Allgemein, P - T, R, Reviews

Review: Royal Assassin (Robin Hobb)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

”Sometimes,” Chade observed, “It would be much easier to die for one’s king than to give one’s life to him.”

Well, if that isn’t the bitter truth then I don’t know! It’s been more than a week ever since I finished this book and my feelings are still all over the place. I swear the last time I felt as agitated as I am feeling right now was when I finished reading “The Kite Runner”. I’m sure by now you’re asking yourself what do “The Kite Runner” and “Royal Assassin” have in common? And the answer is easy: OUTRAGEOUS INJUSTICE!!! That’s what they have in common!!! *GRRRRR goes into grizzly bear mode*

If there is one thing that makes me really, really angry, one thing I just can’t stand than it is injustice! And this book was full of it! It oozed out of the pages, it dripped down into my heart, it poisoned me and made me so angry I hardly managed to refrain from throwing the book against a wall. I swear there were times my knuckles turned white because I was clutching that book so hard. ARGH!!!

My poor Fitz, my poor Verity!!! My poor King Shrewd and Fool!!! =(( It’s just not fair!!! IT’S. JUST. NOT. FAIR!!! I suffered with them throughout the entire book, I was frustrated, I was angry, I wanted to tear my hair out! I felt their pain and their helplessness and it killed me. So if you ever want to read a book that’s going to destroy you, just go ahead. “Royal Assassin” will leave you thoroughly broken and I’m sure somewhere in Washington State a woman named Robin Hobb is laughing her head off! Thank you Robin! Thank you for all the suffering and pain, can’t you at least give them a little break? No? Well, I tried and asked, can’t do more than that, right? T_T *sobs her heart out*

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This section is going to be extremely spoilery and very ranty (is that even a word?), because I need to get all those feelings off my chest. So if you don’t want to be spoiled you better leave now and don’t return again. Well, at least not until you read the book. *lol* This is a fair warning so the rest is up to you. ;-P

FitzChivalry:

”The same angry cold twisted and churned inside me, switching from anger to hatred to frustration and back to anger again, building to an unbearable pressure. They had no right to do this to me. I had not been born to be their tool. I had a right to live my life freely, to be who I was born to be. Did they think they could bend me to their will, use me however they would, and I would never retaliate? No. A time would come. My time would come.”

I still remember my review of “Assassin’s Apprentice” when I asked if Robin could be so kind to give Fitz a little break. Well, she didn’t. And boy how much my wish was ignored! Fitz’s life was already so complicated and horrible in the first book, but in “Royal Assassin” it reached an entirely new level of helplessness and cruelty. I swear everything he did was a mistake, every moment he as much as dared to take a little breath made his life even harder, every little action had repercussions and no matter what he did, he never won. He managed to avoid the worst, yes, but in the end he never succeeded to turn the tide in his favour. Well, until the tide completely swept him away and left him nothing but a broken shell to content with. Fitz was so unhappy and desperate it hurt to read about his struggle and the little happiness he found was taken away from him as well. It’s just not fair, it’s not fair to let a young boy suffer so much and I hate Regal for everything he did. My poor Fitz, my poor boy, I don’t know if he’ll ever recover from this. T_T *cries*

”Fitz? What will you do?”
Tears stung my eyes. I blinked, and it passed. “What I am told,” I said heavily. “When have I ever done otherwise?”

Verity:

”Shame to me, not you, to have ignored how ill you have been.” He had arisen silently. He set his glass of wine before me. “The damage you took was taken for me. I am appalled by what I allowed to befall you.” I forced myself to meet Verity’s eyes. He knew all that I tried to conceal. Knew it, and was miserable with guilt.

I still adore Verity but he had to make a lot of tough decisions in this book and I’m not sure if all of them were wise. I understood his need to help his people and I could relate to him feeling incapable and weak, but he did what he had to do in order to save them and this was already more than Regal ever did!!! As it seems Verity will always be caught between a rock and a hard place and I definitely don’t envy him his position. To be King-in-Waiting must suck big time and in the end his options were more than just limited. Still, to go and search the Elderlings was probably the biggest mistake he ever made and if he doesn’t find them soon the Six Duchies will go to hell. I really hope he has a good plan B because if not they’ll all be doomed in the next book. >_< You better make this work, Verity!!!

”I thought only to bring her swiftly home, and hope not too many heard of it. As if such a thing could be! And so today I think to myself that if ever the crown does come to rest on my brow, it will be in a most unworthy place.”

”For a moment I shared his bafflement that anyone could wish harm on these people, and shared, too, his fierce determination that not one more life should be lost to the Red-Ships.”

Burrich:

”I don’t envy you, Fitz. Sometimes all a man needs is to growl about his problems to another man. They’ve denied you even that. But take heart, I have faith you can handle them even if you think you can’t.”

Hmm… I still don’t know how I feel about him, but I think I liked him more in this book. We learned a lot of things about his past and I think I can understand him better. Still, to have the Wit must be horrible for him. I mean just to think about how much he resented Fitz for using it in the first book and now we find out that Burrich always had it too but decided to ignore it. It’s so ironic that Nighteyes called him “heart of the pack” because he obviously never wanted to be the heart of the pack. It was nice to see that Fitz and him got along so well though and considering everything that happened between them, it was good to know that Burrich still supported him and watched his back! =) Fitz certainly needed that additional help!

Lady Patience:

”But it was not the deed, but the intention that moved me. She had given up her quiet life, her orchards and gardens and woods, to come here, to a damp castle of stone on the sea cliffs, to a court full of folk she cared nothing about, to watch over her husband’s bastard.”

Patience truly surprised me in this one. I mean I always knew that she had come to Buckkeep to protect the illegitimate son of her husband but I never would have expected her to be so close to Burrich. I had no idea that they were lovers before Chivalry fell in love with her and their love story was so bittersweet that I couldn’t help but feel sorry for both of them. Burrich and his unfaltering belief in honour! *shakes head* They could have been happy together… *sighs* Lady Patience definitely deserved better than what she got and I have even more respect for her now. I really hope the end of “Royal Assassin” won’t have any repercussions for her. =S

”Burr?” she queried quietly. He did not even twitch. Very gently, she stroked his face. “You are so thin, so worn,” she grieved softly.

Regal:

”You who take the name to yourself of FitzChivalry Farseer need do no more than scratch yourself to find Nameless the dog boy. Be grateful I do not send you back to the stables, but suffer to let you abide in the Keep.”

I HATE HIM SO DAMN MUCH!!! I can’t even!!! That numpty, that tumshie, that huge and big FOOL!!! ASDFJKLMNÖ!!!! How is it even possible he’s still alive? And how is it possible that he’s so good at scheming and taking away the throne but doesn’t even think twice about his damn actions?!!? I mean WHAT NOW?!!! Awesome! You’re King-in-Waiting now, but what freaking kingdom are you going to reign?!! Your intrigues destroyed it and the Red Ships will do the rest!! How is it possible he got away with all this?!! HOW??!! URGH!!! This is so unfair! I swear by now I just have to read his name and I already see red and turn into a bull! If they ever manage to reveal his machinations, if they ever get a chance to catch that slippery eel, I’ll laugh my head off! I swear. So if you hear the laugh of a madwoman it most likely will be me! *lol* I’m waiting for his doom and I’ve got a lot of patience. *scratches hoof on the ground* XD

King Shrewd:

”I know how you serve me, even when you are brimming with anger at me. I could ask little more than what you have given me.”

Oh poor King Shrewd! There was nothing shrewd about him in the end. I hated to see how fast his health deteriorated and how much he suffered in this book. At some point I even started to share the Fools wish that he would have a peaceful and simple death. Unfortunately he had to suffer the entire book before he was finally allowed to go and the little that was left of his mind had to endure the betrayal of his own flesh and blood as well. No, King Shrewds life had a really bad end and no matter what he did, he didn’t deserve to die like that. >_<

Son of my son, blood of my blood. In my own way, I have loved you.
My king.
My young assassin. What have I made of you? How have I twisted my own flesh? You do not know how young you still are. Chivalry’s son, it is not too late to grow straight again. Lift up your head. See beyond all this.

The Fool:

”Batter away,” he suggested quietly. “New bruises will not show much atop the old ones. I can creep about unseen for a few more days.”

I think I love the Fool. ❤ He grew on me and he’s such a mysterious and intriguing character that I couldn’t help but be fascinated by the little scraps we got of his past. He lived in another kingdom? With a mother and two fathers? And he can see the future?! There’s so much about him I still don’t understand but I’m sure he’ll play a role in all those books that are yet to come. It was nice to see his more serious side in “Royal Assassin” yet I still wish we wouldn’t have seen it. I felt so sorry for him because it was more than just obvious that he truly loved King Shrewd. I still don’t know what kind of relationship those two had but I guess it might have been like father and son. For all I know it could have been romantic though. *lol* I guess I’ll never know. I still have so many questions and I’m afraid they will have to wait until the end of the series. XD So for now I just hope that he’s still alive somewhere and that he gets time to grief his beloved king. >_<

”You fog me, bastard. You multiply the futures a thousandfold, just by your existing. Catalyst. From some of those fogs go the blackest, twisted threads of damnation, and from others shining twines of gold. To the depths or the heights, it seems, are your paths. I long for a middle path. I long for a simple death for a master who was kind to a freakish, jeering servant.”

Kettricken:

”Let us clench our jaws, and remove that which infects us, with as much resolve and regret as if we severed a maimed limb from a body. For such is what we do. Not vengeance, my people, but surgery, to be followed by healing. Do as I say, now.”

