re disgusted by the idea Lucien might have sex with Elain?!! WTF?! And all that talk about Lucien’s mind being a miserable place to be? Well, you certainly didn’t give him any reason to feel better! GRRRR!!! I’m just angry, really angry at Feyre and I still think Lucien deserves a better friend than that! #FightMe! #I’llNeverGetTiredOfDefendingAndLovingLucienVanserra

”Well? What was your grand plan for me before Ianthe interfered?”
I pulled at a stray thread in the bedroll. “You would have been fine,” was all I said.

”I wish I had been there to stop it. I should have been there to stop it.” I meant every word.
Lucien squeezed our linked arms as we rounded a hedge, the house rising up before us. “You are a better friend to me, Feyre,” he said quietly, “than I ever was to you.”

Lucien loosed a heavy sigh and slid an arm around my waist, the other threading through my hair to cradle my head. “I’m sorry,” he murmured. “I’m sorry.”
He held me, stroking soothing lines down my back, and I calmed my weeping, those seawater tears drying up like wet sand in the sun.

Mor, Az & Cassian:

”And … I think it might shatter him if I revealed afterward that… I’m not sure I can give me entire heart to him that way. And… I love him enough to want him to find someone who can truly love him like he deserves. And I love myself… I love myself enough to not want to settle until I find that person, too.”

And since I’m already in such a ranty mood I’ll tackle the next topic that made me angry af! *lol* I do understand why Cassian is Mor’s and Az’s buffer and as it seems he doesn’t really mind to be in this particular position, what I really disliked was the fact that Mor strung Az along for centuries! CENTURIES! Guys, we’re not talking about only a few months or years here, we’re talking about centuries!!! O_o Just because she was scared to tell him how she felt?! That she’s bisexual and likes both female and male? And what the hell is all this bullshit about not being able to give her entire heart to him?! She didn’t even TRY!!! What if they would have worked out?! What if they would have been happy? I love Sarah’s books but this is such a bad bi rep that it makes me feel sick to my stomach. Just because you like both that doesn’t mean that you can’t be in a serious relationship with only one!!! Just say that you don’t see him as the person you want to spend your entire life with. There’s no shame in admitting that you love a person but don’t love her/him THAT way. If there ever was an example of “how not to do bi reps” it certainly would be this one. Reps like that are the reason why everyone thinks we only want the good things from both sides and can’t settle down. Why people think we can’t be in a serious relationship. Sure sooner or later you’ll have to decide but if it’s the right person it’s not even a decision it’s just LOVE!!! No matter the gender! *sighs deeply* Okay, I’m done with my rant. If you’re an author and read this: Make sure to reach out to beta readers that represent the characters you want to portray. I think this could have been prevented if anyone would have counter-checked the bi rep. (Also bisexual Helion – as much as I love him – was portrayed as a person who only wants fun and can’t have a serious relationship. Ouch, just ouch.)
I’m not okay with Sarah using Mor’s bisexuality in order to explain why she strung along Az for centuries. I’ll never be okay with this. Period! *shakes head*

Elain, Azriel & Lucien:

”It has never failed me once,” the shadowsinger said, the midday sun devoured by the dark blade. “Some people say it is magic and will always strike true.” He gently took her hand and pressed the hilt of the legendary blade into it. “It will serve you well.”

Haha! Okay, as it seems I’m still not done with my rant because here comes the next topic that left a nasty taste in my mouth. (Can we just agree that the relationships in this were kind of maddening? *lol*) I hate how Elain treated Lucien and I’m not okay with Sarah introducing Az as a possible love interest. Not because I think they’d make no good couple, believe it or not, I think they’d make a way better couple than Elain and Lucien, but because this love triangle is so unnecessary! If Sarah wanted Elain to be with Az, why not go in this direction right from the beginning? Does Lucien really need another reason to feel unwanted and unloved? Was it really necessary to hurt that poor man even more? Elain and Az have a harmony Lucien and her will never have, because they are both quiet and rather introvert characters. I’m all for Azriel and Elain, but not at the cost of Lucien’s feelings! And I swear if Lucien doesn’t find another mate and gets a decent HEA I’ll be soo mad! Gosh, I just want him to be happy, is this too much to ask for?!!! T_T

”Well, I never want to fight in another battle as long as I live, but … yes, I’m in one piece.”
A faint smile bloomed on Elain’s lips.

Nesta & Cassian:

”Cassian’s eyes did not leave Nesta’s; nor did hers leave his. There was no warmth, no tenderness on either of their faces. Only that raging intensity, that blend of contempt and understanding and fire.”

And welcome to ranty round four! *lol* I think we can all agree that Cassian deserves better than her, right?! Why does Nesta of all people have to be his mate?! Yes, I know no one ever confirmed that she is his mate but seriously, after all that icy chemistry I’m about 99,9% sure that she is. Or will become in the following books. I just hope that Sarah will give us an amazing and most of all believable character arc, because otherwise I won’t be able to ship this ship! If Nesta doesn’t change her attitude and stays the way she is right now, I don’t see myself boarding this ship. Ever. I know to redeem her character will take a lot of work and I sincerely hope that Sarah is up for this challenge. I want to ship them… the way things are at the moment I can’t though. But hey, miracles happen! So let’s see if this will be the case here. ;-P

”You went off to battle for a court you barely know – who barely see you as friends. Amren showed me the blood ruby. And when I asked you why… you said because it was the right thing. People needed help.” Her throat bobbed. “No one is going to fight to save the humans beneath the wall. No one cares. But I do.” She toyed with a fold in her dress. “I do.”

Cassian grunted in pain, but lifted his bloodied hands – to cup her face. “I have no regrets in my life, but this.” His voice shook with every word. “That we did not have time. That I did not have time with you, Nesta.” She didn’t stop him as he leaned up and kissed her – lightly. As much as he could manage.

4

I really hoped that I’d love this more after my reread, but if anything to read ACOWAR a second time around only helped me to be able to point out its flaws. I’m glad I decided to go for a second round though. There were so many details that got lost when I read it for the very first time because back then my focus was rather on paging through the book instead of appreciating its many details. This said ACOWAR was a fun ride with quite a few flaws and even though I love most (if not all) of the characters I still believe that a lot of things should have been handled differently or at least could have been done better. It’s just my opinion though and who knows? Maybe Sarah will work on all those flaws in the next three books? I’m definitely ready to find out! ;-P

A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic (V.E. Schwab)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

Book 10 on My Book List 2019

”Magic was a truly beautiful disease.”

And it was such a pleasure to read about it! XD I can’t say how much I loved and adored this book! Alone the magic in this was everything and it was so dark and twisted that it was a delight to read about it. In “A Darker Shade of Magic” magic is a living and breathing thing and it can help and heal at least as much as it can corrupt and destroy. In my opinion this was a really great concept and I lived and breathed for the execution of it.

”The words themselves were less important than the focus they brought to the speaker’s mind, the connection they helped to form, the power they tapped into. In short, the language did not matter, only the intention did.”

