Allgemein, P - T, R, Reviews

Review: Ruin and Rising (Leigh Bardugo)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

”They will starve for you, lay down their lives and their children’s lives for you. They will make war without fear and die rejoicing. There is no greater power than faith, and there will be no greater army than one driven by it.”

Three books and I still hate the Apparat! *lol* Guess that says enough about him and his despicable character. XD Despite everything he unfortunately has a point though. Now that Alina has become Sankta Alina for so many people they think that she’s the answer to all their prayers and hopes and to say this is quite a burden for a girl that considers herself to be ordinary isn’t even getting close to the truth. There’s a lot of pressure on our young heroine and even though she’s coping with it way better than she did in the past, this still doesn’t mean that she’s ready to do what is necessary.

Mainly to destroy the fold and to dethrone the Darkling. To be entirely honest I can’t even blame her for it. The Darkling and her have some special connection and no matter how misguided he’s become, our favourite villain still has a good heart. It’s hidden more than just well in this final and last instalment but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t there. *sighs deeply*

Also, am I crazy for still loving all those boys? *lol* Because no matter how much I think about it, I still like Mal, I still adore Nikolai and I still want more of the Darkling. XD And this after reading all three books! ARGH! Leigh why do you have to write such good characters? *lol* It’s just not fair! Well, anyway I’ll head to my characters section now because there is a lot I need to get off my chest and I don’t want to spoil you already! ;-P

2

”None of them were easy or soft or simple. They were like me, nursing hurts and hidden wounds, all broken in different ways. We didn’t quite fit together. We had edges so jagged we cut each other sometimes, but as I curled up on my side, the warmth of the fire at my back, I felt a rush of gratitude so sweet it made my throat ache.”

You are entering the Fold! If you don’t want to be spoiled or eaten by the volcra (which truth be told might be pretty likely) you better leave now. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! You’re entering at your own risk! *volcra howls in the distance* ;-P

Alina:

”You are on your knees,” I said. “We are not negotiating.”
His lips thinned, but after a moment, he dipped his chin in assent.

Okay, I admit it. Alina was pretty cool in this book! *lol* I loved how she decided to take her fate into her own hands and no longer aimed for compromises. It was all or nothing for her and I really, really liked this! For once she was no longer a chess piece in the game but turned into one of the leaders instead. AND I enjoyed it! XD It was about time she got her own voice and I’m glad she finally realized that it’s up to her to change things. Plus, if we’re entirely honest to run away never really worked out for her anyway! The Darkling would have never left her alone and it was about time she fought back. 😉

”Maybe love was superstition, a prayer we said to keep the truth of loneliness at bay.”

”This was what Ravka did. It made orphans. It made misery. No land, no life, just a uniform and a gun. Nikolai had believed in something better.”

Mal:

”For all my talk of vows and honor, what I really want is to put you up against that wall and kiss you until you forget you ever knew another man’s name. So tell me to go, Alina. Because I can’t give you a title or an army or any of the things you need.”

Three books and I still don’t get all the Mal hate!!! I mean seriously, why do so many people hate him so much? I think he’s a really nice and down-to-earth guy and I could understand each and every single one of his actions. Yes he turned Alina away; he only did it because he knew she needed more than just a soldier who had nothing to offer though. In my opinion he was only realistic and let’s face it, if Alina wouldn’t have lost all her powers in the end she would have never been happy and content in a relationship with him. AND Mal was ready to sacrifice himself in order to save their world so I really, really don’t get why anyone wouldn’t like him!? I never had the feeling that he’s annoying, quite the contrary so yeah: #IStillLikeMalAndI’mNotSorry

Nikolai:

”Saints, Alina. I hope you weren’t looking to me to be the voice of reason. I keep to a strict diet of ill-advised enthusiasm and heartfelt regret.”

OMG!!! If that is even possible I actually loved him even more than I loved him in book 2! Nikolai is the BEST and he deserves the world and so much more!!! <333 I just admire and adore him and I really don’t get how Alina was able to resist his charms! I would have accepted his proposal in a heartbeat! *lol* But then again I’m not Alina who is obviously besotted with Mal. XD It made me kind of sad that we didn’t get all too much of him in this final book, but I see the logic behind it. AND I’ll never forgive the Darkling for what he did to my precious baby!!! I didn’t expect him to turn him into a monster and when it happened I was gripping my book so hard and yelling at the pages that I was very thankful I read it at home. *lol* (Just imagine I would have read it in the train… XD) I can’t wait to hold “King of Scars” in my greedy and grabby hands and I NEED to know what happens next! >_<

”Nikolai had made a fool of the Darkling, and now the Darkling had taken my polished, brilliant, noble prince and made him into a monster. Death would have been too kind.”

”He’d mobilized all the remaining units of the army to secure the borders, sent messages to the coast to rally Sturmhond’s fleet, and had apparently managed it all on no sleep and two fractured ribs. No one else would have had the ability, let alone the nerve – certainly not a younger son and rumoured bastard. But Nikolai had been training for this his entire life, and I knew he had a gift for the impossible.”

The Darkling:

”I have lived a long life, rich in grief. My tears are long since spent. If I still felt as you do, if I ached as you do, I could not have borne this eternity.”

I might never forgive him for what he did to Nikolai but I still love him?! *lol* The Darkling is just one of those amazing villains I love to hate and despite everything he’s done there is still something good in him. His power and age made him ruthless and caused him to be detached from the world around him, but deep down in his heart he isn’t really bad. I guess you might say he is doing the wrong things for the right reasons. All he ever wanted was a united Ravka in which Grisha could live peacefully and together as one and for a while he even managed to give his country some sort of stability. He had a wonderful dream but he never realized that he became the one thing that stood in its way. The Darkling was a very complex villain and I’m so glad I read this series because villains like that are so rare to find. XD For that alone I’ll always cherish him. But that moment when he asked Alina to say his true name!? T_T I am deceased!

”Once more,” he said. “Speak my name once more.”
He was ancient, I knew that. But in this moment he was just a boy – brilliant, blessed with too much power, burdened by eternity.
“Aleksander.”

Genya:

”Na razrusha’ya. E’ya razrushost.” I am not ruined. I am ruination.

Boy, did I adore Genya for her guts!! <333 She stood up for herself and faced the king head-on and she didn’t just give him a piece of her mind but also accepted the consequences the truth might entail! THAT WAS SO DAMN BRAVE for so many different reasons!! I always knew why Genya is my Queen! XD I love that despite her scars she’s comfortable in her own skin and I’m so happy that she finally got the love she deserves! <33 After everything she went through she deserves a man who treats her right and David seems to be the perfect man to give her everything she needs! 😉

”Beauty was your armor. Fragile stuff, all show. But what’s inside you? That’s steel. It’s brave and unbreakable. And it doesn’t need fixing.” He drew in a deep breath then awkwardly stepped forward. He took her face in his hands and kissed her.

3

Alina & Mal:

”We’re going to be travelling together for who knows how long. Eventually, you’re going to have to talk to me.”
“I’m talking to you right now.”
“See? Is this so terrible?”
“It wouldn’t be,” he said, gazing at me steadily, “if all I wanted to do was talk.”

I know at least 50% of the people who read this series will be all like “NOOOO!!!” now but: I SHIP IT!!! Yes, you read right! I’m happy with the ending and them being together! I mean Leigh made it pretty clear that Mal is Alina’s one true love and I’m so on board of the “The childhood friend gets the girl” train! *lol* Because this NEVER EVER happens in YA!!! And I’m grateful Leigh actually made it happen for once! XD It might sound ridiculous but this is something new and I’m always there for new things in a genre I already know so well. Plus Mal and Alina had a great chemistry and I loved that they were always able to joke about their situation. They knew each other inside out and for me it was logical that they could be together! I mean it’s basically like in real life. I know so many couples that started out as friends (some even best friends) and then became a couple because they realized they love each other. So there’s that! I ship it and I’m content with the ending! Enough said! ;-P

”All at once, the pain in my chest was so bad it nearly bent me double. Because this was what Mal had been coming to show me. Because that look – that open, eager, happy look – had been for me. Because I would always be the first person he turned to when he saw something lovely, and I would do the same. Whether I was a Saint or a queen or the most powerful Grisha who ever lived, I would always turn to him.”

”He watches her the way Harshaw watches fire. Like he’ll never have enough of her. Like he’s trying to capture what he can before she’s gone.”

”I wanted more for you,” he said. “A white veil in your hair. Vows we could keep.”
“A proper wedding night? Just tell me this isn’t goodbye. That’s the only vow I need.”

”They had an ordinary life, full of ordinary things – if love can ever be called that.”

Alina & Nikolai:

”First vomit, then tears,” Nikolai said, coming up beside me. “Don’t tell me I’ve lost my touch.”
“I’m just happy you’re alive,” I said, hastily blinking my eyes clear. “Though I’m sure you can talk me out of it.”

Their friendship was so amazing!!! I always knew they wouldn’t end up together but I loved that they developed such a great friendship in the end. They are proof that a friendship between a man and a woman can work just fine and their easy banter was so entertaining to read. If they would have married it would have merely been an alliance though and they both deserved better than that. I’m glad Alina can be with Mal now because I know Nikolai’s story isn’t over yet and I’m sooo curious to find out who’s going to be his love interest. XD A lot of people think it might be Zoya but I never saw chemistry between those two so there would have to be a lot of build-up in order to make that happen. Maybe Nikolai will even have a coming-out as being bi?! (I swear it could be possible!) Well, that certainly would be something I’d love to read. *lol* Whatever happens and no matter if it will turn out to be a straight romance or a gay one, I’m so ready for “King of Scars”!!! <333

”I owe you, Alina. Ravka owes you. This and more. Do good works or commission an opera house or just take it out and gaze at it longingly when you think of the handsome prince you might have made your own. For the record I favour the latter option, preferably paired with copious tears and the recitation of bad poetry.”
I laughed.
He took my hand and pressed the ring into it. “Take it and build something new.”

Alina & The Darkling:

”If only I’d known you’d prove such an apt pupil.” His voice was genuinely admiring, almost surprised.

Ohhh I lived and breathed for their scenes! Their cat and mouse game was just too intriguing to read! They gave each other a run for their money and none of them yielded an inch! *lol* ARGH! Their relationship was so twisted and dark but damn was it awesome to witness! XD I think in a perverted way they both loved each other, but it just wasn’t enough to save the Darkling. It broke my heart that he had to die but the way Leigh wrote it I was okay with it. (Not like in “War Storm” when I was so damn disappointed about how it all ended …) The Darkling died with dignity and he died being loved by his opponent… It was a coherent ending and it was the ending he deserved. ❤

”It’s true,” I said softly. “You are stronger, wiser, infinite in experience.” I leaned forward and whispered, my lips brushing the shell of his ear. “But I am an apt pupil.”
His eyes flew open. I caught the briefest glimpse of rage in his gray gaze before I severed the connection.

”There will be nothing left,” I whispered.
“No,” he said gently as he folded me in his arms. He pressed a kiss to the top of my hair. “I will strip away all that you know, all that you love, until you have no shelter but me.”

4

“Ruin and Rising” was a good and solid ending for a rather unconventional YA series! It kept me entertained and always caused me to wish for more. By the end of this book I got really attached to some of the characters and considering how many YA books I already read, that’s certainly no easy feat. 😉 So if you’re looking for a typical YA series that’s still able to surprise you every once in a while, “The Grisha Trilogy” is what you’re looking for. XD Happy Reading!

Allgemein, Reviews, U - Z, V

Review: Vengeful (V.E. Schwab)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

Book 29 on My Book List 2020

“Some people were matches, a bit of light and no heat. And some were furnaces, all heat but little light. And then, once in a blue moon, there was a bonfire, something so hot and bright you couldn’t stand too near without burning.”

I loved this so much!! And I’m saying this not only because I’m Victor Vale trash – which I obviously am – but because V.E. Schwab knows how to tell a story! The way “Vengeful” was told is nothing but amazing. We have four weeks ago in the present, we have the past and the longer the story proceeds the closer we get to the actual present events and the final climax of the story. And yes, I chose my words carefully here because while reading the book I couldn’t help but find parallels to Victor’s condition.

“Vengeful” builds up like one of Victor’s energy charges and after the discharge you’re as drained and dizzy as him. This book however isn’t only about Victor but also about Eli, Sydney and Mitch. There are a lot of new players that enter the scene, like for instance Marcella, June and Jonathan. Not to mention all the countless EO’s EON found and arrested as well as the ones Victor found and … well you know Vic doesn’t do things by halves. ;-P Neither does Eli, so it was only a matter of time until our old friend began scheming once again.

This time it’s not all about Victor and Eli though and I was really happy to discover that we got a lot of female power to counterbalance our two boy’s ongoing feud! XD Believe me when I say that every single one of those characters has their own agenda and that they are not squeamish when it comes to enforcing their ambitions. We basically get a gathering of ruthless and powerful people who literally walk over dead bodies in order to achieve their goals and do I even need to say it? Yes? Well, my inner faerie had a field day! *lol* And before I go on and on, I better head to my character’s section and gush over there! 😉

2

You know what they say about Rome? All roads lead to Rome. Well, in this case it’s Merit so: Welcome to Merit! The city in which Victor Vale and Eli Ever started their vicious and vengeful vendetta. Tread carefully when you enter, you might get right smack into the middle of their fight and parts of spoilers could hit you at every corner! Consider yourself warned.

Victor Vale:

”He had craved a lot of things – power, revenge, control – but sex was never one of them. Even with Angie… he’d wanted her, of course, wanted her attention, her devotion, even her love. He’d cared about her, would have found ways to please her – and perhaps found his own pleasure in that – but for him, it had never been about sex.”