That woman was kick-ass and yes she made mistakes but she always tried to do what was best for her husband and her people! I could understand her insecurity and the way Regal undermined her so thoroughly made me angry enough to chew nails! It was undeniable that she was in a difficult position though. *sighs* I mean she was a new queen in a kingdom that was raided and destroyed by the red ships and she’s still so very young. Without Verity’s and the king’s support it wasn’t easy to secure her position as Queen-in-Waiting and I think considering all the mean attacks she had to endure she actually did great! Maybe she’s with the Fool now? I really hope Verity will come back and find her and I pray that their child is going to live through that harsh winter!! =((

Chade:

”Did you think you could lead two lives?” Chade’s voice was soft but not gentle. “We belong to the King, boy, King’s Men. Our lives belong to him. Every moment, of every day, asleep or awake. You have no time for your own concerns. Only his.”

I don’t know what to think about Chade. He’s a king’s man yet he’s still somehow responsible for everything that went wrong. At least considering king Shrewd. I mean I understand why he gave him the strong medicine and why he tried to ease his king’s pain but in combination with Regal’s drugs it was just too much. Why didn’t he try to get rid of Regal’s drugs? Hell, why didn’t he try to get rid of Wall-ass? I know Regal is off-limits, sadly! But he could have gotten rid of Wallace and used one of his own spies instead. That way the king might have still been lucid enough to make the right decisions. *sigh* And why didn’t he help Fitz when he was in the dungeons? Was to help him die really the only option?! To poison him again? To destroy his body again?! When will it have an end?

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FitzChivalry & Verity:

”Do you know how easy it is, Fitz, to follow a man you believe in?”
He looked up at last to meet my eyes.
“My prince,” I said quietly. “I believe I do.”

I still love their close relationship and I understand why Fitz follows Verity. Still, I really wish they would have been able to help each other more. I know Verity couldn’t do anything from the distance but poor Fitz had to pay for everything that went wrong and this just isn’t fair. =( He’s just a boy and was held responsible for every mistake Verity, Chade, Kettricken and Shrewd made. No matter what happened, Regal let him bleed and pay for it and I hated that Verity couldn’t help him. What also pains me is the fact that Fitz as well as Verity know that he’s using him for his own purposes but that they both have no other choice than to go with it. Verity feels so guilty for using Fitz and Fitz hates to be used like that but has no other choice than to do what Verity wants. In order to survive they both had to use each other and I think their strong and close relationship suffered under the onslaught of their needs. Let’s hope Verity survives his trip to the Elderlings, let’s hope Fitz will get a little peace. Let’s hope their friendship won’t die in the next book. >_<

Molly & FitzChivalry:

”Because on some nights threats are more obvious than others. Bad things happen, that make me take stock of what worse things could happen. On some nights, it is not the healthiest thing to be beloved of a bastard.”

Fitz and Molly… T_T Those two broke my heart! They love each other so deeply but they can’t be together because their circumstances won’t allow it. Fitz position was so horrible and I bled with him and Molly whenever they had another argument. I think the worst thing was that they both knew it wouldn’t work but they both still had hope and refused to give up. If Fitz would have taken her as his wife or would have acknowledged her as his lover, she would have been dead in a heartbeat. Urgh! Their situation was so awful! =(( I hated the way things ended between them and is it just me but is there actually a chance that Molly is pregnant? The way she spoke about her new “lover” almost sounded like she was talking about a baby and knowing Molly I’m pretty sure she would have never told Fitz that she’s pregnant. Not after their argument and certainly not if Regal could have ordered her death so easily. To move to the countryside would be her best option and I think a possible pregnancy would be the best reason for such a step. After all she has to ensure the survival of two lives if it’s really true. 😉 I guess only time will tell. XD

”How can I say I love you so much that I wish I did not love you, or at least could refrain from showing that I loved you, because my love puts you in such danger, and have those words be true?”

”Every time I think I have accepted it, I turn a corner and catch myself hoping again. But there’s never going to be anything for us, is there? Never going to be a time that belongs just to us, never going to be a place that is just ours.”

”I had no more right to her than she had to me. But I gave and took and I swear I shall never regret it. The memory of that night’s sweet awkwardness is the truest possession of my soul.”

Nighteyes & Fitz:

”Nighteyes, my brother. How do I thank you?
Stay alive. A pause. And bring me ginger cake.
You shall have it, I promised fiercely.”

Nighteyes and Fitz were the best!!! They are my new friendship OTP!! *lol* I loved their easy banter and Nighteyes was so clever and funny! Plus they were so close and I loved it! Nighteyes is the best friend ever and Fitz was very lucky to have him. Especially considering the ending. There is nothing Nighteyes wouldn’t do for him and this is true friendship! =) He didn’t even hesitate to adopt him into his mind. I love Nighteyes and I really hope we’ll see even more of him! XD

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“Royal Assassin” was an amazing fantasy book and even though I suffered so much I still loved every second of it. (Haha! I sound like a masochist now. *lol*) This book was not only heartbreaking but also suspenseful and ultimately left me with even more questions than I had before. I can’t help but wonder if this will ever have an end. XD If you’re searching for a fantasy series that has an amazing world building, awesome characters and will hit you with the feels: Search no more! You already found it! ;-P

Allgemein, Reviews, U - Z, W

Review: White Hot Kiss (Jennifer L. Armentrout)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 29 on My Book List 2021

There was a demon in McDonald’s.
And it had a powerful hunger for Big Macs.”

This is quite a way to start a book and I was immediately intrigued by it! *lol* I mean a demon at McDonalds? What a funny, unique and weird way to begin a book. So yes, the first line already captured my interest and the characters and the plot that followed did the rest. 😉 I remember reading this for the very first time a couple of years ago and it was one of those series that’s highly addicting and that just makes you want to devour all those books exactly the same way that demon ate its Big Macs. XD

I mean we could argue that “White Hot Kiss” follows all the typical YA stereotypes. We have two super-hot love interests aka a love triangle, an innocent pretty heroine, sizzling tension, a big mystery and a couple of troubles and issues that need to be resolved. What made this really enjoyable was the new setting of a war between wardens – who are basically gargoyles that protect humans – and demons. And well, the already mentioned sizzling tension between the MCs.

I didn’t read all too many books that featured gargoyles and demons so for me that was something new and refreshing. And of course the same goes for the characters powers and the world building. So yes, it might be tropey but I think this series can stand on its own. Especially because Armentrout’s writing style isn’t only captivating but also effortless. 😉 And because I love the characters so much I’ll just head to my characters section now.

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Welcome to the world of Wardens and Demons! Both of them have secrets and it’s up to you which side you’ll join. Make sure to choose wisely because no matter which path you decide for I can guarantee you’ll always be spoiled. Are you sure you’re ready? ;-P

Layla:

”I met the man’s stare, held it and felt my lips curve into a smile. My heart raced, my skin tingled and flushed. I wanted his soul – so bad my skin wanted to peel itself off my bones. It felt like waiting for a kiss, when your lips were moments away from joining, those breathless seconds of anticipation.”

So Layla is actually a pretty interesting character. She’s not only half warden but also half demon and she’s constantly fighting her own nature which tells her to eat the souls of human beings. She can’t only rob people of their souls though; she can also see their auras. Some of them are already very tainted and others are still pure. And what makes her especially valuable for the wardens is that she obviously can see demons and tag them. So yeah, Layla has a lot going on and she still somehow manages to keep up with school. *lol* At the beginning of the book her world is only black and white and she’s very innocent but the more time she spends with Roth the more she realizes that there are all shades of grey and that the world is more complex than she thought. I really liked her character arc in this book and I can’t wait to see the Layla of book two! XD

Roth:

”For the love of all unholy things, why must you be so difficult? I apologize for calling you a prude. I’ll even apologize for yesterday. I scared you. I threw your cell in a toilet. See, I was raised in Hell. You could say I’m socially awkward.”

Okay, I’m going to be blunt here: Roth is super-hot boyfriend material! Like super, super hot boyfriend material! He isn’t only gorgeous (golden eyes, dimples, a six-pack, tattoos and black hair – gosh, that boy has a lot of things going for him! Haha!) but he also has a heart of gold! I’m such a sucker for this demon and if given the choice between him and Zayne it will always be: Zayne who?! *lol* I really love Roth and I think his character arc was beautifully done as well. He started out as a dubious character and became such a great and reliable constant. I loved that his blunt and sassy demeanour didn’t change while he was still growing as a character. It’s a feat not many authors accomplish, but Armentrout certainly did! I can’t wait for him to appear in book 2 because his story isn’t over yet and he just has to be a big part of it! XD

”People with the purest souls are capable of the greatest evils. No one is perfect, no matter what they are or what side they fight for.”

”I am only the next Crown Prince. That’s what I am – all I am.”

”It’s okay,” he whispered against the corner of my lip. “This is about you. Yeah, this is totally about you.” He sounded surprised by his own words, and when he spoke again, his voice was hoarse as he pressed his forehead against mine. “You undo me. You have no idea how you undo me.”

In that tiny moment of time, just a flicker of a second, his golden eyes met mine. “Free will, huh? Damn. It is a bitch.” And then he smiled – he smiled – at me, a real smile, revealing those deep dimples. “I lost myself the moment I found you.”

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Layla & Roth:

”Do you know anything about her – about your heritage, Layla?” he said, and then his arm slipped around my waist, fitting my body against his. “Do you know anything about what you are?”
“Do you know anything about personal space?” I snapped.
“No.” He smirked, and then his eyes seemed to turn luminous. “But I do know that you really don’t mind me in your personal space.”