Still, it wasn’t only the magical aspect of this book that kept me glued to the pages. The mere idea of four different parallel Londons that exist next to each other was more than just intriguing as well. Sure, we didn’t get to see an awful lot of them because the characters travel through them and don’t stay all too long, the little I saw was enough to keep me hooked though. 😉 London is my favourite city and the mere idea to explore four different versions of this town already made me feel like I won the jackpot. *lol*

And last but not least “A Darker Shade of Magic” had its fair share of intriguing and complex characters that caused my eyes to sparkle. We all know that I can’t resist the temptation of morally grey and ambivalent characters so it’s no surprise that I savoured this like a delicious gourmet dinner. Alone the villains of this book!!! The Dane Twins were such evil creatures yet I couldn’t help but want to read more about them. Ohh and Holland! Don’t even get me started on Holland! ❤ Or well, maybe I actually should start to talk about him. In the characters section, of course! ;-P

2

Good afternoon, fellow Antari! It’s a good day to travel between the worlds but be careful nevertheless. There is always a shadow lurking at the next corner of the street and if you’re not cautious it will not only attack you but also spoil you big time as well! Tread carefully, my dear friend! You’re being observed by dark forces. 😉

Kell:

”Kell tipped his head so that his copper hair tumbled out of his eyes, revealing not only the crisp blue of the left one but the solid black of the right. A black that ran edge to edge, filling white and iris both. There was nothing human about that eye. It was pure magic. The mark of a blood magician. Of an Antari.”

I’m such a sucker for red-heads and Kell is really yummy. ;-P I can’t help it! Really! They are my kryptonite. Ask Lucien. *lol* Anyway, Kell is a really interesting character and he definitely has more depth than initially meets the eye. On the outside you might think that he’s the typical hero, but the more I discovered about his life, the more I felt sorry for him. He is part of the royal family and might seem to have it all, but when push came to shove his true status among the royals was revealed and my heart ached for him. I know Lila didn’t understand what he meant but by the end of the book it became pretty clear that he wasn’t really a family member but rather a valuable asset. At least when it came to his “parents”. Despite this he still had his own moral code and acted according to it, even if it meant that he was at a disadvantage when he had to face Holland and the Dane twins. Poor Kell! I had the feeling in some way or another he was figuratively and quite literally bleeding throughout the entire book. *lol* Let’s hope things will get better for him in “A Gathering of Shadows”! 😉

”Magic was a living thing – that, everyone knew – but to Kell it felt like more, like a friend, like family. It was, after all, a part of him (much more than it was a part of most) and he couldn’t help feeling like it knew what he was saying, what he was feeling, not only when he summoned it, but always, in every heartbeat and every breath.”

She always went looking for the truth in his right eye, as if it were a scrying board, something to be gazed into, seen past. But what she saw, she never shared. Kell took her hand and kissed it. “I’m fine, Your Majesty.” She gave him a weary look, and he corrected himself. “Mother.”

”I said Rhy forgave them.” Kell pushed to his feet. “I never said I did.”

Lila Bard:

”Death comes for everyone,” she said simply. “I’m not afraid of dying. But I am afraid of dying here.” She swept her hand over the room, the tavern, the city. “I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.”

I’m not entirely sure if I like Lila or not. XD I mean I admire her resilience and stubbornness but I think sometimes she was way too sure of herself and that got her into a lot of trouble. *lol* But oh well, when it comes down to it there is no denying that I actually like her. Her character seems to be somewhat of an acquired taste and I’m curious if she’ll truly become a pirate in the end. Also I could relate to her when it came to her choice of clothes. I would have gone for the boy’s clothes in a heartbeat as well. ;-P (Could it be that Lila is non-binary or gender fluid?!) Generally speaking I think it wasn’t easy to relate to her because she kept everyone at a distance and didn’t let anything get too close to her. For me this made it kind difficult to gauge her character and I hope we’ll get a better grip on it in the next two books. Now that I think about it, I had the same feeling when it came to Blue Sargent throughout the first two books of “The Raven Cycle”. I only really got to know her in “Blue Lily, Lily Blue” so I hope the same will happen with Lila in the next book. XD

”What are you?” he asked, amazed.
Lila only shrugged. “Stubborn.”

”Love doesn’t keep us from freezing to death, Kell,” she continued, “or starving, or being knifed for the coins in our pocket. Love doesn’t buy us anything, so be glad for what you have and who you have because you may want for things but you need for nothing.”

Holland:

”He didn’t know if it was the evenness in the man’s tone or his strangely faded appearance or his haunted eyes – one black, of course, the other a milky green. Or perhaps it was the way he seemed to be made more of water and stone than flesh and blood and soul.”

I love Holland, okay?! I know he’s supposed to be one of the villains but seriously, how could I not adore him?! ❤ His character was so multi-layered, complex, calculating, determined and cruel. It was so nice to watch him in action. *lol* I just can’t resist a decent villain and Holland had all the makings of one. XD Especially an intriguing background story. I really wish we would have gotten more of it though. I mean we only got the necessary details to keep the story moving but there are so many things I would have loved to read about. I guess it was Schwab’s intention to keep us in the dark, because this might sound paranoid but I’m CONVINCED that Holland will reappear in the next book! I don’t buy his death!!! There’s no way he died! He said it’s hard to kill an Antari and he was still breathing and alive when Kell sent him to Black London. THE SOURCE of black magic! Hell, this has trouble written all over it! If you ask me Kell basically handed him the means to come back even stronger! >_< Kell is so going to regret this!

”Looking into Holland’s eye made her skin crawl. Dark things swirled just beneath the smooth black depths. One word whispered through her mind. Run.”

”Hesitation is the death of advantage,” mused Holland and Kell fought in vain against the metal pinnings.

”I hope you made him suffer,” she spat, turning towards the looming castle.
No, thought Kell as they set off. He suffered long enough.

Rhy:

“Yes. Because unless you plan to wed me yourself – and don’t get me wrong, I think we’d make a dashing pair – I must try and find a mate.”
“And you think you’ll find one traipsing around the city?”
“Goodness, no,” said Rhy with a crooked grin. “But who knows what fun I’ll find while failing.”

Rhy is such a precious bean! He gave me Nikolai and Hypnos vibes so it’s no wonder I almost instantly adored him! *lol* He sounds like a lot of fun but unfortunately we didn’t get to see all too much of him in this book. I hope that will change in the next one though. (Also he seems to be unapologetically bi and I live and breathe for characters like that!!!) Still, judging by the little we saw and heard of him I can already tell that he loves Kell like a brother and would never do anything to harm him. I can’t help but wonder what he thinks about his parent’s reaction though. If Kell wouldn’t have been bound to him they would have either killed him or sent him to prison so it’s pretty obvious that Kell was right about their intentions all along. I can’t wait to see more of funny, caring and kind Rhy so there better be more scenes with him in “A Gathering of Shadows”. Also was it just me or did Holland and Rhy actually flirt with each other? It’s such a shame he was merely a means to an end for him. I bet from now on Rhy won’t trust people as easily as before.

Rhy’s hands curled into fists. “How could you?” he said, and Kell worried that the prince was bitter about being tethered to him. Instead, Rhy said, “How could you carry that weight?”

