Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Queen of Nothing (Holly Black)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 13 on My Book List 2021

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”All power is cursed,” I say. “The most terrible among us will do anything to get it, and those who’d wield power best don’t want it thrust upon them. But that doesn’t mean they can avoid their responsibilities forever.”

While “The Wicked King” was kind of slow, “The Queen of Nothing” certainly stepped up the game. I mean there were already some twists and turns right at the beginning of the book and to say they left me reeling would be an understatement. *lol* I certainly didn’t expect the book to head into this kind of direction when I started to read it but of course it was great! Holly Black knows exactly what she’s doing and this book was no exception to the rule.

So yes, this book was more fast-paced than its predecessor and the plot twists always caught me off guard. Like seriously! I never saw some of them coming! Still, since there was a war brewing there were less conniving and well-thought-out interactions between the characters and a lot of their conversations were rather direct and straightforward. Which was logical and understandable but since I’m a sucker for backhanded compliments, puns, evasive comments and back-stabbing moments I kind of missed the faerie-esque vibe in here. (Is that even a word?! *lol*)

Don’t get me wrong, this was still amazing, but for some reason it didn’t persuade me as much as the two other books. XD Maybe I can chalk it up to the last book syndrome? Like the author tries to end a series properly and in a good way and it happens but it also loses some of its magic because all the loose ends are tied but the sudden seriousness takes away some of the enjoyment? Okay, I think I’ll just call it “finishing-touch syndrome” and be done with it. ;-P Anyway! I still love all the characters and you can bet I’ll talk about them extensively now.

2
One more time we’ll head to faerie,
a human like you, you must be weary.
Don’t fret or fear the power of magic,
okay, well maybe this is going to be tragic.
I could spare you the pain
and spoil you just to stay sane.
Some spoilery knowledge,
is it what you want to gain?
Well, then take my generous offer or refrain! ;-P

Jude:

”The wool beneath me is soaked through with blood. Way more blood than I am ready to believe came from me. And around the edges of the cloak, I spot tiny white flowers pushing through the snow, most of them still buds, but a few opening as I look. I stare, not sure what I am seeing.”

If you look at the Jude of the first book and compare her with the Jude in the last one you probably won’t find any similarities anymore. This girl grew so much throughout the series and I love the Queen she’s become! Of course she was always my Queen but to see her grow into the role was just amazing. Jude started out as a weak mortal, turned into the secret power behind the throne and then took a leap to become the Queen ON the throne! Like wow! What a character arc! Also I loved that she finally realized that her love and compassion are no weakness and can be some strength instead. Despite all her fears and troubles as the Queen Jude was still savage and I kinda loved that. *lol* Still, her despair when Cardan was a serpent was so tangible and heart-breaking. To see her like that hurt and I’m just glad that Cardan came back. Also I love the symbolism of this because if you analyse it Jude had to kill a part of herself in order to become a true Queen and to make Cardan a great king. You might say she slayed the vile parts of them. Quite literally. ;-P

”Maybe it isn’t the worst thing to want to be loved, even if you’re not. Even if it hurts. Maybe being human isn’t always being weak.
Maybe it was the shame that was the problem.”

”We’re meant to advise you,” says Nihuar in her syrupy voice. “We are thought to be very wise.”
“Are you?” I ask, and the voice that comes out is honeyed malice, the exact tone Cardan would have used. It spills out of me as though I am no longer in control of my mouth. “Because wisdom ought to urge you not to court my displeasure. Perhaps a stay in the Tower of Forgetting will recall you to your place.”

”I don’t know how to break the curse,” I say, all the tears I haven’t shed welling up in my eyes. “If I could, do you think I would be at this stupid banquet? Tell me what I must slay, what I must steal, tell me the riddle I must solve or the hag I must trick. Only tell me the way, and I will do it, no matter the danger, no matter the hardship, no matter the cost.” My voice breaks.

”And if the serpent grows in monstrousness and corruption, if it poisons the land of Elfhame itself, then let me be the queen of monsters. Let me rule over that blackened land with my redcap father as a puppet by my side. Let me be feared and never again afraid.”

Cardan:

Cardan glances toward me, as though for help. When I am silent, he frowns, annoyed with both of us. “Although I am wearing the cloak Mother Marrow made me, the one that will turn any blade, I still promise to run, tail between my legs. And since I have a tail, that should be amusing for everyone. Are you satisfied?”

I love Cardan so much and I will never get enough of him! This boy is just awesome! ❤ In “The Wicked King” he showed us his cunning and clever side and in “The Queen of Nothing” we were finally able to see his vulnerability. I just loved how he announced that Jude is his wife! *lol* The interesting thing about Cardan was that he might have shown his weaknesses to Jude but he was still strong on the outside. Maybe because he finally trusted someone and as we all know this can change a lot in the grand scheme of things. Still, for Cardan to admit that he loves Jude… it took a huge leap of faith to be so open with her and to admit his feelings. Also the foreshadowing was strong in this one and I should have known the moment Cardan told Jude that he believes she would be able to stop him. XD I’m gonna be honest here, I expected to happen a lot of things, but I certainly never expected Cardan to turn into a fully grown serpent! *lol* That was… unexpected and totally caught me off guard. I was like: WHAT??!!! Let’s hope Jude and Cardan will have a couple of quiet moments from now on.

”Whatever can you mean?” Randalin says. “She’s –“
“She is my wife,” Cardan says, his voice carrying over the crowd. “The rightful High Queen of Elfhame. And most definitely not in exile.”

”I never minded being a minor villain, but it’s possible I might have grown into something else, a High King as monstrous as Dain. And if I did – if I fulfilled that prophecy – I ought to be stopped. And I believe that you would stop me.”

”Seelie and Unseelie, Wild Folk and Shy Folk, I am glad to have you march under my banner, glad of your loyalty, grateful for your honor.” His gaze goes to me. “To you, I offer honey wine and the hospitality of my table. But to the traitors and oath breakers, I offer my queen’s hospitality instead. The hospitality of knives.”

”It’s you I love,” he says. “I spent much of my life guarding my heart. I guarded it so well that I could behave as though I didn’t have one at all. Even now, it is a shabby, worm-eaten, and scabrous thing. But it is yours.” He walks to the door to the royal chambers, as though to end the conversation. “You probably guessed as much,” he says. “But just in case you didn’t.”

3
Jude & Cardan:

”Cardan steps in front of me, pulling his cloak up. The metal needles glance off the fabric, falling to the floor. For a moment, we stare at each other, wide-eyed. He looks as surprised as I am that he protected me.”

Okay, but seriously: This is legit the best enemies-to-lovers and love-hate relationship I ever read in a book! Holly Black outdid herself with Jude and Cardan and I can’t help but ship them together! Like they are afraid of their love for each other but they also can’t be without each other and that makes it impossible to ignore their feelings! ADASDKFASDKFAJSFKASDFJK! The chemistry between those two is off the charts and I could spend the rest of my life just reading their conversations. *lol* I loved how much they trusted each other in here and that they finally realized what they mean to each other. They were fiercely protective and I lived and breathed for their brutal honesty. For once they put all their cards on the table and I was so ready for that to happen! And then when Cardan turned into a serpent, Jude couldn’t find it in herself to kill him. After all this time she wanted to be with Cardan so badly that it hurt. T_T I kinda loved her for deciding to respect his wishes and to try to kill him in the end. It certainly would have been better than to live his life as a bridled puppet by her side. Still, to decide to kill Cardan was no easy choice and my heart bled for her. And boy was I happy when he stepped out of the carcass of that huge serpent! *lol* I really hope those two will finally have some time to deepen their relationship and to live happily ever after! ;-P

”It was terrifying,” he says, “watching you fall. I mean, you’re generally terrifying, but I am unused to fearing for you. And then I was furious. I am not sure I have ever been that angry before.”
“Mortals are fragile,” I say.
“Not you,” he says in a way that sounds a little like a lament. “You never break.”