Haha! Those two were amazing! They have this really sizzling and strong chemistry and I just couldn’t get enough of them. I kinda loved that Roth always gravitated towards Layla and just couldn’t seem to be able to keep his hands off her. He’s always pulling her closer and touching her and I think this is so damn cute. ❤ Can someone give me a cuddly Roth? I think after Covid times I really need that in my life. *lol* Anyway, let’s move on! I really liked that he always gave her a choice. Layla might not have seen it like that but in fact Roth actually tried to give her some space and to let her sort out things on her own. Plus he always protected her and put her well-being above his own. And even more important he supported her and her decisions and accepted her for who she was! With him Layla never had to apologize for being a demon and he helped her to accept this half of her as well. She is both after all and to suppress one side like she did because of the wardens clearly wasn’t healthy for her. >_< They are both good for each other and I can’t wait to read more of their scenes together! <333

He moved without me realizing, his warm breath dancing over my cheeks, my lips. The air hitched in my lungs. His lips parted, and I wondered what it would be like to run my fingers across them, to feel them.
“What are you thinking?” he murmured, his eyes fluttering down.

”Layla, look at me. You don’t want to go down that road.”
With effort, I focused on him. “I’m sorry. It’s just so hard.”
His brows furrowed. “You don’t need to apologize for something that is natural to you, but taking a human’s soul… You can’t go back from that.”

”One second he was standing a good three feet away from me and the next his hands were gently clasping my cheeks. There was an instant when I wondered how something so strong and deadly could hold anything so carefully, but then he tilted my head back and lowered his own. My heart rate kicked into hyperdrive. He wasn’t going to kiss me. No way – Roth kissed me.”

”We’re talking.” He dipped his head, brushing his cheek against mine.
“This is not talking.” Not that I didn’t enjoy it. “And I really do have questions.”
“So ask away. I can multitask.” He tugged me forward, circling an arm around my waist. Dipping his head to where my neck sloped, he inhaled deeply. “Can’t you?”

Layla & Zayne:

”I’m not replacing you, Layla. It was an honest mistake.”
“But you are replacing me!” Realizing what I had said, I clasped my hands over my mouth and backed off.

I know there are a lot of Zayne fans out there but I honestly don’t get why anyone would prefer him over Roth. I mean except of looking good and being some sort of big brother for Layla there isn’t a lot that speaks in his favour. From my perspective he didn’t treat Layla any better than all the other wardens and constantly gave her the feeling to be inferior. It started with him telling her that she’s better than a soul eating demon even though he knows how much she is struggling and goes right to him telling her what she should and shouldn’t do. I get it. There is this strong big brother vibe but he really isn’t treating her well. If my sister would have been in a car accident I’d have eaten a huge big breakfast with her the next day! Just saying. Yes, he obviously cares about her but he certainly doesn’t accept her the way she is and because of that he’ll always get a red flag from me. #SorryNotSorry

”It doesn’t matter right now,” he said. “What does is that the bastard was right. We haven’t been keeping you safe. And if he’s truly the one who has, then there is something messed up about that.”

”How badly are you hurt? Do you need to go to the hospital? Have you been out all night? Should I –“
“I’m okay.” My voice cracked as I wrapped my fingers around his wrists. I’d never seen him like this before. “I’m okay.”
He stared at me, and I suddenly recognized the emotion churning in his eyes. Horror. “God, Layla, he … he hurt you.”

”You’re not a demon, Layla. You’re a Warden. You’re better than this.”
I felt my lower lip begin to tremble. Don’t cry. Don’t cry. My voice came out broken and small. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to. I just wanted him to stop and –“
“Shh…” Zayne closed his eyes and a muscle popped in his jaw. “I know. It’s okay.”

Layla, Abbot & the other gargoyles:

”Petr knew I’d get in trouble, and there was more than a hint of cruelty in his pale eyes. Worse yet, I knew that he saw nothing wrong with what he was doing. His actions would never taint his soul, because it was pure, no matter what he did. It was like a free pass to him. Petr pressed forward, his breath too warm against my cheek.
“You’re going to wish Abbot had snuffed out your miserable little life when you were a baby.”

Let me say this directly: The majority of the wardens suck! *lol* I know they are supposed to be the good guys but seriously, everyone who turns a blind eye to Petr and his father hurting and treating Layla like shit isn’t worth anything in my eyes! Abbot as well as Zayne and all the others KNEW about Petr, yet they still left Layla unguarded when he was around? How stupid and ignorant can you be? Petr deserved everything he got and Abbot isn’t any better than him if he allows him to things like that. Father figure my ass! I mean who would allow anything like that to happen to a child they consider to be their own kid? Also them constantly giving Layla shit for being half demon! As if it would be her fault! That poor girl had such a hard time suppressing her nature and they didn’t even give a damn about it. They should have accepted her for who she is and not held down something that is part of her as well. So yep, I’m no big fan of the wardens right now and if they don’t change their attitude soon I’ll side with the demons. They actually seem to be more human and compassionate than the wardens anyway. *lol*

”If I looked up the definition of intimidating, it would show a picture of Abbot. As the clan leader, he had to be fierce, stern and, at times, deadly. He represented the clan, was the one who met with human officials, and if any of the Wardens messed up, it was Abbot who took the fall. A lot of weight rested on his shoulders, but his back never bowed under the pressure.”

”You have been doing nothing but lying since you met this demon! Why would I assume there was one truth mixed in among the lies?”
I don’t know what he said that did it, and maybe it was a combination of fear and frustration because I couldn’t get a single sentence out, but my control snapped. I shot to my feet so fast Abbot stood and backed up – he actually backed up from me.

Stacey & Layla:

”Are you coming on to me or something?”
Stacey grinned evilly. “I’d go gay for you.”
Digging out Sam’s notes, I snorted. “I wouldn’t go gay for you. Eva Hasher? Maybe.”
She gasped, clutching the front of her shirt. “That stung.”

Stacey is amazing and everyone needs a Stacey in their life!! This girl is made of awesome sauce and I loved her so much! *lol* She was such a great side-character and definitely stole the show whenever she appeared on page! Some of the things she said were just hilarious and remembering my own teen days she was a super relatable character. At some point in our life we all have a friend like her that is super blunt and nudges us in the right direction. XD Also her surprise and shock whenever she realized that Layla is super innocent was priceless. ❤ So yep, Layla might not want to date Stacey but if Layla doesn’t want her Stacey can always come to me. ;-P

”You need to get over him and get with a hottie.” She paused, nodding at the door. “Like him, for example. He’d leave you crying for a whole different reason.”
“I wasn’t crying over – “ I cut myself off when I realized she was gesturing at Roth. “Wait, how would he make me cry?”
Stacey’s eyes widened. “Are you for real? Do I need to spell it out for you?”

”Our bio class just got a billion times more interesting. And hotter, lots and lots hotter. Holy mother, I want to have his babies. Not now of course, but definitely later. But I’d like to start practicing soon.”

”Now go. Make mama proud.”
“Proud how?” I shouldered the bag.
Stacey arched a brow. “Use your imagination. Just remember, you can only be young and dumb once. And that is a fine specimen to be young and dumb with.”

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I reread this as fast as I read it the first time and I’m still super enthusiastic about this series! I almost forgot how much the ending threw me and I can’t wait up to pick up book two to continue with this series. Jennifer L. Armentrout might have followed the YA formula but she gave it her own touch and this made this a truly addictive and enjoyable read.

A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

Review: Assassin’s Apprentice (Robin Hobb)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

”Most prisons are of our own making. A man makes his own freedom, too.”

So this was my first Robin Hobb and I’m positively surprised! =) I mean after reading all those raving reviews I already expected that “Assassin’s Apprentice” would be a good book, I definitely wasn’t prepared for the train of feels that occasionally hit me though. Well, truth be told, that’s actually a bold understatement.

For a book that started out so slowly there certainly were a lot of intense and awesome scenes that had me hooked almost right from the beginning and if you ask me, it’s as good as impossible to read them without being swept away! Hobb has an undeniable talent for the fine arts of building up an interesting storyline and as far as I could tell she never even hesitated to use it! ;-P

While you read the book you stumble over all those typical fantasy tropes (young boy, apprenticeship, relation to the royal family, hard life, etc.), yet the author still managed to make something intriguing and unique. It’s like she used those fantasy tropes as a scaffold in order to build her own world and ideas around it. And tell you what? It worked! XD

This was such a wonderful read and the fact I already borrowed book two from the library should be enough to persuade you to give it a try! 😉

Since the title of the book is kinda self-explanatory (Assassin’s Apprentice? I can’t help but wonder what it’s going to be about! *lol*) I won’t talk about the plot and will dive right into the characters section instead!

2

WARNING! This is the danger zone! *lol* I’ll spoil in here and if you hate to be spoiled you better run in the other direction! ;-P Can’t say I didn’t warn you, can you? XD

FitzChivalry:

”I know he meant well. But I did not feel protected by him, but confined. He was the warden that ensured my isolation with fanatical fervour. Utter loneliness was planted in me then, and set its deep roots down into me.”