Rhy laughed silently. “I apologize for anything I might have done. I was not myself.”
“I apologize for shooting you in the leg,” said Lila. “I was myself entirely.”
Rhy broke into his perfect smile.
“I like this one,” he said to Kell.

The Dane Twins:

”Jealous?” he asked. Holland’s two-toned eyes held Athos’s, the green and the black both steady, unblinking. “He suffered,” added Athos softly. “But not like you.” He brought his mouth closer. “No one suffers as beautifully as you.”

Okay! Can anyone please tell me how exactly Holland suffered?!!! I mean it’s indicated that there was something sexual and cruel going on between Athos and him but WHAT EXACTLY??!!! Apparently the Dane Twins had a reputation of torturing and forcing people to do their will. And Holland was under their spell as well so I can only assume that he suffered kind of “Rhysand/Amarantha style”? Also there was only a brief mention that Holland didn’t win the throne because he wasn’t cruel enough to take it before the Danes did. What exactly happened before they ascended the White throne?! I really wish we would have gotten more details here, because this really sounded like an interesting story! Either way the Dane twins gave me the creeps. Astrid even more than her brother Athos. Magic and malice indeed. *shudders* They made for pretty intriguing villains for sure. XD I’m just glad Kell never became Astrid’s toy. He certainly wouldn’t have survived it.

”Astrid Dane is made of magic and malice.”

3

Lila & Kell:

”You don’t know anything about these worlds,” he said, but the fight was bleeding out of his voice.
“Sure I do,” countered Lila cheerfully. “There’s Dull London, Kell London, Creepy London, and Dead London,” she recited, ticking them off on her fingers. “See? I’m a fast learner.”

Is it just me or was Kell ending up on Lila’s bed TWICE in one night some sort of a broad hint? The first time it was even BDSM style! *lol* I guess we all know in which direction their future relationship is going to head. Haha! ;-P Also they kissed at least twice for good luck as well and they both had more luck than brain. Right after the motto “Fortune favours fools!” So they didn’t need the luck but obviously were looking for an opportunity to kiss. XD They were very different but for some reason they still worked. Maybe it’s because they balance each other and magic is all about balance as we already learned. Plus they are both Antari. I wonder how their relationship is going to continue. There is a lot of potential that only needs to be explored. ;-P

”I’m not going to die,” she said. “Not till I’ve seen it.”
“Seen what?”
Her smile widened. “Everything.”
Kell smiled back. And then Lila brought her free hand to his jaw and tugged his mouth towards hers. The kiss was there and then gone, like one of her smiles.

A wry smile cut across Lila’s mouth. “You’re a smuggler.”
“Says the pickpocket,” snapped Kell defensively.

Rhy & Kell:

”What sons our parents have,” said Kell gently. “Between the two of us, we’ll tear the whole world down.”

They might not be brothers by blood but they are brothers by heart! ❤ I loved their relationship so much and I was so glad that Rhy truly cared about Kell! Which is more than can be said about his parents, but Kell already knew that. >_< I felt so sorry for him but at least he has Rhy and he wouldn’t allow anything to happen to him. Those two seem to balance each other as well and I’m kind of beginning to see a pattern here. *lol* In their relationship dynamic it seems like Rhy is the daredevil who gets into trouble though and Kell is more the mature and responsible one. I can only imagine in which kind of mess they’ll get in the next book. One thing is for sure, I can’t wait to read more about this brotherly duo! ;-P

”He looked up and saw me crouching over him, bleeding, and the first thing he said wasn’t ‘What happened?’ or ‘Where are we?’ He touched the blood on his chest and said, ‘Is it yours? Is it all yours?’ and when I nodded, he burst into tears, and I took him home.”

4

I absolutely LOVED this! “A Darker Shade of Magic” had everything I’m looking for in a book. There was (dark) magic, there were four parallel Londons and there were lots of complex characters I couldn’t help but want to read more about. Yes, the world building and some of the characters themselves might have been rather sketchy, but knowing Schwab I’m certain that we’ll get more details in the following books. This was only just the beginning and what a marvellous one it was! XD

 

A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

Review: A Court of Mist and Fury (Sarah J. Maas)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

”To the stars who listen – and the dreams that are answered.”

I’ve said it about a thousand times and I’ll say it again and again: This book is one of the best – if not the best – sequel I ever had the pleasure to read! There I said it and I’ll stand by it no matter how old I grow or how often I’ll hear that Sarah J. Maas is overusing the word “mate”. *lol*

Yes, it’s true, but damn she can write and she creates characters that stay with you long after you closed the book. They are unique, they are complex and they have amazing character arcs that involuntarily cause you to root for them. Even her side characters are intriguing and well-thought-out and the fact that she’s not only able to write great fighting scenes but also kicks some serious ass when it comes to the world building department is definitely the delicious topping on my book cupcake!

To be entirely honest, I think there’s only one thing Sarah J. Maas can’t do and that’s to write a decent and convincing LGBTQ+ character who’s not a side-charrie but one of the MCs! *lol* If she ever manages to pull that off her books will go into my shopping cart without a second thought. ;-P
(Who am I kidding? They already end up there anyway. XD)

Still, for now I’m just glad that I was able to read all those other amazing books she wrote and ACOMAF will always have a special place in my heart! This book was nothing but awesome and even after reading it for a second time I’m still as devastated as I was when I read it for the very first time. This book destroyed me in the best way possible and no matter how often I read it, I’ll never get over chapter 54!!!! <333 I’m still reeling from it and I think I’ll always have to wipe away tears while reading it. >_< The emotional overload that happens in this one is real! XD

And because I’m charged with emotions right now this is going to be a super long review! This said, let’s go for the good stuff! 😉

2

For all of you who are new to this: Welcome to my spoilery spoiler section! I’m pretty cruel and relentless when it comes to spoilers (faerie heritage) so if you decide to ignore my warning be aware of the fact that you brought this on yourself. ;-P

Feyre:

”I had a long list in my head of what places I could and couldn’t endure at the manor, ranked by precisely how much they made my body lock up and sweat.”

Poor Feyre! This sentence alone tells us enough to know that she isn’t the girl she used to be at the beginning of ACOTAR. But then again this is what happens when you endure captivity and torture, when you fight for your life, die and then still come out of it alive again. At the beginning of this book Feyre is thoroughly broken and after everything that happened to her this felt more than just realistic. I loved how Sarah allowed her to be this broken thing, how she didn’t shy away from portraying a character that has gone through hell and back. A girl that somehow managed to dig herself out of the abyss, just to realize how much she lost along the way. Plus her character arc is amazing! ❤ One of my favourite scenes in this book is Feyre flinging a shoe at Rhysand! Not only because it’s hilarious but also because you can see that there is still some fight left in her! It gave me hope to see that spark and this moment actually kind of initiates the beginning of her healing process. Of course it takes time and a lot of courage on her part but the end result of her journey is masterly done! =) This said I’m so ready to see the Feyre of book 3! *lol*

”That girl who had needed to be protected, who had craved stability and comfort… she had died Under the Mountain. I had died, and there had been no one to protect me from those horrors before my neck snapped. So I had done it myself. And I would not, could not, yield that part of me that had awoken and transformed Under the Mountain.”

