Allgemein, K - O, N, Reviews

Review: Now I Rise (Kiersten White)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

”Secrets gave everything more power, more potential for devastation and destruction.”

And the secrets in here were huge, which is the reason why the destruction was so big at the ending of this book. >_< Both, figuratively and literally. I swear to read this was … quite an experience. I mean I already knew that this series is character driven and that the scheming and plotting never ends but I think “Now I Rise” raised this to the next level. If you know me, you know that I love this in my books though so to read this story was perfect for me. XD

What was very interesting was that we don’t only have two different POVs in the second book but also two different storylines that are a little bit delayed. We follow Lada who is in Wallachia and desperately tries to become the prince of her country and we are with Radu as he follows Mehmed’s order to infiltrate Constantinople as his trusted spy. Both siblings struggle with their tasks and with what is needed in order to achieve their goals. And while Lada continues to be the ruthless dragon that we know her to be, Radu’s heart seems to fissure under the constant weight of pressure.

I swear, the Dracul siblings couldn’t be any more different even if they tried but they still have such a strong connection and you can feel it on every page. Just like in the first book the longing in here is real, but whilst the main focus of this yearning was Mehmed in “And I Darken” it becomes something different in here. It turns into a longing for peace, for hope, for belonging and into a longing for knowing your place in the world, an almost palpable yearning for acceptance and better days. But before I write even more I’ll just get to my characters section and explain all my thoughts in there. 😉

2

You are now entering the lost city of Constantinople. Where people fight bravely against all odds and spoilers. If you don’t want to fight against a spoiler at every turn I strongly recommend you to leave this place. It isn’t too late; you can still make it out in time. 😉

Lada:

”Lada smiled. She knew that should not please her, but it did. The prince thought her a big enough threat to warrant an assassin. She still had a chance. Where there was fear, there was power.”

My fierce and reckless dragon child! Gosh, I love Lada. I really dislike a lot of her actions and I disagree with her methods but I still can’t help but love this girl. I think I rarely felt so torn about a fictional character but Lada Dracul is definitely something else. Just like in the first book she knows exactly what she wants and she’s still not afraid of doing whatever is necessary in order to achieve her goals. I just gotta admire her tenaciousness and intransigence. This woman knows the price she’ll pay and yet she’s still not afraid of going through with the bargain. Lada still wants Wallachia more than she wants anything else and I think her and Mehmed are pretty similar when it comes to the craving for a country/city. They would do anything to get it and no price would be too big to pay. Even if it took their souls as payment, they would still readily sacrifice them. Lada is already at the point where she’s crossing a line she’ll never be able to return from and I’m kind of worried what that will do to her in the last book. >_<

”Tonight, she felt the full weight of that loss. The loss of a brother who would have stood at her side and fought this battle of manners and politics for her. The loss of a man who would have laughed at her dress and her hair but also been desperate to be alone so he could undo it all for her.”

”For years Lada had nurtured only hatred for her father, to take away the pain that loving him had left her with. But that night in her tent as she drifted to sleep, she let some of it go. Because she, too, was grateful for who she was. She would not wish any part of herself away.”

”Running and abandoning those who needed her as the weakest, lowest thing possible. Lada would not do that. She could not. Whatever else she was, Lada was nothing like the class who could go on living after turning their backs on those who depended upon them.”

”Without a word she shifted and plunged it into the chest of Toma. The man who had used we to talk about their plans, when he meant himself and a foreign king. The man who had thought that through words and advice, he could take Lada’s soldiers, Lada’s power, Lada’s country without ever fighting her. She watched his face as he died, committing it to memory.”

Radu:

”Hope was an arrow that never ceased piercing his heart.”

My precious Radu! In my review of “And I Darken” I described him as “beauty with a sting” and that description still holds true, in “Now I Rise” his character changed a lot though. His armour started to crack and to hide his true feelings got more and more difficult. Mehmed asked him to go to Constantinople and to work as his spy and at first Radu is willing to do what he can in order to offer Mehmed Constantinople on a platter. The longer he stays at the city the more he gets involved in the community though. He makes friends and gets attached to Cyprian, Constantine and his family. He suffers alongside them in the siege and he fights against his own people that try to invade the city. Radu starts to question his role and his blind loyalty to Mehmed, but in the end is forced to realize that neither Mehmed nor Constantine deserve his faithfulness. Both of them would have been able to spare their people’s lives, but their pride didn’t allow them to do what would have been the best for their subjects. Radu is so torn by his own actions and the actions of Mehmed and Constantine that he’s breaking under the pressure. At the end of the book he’s a broken man and I was grieving his lost innocence. T_T I really just want my Radu to be happy! Is that too much to ask for?

”What did he hope his future would be? To stand forever at Mehmed’s side, beloved friend, trusted advisor? He had told Nazira it would be enough. It would never be enough.”

”Radu did not know which filled him with more despair – that everyone had heart this rumor except him, or that the mere suggestion of Mehmed loving women and men was seen as evil. His feelings for Mehmed had never felt evil or wicked. They had been the truest of his life, bordering on holy. To hear his love so casually profaned made him sick to his stomach.”

”Again you have never met my sister. She responded to our torments by getting harder, crueler, further away. It made her stronger, but it was breaking me. So when Mehmed – the sultan – offered me kindness, it was like someone had offered me the sun in the midst of the longest, coldest winter of my life.”

”Where was his heart? Where was his loyalty?”

”Radu had been wrong. There were no good men in this city.
And there were no good men outside of it, either.”

3

Lada & Mehmed:

„Mehmed moved from her lips to her neck, his hands in her hair. “When you left, you took my hear twith you. Kill me, Lada,”he said, with so much longing she could not keep her own hands off him.“

Okay, we legit only got one scene between those two and their sexy time ended rather abruptly when Lada found out that Mehmed could have supported her but didn’t because his own goals were once again more important than Lada’s. I honestly don’t blame Lada for leaving his tent in haste and hating him with a fierce passion. It’s not all hate though and I feel kind of sorry for her because she truly loves him but she can’t get out of her own skin. Those two are the epitome of star-crossed lovers and however their story will end. It won’t end well. >_<

”You could have trusted me and given me those forces instead. Were there ever any troops? Did you ever mean to help me?”
“I am helping you! You are destined for bigger things! With me.” He stepped toward her and she put her hands up.

”She closed her eyes, because she had worked so hard not to think of it. But as soon as she allowed the memories back in, she wanted to kill him. And she wanted to be with him again.
She did not know which impulse was stronger.”

Lada & Radu:

”I ask only what he is willing to do. Nothing more.”
“Then I do know him better, you fool. Radu would do anything for you.”
Mehmed looked away, a dark flush spreading across his cheeks.
“You know…” Lada’s eyes narrowed to thin slits, her fists clenched so tightly they ached. “You know that he is in love with you.”

I love Lada for hating Mehmed because of Radu! *lol* I blame it all on the Slytherin sleeping peacefully inside of me. ;-P But seriously, their sibling relationship is one of the best things about this series. Because they are true siblings in every sense of the word. I hate that Mehmed is still standing between them and I hope that one day they’ll realize that their relationship is more important than any man. Even if it’s the sultan! I really hope they’ll make amends once they meet each other and the Slytherin in me hopes that they’ll both tell Mehmed to go to hell! *lol* I can dream, right?! I guess if it wouldn’t have been for Mehmed their petty rivalry from their childhood would have already been a distant memory, but since they are still fighting for the attention of the same man they aren’t where they are supposed to be. At least not sibling relationship wise. I just hope they won’t realize their mistakes too late.

”Where was he? Was he safe? Of all the things she held against Mehmed, jeopardizing Radu’s safety was the greatest. If Radu was hurt, she would never forgive Mehmed. Radu was not an acceptable sacrifice, not for any city.”

Radu & Cyprian:

”Be careful,” Cyprian said, running a finger as soft as a whisper along Radu’s palm. “We need these hands.” Cyprian looked up and Radu found himself unable to bear the intensity of his gaze. Cyprian released his hands, laughing awkwardly. “We need all the hands we can get.”
“Yes,” Radu murmured, still feeling Cyprian’s finger tracing his palm.

Now that … oh my! Where do I even start?! Radu has got to be one of the most unfortunate book characters I ever came across. This boy has absolutely no luck when it comes to love. At first he fell for Mehmed who only uses him and then he falls for Cyprian whom he betrayed for Mehmed. I can’t with this ship! Honestly! Cyprian and Radu were such a lovely ship and slow burn but ARGH did it kill me to know that Radu was betraying Cyprian every step of the way. It killed Radu too. Obviously! Truth be told, Cyprian is too precious for this world. The mere fact he agreed to protect Nazira and to take care of her even though he was fully aware that Radu betrayed him and was responsible for the death of Constantine… I have no words! Cyprian is an angel! <333 And I really, really hope that he will find forgiveness for Radu in the next book because Radu needs someone like him in his life. But still, the betrayal!!! T_T GAH! Why is their relationship so doomed?!