Aww Fitz! I love this Boy! (See what I did there?! XD) He’s so sweet and funny and I can already see him becoming a sassy and clever protagonist in the future! Unfortunately he still has to learn a lot about life and the dangerous world he’s living in so I mostly felt really sorry for him while reading this book. There were so many moments that broke my heart and there were times I was like: CAN YOU PLEASE GIVE THIS POOR BOY A BREAK?!! Plus some of the scenes were so damn amazing that they really stuck with me. For instance the “Silver Knife Scene”! Chade and King Shrewd wanted to test Fitz loyalty and they did it in a very cruel way. My poor Boy suffered so much but once the problem was resolved he didn’t back down. No! He made his point by stealing a silver knife right in front of his King and driving it into the wood of Chade’s shelf! *LOL* THAT WAS SO DAMN AWESOME!!!! The sass and defiance!!! Gosh I loved it so much! Plus can we acknowledge the wonderful atmosphere of the “Poison Scene”? It easily became one of my all-time favourite scenes and the twist was executed so well I could only gasp in disbelieve and awe! So cleverly done, Hobb! So cleverly done! *shakes head*

Chade:

”I’ll be teaching you the nasty, furtive, polite ways to kill people. You’ll either develop a taste for it, or not. That isn’t something I’m in charge of. But I’ll make sure you know how.”

Haha! Chade instantly became one of my favourites of this book! I mean he’s the Royal Assassin and he’s a wise and good man. He has principles, he knows his limits and he did his best to tap his full potential. It made me very sad he was so painfully aware of the fact that he was raising and educating the next generation and that his use was going to run out as soon as his replacement was ready. Yet he still knew that it wasn’t Fitz fault and taught him everything he needed in order to do his job. I have a very deep respect for Chade and I really hope he’ll live through the next two books.

”Sometimes,” grumbled Chade, “it is better to be defiantly wrong than silent.”

”You’re a bastard, Fitz. We’re always a risk and vulnerability. We’re always expendable. Except when we are an absolute necessity to their own security.”

Burrich:

”You failed? No, Fitz. I fialed. I was too soft-hearted to beat it out of you at the first sign of it.”

Gosh, I’m still so torn when I think of Burrich. I mean in some way he’s Fitz father figure and it’s clear he only meant well, but boy the way he tried to raise him was so damn wrong sometimes. *sighs* I mean every parent makes mistakes; we’re all human after all, but to punish Fitz so much? He and Nosy were everything Fitz had and that stubborn mule named Burrich just didn’t realise how much Fitz needed and loved him. He was just a little boy that needed a safe place and it should have been Burrich who provided it. I mean he didn’t even give him a chance to explain. He would have been dead without Fitz connection to Smithy, yet he refused to listen to him. ARGH!!! It makes me so angry. *lol* I know Anish has a different opinion about him, but I just can’t forgive Burrich for what he did. *sighs deeply*

”How you must have hated me.”
“And feared you.”
“All those years? And you never learned better of me, never thought to yourself, ‘He would not do such a thing’?”

Verity:

”I must have dozed, for I woke to his hand on my hair. “Do they tell you to watch over me so, boy, even when I sleep? What do they fear, then?”
“Naught that I know, Verity. They tell me only to bring you food, and see as best I can that you eat it. No more than that.”

I absolutely adored and loved Verity! He’s such an awesome character and he’s always true to his name. I really liked his relationship with Fitz and I hope he’ll feel a lot better in the next book. It hurt to see how much the Skill took from him and for a second near the end I really thought he wouldn’t make it. =( Gosh that was suspenseful! *lol* I’m just glad he’s fine now and I’m sure Princess Kettricken and him will make a wonderful couple. They are both on the more practical side of things and even though it’s no marriage of love, I’m sure Verity will win her heart. (Maybe she’ll win his too? XD)

Regal:

”Ruthlessness creates its own rules. So my mother taught me. People are intimidated by a man who acts with no apparent regard for consequences. Behave as if you cannot be touched and no one will dare to touch you.”

I hate Regal! I hate him so much! Such an arrogant, snobby, superior feeling little piece of s***! He’s a clever villain; I have to give him that but his obvious distaste for Fitz caused me to dislike him from the very start! I mean there are villains and then there are villains! Regal is one I just can’t help but hate! XD How he and Galen treated Fitz was so cruel that I wanted to bang their heads together multiple times! And don’t even get me started about the death of Nosy, if it wouldn’t have been for Nosy Fitz would have died at the end. =((( Oh my, poor Nosy. That last paragraph killed me. He saved him, He dragged him out of the water and then he died, trying to give him strength… I can’t even… *sobs violently*

King Shrewd:

”A bastard, Regal, is a unique thing. Put a signet ring on his hand and send him forth, and you have created a diplomat no foreign ruler will dare to turn away. He may safely be sent where a prince of the blood may not be risked. Imagine the uses for one who is and yet is not of the royal bloodline. Hostage exchanges. Marital alliances. Quiet work. The diplomacy of the knife.”

I still don’t know what to make out of King Shrewd. I mean at the moment he’s obviously on Fitz’s and Verity’s side, but I have no idea which side he’ll choose when we get a better grasp of the big picture. I have no doubt that he’s an opportunist and he’s certainly shrewd enough to use this to his advantage. Plus Regal and Verity are his sons. He might care for them both but I’m sure he’ll support whoever wins their dangerous game in the end. So yeah, I’m #TeamVerity and I really hope Regal won’t get a second chance. 😉

The Fool:

”Because your heart will be hammered against him, and your strength will be tempered in his fire.”

I loved the Fool! He’s so mysterious and such an intriguing character. I really would have liked to find out more about him, but Hobb kept us in the dark and I’m convinced she had her reasons to do so. I’m pretty sure the Fool knows about everything that happens at court and I’m also more than just certain that he’s an advisor of King Shrewd. I can’t shake the feeling that there’s more to him though and that he might have even disobeyed some of the king’s commands in order to help Fitz. Hobb, I want more of the Fool in the next book! XD

The Wit and The Skill:

”The appetite for the Skill is one that devours a man, not one that nourishes him.”

Boy did it take long until we finally got a decent explanation what the Skill is about. *lol* I know Anish was getting impatient and so was I! Haha! Whilst it’s true that the Skill is an intriguing ability, I’m still fascinated with the Wit as well. I’m convinced that those two go hand in hand and could work together and if I’m correct it’s really remarkable Fitz has an aptitude for both! =) The quote above made me think there might be a connection and since the Skill devours a man and the Wit seems to nourish it, Fitz could be a more than just powerful man! Just think about all the possibilities! ;-P

4

And with this thought I’m finally ending my rather long review. XD
“Assassin’s Apprentice” was an amazing and well-thought-out fantasy tale and I’m already curious about the next book! =)

Since this was a buddy read with The Sweet Manisha and The Amazing Anish I want to thank them both. I’m sorry Manisha had to drop out of our buddy read at some point but I’m still glad you guys were willing to read this book with me! Thank you for experiencing this with me and also thank you for your interesting thoughts and input! =) It definitely made this an even better read! ;-

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Queen of Nothing (Holly Black)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 13 on My Book List 2021

I’m on BookTube now! =)

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

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

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

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

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

Jude:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cardan:

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

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

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

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

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

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

3
Jude & Cardan:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jude & Madoc:

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

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

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

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

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

Jude & Taryn:

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

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

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

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

A - E, Allgemein, B, Reviews

Review: Broken Throne (Victoria Aveyard)

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Rating: 3 Pfoten

Book 32 on My Book List 2020

”Perhaps this is my own ignorance, but I cannot fathom the death of millions by the order of one.”

I don’t even know how to start this but let’s just say this was very different to what I expected but it was still okay. I mean I obviously expected a collection of short stories and that’s what I got. Well, that and additional info about the world building which was really nice. The fact that those stories followed a timeline and that we actually got to see some moments that played after “War Storm” was great too. Still, I wasn’t happy that “Queen Song” and “Steel Scars” were included once again because I already read them and would have liked some new short stories instead. I guess that’s just personal preference though so yeah. Also this might be a spoiler now so if you don’t want to be spoiled about Maven you better don’t click that button but for everyone who hopes there will be Maven in this book and doesn’t want to read my entire review to find out: (view spoiler) If you want to read more of my thought on this and the other short stories, feel free to continue to read my review. I’ll try my best to keep the summaries spoiler free. 😉

Queen Song: 4

”Her footsteps were even, not too fast or too slow. How far away must I be?
Farther, said Elara’s sneering purr in her head. She nearly tripped over at the sensation. The voice echoed in everything around and in her, windows to bone, from the chandeliers overhead to the blood pounding in her ears. Farther, Jacos.”

I already said it and I’ll say it again: This short story is amazing and heart-breaking at the same time. It’s about Cal’s mother Coriane and how she got to know Cal’s father and ended up becoming the Queen of Norta. The story itself is pretty slow at the beginning but the ending is… haunting. I have no other word for it so I’ll just leave it at that. This said, “Queen Song” was definitely one of the best short stories of this collection.

Steel Scars: 2

Okay, I’ll be totally honest here: I skipped the entire short story because I already read it back in 2017 and I just couldn’t bring myself to read it again. I didn’t like it when I first read it and I doubt anything would have changed if I would have given it a second chance so 2 stars it is. My opinion still stands.

World Behind: 4

”A silver princess abandoning her kingdom, dead to all who knew her. And wanting to stay that way. I’m intrigued to say the very least.”

I’ve got to admit that this was a really nice short story and I enjoyed it very much. Ashe and Lyrisa were two super intriguing characters and I totally loved their interactions. Also it was nice to see a different POV than the ones we already knew and to experience how the war felt for all the refugees that had to deal with its repercussions. It’s good their POV was told and I also think it’s very important. Usually only the main players in a war write history and get the attention; it’s always the civilians who suffer the most though. So kudos to Victoria for giving them room too!