”I killed them.” I hadn’t said the words aloud since it had happened.
Cassian’s lips tightened. “I know.” Not condemnation, not praise. But grim understanding.
My hands slackened as another shuddering sob worked its way through me. “It should have been me.”

Rhysand:

”You are no one’s subject.”

Ohh do I love this man!!! I swear Rhysand is one of THE book boyfriends every girl secretly craves for! Seductive, sexy, sassy, easy on the eyes, caring, gentle, cunning & witty! I probably could go on and on with those adjectives. *lol* Suffice it to say that he’s a perfectly done character! Mind you: perfectly done, not perfect! He has his rough edges as well and you’ll love him even more for it! Still, just like Feyre he endured a lot. He suffered, he got tortured and raped, he sacrificed himself in order to protect the people he loves and cares about. He’s such a complex and multi-layered character that it’s already a pleasure just to read about him. Plus what I probably love the most about Rhys is that he always, really A.L.W.A.Y.S gives her a choice!!! He doesn’t decide things over her head, he allows her to make her own mistakes, her own decisions, he always wants her to give him her consent and THIS is everything!!! If there’s one thing I don’t like about Rhysand then it’s the fact that he doesn’t like Lucien and always talks about him badly! He respects him but he doesn’t like him and I hope this will get better in the books to follow. >_<

Rhys said quietly, “I was a prisoner in her court for nearly fifty years. I was tortured and beaten and fucked until only telling myself who I was, what I had to protect, kept me from trying to find a way to end it. Please – help me keep that from happening again.”

”He had stayed. And fought for me.
Week after week, he’d fought for me, even when I had no reaction, even when I had barely been able to speak or bring myself to care if I lived or died or ate or starved. I couldn’t leave him to his own dark thoughts, his own guilt. He’d shouldered them alone long enough.”

”Because you’ve only started to look at me like I’m not a monster, and I can’t stomach the idea of anything you see tomorrow, being beneath that mountain, putting you back into that place where I found you.”

”You think I don’t know how stories get written – how this story will be written?” Rhys put his hands on his chest, his face more open, more anguished than I’d seen it. “I am the dark lord, who stole away the bride of spring. I am a demon, and a nightmare, and I will meet a bad end. He is the golden prince – the hero who will get to keep you as his reward for not dying of stupidity and arrogance.”

”So she began to trust me more than the others. Especially when I proved what I could do to her enemies. But I was glad to do it. I hated myself, but I was glad to do it. After a decade, I stopped expecting to see my friends or my people again. I forgot what their faces looked like. And I stopped hoping.”

Cassian:

”Your sister died – died to save my people. She is willing to do so again to protect you from war. So don’t expect me to sit here with my mouth shut while you sneer at her for a choice she did not get to make – and insult my people in the process.”

Cassian is so precious! He’s really an amazing guy and I loved him for being the buffer everyone relies on! I swear if it wouldn’t have been for him they’d have all been at each other’s throats a long time ago! *lol* It’s kind of funny how my perception of him changed after reading ACOMAF for a second time though. The first time around he was just a part of Rhys inner circle, this time however I began to see the many different facets his character is made of. Most of the time he hides behind his humour but every once in a while we get a true glimpse of his character and see his caring and more serious side. I really want to see more of him and I hope that Sarah will grant my wish! ;-P

”None of us… we don’t think it’s a joke. What you did was a hard call. A really damn hard call. It was just my shitty way of trying to see if you needed to talk about it. I’m sorry,” he repeated, letting go.

Mor:

“If he pisses you off, Feyre, feel free to shove him over the rail of the nearest balcony.”

Ahh Mor!!! She’s my book girlfriend and I adore her so much! That’s what I call a strong woman! It’s kind of intriguing how everyone seems to know THE Morrigan, but seems to fail to see Mor. I think deep down within her she’s still insecure and has her own demons that haunt her in her dreams. She’s just better at hiding them and even admitted as much to Feyre when they spoke about her going back to the Court of Nightmares. You’d think that she’d be afraid of seeing her family after everything they did to her and I guess some part of her is, but that certainly doesn’t stop her from defying them by breathing down their necks! *lol* Such an awesome woman! <333 *swoons*

”I landed at the Night Court, right as Mor was waiting for me, and I was so frantic, so … unhinged, that I told her everything. I hadn’t seen her in fifty years, and my first words to her were, ‘She’s my mate.’”

Amren:

”For what it’s worth, I’m the most powerful High Lord in Prythian’s history, and merely interrupting Amren is something I’ve only done once in the past century.”

That’s exactly the way Amren is introduced to us and I loved it! XD I know she’s supposed to be scary and intimidating and she is all of those things, but despite everyone claiming that she has no heart and is an entirely different creature than the faeries she lives among, I still got the impression that she feels more deeply and more truly than most of them. She sees things the way they are and she’s not prone to deception. Amren knows Rhys true nature and she decided to become a part of his inner circle so I think that says a lot about her. Also the way she talks about him – no matter if it’s done nonchalantly and absent-minded – tells us everything we need to know. She admires him and his cause and she loves him for who he really is. And this is the only reason she’s decided to join his court! Period! No one can persuade me otherwise! 😉 Tiny, deadly and scary Amren has a BIG HEART!!! And she’d probably rip mine out of my chest if she’d see that I wrote this. *lol*

”The Court of Dreams is founded on three things: to defend, to honor, and to cherish. Were you expecting brute strength and obedience? Many of Rhysand’s top officials have little to no power. He values loyalty, cunning, compassion.”

”Tempting, but no. The prick can’t decide if he hates or wants me.”
“Why can’t it be both?”
A low chuckle. “Indeed.”

”Touch me, Cassian, and I’ll remove your favourite part. Small as it might be.”

”We are lucky to have him, Feyre.” I turned from the door. “I have known many High Lords,” Amren continued, studying her paper. “Cruel ones, cunning ones, weak ones, powerful ones. But never one that dreamed. Not as he does.”

Lucien:

Lucien held his gaze. “Worse things have happened, worse things can happen. Just relax.”
Tamlin’s emerald eyes were feral as he snarled at Lucien, “Did I ask for your opinion?”

My poor, poor, precious fox boy! T_T I love this book but boy do I hate what happens to him in here! I mean Feyre is his only friend and he really tried to help her! Hell, he even pleaded for her, tried to persuade Tamlin to loosen the reins and yet everything he gets is a Feyre that turns away from him, a Tamlin that hurts him and an Ianthe that abuses him! This is NOT fair!! I think everyone only sees what Lucien didn’t manage to do and therefore forgets what he actually TRIED to do. He tried to be there for his friends. He was caught between a rock and a hard place and he had no choice whatsoever! I hate how Tam treated him in this one and I’m pretty sure he even hurt him physically! I mean he almost hurt Feyre and the only thing that saved her was her protective shield. Lucien doesn’t have one of those and I’m sure he suffered a lot of abuse while Feyre was away. Not only from Ianthe but also from his own friend which is cruel on so many levels! >_< I love Lucien and I’ll defend him with my life! Fight me if you want to, but he is precious, innocent and he deserves to be loved!!! <333

”Lucien had gone on, his tone pleading, Tamlin. Tam. Just let her train, let her mast this – if the other High Lords do come for her, let her stand a chance …”

3

Feyre & Tamlin:

”He never woke when the nightmares dragged me from sleep; never woken when I vomited my guts up night after night. If he knew or heard, he said nothing about it.”