”I didn’t mean to hurt you.” He grabs my hand, possibly to keep me from hitting him again. Our fingers lace together. “No, it’s not that, not exactly. I didn’t think I could hurt you. And I never thought you would be afraid of me.”
“And did you like it?” I ask.

”Mock me all you like. Whatever I imagined then, now it is I who would beg and grovel for a kind word from your lips.” His eyes are black with desire. “By you, I am forever undone.”

”What was it like?” I ask. “Being a serpent.”
He hesitates. “It was like being trapped in the dark,” he says. “I was alone, and my instinct was to lash out. I was perhaps not entirely an animal, but neither was I myself. I could not reason. There were only feelings – hatred and terror and the desire to destroy.”
I start to speak, but he stops me with a gesture. “And you.” He looks at me, his lips curving in something that’s not quite a smile; it’s more and less than that. “I knew little else, but I always knew you.”

Jude & Madoc:

”I wonder what Taryn would ask for herself and the baby in her belly. Safety, I’d wager, the one thing Madoc believes he has already given us, the one thing he can never truly provide. No matter what promises he would make, he is too ruthless to ever keep anyone safe for long.”

This is still one of the most twisted father-daughter relationships I ever saw. I really didn’t expect Madoc would actually try to kill Jude but wow, he definitely wasn’t above hurting her so who knows what would have happened if the others wouldn’t have stopped him in time. Jude got almost killed by his sword blow so it’s easy to assume his rage and anger would have probably been sufficient enough to actually kill her. And this even if he would have regretted it afterwards. Even though Madoc is both, a person that thinks ahead and acts as well, I still think he might have gotten carried away and gone for the killing blow. At the end they seemed to have made their peace with each other but I doubt they’ll ever be close again. Heaven knows I wouldn’t trust a father that almost killed me because he wanted to seize the throne my husband and I are sitting on. XD

”And if I am particularly kind that evening, particularly deferential, if I laugh particularly loudly, it is because I know I will never do this again. I will never have him behave like this with me again. But for one final night, he’s the father I remember best, the one in whose shadow I have – for better or worse – become what I am.”

He gives me an incredulous look. “Will you defy me to the last? When I get ahold of you, I am going to keep you in chains.”
“I never wanted to be your enemy,” I say. “But I didn’t want to be in your power, either.” With that, I take off through the snow. I do the one thing I told myself I would never do.

Grabbing the cloak, he winds it around his hand, hauling me toward him. The ties choke me, then rip free. His sword sinks into my side, into my stomach.
I look up at him for a moment, eyes wide.
He seems as surprised as I feel.
Somehow, despite knowing better, part of me still believed he would pull a killing blow.”

Jude & Taryn:

”I know there are a lot of things I ought to have told her and a lot she ought to have told me. I know we haven’t been kind. I know she’s hurt me, more than she can guess. But for all that, she’s still my sister. My widowed, murderer sister with a baby on the way.”

Now that was a plot twist right at the beginning of the book that totally caught me off guard! When I read that Taryn killed Locke I was like: You gotta be kidding me!! Like OMG! I expected so many things to happen but Locke’s death definitely wasn’t one of them! We all knew Taryn wasn’t all too happy about Locke being unfaithful to her but OH WOW! I never pictured her actually killing him. So yep, still blown away by that revelation. It’s kinda weird that Locke’s death brought the two sisters together again but then again I suppose he was the only thing that truly stood between them during those last two books. Mhmm… I dunno if I would have forgiven Taryn as easily as Jude though. I mean Taryn wronged Jude in a lot of ways and I’m kind of bitter about the fact she gets away with it all because she killed Locke and is pregnant now. >_<

”While I walked the path of daggers and poison, she walked the no-less-fraught path of desire.”

4
This was a good ending for a great series! “The Queen of Nothing” might not have blown me away as much as the other two books of the series but it was still a great and suitable ending for “The Folk of the Air”! I really enjoyed the Jude and Cardan moments and if things would have gone my way I would have wanted even more of them. XD This said I’ll definitely watch out for Holly Black’s next book! 😉

Allgemein, Reviews, U - Z, W

Review: Wicked Lovely (Melissa Marr)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 30 on My Book List 2020

“Faeries could make themselves seen or not seen at will. And when they took people they took body and soul together.”

Before I start this review I’ve to be honest and tell you that I’m super biased when it comes to this series. *lol* It was the first faerie book series I ever read and I loved it so much that I bought all five books and even the accompanying novellas. XD Funnily enough I started this series all wrong and actually read “Ink Exchange” – the second book – first. Back then I found it in my library, was intrigued by the cover and after reading the blurb I just borrowed it, completely unaware that it was already the second book in a series.

Well, after reading the first couple of chapters I realized that I was right smack in the middle of a series but I was already way too hooked to stop reading. And looking at it in retrospective this was actually a good thing! “Ink Exchange” made me WANT to read this series and if I’d have picked up “Wicked Lovely” first I’m not sure if I’d have continued. Not that “Wicked Lovely” isn’t good. It’s great in its own way, but it’s definitely a really slow start. After reading it for the third time I can appreciate its beauty and recognize what a nice job Melissa Marr did. There is just a lot of info in this first book and most of it only starts to make sense when you continue with the series and get to know the world better.

This said, I think “Wicked Lovely” is some sort of series that slowly grows on you. If you make it through the technicalities of the first book you’ll most likely enjoy the rest as well! Plus if you read it once and reread it again, you’ll find so many interesting hints you missed the first time. XD Like for instance the brief appearances of Irial and Niall. 😉 I really can’t wait to review this properly so I’ll jump right into my characters section and relish that I’m finally able to gush about this!

2

You asked for the Sight and I’ll grant you your wish! Be aware that everything I do has its price though. If you consent you won’t only be able to see through the glamour of faeries but you’ll also see a lot of spoilers! Don’t say I didn’t warn you! It’s your choice, so I’d recommend choosing wisely. ;-P

Aislinn:

”She leaned against him, needing his comfort, his support. She was afraid, but she couldn’t just sit around waiting for someone to save her. She had to try to save herself, try to figure it out.”

I have no idea why I never liked Aislinn. *lol* I mean considering it all she’s actually a great character and I love that she isn’t just accepting everything fate is throwing at her. She might have no choice when it comes to her being the Summer Queen but I think it’s really amazing that she decided to do it on her own terms. She isn’t giving in because Keenan seduced her; she’s giving in because she knows she has no other choice than to do what is best for her and her people. Maybe that’s exactly what made her the Summer Queen. She’s the only one that didn’t fall for Keenan and his charms and decided to take up the staff because she actually wanted to. She wanted to help him and she didn’t want to be a summer girl or a wraith so she chose the only choice she could live with. And just as a side note: There are worse things than being the Summer Queen. *lol* ;-P

”Simply willing it away had never worked with the Sight, and she was beginning to believe that this was much the same. She knew she was changing, despite how much she’d been trying to deny it.
I’m one of them.”

”While he stood there, fighting not to falter under the chill Beira had released, Aislinn pulled him down and kissed each of his bruised cheeks, her lips soft as balm on the painful bruises. “I can’t stand a bully.”

Seth:

”He was lovely, tempting in ways so different than Keenan: dark and still, shadows and paleness.”

I LOVE Seth!! I mean I always loved Seth but when I read this series for the first time I only realized how amazing he was when I read “Fragile Eternity”. This time around I already appreciated him in the first book and I realized that I adore him. I mean this boy is basically the embodiment of a bad boy with a heart of gold. He has lots of piercings and the respect of a lot of people, he loves to read and he listens to great music so OMG! He’s like perfect! Plus he never pushes Ash! He always lets HER decide what to do and this is just awesome. The world needs more guys like Seth! I mean who wouldn’t want to date a gorgeous, caring, selfless and intelligent boy? =))

”He didn’t move any farther, didn’t close the distance between them. He might tease, flirt, but he didn’t pursue her. It was her choice. In a world where so many choices weren’t hers, it was a wonderful feeling.”