Iron Heart: 3

”Princess Evangeline. Lady of House Samos. Daughter of Volo and Larentia.
I am none of those things anymore. Not after today. I should be glad – I should be relieved to be rid of the name and the life my parents gave me. And parts of me are. But the rest of me can’t help but be reminded of what I traded away to live as who I am now. What I betrayed. What I killed. What I lost forever.”

I was never Evangeline’s biggest fan so this story was okay for me? I mean I’m happy for her and Elane and I’m glad she finally did what she wanted to do instead of what everyone else expected her to do. It takes guts to go your own way and I really liked that Evangeline was ready to do it. Still, aside from her embracing her new home and status not a lot happened in here so it was just a nice addition to the main story we already know. No more, no less. 😉

”Hereafter, I shall be known as Evangeline Samos of Montfort, and I swear my allegiance to the Free Republic, where I can live and love freely. I renounce my citizenship in the Rift, in Norta, and in any country where people are caged for the circumstances of birth.”

Fire Light: 4

”When we first came here I told myself it was so we could heal and mourn together. And so I could forget. Put aside all the things Maven did to me and I did to him. Instead, barely a day goes by without me agonizing over him and his fate. Whether he deserved it or not. If I made the right choice. If he could have been saved.”

I think of all the new short stories this was my favourite one. And this even though it was about Mare and Cal. *lol* As you all know I was never the biggest fan of this ship so I certainly didn’t expect to like this story as much as I did. I guess what I liked the most about it was that it gave me some sort of closure. I never got that at the end of “War Storm” and somehow this short story was exactly what I would have needed after finishing the last book. It was good to see that Mare and Cal tried to work through their differences and that they still dared to hope for a better future. After everything they went through they were both thoroughly broken and I think Victoria captured this more than just well. Their grief, their guilt and self-hatred, their doubts and fears and – like a thread through all of their thoughts – their still palpable love for Maven. Because yes, those three were messed up and their relationship was more than just dysfunctional but at the end of the day both of them loved Maven in their own way. My heart still aches for Maven and obviously Mare’s and Cal’s hearts still ache for him too. <333

”I thought I’d lost them both, lost them to each other one last time. My brother would have liked that. He took her once before and he would have taken her forever if he could have.”

”I can still hear him in my head. You think I can’t lie through pain, he said when Tyton got too close. You think I haven’t done it a thousand times?
He meant the torture his mother inflicted on him. I knew that then and it haunts me now. Whatever his mother did to him whenever she entered his mind – it was torture. It was pain. And it twisted him beyond repair.”

”She feels the memory as I do, both of us lost to watching the floor. Her smile fades, as does mine, and we weather the storm of loss and regret together. It’s the only way through it.”

Fare Well: 3,5

”My mother gave me so much, but she took in return.”

This short story was just too…. well, short! I really would have loved to get a full short story about Maven but all I got was one chapter and even though this was a great chapter and made me feel all the mixed feels it still wasn’t enough. Victora could have given us a short story about Maven’s past and how he met Thomas. She could have given us a story about Maven as a little boy, but she did none of those things and I’m kind of bitter about it. Yes, “Fare Well” gave us a good glimpse into Maven’s mind and yes, it even managed to kind of redeem his character… but it didn’t give me all the content I was craving for and the knowledge that I will never get more of him is sort of irritating?! >_<

”Cut for cut, my mother whispers, louder now, taunting. The words slice like a razor.
It would hurt him deeply, wound him forever, if I let him glimpse what little is left of me. That I’m still here, in some forgotten corner, just waiting to be found. I could ruin him with one glance, one echo of the brother he remembers. Or I could free him of me. Make the choice for him. Give my brother one last proof of the love I can no longer feel, even if he never knows it.
I weight the choice in my heart, each side heavy and impossible. For one terrifying moment, I don’t know what to do.”

”He is without his title, with little more than his name. But every word on the stone is the truth. We love him – and he strayed down a path no one else should pursue.”

Conclusion:

This collection of short stories kind of started with Elara’s influence and also sort of ended with it which gave this a pretty nice touch. I really enjoyed some of those stories and considering it all it was a nice compilation. The additional info about their world and how it came into being was a welcome supplement and I’m sure if you’re a hard-core fan you’ll appreciate “Broken Throne”.

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

Shadow and Bone: I watched all of those 8 episodes at the beginning of the month and I regret NOTHING! *lol* I wasn’t all too sure they would be able to combine the two book series but they did a marvellous job and I really love the cast they chose! Also I liked that they made them older because it was way more realisic that way. XD Can’t wait for season two!

Hwarang: This is a buddy watch with my Yoongi and I’m so happy we’re watching this together because I live and breathe for her commentary and our discussions and theories about the episodes! *lol* You might say I came for Tae but stayed for the amazing cast and all the drama! ;-P But seriously this series is sooo damn good! So far I laughed and cried and shook my head and bit my fist! Haha! I’m feeling all the feels and I really hope this will end well for all of the Hwarangs. Also V is so damn adorable in this series I can’t even! ❤ (Plus the entire cast! Including V of course! All. so. damn. pretty!!!)

花郎Hwarang https://instagram.com/p/BQfGCDll7iB/ | V hwarang, Hwarang  taehyung, Kim taehyung

A – Author you discovered

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Stephanie Garber – Caraval

I’m about 50% into this book now and so far I really like it! I never read a book by Stephanie Garber but if I end up enjoying this I’ll definitely continue to read this series. For me „Caraval“ is a totally new concept and I’m very curious how it will all unfold. XD


S – Song you couldn’t get enough of

BTS – Butter

I know, I know! It’s a BTS song again but seriously I’ve been listening (and dancing) to this ever since it came out and I just can’t get enough of this song! It’s too good! I love everything about it and the lyrics are some sort of personal attack. *lol* This is a song for ARMY and I’m sooo happy about it!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ Also the visuals! They are set on giving ARMY a heartattack! I will never get over JK AND Tae (in the GMA Summer Concert „Butter“ version) having a ponytail!!! NEVER! *dies*

Oh, and just in case you want to hear my thoughts and see my reaction to „Butter“:

S – Surprise – Something that totally caught you off guard

That I reached the amazing number of 90 subscribers on my BookTube channel. Quite honestly I never thought I’d even get close to that so it’s a surprise so many people are following and apparently also enjoying my channel. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll even reach the magical 100. *lol* You can always dream, right? ;-P

Y – Your fave blog post of another blogger

Why Leigh Bardugo’s Crows ARE The Umbrella Academy @ Hundreds & Thousands of Books

I enjoyed that post so much because it’s TRUE!!! *lol* If you compare the crew of „Six of Crows“ to „The Umbrella Academy“ you just gotta admit that they have similarities. XD I never thought about it until I read that blog post and now that I did I can only agree! This was a great idea and if you don’t already know „Hundreds & Thousands of Books“ you should definitely check out this blog! 😉

Rankenzeile

What do you think about „SASSY Saturday“? Would you like to join the fun? Did you watch „Shadow and Bone“ too and if yes, what did you think about the series? Do you like K-Drama’s and did you know about Hwarang? Which songs did you vibe to in May and what surprised you last month?

Talk to me and let me know! 😉

*hugs’n’kisses*

Sig.V.Ronan

The Sassy Library Fox

Allgemein, F - J, I, Reviews

Review: Ignite Me (Tahereh Mafi)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

”Words, I think, are such unpredictable creatures.
No gun, no sword, no army or king will ever be more powerful than a sentence. Swords may cut and kill, but words will stab and stay, burying themselves in our bones to become corpses we carry into the future, all the time digging and failing to rip their skeletons from our flesh.”

Do you still remember my review of “Unravel me”?
Yes?!
Okay! Then let me tell you something:

“Ignite me” was so much better than the last book!!!!

I don’t know how Tahereh Mafi did it but she killed me!!!! I died about a thousand deaths while I read this book and I have absolutely no clue how I even survived to read this!!! Gosh, that book left me reeling and laughing and gasping and crying and swooning and drooling and I had absolutely no idea what to do with all those feels!!!
I bit my nails, I was desperate, I was hopeful, I wanted to smash the book against a wall – which would have been pretty bad because I read it on my e-reader and I’m quite certain it wouldn’t have survived this special kind of treatment *lol* – I wanted to shake some of the characters, wanted to yell at them, I wanted to laugh with them, I wanted to punch some sense into their heads. (Yeah, Adam it’s you I’m talking about!!!) And most of all I really, really wanted them to be happy and fine!!!