”I feared for your safety.” Radu embraced Cyprian again, both because it was warm and comforting against the weariness of this long night, and because it was the only way he could hide how touched and sad he was that Cyprian’s first fear had been for Radu’s traitorous life.

”He will not kill me,” Radu repeated, waiting for Cyprian to understand. The foundation in Cyprian’s eyes crumbled like the walls around them.
Cyprian stumbled back, shaking his head. “All this time,” he whispered.

Radu & Nazira:

”You do not need to worry about me.”
“I do not worry because I need to. I worry because I care about you. I want to see you happy. And I do not think Edirne holds any happiness for your.” She emphasized Edirne, making it clear that it was not the capital she spoke of, but what – or rather, whom – that capital held.

Those two! They might only have a fictitious marriage but their friendship and their affection for each other is true and real. I love how deeply they care about each other and how they want each other to be happy! Radu is always watching out for Nazira and tries his best to keep her safe and Nazira has his back and tells him the things he needs to hear. They work so well together and even though their marriage is fake I still think they have a truly beautiful relationship. Nazira is such a precious character as well and I love her so much!! <333 Everyone should have a Nazira in their life. She’s such a nourishing, kind and caring character. XD I love her!

Radu drew her close. “You know I will make certain you are taken care of. No matter what.”
Nazira laughed sadly against his chest. “There you go again, assuming I am worried for myself. You never account for others loving you for you, Radu, rather than what you can do for them. It is my greatest prayer that someday you will know enough of love to recognize when it is freely given.”

”You do not know him. Besides, I do not wish anything more from him than his friendship.”
“You are welcome to lie to me, but please stop lying to yourself. Whatever your hopes are with him, I promise they will never be realized.”
“You have found love.”
“Yes. With someone who could return it. But you refuse to let go of this festering love for a man who is incapable of loving you.”
Radu blinked back tears. “Do I not deserve love?”
She put her hand on Radu’s cheek. “Sweet Radu, you deserve the greatest love the world has ever seen. I simply do not think Mehmed is capable of loving anyone the way you love him.”

”When I am with Fatima, what I feel is pure and good. I cannot imagine a god who hates anything that is love, any way we find to take tender care of each other. I want you to find that same love, and I never want you to hate yourself for any love that is in you.”

”I know it is not rational. None of the people here were responsible for what happened to Fatima. But their mindless hatred of us, their demonizing of Islam, is what let those men do what they did. It was wicked of me to come here with so much hatred in my heart. Hatred makes monsters of us all.”

”You almost make me believe in fate, for how unfortunate yours is.”

Radu & Mehmed:

”I am glad you are here,” Mehmed said.
Radu smiled bitterly. “That makes one of us.”

I hate Mehmed so much for leading Radu on! I guess some part of me always knew that Mehmed was aware of Radu’s feelings for him but to actually get solid proof! To hear that Radu was just the means to an end he used in order to get Constantinople. ARGH! He used and abused Radu’s love and trust and I can’t with Mehmed anymore! Such a foul move! He knew Radu would do everything for him because he loves him and he shamelessly used that love to his advantage. How vile of a creature can you be? Honestly, at this point I just want Mehmed out of the picture so that Radu can finally get the love he deserves. I’m afraid as long as Mehmed is alive Radu will always return to him though. And IT. KILLS. ME.!!! Radu needs to be free of this man but he’s always drawn to him like a moth to a flame.  >_< I have no idea how the last book will end but I hope it will end with a happy Radu.

”I thought this would feel different,” Mehmed said, melancholy shaping his words like a song. He leaned against Radu, finally giving him the contact he had craved for so long.
“So did I,” Radu whispered.

”The ambassador, you mean? He quite liked you. I could see it at Edirne.”
Radu realized with a sickening lurch of his stomach that Mehmed was dancing around a question, trying to determine whether or not Radu cared for Cyprian in the same way. Which meant that Mehmed knew Radu had the feelings for men that he was supposed to have for women.
Which meant Mehmed could not possibly be unaware of the feelings Radu had nurtured for him all these years. Shame welled up in him, but a new feeling came, too. Radu felt … used.”

Lada & her men:

She had left behind love and ridden off to a future devoid of power. “I have nothing,” she whispered.
Nicolae nudged hi horse even closer to hers, until their legs brushed. “You still have us,” he said, his voice soft with understanding. “We will figure something out.”

Did I ever mention that I love Lada and her men? I’m so glad she has them with her and they are truly one hell of a nice company. *lol* Nicolae is definitely still my favourite and I really hope that he’ll survive the last book as well. As for Bogdan: I’m  afraid sooner or later he’ll realize that Lada is only using him and can’t return his feelings for her and I’m kind of worried how this will end. Love and hatred are two emotions that are close to each other and I just hope Bogdan’s unrequited love for Lada won’t kill her. XD Stefan is so precious too! ❤ Anyway, I’m sure Lada’s men will be loyal in the last book too, but I’m worried about Nicolae and Bogdan. >_<

Lada laughed, patting Bogdan’s knee. Then she tossed a handful of dirt and dry evergreen needles at Nicolae. “No one asked for your opinion.”
“My opinions are gifts I distribute freely, asking neither permission nor payment.”
“Take your gifts elsewhere,” Bogdan grumbled.

”What we do now, we do so that someday mercy will be able to survive here.”
“But the children.” Nicolae’s voice was as empty as a boyar’s promise.
“You said you would follow me to the ends of the earth.”
“Gods’s wounds, Lada,” he whispered, shaking his head. “Someday you will go further than I can follow.”

Lada & Hunyadi:

”Hunyadi’s love and trust was a valuable thing; it meant more to Lada than she had thought possible. But he could not get her the throne. And she did not feel the pull of Constantinople that all the men in her life seemed to. Hunyadi, she cared about. Constantinople was only a city.
Wallachia, though. Wallachia was everything.”

I never expected Hunyadi to become some sort of father figure for Lada but it actually happened and I really liked their relationship. It’s a shame Hunyadi died because he was one of the few people that saw Lada’s true self and accepted her the way she is. She would have needed him to stay at her side for a longer time, but unfortunately he died because of Mehmed’s war strategies. I think with Hunyadi’s guidance she would have never come to the point she is at now, but his influence on her is gone and without it I’m kind of worried of what will become of Lada. >_<

”That is how we are alike. We saw everything that was not ours, and we hungered. Do not lose that hunger. You will always have to fight for everything. Even when you already have it, you will have to keep fighting to maintain it. You will have to be more ruthless, more brutal, more everything. Any weakness will undo everything you have accomplished. They will see any crack as evidence that they were right that a woman cannot do what you do.”

4

I enjoyed the second book at least as much as I enjoyed the first one. Maybe even more because the pacing felt a little bit faster than in “And I Darken”. It was interesting to see how the characters developed and how they grew.  The character arc of Radu and Lada… chef’s kiss! Even though I suffered with them I still love how Kiersten White managed to let them grow. This said: If you already liked the first book I’m sure you’ll love this one as well! XD

A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

Review: A Gathering of Shadows (V.E. Schwab)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 9 on My Book List 2021

”People could only hurt you if you cared enough to let them.”

I think this quote describes the vibe of the book in a nutshell. “A Gathering of Shadows” is all about the characters and their strong feelings for each other. Sometimes those feelings get in the way and make it impossible to grow and to be who they truly are and sometimes those feelings help them to realize what is important. At times to read this book felt like you’re staunching a wound and no matter what you do, it always starts to bleed anew.

The repercussions of what happened in the finale of “A Darker Shade of Magic” are perceptible in every single word of the story and I was hurting with the characters so much it wasn’t normal anymore. While Rhy and Kell are trying their best to ignore what happened to them, while they try to come to terms with their changed reality and their place in the grand scheme of things, Lila and Alucard are just trying to have the time of their lives. And I was thankful for it, because the Lila/Alucard Duo was a really good counterweight to Rhy and Kell.

As for the third plot line… gosh I was so anxious about what would happen. The knowledge that there was a new force at work in White London had me all kinds of worried and it felt like a looming presence above my head. Do you know the expression: “It hangs like a sword of Damocles above/over sth”? Well, I think that about nails the overall feeling of dread I experienced while reading the book. >_< This said I think I’ll head to my characters section now because I need to get rid of a lot of thoughts and they’ll be spoilery so consider yourself warned! 😉

2
Welcome to Red London! If you have magic running through your veins I’m sure you’ll enjoy the Essen Tasch! The finest of our finest will duel each other and not everyone is going to survive the spoilery fun! Tread carefully and try to stay out of trouble. The spoilers? Well, if you continue to read they’ll find you anyway.

Lila:

”People survived by being cautious, but they got ahead by being bold.”