First things first: I still LOVE and ADORE Victor Vale. <333 His character was every bit as intriguing and morally grey as it was in “Vicious” and it was such a pleasure to watch his mind at work. I was glad to discover that his habit of using text markers to blot out words hadn’t changed, even though I’ve to admit that – in this context – it broke my heart. Victor is all about logic and control and in “Vengeful” the two things he always relied on were taken away from him. He has no control over his body’s degeneration and even though he knows that he’s doomed the solution-oriented part of him just can’t accept his predicament. He’s a man on a mission and once he sets his mind to something he just can’t let it go. The truth is Victor clings to his life because he actually wants to live! He doesn’t want to leave Sydney or Mitch behind and he’s desperate to find a cure. It hurt to see him struggle and to know that he was just a shadow of his former self, but after that ending I have hope again! Maybe Victor will have a comeback in book three?! Please?! *asks nicely*

”You’re such a weirdo sometimes.”
“Only sometimes?” asked Victor. “I’ll have to try harder.” Those blue eyes flicked to Eli. “Normal is overrated.”

”Look at me,” he said coldly, catching Sydney’s chin in his hand. “The next time you point a gun at someone, make sure you’re ready to pull the trigger.”

”Victor was used to being the strongest person in the room, and it was both familiar and unsettling to see that confidence on someone else.”

Sydney:

”Victor haunted her. His pain haunted her. His dying haunted her.
Because it was Sydney’s fault.”

Ahh little Sydney has grown so much over those last five years! It was good to see that she became a part of Victor’s little family and that they got along so well. (Well is a loosely used term though because they are a super dysfunctional family but it somehow works? *lol*) If you ask me I don’t think that Sydney doesn’t age, I think that she does, but she does it very slowly. Maybe it has to do with the ice? It could have slowed down her metabolism and therefore she’d age really slowly? The concept of cryo-preservation exists for a reason after all. 😉 Also it was good that she worked on her abilities. I’m curious to find out what she might be able to do after she had some years to get accustomed to her powers. Hopefully I’ll be able to see it in the third book. XD Plus, I think now that she made peace with Serena’s death it might be easier to handle her powers. The emotional trauma of losing her sister might have influenced her abilities and I can’t wait to see her really grow into them.

Eli Ever:

”Eli’s faith had faltered in that room.
He had found Hell in that room.
And the only sign of God was that, no matter what Haverty did, Eli continued to survive.
Whether he wanted to or not.”

I hate that I feel sorry for him, but since this was obviously Schwab’s intention I can blame it all on her. *lol* No, seriously. No one deserves to have a Dr. Haverty in their life and what he did with Eli was just cruel and inhuman. It was torture and no matter what Eli did it was wrong to experiment on him. Of course to some degree a person like Haverty was necessary to find Eli’s weaknesses and to explore them, because otherwise there would have been no way to stop him if he ever escaped. Which he ultimately did and Dr. Haverty was there to provide a solution. So yeah, I actually saw that one coming so I wasn’t surprised by the ending. Still, there were other things I didn’t expect: For instance Eli’s past. I began to wonder if he might have become a different person if his father wouldn’t have hurt him so much. How many of the things he believed were indoctrinated? How would he have turned out if his father’s religious fanaticism wouldn’t have shaped his thinking so much? It boggles the mind if you think about it too hard. In the end Eli was nothing but a little boy that got hurt by his own father and this actually made me really sad. =((

”He prayed that the pastor would stop seeing whatever he saw, while he carved new feathers into the torn wings of Eli’s back.”

Marcella:

”How many men would she have to turn to dust before one took her seriously?”

Now, if Marcella wasn’t the embodiment of a femme fatale, then I really don’t know! XD That woman was burning like a wildfire and consuming everything in her path. And just like a wildfire she wasn’t put out easily. 😉 Which quite honestly, only made me love her character even more. *lol* I liked the idea of a strong and independent female villain that strove for more than life was willing to offer her and I was glad she posed a real threat to Stell. Hell, Marcella even posed a threat to Eli and he was basically what you would call “extremely hard to kill”. Plus that woman had style! She took what she wanted and did it openly without hesitation. It’s rare to find a villain like that, especially a female one, which is just one more reason to love her for it! XD It’s a shame Eli managed to kill her, but without Jonathan she would have never been able to hold out for so long.

”She was done playing by other people’s rules. Done hiding. If you lived in the dark, you died in the dark. But stand in the light, and it was that much harder to make you disappear.”

”And what happens then?”
“Oh,” mused Marcella, tracing the veins in the stone, “I imagine that Director Stell will decide I’m more trouble than I’m worth.”

”Jesus, Marcella, anyone ever told you that you’re batshit crazy?”
Marcella pursed her lips. “Several times,” she said. “It’s an insult men love to aim at ambitious women.”

June:

”I saw became I think I saw became I couldn’t have seen became I didn’t see. Eyes were fickle. Minds were weak.”

Okay, let me say it: HOW COOL ARE JUDE’S POWERS???!!! OMG! A living shape shifting voodoo doll!!! Gosh, I’d love to have abilities like that!!! She can’t only change into every kind of person she wants to be, no, she also can’t be hurt while she wears that person’s skin! That’s like a Mystique 2.0 version and I’d be so ready to have superpowers like that! XD Of course I’d try not to get killed while wearing another person’s skin, because really, that would be more than just unfair to the poor person who would have to die. Still, the sheer possibility of being a different person every day or choosing your favourites to change every once in a while, just amazing! It doesn’t really surprise me that Jude became an assassin with skills like that; I can’t help but feel like there is way more to her character than we ever got to see though. I still have so many question marks when it comes to Jude and the more I read about her the more intrigued I became. I just hope that some mysteries will be solved in the third book because for now I’m left wondering and I’m getting a serious headache whenever I think too hard about it. *lol*

”Was it worth it? Syd had asked her that night, when she confessed to giving up her face, her life, herself. And it was, it was, but that didn’t stop June from craving the light of recognition in someone’s eyes. The comfort of being seen, being known.”

3

Victor & Sydney:

”Sydney, I am alive because of you,” he said firmly. Tears spilled down Syd’s cheeks. Victor reached out and touched her shoulder. “You saved me.”
She met his eyes then, ice blue laced with red. “But I broke you.”

Aww those two! I loved to see Victor’s gentle side and no matter how much he tried to deny that he loved Sydney, he actually did/does! Syd felt terrible for causing him so much pain, but funnily enough Victor never held it against her. He always knew that her powers are limited and he tried to protect her from the truth. Well, at least as long as he could. It had to come out eventually and my heart broke for both of them when it did. >_< To leave her with Mitch and Dol was the right decision even though it hurt to see them part. But Sydney knew because she’s probably the only person, aside from Mitch, who knows when Vic is lying. T_T I just hope that Victor finds a solution and that they will reunite at some point. Their story isn’t over yet and I’m convinced they’ll meet each other again. ❤

”He could read the question in her face. It was the same one crashing through his own head.
What have I done?”

”There’s something I have to do.” Sydney was already shaking her head, but Victor reached out and put a hand on her cheek, the gesture so strange, so gentle, it stopped her cold.
“Syd,” he said, “look at me.”

Victor & Eli:

”It frightened and thrilled Eli, to be seen, and to see himself reflected. Not all of himself – they were still so different – but there was something vital, a core of the same precious metal glinting through the rock.”

How come those two men barely had any page time together, but their chemistry was still off the charts?! It’s so damn obvious that in some twisted sort of way they are in love with each other. Their obsession and the fact they can’t let go is indication enough. I mean Eli thinks Victor is dead but still talks to his ghost?! You usually only do that with loved ones! And I swear, I could feel Eli’s relief when he found out that Victor isn’t dead. He wants to kill him once again? That’s just an excuse to see him! They both need each other, they give each other purpose and I wonder what’s going to happen with Victor now that Eli is truly dead. Or is he? I’m still not all too convinced that he’s really gone! I mean what if Dr. Haverty’s drug didn’t take?! Or its effect weakened? Is it possible for Eli to heal even if he’s dead? Would he be able to come back? ADFKASDKFADJSAKLMNÖ! Talk about things that boggle the mind. I guess I’ll only get answers once I read book 3! >_< (whenever it will come out. Ahhhhh! T_T)

”Victor wondered if that was why EON hadn’t gotten closer. Not because their pet had failed to see Victor’s hand in the killings, but because he had.”

”Victor stared at the wall as if it were still a window. “He doesn’t know how patient you are,” he said. “Doesn’t know you like I do.”
Eli cleaned the blood from his hands.
“No,” he said softly. “No one ever has.”

”Run, thought Victor, and he could see the response in Eli’s coiled frame.
Chase me.”

”Victor.” A pause. “You were supposed to stay dead.”
“It didn’t take.”

Sydney & June:

”June could think of a dozen reasons to make sure Victor was dead, and only one to stay her hand.
Sydney.”

So what exactly has been going on between those two? I have a lot of theories about June’s motives but I don’t know if any of them hits close to home. My first theory is that she’s in love with Sydney and a lot of the things she thought seemed to confirm that suspicion. I mean she referred to Syd as “her girl” and she didn’t only want to protect her but also wanted her to choose her over Victor. A person she knows Syd loves. Mhmm… but then again with the little we know about her past she could also be related to Syd? I don’t know how exactly but it could be possible? ARGH! I have no idea, seriously for all I know June could be her grandma and I’m not even kidding here. *lol* June is the most opaque character I ever encountered because we got NOTHING about her background. Well, at least nothing tangible. I get the feeling Schwab made her like that on purpose and I’m sure we’ll see a lot of her in book three. Considering Syd deleted her number from her phone it might take some while until they meet again though. >_<

4

This sequel was everything I hoped for and even more! ❤ I loved to read about all the new players that came into the game, I was happy to read about the old ones and I still can’t get enough of their morally ambiguous stance on certain things. The world needs more books like this and I’m so ready to read them all! And yes, I’m going to admit it: I’m Victor Vale trash and I’ll never be sorry for it! *lol* Can we have book three now, Victoria? XD

A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

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

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

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

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

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

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

spoiler

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

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

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

2

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

Feyre:

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

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

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

Rhysand:

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

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

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

Lucien:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cassian:

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

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

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

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

Mor:

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

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

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

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

Azriel:

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

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

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

Amren:

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

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

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

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

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

3

Feyre & Rhys:

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

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

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

Feyre & Lucien:

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

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

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

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

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

Mor, Az & Cassian:

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

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

Elain, Azriel & Lucien:

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

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

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

Nesta & Cassian:

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

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

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

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

4

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

Allgemein, K - O, N, Reviews

Review: Nevernight (Jay Kristoff)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

Book 16 on My Book List 2019

”You’ll be a rumour. A whisper. The thought that wakes the bastards of this world sweating in the nevernight. The last thing you will ever be in this world, girl, is someone’s hero.”

Well, I suppose that’s only to be expected when you set out on the dark path of revenge. Not that Mia wouldn’t be able to deal with it. 😉 Truth be told, after reading this book I’m convinced that there is absolutely nothing our heroine wouldn’t be able to deal with. Except of maybe the many bad ratings this book got? *lol* When I started to read “Nevernight” I already knew that I was late to the party, but after reading it and skimming through some of the reviews I also realized that it’s apparently a rather controversial book?!

Why the ‘byss I wondered and started to investigate. As it seems most of the reviewers that gave it a low rating just couldn’t with the writing style and the recurring footnotes. Which admittedly, is a valid point. If you’re no fan of paraphrases and poetry or prose I’m fairly certain that you will end up hating this book. So I guess what it truly comes down to is if you’ve liked Tahereh Mafi’s “Shatter Me” series or not. If you loved it there’s a high chance you’ll enjoy the writing style of this book as well, if you hated it, I’d recommend borrowing “Nevernight” from the library and seeing if you enjoy the first few chapters. 😉

As for me, I can only say that I LOVED it! It might have taken me ages to get through this book and the footnotes were kind of distracting at first, but it was definitely worth it! I’ve read so many YA books in my life and even though the initial story of an assassin novice that has to survive her training and initiation is nothing new, the way Jay Kristoff wrote it still managed to give this story a unique spin. This is nothing like Sarah J. Maas’s “Throne of Glass”, this is nothing like Robin Hobb’s “Assassin’s Apprentice”, this was something completely different! Dark, twisted, cunning, cruel, gory, violent and only just a little bit x-rated. ;-P (If you’ve read ACOTAR those scenes won’t shock you though, they are pretty tame in comparison) And of course all the characters are so “morally grey” that they border on obsidian, ebony or jet-black which brings me right to my characters section! XD

2

Welcome to the Red Church, where killers are made into proper assassins! You might have the necessary traits but do you also have the guts to improve your skills? Find out and enter the mountain. Where spoilers await you in the darkness, always ready to pounce on you if you happen to cross their path. Or in other, less flowery words: Spoilers ahead! Be careful! *lol*

Mia Corvere:

”Never flinch.” A cold whisper in her ear. “Never fear. And never, ever forget.”

It feels like I’ve been waiting for a heroine like Mia Corvere for my entire life!!! I ADORE this girl! <333 She’s direct, loves books, doesn’t care about anyone’s opinion, curses like a sailor, smokes like a dragon, has a great humour and is kick-ass and cunning af!!! And most of all she feels real!!! Whenever authors try to make their heroines as tough as the male MCs they seem to fail. Jay Kristoff? HE FREAKING NAILED IT!! Well, at least for me he did! It was such a pleasure to follow Mia’s journey. She has the mind of a killer but still shows compassion when no one else does. Throughout the entire book she walks a fine line between becoming a killing machine and trying to keep her humanity. She has no trouble to kill people that hurt the ones she loves, but she draws the line at killing innocents for pleasure and I could have kissed her for refusing to take the final test! <333 Also she was so brave in so many ways! Yes, some might argue that it’s easy to be brave when you have a not-cat that eats your fear, but sometimes bravery means more than just being able to overcome your fears. It’s also brave to stand in front of 5 people that could easily kill you and still refuse to do what they want you to do. So yes, I’m Mia Corvere trash now and I think I might be in love with her. *lol* With both, Mia and Mr. Kindly! Their not-friendship was everything! <333

”Iron or glass? they’d asked.
Mia clenched her jaw. Shook her head.
She was neither.
She was steel.”