So yeah, I think you get the idea! 😉
It was an emotional rollercoaster and I actually loved every second of it! *lol*

That said I guess I can finally jump to the actual review! I hope you manage to read until the end. If not: You’ve been brave and I don’t blame you! ;-P

1

„My eyes are filling fast with tears and I blink and blink but the world is a mess and I want to laugh because all I can think is how horrible and beautiful it is, that our eyes blur the truth when we can’t bear to see it.“

The book basically starts where “Unravel me” left off. Juliette has been saved by Warner and was brought back to base while she was unconscious. In the first chapter we learn that Omega Point has been destroyed completely and that Warner had no other choice than to smuggle Juliette into his private quarters. Of course our heroine is not happy about the bad new and wants to find out what truly happened and if anyone is still alive. So yeah our golden boy and our lethal girl decide to take a trip to the place where Omega Point used to be and it’s actually there, where the plot thickens and everything gains momentum! 😉 Since I don’t want to spoil you I decided to leave it at that, I’m pretty certain that most of you have already read the entire trilogy though.
So for everyone who’s already read the books and for everyone who doesn’t want to be spoiled:

The character’s section is going to be full, I repeat, full of spoilers!!! So beware my fellow readers! Ye be warned!!! ;-P *lol*

2

Juliette:

I loved how self-confident and strong Juliette has become. She’s finally capable of forming her own opinions and she doesn’t take – forgive me my crude choice of words – shit anymore! *lol* The old Juliette would have cowered and accepted the way Adam treated her, the new Juliette kicked ass!!! Quite literally as well! XD I was so proud of her! She finally had the courage to stand up for herself and her beliefs and she didn’t only make her own decisions but also made sure to follow through with them! It was amazing to watch her transformation and I was so glad she finally found herself!!! There was only one thing I didn’t like about her and that was how she let Warner suffer! How dare you Juliette! How dare you to break his wonderful and gentle heart!!!! I mean jeez I know you had to think things through, but seriously!!!! It’s WARNER we’re talking about!!!! That awesome hot guy who’s crazy and madly in love with you!!!! XD Open your freakin eyes!!! *lol* Okay, okay enough of the rant, everything is fine! 😉

”Or,” I say to him, “I leave, find your father, kill him, and deal with the consequences on my own.”
Warner fights a smile and fails.
He glances down and laughs just a little before looking me right in the eye. He shakes his head.
“What’s so funny?”
“My dear girl.”
“What?”
“I have been waiting for this moment for a long time now.”

„I can’t be that girl anymore.
For so many years I lived in constant terror of myself. Doubt had married my fear and moved into my mind, where it built castles and ruled kingdoms and reigned over me, bowing my will to its whispers until I was little more than an acquiescing peon, too terrified to disobey, too terrified to disagree.
I had been shackled, a prisoner in my own mind.”

”I remember it so well.” I hesitate. “Dying. It was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced. I couldn’t scream because my lungs were torn apart or full of blood. I don’t know. I just had to lie there, trying to breathe, hoping to drop dead as quickly as possible. And the whole time,” I say, “the whole time I kept thinking about how I’d spent my entire life being a coward, and how it got me nowhere. And I knew that if I had the chance to do it all again, I’d do it differently. I promised myself I’d finally stop being afraid.”

”This isn’t about Adam or Warner,” I tell him. “This is about me and what I want. This is about me finally understanding where I want to be in ten years. Because I’m going to be alive, Kenji. I will be alive in ten years, and I’m going to be happy. I’m going to be strong. And I don’t need anyone to tell me that anymore. I am enough, and I always will be.”

Adam:

Well, I think I’ve to take that back. Nothing is fine when it comes to Adam. Adam… that name… I just have to think about him and I become aggressive. Oh man, I seriously have issues with that boy!!! I already wanted to slap some sense into him while I read “Unravel me”, reading about his character in “Ignite me” I was actually tempted to punch him in the face! Gosh!! That stupid, stupid, stubborn, selfish, obnoxious and incorrigible jerk!!! And that’s actually me putting it more than just mildly! I hate him, I loathe him, I want to scratch him with my fingernails! How dare he to be so egoistic and mean!? When I read chapter 27 I was so angry I wanted to slap him in his stupid pretty face!!! Saying that he was happier when he thought Juliette was dead?!!?? I mean seriously!!??? WHAT THE FREAKIN HELL!??!!! Don’t you have any decency?! And then he even has the nerve to throw her out and to keep his relation to Warner a secret? *grrrrrr* I could go on and on about how much I despise him now, but I think I’ll just leave it at that. ADAM is dead to me and the fact he decided to get to know Warner in the end still doesn’t change anything about my opinion! What a stupid fool!!!

”It’s not charity,” I snap. “He cares about me – and I care about him!”
Warner nods, unimpressed. “You should get a dog, love. I hear they share much the same qualities.”

What do you know about being alive?” he demands. “You wouldn’t say a word when I first found you. You were afraid of your own shadow. You were so consumed by your grief and guilt that you’d gone almost completely insane – living so far inside your own head that you had no idea what happened to the world while you were gone.”

You don’t even know what you’re saying,” Kenji tells him. “You’re acting crazy – “
“I was happier,” Adam says, “when I thought she was dead.”
“You don’t mean that. Don’t say things like that, man. Once you say that kind of shit you can’t take it back –“
“Oh, I mean it,” Adam says. “I really, really mean it.” He finally looks at me. Fists clenched. “Thinking you were dead,” he says to me, “was so much better. It hurt so much less than this.”

“And right now, I can’t say I know what Adam would do if I were dying in front of him. I’m not sure if he would save my life. And that uncertainty alone makes me certain that something wasn’t right between us. Something wasn’t real.
Maybe we both fell in love with the illusion of something more.”

Warner:

He’s standing at the front door, hands shoved casually in his pockets, no fewer than six different guns pointed at his face.”

Oh Warner… *sighs dreamily* With every book I read I loved that boy more and more! He still is awesomeness on two legs and if possible he got even more awesome throughout the book. Gosh, how much I love him!!! I’m Warner trash, I want to have his babies, he’s the perfect man and he’s easily become my no.1 book boyfriend. (Well, truth be told Will and he seem to share that place now. *LOL*) We finally saw more of his vulnerable side and I loved E.V.E.R.Y single S.E.C.O.N.D of it!!! I loved how he came to Juliette rescue when Adam and her had that argument back at Adam’s house and I was so heartbroken when he tried to hide his scars in chapter 32. And good god, I swear when I read chapter 50 it broke my heart into tiny little pieces. I was crying so hard I was even forced to take a break. That chapter literally killed me! I was so overwhelmed by my emotions I could barely breathe. My heart ached so much… that poor lost boy, to read that chapter was pure torture and just to remember it is actually enough to cause me to weep again. *sniff* Warner suffered and hurt so much throughout the entire book and all I wanted to do was to cradle him and to take his pain away. No one deserves to be so miserable and alone and I really hated Adam for hiding his and James’s true identity. If I’m entirely honest I also kind of hated Juliette for being so indecisive and when they finally hit it off I was so happy I grinned the entire time. =))))))

I’ve said it before, love, and I’m sorry I have to say it again, but you do not understand the choices I have to make. You don’t know what I’ve seen and what I’m forced to witness every single day.” He hesitates. “And I wouldn’t want you to. But do not presume to understand my actions,” he says, finally meeting my eyes. “Because if you do, I can assure you you’ll only be met with disappointment. And if you insist on continuing to make assumptions about my character, I’ll advise you only this: assume you will always be wrong.”

“He wasn’t trying to patronize me.
He was enjoying himself.
Aaron Warner Anderson, chief commander and regent of Sector 45, son of the supreme commander of The Reestablishment.
He has a soft spot for fashion.”

”I have no one to impress,” he says. “No one who cares about what happens to me. I’m not in the business of making friends, love. My job is to lead an army, and it’s the only thing I’m good at. No one,” he says, “would be proud of the things I’ve accomplished. My mother doesn’t even know me anymore. My father thinks I’m weak and pathetic. My soldiers want me dead. The world is going to hell. And the conversations I have with you are the longest I’ve ever had.”

Warner takes a hard, shaky breath. “Then what did you say to him?”
Seven seconds die between us.
“Nothing,” I whisper.
Warner stills.
I don’t breathe.
No one speaks for what feels like forever.
“Of course,” Warner finally says. He looks pale, unsteady. “You said nothing. Of course.”

”The bed is empty.
Warner has collapsed in the corner.
He’s curled into himself, knees pulled up to his chest, arms wrapped around his legs, his head buried in his arms. And he’s shaking.
Tremors are rocking his entire body.
I’ve never, ever seen him look like a child before. Never, not once, not in all the time I’ve known him. But right now, he looks just like a little boy. Scared. Vulnerable. All alone.”

”It’s the only way I know how to exist,” he says. “In a world where there is so much to grieve and so little good to take? I grieve nothing. I take everything.”
I stare into his eyes for what feels like forever.
He leans into my ear. Lowers his voice. “Ignite, my love. Ignite.”

Kenji:

I think that boy is the most complex side character I ever had the pleasure to come across. *lol* He’s funny and serious at the same time and he cares so deeply for his friends that it’s sometimes even kind of painful to watch. I loved how he cared about Juliette and how he tried his best to support her. It was pretty obvious that he didn’t agree with her opinion about Warner, yet he still accepted her decision and tried everything possible in order to understand her motives. I really wish there would be more Kenji’s out in the world and I truly hope that Kenji finds true love in the next book. Do you hear me, Mafi? I want Kenji to have a girlfriend in “Restore me”!!! He deserves it, he sooo does!!! XD If you haven’t written a girlfriend for him already, you still got plenty of time to change this!!! 😉 So yeah, do it!!!!! Oh and by the way: That’s an order and no request!!! *LOL*

“You’re not bothered by all the heavy breathing going on over here?” He makes a haphazard gesture towards us.
I jump away from Adam reflexively.
“No,” James says, crossing his arms. “Are you?”
“Disgust was my general reaction, yeah.”
“I bet you wouldn’t think it was gross if it was you.”
A long pause.
“You make a good point,” Kenji finally says. “Maybe you should find me a lady in this crappy sector. I’m okay with anyone between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five.” He points at James. “So how about you get on that, thanks.”

“Good for you. I’ll buy you a balloon the minute the world stops shitting on itself.”
“Thank you,” I say, pleased. “You’re a good teacher.”
“I’m good at everything,” he points out.
“Humble, too.”
“And really good looking.”
I choke on a laugh.