I guess I got the answer to my question: Lila became a pirate, indeed. *lol* I personally liked her more in this book because she finally opened up and we got a good glimpse at her true personality. In the first book I could never get a grasp of her but this time around we were finally allowed to dive a little bit deeper into her personality. She doesn’t like to let anyone in because she is scared of her own feelings, but despite all her cool exterior and bravado she cares a lot about the people she spends her time with. Alucard and his crew grew on her and Rhy and Kell seem to own a special place in her heart as well. Lila’s determination to do whatever she wants is something I totally admire about her. She sets her eyes on a goal and she doesn’t cave until she made it. Her participation in the Essen Tasch was very reckless but I guess she’s one of those people that need to test their own limits and strength. And truth be told, if I would discover magic in myself I’d want to test and try it out too. *lol*I mean, who wouldn’t? ;-P

”Lila was a quick study, and she knew how to keep up a front; but behind the mask of disinterest, she took in everything. She was a sponge, soaking up the words and customs, training herself to see something once and be able to pretend she’d seen it a dozen – a hundred – times before.”

”She wanted to push away from the table and walk out, walk away, break the cords that tied her to this ship and this crew and this life, and start over. Whenever she felt the weight of those bonds, she wished she could take her sharpest knife and cut them free, carve out the part of her that wanted, that cared, that warmed at the feeling of Alucard’s hand on her shoulder, Tav’s smile, Stross’s nod.”

”The thing about freedom, Kell? It doesn’t come naturally. Almost no one has it handed to them. I’m free because I fought for it. You’re supposed to be the most powerful magician in all the worlds. If you don’t want to be here, then go.”

Kell:

” The truth was, Kell’s blood pulsed with a restless beat, while the thing that coursed within it longed for activity. Something had been roused in him, and it didn’t seem intent on going back to sleep.”

Okay, my hope that things would get better for Kell in “A Gathering of Shadows” was crushed the moment I first read his POV. My poor red-head suffered even more than he did in the first book and most of it was due to his connection with Rhy and the behaviour of his “parents”. I hated that they treated him like a criminal and even though I understood that they wanted to keep Rhy save I still detested them for the way they treated Kell. The fact that he could feel each and every single one of Rhy’s emotions and his pain certainly didn’t help to make him feel better and his slow but gradual suffocation was noticeable throughout the entire book. I bled with Kell and I could understand his need to be free. His entire life turned bitter and he realized that he was never truly a part of the Maresh family and only a means to an end. And then this horrible ending!!! ARGH!!! As if he hadn’t suffered enough already! I really hope my boy will be safe in the next book and that Lila will be able to rescue him.

”But that was the thing. Kell would never be free. No matter how far he fled. He’d given up freedom with is life, when he handed it to Rhy.”

”Rhy had always been fickle, but now Kell felt his brother’s ever-shifting temperament, the constant oscillation, and it was maddening. Space meant nothing. They could be standing side by side or Londons apart. There was no escape.
More and more, the bond felt like a chain.”

Rhy:

”He could feel it, whatever it was, hovering in the air around him, waiting until the sun went down and the world got quiet. Quiet enough to think. Thoughts, those were the waiting things, and once they started up, he couldn’t seem to silence them.
Saints, how he tried.”

You know, I’m kinda sad I never got to see more of the carefree and funny Rhy because the ending of “A Darker Shade of Magic” obviously left its traces on his personality as well. The Rhy in this book was very serious and haunted by his past. Then again I suppose to die and to come back to life will do that to a person. His life force is bound to Kell and what one of them does is felt by the other so it’s no wonder the Rhy in this book was more mature and intense. He feels responsible for everything that happened to his people and Kell and he just can’t seem to be able to live with what he did. I really hope someone is going to tell him that it wasn’t his fault and that him wanting to be a better prince and worthy was the thing that caused him to use the necklace. His fault wasn’t to fall for Holland’s trick because he wanted to be stronger; his fault was to try to please his parents and to think that the power he already has wouldn’t be enough. All that self-hatred… it will destroy him from the inside out. I really hope someone (hopefully Alucard) will be able to get through to him.

”Kell. My greatest fear in life isn’t dying. It’s being the source of someone else’s suffering. I know you feel trapped. I know I’m your cage. And I can’t –“ His voice broke, and Kell could feel his brother’s pain, everything he tried to smother until dark and drown until morning. “You will do this,” said Rhy. “For me. For both of us.”

”Every day. I wake up wanting to be a stronger person. A better prince. A worthy king. That want, it’s like a fire in my chest. And then, there are these moments, these horrible, icy moments when I remember what I did …” His hand drifted to his heart. “To myself. To you. To my kingdom. And it hurts…” His voice trembled. “More than dying ever did. There are days when I don’t feel like I deserve this.”

”He’d always envied his brother’s strength.
And now, in a horrible way, it was his.
He was immortal.
And he hated it.
And he hated that he hated it. Hated that he’d become the thing he never wanted to be, a burden to his brother, a source of pain and suffering, a prison. Hated that if he’d had a choice, he would have said no. Hated that he was grateful he hadn’t had a choice, because he wanted to live, even if he didn’t deserve to.”

3
Lila & Kell:

”Oh yes, your relationship with Miss Bard is positively ordinary.”
“Be quiet.”
“Crossing worlds, killing royals, saving cities. The marks of every good courtship.”
“We weren’t courting,” snapped Kell. “In case you forgot, she left.”

I really like those two and I definitely want more of them! I mean their kiss was … for lack of a better word hot and I think we deserve to see more of this ship. It’s a really slow burn but I actually like that about it. It probably comes with the nature of both of them. While Kell is all restraint and the brooding kind of type, Lila is all recklessness and bravado. Their personalities are quite a contrast but we all know opposites attract. ;-P I guess before we can find out if their ship is going to work out Lila will have to save her man first though! And I really hope she’ll do it fast because my boys are suffering and I need them to survive this!!! T_T

”They crashed into each other as if propelled by gravity, and he didn’t know which of them was the object and which the earth, only that they were colliding. This kiss as Lila pressed into a single gesture. Her brazen pride and her stubborn resolve, her recklessness and her daring and her hunger for freedom. It was all those things, and it took Kell’s breath away.”

Rhy & Kell:

To his surprise, Rhy shot him a scowl. “I’m invested in my kingdom, Brother,” he snapped. “You should be, too.”
“I’m not their prince,” observed Kell. He was in no mood for Rhy’s attitude. “I’m just the one who has to clean up his messes.”

I love their brotherly bond so much but it definitely suffered in this book. Both of them didn’t know how to cope with the situation they found themselves in and both of them tried to atone for what they did in their own way. I wish they would have done it together, that they would have addressed all those things that stood between them more directly. Their relationship was so strained and it hurt to see them together. They were both bleeding and I think the only ones who could stop it are Kell and Rhy themselves. I really hope they’ll talk it out in the last book and that their relationship will be more relaxed again. I mean yes, their fate is bound together but if they are on the same page they could do so many great things. I want them to find peace in the next book and I genuinely hope they will.

”These days, Rhy always seemed to be the source of Kell’s suffering, while Kell himself walked around as if the world were suddenly made of glass, all because of Rhy. It wasn’t even in the end, wasn’t balanced, wasn’t fair. Rhy held Kell’s pain in his hands, while Kell held Rhy’s life in his.”

”Kell.” Rhy sat forward, elbows on his knees. “I was dead.”
The words hung in the air between them.
“I was dead,” he said again, “and you brought me back. You have already given me something I shouldn’t have.” A shadow flashed across his face when he said it, there and then gone. “If it were lost again,” he went on, “I would still have lived twice. This is all borrowed.”

Alucard & Rhy:

Rhy turned to say something, but Alucard’s mouth was already there on his. Hands tangled in hair, clutched at coats. They were a collision, spurred by the force of three years apart.
“You missed me,” said Alucard. It was not a question, but there was a confession in it, because everything about Alucard – the tension in his back, the ways his hips pressed into Rhy’s, the race of his heart and the tremor of his voice – said that the missing had been mutal.

Now that came as a surprise! I knew there was something between them by the way they acted around each other but woah their romance totally caught me off guard. I guess this is mostly due to the fact that Alucard is a newly introduced character and that we didn’t know much about his past before his ship docked at London. I’m all aboard the Rhylucard/Alurhy?! ship though so please let more of those scenes come way! *lol* It’s so obvious Alucard is totally besotted with Rhy and I’m ready to see more of Rhy’s true feelings for the rakish captain as well. More, please?! XD

Alucard & Lila:

”There was a measure of theatre to everything Alucard did. She wondered how many other parts he could play. Wondered which, if any, were not a part, but the actor beneath.”

”Lila really should have killed him, back when they first met. Back before she could know him. Back before she could like him so much.”

I’m a huge fan of their friendship and I think they should continue to be just friends. Not gonna lie, the chemistry between them was amazing but they are both too reckless and probably would get each other killed. Their flame would burn bright and then blow out. *lol* I can’t blame Lila for giving into Alucard’s advances though. I mean that man is a really nice package! ;-P A deceitful and cunning package but a nice package nevertheless. XD

”Tell me,” he whispered, “was that better than winning a bet?”
She was breathless. “You make a valid argument.”
“I’d love to press the point,” he said, “but first …” He cleared his throat, and looked down at the knife she had resting against the inside of his leg.
“Reflex,” she said with a smirk, returning the weapon to its sheath.”