Keenan:

”He glowed faintly all the time, as if hot coals burned inside him. His collar-length hair shimmered like strands of copper that would slice her skin if Aislinn were to slide her fingers through it – not that she would.”

I think in many ways Keenan is exactly the opposite of Seth. He pushes Ash and wants to sway her in his favour. He tries to score with his charms and good looks and yes, he’s kind of selfish. Or at least he seems to appear like that. There’s more to Keenan than initially meets the eye and everything he does, he’s doing because he doesn’t have a choice. For him there’s no grey. He either finds his Summer Queen or his people die and the world is going to drown in endless winter. With all those responsibilities it’s really no wonder he’s so pushy. Keenan is desperate and when he said that hope is all he lives on I really felt sorry for him. He is a good and nice person, but Beira definitely didn’t make it easy for him to show his sweet side.

”What makes you think I won’t resent it today?”
“Hope. It’s what I live on …”

”I wish it didn’t trouble you. But I’m begging you to accept me. Simply tell me what you want, and I’ll try.”

Donia:

”Donia still wasn’t sure whom she resented more: Keenan, for convincing her he loved her, or Beira, for killing that dream. If he’d truly loved her enough, wouldn’t she be the one? Wouldn’t she be his queen?”

Ahhh Donia! My fierce, stubborn and upright winter girl! ❤ I hated how much she doubted herself because of Beira and her bitter fate still gnaws at me. She was the only one who had the guts to take up that staff and in the end the cold claimed her. What happened to her wasn’t fair and I really would have wished things would have turned out differently. Donia is such a great character and even though she could have been corrupted by Beira’s blackmail she didn’t even think about betraying Keenan. I’m kind of glad she’s the Winter Queen now. It will make things between her and Keenan even more complicated but I’m sure she’ll be strong enough to handle it. 😉

The words came to her from the white world, sliding through her lips like a winter wind, “I am the Winter Queen. As those before me, I will carry the wind and ice.”

Beira:

Beira let go of the staff and wrapped her arm around Donia, holding her up, and whispered, “If you fail me, it’s well within my power to take away this body of yours. He can’t stop me. You can’t stop me. You’ll be a shade, wandering, colder than even you can imagine. Think about it.” Then she let go.

Beira is such a WITCH!! I swear that woman is as cold as her icy exterior. How a person like her got a son like Keenan is beyond me. Also Beira’s relationship with Keenan was super abusive and I really felt for him. The worst thing about her was that she relished hurting others and abused her powers. She even turned against her own people and tried to cheat. The rules of how Aislinn would become the new Summer Queen were pretty exact, yet Beira still tried to interfere. It’s good that she died and that Donia is the new Winter Queen now. I’m sure she will be a way better monarch than Beira ever was. XD

”Mortals are such fragile things. Just tender feelings walking around exposed in their delicate shells … Easy to crush.”

3

Ash & Seth:

”Talk to me.”
She stood up, but he caught her hand before she could walk away again. He pulled her closer.
“I’m here. I’ll be here. Whatever it is.”

I really liked the chemistry between those two! Seth is one hell of a guy and the fact he wasn’t jealous when Aislinn told him that Keenan wants her to be his Summer Queen is actually quite amazing! All he said was that Keenan has bad timing! *lol* Like seriously!!! Find yourself a Seth! Also I’m still not over the fact that he waited 7 months!!! for Ash to finally admit to her feelings for him! That boy is PATIENT!!! If I’d have been Ash nothing would have been able to keep me away from Seth. XD I really love that boy! <333 So yeah, those two had quite a lot of sizzling moments and I can’t wait for more of them. Totally on board of this ship. 😉

”He lifted her onto the counter where she’d sat and talked to him countless times. But this time her hands were in his hair, wrapping her fingers in it, pulling him closer.
It was the most perfect kiss she’d ever had until she realized, Seth. This is Seth.”

”Since you don’t seem the jealous sort, I’m guessing she was a faery.”
“Wings and all.” She went over, pulled him down to her, and kissed him. “But I might be a bit more the jealous sort than I realized.”
He grinned. “Works for me.”

She shook her head. “No. But when he, it’s not him, it’s some faery thing ….”
He tipped her head up. “Don’t give up. Don’t leave me before you’re even here.”

Ash & Keenan:

”You’d be surprised at what I know about you. And you know what? None of it impresses me. Not one little bit.”
He laughed then – joyous and free, like the anger that’d flared in his eyes hadn’t existed. “Then I shall try harder.”

Aislinn definitely didn’t make it easy for Keenan to win her over. Sometimes she was just downright rude and I felt really sorry for him. I mean that boy is trying really hard and it’s not like he could do anything against it. His hands were bound and Ash giving him hell for it must have been tough. I guess they both tried to deal with the situation as best as they could and considering both of them are already in love with someone else will only make it even harder to cope with their new roles. Keenan is trying to play the long game with Ash though so this is going to be interesting. After all Seth is a mortal still. 😉 I think it’s good that Keenan accepted Seth at Ash’s side and that her happiness is more important to him than forcing a relationship. They are both fey though and their chemistry is there even if they don’t want it… Mhmm… XD

”I thought you’d be angry if you woke up with me, and” – he paused, mouth curled in a sardonic half-smile – “and I don’t want you angry.”
“I don’t want you at all. Why can’t you just leave me alone?”

”Keenan looked at Aislinn, curled up against Seth, seeming happy. It was what he wanted for her, happiness. There was little she could ask that he’d deny – even if that meant she would be in another’s arms for now.”

Donia & Keenan:

”Go away, Keenan. I don’t like you any more today than I did yesterday, or the day before that, or the –“ He interrupted, “But I still like you. That’s the beauty of this, isn’t it? I still miss you. Every single time we do this, Don.” He lowered his voice to try and hide how close it was to raw. “I miss you.”

The epitome of star-crossed lovers! I’ve to say that I felt really, really sorry for Keenan this time around. It’s obvious he loves Donia and the fact that she turned into the Winter Girl had nothing to do with his love for her. I know Donia thought that he just didn’t love her enough but as we could see with Ash love had nothing to do with becoming the Summer Queen. Keenan loved Donia for decades and she hated and resented him because she thought it was his fault that she turned into the Winter Girl. I certainly didn’t envy him his position as the Summer King. Poor boy! Despite of their new roles I can’t wait to see more of this power couple and I’m so ready to read the other books! =)))

He moved farther away from her – crouched on the floor, head bowed – where they couldn’t touch. He sounded as broken as he looked. “If you stop Aislinn, I lose everything. If you don’t, you die. What am I to do?”
“Hope I lose,” she suggested softly.

”He stroked her face, gently, as if she were something delicate and precious. Tears ran down his cheeks and dripped onto her face, melting the ice that still clung to her. “I thought I’d lost you. I thought we were too late.”

Ruling the Winter Court had come easily; she could be just, fair, to her fey. But having power over Keenan – that was a dangerous thing. She wanted him to sway to her wishes as she’d done so long to his. She licked her lips and was rewarded by a flash of darkness in those summer eyes.
He moved closer, hesitantly, but the look in his eyes was hopeful. “Why are you here?”
“For you.”

4

I still love this series with every fibre of my heart and I’ll continue to love it until I die. It was the first faerie series I ever read and therefore will always hold a special place in my heart. Yes, the first book is slow-paced but it’s still great and I’ll never get tired of recommending this series. <333

I can’t wait to read “Ink Exchange” and to be reunited with Irial, Niall and Leslie! XD

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Wicked King (Holly Black)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

Book 9 on My Book List 2020

”The three of you have one solution to every problem. Murder. No key fits every lock.” Cardan gives us all a stern look, holding up a long-fingered hand with my stolen ruby ring still on one finger. “Someone tries to betray the High King, murder. Someone gives you a harsh look, murder. Someone disrespects you, murder. Someone ruins your laundry, murder.”