”Apologies,” Mia frowned, searching the floor as if looking for something. “I appear to have misplaced the fucks I give for what you think…”

”They can give you a new face, but they can’t give you a new heart. No matter what they take from you, they can’t take that away unless you let them. That’s real strength, Tric. That’s real power.”

Tric:

”… You’re a little frightening sometimes, Pale Daughter.”
She gave him a wry smile. “Only a little?”
“Well, most times, you’re just plain terrifying.”
“Come on,” she said, slapping his arm. “I’ll buy you a drink.”

This Itreyan-Dweymeri boy is so sweet that I instantly loved him! Tric was such a great character and my heart bled for him! The way he got his scars and tattoos? It was so damn painful to read. My poor boy! T_T He was so young and he would have deserved so much better than that! I despise his grandfather Swordbreaker and what he did to him and I adored his mother for loving him so much! Tric’s mom was amazing and I’m sure a lot of his character traits came from her. ❤ I could understand his inner conflict about losing his scars though. I mean they basically were his past written on his skin. I agree with Mia though, they don’t define him. Also did anyone find out why he’s named Tric?! I mean he told Mia the story about his scars and tattoos but I can’t remember that he ever told her why he’s named Tric. If any of you know, could you please explain?! (If possible without spoiling too many details if it’s in one of the following two books. *lol*) AND now to the huge WTF moment of this book! I had to read the scene where Ashlinn kills him TWICE, because when I read it for the first time I thought my mind must have played a trick on me! O_o I was so shocked!!! And I’ll never be okay with him dying!! Yes, they are at a school for assassins and there died plenty of the other students throughout the entire book, but TRIC??!! Really? He was one of the two freaking MCs!!! How could Jay do this to us?!! T_T My poor baby boy!!! I’m not okay with this…

”Drown him and be done.” His voice dropped to a trembling whisper. “They were her first words. That’s what she fucking named me. Drown him and be done.”

Ashlinn:

”Don’t trouble yourself about what that bitch said,” Ash whispered, glancing at Carlotta’s flawless cheek. “That’s not who you are any more.”
“It was never who I was.”
Charlotta’s hands fell still. Her stare growing clouded.
“It was just who they made me.”

I really liked Ashlinn and she grew on me until… well, until she freaking killed Tric!!! *lol* How could she? I feel as betrayed by her actions as Mia does! I was on the verge of falling for her character and then she does something like this?! Not nice! >_< And now I find myself second guessing every single thing she said and did in this book. Was it all an act? Did she really like Mia and Carlotta or did she just play games with them? I loved her humour and despite everything she seemed to be a compassionate and nice person. Just like the skilled thief she is, she stole my heart without me even noticing it and now I’m standing in front of the torn ruins of my ribcage. To say it with Mr. Kindly’s words: Dear gentlefriends, I’ve to admit that I’m still wondering about what the hell happened in those last few chapters! Ash’s character arc left me with so many questions I feel a headache coming up! *lol* I can’t wait to see her in “Godsgrave” though, because seriously, there’s no way, I repeat NO FREAKING WAY, she won’t appear in the next book. XD (Or at least I hope so. ;-P)

The Shahiids:

Shahiid Mouser
”This is a game, children. But a dangerous one.” He waggled his eyebrows. “The only kind worth playing.”

Shahiid Aalea

”They will never see the knife in your hand if they are lost in your eyes. They will never taste the poison in their wine when they are drunk on the sight of you.”

”Never let your face tell a secret your lips should not.”

Lord Cassius
”Killers one, killers all. And each death we bring is a prayer. An offering to Our Lady of Blessed Murder. Death as a mercy. Death as a warning. Death as an end unto itself. All of these, ours to know and gift unto the world. The wolf does not pity the lamb. The storm begs no forgiveness of the drowned.”

The Shahiids were so amazing! I know I only mentioned a few of them here but when it comes down to it I really liked them all! Shahiid Spiderkiller was so deadly! XD I swear to poison your class frequently just to make sure they actually study is quite the way to motivate your students! *lol* No wonder they all tried to be top at her class. Haha! If your life depends on it poison studies will become your favourite subject. ;-P Shahiid Solis was kind of brutal and cruel so I didn’t like him all too much. I adored Mouser and Aalea though! I’m sure I would have loved to attend their classes. As for Lord Cassius, he seemed to be one of those mysterious characters you never get a grip on and since he died I doubt that I’ll ever understand his reasons and motives. >_< Marielle and Adonai? The Church’s weaver and speaker… well they were just creepy and terrifying! And they obviously had some incestuous relationship going on?! *shudders* I don’t even know how all the girls could swoon over Adonai, for me he was just trouble in a nice disguise. *lol*

Chronicler Aelius:

”This is a library. You can’t smoke in a bloody library.”
“O, shit…”
The old man plucked his cigarillo, pondered it briefly, popped it back into his mouth.
“What if the books catch fire?” Mia asked.
“O, shiiiiiiiit,” the old man said, exhaling a cloud that made Mia’s tongue tingle.

Now here comes one of the characters I loved the most! Chronicler Aelius was legit the best thing about the Red Church!!! That guy was awesome!! I loved the first meeting between him and Mia and that he gave no shit about smoking at the library. *lol* He was like a grumpy puppy that grows on you and moreover he was pretty wise! ❤ I adored his stance on books and one of my fave moments was him offering Mia a smoke while they watched the enemy being eaten by the worms. (quite literally) Haha! Also the fact that he is dead!! OMG! That came as a total surprise! He really wasn’t kidding about getting lost in the library and dying there! O_o I really hope there will be more of him in the next book because I need to read more about his intriguing character!!

”The books we love, they love us back. And just as we mark our places in the pages, those pages leave their mark on us. I can see it in you, sure as I see it in me. You’re a daughter of words. A girl with a story to tell.”

3

Mia & Tric:

”As you were kind enough to notice, I’ve fallen a little behind in Songs.”
“A little?” Tric snorted. “There’s training dummies up there who could mop the floor with you, Pale Daughter.”
“Well, thank you very much,” Mia scowled. “If you’d like to go somewhere and quietly fuck yourself, I’ll be waiting here patiently for your return.”

Haha! I loved how blunt they were! Those two were always honest with each other and never pretended to be something they are not and I think that might have been the main reason they hit it off. What I really liked about their relationship was that they started as strangers, became sort of best friends and then lovers. It’s rare authors take the time to go for a slow burn and I think this one was done nicely. And yes, in my eyes this was a slow burn because they didn’t do anything until the 60% mark or so? Mia can tell herself about a thousand times that she doesn’t love Tric, we all know better, right? *lol* You don’t go sharing your not-cat with just anyone when you’re about to be whipped by Marielle. >_< To say he was with Mia was such a stupid move but then again he didn’t want her to die and she would have died with a 100 lashes. Still, that they both got 50 in the end was horrible. *swallows* Poor Tric though! I’m sure Mia loved him. That he had to die this way was so cruel. I mean Ash only killed him because he had such an exceptional sense of smell. Such a stupid reason to die! And this might sound weird but it was good for Mia that she killed Swordbreaker and meted out revenge! It won’t bring back Tric but to know that his grandfather eventually got what he deserved must have been liberating for her. At least she could give him that. T_T

”For a moment, she wasn’t Mia Corvere, daughter of a murdered house, parched with the thirst for revenge. Not a fledgling assassin or a servant of a goddess. Just a girl. And he a boy. Their eyes blind to all but each other.”

”A wordless protest slipped from her lips, and she reached out, running her fingertips up his arm. Goosebumps rose on his skin. She rested one hand on the hard swell of his shoulder. Stopped him from pulling away.”

”Maybe we should start at the letter S?”
“S?”
“S for stubborn. S for stupid. S for smart-arse.”
“S for shut it.”
“See, that’s the spirit.”

Mia & Ash:

”Huzzah! She can be taught!”
“Fuck you.”
“Fair warning, I’m not much of a biter…”
“Ash, I swear to the Mother –“

Is it just me or was there a smell of romance in the air? I could have sworn Mia and Ash were attracted by each other. They kind of flirted and they kissed twice! This has to count for something, right? At the moment I don’t see how a relationship between those two could ever work out though. Ash killed Tric who was Mia’s lover and probably her first true love so to say they would be star-crossed lovers would be an understatement par excellence. Still, there was something in the air between those two and I’m sure if Tric would still be alive *sobs* he would actually tell you the same thing! I think before Tric I would have shipped this like crazy, now that I’m so uncertain about Ashlinn’s character I don’t know if I want to ship it or not. I’m kind of torn here. *lol* Maybe Ash will come back in book two and there will be an explanation for how she acted and why she did what she did? Not that an explanation would make me forgive her, but it certainly would help to understand her motives, because right now it’s all Greek to me and I no longer understand the world. XD I’ve yet to decide if I want to board this possible ship or not. ;-P

”Ashlinn, I could kiss you…”
“… I thought you’d never ask?”

”You know, folk around here have got you figured for a ruthless bitch after that stunt with Diamo. But I know better. Someone hurts those you love, you’ll not forgive it. But underneath it all, you’re a good sort, Corvere.”
Mia kissed Ash’s cheek, smiling. “Don’t tell anyone. I’ve a reputation to uphold.”

”She took a deep breath, as if about to plunge into dark water. And then she leaned in slow, cupped Mia’s face, and kissed her gently on the lips. It lasted a moment too long. Perhaps not long enough? Warm and soft and honeysweet. Before Mia could decide, it was already over. Ash broke the kiss, squeezing Mia’s hand. A million unsaid words shining in her eyes. A million more on Mia’s tongue.”

4

Where do I even begin?! This was something totally unique and if you ask me I can’t compare it to anything I ever read. The premise of the story might have sounded a lot like all the other assassin books I ever heard of, but Jay Kristoff managed to give it an incomparable spin and I’m very glad I picked this up. It was dark and at times brutal, it was gory and X-rated, there was a lot of cussing and smoking involved and… I loved it! *lol* Enough said! If you enjoy books like that I’m sure you’ll devour this too! ;-P

A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

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

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

Book 10 on My Book List 2019

”Magic was a truly beautiful disease.”

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

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

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

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

2

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

Kell:

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

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

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

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

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

Lila Bard:

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

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

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

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

Holland:

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

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

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

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

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

Rhy:

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

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

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

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

The Dane Twins:

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

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

”Astrid Dane is made of magic and malice.”

3

Lila & Kell:

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

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

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

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

Rhy & Kell:

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

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

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

4

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

 

A - E, Allgemein, B, Reviews

Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue (Maggie Stiefvater)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

“Humans were so circular; they lived the same slow cycles of joy and misery over and over, never learning. Every lesson in the universe had to be taught billions of times, and it never stuck.”

Oh my!!! She did it once again!
Whenever I’m convinced that Maggie’s last book was already the peak of perfection she always manages to persuade me otherwise! I don’t really know how she does it, but she’s soo damn good at what she does that it’s almost impossible not to love her books!!! ❤
Needless to say that it was exactly the same with “Blue Lily, Lily Blue”!! XD

This book was so marvellous!!
I loved “The Raven Boys”,
I adored “The Dream Thieves”
BUT I was a complete sucker for “Blue Lily, Lily Blue”!!!
If it wasn’t already official, it definitely is now! I’m Maggie Stiefvater trash through and through and I just can’t imagine a world without her books anymore!!! *lol*

They give me LIFE!!! They make me feel! And over those last three months they’ve actually become the air that I breathe!!
I’m IN LOVE with Maggie’s writing AND each and every single one of her Raven Boys! <333
Their struggles, their anger, their pain, their hopes, their fears, their dreams, their vulnerability!!! It all feels so damn real!!! GOSH!!! I can’t even!!! XD
With every single book they’ve become even more palpable and real! I feel so strongly for those four boys it’s like they are actual people, like they are some of my closest friends! =))
And for that I’ll always be grateful!!! Maggie you’re an amazing writer!!! I hope you know that!! ;-P
(Just in case no one ever bothered to tell you… Which I truly doubt, but still!! *lol*)

1

”The most infuriating part about Maura’s disappearance was that Blue didn’t know if she was supposed to be consumed by worry or anger. She vacillated wildly between the two, occasionally burning herself out and feeling nothing at all.”

As the title of the book already indicates Blue is the focus of the third book! This time around we’re dealing with the troubles of 300 Fox Way and the huge void that was left after Maura’s sudden and completely unexpected disappearance at the end of book two. Of course this wouldn’t be a Maggie Stiefvater book if we wouldn’t get plenty of additional information about the lives of the Raven Boys as well. So don’t worry and be assured that there will be many moments with our lovely and awesome boys. I guess I don’t even need to mention it, but I’m certain you’ll appreciate each and every single one of them! 😉

2

”Blue was perfectly aware that it was possible to have a friendship that wasn’t all-encompassing, that wasn’t blinding, deafening, maddening, quickening. It was just that now that she’d had this kind, she didn’t want the other.”

This is the moment I make sure to warn you about upcoming spoilers and quotes! 😉 If you haven’t read the book already you better click that tiny “x” button! It’s sound advice, I swear! ;-P

Gansey – The Knight:

”The Camaro was like Gansey tonight: terrifying and thrilling, willing to do whatever she asked.”

I swear, this time around I almost couldn’t bear it to read Gansey’s POV!!! My heart is bleeding for this poor boy and the more I get to know him the more it hurts!!! He’s such a gentle, honourable and delicate soul! If I had to draw a comparison I’d say the Gansey in “Blue Lily, Lily Blue” was like a Chinese Ming Vase: So damn beautiful to look at but so fragile and ancient that you could literally see the fissures spreading in his armour! He is so broken on the inside and I think Blue’s conversation with Malory made that more than just clear. When he told her that Gansey didn’t just claw his face but also was completely traumatized after his incident with the hornets I actually felt a lump in my throat!! This chapter was so intense I almost forgot to breathe and even though it hurts me so much to watch Gansey, I still want to know how it all ends!!! Please Maggie, don’t let him die!!! >_<

”There was another pause, and Gansey realized she’d hung up. He leaned back against the fridge, eyes closed, guilty, comforted, wild, contained. In twenty-four hours, he’d be waiting for this again.