Lila & Rhy:

Lila’s expression hardened. “Whatever he feels for me, it isn’t love.”
“Because it isn’t soft and sweet and doting?” Rhy rocked back, stretching against the pillar. “Do you know how many times he’s nearly beat me senseless out of love? How many times I’ve done the same? I’ve seen the way he looks at those he hates…” He shook his head. “There are very few things my brother cares about, and even fewer people.”

The bond between those two surprised me as well. Lila and Rhy really seem to care about each other and I loved their tiny interactions. I’m glad Rhy kind of seems to function as a translator between Kell and Lila because I think otherwise those two would always talk past each other. XD Also can we appreciate how Lila’s first reaction, when she saw an upset Rhy, was to ask him who she needed to kill? I loved this so much because ARGH! Coming from Lila this means the world! <33 Lila and Rhy give me a Blue and Ronan vibe and I’m so here for it! I can’t wait to see more of their interactions in the next book and I hope there will be many.

He ducked his head and let out a shuddering sigh. Lila hesitated. She knew she should probably bow, kiss his hand, or swoon – at the very least explain what she was doing there, in the private palace halls, as close to the prison as anyone would let her – but instead she flicked her fingers, producing a small blade. “Who do I need to kill?”
Rhy let out a stifled sound, half sob, half laugh, and sank onto his haunches, still gripping the wooden edge of the table.”

The King & Queen and Kell:

Kell swallowed. “Will they never forgive me?”
“Which would you rather have? Their forgiveness, or Rhy’s life?”
“I shouldn’t have to choose,” he snapped.

I absolutely hated Rhy’s parents in this. His mum didn’t do anything and King Maxim was so unfair to Kell that I wanted to take him by the shoulders and shake some sense into him. I think Kell suffered enough and he did it all to save their son because Rhy got himself into a sticky situation that almost killed him. How is that Kell’s fault? They can blame him for dark magic finding its way into their kingdom and for being a smuggler but they can’t blame him for saving their son’s life. The Dane Twins plot would have fruited no matter what Kell did. It wasn’t his fault that Rhy felt a need to be stronger for his people. Plus Holland could have easily caused trouble without involving Kell. After all he’s an Antari too and can travel between the worlds. If King Maxim would have been fair to Kell and would have trusted him the ending of this book would have never happened. So everything that happens now is on him. I hope he’ll realize this before everything goes to hell. >_<

He stilled. “No. But we both know this isn’t about what’s good for me.”
“You’re right. It’s about what’s good for our kingdom. And if you are loyal to this crown, and to this family, you will confine yourself to this palace until the tournament is over. Am I understood?”

”I can’t keep atoning,” Kell whispered into the king’s shoulder. “I gave him my life, but you cannot ask me to stop living.”

4
I really enjoyed “A Gathering of Shadows” and I can’t wait to read the last book of the series. Since the Essen Tasch was a huge part of this story I couldn’t help but draw parallels to Jay Kristoff’s “Godsgrave” though. Both books were the second book of a series and focused on a deadly tournament while the main plot was still running in the background. My weird brain is probably the only one that saw those similarities… Anyway! I absolutely loved the world and the characters Schwab created and I’m very curious where this series will end. I’m definitely more than just willing to find out. 😉

Allgemein, Bookish Fox Knowledge

December Wrap-Up

Wrap Up

I’m really trying to be positive now that a new year has just begun so I’ll say it with all the joy and enthusiasm I can muster: December sucked. *lol* Big time! XD If I thought I wasn’t reading a lot in November, I’m almost ashamed of how little I read in December. I actually only manged to read two books and the only reason why „The Lost Apothecary“ fell into this month too was the fact that I FORGOT to add it to my November Wrap Up. Which says enough about the state I was in those last couple of months. *lol*

Like seriously! How could I forget to add it to my Wrap Up? Anyway I said I’d have a positive attitude in 2022 and I’ll try my best! So here I go! I’m typing this after spending two weeks in the blissful bubble named „home“ and I regret nothing! I only went out to go grocery shopping and to go for walks and I met my family and friends three times in total. I spent Christmas with my family, my sister’s family and my parents. Then I visited my aunts and uncle on Silvester and I met one of my besties. That’s it. (Mind you, technically speaking my country is still in some sort of lockdown because of Omicron) So if you’re asking yourself what I did on all those other days:

I cleaned my flat, I played with my kid, I did the laundry, I cooked for my family, I took naps… an indecent amount of them tbh but I was so exhausted I just needed them, I watched Netflix, I listened to BTS and watched some of their videos, I READ (Yes, I actually managed to finish two books I had on my „currently reading“ since August 2021), I edited videos, I wrote blog posts and reviews, I came up with about a gazillion ideas that need to be turned into practice and I just unwound from all the stress I had those last couple of months. Plus I started to do something against my allergies and asthma and I hope the therapy will work. In short: I enjoyed my vacation and I hope this energy will last until July because it will be the next time I can go on vacation.

So on that happy note let’s jump right into my monthly Wrap Up, shall we?! XD

Books read: 3 (3 books & 0 webcomic, 3 books… that’s gotta be the worst reading month ever)

Pages read: 915 (It was so bad I didn’t even manage to read 1.000 pages. *lol*)

Average rating: 3,67 (It seems like my December was pretty average as well.)

Books that were on my reading list: 0 ( 0 from 2019, 0 from 2020 and 0 from 2021. Umm yeah… what can I say? *lol* Mood reading is a thing? XD)

December Reads:

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The Lost Apothecary: 4 Pfoten

I really enjoyed reading this book and even thought the story was pretty simple I still wanted to know what would happen next. Also this book got me in a moral dilemma because on the one hand I pulled for the apothecary but on the other hand I couldn’t condone her actions. *lol* Tbh I still don’t know how I feel about the apothecary but I think that’s exactly why this book stuck with me and was so good to read. Also the cover!!! Look at this gorgeous cover. ❤

The Gravity of Us: 3 Pfoten

When I finished the book I was certain it would be a four paws read but then I had time to think about it and in the end it turned out to be 3. Don’t get me wrong, this book was great and had a lot of things I loved to read about: science, the history of space travel and social media and media in general. There were some things that felt slightly off though and they are the reason for my 3 paws rating. If you know me, you know that 3 paws is still a great rating and only means I had some issues with the book. This said I’m definitely going to read Phil Stampers next story! =)

Mexican Gothic: 4 Pfoten

I’m so glad I finally managed to read this! „Mexican Gothic“ was a book that had me intrigued from the moment I picked it up and I really loved the atmosphere in this book. I mean High Place is always surrounded by fog, stands next to a cemetery and the house is old and falling apart. Not to mention the weird Doyle family that inhabits it and is pretty hostile towards our MC. (And that is the understatement of the century. *lol*) So yeah, if you’re a scaredy fox like me I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

Rankenzeile

How was your December? Did you read many books and were you more successful at finishing them than I was? *lol*  Which books did you read and did you enjoy them? Do we have some in common? How were your Christmas holidays? Were you as asocial as I was? (I don’t regret it, for once I really needed time for myself and away from others) Did you get books for Christmas and if yes which ones?

Talk to me and let me know! 😉

And as always take care and stay healthy and safe!

*hugs’n’kisses*

signature

The Sassy Library Fox

Allgemein, Bookish Fox Knowledge

Top 15 of my bookish 2021 – The Awesome, The Meagre & The Series + Book Recs from You?!

Hey there my lovelies!

2021 is over and 2022 will hopefully turn out to be better than the last year! I really hope your 2022 started well and that you’re having a good time already. =) This said I want to begin the new year with a look at the old one. So since this became some sort of blog tradition I decided that I’d write another one of my „The Awesome, The Meagre & The Series“ blog posts! My initial goal for this year was to read 45 books and even though I managed to hit that number in October I still had a very though time to finish my challenge because I was in the worst reading slump ever. It started in August and stuck with me until December. (If you compare the number of books I read from January – June: 32 with the books I read from July – December: 25 you can see how bad it actually was.) I know 7 books doesn’t look like much but considering I usually read 4 – 5 books a month this was 1,5 months worth of reading for me. XD

Anyway! I’m out of my slump now and I hope it stays that way! *lol* Let’s do this and go for the traditional summary of my reading year 2021! Read about „The Awesome, The Meagre & The Series“! 😛

I hope you’ll enjoy it!