I wish I could disagree with Cardan but he’s right! *lol* All this book is about are intrigues, machinations, power games and murder and tell you what? I’m so here for it! Like SO here for it! XD Holly Black knows how to write her faeries and I’ll never get tired of her books. There’s just something about them that keeps me on my toes and forces me to be on my guard. ;-P It’s rare to find this is a book and I appreciate her even more for it.

This said, I’ve to admit that for some people this book might seem to be pretty slow. There is a lot of build-up and it takes a while until the storyline gets into motion. Or rather it’s set into motion right at the start of the book but it kind of trickles in the background. You know something is brewing but you can’t put your finger on it and the more the story unfolds the more you get that feeling of uneasiness. The feeling that something is wrong and the awareness that you’re missing something crucial. 😉

I think this made for a super intriguing atmosphere and my urge to continue to read fought a constant battle against the connoisseur within me that wanted nothing more than to savour this book. XD Especially the Jude/Cardan scenes almost caused me to throw all caution to the wind. *lol* I didn’t give into the temptation though and considering THAT ending I’m glad I took my time to analyse every single sentence. I have theories! A BUNCH of them and I’ll make sure to go into detail in my characters section. 😉

2

Take my hand and follow me,
To the land of faerie,
Where I will spoiler thee.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you in advance,
Come enjoy the revel and let us dance.
You and I, we shall have some fun,
And if you’re scared,
Well, now is your last chance to run! ;-P

Jude:

”Watching his fear ripen fills me with an almost voluptuous satisfaction. I, who have had little power in my life, must be on guard against that feeling. Power goes to my head too quickly, like faerie wine.”

Jude Duarte is one of those characters I can’t help but adore. I love this girl so much! She’s cunning and intelligent which is always a dangerous combination, but she’s also compassionate and even though she tries to hide it, it always shows. Like for instance when she tried to prepare Heather for what would happen in Faerie. Still, Jude has become a force to be reckoned with and I’m in awe of all the strings she pulled. She’s become a formidable faerie which is probably the biggest compliment you can pay her and by running an entire kingdom in the background she’s grown as well. It’s not about gaining power anymore but about holding it (like Madoc pointed out so nicely) and considering it all she’s doing a great job. Or she did until she got betrayed by the Ghost and was spirited away to the Sea. >_<  I couldn’t believe it went into this kind of direction and I think her month as a captive of queen Orlagh changed her profoundly. She was reminded of her limits and she was willing to play along in order to save herself. I guess in some way it made her realize that she’s still so very powerless when it comes to the machinations of the courts. And for our reckless Jude this must have been quite a damper. Cardan at her disposal or not, they could have killed her easily. I think what it will always come down to is that she craves the power to be her own master and as long as she hasn’t achieved that she won’t be able to rest. Speaking of which: OMG!!! That ending! She’s the Queen of Faerie now but no one knows and she’s exiled!!!! WTF??!!!  Jude better come back because I need a happy ending! T_T

”You want to know what I did to make him raise me up?” I ask, leaning toward her, close enough that she can feel the warmth of my breath. “I kissed him on the mouth, and then I threatened to kiss him some more if he didn’t do exactly what I wanted.”

”I hate the way I cling to him, the nails of one hand digging into his back, my thoughts splintering, and the single last thing in my head: that I like him better than I’ve ever liked anyone and that of all the things he’s ever done to me, making me like him so much is by far the worst.“

”Sometimes, when lying on the cold stone floor, I wonder if there’s a limit to what I will let them do, if there is something that would make me fight back, even if it dooms me.
If there is, that makes me a fool.
But maybe if there isn’t, that makes me a monster.”

”I imagine what it would be like to have my own crown, my own power. Maybe I wouldn’t have to be afraid to love him. Maybe it would be okay. Maybe I wouldn’t have to be scared of all the things I’ve been scared of my whole life, of being diminished and weak and lesser. Maybe I would become a little bit of magic.”

Cardan:

Cardan leans forward as though they are sharing a jest. “Oh, tell me the rest. I like tricks and snares. Even ones I was nearly caught in.”

Okay, Cardan lounging on his throne is my new aesthetic! XD Also that one earring dangling from his ear! Ahh, did anyone else imagine him as the 8th member of BTS? *LOL* Anyway! Let’s talk about my precious boy who became more and more intriguing! I never thought I could be even more obsessed or besotted with him but “The Wicked King” certainly proved me wrong. I love this new calculating Cardan and I was kind of happy to see that he grew into his power. He played them all! And he did it masterly! Every gesture, every move he made, and every single word that left his lips, it was calculated and deliberate. The sings were all there and they became even more pronounced after Jude returned from the Sea. The way he commanded the situation with Queen Orlagh was amazing and it was really surprising to see how clever and skilled he is. I could see it from miles away but what truly gave his game away was the moment when he held council about how to proceed with Queen Orlagh. Cardan acting reasonable and making sense was such a dead giveaway. *lol* I can’t wait to see what he’s going to do now but I’m also kind of worried about him. Without Jude by his side things will get even trickier. >_<

”When he becomes drunk, his subjects become tipsy without knowing why. When his blood falls, things grow. Why, High Queen Mab called Insmire, Insmoor, and Insweal from the sea. All the isles of Elfhame, formed in a single hour.”

”Now, Queen of the Undersea, we will have a truce as you had with Eldred, as you had with Mab. We will have a truce or we will have a war, and if we fight, I will be unsparing. Nothing and no one you love will be safe.”

”When my father sent me away, at first I tried to prove that I was nothing like he thought me. But when that didn’t work, I tried to be exactly what he believed I was instead. If he thought I was bad, I would be worse. If he thought I was cruel, I would be horrifying. I would live down to his every expectation. If I couldn’t have his favor, then I would have his wrath.”

”I wasn’t kind, Jude. Not to many people. Not to you. I wasn’t sure if I wanted you or if I wanted you gone from my sight so that I would stop feeling as I did, which made me even more unkind. But when you were gone – truly gone beneath the waves – I hated myself as I never have before.”

Cardan shakes his head and drinks another cup of tea. “We show her that I am no feckless High King.”
“And how do we do that?” I ask.
“With great difficulty,” he says. “Since I fear she is right.”

Vivi:

”Revenge is sweet, but ice cream is sweeter.” She goes to the freezer and removes a tub of mint chocolate chip. She brings that and two spoons back to the sofa. “For now, accept this delight, unworthy though it is for the Queen of Faerie in exile.”

I can’t believe Vivi truly thought that Heather would come out of Faerie unscathed and I really disliked her for her actions. At first she didn’t tell her the truth and then she added insult to injury by glamouring her after things went downhill. No wonder Heather moved out of their apartment. If someone would have done the same to me I would have moved out as well. I think Jude was right with everything she said about Vivi not being able to understand what it means to be a human in Faerie. She’s a faerie and she never seemed to care all too much about Taryn and Jude’s struggles. So I don’t know if Heather will come back again but if Vivi wants her back she’ll have to do so much better than she did before.

3

Jude & Cardan:

”I wondered if it wasn’t you shooting bolts at me.”
I make a face at him. “And what made you decide I wasn’t?”
He grins up at me. “They missed.”