”Gansey didn’t so much visit as get absorbed.
He loved it. He wanted to be a part of this world, even though he understood there were endless reasons why he could never be. Blue was the natural result of a home like this: confident, strange, credulous, curious. And here he was: neurotic, rarified, the product of something else entirely.”

”It’s very decent of you,” he continued, “to not say anything about it to me. It’s more than I deserved. But know that I’ve regretted it, a lot.”

Blue – The Mirror:

”Maura was always telling her, Look at the potential you hold inside yourself!
Potential for other people, though. Not for Blue.

Since this book was rather Blue centred I finally had the feeling that I actually got to know her a little bit better! No matter what I did, I just couldn’t seem to be able to grasp her character in the first two books. But now that I read “Blue Lily, Lily Blue” it was so much easier to understand her motives and the reasons why she’s acting the way she does. I felt so sorry for her because she actually suffered a lot! >_< The situation with her missing mother, her relationship to the boys and her intense feelings for Gansey, the troubles of finding a good college and last but not least Persephone’s unexpected death!!! T_T It’s quite a lot to have on your plate when you’re as young as her and I think she was very brave and strong for keeping it together for so long! ❤

”She was tired of Persephone and Calla and her mother withholding information because Blue wasn’t psychic. Of not being able to daydream of fancy colleges because she wasn’t rich. Of not being able to hold Gansey’s hand because they couldn’t hurt Adam’s feelings and not being able to kiss Gansey’s mouth because she didn’t want to kill him. She was tired of knowing that he was going to die and being afraid that her mother would, too.

Adam – The Magician:

”He knew he was different since aligning himself more tightly with the ley line this summer. He was himself, but more powerful. Himself, but less human.”

I think I am in love with Adam Parrish! Like seriously, completely and utterly in love!!! <333 This boy is soo damn freaking A.M.A.Z.I.N.G and the Ronan in me just can’t stop to love him!!! XD Adam has become everything I wished him to be!!! He’s so strong now and his powers are growing with each and every single day!!! And it’s not just his powers, it’s the person he’s becoming!! Yes, some of his actions might be considered to be on the dark side, but oh damn this only makes him even more intriguing!!! <333 His sharp mind constantly caused me to swoon and his thoughts… OH GOD, his philosophical thoughts were just epic!!! XD I loved that he was the only one who was smart enough to realise that Gansey is on the list and I was so happy that he finally managed to jump over his own shadow and accepted help!!! And the conversation with his father!??!! ARGH!!! It made me so damn angry!!! I hate and despise this man with a fierce passion and I really hope I will never read anything about him again!!! *growls*

”The students kept coming in. Adam kept watching. He was good at this part, the observing of others. It was himself that he couldn’t seem to study or understand. How he despised them, how he wanted to be them. How pointless to summer in Maine, how much he wanted to do it. How affected he found their speech, how he coveted their lazy monotones. He couldn’t tell how all of these things could be equally true.”

”What an impossible and miraculous and hideous thing this was. An ugly plan hatched by an ugly boy now dreamt into ugly life. From dream to reality. How appropriate it was that Ronan, left to his own devices, manifested beautiful cars and beautiful birds and tenderhearted brothers, while Adam, when given the power, manifested a filthy string of perverse murders.

”Adam was quiet as he weighted the options. His face was strange and delicate in the sharp light of Gansey’s head beam. Swiftly, and without explanation, he reached out to touch the cavern wall. Although he was not a dream thing, he was now one of Cabeswater’s things, and it was hard not to see it in the way his fingers spidered across the wall and in the blackness of his eyes as they gazed at nothing.

Ronan – The Greywaren:

”Ronan was always saying that he never lied, but he wore a liar’s face.”

Another thing that’s become official with this book is the simple fact that Ronan and I must be twins!!! I swear, Ronan is so damn relatable and I just love him for it! XD Deep down within him he has such a tender and lovely heart and I know if he’d read this, he’d probably kill me for saying it out loud! *LOL* It’s still true, Ronan!!! DUH!! ;-P Well, anyway! I really enjoyed seeing that he finally opened up to his friends and there were so many beautiful and affectionate moments that my heart literally combusted whenever I read about him. I know some of my friends got slightly annoyed by the many Ronan updates *cough* Maks *cough* but I just couldn’t help it!!! XD I was really surprised when he took Adam to the Barns and actually admitted that Matthew is one of his dreams and it broke my heart to find out how lonely he truly is. “Lonesome.” it was the word that dominated Adam’s thoughts and I really hope that he won’t be alone anymore!!! <333
To sum it all up: RONAN IS PRECIOUS AF!! *lol* ;-P

The smile widened and sharpened yet more. “It’s not your problem, Gansey.”
He was so much more dangerous when he wasn’t angry. And he was right: Gansey didn’t want to know.

”As always, Adam was reminded of how Ronan belonged in this place. Something about the familiar way he stood as he searched for ripe fruit implied that he had done it many times before. It made it easy to understand that Ronan had grown up here and would grow old here. Easy to see how to exile him was to excise his soul.

Ronan scoffed. Him, fear for his own life. But there was something in his eyes, still. He studied his hands and admitted, “I’ve dreamt him a box of EpiPens. I dream cures for stings all the time. I carry one. I put them in the Pig. I have them all over Monmouth.”

Noah – The Ghost:

”Noah sat in the middle of the floor, papers all around him, a mint plant spilling dirt by his hand. He was all hunched over and shadowless, his form slight and streaky, barely visible at all. He was crying again.
In a very small voice, he told Blue, “You said I could use your energy.”

Noah Czerny is so adorable! That boy has such a wonderful character and it makes me so damn sad that he’s a ghost and dead! I love his cheerful and bouncy nature and I adore how tender and caring he is with the others! Unfortunately there is also a lot of anger and sadness in him and I’m not ashamed to admit that I actually sobbed when he had his breakdown at Monmouth. T_T I just want my baby to be happy, but I can’t see a future for him and it breaks my freaking heart to know that his story most certainly won’t have a happy ending! *weeps*

”Noah reappeared. He plucked four and a half oak leaves out of Blue’s spiky hair and blew some leaf crumbs from the bridge of Adam’s nose.”

Mr. Gray:

” ’A cowards’s heart is no prize, but the man of valor deserves a shining helmet.’ “

I love Mr. Gray!!! His conversations with Blue were so sweet and honest and I really liked how their relationship developed throughout the entire book! ❤ Mr. Gray was the perfect father figure and I wonder what will happen in the last book! I mean Artemus finally returned so I guess this will cause quite some trouble between him and Maura. Uh oh! >_<

”In my experience,” the Gray Man said, “the badasses are the most scared. I just avoid being inappropriately frightened.”

The Greenmantle’s:

Afterward, Piper said, “If we had a puppy, it could pick up those beans for us.”
Greenmantle had replied, “And then we could sacrifice it and use its blood to activate the doll.”
“Will you marry me?” she asked.

Whilst I can’t deny that the Greenmantle’s were pretty entertaining I still want to use this space to point out that they were completely crazy!! *lol* I mean Mr. Gray threatened Piper and they were as cool as if they’d only talk about the weather! They were always so composed and nonchalant and this kind of made them creepy! XD I guess the word I’m searching for is “psychopath”! Yep, that’s it! They were both psychopaths! And truth be told, Piper might have even been the bigger one! *lol*

3

Ronan & Blue:

”Ronan looked at Blue, eyes narrowed. She didn’t look away.
This was a game she sometimes played with Ronan Lynch: Who would look away first?
It was always a draw.”

Aww! Those two! THOSE TWO! I loved how Ronan consoled Blue when she saw her mother in the lake and the fact he handed her the ghost light even though he knew that he would be alone and in the dark!!! OMG! I think this was one of the most precious moments of the entire book and my heart filled with so much warmth when I read it! ❤ I really like that they are finally beginning to trust each other and I can’t wait to see more of their friendship!

”It was amazing that she and Ronan didn’t get along better, because they were different brands of the same impossible stuff.”

”For a moment they remained that way, Ronan holding her as tightly as he would hold his brother Matthew, his cheek on her shoulder.”

Gansey & Adam:

”His noble and oblivious and optimistic friend was slowly opening his eyes and seeing the world for what it was, and it was filthy, and violent, and profane, and unfair. Adam had always thought that was what he wanted – for Gansey to know. But now he wasn’t sure. Gansey wasn’t like anyone else, and suddenly Adam wasn’t sure that he really wanted him to be.”

I was so damn happy that Gansey and Adam actually managed to overcome their troubles! It was awesome to see that their friendship didn’t only survive their problems but also got even stronger than before! The moment when Gansey and Ronan showed up at court immediately caused me to grin like crazy and their gesture made me so happy I almost burst with joy! I loved that they supported him so much and I really don’t want those boys to ever argue again! I’m so glad that Adam finally realised that Gansey is only trying to be his friend!!! <333

”Adam couldn’t remember how they had managed to fight so continuously over the summer. Gansey, his best friend, his stupid and kind and marvelous best friend.”

”Now he could see that it wasn’t charity Gansey was offering. It was just truth. And something else: friendship of the unshakable kind. Friendship you could swear on. That could be busted nearly to breaking and come back stronger than before.”

Gansey & Noah:

”Don’t be afraid,” Noah said unexpectedly. Reaching out, he pulled Gansey’s hand away from his ear. Gansey hadn’t even realized that he was still touching it softly. Leaning forward, Noah blew his cool, corpse breath over Gansey’s ear. “Nothing there. You’re just tired.”
Gansey shivered a little.”

I absolutely adore the relationship of those two boys! They are both gentle souls that try their best to deal with their pain and they seem to understand each other in a way no one else does. Noah knows all of Gansey’s secrets, but he’d never judge him or tell the others. They trust each other completely and even though Noah is a ghost, Gansey always treats him like a normal person! ❤ It’s obvious that Noah cares about Gansey and his tender gestures only seem to emphasise his feelings! XD

There was nothing inherently guilty about the moment except that Gansey burned with guilt and thrill and desire and the nebulous feeling of being truly known. It was on the inside of him, and the inside was all Noah ever really paid attention to.
The other boy wore a knowing expression.
”Don’t tell the others,” Gansey said.
“I’m dead,” Noah replied. “Not stupid.”

Gansey & Blue:

”Casually, out of view of Ronan, making sure Adam was still sleeping, Gansey dangled his hand between the driver’s seat and the door. Palm up, fingers stretched back to Blue.”

Their desperate attempts to keep away from each other literally killed me and their nightly phone calls tugged at my heartstrings! There were so many sweet moments between those two but they both know that it can’t end well and it’s hurting them so much that they can’t even seem to be able to breathe whenever they are in each other’s company! JEEZ LOUISE!!! Their love is so bittersweet it’s tearing me apart!!! ❤

It was so strange to see him without his Richard Campbell Gansey III guise on in public that Blue couldn’t stop staring at his face. No – it wasn’t his face. It was the way he stood, his shoulders shrugged, chin ducked, gaze from below uncertain eyebrows.
“SHE WAS ALL RIGHT,” Jesse assured him.
“My head knew that,” Gansey said. “But the rest of me didn’t.”

”And then we never speak of it again,” Gansey said, mocking himself softly, and Blue was so glad of it, because she had played the words from that night over and over in her mind and wanted to know he had, too.”

Ronan & Adam aka Ronam:

”Maybe I dreamt you,” he said.
“Thanks for the straight teeth, then,” Adam replied.

RONAN FREAKIN LYNCH COURTED ADAM PARRISH!!! <333 OMG!!! I will never get over this!! I mean Ronan dreamed him a lotion for his hands!! He placed a cassette in his car and named it: “PARRISH’S HONDAYOTA ALONE TIME“ AND it seems like he actually paid him nightly visits in his apartment!!! IN ADAM’S FREAKIN APARTMENT!!! ADFSJKLMNÖ!!! Oh my!!! I’m combusting! <333 There were so many awesome Ronam moments in this book and I can’t even explain how happy they made me! *lol* I loved how smug Ronan was about Adam being the magician and my heart melted when he tried to console him when Persephone died!!! Oh and when they blackmailed Greenmantle!? So, so perfect, so epic!!! They are such an awesome TEAM!!! ❤ I CAN’T EVEN!!! *dies of excitement*

”As they moved through the old barn, Adam felt Ronan’s eyes glance off him and away, his disinterest practiced but incomplete. Adam wondered if anyone else noticed.”

He admitted, “Some.”
“A lot,” Ronan translated, and he was right, because, strangely enough, Ronan knew a great deal about how Adam worked.

”Adam and Ronan regarded each other, and then the pit. They looked winsome and brave, trusting of Cabeswater or of each other. They did not look afraid, so Blue was afraid for them.”

4

Maggie Stiefvater is a poet and a genius!!! I can’t wait to read “The Raven King” and I don’t even dare to say it, but I think I loved this book even more than I loved “The Dream Thieves”! *lol* When it comes to Maggie’s “The Raven Cycle” books there actually seems to be no limit, they only get better and better! ❤

“Once I send the professor off, one of you guys can get into the front. Adam? Unless he’s sleeping.”
“No,” Adam said. „I’m awake.“

Allgemein, F - J, G, Reviews

Review: Golden Son (Pierce Brown)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten
“I will die. You will die. We will all die and the universe will carry on without care. All that we have is that shout into the wind – how we live. How we go. And how we stand before we fall.”

It’s been three days I finished “Golden Son” and I still don’t know how I feel about it, let alone what I think about it. >_<
I’m just so confused and devastated and my heart is nothing but an empty void.