Okay, I’m going to be honest here. In some way I even feel sorry for Tam. He did a lot of bad and horrible things in this one and yes, he acted like an – excuse my crude language – asshole! I’m sure he had to endure horrible things under Amarantha as well, but in contrast to Feyre and Rhys he decided to ignore them. He couldn’t deal with the things that happened and therefore suppressed his pain and anger until it quite literally exploded out of him. I don’t know why he acted that way, maybe it was misguided pride or he never learned to talk about his feelings but to keep them to himself certainly was the wrong way to deal with them. Instead of supporting Feyre he decided to shut her out completely and it’s no surprise that things eventually ended the way they did. There was no trust left between them and if you can’t trust the person you love, that love is already doomed. The one time she tried to reach out to him he almost killed her by shattering the study so I don’t blame Feyre for backing out of this destructive and abusive relationship. Maybe Tamlin will get over it one day… but I’m convinced this won’t happen all too soon. >_<

”I’m drowning,” I managed to say. “I am drowning. And the more you do this, the more guards… you might as well be shoving my head under the water.”

”I’ll try to be better,” he said again. “Please – give me more time. Let me… let me get through this. Please.” Get through what? I wanted to ask.

Feyre & Lucien:

”Lucien had gifted both to me – the dagger during the months before Amarantha, the belt in the weeks after her downfall, when I’d carried the dagger, along with many others, everywhere I went. You might as well look good if you’re going to arm yourself to the teeth, he’d said.”

Ahh I hate what happened to their friendship in ACOMAF! I recognize that Feyre had to pull free of her destructive relationship with Tamlin but I hate that Lucien got hurt in the process. It was good for Feyre to get some distance between them, but I can only imagine what it did to Lucien. Yes, everyone only sees Feyre’s POV but did anyone ever stop for a second and think about what this meant for Lucien? No?! I’m sure a lot of people blame him for the things that happened but the bitter truth is this: If Feyre wasn’t able to get through to Tamlin, how was Lucien supposed to do it?! Think about what happened in the first book! Wasn’t Amarantha the person that ripped out Lucien’s eye? Wasn’t she the one that whipped him and kept his wounds open for days just because he helped Feyre with her task?! What I’m trying to say is that they all suffered! I’m sure Lucien is at least as broken as Feyre, only that he had no one that would have helped him to get out of this dark hole. Feyre had Rhys who dragged her out, but who was there for Lucien? How can you expect him to help her if he wasn’t even in a position to help himself?! Even worse, Feyre had a way out! She could escape Tamlin! But Lucien? He was forced to stay there, with no other court to go to, no one that would have helped him to deal with things and he had to endure Tam’s rage and Ianthe’s abuse! So to everyone who judges Lucien for his behaviour in this book: Think carefully about what he had to go through and then tell me that he was able to help Feyre! If you can’t do this then, my friend, Lucien is innocent and deserves our compassion instead of our hatred. #I’llNeverGetTiredOfDefendingAndLovingLucienVanserra, #FightMe!

”Last week, I’d finally asked him if she’d set her sights on him, and Lucien had merely given me a look, snarling softly, before stalking off. I took that as a yes.”

”There’s only so much I can do,” he said hoarsely. “But I’ll ask him tonight. About the training. The powers will manifest whether we train you or not, no matter who is around. I’ll ask him tonight,” he repeated.

”Lucien had hated her. Had made vague, vicious allusions to not liking her, to being approached by her – I was going to throw up. Had she … had she pursued him like that? Had he… had he been forced to say yes because of her position?”

”You saw what was happening to me. But you were too afraid of him to truly do anything about it.” It was fear. Lucien had pushed Tamlin, but to a point. He’d always yielded at the end.

Feyre & Rhysand:

”Let me help you,” Rhys said. “We went through enough Under the Mountain –“ I flinched. “She wins,” Rhys breathed. “That bitch wins if you let yourself fall apart.”

Those two have such a wholesome relationship going on! It’s in stark contrast to Feyre’s relationship with Tamlin and I can’t even put into words how much I ship them. ❤ I never shipped Tam and Feyre but Rhys and Feyre?! Give me all those perfect moments! *lol* What I always liked about their relationship is that it isn’t forced. It happens slowly and unintentionally and it takes them a few months to actually fall in love. With Tamlin it all felt so forced. There was a long time nothing happened and then all of a sudden she loved him and they were a couple, which was pretty insta-lovey if you ask me. Feyre’s relationship with Rhys builds over time, they get to know each other and become good friends before they even become a couple. They listen to each other, they treat each other with mutual respect, they acknowledge each other’s strengths and weaknesses and they complement each other in ways Tam and Feyre never did. I loved that Rhys always watched out for her and was worried about her health. In contrast to Tamlin he let her make her own decisions and he never forced her to do anything though. He didn’t lock her away; no matter how hard it must have been to watch her while she made her own mistakes. With Rhys it was always free will and choice and this is exactly what I loved about him! Chapter 54 though! It’s THE revelation chapter of the century! *lol* I always have to cry when I read it and to find out how much he suffered with her, to see how much he cared and yet didn’t act on it. To realize how much he held back in order to give her the life SHE wanted to live. GAHHHH! It gets me all the time! And to think that he’s so broken himself! That he sees himself as the villain of the story and is convinced that he doesn’t deserve her love! T_T Hold my hand while I cry a rapidly growing ocean of tears! <333 A wonderful and honourable man, beautiful inside and out. And dare I say it: The perfect MATE! Haha! ;-P

Maybe it’d be a mercy to be ended –
A broad hand gripped my face – gently enough not to hurt, but hard enough to make me look at him. “Don’t you ever think that,” Rhysand hissed, his eyes livid. “Not for one damned moment.”

”You sent that music into my cell. Why?”
Rhysand’s voice was hoarse. “Because you were breaking. And I couldn’t find another way to save you.”

”What about letting your friends see your real face? But maybe it’s easier not to. Because what if you did let someone in? And what if they saw everything, and still walked away? Who could blame them – who would want to bother with that sort of mess?”
He flinched. The most powerful High Lord in history flinched. And I knew I’d hit hard – and deep.

”But then she snapped your neck.”
Tears rolled down his face.
“And I felt you die,” he whispered.
Tears were sliding down my own cheeks.
“And this beautiful, wonderful thing that had come into my life, this gift from the Cauldron… It was gone.”

”Not consort, not wife. Feyre is High Lady of the Night Court.” My equal in every way; she would wear my crown, sit on a throne beside mine. Never sidelined, never designated to breeding and parties and child-rearing. My queen.

Nesta & Cassian:

”He’d given Nesta a mocking bow, and she’d given him a vulgar gesture I hadn’t realized she knew how to make. Cassian had merely laughed, his eyes snaking over Nesta’s ice-blue gown with a predatory intent that, given her hiss of rage, he knew would set her spitting.”