ADKASDLFKAsDJFASKDFJASDFLKASJDFAKLSDFJASLKDFJSDfH!!! Okay, sorry, but that just needed to get out! *lol* Now I feel better and can write about it! XD So first things first: I love them! Their love-hate relationship is legit one of the best things about this series and I ship them so hard it almost kills me to read their scenes! <333 Their chemistry is off the charts and I just can’t get enough of them. This said: I guess in some way Cardan finally got his revenge for Jude forcing him on the throne. *lol* Well, he certainly did a number on her by exiling her from Faerie! I don’t think it was about revenge though. I don’t even think it was about power. I’m sure he had completely different motives so hear me out and let me explain! I DO believe that he meant every single word he said before he married her and he wasn’t lying because faeries can’t lie. So I think his main reason to exile her was to keep her safe. When she was abducted and imprisoned in the Sea he realized how much he truly loves her and that changed everything. She’s his weakness, the only thing that could be able to hurt him and he’s not holding on to power for himself but for her sake. I mean he trusted her so much that he gave Taryn what she wanted because he thought it was her. His love and trust for Jude will be his downfall and it was the reason why he exiled her even though he loves her. So he tricked her out of her hold over him and now he’s free to do what needs to be done in order to protect her. Which was a pretty clever move on his part. Still, I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY MARRIED AND THAT JUDE IS THE QUEEN OF FAERIE NOW!!! OMG! That totally caught me by surprise and I was speechless! *lol* So whatever happens between those two in the final book, I’m so ready to read it! <333 Give me all that love and hate, because apparently it’s both in their case. ;-P

Cardan steps close to me, his gaze devouring. I am not sure I can bear his cutting me down again. Luckily, he seems at a loss for words.
”I hate you,” I whisper before he can speak.
He tilts my face to his.
“Say it again,” he says as the imps comb my hair and place the ugly stinking crown on my head.

”You believe I planned your humiliation?” He laughs. “Me? That sounds like work.”
“I don’t care if you did or not,” I tell him, too angry to make sense of my feelings. “I just care that you enjoyed it.”
“And why shouldn’t I delight to see you squirm? You tricked me,” Cardan says. “You played me for a fool, and now I am the King of Fools.”

He shucks his cuffed white shirt over his head in a single elegant gesture, revealing bare skin and scars. My hands are shaking. He captures them and kisses my knuckles with a kind of reverence.
“I want to tell you so many lies,” he says.

”But how did she make you agree?” I demand. “She has no power. She could pretend to be me, but she couldn’t force you –“
He puts his head in his long-fingered hands. “She didn’t have to command me, Jude. She didn’t have to use any magic. I trust you. I trusted you.”

”Faerie suffered with us at each other’s throats. You attempted to make me do what you thought needed to be done, and if we disagreed, we could do nothing but manipulate each other. That wasn’t working, but simply giving in is no solution. We cannot continue like this. Tonight is proof of that. I need to make my own decisions.”

Taryn & Locke:

”But you know me too well to bother.” She shakes her head. “When I’m with him, I feel like the hero of a story. Of my story. It’s when he’s not there that things don’t feel right.”

I said it once and I’ll say it again: Those two were conspicuously inconspicuous in. I always waited for their involvement but they made sure to act in the background and not to show their true motives. To be honest I didn’t expect anything different. I knew sooner or later they’d make their move and I was right! XD The way Taryn betrayed her sister. Just WOW! I’m curious if we’ll see more of them in the next book because I kind of missed Locke’s machinations. Yes, he made Jude the Queen of Mirth but that was about everything he did (aside from trying to get her killed) and it certainly wasn’t enough. He can do better than that and I really hope I’ll get more of the cunning fox in the next book.

”I am done with being polite. We’re not going to play word games or make up riddles. Humiliating the High King is a bad idea. Humiliating me is a terrible idea. Running around my sister is just dumb. Maybe you thought I was too busy to take my revenge? Well, Locke, I want you to understand that for you, I will make time.”
His face pales. He’s obviously not sure what to make of me right now.

Nicasia & Cardan:

”Would you marry me, then? Tie the sea to the land and bind us together in misery?” Cardan gazes at her with all the scorn he once reserved for me. It feels as though the world has been turned upside down. But Nicasia does not back down. Instead, she takes a step closer.
“We would be legends,” she tells him. “Legends need not concern themselves with something as small as happiness.”

As it seems Nicasia is still in love with Cardan, but unfortunately (or fortunately, always depends on your POV) he doesn’t seem to reciprocate her feelings. I guess her try to force him into a marriage only made him dislike her even more and those two definitely won’t become a couple anytime soon. That horse is definitely out of the barn. *lol* I think Cardan wants love and the fact he chose Jude tells us everything we need to know. So I’m sorry Nicasia, but you’ve lost the game. 😉 #SorryNotSorry

Jude & Madoc:

”You don’t believe that I could care about you, even after you betrayed me?” He watches me with his cat eyes. “I’m still your father.”
“You’re my father’s murderer,” I blurt out.
“I can be both,” Madoc says, smiling, showing those teeth.

I know this might sound weird but I’m still down for this twisted father-daughter relationship! *lol* They have such an interesting dynamic and the fact they both seem to care about each other yet still don’t give each other an inch is just awesome. When an opportunity arises it is seized no matter the consequences or what kind of repercussion it might entail for the other.  They obviously respect each other though so I wonder if there actually might be a happy ending for those two. As opaque as Madoc is, the genuinely seems to care about Jude and I’m pretty sure she considers him to be her father too, no matter what she tells him. XD Ahh I like them. Guess we’ll find out what will happen in “The Queen of Nothing”.

”I’ve been glamoured and carried into a revel, weeping and alone. As far as I can tell, the only difference between tonight and all the other nights when I endured indignities without complaint is that those benefited you, and when I endure this, it benefits me.”
Madoc looks shaken. “I didn’t know.”
“You didn’t want to know,” I return.

”Does he know?” Madoc asks, grinning in a slightly terrifying yet paternal fashion. “Does our High King have any idea how good you are at running his kingdom for him?”
“Keep hoping he doesn’t,” I say, trying for a breezy confidence that I don’t feel when it comes to anything to do with Cardan or our arrangement.

”Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold on to.”

”Orlag and the Undersea we will vanquish together. But when they are gone, it will be us staring across a chessboard at each other. And when I best you, I will make sure I do it as thoroughly as I would any opponent who has shown themselves to be my equal.”

4

This was perfection and I enjoyed “The Wicked King” even more than I thought I would, which is no easy thing to accomplish! I lived and breathed for all the backstabbing and cunning in this book and I can’t wait to see what will happen in the next one. Considering all the scheming and plot twists we witnessed in here (oh what a pleasure!) I’m pretty certain Holly Black will have no mercy in the final book as well! I’m ready, Holly! Destroy me! 😉

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Cruel Prince (Holly Black)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

Book 7 on My Book List 2019

”Faeries make up for their inability to lie with a panoply of deceptions and cruelties. Twisted words, pranks, omissions, riddles, scandals, not to mention their revenges upon one another for ancient, half-remembered slights. Storms are less fickle than they are, seas less capricious.”

And this is exactly why I LOVED this book! I dunno about you but I love my faeries wicked, cunning and cruel and unfortunately not a lot of authors are able to pull that off. Many faerie books are pretty soft and the MCs are like Twilight’s Bella and Edward only that they are faeries instead of vampires. So I’m always beyond excited and more than just a little delighted (oopsie that rhymed again, I can’t hide my faerie heritage after all) when I find a book and an author that actually knows about the true legends and fairy tales.

What it comes down to is that Holly Black definitely is one of those mentioned authors! I swear, I didn’t have as much fun reading a faerie book ever since I finished Melika Dannese’s “Deadmarsh Fey” and Melissa Marr’s “Wicked Lovely” series. If you don’t know either of those two you better check them out and see if they might be something for you. 😉 I admit they aren’t for everyone because they stick to the facts of legends and myths (especially Melika’s book) but if you’re into well researched books and want something that’s close to the common folk tales but still has its own voice I can totally recommend them.