The Awesome:

– Felix Ever After

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This book had me curious for ages and everyone who read it was raving about it so of course I couldn’t resist to read it as well. Especially not when I found it sitting on the shelf of my library. I mean alone the cover!! And let me tell you: It was really as good as everyone claimed it would be! I loved to read „Felix Ever After“ and it’s one of those books that truly stayed with me because it made me think about a lot of things. For instance about how others perceive me, how I see myself, how I want to be seen. I just loved that about it! A great book and a thought-provoking one at that. XD

If This Gets Out

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I was lucky enough to get an ARC for this and I’m so happy I was allowed to dive into „If This Gets Out“! This book had everything I love in my books: A LGBTQ+ rep, music, band life, the best-friends-to-lovers trope with a dash of forbidden love, found family and to top it all off even a tour/road trip element. *lol* Yes, I’m gonna be honest here: Ruben and Zach were so frustrating sometimes but we love to suffer, right? XD

House of Earth and Blood:

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This book was a masterpiece and I mean it! I always loved Sarah J. Maas’s books and I’m a huge fan of her, but with this one… well she knocked it out of the park! ❤ I LOVED this book so much and even though it took me quite a while to get into the story because there were so many details I needed to know in order to move on, I ultimately ended up adoring this book. I have no idea how Sarah wants to top this because this was only book one in a series, but whatever she’ll come up with next: I’m game! 😉

The Raven King:

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Okay, I gotta be honest here: My heart is still a bleeding and raw mess after reading „The Raven King“. This book was… I have no words. It killed me… What Andrew and Neil go through in this second installment is not… I just want to hug my babies and hide them from the cruel world they live in. GAH!! I have no idea how I’m going to survive the last book but I’m so going to read it because I want to know what happens with my Foxes. *mental breakdown* 

 I Was Born for This

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I love Alice Oseman’s books and I love books that have to do with bands, fandoms and music so this was basically everything I ever wanted. Not to mention that it also had LGBTQ+ reps because we’re talking about an Alice Oseman book here. 😉 In short: I was a happy camper and I gobbled this up like nobody’s business. *lol* So good and definitely one of my favourite Oseman books. 😀

The Meagre:

Darkdawn:

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Sooo…. while I gave this book four paws in total and still enjoyed it somehow it definitely was my least favourite book of the series. We had a specific theme in „Nevernight“, we had a theme in „Godsgrave“ but „Darkdawn“!? Well, if you ask me it was all over the place and the ending was kind of anticlimactic. At least for me it was. Plus even though I’m a LGBTQ+ shipper all the way, I just couldn’t ship THAT ship. I love Mia but I didn’t love… her love interest and my Yoongi and I were constantly rolling our eyes. Nope, that didn’t work for me… at all. We’re probably in the minority here but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. 

– Elusion by Zoe Parker:

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I gave this book three paws and it definitely was one of the weirdest books I ever read. I mean at first we have darkness, abuse, torture and hopelessness, lather, rinse, repeat. Over and over again I might add and then all of a sudden at around half of the book everything changed so drastically that it felt like I was reading an entirely different book. And I just couldn’t with that… so yeah. 

– The Heir by Kiera Cass:

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Heaven save me from spoiled brats that are supposed to inherit a throne! *lol* No, seriously! I just couldn’t stand Eadlyn… at all. She was such an dislikable character and to say it with one of my bestie’s words: „Eadlyn is everything America was not.“ And we mean that in a bad way. 😉 The boys in the book were nice (okay, most of them were) but Eadlyn. Nope. Also the fact that she made a 180 degree character turn in the second installment was so unbelievable that I got a rash from fanserviceritis. Conclusion: Definitely not for me. 

– Broken Throne by Victoria Aveyard:

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This book was okay and I think that’s exactly my problem. About half of the stories in here I didn’t need to read because I already read the short stories when they came out with the books and the other half of new stories wasn’t really doing it for me. „World Behind“ and „Fire Light“ were the two short stories I liked the most, but the rest of the book wasn’t all too engaging. Also: You would have thought that Victoria would finally give us some background stoy on Maven and Thomas or even somthing about Maven’s youth, but she didn’t and I’m… disappointed. 

– Superman:

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I mean this wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t amazing either. I read all the previous DC Icons books and I’ve to say that this was the weakest in the entire series so far. Maybe it’s because Superman is too perfect and good? *lol* I like my superheroes with eges. XD 

The Series:

– The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan:

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I just love Uncle Rick’s books! ❤ He writes the best adventure stories ever and „The Mark of Athena“ was no exception to the rule. I actually wanted to finish „The Heroes of Olympus“ series in 2021 but then my reading slump hit and I saved it for 2022. There are only two books left so I’m sure I will be able to finish it this year. I guess after that „The Kane Chronicles“ will be up next. =)

– The Folk of the Air by Holly Black:

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I absolutely loved „The Cruel Prince“ and „The Wicked King“. Those two books were amazing and for someone like me who loves faeries and court intrigues this was perfect. Also Cardan and Jude! I mean honestly, do I have to say more about that love-hate relationship? *lol* As for „The Queen of Nothing“ it was good but not as good as the former books. The ending was kinda weird as well but also somehow fitting for „faerie tales“?! 

– Themis Files by Sylvain Neuvel:

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Now this series came as a total surprise! I didn’t expect to like it so much and everyone who saw my TBR video about it knows that I was very skeptical about the „mysterious giant hand“. *lol* I stand corrected though because this was great! Truth be told, I don’t understand why not more people rave about this! I mean if you loved „Illuminae“ I’m sure you’ll love this one as well. 

– The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer:

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I actually managed to continue with this series in 2021 and read „Scarlet“ and „Cress“! Of course I loved them both and I have such a soft spot for Cress. She’s really amazing and I just want to cuddle and hug her. Same goes for Kai! Love that man to bits and pieces! ❤ Still, the ending of „Cress“ had me so worried about all those beloved characters and I hope they will be fine when I read „Winter“ this year. I’m planning to finish the series in 2022 so you can watch out for my review of the last book. 😉 

Railhead by Philip Reeve:

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This series is very beloved by the Yoongi to my V and I got very curious about it. Needless to say I grabbed it off the shelf as soon as I saw it at my library. *lol* And of course I loved it when I read it because my Yoongi has impeccable taste when it comes to books! ❤ We also share brain cells so that might be another reason why I knew that I’d enjoy it. XD Anyway! This was great! I loved the idea of sentient locos, space travel through wormholes and of motoriks. I’ll definitely make sure to pick up book two soon. 

Rankenzeile

So this was my year 2021 in 15 books! How was your 2021? Was it a good reading year for you? Did you manage to read all the books you wanted to read? Or did you fall into a huge reading slump as well? Are there some books you didn’t manage to read in 2021 and took into 2022?  Let me know in the comments! 😉

And because this has become a tradition too: Just like in the years before I want to give you a chance to throw in some of your book recommendations for My Book List 2022! My goal is to read 45 books in 2022 and the last 5 spots are up to you! Just write me your book recs in the comments and I’ll throw them in a bowl and pull out 5 of them! 😉 (I guess this year I’ll even make a video about it. I mean what is my BookTube for?! XD)

This said I wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR and I hope that your 2021 will be amazing and way better than 2021 was! ❤ I mean it gotta be better, right?! Right? *lol* And because it’s so important these days: Aside from happines, success, contentment, luck and lots of love I also wish you good health! 

Please take care an stay healthy and safe! 

*hugs’n’kisses*

Sig.V.Ronan

The Sassy Library Fox

Allgemein, Sassy Antics

SASSY Saturday

SASSY Saturday

Hey there my lovelies!

Welcome back to another round of my montly blog meme „SASSY Saturday“!

How does it work? Well, that’s easy! 😉

All you have to do is to follow those three golden rules:

1. Credit the creator of this tag (The Sassy Library Fox) and link back. (so I can see all your amazing answers!)
2. Answer the 5 questions below!
3. AND enjoy doing the blog meme! 😛 

„SASSY Saturday“ is planned to be a monthly meme but if you want to do it more often feel free to go for it! This meme was created to get to know other bloggers, their new obsessions and to reflect on your own last month! Above all it was created to have fun though! 😉 If you want you can also use the banner I created! This said let’s head to the good part:

S – Series you loved this month

Her Private Life: I was still watching „Her Private Life“ because I was horrible at watching TV series before Christmas. Too much stress had me falling asleep on my sofa so *lol* no tv series for me in December. I did manage to watch a couple of christmassy movies though so I suppose there’s that. I guess next month I’ll have watched more series again so stay tuned. 😉

A – Author you discovered

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Silvia Moreno-Garcia – Mexican Gothic

I rarely read in the genre of horror but this book was great! I really loved the atmosphere of „Mexican Gothic“ and the cemetery next to the house, the constant fog surrounding it, the mysterious happenings at High Place and it’s very odd and cold residents drew me in like nobody’s business. XD So if you’re looking for something mysterious that isn’t all too creepy and rather rocks the gross vibe I’m sure you’ll enjyo that one too. 😉