There seem to be three bloodydamn good reasons why I feel that way though:

1.) Pierce Brown ripped out my heart and gave it to the pitvipers.
2.) He broke my mind and didn’t leave any glue.
3.) His book shattered my soul and fractured it into tiny little pieces.

YES! “Golden Son” quite literally destroyed me and I have no idea how I’m supposed to survive the third book. I got so attached to all those characters and whenever something happened to them, I almost got a heart attack. The pacing was so fast, I barely managed to keep up with all those many plot twists and every time I thought I knew in which direction it was heading, the entire story line changed once again. To read this book was like playing chess without any rules. *lol* You have all the familiar chess pieces you need in order to play a decent game of chess, but your nice little figures never do what they are actually meant to do. It’s like they constantly give you the finger instead! XD

That’s so rude Pierce!!
So mean
and cruel
and painful!!!
You hear me?!
SO FREAKING SAVAGE AND EXCRUCIATING!!!
*mental breakdown*

Okay, okay I’m fine again. *clears throat*
Where was I again? Oh, yes the plot!

”How could so frail a girl have such a spirit, such a dream as freedom, when so many strong souls toiled and kept their heads down for fear of looking up?”

1

”They say a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. They made no mention of the heart.”

After graduating from the Institute, Darrow Au Andromedus spent his last three years as a Lancer of House Augustus serving no other than Nero himself. Left to his own devices and without any guidance from Ares he didn’t just try his very best to find his way amongst his fellow Golds but also worked more than just hard to become an integral and important part of Nero’s forces. This however isn’t as easy as it seems and all it needs is a small mistake that’s able to destroy the good reputation he has built. After all there are plenty of enemies that want to get a piece of him, first and foremost Cassius au Bellona and his entire House which still holds a deadly grudge against him. With his loyal Howlers scattered all over the galaxy and only Roque at his side, the growing pressure on Darrow’s shoulders might soon become too strong to stand it any longer. Will he rise like a comet or will he tumble into red dirt?

”Your people. My people. We have languished in darkness. But there will come a day when we walk in the light. It will not come from their mercy. It will not come by fate. It will come when brave hearts rise and choose to break the chains, to live for more.”

2

”We’re all just wounded souls, stumbling about in the dark, desperately trying to stitch ourselves together, hoping to fill the holes they ripped in us.”

This is the moment you enter my spoiler section. There will be lots of quotes and information about the individual characters and most definitely also way too many subjective emotions for your own good! Don’t say I didn’t warn you! ;-P

Darrow:

”I’ve seen her hanged a thousand times now as her martyrdom spreads across the worlds, city by city. Yet each time, it strikes me like a physical blow, nerve endings shivering in my chest, heart beating fast, neck tight just under the jaw. How cruel a life, that the sight of my dead wife means hope.”

Oh Darrow, my torn and insecure child! This boy is hurting so much, not just because of the things people are doing to him, but also because of his past, his current present and the things that might eventually happen in the future. He wears a burden that is too heavy for him but he still tries his best to stay strong, to keep on moving and to fight for the things he values. *sigh* He’s such a torn man, it’s exceptionally painful to watch. For instance Darrow still loves Eo and his family, but he also grew fond of some of his fellow Golds and to say he is walking a thin line between acceptance, betrayal and loyalty is actually putting it more than just mildly. In fact it doesn’t even get close to the truth! >_< That moment when he realised that Sevro knows about his true identity and accepts him the way he is, oh boy did it kill me!!! I was right there crying with him! <333 Darrow has a too gentle soul for what he’s about to do, but his determination and will are incredible! XD I loved how he treated Mickey and I’m really sorry for what happened to the poor Carver. I mean just like Darrow he’s a product of his environment and he certainly didn’t deserve to be abused by Harmony. Still, as much as I admire Darrow he definitely made some huge mistakes as well and I think the ending of “Golden Son” made that more than just clear!!! Urgh that ENDING!! I can’t even… T_T

”In so many ways, I’m still a boy, lost and afraid, seeking warmth and love. When I feel dirt, I honor Eo. And when I see fire, I remember the warmth and flicker of the flames across Mustang’s skin as we lay in our chamber of ice and snow.”

”He can’t say any more because I’m hugging him and crying. I sob and hold on to him, shaking, scaring him. He doesn’t move except to pat me on the head. All the weight falls from my shoulders. Someone knows. He knows and he’s here. He knows and he came to help me. To help me. I can’t stop shaking and saying thank you. Eo was right. I was right. “You are my friend,” I tremble out like a child. It almost makes him cry seeing me this way.”

”Because you’re my friend.” I bring his hands to my lips, kissing them gently as he looks up at me with hopeful eyes. “Weird as you are, wicked as you were. I know you want to be better. You want to live for more. We all do. And there’s not a place they could take one of my friends that I would ever abandon them.”

Mustang:

”Shame you don’t respect me enough to suppose that I have my own plan. You think I’m here because my aching loins thrust me into Bellona arms. Please. I’m no bitch in heat. I protect my family by any means necessary. Who do you protect but yourself?”

I don’t even dare to say it but I was kind of disappointed by Mustang in this book. I mean yes she’s still cheeky and she was one of the good guys, but after “Red Rising” I really would have expected her to play a more important role and to fight for her opinions and rights. First she decided to work for Octavia au Lune and then she became Cassius girlfriend?! Like seriously?! We all know what a – excuse my crude language – bitch Octavia is and to date Cassius because she thinks she might protect her family by doing so?! WTF!?!! Where is her fire?! Where is the snarky spark I loved so much?! She doesn’t have to resort to the typical tricks of a woman, she’s way better than that and the fact she chose to use her femininity instead of her strength, intelligence and will power was just frustrating. Truth be told I think Victra was a way better role model in this book! She didn’t care what others thought of her, she did what she wanted to and she took what she needed! Yup, I think I liked Victra more. *lol* Oh and don’t even get me started about Mustang’s reaction when she found out that Darrow is a Red!!! It’s like she wanted to support all the classes and change the system and then BAM! Darrow tells her he’s actually a Red and she hates him!? I mean yes she’s entitled to feel betrayed, everyone would do, but to react like that?! Preach water and drink wine, right?!

”If she gives me her heart, I’ll break it. My lie is too great to build a love upon. When she discovers what I am, she will reject me. Even if she could survive that, I would not.”

”The human spirit tries to break free, again and again, not in hate like the Dark Revolt. But for love. They don’t mimic each other. They aren’t inspired by others who come before them. Each is willing to take the leap, thinking they are the first. That’s bravery. And that means it’s part of who we are as people.”

Sevro:

”He stands quietly in his armor watching us, watching Roque hold the girl Sevro loves but has never told, the girl he could never have. The pain is raw and etched deep into the lines of his hawkish face. Impervious Sevro, immune to hurt, to sadness, to having his eye gouged out by Lilath, the Jackal’s lieutenant; it all falls on him now.”

I still L.O.V.E that boy to bits and pieces!!! He’s truly the best thing about this series!!! <333 Sevro is the best friend anyone can have and he’s so damn loyal and gentle it’s a pleasure to watch! Yes, I said gentle!! Because behind all his rabid-wolf-attitude and the tough façade he shows to others, he’s actually the sweetest and kindest soul ever! Plus I love his humour!!! XD And just like Darrow I seem to have a weakness for men with only one eye and a really sassy demeanour. (Yes Lucien I’m talking about YOU here!! ;-P) I wasn’t really surprised to find out that he’s half Red, I have to admit that Fitchner’s true identity threw me though. *lol* Who would have thought Fitchner had it in him? Well, I certainly didn’t! XD

”Audentes fortuna juvat,” Sevro chuckles.
“Fortune favors the bold? You deserve to die if that’s really going to be the last thing you say in this life.”

”Sevro?” I look around for him. He’s loitering around Pliny’s eyeball some twenty metres back. We turn to look at him and he shuffles his feet awkwardly.
”Can I …” He gestures to it.
“What?” Mustang asks.
“Can I have it?”
Mustang squints at him. “All yours.”
He scoops up the eyeball and jams it into his pocket, grinning merrily. He runs to catch up. “Collecting the set, hopefully.”

”I can’t do this without you.” After a desperate moment, “Are you with me? Sevro?”
He pulls back and wipes snot from his nose, muddying his face. Tears make lines in the mud as he looks up at me, voice cracking like a child’s. “Always, Darrow. Always.”

Roque:

”We are not our station in life. We are us – the sum of what we’ve done, what we want to do, and the people who we keep close. You’re my dearest friend, Darrow. Mind that. No matter what transpires, I will protect you as surely as you would protect me if ever I needed it.”

Roque… my precious poet with principles. My kind spirit in a cruel world. OH GOD, I CAN’T EVEN!!! I knew this would come, I saw all the signs, Darrow’s betrayal, Quinn’s death, the fact Darrow shut him out of his inner circle over and over again. It was so damn hard to read!! Every little moment, every small action, every single word that left Darrow’s lips… it was poison for their friendship, poison for my poor Roque. Darrow should have tried to mend things between them, he should have given him time and an honest and long conversation but he did absolutely nothing and just left him out in the rain. Grief is a powerful emotion and it can change people in ways no one would have ever thought possible. Darrow of all people should have known this!!!! DAMN IT!!! Roque was so lonely and isolated, so broken… broken beyond repair and no one noticed. It’s really no surprise he did what he did…. I saw it coming, yet I still wasn’t prepared to face it. My heart is bleeding! I AM HEARTBROKEN! I feel so torn about Roque right now, but I can’t hate him. I can’t dislike him for what he did. He’s still my Roque. My gentle poet. *sobs* ARGH!! I hate Pierce Brown for making me feel this way. And how it happened in the end… I guess I finally have my answer how Roque made it through the passage…. I wish I would have never found out… It just hurts… T_T

”I didn’t mind that it was always about you, Darrow. That was what burned Tactus, but not me. I’m not in love with you like Mustang. I don’t worship you like Sevro or the Howlers. I was a true friend. I was someone who saw your light and your dark and accepted both without judgement, without agenda. And what did you do to me? You used me like a man uses a horse. I’m better than that. Quinn was better than that.”

”Friendships take minutes to make, moments to break, years to repair,” he says, turning to glance over his shoulder. “We’ll talk again soon.”

A needle from his ring pricks my wrist. Gentle, like the kiss he now plants on my cheek.
“And thus go liars, with a bloodydamn kiss.”
One word shatters a thousand lies.

The Jackal:

”Come now, Father …”
“You are not my son.”
Adrius flinches. With those few words, Augustus releases something. And the small part of Adrius that held out hope to be loved disappears. He shakes off his humanity, leaving only the Jackal.

Cunning, cruel, conniving, relentless, heartless and creepy. In short: The perfect villain! Adrius is certainly a force to be reckoned with and this time around I actually truly and completely blame Darrow! He knew what he was getting himself into, he knew “The Jackal” wasn’t to be trusted, yet he still hoped his wrath wouldn’t reach him?! I mean what did he expect?! That the Jackal would stand aside while he became his father’s successor?! Didn’t the death of Leto teach him anything?! Adrius acted exactly the way I expected him to and I can’t believe Darrow actually fell for his trap! I don’t even want to know what he’s going to do with him… Knowing the Jackal it’s going to be cruel and savage though! >_<

4

“Golden Son” was brilliant and ingenious! It caused me to laugh, it caused me to cry and it thoroughly broke my fragile heart! *sobs* I think I’ll never get over that ending… never ever as long as I live. It’s just too gorydamn painful! T_T

This said, I actually must be a masochist because I really can’t wait to read the last book. *lol*
Thank you Pierce Brown, you successfully turned me into a sappy and weeping mess! 😛

Allgemein, P - T, R, Reviews

Review: Red Seas Under Red Skies (Scott Lynch)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 23 of My Book List 2020

”I’d lay even odds that between the people following us and the people hunting us, we’ve become this city’s principal means of employment. Tal Verrar’s entire economy is now based on fucking with us.”

Now if that isn’t an accurate assessment I dunno! ;-P In fact this is a pretty good summary of the entire book and I could probably leave it at that. Since I’m me and since I always feel an almost overwhelming need to put in my two cents I’ll go a little bit more into detail though. (Don’t say you didn’t see that coming! ;-P) So apparently the shit hit the fan in “Red Seas Under Red Skies” – big time I may add – and Locke and Jean are neck-deep in trouble once again.

How they managed to infuriate an entire city? Well, I think you’ll have to find that out for yourself, all I’m going to say is that they seem to have a special talent to attract the unwanted attention of bigger fish. And I’m not talking about sharks here, I’m talking about sea monsters. *lol* Both figuratively and quite literally speaking. XD They have more enemies than you can count and if this wouldn’t already have been enough the Bondsmagi of Karthain are still pissed off because of their – let’s say – quite unique way of dealing with one of their own. I swear the scene at the market gave me the creeps. *shudders*

I’m sure Locke and Jean can’t drink enough Lashani Blue to get their warning out of their heads. XD I might be able to though, so if any of you know where to get a bottle of this hellish stuff I’m ready to buy it and share! ;-P It sounded truly delicious! Anyway, let’s not have one over the eight and focus on other things instead! XD For instance the plot: What I really enjoyed was that the book started with another planned heist but went in an entirely different direction after more and more players came into the game. At first I wasn’t all too sure if I liked that change but damn did Scott Lynch persuade me to board that new ship! Quite literally once again, because they were actually heading out to the Sea of Brass. *lol* And the rest? Well, the rest will hopefully become your next bedtime story. ;-P

2

Welcome to Tal Verrar! The city of gambling where winning will get you to the next level! At least in the questionable establishment of the Sinspire which truth be told, actually sounds like a legendary place to be! *lol* Selendri and Requin the owners of said gambling den don’t mess around though so prepare to be spoiled at every gambling table! Spoiled AND robbed of course! Keep your enemies close and your money closer! ;-P

Locke Lamora:

”And I miss them,” he said, his voice nearly a whisper. “Gods, I miss them. It’s my fault they’re dead. I can’t… I can’t stand it –“

I swear the Locke at the beginning of this book had my heart bleeding! I never thought I’d see him so broken but after what happened at the end of the last book I should have known that he wasn’t going to recover quickly. =( I’m really glad that Jean was with him and forced him to face his problems because otherwise he would have never come back! And come back he did! *lol* I loved to watch his journey and how he changed during the book. The loss of his friends made him stronger and more serious but every once in a while there were moments when the old Locke reappeared. His sass and his charming personality will always cause me to root for him and I just love this man, okay?! XD He could charm the last penny from my pockets and steal my heart all at once and I still wouldn’t mind it! <33 And if he wouldn’t already be such a great thief and con man I’d totally be ready to read stories about Captain Orrin Ravelle! *lol*

”Oh,” sighed Jean. “Well, aren’t you the clever little bastard.”
“Yes on all three counts, actually.”