Anyway! After finishing “The Cruel Prince” I was so satisfied, I felt like I needed the proverbial cigarette after. Since I don’t smoke I settled for a whiskey instead and enjoyed one of those rare silent evenings when you’re able to let your thoughts wander. In the end I can say that I loved all the characters and their duplicity and I’m definitely craving for more! I can’t wait to read “The Wicked King” soon, but for now you’ll just have to endure one of my long and super spoilery reviews. This is how faeries are done and I’m so going to write an essay about it! *lol*

2

You’re leaving the mortal realm and are now entering Faerie. Keep your friends close to you, don’t accept dance proposals and if any food is offered to you and you take it… well, then you’re already doomed. XD Spoilers ahead of you. Be my guest! And btw did I mention that it would be a pleasure to dance with you? *offers hand* ;-P

Jude:

”No matter how careful I am, eventually I’ll make another misstep. I am weak. I am fragile. I am mortal. I hate that most of all. Even if, by some miracle, I could be better than them, I will never be one of them.”

Ahhh now Jude is what I call a driven character! That girl’s on fire and no matter what kind of obstacle is in her way she’s ready to take it up with the entire world. I kinda like her for it. *lol* I mean she’s very self-conscious, she knows her limits and that she’ll never become one of the faeries she lives with but she’s still sort of brave and reckless. Just because she’s a human and weak in comparison to all the others this doesn’t mean that she’ll back down. Jude might be human but she won’t allow her weaknesses to define her and that’s amazing! I know many people might think that she’s dumb for even trying and that she should keep her head down just like her twin sister Taryn, but if you’re constantly being picked at there comes a point where you can’t and won’t take it any longer. I loved that Jude is courageous enough to take that extra step, to do what no one expects her to do and to laugh in their faces even if they are trying to push her down. Is it dangerous? You bet it is. Was it fun to watch Jude dish out retaliation to those obnoxious faeries? HELL YES!!! I adore my cunning and determined baby and I can’t wait to see what she’s going to do next. XD

”I am going to keep on defying you. I am going to shame you with my defiance. You remind me that I am a mere mortal and you are a prince of Faerie. Well, let me remind you that means you have much to lose and I have nothing.”

”What could I become if I stopped worrying about death, about pain, about anything? If I stopped trying to belong? Instead of being afraid, I could become something to fear.”

”If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.”

”No matter how unlikely it seems, you are the most important person in all of Faerie. Whosoever has you, has power. And I want power.”
“I suppose you were right after all.” He studies my face, giving nothing away on his own. “I suppose I didn’t know the least of what you could do.”

Locke:

”There is pleasure in being with them,” he says. “Taking what we wish, indulging in every terrible thought. There’s safety in being awful.”

Now that’s a character that had me yelling at the pages, in a good way of course. 😉 Haha! I can’t believe that none of them realized how dangerous Locke truly is! I never bought into his “lonely boy” façade and if you ask me that one is going to be big, big trouble in book two. He might have taken a backseat in “The Cruel Prince” at the ending but that was only because he enjoyed “watching the story unfold”. XD Locke is a perfect example of a trickster and his story, well, it’s not over yet. Not by a long shot! And tell you what? I can’t wait to see what that wicked young faerie is going to do next. *lol* He might have fooled Jude once but I’m sure she’s on guard now and knowing her she won’t let him off the hook so easily. He’s most certainly prepared for her revenge though so Cardan and Jude better tread carefully around him. 😉 That boy’s got skill and he’ll use every little bit of it to get what he craves and wants. I guess he already proved that he has absolutely no qualms about playing unfair. XD

”I like for things to happen, for stories to unfold. And if I can’t find a good enough story, I make one.” He looks every inch the trickster in that moment.

Cardan:

”And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest, with black hair as iridescent as a raven’s wing and cheekbones sharp enough to cut out a girl’s heart.”

Okay, let me get it down on this page: I LOVED Cardan that little **** (insert swear word of your choice here)! *lol* GAH! I didn’t see such an arrogant and obnoxious character ever since I finished Melissa Marr’s series. Cardan is so cocksure of himself that it was a pleasure to watch him in action. Like seriously! That boy!!! All tough and mean on the outside but once you see beyond that he’s vulnerable af! ❤ What was really curious about him was that he has a tail! XD No one ever mentioned that in the reviews I read and I loved how it was implied that he hides it because it’s giving away his feelings. If there was one thing I didn’t like then it was that he wasn’t an all too big part of the story. I would have loved to see more of him and I really hope that Holly Black will do me that favour in “The Wicked King”. There are so many sides of his character I didn’t see yet and I want to explore them layer by layer! (Double meaning totally intended here! *lol*)

”Do you know what mortal means? It means born to die. It means deserving of death. That’s what you are, what defines you – dying. And yet here you stand, determined to oppose me even as you rot away from the inside out, you corrupt, corrosive mortal creature. Tell me how that is. Do you really think you can win against me? Against a prince of Faerie?”

”You are terrifying. Nearly my whole family is dead, and while they never had much love for me, I don’t want to join them. I’ve spent all night worrying what you’re going to do, and I know exactly what I deserve. I have a reason to be nervous.”

”Have I told you how hideous you look tonight?” Cardan asks, leaning back in the elaborately carved chair, the warmth of his words turning the question into something like a compliment.  “No,” I say, glad to be annoyed back into the present. “Tell me.”“I cannot,” he says, then frowns. “Jude?” I may never be used to the sound of my name on his lips. His brows draw together. “There’s a bruise coming up on your jaw.”

Vivi:

”I think it broke Vivi’s heart to return, but she did it. And she stayed. Whatever else I can say about Vivi, when it really mattered, she stuck by us.”

Why did no one ever mention that Jude and Taryn have a big sister?! I was like: WHAT?! when I started to read the book and the fact that she has a mortal girlfriend was even more intriguing! I mean yes, Vivi is a side-character but she’s a pretty cool one and seems to have her heart in the right place. I like her way more than I like Taryn and I wish Holly Black would have taken more time to flesh her out. So far all we know is that she’s a rebel, kind and wants to live in the mortal world, which isn’t an awful lot if you ask me. I really hope that’s going to change in book two though! =)

„Vivienne shrugs, and I am reminded of how, despite her being my sister, we differ in ways that are hard to comprehend. “You did a brave thing. Be glad of that. Not everyone can be brave. I’m not always.”

3

Jude & Locke:

”I brace myself for more scorn, but then one corner of his mouth lifts. He winks, as if in acknowledgement of being caught out. As if we’re sharing a secret. As if he thinks I am not loathly, as though he does not find my mortality contagious.”

ALL of my faerie instincts screamed “HELL NO!!!” when Locke started to show interest in Jude and as it seems I was right. I’ve to admit that I have a lot of respect for Locke though. I mean that boy managed to seduce and confuse Jude big time and this even though she’s so distrustful and basically only sees the bad in every faerie. That’s quite an achievement and one of the main reasons I love Locke. He’s a manipulative, conniving and intelligent bastard and their relationship was nothing but cold-blooded calculation. Ahh how I admire that kind of ambition. *lol* Anyway, we all know that Jude will do everything possible to settle that score so Ha! You better wrap up warmly, Locke and Taryn. There’s an ice storm coming right your way. ;-P

”It takes us a long time to wend our way back down the stairs. My hands are in his hair. His mouth is on my neck. My back is against the ancient stone wall. Everything is slow and perfect and makes no sense at all. This can’t be my life. This feels nothing like my life.”

”Do you love me enough to give me up?” I am sure my expression is stricken. He leans closer. “Isn’t that a test of love?”

Jude & Taryn:

”You think I’m weak.”
“You are weak,” I tell her. “You’re weak and pathetic and I –“
“I’m a mirror,” she shouts. “I’m the mirror you don’t want to look at.”

Well, if Taryn isn’t a two-faced snake then I dunno. There’s Jude trying to save her naïve and stupid sister, just to find out that our young and innocent girl is anything but! I knew there was something up with her and Locke and I was not surprised to find out the truth. Unfortunately this can’t be said about Jude and I’m pretty sure Taryn just gambled her only chance to win the award for “best twin sister”. Not that she ever stood a chance to get it. I mean she always let Jude struggle on her own, she never helped her, never tried to defend her, she just let those faeries do what they wanted and if Taryn would have been my sister I would have broken with her a long time ago. Guess Jude got to that point now as well. >_<

Jude & Cardan:

”I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.”