S – Song you couldn’t get enough of

V – Christmas Tree

How could I not talk about this beautiful song? I love Tae’s voice and the kind of music he makes as a solo artist. ❤ His music is so soothing and it always makes me happy to listen to his voice. Honestly, he never ceases to amaze me and I could listen to his songs for hours. (Scratch that, I actually DO listen to them for hours. *lol*) Anyway! This is the soundtrack to a new k-drama named „Our Beloved Summer“ and it just got on Netflix so you can bet I’ll watch the hell out of this too. *lol* Yoongi are you ready to watch it with me? XD

S – Surprise – Something that totally caught you off guard

Last month there was something positive and something negative that surprised me and caught me off guard:

1.) My BookTube channel grew immensely and I’m so thankful for all the new people that subscribed to it! Like seriously! You guys have no idea how much it means to me that you’re following my blog and subscribing to my channel. ❤ I think I’ll never stop being amazed by that. =)

2.) 3 of my precious seven boys are having Covid right now! T_T And that information reached ARMY on the 24th and the 25th of December. So it kind of felt like a blow in the middle of the holiday celebrations! I really wish them all the best and that they’ll all be healthy soon! NamYoonJin take care and take your time to get healthy again. ARMY will wait for you guys so you don’t have to worry! We’ll always be with you! Fighting! ❤

Y – Your fave blog post of another blogger

New Year, ____ Me by Isabelle @ Nine Tale Vixen

You all know I’m a sucker for poetry so it probably won’t surprise you that I chose a poem blog post this month. I loved Isabelle’s poem and I think it has a great message! We all should go into 2022 with positive thoughts and do what we love. Heaven knows the world is a grimm place right now so we should try to find happiness in the little things that give us joy! XD

Rankenzeile

What do you think about „SASSY Saturday“? Would you like to join the fun? Did you already listen to „Christmas Tree“? Did you watch more series than I and if yes can you recommend me some? XD What surprised you last month and who wrote your favourite blog post?

Talk to me and let me know! 😉

And as always, stay healthy and safe!

*hugs’n’kisses*

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The Sassy Library Fox

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

”When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. There is no act more wretched than stealing.”

I’m going to be honest with you. To read this book was a constant struggle, not because I didn’t like the writing style, not because it was bad and not because it was boring. No, if anything “The Kite Runner” was so hard to read because it was so exceptionally painful.

This book made me so sad! I felt helpless and angry and there were times I actually was more than just tempted to stop reading. Some of the chapters were just too hard to bear and the book touched me in a way I can’t even describe. It did something with me… and I’m still not sure whether this was good or bad.

All I know is that the injustice in this book made me furious and that I just have to think about it and already feel sick to my stomach again. There were so many serious topics in this book but I think what really got to me was the central theme of violence, injustice and abuse. To read “The Kite Runner” was so devastating and nerve-racking I actually couldn’t read more than two chapters a day. It was so upsetting that I found it difficult to motivate myself to read it and even though this was such a painful read, I still wanted to know what would happen next.

Amir’s and Hassan’s story was so horrible, appalling, powerful and beautiful at the same time. It left me completely broken and raw and I think my emotions are still all over the place. So if my review sounds a little incoherent and illogical you can blame it on the book hangover I’m currently suffering from. XD

”But we were kids who had learned to crawl together, and no history, ethnicity, society, or religion was going to change that either.

1
Amir and Hassan are best friends who grew up together and live in Kabul. They do almost everything together and one of their favourite hobbies is kite running. One day there is a local kite-fighting tournament Amir is determined to win and with the help of Hassan he is even able to achieve his goal. The victory of the tournament comes with a high price though and in the end their moment of happiness isn’t only short lived but also comes to an abrupt end. What happens after the competition destroys their lifelong friendship and shakes the foundations of their trust, the course of their lives changing as they try to deal with the repercussions of a single day.

”It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime, Amir,“ he said.

2
Beware there are plenty of spoilers lying ahead of you!!!

Amir:

”I pretended I was reading from the book, flipping pages regularly, but I had abandoned the text altogether, taken over the story, and made up my own. Hassan, of course, was oblivious to this. To him, the words on the page were a scramble of codes, indecipherable, mysterious. Words were secret doorways and I held all the keys.”

Puh, what to say about him? I think I never disliked a protagonist as much as I disliked the narrator of this story. I just couldn’t stand his younger self and I thought he wasn’t just egoistic but also spoiled and more than just unethical. The way Amir treated Hassan made me sick and his betrayal towards his best friend hurt so much! I mean how could he let this happen? How could he stand aside without intervening? How could he even think that Hassan is “just a Hazara”?! I don’t understand it and if I’m entirely honest I really think that it was good he felt bad throughout the entire book! His past haunted him and in the end it actually made him a better person. A person that stood up to bad people and a person I was finally able to forgive. It was a long journey for Amir but he eventually did the right thing and when I read the finial sentences of this book I was even proud of him. XD

”It’s all right.” I turned to the general. “You see, General Sahib, my father slept with his servant’s wife. She bore him a son named Hassan. Hassan is dead now. That boy sleeping on the couch is Hassan’s son. He’s my nephew. That’s what you tell people when they ask.”
They were all staring at me.
“And one more thing, General Sahib,” I said. “You will never again refer to him as a ‘Hazara boy’ in my presence. He has a name and it’s Sohrab.”

I waited 331 pages for that to happen!!! XD

Hassan:

”Then Hassan did pick up a pomegranate. He walked toward me. He opened it and crushed it against his own forehead. ‘There,’ he croaked, red dipping down his face like blood. ‘Are you satisfied? Do you feel better?’ He turned around and started down the hill.”

God bless his kind and innocent soul!!! This boy was an angel and I don’t even know how he was able to forgive Amir. As it seems he managed to do it though and my deep respect and love for his character will never cease. I loved Hassan with all my heart and I think his only flaw was that he was just too good to live in this sick and violent world. He would have deserved so much more than life gave him and when I found out about Sohrab’s ordeal I was more than just heartbroken. I was devastated!!! I know Hassan must have turned over in his grave and I felt so, so, so damn sorry for what happened to both of them.

Baba:

”The problem, of course, was that Baba saw the world in black and white. You can’t love a person who lives that way without fearing him too. Maybe even hating him a little.

Baba definitely was a very flawed character but I still couldn’t help but had to love him for it. There was so much good in him, yet he also had his bad sides. For a person that was described as seeing the world in black and white he actually was all different kinds of grey and in some way that made him extremely likeable and disagreeable at the same time. *lol* I think he was a very contradictory person and after finding out about his secret I was finally able to understand why. Still, I loved that despite everything he tried to be a righteous man and when it comes down to it he certainly had his heart in the right place.

”Ask him where his shame is.”
They spoke. “He says this is war. There is no shame in war.”
“Tell him he’s wrong. War doesn’t negate decency. It demands it, even more than in times of peace.”

”And now, fifteen years after I’d buried him, I was learning that Baba had been a thief. And a thief of the worst kind, because the things he’d stolen had been sacred: from me the right to know I had a brother, from Hassan his identity, and from Ali his honor. His nang. His namoos.”

Sohrab:

This boy B.R.O.K.E my heart and I don’t even know how I’m supposed to pick up the pieces. He was just ten!! Damn it!! I don’t understand how people can hurt children and I can’t even… *argharghsdfjklmno* I hate what Assef did to him and I’m so glad Sohrab got away from his clutches! Chapter 22 was so horrible to read… It made me sick to my stomach and I swear I was tempted to throw the book against a wall… Urgh… just to think about his hands on Sohrab… My heart aches so much for that little boy!!! He deserved a better childhood than that! Damn no!! He actually deserved a childhood to begin with!!!!

”I miss Father, and Mother too,” he croaked. “And I miss Sasa and Rahim Khan sahib. But sometimes I’m glad they’re not … they’re not here anymore.”
“Why?” I touched his arm. He drew back.
“Because –“ he said, gasping and hitching between sobs, “because I don’t want them to see me… I’m so dirty.” He sucked in his breath and let it out in a long, wheezy cry. “I’m so dirty and full of sin.”

And OMG that beautiful ending! That hopeful, amazing and beautiful ending! It killed me, it was the death of me, it was the final nail in my coffin!!! That sweet and gentle and shy boy!!!! XD I already get emotional just thinking about it! *blinking away tears*

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I hated the book! I loved the book!

I hated the injustice, the pain Ali, Hassan and Sohrab had to go through, I hated the way the Taliban treated everyone they considered to be wrong and different, I hated to read about the destruction of Amir’s hometown, I hated the violence, I hated the war, I hated to read about the many orphans, the hungry children on the street. I hated the way Amir acted when he was younger!!!

”She had a large purple bruise on her leg for days but what could I do except stand and watch my wife get beaten? If I fought, that dog would have surely put a bullet in me, and gladly! Then what would have happened to my Sohrab?”

But I loved the details about Afghan culture, I admired the bravery of Hassan and Baba, my heart sang whenever they tried to be righteous and good. In a world that had gone to hell they still tried to be decent, they still tried everything possible to stand up for their people, to do the right thing. They still had values and they didn’t just believe in them, they also acted according to them!!!