“It just gets really heavy sometimes.” He looks away. “Too heavy. Even for me. And some days I don’t want to laugh,” he says. “I don’t want to be funny. I don’t want to give a shit about anything. Some days I just want to sit on my ass and cry. All day long.” His hands stop moving against the mats. “Is that crazy?” he asks quietly, still not meeting my gaze.

”Who’s Bruce Lee?”
“Who’s Bruce Lee?” Kenji asks, horrified. “Oh my God. We can’t even be friends anymore.”
“Why? Was he a friend of yours?”
“You know what,” he says, “just stop. Just – I can’t even talk to you right now.”

James:

Oh that little boy was just so adorable and I had to laugh so hard whenever he spoke with Warner! Those two brothers had such an awesome chemistry and I loved how open and unprejudiced James was! Unlike Adam he actually saw the good in Warner and I just loved him for it! XD

Warner studies Jame’s face with rapt fascination. He bends down on one knee, meets James at eye level. “And who are you?” he asks.
Everyone in the room is silent, watching.

”Why do you call her ‘love’?” James asks. “I’ve heard you say that before, too. A lot. Are you in love with her? I think Adam’s in love with her. Kenji’s not in love with her, though. I already asked him.”
Warner blinks at him.
“Well?” James asks.
“Well what?”
“Are you in love with her?”
“Are you in love with her?”
“What?” James blushes. “No. She’s like a million years older than me.”
“Would anyone like to take over this conversation?” Warner asks, looking around in the group.

”So, wait – then you’re not the bad guy,” James says all of a sudden. “You’re on our side, right?”
Warner turns slowly to meet James’s eyes. Says nothing.
“Well?” James asks, impatient. “Aren’t you on our side?”
Warner blinks. Twice. “So it seems,” he says, looking as though he can hardly believe he’s saying it.

Anderson:

Thank god he was finally shot and didn’t even get a proper chance to say anything! I swear everything that man ever said revolted me immensely and I’m just glad that it’s over and that no word is ever going to escape his lips again. XD

”And shoot him in the forehead.
Twice.
Once for Adam.
Once for Warner.”

So yeah, I loved the entire book and if there is one thing I didn’t like than it’s just the fact that the trilogy is over and that the ending was too fast. I would have liked to see more of the aftermath and I kind of hoped for some sort of epilogue, but considering the fact that Tahereh Mafi is going to write three other books I don’t feel the urge to complain! *lol*

All told, I highly recommend the “Shatter me” trilogy and if you haven’t read it already you definitely should!!!! 😉

And last but not least: This was a buddy read with the awesome Megha and I was sooo damn glad I was able to talk about all those feels!!! Thanks a lot! You rock!!! XD

”You know,” he whispers, his lips at my ear, “the whole world will be coming for us now.”
I lean back. Look into his eyes.
“I can’t wait to watch them try.”

Allgemein, K, K - O, Reviews

Review: King of Scars (Leigh Bardugo)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten
 
Book 22 of My Book List 2019
 

”I’d like nothing better than another opportunity to talk,” said Nikolai. “But I’m afraid I have more bad news.”
Genya slumped in her chair. “There’s more?”
“This is Ravka,” said Zoya. “There’s always more.”

I swear this quote is SUCH. A. MOOD!!! *lol* The entire book is nothing but bad news and well, yeah this is Ravka. There’s always more bad news to come. XD Leigh didn’t just nail it with those words; she also set the pace for this doulogy! To be honest I had no idea this was going to be a doulogy and after finishing “King of Scars” I have absolutely no clue how she wants to wrap this all up. There are so many things that need to be addressed and the mere idea of facing them all in the next book is already making me look like a copy of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”.  (Which is one of my favourite paintings btw ;-P)

Still, I trust Leigh and I know she’ll write a phenomenal sequel. She did with “Crooked Kingdom” and I have no doubt that she’ll do it with “Rule of Wolves” as well. This said, the pacing of this book was kind of surprising. I mean I certainly didn’t expect it to be so slow at the beginning. There was a lot of information we needed to get in order to understand the current situation of Ravka and to say it’s precarious wouldn’t even get close to the truth. I guess if you’d just say that they are screwed you’d strike home. *lol*

So yes, there’s a lot of build-up and all the new players are introduced and evenly spread on the chessboard. I think in a lot of ways this was a very serious book and even though Zoya’s and Nikolai’s banter was one of the highlights in “King of Scars” there were a lot of severe moments that ultimately forced our beloved characters to grow. Which is always a good thing in my book! You know I’m a sucker for character arcs and to see Nina, Zoya and Nikolai work things out was more than just amazing. Before I spoil anything I better just head over to my character section and write it all off my chest! 😉

2

Welcome to Ravka where bad news are the standard and scary winged creatures turn into kings during the day! *lol* The good news is: There’s a lot to talk about! The bad news is that you’ll be spoiled like crazy if you continue to read. So whatever you do, keep in mind that it was your own choice! 😉

Nikolai:

”I’ll find a way. All his life, Nikolai had believed that. His will had been enough to shape not only his fate but his own identity. He had chosen what he wanted people to see – the obedient son, the feckless rogue, the able soldier, the confident politician. The monster threatened all of that. And they were no closer to finding a way to drive the thing out than they had been six months ago. What was there to do but keep moving? Lesser animals whined and struggled when they’d been caught in a snare. The fox found a way out.”

I know a lot of people said that Nikolai isn’t the charming Nikolai from the Grisha trilogy anymore and that they didn’t like this. In my opinion this was only realistic though. I mean how is he supposed to be his charming and carefree self if there is a monster living inside of him? He’s trying to save Ravka from hostile countries, he’s dealing with a lot of problems in his own country and he’s working really hard on uniting his people. And all this even though he turns into a monster at night. I can’t even imagine how exhausted he truly is. Yet he still keeps up appearances and gives Ravka his all. I love that about Nikolai. He’s a man of his people, his country always comes first and he’d do everything to protect his land and the people within it. So yes, Nikolai might not be as easy-going as he used to be but he has thousands of reasons to be the way he is. My poor boy deserves a break and whenever I read about how much he loves Ravka and how tired he is my heart broke for him. T_T Can we get a happy Nikolai in the next book, please?! <333

”Nikolai looked again at the old map of Ravka – violent, hopeless, unappeasable in its constant need. Ravka was his first love, an infatuation that had begun in his lonely boyhood and that had only deepened with age. Whatever it demanded, he knew he would give. He’d been reckless with this country he claimed to love, and he could no longer let his fear dictate Ravka’s future.”

”That’s what the job requires, Zoya. Ruling is not just about military victories. It’s not even about setting fair laws and seeing them enforced. It’s about these moments, the men and women who choose to put their lives and livelihoods in our hands.”

”I think I can fix it,” he said at last. “I’ve always known Ravka is broken, and I’ve seen the way it breaks people in return. The wars never cease. The trouble never stops. But I can’t help believing that somehow, I’ll find a way to outsmart all of the kings who came before and set this country right.” He shook his head and laughed. “It is the height of arrogance.”

”Nikolai had always understood that he and Ravka were the same. He just hadn’t understood how: He was not the crying child or even the drowning man. He was the forever soldier, eternally at war, unable to ever lay down his arms and heal.

Zoya:

”She intended to find a way to protect Grisha throughout the world so no one would ever have to live in fear or hide their gifts again – a governing body with representatives from every nation to hold their countries accountable, a guarantee of rights and of punishment for anyone who tried to imprison or harm her kind.

I already said it in one of my updates and I’ll say it again: Zoya is like a good wine that gets better with time. She’s an acquired taste and I love her for it! *lol* I kinda lived and breathed for the little snippets we got about her life and her background story was truly heart-breaking. Liliyana sounded like such a great person and it’s so sad that she died when the Darkling expanded the Fold. Also I can’t believe her parents wanted to marry off Zoya at the tender age of 9!!! Like WTH is wrong with you people?! *GRRR* I’m really glad she managed to escape that marriage and became a Grisha instead. I never thought I’d grow so fond of her insulting tongue but haha she really grew on me in this one. Also OMG! Now that she has Juris’s power will she be able to turn into a dragon too?! Because damn it, I’d be so down for a Zoya dragon in the next book! XD That way she couldn’t just spit fire with her sharp tongue but actually well, you know, SPIT FIRE!!! *lol* I’m ready for it Leigh! Just bring it on! 😉

”Zoya did not desire, she was desired. And that was the way she liked it. It was galling to admit that she wasn’t at all sure she could make Nikolai want her, and more galling to think that a part of her longed to try, to know if he was as impervious to her beauty as he seemed, to know if someone like him, full of hope and light and optimistic endeavor, could love someone like her.”

”What will I do with this? Look at my old face?” said Liliyana. “Send it to your mother as a peace offering.”
“It’s a gift for you,” Zoya replied. “So you can look into it each morning and see the most beautiful person I’ve ever known.”

”But the Darkling saw me clearly even then. ‘Is that really what you wish to say?” he asked.”
Zoya pushed a dark strand of her hair behind her ear. “So I told him the truth. I put my chin up and said, ‘They can all hang. It was my blood in the snow.”

Nina:

”Saints, she missed him. The ache of his absence felt like a hook lodged inside her heart. The hurt was always there, but in moments like these, it was as if someone had seized hold of the line and pulled.”