I ship them. HARD!!! I loved those two! This kind of hate-love is so damn intriguing I can’t even! It’s so rare to see it on page and boy did Holly Black surpass herself! There are those two people that hate each other so much that they want to kill each other yet at the same time they have this incredible attraction and can’t seem to be able to fight it. I’ll only say it once but: YAS!!!! This is the supreme discipline of a love-hate relationship and if it continues to be that good in book two I’ll be in seventh heaven and will savour every second! It’s obvious they want each other but whilst it was pretty evident that Jude hated Cardan more than he hated her, the same can’t be said for the ending of the book. I think at the end they might have switched roles and I’m more than just certain that Cardan hates Jude with a fierce passion now. She forced him to take over the throne, the one thing he never wanted and he’s bound to her. Ohh damn! This is going to be fun once the one year and one day is over! *lol* But until then we can expect deadly C.H.E.M.I.S.T.R.Y and I’m so ready for it! <333

His hand slides lover on my hip. I narrow my eyes at him.
“You really hate me, don’t you?” he asks, his smile growing.
“Almost as much as you hate me,” I say, thinking of the page with my name scratched on it. Thinking of the way he looked at me when he was drunk in the hedge maze. The way he’s looking at me now.

He leans in and closes his eyes. “Most of all, I hate you because I think of you. Often. It’s disgusting, and I can’t stop.”
I’m shocked into silence.
“Maybe you should shoot me after all,” he says, covering his face with one long-fingered hand.

I fix him with a look. “I can be charming. I charmed you, didn’t I?”
He rolls his eyes. “Do not expect others to share my depraved tastes.”

”He kisses me hard, with a kind of devouring desperation, fingers digging into my hair. Our mouths slide together, teeth over lips over tongues. Desire hits me like a kick to the stomach. It’s like fighting, except what we’re fighting for is to crawl inside each other’s skin.”

”Cardan looks at me with helpless rage. Then, the full minute of my command up, he rises slowly to his feet. The fury in his eyes is familiar, the glitter of them like banked fire, like coals burning hotter than flames ever could. This time I deserve it. I promised he was going to be able to walk away from the Court and all its manipulations. I promised he would be free from all this. I lied.”

Cardan & Locke:

”Enough,” Locke says sharply to Cardan. He’s got his hands on my shoulders and is pulling me roughly to my feet. “I’m taking her home.”
“Are you, now?” Cardan asks him, eyebrows raised. “Interesting timing. You like the savor of a little humiliation, just not too much?”
“I hate it when you get like this.” Locke says under his breath.

Okay, seriously. What is it with those two? *lol* There is something between them and I just can’t put my finger on it! Judging by Cardan’s comment Locke didn’t try anything with him yet, but I think Cardan might have a soft spot for Locke? I mean he basically admitted that he’s insulted because Locke never showed any interest in him. XD Is this one-sided? Or is there more to it? Mhmm… those two are a tough nut to crack but I’ll find out sooner or later! Hopefully “The Wicked King” will be revealing. If there is actually something I’ve to admit that I’d definitely ship it! *lol*

That makes his smile grow. “Maybe he didn’t. Maybe either of you would have done as his first mortal conquest. I believe his goal is to have both of you in the end.”
I don’t like any of this. “What about you?”
He gives me a quick, odd look. “Locke hasn’t gotten around to seducing me yet, if that’s what you’re asking. I suppose I should be insulted.”

Madoc & Jude:

He kneels down in front of me and takes my hand in his rough green fingers. He must be able to feel how I am trembling. He lets out a long sigh, probably discarding more threats. “Then tell me what will help, Jude. Tell me, and I will do it.”

What a twisted and odd father/daughter relationship! I’m pretty sure that they love each other in their own way and even though Madoc killed Jude’s parents she still started to see him as her father somehow. It’s clear that Madoc sees her as his daughter too and judging by the way he reacted to the faeries hurting Jude he truly seems to care about her. The ending though. I can’t help but wonder how they’ll come out of all of this. This is bound to rebound and I’m kinda worried about Jude. *lol*

”The cups of wine,” he says. “But how did you know which one I would choose?”
“I didn’t,” I tell him, thinking that he’ll be at least a little pleased by the answer, despite himself. It is the kind of strategy he likes best. “I poisoned them both.”

4

I loved everything about this book! From the scheming to the intrigue, from the duplicity to the bitter truth, from lovers to haters and the other way around… Written down on 370 pages of perfection there was basically everything I crave for in a good faerie book and I really couldn’t be even more delighted than I already am. ❤ This book was AMAZING and totally worth the hype! Enough said! 😉

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! 😉

 

Allgemein, Reviews, U - Z, W

Review: Wintersong (S. Jae-Jones)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 12 on My Book List 2019

”The last night of the year,” Constanze said. “Now the days of winter begin and the Goblin King rides abroad, searching for his bride.”

I don’t know about you, but I was so intrigued by this sentence, that I had to continue to read the entire book and I’m very glad to say that I wasn’t disappointed. “Wintersong” truly gave me everything I expected to read … and then some. XD It was obvious that Jae-Jones did her research and even though there were a few things that bugged me, she still did a great job at including the German myth of the “Erlkönig”.

As someone who grew up in Austria it was impossible to avoid Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s work, but since he’s one of my favourite poets “Der Erlkönig” always held a special place in my heart. I mean it’s a poem about a faerie king who tries to seduce a father’s son. And it’s a very haunting and suspenseful piece of work as well. ❤ So if you haven’t read it yet, I totally recommend you to read it before you start with this book. It will give you an idea about the Erlkönig’s true nature and I think Jae-Jones nailed this side of the faerie king more than just well. *lol*

Speaking of which, this book was so dark, twisted and artful I just couldn’t get enough of it. The Underground, the atmosphere, the goblins, the revels, the changelings, the myth of the Lorelei, just everything!!! It was such a pleasure to read this and the writing style was so beautiful that I could have cried. ❤ I loved that the author created such a unique world and that you couldn’t help but sympathize with Liesl and the Goblin King. They both had their roles to play and they did it as best as they could. XD

If there was anything I didn’t like then it were the German spelling mistakes or the frequent use of the phrase “the austere young man”. I know why Jae-Jones used this kind of wording to describe the human side of the Goblin King, but after reading it for the 100th time I got as tired of it as of Sarah J. Maas use of the word “mate” or the phrase “my inner goddess” in 50 Shades of Grey. *lol*
There are a lot of other words that could have been used instead of “austere” and giving it a little bit of thought I already come up with “grave, serious, demure, solemn, severe, stern” the list could probably go on and on… I really loved this book but the constant repetition of “austere” took away a little bit of my enjoyment.