So yes, for me “The Kite Runner” was a very powerful book. It pushed my boundaries and forced me to fight through it! It made me think about unpleasant things, it forced me to see the bad and ugly things our world is made of, but it also showed me the good in people and their kindness!

If you can live with a broken heart and are able to deal with the pain, this book his highly recommended. If you’re one of the faint-hearted you better give it a wide berth.

As for me, I definitely will never re-read this book ever again! I’m kind of proud that I accomplished to read it though! XD

”For you, a thousand times over.”

Allgemein, K - O, L, Reviews

Review: Lord of Shadows (Cassandra Clare)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

When it comes to Lord of Shadows I really don’t even know where to start! I loved the book! I loved it so much I found myself rereading certain passages just because I couldn’t help myself but had to experience them again and again. =)

Cassie has always been one of my favourite authors and the more I read from her, the more I get captured in her world. It’s not just the world of the Shadowhunters though, it’s the entire package Cassandra Clare is giving to us. There were so many details and things I loved about this book and even though I will never have the time to list them all, I’m still going to try to write a proper review.

First of all I have to say that I love the world Cassandra Clare has built and even though it sometimes seems to be more than just cruel (“Sed lex dura lex”) it never fails to captivate me. Well, truth be told most of the time it’s even this kind of harshness that makes it so interesting, the obstacles and problems every single one of the Blackthorns has to overcome making the entire story line even more intoxicating and exciting. Thinking about it in retrospective the plot isn’t even that amazing and if I had to pinpoint why I still loved every line of the book, I would say that it’s the details and the love I found in every single word.

If you don’t like spoilers you should stop to read now, if you’re a sucker for spoilers: please feel free to continue! ;-P

Love, I think that’s actually the word that sums it up. There is love everywhere and all of the characters have plenty of it to give. There are Julian and Emma who try to fight their feelings, there are Ty and Kit who slowly but steadily seem to fall in love and there is the love triangle between Mark, Kieran and Cristina that left me almost breathless and broken. God I can’t even say how much I loved all of those relationships! I had to laugh, I had to cry, I wanted to tear the book apart and throw it against a wall. The ending literally killed me and even though I finished the book about a month ago I’m still far from being over it. Cassie how dare you to make such an ending!?!? I can’t wait to read the next book and the mere thought to wait two years is already enough to leave me in anguish! How could you do this to your follow readers?!?!?!

Well, enough of the ranting and back to the good stuff! Relationships are definitely something Cassandra Clare truly excels at and the more I read from her, the better her books seem to become. It’s obvious that she put a lot of effort into her characters and their world and the little hints at some of the other books never cease to amuse me.

“There were valuable first editions of books in the enormous library, most of them had been scribbled in by some idiot named Will H.”

Just to mention one of them. ;-P

So yes, since I liked the love relationships the most I’m going to get into detail now:

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Emma & Julian:

I adore Julian, I really do! He has the soul of an artist and he’s so complex that I can’t help but have to love him for it. I never met another character that was so driven by his love for his family, the fact he would do everything in order to protect his loved ones something that sometimes even gave me the chills. He is neither black nor white and his love for Emma only seems to emphasise his inner conflict. The tension between those two is almost tangible in the air and whenever I read about them I was reduced to a squealing fan girl. I really hope that they manage to find a way to break their parabatai bond and I don’t even want think about what will happen now that Livvy died…

“Why all these paintings of you? Because I’m an artist, Emma. These pictures are my heart. And if my heart was a canvas, every square inch of it would be painted over with you.” – Julian Blackthorn

Ty and Kit:

I love, love, love and love those two!! Every time they interacted I had a smile on my face and felt oddly peaceful. Ty is such a gentle boy and Kit understands him so well. It’s so obvious that the two of them care about each other deeply and even though Cassie is careful never to give us a palpable proof of their love, I was still able to read it in every single line. I liked all the parts that were from Kit’s POV and since he’s a Herondale I automatically loved him! *lol* I really hope there is going to be more of those two in the next book and I can’t even say how much I ship them! =)

“He let the shirt fall and grabbed a Tupperware container of cookies out of the fridge. Maybe he could frustrate the Shadowhunters by refusing to work out and sitting around eating carbs. I defy you, Shadowhunters, he thought, thumbing the top off the container and popping a cookie in his mouth. I mock you with my sugar cravings.” – Kit Herondale

“He grinned, and the grin changed his face completely. Ty when he was still and expressionless had an intensity that fascinated Kit; when he was smiling, he was extraordinary.” Kit about Ty

Mark/Cristina and Kieran:

Oh my god! I don’t even know how I should put their love triangle into words! I guess first of all I have to say that I’m usually no fan of love triangles and don’t like them because they always seem to be so cheesy and tedious. This time however I wanted them to be together so badly that it almost hurt! XD I can understand why Christina is kind of falling for both of them and even though I initially shipped Mark and Kieran in LM I have to admit that I’m all on the new ship right now! Of all the three of them I somehow loved Kieran the most and therefore truly hope that Mark will be able to forgive him for what he’s done. Since Kieran was taken to the Scholomance at the end of the book I don’t know how their love triangle is going to work out, I certainly hope that I will read a lot of them in the next book though!!! XD

“I do not love you as I love Cristina. I love you as I love you,” said Mark. He bent his head. “I wish that you could see my heart. Then you would understand.”

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I probably could go on and on about all the other awesome couples and their relationships! Dru’s friendship with Jaime, Diana and Gwyn (I loved how Gwyn reacted to her outing!!!), Jace and Clary, Alec and Magnus, they all were so awesome! For the sake of the poor person that actually decided to read through this review I’m going to end it now though! ;-P

All told I relished and loved every single moment of this book and I really, really, really would appreciate it if Cassandra Clare would write just a little bit faster! *LOL*

Allgemein, Book Tags

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Winter 2021 To-read List

TTT was created by The Broke and Bookish and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl (click here for upcoming TTT topics!).

Today’s Topic is: : Books on My Winter 2021 To-read List (or summer if you’re in the southern hemisphere) Okay, so I decided I’ll mostly go with the books I’m currently reading because *lol* I want to finish them all either before the year is over or during winter! So wish me luck! I’ll need it. *lol* T_T

1.) The Gravity of Us – Phil Stamper

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I’m currently about 24% into the book and I alreadly like Cal! I have no idea where „The Gravity Of Us“ is heading but I’m very intrigued by the concept of a Mars mission and hidden secrets that shouldn’t be exposed into the light of day. Also a m/m love story! I’m always here for a good LGBTQAI+ content. 😉

2.) Mexican Gothic – Silvia Moreno-Garcia

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I was supposed to read this in October but then my library had troubles to get it in time and in the end I borrowed it in the middle of November and only started to read it at the end of it. I recently watched „Crimson Peak“ and the old house and the mystery surrounding it kinda reminds me of the movie. I guess we’ll have to see where this is going. So far I’m 23% in and I didn’t get scared… yet. *lol*

3.) A Court of Silver Flames – Sarah J. Maas

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My reading buddies (Hello Jello & Kaitlyn!!) and I are sooo close to finishing this!! We’ve made it to 83% and I really hope we’ll be able to finish ACOSF during the winter holidays. We started to read this in April but life always seems to get in our way. >_< Still, we’ve come so far we’ll read the rest too. =)

4.) Now I Rise – Kiersten White

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Yes, this is also on my currently read. And yes I have way too many books on my currently read. I’m aware of that. *LOL* But argh! I was in a reading slump and instead of sitting it out and waiting for it to be over I tried to fight it by starting new books and now I have the salad. XD Still, I really like this so far, but I’m very worried about my babies Radu and Lada. Guess only time will tell if they’ll finally find their happiness.

5.) Rule of Wolves – Leigh Bardugo

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I’m sure you already guessed it: Yep, it’s on my current list too. T_T (Someone send help! Please! *lol*) This said I’m kinda undecided whether I like the direction in which this is heading or not. There doesn’t seem to be all too much of a plot but the characters most definitely make up for it. XD Can’t wait to see if my Zolai ship will sail. ❤ I really hope it will even though I have no idea how!

6.) A Small Hotel – Suanne Laqueur

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I am still reading this! *mental breakdown* Why am I such a horrible reader?! I was supposed to finish this in September but you know…. life! >_< I love Suanne’s books but my reading slump was horrible and I just couldn’t read „A Small Hotel“ because I knew I wouldn’t be able to give it all the attention it deserves. Still, I’ll finish it before the year is over! You have my word on this, Suanne! Promise and pinky swear!