”Captain Orrin Ravelle,” said Locke, drawing a dagger and placing it against the captain’s throat. “Of the good ship Tal Verrar is Fucked! You stop in and let them know I’m in the neighbourhood!”

”Once a Big Lie was let out in the world, it seemed to grow on its own and needed little tending or worry to bend to the situation.”

Jean Tannen:

”When I get this door open, you’re dead, Jean!”
“When you get that door open? I look forward to many long years of life, then.”

Jean is THE BEST!! ❤ I loved how he dealt with morose Locke and his creativity was quite impressive! Who would have known he had it in him? XD I think Jean changed a lot in this book too and I really liked his character arc. To lose his fellow Gentleman Bastards was bitter pill for him as well, but he dealt with it in an entirely different way than Locke did. Jean tried to build something new and watched out for Locke which is so typical for him. He’s the best friend you could possibly have and despite his grief he never lost hope. Still, it’s undeniable that his priorities changed and this led to quite a few arguments between him and Locke. I think Jean only wants peace now but as it seems this just isn’t in the cards for them. >_<

Ezri Delmastro:

”Touch a weapon, or try to take one from one of the crew, and I guarantee you’ll die on the instant. We’re touchy about that.”

I ADORED this woman! Ezri was so amazing and I’m very thankful Scott Lynch decided to invent her character and to make her a part of this book! She’s definitely a girl that doesn’t take any shit from anyone and I just loved her for it! Ezri is a formidable fighter and the men on her ship listened to her. I loved that she had the respect of the crew and that she was able to fight for herself. No damsel in distress here, just a strong woman that knew exactly what she wanted and took it! That’s how awesome female characters are done! I loved how unapologetic she was and seriously, when I grow up I want to be like her! *lol* She could be very compassionate and gentle though and I can’t believe it had to end like that!!! WHY SCOTT LYNCH??!! WHY??? Ezri deserved so much better than that! T_T I’ll never get over her sacrifice… never. >_<

”Del, if it’s not too much trouble, we’re planning to attack that ship just ahead of us, so could you-“
“Oh, yeah, the fight for our lives. I suppose I could help you out for a few minutes, Captain.”

Captain Zamira Drakasha:

”Oh good,” she said a moment later. “Because after that, Mummy needs to fetch her armour and her sabres. And then she needs to go and board that lying motherfucker’s ship and sink it like a stone.”

A female pirate captain and she owned it!!! Zamira was such a strong character! I really liked that she had two children and was a caring and loving mother as well as a total badass when it came to boarding an enemy ship! Some might say that her children were her weakness but I think her love for them only made her even stronger. She saw through all of Locke’s lies and wasn’t fooled by him and that led to him being honest with her which was amazing! I think Locke needed an honest friend like Zamira and someone that brought out the best in him. And in some way or another she did exactly that! At the end of the book Locke and Jean left her ship but I really hope that she’ll reappear in one of the other books. The world sure as hell needs more characters like Captain Drakasha!!!

Stragos – The Archon:

”The Bondsmagi distort our world with their very presence. They rule us in many ways that have nothing to do with politics; the fact that we can hire them to do our bidding is immaterial. That little guild looms over everything we plan, everything we dream.”

Now that man was quite a nuisance! Stragos is one of those privileged people that buy their mercenaries and alchemists, but have no idea how to use them properly. I must admit he got the better of Locke and Jean when he made them drink his wine, but if it wouldn’t have been for his dangerous little games he would have been no threat to them. He seemed to be the kind of man that loves to plan things and sets them into motion, but ultimately has no foresight to predict unexpected events, let alone to take them into account. His plan to use Locke and Jean in order to stir the pirates was pretty half-baked and it was no surprise that it didn’t work out. If you ask me he got exactly what he deserved and hopefully his current predicament will teach him a valuable lesson!

Selendri & Requin:

”I wonder if there is anything that you don’t distrust.”
“Distrust everyone,” she said, “and you can never be betrayed. Opposed, but never betrayed.”

Now those two were the real deal! They were quite the antagonistic pair and I kind of liked their attitude. Those two didn’t mess around; they were a force to be reckoned with and definitely even more of a threat to Locke and Jean than Stragos ever was. You wouldn’t have thought it by just looking at them but they were quite formidable and skilled. 😉 The interesting thing about them is that no one would have assumed them to be so clever. They were highly underestimated which ultimately benefited them in the end. Also can we please acknowledge how interesting the Sinspire was? I would have loved to take a closer look at that place and to spend a night there! *lol* And don’t even get me started about the irony at the end! XD Requin’s final move was artfully done indeed. ;-P Something tells me that we haven’t seen the last of them yet and that this Duo Infernale will reappear in one of the other books. A girl can always dream, right? *lol*

’Difficult. “Difficult” and “impossible” are cousins often mistaken for one another, with very little in common.’

”All that remains,” said Requin, “is for your other judge to concur that you are still a risk worth taking.”
“Other judge?”
Requin gestured toward Selendri. “You’ve heard everything, my dear. Do we put Leocanto out of the window, or do we send him back down to where you fetched him from?”

3

Locke & Jean:

”Maybe I’ll just hold fast after this bottle,” said Locke.
“Hold fast is a nautical – “
“I know,” said Locke. “I’ll kill myself later.”

Their friendship is still everything and I can’t believe that Locke doubted him for even a second! Then again he might have thought he wasn’t worthy of his friendship anymore – because let’s be blunt here – he truly acted like an idiot at the beginning of the book. He was grieving though and Jean being Jean knew that it was Locke’s way to cope with things. It certainly wasn’t the best way but it’s probably the only one Locke ever knew. Still, with Jean’s love interest there came an interesting and new dynamic into their friendship and I think Locke had to get used to his best friend being in love. It’s something we all have to deal with when we grow up and it might have happened rather late with those two but it did happen nevertheless. 😉 Jean’s priorities might have changed over the course of the book but this didn’t mean that he was wrong. There was nothing wrong about wanting a quiet and easy life and Locke eventually realized this too. Hell, at the end he wanted this kind of life as well and was ready to take a shot at it with Ezri and Jean. It’s such a pity that Stragos didn’t let them have it. =((( And URGH!!! I don’t know how often I used this sentence for books already but THE ENDING!!!! >_< It kills me to think that Locke might die a slow and painful death now but I can totally understand why he did what he did! <333 Jean means everything to him and is his family and after all the things he did for him he just wanted to make sure that he’d be alright. That bastard! You can’t even blame him for taking away Jean’s choice because it was such a noble and right thing to do. T_T ARGH! I swear, one day Locke Lamora will be the death of me! ❤

”Fuck you. You’re ten pints of crazy in a one-pint glass.”

”He is extraordinary,” Locke whispered. “He continues to save my life, time and time again, even when I don’t deserve it.” He returned his gaze to the Orchid’s roiling, glowing, monster-haunted wake. “Which is always, more or less.”

”He realized that he was strangely disquieted that Jean hadn’t followed him, relentlessly at his heels, looking after him as always.”

”It is a favour,” said Locke. “A favour to me. You saved my life all the time because you’re an idiot and you don’t know any better. Let me… let me do it for you, just once. Because you actually deserve it.”
“I don’t understand any of this,” Jean whispered. “You son of a fucking bitch, how can you do this? I want to hug you. And I want to tear your gods-damned head off. Both at once.”

Ezri & Jean:

”It is a fine match. Maybe you could do better –“ Locke grinned to let Jean know that there was no actual need to knock his brains out of his skull. “but I know for a solid fact that she couldn’t. Ever.” So saying, he squeezed Jean’s hand. “I’m happy for you. You’ve gone and stolen something back from this whole dead-end distraction Stragos has shoved us into. Hold it tight.”

*sighs* I adored them so much! They were really damn cute and I found myself grinning when they interacted. Yes, they were that sweet! They were a fine match indeed which made it even sadder that Ezri died while saving them all. That woman was so perfect for Jean, I swear! She gave her life for her friends and family just like Jean would have done. And I think the worst thing about it all is that Jean can’t even be angry at her because if given the chance he would have done exactly the same thing. >_< I’m actually kind of pissed off myself and have an axe to grind with Lynch as well! How dare you to introduce such a great woman just to kill her off again? It’s not fair!! *sniff* I shipped them really hard but I also knew that it wouldn’t last. Truth be told I was afraid Ezri would die the moment Jean really fell for her. It was too good to be true. T_T

”Always a way to attack,” Jean mused between kisses, “always a way to escape.”
“Of course,” she whispered. “Hold fast, and sooner or later you’ll always find what you’re after.”

4

When I thought that Scott Lynch couldn’t surprise me anymore he proved me wrong and took this book in an entirely different direction. I would have been content to follow their Sinspire heist but Lynch had other plans and I’m really thankful for it! This book had everything I love: Intriguing and clever characters, a deadly gamble, a heist, pirates, strong female MCs, an amazing plot and last but not least a wonderful world I could get lost in. If you’ve already read the first book and loved it, do yourself a favour and read this one too! I’m 90% certain you won’t regret it. 😉

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, S

Review: Scythe (Neal Shusterman)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

Book 21 of My Book List 2020

“My greatest wish for humanity is not for peace or comfort or joy. It is that we all still die a little inside every time we witness the death of another. For only the pain of empathy will keep us human. There’s no version of God that can help us if we ever lose that.”

Every once in a while there comes a book I’m not prepared for and I guess this year this nomination goes to “Scythe”. I read the blurb and the idea sounded intriguing, all of my fellow goodreaders seemed to enjoy it and so I didn’t even hesitate when I decided to put the book on “My Book List 2020”. So much to the thought process that led me to read this book.

What I didn’t know and therefore didn’t take into account was how invested I would be! I mean HOLY FEAKING MOLY!!! This was one hell of a freaky ride and even though my mind is reeling faster than a rat race I still loved every second of it. There were plenty of moments I thought I’d go bananas and even though the plot twists in “Scythe” weren’t as brutal as in – let’s say “Illuminae” – they were still pretty ferocious! Like, really, really, fierce. *lol*

I lost count of how often I went all “WHAT??!! NO!!! THIS CAN’T BE TRUE!” and “ADSFJKLMNÖAKDJASKDFJ” because I just couldn’t put my exasperation into words! If you take a closer look at my updates while I read the book you might get an idea though! ;-P Still, regardless of my crazy reactions this book was nothing but amazing! I loved how it made me think and question the decisions of the MCs and I adored that even though at first everything in this world seemed to be black and white it ultimately turned out to be all different shades of grey! From light grey to dark-grey and everything in between. Okay, admittedly there was one character that was completely black but I’ll get to that in my characters section.

So without further ado, let’s get ready to rumble!

2

Beware! You are about to enter the all-seeing and all-knowing Thunderhead! Nothing is secret in here and spoilers will hit you at every corner! If you’re not ready to know it all you better retreat and come back another time! ;-P

Citra Terranova:

”You see through the facades of the world, Citra Terranova. You’d make a good scythe.”
Citra recoiled. “I’d never want to be one.”
“That,” he said, “is the first requirement.”
Then he left to kill their neighbor.

I just noticed that this is the only quote I wrote down when it comes to Citra! Which is pretty strange but then again I think nothing gives a better first impression about her character than this statement. Citra doesn’t want to be a Scythe and when she starts her apprenticeship with Scythe Faraday she always seems to ask the right questions. Citra was a really interesting character because she never took things for granted. There was always her curiosity that caused her to second guess decisions others made and I loved to watch how she grew into her role! I’m sure she’ll make a really good Scythe and I have absolutely no doubt that she’ll glean with compassion. Citra was lucky to have Scythe Faraday and Scythe Curie as her mentors and boy did I wish Rowan would have had the same training! >_<

Rowan Damisch:

”Can you at least give him a few minutes to prepare?” Rowan asked.
“Are you telling me how to do my job?”
“I’m asking you for some mercy!”

I LOVED ROWAN!!!! Mostly because I could relate to him so much! That boy had guts and whilst Citra asked the right questions he refused to make the wrong decisions. ❤ I hated that he became Scythe Goddard’s apprentice and I felt so damn sorry for him! I wish he would have gotten a nice Scythe like Curie but of course he had to end up with Goddard. =(( I swear I felt so much with him. He had to survive his apprenticeship with that despicable man and all the time he knew that he’d eventually die at the hands of Citra in the end. For Rowan there was no doubt that she’d become a Scythe and it broke my heart!!! T_T His constant fight against becoming a monster was so painful to watch. It were his circumstances that forced him to act in a way he never wanted to and it were his circumstances that made him the man he became at the end. Gosh, my heart is still bleeding for him! There is so much good in Rowan and no one is able to see it because they only see Scythe Goddard’s training. It’s so unfair, I can’t even!!!!! ADFLKASDFJASLKDFJASDLKFSAJDF! Erm, yes, I guess it’s obvious that I still feel very strongly about this! *lol* My poor boy! *sobs* Also Scythe Volta… I’ll never get over his death. He was so broken at the end. T_T

”Numb. Rowan could feel himself growing numb – and while it might have been a good thing for his beleaguered sanity, it was not a good thing for his soul.”