Plus: Can we agree that it’s “Gugelhupf” and not “Gugelhopf”? *lol* I know I’m a bean counter now, but as a person that loves to eat “Gugelhupf” I really couldn’t read it spelled like that. XD Still, as far as I could find out Jae-Jones has no German background so she actually did a great job at including the language and its legends. XD

I’m really looking forward to read “Shadowsong” soon, because it just can’t end like this! There’s got to be a solution and I’m so ready to be swept away by it. *lol*

2

You are entering the realm of the Goblin King and if you don’t want to be spoiled you better leave his domain. 😉 The Underground is dangerous and our changelings love to confuse mortal estrays. Oh, and they bite. ;-P *lol*

Liesl aka Elisabeth:

“After all, I was not a child of beauty; I was a child of the queer, the strange, and the wild.“

Now Liesl was a character I could totally relate to. She loved music and composed her own pieces and she found a lot of enjoyment in listening to other people play. I’m pretty much the same, I love to write lyrics and to compose a melody to them, but I also appreciate it when I can close my eyes and someone else plays or sings for me. If they are really good I might even be moved to tears. (Yes, this actually happens!!) So imagine me starting to read this book and finding our MC Liesl! It was amazing! Not only because of the musical aspect but also because we both seemed to be pretty alike when it comes to being in the background. *lol* It’s not that Elisabeth was a shy or quiet character, quite the contrary, she’s outspoken, passionate, outgoing, headstrong, brave, pretty stubborn and compassionate but because of her family and the expectations they had she never even got a proper chance to fulfil her potential. In her father’s eyes Josef was the better musician and because of that he neglected Liesl. And in all honesty this was one of the main reasons my heart bled for her. T_T During her time in the Underground she eventually found her own voice though and even though it hurt to see her waste away, it was still good to know that she was finally doing something for herself! XD Her escape at the end didn’t come as a surprise but I really want to know what happened to the poor Goblin King!!! >_<

”I had watched him study me, and knew now how he had become the most sublime interpreter of my art. He was as familiar to me as the sound of my own voice.”

”I wanted to bend the entire world – both above and below – to what I needed. For once. Just once. Light my flame, mein Herr, I thought. Light my fire, and watch me burn.”

”I got up from the bed. With each step forward, the Goblin King retreated, but when I had his back pressed against the wall, he could run no farther from me. I placed my hands on his chest, a light touch, and rose up onto my toes to whisper in his ear.
“I came back,” I murmured. “Of my own free will.”

The Goblin King aka Der Erlkönig:

“You are clever. I do not offer this gift to you out of the goodness of my heart, but out of a selfish need to see what you might do with it.”

I absolutely loved and adored the Goblin King!!! Seriously, this character was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!! <333 Jae-Jones did such a great job at turning him into a complex and morally grey character and even though I didn’t agree with many of the things he did, I still couldn’t help but like him. I mean the Erlkönig is super manipulative, he does what needs to be done, he doesn’t even shy away from using Käthe as leverage to get what he wants, yet at the same time he feels conflicted about his actions. It was obvious that he loved Liesl and that he didn’t want to hurt her, but if he needed to do it in order to save his people he still went for it regardless of his own feelings for her. I mean woah!!! If that isn’t the embodiment of a tortured character then I really don’t know. *lol* The Goblin King just couldn’t change the way he was, because his humanity was at least as much a part of him as the role of being the Lord of the Underground. Both were facets of his character but ultimately his body and soul were bound to his duty as the Goblin King. Talk about feeling torn! >_< It made me sad that he was forced to let Liesl go, but I could understand why he did it. In the end his heart won and he could no longer bear to watch her die. =(( My poor Erlkönig is all alone now though. *sniff*

”There was a grace to every line of his body; elegance was not only in his air, but in the way he moved. Even when he was awkward. Even when he was unsure.”

”Coerced is such a strong word,” he said. “I like to think I am persuasive on my own merits.”
“She thinks you are a Hungarian count.”
He waved his hand. “We all have our flaws.”

”I would take my violin and play.” The words were spoken almost before his lips could catch up to what he was saying. “I would walk the world and play, until someone called me by name and called me home.”

”What will happen to you if I win?” I whispered.
A smile crossed his lips, but the corners were downturned, more sad than satisfied. “You know,” he said. “You’re the only one who’s ever asked.”

Käthe:

”Then it became clear just what Käthe’s greatest dream had been: to marry rich. Not for fancy gowns or expensive jewels, but to provide for her family.”

Mhmm Käthe. I liked her because she wasn’t the doll everyone expected her to be. There was a lot of depth to her character once you actually bothered to take a closer look. XD It was obvious that she loved Liesl and even though it took Liesl quite some time to realize this, she eventually did it in the end. I think in some way Käthe reminded me of my own sister, because she was also one of those girls (still is) that draws the stares of people. Just like Käthe my sister never seems to realise that people are looking her way and I could totally relate to Liesl in that regard. It’s not easy to be in the shadow of your sister and Elisabeth’s frustration was more than just palpable for me. Still, Liesl and I love our sisters dearly and we both would go to hell and back (or in this particular case rather the Underground) in order to save them from the Goblin King. *lol* 😉

“The fluttered and flirted outrageously, carefully oblivious to the stares she drew like moths to the flame. Both men and women traced the lines of her body, the curve of her cheek, the pout of her lip.”

”That one,” the merchant said, pointing to Käthe, whose head lolled against my shoulder, “burns like kindling. All flash, and no real heat. But you,” he said. “You smolder, mistress. There is a fire burning within you, but it is a slow burn. It shimmers with heat, waiting only for a breath to fan it to life.”

3

Liesl & The Goblin King:

”Oh, Elisabeth,” he said. “You foolish, foolish girl. How easily you give me your trust.”
“I play the hand I am dealt.”
“Yes, and by my rules.” The tips of his teeth glinted. “Beware, Elisabeth. You may prefer the pretty lie to the ugly truth.”

Now those two were a really intriguing couple! *lol* I loved their dynamic and it was refreshing to see that Elisabeth could unnerve the Goblin King at least as much as he was able to unnerve her. XD That scene when she surprised him in his bedchamber and teased him about their supposedly spent night?! XD Just awesome! It showed how human and shy the Erlkönig could be and since this was in stark contrast to his usual swagger I couldn’t help but grin while I read it. *lol* Still, what I probably loved the most about them was their profound recognition of each other’s soul. They knew exactly who the other was and yes, Liesl never got to know the Goblin King’s true name, but that didn’t stop her from seeing his true self. It was beautiful to watch them grow together, to see how their mutual love for music was able to connect them in ways that trumped every physical and carnal experience. They were so perfect for each other and yet they still couldn’t be. Because Liesl would have died a slow death if she would have stayed with the Erlkönig and because he loved her so much he couldn’t bear to watch it happen. Their love is truly tragic and the ending broke my heart. T_T I knew it was bound to end like that but it was still so sad! I really need to read “Shadowsong” asap, because those two deserve a HEA and I hope Jae-Jones will give it to them! (And me, of course!! *lol*)

”My soul thrilled with recognition at the sight of his face, but the reality of him frightened me. He was an old friend in myth and legend; he was a stranger in breath and body.”

”Why did you marry me, if not for this?”
This time it was the Goblin King who stumbled back, as though I had slapped him. “If you thought that I wanted –“

”You were angry when you wrote this, weren’t you? I can see the rage, the impotence, in your notes.” Then he looked up. “Oh, Elisabeth,” he breathed. “You wrote this on your – on our wedding night, didn’t you?”

”I am,” he whispers, “the monster I warned you against.”
“You are,” I say hoarsely, “the monster I claim.”

Liesl & Sepperl:

“Think you that our music comes from God? No, it comes from below. From him. The Ruler Underground.”

Sepperl was a really sweet boy and I wish I would have had a chance to get to know him better. Unfortunately he was only a short part of the book and most of the things we read about him were from Liesl’s memory or from the short glimpses we got to see while he was away from her. Still, I loved that he and Elisabeth had such a strong connection and I hope that we’ll get to see more of him in the second book. Since he’s one of the Goblin King’s Changelings, I’m pretty certain that he’ll have an important part in “Shadowsong” though. XD

”Your soul rests within you, Sepperl.” I lightly touched my hand to his breast. “Here. That’s where your music comes from. Not from the land. Not from the woods outside.”
“I don’t know.” Josef buried his face in his hands. “But I am afraid. I am afraid of the bargain I struck with the stranger in my dreams. But now you understand why I’m too terrified to leave.”


4

“Wintersong” was everything I wanted to read and even more! This book had the makings of a dark faerie tale and occasionally even managed to give me some serious “The Phantom of the Opera” vibes. If you like dark and mysterious books, if you’re a big fan of music and faeries and if you enjoy a lush and vivid writing style… Well, then “Wintersong” most certainly will be the right choice for you. 😉

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