I know not a lot of people ship them but I kinda live and breathe for their hate/even more hate/love relationship! *LOL* Which is actually sort of weird because I love Cassian but have some kind of hate/love relationship with Nesta. On the one hand I love that she went looking for Feyre and tried to save her, that she messed with the human queens and tried to protect her people, but on the other hand I hate that she never helped Feyre and let her carry the burden of their survival all alone. Nesta is really one of a kind and even after reading the entire trilogy I still don’t know how I feel about her. Maybe she needs someone like Cassian to make her a little bit more compassionate and maybe, just maybe Cassian needs someone like Nesta because he loves a good challenge. *lol* I’ll probably never know why, but for some reason they work for me! XD

His voice was rough as he said, “Five hundred years ago, I fought on battlefields not far from this house. I fought beside human and faerie alike, bled beside them. I will stand on that battlefield again, Nesta Archeron, to protect this house – your people. I can think of no better way to end my existence than to defend those who need it most.”
I watched a tear slie down Nesta’s cheek. And I watched as Cassian reached up a hand to wipe it away. She did not flinch from his touch.

Feyre & Tarquin:

”Tell me what that look means,” Tarquin said, bracing his muscled arms on the gold tablecloth.
I said baldly, “I’m thinking it would be very easy to love you. And easier to call you my friend.”
He smiled at me – broad and without restraint. “I would not object to either.”

Okay, I admit it! I have a little crush on Tarquin too! But how am I supposed not to crush on him? I mean he’s so sweet and honest and there’s an innocence to him that is its own kind of brand. I totally agree with Feyre and I’m sure he’ll grow into his role as a High Lord and will be a good leader for his people. It made me sad that Feyre’s and Rhysands actions kind of forced him to see them as their enemies but as a High Lord he had no other choice than to send them the blood rubies. This said I really hope to see more of him when Sarah writes her next trilogy. 😉 Let’s hope Tarquin will be a part of it too!

Tarquin glanced at the ground. “Forgive me if I’ve been forward. I’m still learning how to play the games of these courts – to my adviser’s chagrin.”
“I hope you never learn how to play the games of these courts.”

4

If you went to the trouble of reading through all of this you might have realized that I loved this book! *lol* Sarah J. Maas outdid herself with this sequel and I’ve no other choice than to give her 5 paws again. “A Court of Mist and Fury” is one hell of a masterpiece and this reread only consolidated my opinion! 😉

 

A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

Review: A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

”It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”

It rarely happens that a quote from a book haunts me but this one, well, this one does. I finished “A Tale of Two Cities” about two weeks ago, yet I’m still not over the ending. But how could I? After all, this is one of those rare books that keep you thinking even after you finished the last page and already closed the cover of the book.

The most intriguing thing about this all is the following though: I had a really, really tough time getting into “A Tale of Two Cities” when I first started to read it. XD The sentences were too long and complicated and Dickens writing style is lengthy and so full of superfluous words that every editor, no matter the century she/he lives in, would have had a field day crossing them out. *lol*

”O Miss Manette, when the little picture of a happy father’s face looks up in yours, when you see your own bright beauty springing up anew at your feet, think now and then that there is a man who would give his life, to keep a life you love beside you!”

So what happened? I can’t explain it, but I think Dickens’s magic happened. At least that’s the only thing I can come up with while I’m trying to explain my sudden love for this book. I mean we have a little bit of comedy in here when three different suitors attempt to ask for Lucy Manettes hand, yet at the same time Doctor Manette’s mental condition is making the situation as serious as it could possibly be.

”What can I do for my friend? No man ever can have been more desirious in his heart to serve a friend, than I am to serve mine, if I knew how.”

Every character in here is either an angel (Miss Manette) or a precious snowflake (Mr. Lorry & Charles Darnay) or it’s bloodthirsty and evil. (Madame Defarge & The Marquis) There is no grey area, well not unless you count Sydney Carton who is by far the most intriguing character in the entire book! I loved him! ❤ Yes, he might have been a drunkard (and I’m pretty sure he suffered from depression) but of all the characters that made an appearance in “A Tale of Two Cities” he’s certainly the most honourable and pure soul!

”It is too late for that. I shall never be better than I am. I shall sink lower, and be worse.”

And this, Ladies and Gentleman, is the true tragedy of this book! That Sydney thinks he’s worth nothing even though he DESERVES THE FREAKING WORLD!!!! Excuse my screaming but ADKFASKDFKASDFKSDFKASD! I get all emotional just thinking about this lovable man! He is worthy, he is wantable, to hell with it, I’m actually going to compare him to my precious boy Adam Parrish now! *LOL* Both of them deserve so much and they are always trying to fit in, to make their life better, yet there’s always something that holds them back. That makes their lives difficult.

”You are a good man and a true friend,” said Carton, in an altered voice. “Forgive me if I notice that you are affected. I could not see my father weep, and sit by, careless. And I could not respect your sorrow more, if you were my father. You are free from that misfortune, however.”

No one notices the struggle he’s going through and a lot of people judge him for his actions. Not outright into his face but behind his back. Truth be told, I think Miss Manette might have been the only person who ever got a decent glimpse at his true character and nature. And this only because he let her see it! Because he loved her and because he wanted her to know that there was a part of him, the part that loved her, that actually was worthy of her love as well. T_T

”I would ask you, dearest, to be very generous with him always, and very lenient on his faults when he is not by. I would ask you to believe that he has a heart he very, very seldom reveals, and that there are deep wounds in it. My dear, I have seen it bleeding.”

But we’re in the time of the guillotine, the time of change, of liberté, égalité et fraternité! And forgiveness and compassion, let alone justice aren’t truly on the agenda. People like the Marquis had no mercy with their subjects and their former servants pay them back in kind. Unfortunately this also means that innocent people, regardless of their actions and their lack of involvement are sentenced to death as well. Casualties in a war that gained momentum way too fast.

And so it happens that the storyline swells to a crescendo that ends in a climax I didn’t expect!

Boy, did that ending throw me! O_o
It was a beautiful ending, tragic, but beautiful, hopeful and sad. And it taught me that Dickens was indeed a great writer. 😉

spoiler

”Are you dying for him?” she whispered.
“And his wife and child. Hush! Yes.”
“O you will let me hold your brave hand, stranger?”
“Hush! Yes, my poor sister; to the last.”

I cried an ocean reading this scene!!! Sydney Carton deserved so much better than that!!! What a noble and gentle and compassionate soul!! What a brave man that gives comfort while he’s going to his death as well!!! I can’t even!!! T_T I just can’t… *cries and ocean again*

4

I really loved this book! Dickens might write long sentences, he might take his time until everything gets into motion but damn, he certainly knows how to deliver a punch line! If you like classics and don’t mind books with a lengthy build-up you definitely should go for this! It was so worth it! XD

”It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”

A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses (Sarah J. Maas)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 14 on My Book List 2019

”You murdered my friend,” the beast snarled. “Murdered him, skinned his corpse, sold it at the market, and then said he deserved it, and yet you have the nerve to question my generosity?”