”And Rowan found himself smiling. Something had torn loose inside of him. He didn’t know whether it was a good thing or not. And while part of him felt like falling to his knees and hurling up breakfast, another part of him wanted to howl to the moon like a wolf.”

”He was too quick. He hurled himself like a fireball down the center aisle. The scythes closest to him leaped into action, trying to stop him, but he kicked and spun, and sliced and flipped. No one could get a hand on him. To Scythe Anastasia he seemed some deadly force of nature.”

Scythe Goddard:

”Let’s clarify,” Goddard said calmly. “We are not here to barter and bargain. We are scythes – which means that by law, anything we want we can take. Any life we wish to end, we will. Simple as that. You have no power here. Do I make myself clear?”

I ABSOLUTELY HATED THIS MAN!!! With the fierce fire of a thousand hells and the burning eternity of the sun!! ARGH!!! Just to think about him already makes me angry! How dare he to play god? How dare he to kill for pleasure?! In his hands Scythedom became nothing but a brutal sport! He misused his power in the worst possible way and I was not okay with his training methods! Those people they killed for sport were still living, breathing and feeling human beings! Just because they could be revived doesn’t mean that it was okay to slaughter them like that. His teachings were so unacceptable and morally reprehensible, I have no words!!! The problem with Goddard was that between his madness and his wish to feel pleasure when he did this job, there were still moments when his words rang true and appealed to people like us who still live in a world in which you feel pain and die. I mean if you can live forever and never have to worry about death when you do something stupid, are you even capable of enjoying your life? Isn’t every day just like the last? There comes a certain thrill with being mortal and I suppose they lost this after the Thunderhead and Scythedom were invented. So maybe people like Goddard were a homemade problem of the invention of those two? I dunno. Boy, this book made me think so much. >_<

”Take great satisfaction and pleasure in this, Rowan,” said Scythe Goddard, “or you’ll be nothing more than a killing machine.”

”We are angels of death,” said Scythe Goddard. “It is only fitting that we swoop in from the heavens.”

Scythe Faraday:

”Ha!” said the unsavoury, puffing up at his strategic triumph. “I’ve got immunity for a year – and you can’t undo it! I know the rules!”
Scythe Faraday was unfazed. “Yes, good for you,” he said. “You have three hundred sixty-five days of immunity.” And then, looking him in the eye, said, “And I’ll be seeing you on day three hundred sixty-six.”

I really liked Scythe Faraday and the way he taught Citra and Rowan. If there would have been more Scythes like him they probably would have never had the trouble with Scythe Goddard. Faraday still had compassion for the people he gleaned even though I’ve to admit that I sometimes didn’t like the way he did it. I understand that he wanted to give every person an individual death because in our world people die from various and different reasons and he wanted to keep close to the origins of mortality. I would have never been able to drown someone though. It’s a cruel way to go and if the people you glean are already afraid of you it would have been merciful to gift them with a quick death. I mean the moment a Scythe tells you that you’re going to be gleaned you feel afraid, you feel all those feelings you eluded for decades, maybe even centuries. So they ARE scared shitless and worry about their family and friends. With the prospect of imminent death they become so very human again and I couldn’t for the life of me, glean them with a painful or cruel method. So yeah, I suppose even Scythe Faraday had his grey sides.

”Never lose your humanity,” Scythe Faraday had told him, “or you’ll be nothing more than a killing machine.”

Scythe Curie:

”The killers are rising to power,” Scythe Curie said. “And if they do, the days of this world will be very dark indeed. It is left to the truly honourable scythes to stand firm against it. I look forward to the day you join in that fight.”

Judging by the way Scythe Curie acted I would have never believed that she and Scythe Faraday had a romantic relationship! They did though and that was quite some revelation. *lol* I admit at first I was no big fan of her. I mean the first test Citra and Rowan had to take was so unfair! All the others got questions that had to do with their apprenticeship and Citra and Rowan got really personal questions no person in their right mind would have answered truthfully in a room full of Scythes! Like seriously! How could you even ask them a question like that!? I mean okay, Rowan’s question would have been easy to answer but still, I understand why he didn’t want to yell it out into the world. XD Still, the more I got to know Scythe Curie the better I began to understand her motives. I was glad that she didn’t only believe Citra but also helped her to escape into another country. The machinations of Scythe Goddard were quite effective but in the end Citra’s reputation was restored and no one believed that she killed Faraday. Jeez! His suicide was a surprise and that Citra was accused of murdering him was just the icing on the cake! I never saw those plot twists coming!

3

Citra & Rowan:

”They were partners; they were adversaries – and Rowan found it increasingly hard to parse his feelings about her. All he knew was that he liked watching her write.”

Their relationship was doomed right from the moment they met! At first they had to compete for an apprenticeship neither of them even wanted and then they were sentenced to kill whoever failed to get said apprenticeship! Which was so UNFAIR I CAN’T EVEN!!!! Hell, was I angry when I read about the decision of the Conclave. How dare they to force them to make each other their first gleaning? ARGH!!! There were so many obstacles that got in their way and all I wanted was for them to be happy! No matter what happened, no matter how much they grew apart they still loved each other and this made all the difference! They trusted each other even though others didn’t and I loved them for their faith! <33 That moment when Rowan broke Citra’s neck though!!! AAKDFSAFJDSAKFDJ! I can’t believe he actually did this and I can’t believe Citra saw through it!!! And that FREAKING ENDING??!!! I was just glad I wasn’t on my lounger at my parent’s garden. Otherwise I would have swallowed about a thousand gnats. Yes, I was so gobsmacked I wasn’t able to close my mouth! *lol* Citra saving Rowan by getting his blood on her ring was such a calculated and smooth move I couldn’t help but be in awe of her genius! Just brilliant! Also they said I love you!!!! AHHHHHHHH!!! *dies a thousand deaths*

”I haven’t fallen in love with you, Rowan. And now I want to keep it that way.”Rowan got up and moved to the safety of the threshold before turning back to her. “It’s all right, Citra,” he told her. “I haven’t fallen in love with you, either.”

”It’s good to see you, Citra,” he said. “But it hurts to see you. It hurts a lot, and I don’t know what to do about it.”

He thought he could not be more impressed by her. She had just proved him wrong.

“I love you,” he said.
“Same here,” she responded. “Now get lost.”

Scythe Goddard & Rowan:

”That’s such a load of crap.” Rowan said, not even caring what response it might evoke.
Goddard merely raised an eyebrow. “Perhaps … but you can’t deny this is a turning point in your life, and every turning point must be marked by an event – one that burns itself into you as indelibly as a brand.”

O_o Their relationship was sooo twisted and it blew my mind big time. And their dynamic? Well, it was crazy! I mean Goddard was Rowan’s mentor and taught him all the wrong things, yet Rowan refused to become the killing machine Goddard wanted him to be. He became a killing machine with a conscience instead and I still don’t know if this is good or bad. Rowan certainly didn’t choose the easy path and I loved how he defied Goddard whenever he got a chance. Also one of the strangest things about their relationship was that Goddard actually seemed to be awed by Rowan’s skill. He was proud of him the way a parent would have been and he sort of admired him as well?! Their relationship was so weird… Poor Rowan, I guess in the end he partly became what he never wanted to be. The suicide of Scythe Volta was such a shock but what shocked me even more was how Rowan slaughtered Goddard and his followers. That chapter at the Tonist cult was so … OMG!! Hell, he killed them all and made it look like it was an accident! He killed Scythes and no one could prove it! JEEZ! He gleaned them and made sure that nothing of their remains was left so they couldn’t be resurrected again! ADLFASDFJSALDFJASLDFJALSDFJSALDFJ! I think I’ll never get over this! I love Rowan so much but this was so, so… wrong. ARGH! Also his name as a Scythe! Scythe Lucifer!!! So perfect but also so GAH! Seriously, I just can’t put my emotions into words. *pulls at hair*

”We could have been called reapers,” Goddard said, “but our founders saw fit to call us scythes – because we are the weapons in mankind’s immortal hand. You are a fine weapon, Rowan, sharp, and precise. And when you strike, you are glorious to behold.”

”I am what you made me,” he told Goddard. “And you’re right: I enjoyed that. I enjoyed that more than anything I’ve ever done in my life.”

4

The more I think about this book the more I get agitated! “Scythe” blew my mind in the best and worst possible way and I think it’s undeniable that it was thought-provoking as hell! It is one of those rare books that still resonates in your head even though you finished it weeks ago! It poses the right questions but leaves the answers up to you and I don’t know about you, but I for my part, am hooked! Suspenseful, mind blowing, thought-provoking and extremely unsettling! Ladies and Gents, this is the real deal! 😉

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Gilded Wolves (Roshani Chokshi)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

Book 29 of My Book List 2019

”The world has a shit memory. It will never pay its debts unless you force its hand.”

Ahh! Where to start? Where to begin? Maybe I should just go for blunt honesty and say it like it is: I could bite myself for not reading this sooner!!! What was I even thinking to procrastinate for so long? This book was already on “My Book List 2019” and it took me until 2020 to read it. (Which is actually sort of typical me! *lol*) Still, if we stick to honesty I’ve to admit that I’m kind of torn about having read “The Gilded Wolves”. Why is that so?

Well, on the one hand I loved those characters and their diversity! The plot was so much fun and I adored the puzzles and the fact that this book kept me on my toes and forced me to pay attention to what was happening. In some way “The Gilded Wolves” felt like the unknown lovechild of Dan Brown’s “Angels & Demons” and Leigh Bardugo’s “Six of Crows”. With a dash of its uncle “Indiana Jones” and a pinch of its aunt “Ocean 11” mixed into it. XD Plus, let’s not forget about the tension that oozed from every single one of those pages! All those six characters have a painful past they’d rather forget and want to go into a bright future instead. And boy, is Chokshi a master at playing their weaknesses in order to build up tensions! XD Just amazing! <333 On the other hand I find myself faced with a huge disadvantage now. I read the first book, loved it and now I’ll have to wait until the end of 2020 until I’ll be able to read the next instalment. Which is just cruel! I mean after THAT ending!!?? >_< ADFKADKFAKSJFDLKASDFJASKDFJASKFD!! I need answers and I need them soon! So I’ll finally get myself a NetGalley account (Yes, I’m THAT desperate to get my paws on a copy) and hopefully my wish for an ARC will be granted. (I’m crossing all my claws here. *lol*)

This said, let’s begin with my fangirl/rant feast! There’s so much I need to get out of my system and since I had to shorten my review for goodreads (damn word limits, I didn’t even get to my infamous “The relationship & ships” category) I’ll make sure to let it all out on here! I’ll be nothing but thorough! I can promise you that! *lol*

2

Welcome to the “Palais des Rêves”, where dreams come true and spoilers become reality! ;-P If you don’t want to be spoiled I’d advise you not to mingle with the crowd! It’s a fair warning and in your best interest! Mark my words before you decide to linger. XD

Séverin – The Leader:

”He was deception steeped in elegance, from his sharp smile to his unsettling eyes. Séverin’s eyes were the precise color of sleep – sable velvet with a violet sheen, promising either nightmare or dream.”

Chokshi definitely has a way with words. I could imagine Séverin so well and in my mind he’s drop-dead gorgeous. *drools* Still, his habit of chewing cloves might be a turn-off. *lol* Not that I don’t like cloves, I really like the taste and the smell, but only in small doses. The way Séverin popped them into his mouth it must have tasted more than just intense. Not that I’d fantasize about kissing him… Nuhu… not me. ;-P Anyway! His character kind of reminded me of “Gansey” (especially the habit of chewing on something. With Gansey it was mint leaves though) and he definitely was not only the leader of the group but also some sort of responsible father figure. I hated to find out about his and Tristan’s childhood and I think he might have named his foster fathers after the seven deadly sins. My buddy and I gave that a lot of thought and we eventually decided that they had other real names and Séverin only called them like that in his mind. Would be such a typical Séverin move. XD Also from all the characters in the book he was probably the most driven and torn. To be shunned by his family and to be denied his legacy wounded him deeply and I have no idea what will happen to him in the next book. I just hope he won’t go all “dark side”. >_<

”Must you creep up on us like that? I didn’t even hear you come into the room!”
“It’s part of my aesthetic,” said Séverin, dangling a Forged muffling bell.

”Séverin closed his eyes. It wasn’t about enough. Tristan would never understand. He had never felt the pulse of an entirely different future, only to see it ripped from his grasp and smothered in front of him. He didn’t understand that sometimes the only way to take down what had destroyed you was to disguise yourself as part of it.”

”He wished he didn’t know what he had lost. Maybe then every day wouldn’t feel like this. As if he had once known how to fly, but the skies had shaken him loose and left him with nothing but the memory of wings.”

”Memories unsettled him. He hated the thought that he might have missed something, and he didn’t want time warping how he remembered things because he didn’t trust himself to remember without bias. And he needed to. Because only then, only with absolute impartiality, could he detect where he had gone wrong.”

Laila – L’Énigme:

”She hated seeing someone hold an empty plate and always thought everyone was hungry. She knew everyone’s secrets even without having to read their objects. At the Palais des Rêves, she turned that radiance into an allure that earned her star billing and the name, L’Énigme. The Mystery.”

Laila was such an intriguing character! She’s Indian, can read the history of objects (kinda reminded me of Tessa Grey) and is some sort of a sexy mother hen. Oh well, that sounded kinda wrong but it’s still true somehow? *lol* I think what I’m trying to say is that she cares about everyone and treats the crew like they are her children. XD I mean there’s a really domestic side to her. She bakes for her friends and listens to their troubles yet at night she’s L’Énigme and dazzles the crowd at the Palais des Rêves! She’s a temptress and no one seems to be more ensnared by her than Séverin! XD Just like with all of the other characters there’s something dark lurking in her past though, and to say this surprised me would be putting it mildly. As I understand it, she was a stillborn and forged into living with the help of the lives of a cygnet and a jungle cat? Which explains her dark fur-like hair and her black eyes. Apparently beings who are forged into life like that don’t live longer than 19 years or so though, so that’s the main reason why she’s trying to stay away from Séverin and working on finding a cure. And boy do I hope that she finds one! She’s way too young and too precious to die and her love to Séverin definitely needs a decent chance to thrive. Not that they are on good terms right now. Damn! >_< Also did anyone notice that “Laila” literally means “Born at night” in some cultures? If that’s no suitable name for her I dunno! ;-P

”It will fade,” she said.
“And then I’ll be real?” Laila would ask. Her mother’s hands always stilled when she asked that question. “You are real, my girl, for you are loved.” Her father’s hands had not always been so kind. He did not always know what to make of her. His crafted child.