7.) The House of Hades – Rick Riordan

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And here comes the last book on my currently reading! „The House of Hades“! You know you’re in a really terrible reading slump when you can’t even read one of Uncle Rick’s books! *lol* Guess that’s what I learned the hard way those last couple of months! T_T I’m so ready to dive into this book now that my slump is over though so my precious sons Nico and Percy here I come! ❤

8.) Girls of Paper And Fire – Natasha Noan

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In My December TBR video on BookTube I asked you which should be the third book I read in December and in the end „Girls of Paper and Fire“ made it on my TBR! So I’m totally ready to tackle this over the Christmas holidays because I’ve been dying to read this f/f fantasy book for ages!! (Don’t ask me why it always takes me so long to get to books! I dunno! *lol*)

9.) The Final Empire – Brandon Sanderson

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„The Final Empire“ also made it on my winter TBR and since I’ve never ever read a single Brandon Sanderson book before I’m totally ready to find out what all the hustle and bustle is about! I’ve been told that this is a good start to read Sanderson’s books so I hope I’ll love it as much as all the other people who read this series before me.

10.) Frankly In Love – David Yoon

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This doesn’t only have a fake dating trope but is also about Korean culture and when I found it in my library I just couldn’t resist to borrow it. I’m very curious if this is as good as it sounds and I guess the only way to find out is by actually reading the book, so this is definitely on my winter TBR too. =)

Rankenzeile

So what about you? Which kind of books landed on your winter TBR and do we have some in common? Did you already read some of the ones that are on my list and if yes, did you like them? Did you ever fall into a horrible reading slump like mine and how did you get out of it? (Most definitely not by adding even more books to your list, I bet. I kinda dug my own grave there. RIP V.! *lol*)

Talk to me and let me know!

And as always take care and stay healthy and safe! ❤

*hugs’n’kisses*

Sig.V.Ronan

The Sassy Library Fox

Allgemein, Sassy Antics

SASSY Saturday

SASSY Saturday

Hey there my lovelies!

Welcome back to another round of my montly blog meme „SASSY Saturday“!

How does it work? Well, that’s easy! 😉

All you have to do is to follow those three golden rules:

1. Credit the creator of this tag (The Sassy Library Fox) and link back. (so I can see all your amazing answers!)
2. Answer the 5 questions below!
3. AND enjoy doing the blog meme! 😛 

„SASSY Saturday“ is planned to be a monthly meme but if you want to do it more often feel free to go for it! This meme was created to get to know other bloggers, their new obsessions and to reflect on your own last month! Above all it was created to have fun though! 😉 If you want you can also use the banner I created! This said let’s head to the good part:

S – Series you loved this month

Her Private Life: My Yoongi and I are at it again and are buddy watching another k-drama together. And this one was such a perfect choice for us because it’s about a museum curator that’s secretly a fangirl and adores Si-an the singer of a k-pop band! *lol* She’s the creator of a fanpage named „The Road to Si-an“ and I just love this series so much! It’s funny but also cute and has all those „awww“ moments I crave for atm, plus it surprised me which is always rare. So yep, this is amazing and I can totally recommend it if you’re part of a fandom as well. 😉

Do you want it?" Her Private Life | ep3

A – Author you discovered

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Kacen Callender – Felix Ever After

I really enjoyed this book so much and it made me think a lot and I just love it?! Kacen Callender wrote such a good and thought provoking story and I was so here for it! XD I can’t wait to read more of them and I’m sure their other books will be amazing too! Also that gorgeous cover! I’ll never get tired of looking at those beautiful bright colours. ❤


S – Song you couldn’t get enough of

Never Not – Lauv

I love this song so much! It’s beautiful with wonderful lyrics and very slow and calm. And I can actually sing it with mostly hitting the right notes. *lol* I think every ARMY knows this one, because JK as well as Tae sang it. I’ve known „Never Not“ for quite a while but for some reason I just rediscovered it. Maybe because I need calming music lately.

S – Surprise – Something that totally caught you off guard

My reading slump! I had no idea that I even was in one until I realized that I barely read anything these days and that I’m always too tired to pick up a book. T_T I only managed to read 3 books and 2 mangas last month and it’s not funny. It’s not that I don’t want to read or that I’m not in the mood for it, it’s more that I just don’t have the time and when I do I’m so tired from work and my private life that I just can’t read without my eyes falling shut after 3 pages. >_< Send help!! I want to get rid of this slump. XD I need a vacation… badly.

Pin on Jeon Jeongguk

Y – Your fave blog post of another blogger

3 Signs You Probably Should DNF That Book @ BooksWithNatasa

I never ever dnf’d a book but I really liked Natasa’s blog post and totally agreed with everything she said at the beginning of her blog post. So far it seems like I’m mostly lucky with my book choices but if I ever see one of those signs I’ll know what to do. *lol* Thank you for that blog post, Natasa! =)

Rankenzeile

What do you think about „SASSY Saturday“? Would you like to join the fun? Did you already know „Never Not“ through BTS as well? What kind of tv show did you watch last month and was it good? How do you get out of a reading slump?! Any ideas how I can get out of mine? (Aside of going on a vacation, of course. *lol*)

Talk to me and let me know! 😉

*hugs’n’kisses*

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The Sassy Library Fox

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

”Sixteen years on the streets and you can learn a lot. But all the wrong things, not the things you want to learn. Sixteen years on the streets and you see a lot. But all the wrong sights, not the sights you want to see.”

So this was my first time reading “The Outsiders” and I really don’t get why our teachers never forced us to read THIS book at school! I’m convinced my teenage me wouldn’t only have approved but also would have enjoyed it immensely and I’m kinda sad I had to discover this book so late. Well, my school system obviously failed but that definitely didn’t stop me from reading “The Outsiders” and I’m very glad about it.

Soda threw one arm across my neck. He mumbled something drowsily. “Listen, kiddo, when Darry hollers at you … he doesn’t mean nothin’. He’s just got more worries than somebody his age ought to.”

I swear the moment I read about the interactions and relationships between those boys I was already hooked! It felt like reading “The Raven Boys” all over again; just a couple of years earlier, with other troubles and with a smaller book size. XD I mean alone the fact that Ponyboy and Soda were sleeping together in a bed! Their brotherly relationship was so nice to read! Those brothers cared about each other and their friends and they would have done almost everything in order to help them! ❤

He was stroking my hair and I could hear the sobs racking him as he fought to keep back the tears. “Oh, Pony, I thought we’d lost you … like we did Mom and Dad …” That was his silent fear then – of losing another person he loved.

Darry, the oldest of those three brothers, broke my heart as well. I mean their parents were dead and he had to look after his two younger brothers. I can’t even imagine how much strength it takes to take care of your brothers at such a young age, but he still did it and was even successful. He got a job and looked after them and this alone makes him a hero in my eyes. Who knows; if Johnny and Dallas would have had such family ties they probably would have never even ended up where they did in the end. >_< Johnny… that poor little boy! He didn’t deserve what happened to him and it’s no wonder he was so jumpy after the “Socs” almost beat him to death. I’m right there with Ponyboy when he says that it’s not fair that they were jumped for being “Greasers”.

It wasn’t fair for the Socs to have everything. We were as good as they were; it wasn’t our fault we were greasers. I couldn’t just take it or leave it, like Two-Bit, or ignore it and love life anyway, like Sodapop, or harden myself beyond caring, like Dally, or actually enjoy it, like Tim Shepard. I felt the tension growing inside of me and I knew something had to happen or I would explode. “

The interesting thing about this book is that it acknowledges the fact that the “Socs” fight the “Greasers” because they think they are lowlives, but that none of those two parties actually wants to do anything against it. They accept this injustice, it’s just a part of their life and they all act like they are supposed to fight because it’s only natural. The only three people who truly question their situation are Pony, Johnny and Randy. In one way or the other they are all tired of fighting and try their best to get out of that vicious cycle – some more effective than others. >_<

”Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold …”

Oh my, that line killed me big time! T_T I had a lot of mixed feelings about that ending and I could relate to Ponyboy so much. He was confused, he knew what they had been doing wasn’t right, that the fighting didn’t get them anywhere; that his friend was in trouble because he had done something right and something awfully wrong and that sooner or later he would have to pay for it. I think this book is such a damn good example for humanity. It points out that good people are able to do horrible things and that seemingly bad people aren’t always as bad as they seem to appear. They have their problems and troubles too and there is always a reason why they leash out at others, why they act in a certain way.

”We’re all we’ve got left. We ought to be able to stick together against everything. If we don’t have each other we don’t have anything. If you don’t have anything, you end up like Dallas …”

They are all human, whether it are “Socs” or “Greasers”, they all just want to live their lives, they want to be happy and accepted for who they are and in the end they actually aren’t as different as they seem to be. It’s an epiphany us readers experience while we read this book, but it’s a lesson not all of the characters learn. >_<

To say it with Martin Luther King Jr. words:
“Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness.”

And I think this quote describes the book more than just well. The ending made me sad, because there’s only one way this could have ended and it was exactly the way I expected it to be. Not all of it, but most of it anyway.

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If you haven’t read “The Outsiders” yet, you definitely should give it a try! It’s a great book which teaches an important lesson and I can recommend it to everyone. This book will make you think and feel and it will continue to do so even after you finished reading the last page. 😉