When I first read “A Court of Thorns and Roses” I thought that this would be some sort of “The Beauty and the Beast” retelling and I guess in some way it truly is. Well, at least at first it seems to be one, the longer you read, the more it goes into an entirely different direction though.

And I think it was exactly that kind of change of direction that actually got me hooked in the end. I mean I like “The Beauty and the Beast” stories but boy, did I live and breathe for this story that didn’t only feature faeries but also magic and cruel villains! So yes, when I first read ACOTAR I got lost in its universe and rushed through it, always eager to find out more and to continue with Feyre’s journey.

It was only after I finished the last book, that I realized how fast I’d been paging through the entire series and by then it was already too late to savour it properly. Needless to say that I was sad it was over, also needless to say that I wanted to do a reread of it one day. *lol*

So two years later I found myself sitting down with ACOTAR once again, and tell you what? It was even better this second time around! It was so damn good to read about my favourite characters and it almost felt like coming home! Plus the foreboding!!! Seriously, how did I even miss all those clues and hints when I read it for the very first time?! There were so many things that made a whole lot more sense than they did before and I was in awe at how well Sarah J. Maas wove all those details in her storyline. Also the ending! I’ll never get over that ending!

NEVER!

No matter how often I read this book that moment on the last page!? Wow, just wow! T_T
This said I enjoyed this reread immensely and I really can’t wait to continue with ACOMAF soon! It was my favourite book out of this series and I’m sure I’ll find even more interesting details when I read it again! XD

Well, enough of my impending future reread! Let’s head to my character section instead! 😉

2

You are now entering Prythian and if you decide to continue your journey into the Spring Court you’ll be gifted with thousands and thousands of spoilers and thorns! Believe me and take my word for it. I mean faeries can’t lie and always tell the truth, right? ;-P

Feyre:

”Because I wouldn’t want to die alone,” I said, and my voice wobbled as I looked at Tamlin again, forcing myself to meet his stare. “Because I’d want someone to hold my hand until the end, and awhile after that. That’s something everyone deserves, human or faerie.”

Wow, I totally forgot how much I liked Feyre at the beginning of this series. I loved that fierce girl that would do everything for her loved ones and even had the guts to kill a wolf she suspected to be a faerie! XD I mean she didn’t know for certain but it definitely didn’t stop her from shooting that fateful arrow! Still, considering how her family treated her I can’t help but think that she’s a saint! She tried to keep them alive and all they did was to sneer at her or to spend all the precious money she earned. No wonder that girl is so insecure and distrustful, no wonder she was afraid of Tamlin and Lucien. No matter how scared she was, she never let it get in her way though. Her fear didn’t paralyze her but drove her and I loved that about her character! ❤ Plus she’s shrewd and clever! And defiant! Did I already mention how much I adore her for that? So yes, I loved the Feyre of book one and I’m kinda curious how I’ll feel about her in book two.

”I took a few running steps and hurled the bone at her with all my remaining strength. It embedded itself in the mud at her feet, splattering filth onto her white gown, and remained there, quivering.”

”Kill a faerie, fall in love with a faerie, then be forced to kill a faerie to keep that love. It was brilliant and cruel, and she knew it.”

”You went after me,” I said. “You went after me – to Prythian.”
“I got to the wall. I couldn’t find a way through.”
I raised a shaking hand to my throat. “You trekked two days there and two days back – through the winter woods?”

Tamlin:

”I was a child at the time, too young to understand what was happening – or even to be told,” he said. A child. Which meant he had to be over… “But had I been old enough, I would have. Against slavery, against tyranny, I would gladly go to my death, no matter whose freedom I was defending.”

LIAR, LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE!!! URGH! I can’t say how sick this moment made me! Seriously, when I read the book for the very first time I actually believed him, but damn reading it for a second time I realized how stupid I was. I mean for some reason I was never happy with Tamlin as a love interest for Feyre, not even when I read ACOTAR for the first time, I could never pinpoint the reason for it though. XD Oh well, I certainly don’t have that problem anymore. Doing a reread of this book I finally realized the many things I never truly liked about him. For instance his cold distance, his controlling behaviour and how he could say sentences like the one above when every freaking Court of Prythian except of his own was enslaved to Amarantha! He was old enough to fight her now but he was still indifferent!! All those other High Lords felt lonely too, Tamlin! They hoped that you would break the curse! And boy, I bet they had way worse days than you over those last fifty years!!!!They freaking DAMN WELL KNOW how it feels to care for their people when they are slaughtered and tortured in front of them!!! ADKFLASKDFSAKADKSK! So NOPE! Just nope! I get that he had a lot of weight on his shoulders, I get that he felt lonely, I get that he didn’t want Feyre to die, but he should have tried to do something. To manipulate Amarantha. I mean he didn’t even try that. He just flat out refused her! Which is stupid on so many levels…. Anyway I could go on and one but I’ll leave it at that! #I’llNeverBeAFanOfTamlin and I stand by it.

”But they never understood. What it was like, what it is like, for me to care for my people, my lands. What scars are still there, what the bad days feel like.”

Lucien:

”In lieu of a pretty breakfast table by the window, a worn worktable dominated the space, covered in various weapons. It was there he sat, wearing only a white shirt and trousers, his red hair unbound and gleaming like liquid fire. Tamlin’s court-trained emissary, but a warrior in his own right.”

LUCIEN!!! My precious baby!!! Gosh, I love him even more after rereading ACOTAR! <333 This man is honourable and strong and a true friend and no matter what others think about him, I still believe that he’s amazing! I’ll never understand why he gets so much hate from the fans because let’s face it, aside from Rhys he was Feyre’s only true friend!! He’s always honest and he says exactly what he thinks! Even if it’s to his detriment like when he told Amarantha to go back to her shit-hole! In contrast to Tamlin he had the guts to stand up to Amarantha and yes, he paid dearly for it, but he gave her a piece of his mind and I think Feyre and him are quite similar in that regard. *lol* AND this boy has compassion, fire and snark! Plus he’s a faithful soul! If you ask me he’s way more attractive than Tamlin and I for my part would love nothing more than to get burned by those hot autumn flames. *wriggles eyebrows* *LOL* I just hope Sarah won’t ruin him even more in the books that follow after the ACOTAR series because he definitely deserves better than that!! <333 You hear me, Sarah? Please give my boy a Happy Ever After!

”I heard you scream,” he said as I examined the blade in my hands. I’d never held one so finely crafted, so perfectly balanced. “And I hesitated. Not long, but I hesitated before I came running. Even though Tam got there in time, I still broke my word in those seconds I waited.” He jerked his chin at the knife. “It’s yours. Don’t bury it in my back, please.”

”Lucien told her to go back to the shit-hole she’d crawled out of. She took his eye as punishment. Carved it out with her own fingernail, then scarred his face. She sent him back so bloody that Tamlin… The High Lord vomited when he saw his friend.”

”I risked my neck for you during your task. Was that not enough?” His metal eye whirred softly. “You offered up your name for me – after all that I said to you, all I did, you still offered up your name. Didn’t you realize I would help you after that? Oath or no oath?”