”The almost painful exquisiteness of being unveiled by a glance. It made her feel aware of everything about her – skin stretched over bone, silk clinging to her limbs, her breath heating the air. The kind of awareness that makes one feel alive. It terrified her.”

”She didn’t want to glide through life, unfeeling. She wanted to know everything while she could. She didn’t want the ghosts of thresholds not crossed hanging over her. She didn’t want one night. She wanted a chance.”

“Her mother’s voice rang in her ears: ‚Don’t capture their hearts. Steal their imagination. It’s far more useful.”

Enrique – The historian:

”When he realized he didn’t have the talent, he chose to study the subjects that felt closest to Forging: history and language. He could still change the world… maybe not with something as dramatic or grand as Forging, but in more intimate ways. Writing. Speaking. Human connection.”

I admire that boy so much! Enrique is not only a revolutionary bisexual Spanish-Filipino (he could be pan too but judging by his thoughts I think he’s bi) but also an ardent historian! ❤ And I loved that mixture! It made him a really interesting character and even though he obviously isn’t all too good at socializing he still had a great humour and an even quicker mind! That man is the full package and I was so there for it! XD Unlike the other members of the crew he didn’t have any Forging powers but he made up for it with his sharp wit, resourcefulness and seemingly infinite knowledge. I really would have loved to read more about him, especially at the ending!!! Because damn, was it too much to give us more info??!!! Chokshi left us completely in the dark about what happened to him, Hypnos and Zofia which is so NOT OKAY!!! I need answers! *dies*

”There were Forged dragons out of myths from the Orient, Sirenas with heavy-lidded eyes, bhuts with backwards feet. And though they were not all his tales, he saw himself in them: pushed to the corners of the dark. He was just like them. As solid as smoke and just as powerless.”

”Nothing but a symbol?” repeated Enrique quietly. “People die for symbols. People have hope because of symbols. They’re not just lines. They’re histories, cultures, traditions, given shape.”

”Enrique used to feel a twinge of shame when it came to his feelings… He used to pray that when it came to attraction, his body would just choose between men and women, and not both.

Zofia – The phoenix:

”A month later, ten students locked themselves in the lab with her. Again came the sounds, smells, laughing. The other students didn’t grab her. They knew the barest touch – like a feather trailed down skin – hurt her more. Calm slipped out of reach no matter how many times she counted backward, or begged to be let go, or asked what she had done wrong.”

Zofia is my precious, skilled phoenix! She’s Jewish-Polish and totally socially awkward. I really liked that she’s so shy and can get completely absorbed in her work. It’s kind of endearing and I always thought of her as the little sister of the group. I could picture her standing in her lab while she created new things, completely forgetting about the cookie Laila brought her. Apparently she was a victim of mobbing at the university and I despised her classmates for violating her that way. They might not have physically hurt her but they used her insecurity and aversion to touch to taunt and mentally abuse her and that’s just horrible! My poor little girl! Don’t hurt my Zofia or I’ll defend her like a lion! *grrr* Zofia is really great at maths too and her and Enrique were such a great team it was a pleasure to watch them figure out things together. I always had Beckett and Castle in mind when they threw their knowledge and ideas at each other. Just perfect. *lol* I can’t help but wonder what happened to her after Tristan’s death though. I mean Hypnos and Enrique kissed and judging by the hints that were dropped, to witness their kiss caused her to withdraw from the world again. Which is such a shame! >_< I really liked that she began to open up and I’d hate for her to be alone! *sends hugs to Zofia*

”What it could do did not seem within human grasp, but that was the thing about numbers. They weren’t like people, who could say one thing and do another. They weren’t like riddles of social mannerisms or conversations. Numbers never lied.”

”She could be like her parents. Like her sister. She could walk down a street or through a crowd. She wouldn’t know that tight, breath-pulling sensation of drowning, all because someone had asked about her day and she didn’t know how to answer.
Knowledge would make her brave. And more than anything, Zofia wanted to be brave.”

”She was reminded of all that she could not detect. All that she could not do. She could storm into a room, but she could not command its attention through charm. She could face herself in the mirror, but she could not spark imaginations with her face. Zofia stepped back. She should stay in the world she knew. And not reach for one she did not.”

Tristan – The Botanist:

”His love and his fear and his own cracked mind made it easy to convince him that betraying you was saving you.”

Tristan was such a surprise. I mean he was clearly the crew’s baby brother who loved his tarantula Goliath and thought up little miniature gardens before he actually created them and made them a real and living thing. He was such an adorable boy and even though he shared his rather dark and twisted childhood with Séverin it seemed like he got out of it just fine. Well, at least it seemed like it. To be honest there was always something that troubled me about him and the words of Joux-Roubert certainly didn’t make it any better. The birds that disappeared from the garden… I knew there was something wrong with it. Hellz! I certainly didn’t expect it to end like that though! O_o Sweet, precious, little Tristan did WHAT??!!! OMG! I really would have loved to find out why he did that but I guess now we’ll never know… Or we might find out in the next book? I hope we do because that ending left such a huge question mark over my head and the fact that we never got Tristan’s POV makes it even harder to fathom why he would have done such a thing. Also is it just me or was it some sort of bad omen that Tristan never got his own POV? XD

”What? I’m hungry. What about you, Tristan? What do you want?”
“This,” Tristan said quietly. “Just this.”

Hypnos – The Patriarch

”He knew the other boy’s skin, a deep umber like the rain-soaked bark of an oak tree. He knew the textured hair cropped close to his head. Even knew his strangely colored eyes, a blue so pale they looked like panes of frost.”

At first Hypnos was no part of the crew but I ADORED that boy the moment he appeared! His first meeting with Séverin and Enrique was so amazing; I couldn’t help but fall head over heels for him. I loved his flair for the dramatic and his quirky and strangely innocent (even though he’s pretty good at threatening people!) nature. He’s an adorable walking and talking disaster and all I wanted was more!! XD It’s kind of strange that he’s the Patriarch of House Nyx but I’m sure he has skills and responsibilities we never even got to see. Just like with Tristan we didn’t get a Hypnos POV (well only that short chapter at the ending) and I can’t wait to read his thoughts! Let’s hope we’ll get to see them in the next book. Also Hypnos seems to be bi? Just a guess here because he showed obvious interest in Enrique but also sort of charmed Zofia? Maybe that was just my imagination though and he’s actually gay and only loves to flatter pretty women? *lol* I suppose I won’t know until I read “The Silvered Serpents”.

Hypnos loosed a breath. “I hate when I have to do this! Flaring tempers, veiled threats, ugh. It ages me, mon cher, and I detest that.”

”Did you say fur ball?” asked Hypnos. “Like a puppy? How endearing.”
“She said fireball.”
“Oh. That is decidedly less endearing.”

”What’s going on here” – said Hypnos, his voice rising as a bizarre grin spread across his face, – “is that you care for me. We’re all friends. We’re friends going to save another friend! This is… this is amazing!”

”I had to choose, and perhaps the Order forced my hand in this. But what no one tells you is that even when you decide which world you will live in, the world may not always see you as you would wish. Sometimes it demands that you be so outrageous as to transcend your very skin. You can change your name. Your eye color. Make yourself a myth and live within it, so that you belong to no one but yourself.”

3

Laila & Séverin:

”When Séverin turned back to the room, he went still. Though the room was nearly dark, whatever light clung to its corners now raced to illuminate Laila. It seemed the world couldn’t help but want to be near her … every beam of light, pair of eyes, atom of air. Maybe that’s why sometimes he couldn’t breathe around her.”

Okay, there’s no other way than to say this in capital letters, so please bear with me: I LOVED THEM SO FREAKING MUCH, THEIR TENSION WAS EVERYTHING AND OMG THEY KILLED ME A THOUSAND TIMES!!! I swear the heat whenever they talked with each other was enough to destroy every thermometer! It was off the charts and could have burned down entire worlds! I absolutely loved their tension and I digged the fact that they had history together. Usually it’s always boy meets girl and they fall in love but in this case they spent a night together which both of them are trying really hard to forget. Of course they can’t stop thinking about it, but since neither of them wants to give into their feelings for each other (for very different reasons I may add) they try to avoid being alone instead. Without success because even though they are like NEVER alone their chemistry is STRONG! (And that’s putting it so lightly I can’t even!!!) I loved that Laila called Séverin “Majnun” and GODS did the ending kill me! I hate that they are like that now!!! Tristan’s loss changed Séverin so much and I just couldn’t bear to read those last 5 chapters! In my mind they don’t exist!!! I’ll only acknowledge them if Laila and Séverin end up together in “The Silvered Serpents”. Until then I’m in total denial! Which last 5 chapters??!! I dunno what you’re talking about! ;-P

”Oh, goodness, you care for Séverin! And why wouldn’t you? That boy looks like every dark corner of a fairy tale. The wolf in bed. The apple in a witch’s palm.” He winked.

”She thought back to that evening… on her birthday… when she’d felt buzzed with a daring she almost never indulged. She’d cornered him in his study, more intoxicated by the way he’d looked at her than she had been from any champagne. Séverin hadn’t gotten her a birthday present, and so she demanded a kiss that turned into something more…”

”Laila could picture his eyes perfectly, even though she couldn’t see them. His dusk-colored gaze darkening, fixed on her. Laila knew she should look at the other audience members, but she couldn’t look anywhere but at him, and she didn’t want him looking at anyone but her.”

Séverin wanted to call a doctor, a retinue of nurses, declare war on pans if he could… but Laila refused. “It’s a tiny burn, Majnun,” she’d said, laughing off his panic. “I know,” he’d said. But I cannot stand to see you hurt.

”They let each other stand like this, mutually clasped. Maybe it was just because it was still dark out, and the memory of this moment would dissolve with the sunlight. Or maybe it was because in that vast silence of uncertainty, they could feel each other’s pulse against their fingertips, and that cadence meant they could be many things, but not alone.”

”This was what a kiss that meant nothing supposedly felt like. As if he could not touch her enough, taste her enough, as if this movement alone would leave his body riddled as an addict’s.”

Zofia, Enrique & Hypnos:

“You’re impressed. Admit it.“
Zofia crossed her arms. “No.”
“I dazzle you with my intelligence.”
Zofia turned to Laila. “Make him stop.”

Now I don’t know if I’m on board of this love triangle! *lol* I gotta admit: I was shipping Hypnos and Enrique the moment they met and I just don’t see Zofia in the picture. I mean I want her to have someone that truly loves her because she really deserves to be happy, I’m just not sure if it should be my two boys. XD Zofia’s role in the group always gave me a rather sisterly vibe (like Tristan’s) and it was kind of strange to read that she seems to like Enrique more than just a brother. Her reaction at the end of the book said it all though and it’s pretty obvious that she has some feelings for him. Mhmm I dunno. Chokshi will have to do A LOT to convince me of this love triangle. *lol* For now I’m totally on board of the Hypnos/Enrique ship and I can’t wait to see where this is heading!!! ❤ Also: WHY WEREN’T THEY MENTIONED IN THE LAST FIVE CHAPTERS THAT (ACCORDING TO ME) DON’T EXIST??!

Hypnos was beautiful at a distance. Up close, he was just plain staggering. Enrique stumbled to his feet, hoping the other boy hadn’t noticed. When he looked up, Hypnos’s eyes looked darker. The pupils blown out, as if he was trying to take in all of him too.
“Had I known what pretty company you keep, I might have met with you sooner, Séverin,” said Hypnos, not taking his eyes off Enrique.

”Hypnos smiled, then whispered in her ear, “I do mean it. You are stunning. Though I did not quite like the look of your friend.”
“He’s not my friend.”
“Am I your friend?”

”I was only going to say that we make a good team, phoenix.” A corner of her mouth quirked up. “I know.” And that was true. Her math, his history. They were, he thought, a bit like an equation where the sum was greater than its parts.

Séverin & Enrique:

Enrique shuddered. „Honestly. Who looks at a vase covered in bull testicles and says, ‘You. I must have you.’?”
“The bored, the rich, and the enigmatic.”
Enrique sighed. “All my life aspirations.”

Haha! I really enjoyed their easy banter! Those two were obviously best friends (even though neither of them would admit it) and I liked that Séverin trusted Enrique so much. I mean he basically trusted him with his own life on multiple occasions and I’m glad they had each other. I’m kind of worried how their friendship is going to continue after Tristan’s death though. I mean Enrique and Hypnos seem to be on the best way of becoming a couple and even though Séverin accepted Hypnos in their ranks he did it kind of grudgingly. (At least it seemed like that to me.) I’m pretty sure he didn’t even talk with Enrique after Tristan died and this makes me really sad. =( Those two could have such a great friendship if Séverin would just allow anyone to get close to him. *sighs*

”You’re fondling it.”
Enrique rolled his eyes. “It’s an authentic piece of history and should be savored.”
“You might at least buy it dinner first,” said Séverin, before pointing at the metal edges.

4

“The Gilded Wolves” was everything I craved for and wanted to read! I loved to watch this story unfold, I adored the characters, their world, the diversity and all those puzzles! And I really, really want to read the next book! *lol* A huge thanks goes to my partner in crime Miri @ The Book Dragoness for reading this book with me! I enjoyed our discussions and I can’t wait for your comments on the second book!!! Let me live vicariously through you! ;-P