Rhysand:

”I stepped out of the shelter of my saviour’s arm and turned to thank him.
Standing before me was the most beautiful man I’d ever seen.”

Ohhh Rhys! Haha! Next to Lucien he was definitely my second favourite character of this book! I already loved him when I read ACOTAR for the first time and nothing changed. I know so many people were angry at him for using Feyre and even more of them said that he’s an asshole, but what can I say? I like dark, mysterious, assholes? *LOL* When everyone was charmed by Tamlin and despised Rhys, he had already won my heart. XD And seriously, if you read the book carefully you can see through his disguise. Ironically Tamlin is the one wearing the obvious mask but in fact it’s Rhys who’s hiding behind one. Which only makes him even more lovable because every now and then it slips and we’re able to see the true High Lord! Behind that cunning and cruel mind there is a very decent person and everyone who doesn’t see this is blinded by Tamlin’s white teeth! *lol* Just saying! XD I mean even Feyre noticed that there’s more behind Rhys actions and half of the time she was severely wounded, having a fever or under the influence of drugs! XD So yeah! I love that scheming mind and I can’t wait to see more of it in ACOMAF!

”His clothes – all black, all finely made – were cut close enough to his body that I could see how magnificent he was. As if he’d been molded from the night itself.”

”Because,” he went on, his eyes locked with mine. “I didn’t want you to fight alone. Or die alone.”

”Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.”

3

Feyre & Tamlin:

”You gave up so much for them.” He lifted his other hand as if to brush my cheek. I braced myself for the touch, but he lowered it before making contact. “Do you ever know how to laugh?”

I didn’t feel this romance… at all! I already didn’t feel it when I read ACOTAR for the first time and I didn’t now. Those two just don’t have any chemistry! Their sweet moments weren’t even exciting or anything, but then again I think that this might have been Sarah’s intention all along. I dunno what it is about Sarah but you know exactly when she wants a couple to be endgame, because damn, their chemistry is always off the charts. If the couple isn’t going to have a HEA you can read it in the way she writes their sexy moments and sweet scenes. XD Or maybe it’s just my imagination? *lol* Anyway, I guess I was supposed to like them as a couple and to ship them, but I somehow never did? Plus I think their relationship never had a chance to develop. It was from “I hate you” to “I accept you” and then they were suddenly in love. I guess from Feyre’s POV it made sense, she’s young and unexperienced and Tamlin was the first guy who was nice to her and her first love. I somehow never felt that dedication from Tamlin though. Yes, he tried to save her but to be fascinated by her is no real love. To me it sounded like she was something pretty he wanted to possess and that just didn’t work for me. #SorryNotSorry

”Because your human joy fascinates me – the way you experience things, in your life span, so wildly and deeply and all at once, is … entrancing. I’m drawn to it, even when I know I shouldn’t be, even when I try not to be.”

”Stay with the High Lord, human,” the Suriel said.

Feyre & Lucien:

Lucien went rigid, but he hopped off the edge of the table and bowed deeply to me. ”My apologies, lady.” Another joke at my expense. “I’m Lucien. Courtier and emissary.” He gestured to me with a flourish. “Your eyes are like stars, and your hair like burnished gold.”

I absolutely love and adore their friendship! I mean they start out as enemies. Feyre killed Andras and as it seems Lucien was pretty close to the sentinel so it’s understandable that he’s not only angry but also dislikes her at first. During the entire book they get to know each other better though and slowly but gradually they become friends in the end. XD At first it seems to be some sort of reluctant acceptance and acknowledgement but the longer they talk to each other the better their relationship becomes. =) And let me tell you this: They are friendship goals! There’s nothing they wouldn’t do for each other! <333 Feyre saved Lucien by giving Amarantha her name and Lucien risked everything when he healed her nose, gave her a cloak and shouted that warning at her trial! He got a lashing just for telling her where to look and if that isn’t true friendship I dunno! Plus they work so nicely together, their easy banter is hilarious and I’m glad Lucien finally found someone who’s able to keep up with him. *lol* So yes, I’m on board of this friend-ship and I love them together!

Lucien sighed as he looked me over. “Do you ever stop being so serious and dull?”
“Do you ever stop being such a prick?” I snapped back.
Dead – really, truly, I should have been dead for that.
But Lucien grinned at me. “Much better.”

”Faerie pig!” I yelled, and Lucien howled, almost tipping back in his chair. At the sight of Tamlin’s growing smile, I left.

He used the dagger to clean his nails. “I’ve been busy. So have you, I take it.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I demanded.
“If I offer you the moon on a string, will you give me a kiss, too?”

Downstairs, Lucien snorted at the sight of me. “Those clothes are enough to convince me I never want to enter the human realm.”
“I’m not sure the human realm would know what to do with you,” I said.

Feyre & Rhysand:

”You’re going to bargain?” Rhysand laughed under his breath. “Ten days.”
I held his stare with all my strength. “A week.”
Rhysand was silent for a long moment, his eyes traveling across my body and my face before he murmured: “A week it is.”

Okay, let me tell you this: If you didn’t notice that Rhys has a weakness for Feyre you most certainly read the book with tomatoes on your eyes. *LOL* Because no offence, but it’s obvious and plain as day! He basically protected her from the moment they first met at Calanmai and there was absolutely no reason for him to interfere! She was just a human and he’s a High Faerie, yet he stepped in KNOWING full well that Tamlin and Feyre had something going on! Calanmai was the first time he was intrigued by her and he could have easily rat her out right after that night. He didn’t though. In fact everything he did was to protect her! He protected her the moment she came to Under the Mountain and everything he did, even the colour on her body, had some reason behind it. None of his actions was arbitrary, every single move and gesture was deliberate and on purpose. And if you still don’t believe me then think about the final fight against Amarantha! Rhys was the only one who tried to stop her! He raised his hand against Amarantha because he WANTED to save Feyre and he didn’t even think about himself when he attacked her! And don’t even get me talking about the fact that Rhys stumbled, ACTUALLY STUMBLED, in the end!!! <333 I ship them! Period! XD

”Don’t let her see you cry.
Put your hands at your sides and stand up.
I couldn’t. I couldn’t move.
Stand. Don’t give her the satisfaction of seeing you break.”

”Why are you telling me this?”
The swagger and nastiness were gone. “Because I’m tired and lonely, and you’re the only person I can talk to without putting myself at risk.”

”Then Rhysand was on his feet, my bloody knife in his hands. He launched himself at Amarantha, swift as a shadow, the ash dagger aimed at her throat.”

”His eyes locked on mine, wide and wild, and his nostrils flared. Shock – pure shock flashed across his features at whatever he saw on my face, and he stumbled back a step. Actually, stumbled.”

4

If you love faerie stories and like your faeries dark, dangerous, intriguing, silver-tongued and sexy as hell then this is certainly the right book for you. Sarah J. Maas outdid herself with the ACOTAR series and this was only the start! There’s so much more to come and to look forward to and I can’t wait to reread ACOMAF and ACOWAR! If you still haven’t read this book you definitely should go and grab a copy of it. You don’t have to be a “The Beauty and the Beast” fan to read it, just start with the first page and see where it will lead you! I promise it will be an interesting journey! ;-P