Ahhhhh!!! Nina was so savage in this! And I kinda liked it? XD What’s wrong with me? *lol* On the one hand Nina’s POV repeatedly ripped out my heart because the way her thoughts revolved around Matthias was just painful but on the other hand to see how strong she became also made me kind of proud? I mean Nina was always a very strong-willed character and did things her own way, but the Nina of “King of Scars” was on an entirely new level! I mean WOAH! The way she dealt with the Wellmother and basically everyone else who got in her way. Boy, that girl means business! Yet she’s still compassionate, gentle and kind. I think her experiences just made her a little more… I dunno ruthless? She knows none of the Fjerdans would show her mercy so she pays them back in kind. I’m very curious how she’ll develop and which kind of person she’ll be at the end of this trilogy. No matter what happens I’ll always love my Waffle Queen and that will never change! ❤ (Also to everyone who watched “Shadow and Bone”: I loved Nina in there! I’m totally besotted with Netflix Nina. *lol*)

”I don’t like that word,” Nina said, advancing. “Call me Grisha. Call me zowa. Call me death, if you like.”
Birgir laughed. “Two guns are pointed at you. You think you can kill us both before one of us gets a shot off?”
“But you’re already dying, Captain,” she crooned gently.

”Of course,” she said. “Matthias, your country can kiss my fat Grisha ass.”

”Nina tucked two tiny quail eggs into her skirts in case Trassel had a taste for the finer things, and found herself wondering if they might finish with sugared almond cookies. One could plot violent espionage and still hope for dessert.”

”I told you I would pray for you,” said Nina as she closed the door and issued her final command to her soldiers: Give her the mercy she deserves.
Nina turned her back on the Wellmother’s screams.”

The Saints, Yuri and The Darkling:

”Most of us can hide our greatest hurts and longings. It’s how we survive each day. We pretend the pain isn’t there, that we are mad of scars instead of wounds. The hive does not grant me the luxury of that lie. I cannot go on this way. None of us can.”

Okay, I admit it: I never saw that plot line coming! Not even in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that Leigh would introduce us to living saints and that we’d actually get to know some of them more closely. So that caught me totally off guard. I didn’t like Yuri right from the beginning because he was your typical religious fanatic and well as it turned out to have him around was a big mistake. I knew something was up with Elizaveta but I would have never expected her to go that far! Like OMG! Why??!! Juris’s and Zoya’s friendship was great and Grigori kind of grew on me too. It’s a shame both of them had to die because Elizaveta wanted to resurrect the Darkling and I can’t believe… I CAN’T BELIEVE she actually succeeded! I swear: The Darkling in Yuri’s body at the ending was… THE. DEATH. OF. ME!!! I can’t even!!! No, no I can’t! I mean I love the Darkling but OH GOSH!!! I think I might need a little time to digest this. *lol*

”Stop punishing yourself for being someone with a heart. You cannot protect yourself from suffering. To live is to grieve. You are not protecting yourself by shutting yourself off from the world. You are limiting yourself, just as you did with your training.”

”The Darkling could have killed either of them, but he had wanted to punish them instead. He might have been an ancient power, but he certainly had a petty streak.”

3

Zoya & Nikolai:

Zoya batted Nikolai’s quaking hands away from his buttons and took up the work herself. Through the thin cotton, she could feel the chill the night had left on his skin.
“What an excellent valet you make,” he murmured. But she knew he hated submitting to these small attentions, hated that he was weak enough to require them.

I SHIP IT! Badly! I never thought I’d say this but Zoya and Nikolai are made for each other. They both know how to deal with court problems, they are strong and independent and they obviously have a soft spot for each other! ❤ I loved the level of trust that is between them and they had so many little moments together. Their love is something that grows slowly like a delicate flower and I can’t wait for them to realize how much they mean to each other. Nikolai comparing her to a strong drink was everything! *lol* We all know Nikolai could handle her and I want them to kiss and confess their love for each other! Also their banter!!! It’s superior! I think Zoya might be exactly what Ravka needs and who knows, now that she’ll be some sort of saint people will probably accept her at his side? I really hope those two will have a HEA because they both deserve it! Nikolai needs a woman like Zoya and I’m convinced Zoya needs a man like Nikolai. So can they already kiss, please?! *lol*

”He’d come to recognize the bizarre phenomenon of Zoya’s beauty, the way men loved to create stories around it. They said she was cruel because she’d been harmed in the past. They claimed she was cold because she just hadn’t met the right fellow to warm her. Anything to soften her edges and sweeten her disposition – and what was the fun in that? Zoya’s company was like strong drink. Bracing – and best to abstain if you couldn’t handle the kick.”

”But when he thought of choosing a wife, the branches crowded in on him and he found himself glad to be left alone in the dark. Perhaps not alone, precisely. He very much enjoyed the quiet of this room, the warmth of the fire, and the steel-spined harpy seated across from him.”

”Zoya, say something spiteful.”
“Why?” she asked faintly.
“Because I’m fairly certain I’m hallucinating, and in my dreams you’re much nicer.”
“You’re an idiot, Nikolai.”
“Not your best work.”

”In that moment, he wished things might have been different. That he might not die tomorrow. That he could be led by his heart instead of duty.
Because Zoya was not kind and she was not easy.
But she was already a queen.”

”Of course I’ll come back,” he said. “I don’t trust anyone else to deliver my eulogy.”
A smile curled her lips. “You’ve written it already?”
“It’s very good. You’d be surprised how many synonyms there are for handsome.”
Zoya closed her eyes. She turned her face, letting her cheek rest against this palm. “Nikolai –“

Nina & Hanne:

”Nina studied her. There was something relentless in her features – the cheekbones sharp, the nose rigorously straight. Only the full thrust of her lips gave any hint of softness. It was a challenging face, stubborn in its lines. Beautiful.”

Mhmm… To be frank I don’t know how I feel about this new ship. I mean we all know I love a good f/f rep in my books and Nina deserves someone who will lover her the way she is. I’m just not sure that person is Hanne. I wasn’t convinced by their chemistry and it came out of nowhere. Like suddenly there is Hanne and Nina thinks she’s beautiful but she’s still grieving for Matthias so idk. *shrugs* And then she’s Jarl Brum’s child?! I mean I’m currently very fond of K-Dramas but Nina having a relationship with Brum’s child? I’ve a tough time imagining it. Guess only time will tell if I’ll be persuaded by this ship or not.

”If I had just been a boy. If I had been the son my father wanted …”
Nina gripped Hanne’s shouders. “You are perfect, Hanne. That your father can’t value your strength speaks only to his weakness.“

Ehri & Isaak:

”A reasonable gambit, but not one I was prepared to make.”
He studied her. “Not when you could simply wait for a pensive king to amble by and find you looking like a painting in green silk with flower in your hair?” Her golden eyes shifted away guiltily. “How long were you waiting, hoping I might stroll by?”
She bit her lip. “Two hours and twelve minutes. Give or take.”
He was both annoyed and pleased that she’d actually been frank.”

This was straight out of a Greek tragedy and I was really shook by this turn of events! Isaak grew on me and I really liked that boy and then BAM! Leigh killed him through Princess Ehri who wasn’t even Princess Ehri to begin with. They were both posing as someone they were not and actually fell in love. This love story was nothing but tragic and I’m still sad about it. They both deserved better and at another place and at another time they might have even been able to become lovers. T_T It’s so heart-breaking. It’s on the same level as Romeo and Juliet and ahhh my heart is still bleeding for those two. RIP Isaak! You did well, you were a great king and you could have been so much more! <333

”The things I imagine, the things I would hope for are not the musings of a queen.”
“A princess, then.”
Ehri smiled. “More like an artless girl. And end to war. A chance for the common people to choose their own futures. A world in which families aren’t torn apart by hardship … or duty. I must sound very foolish to you.”
“Not at all,” said Isaak. “If we don’t dream, who will?”

She pressed a soft kiss to his lips. “My only comfort is that you never could have been mine. But know that I would have gladly been yours.”
“Ehri,” he moaned as the world began to go dark.
“Not Ehri.”

”I’m not the king of Ravka, just a lowly grunt trying not to perspire in his fancy clothes. No, that was definitely not the right reply. Isaak supposed he should say something flirtatious, but he wasn’t sure which secrets belonged to him and which belonged to the king.”

4

“King of Scars” started out way more slowly than I thought it would, but the last couple of chapters totally made up for the slow beginning! My mind is still reeling from all those revelations and it might take a couple of days until I digested this ending. All told, I enjoyed this immensely and I can’t wait to dive into the next book. Now that the stage is set I expect an epic finale in “Rule of Wolves” and tell you what? I’m ready! 😉

Allgemein, Reviews, U, U - Z

Review: Unravel Me (Tahereh Mafi)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

I can’t. I just can’t deal with all those feels!!!
I finished reading this book about two days ago, yet my feelings are still too muddled and my mind is spinning and I just can’t seem to be able to think straight. XD

I swear that book killed me and if Mafi’s third book “Ignite Me” is going to be as good as this one – I seriously don’t even dare to think that it might be even better – it actually might be the death of me! *lol*

All I can do is to try to write a halfway coherent review of “Unravel Me” and considering all the feelings and the emotional rollercoaster I went through “to try” actually seems to be the right choice of words.

I loved that book! I loved it so much I decided to buy the entire “Shatter Me” series in paperback just so I can mark all my favourite moments!! *lol* Okay admittedly most of them will be Warner moments but then again that boy is A.W.E.S.O.M.E.N.E.S.S on two legs! No doubt, you know exactly what I mean! *wriggles eyebrows*

Anyway you wanted a review and I promise I’ll try my very best to give it to you! So yeah, we better get this started right?

1

The storyline begins with Juliette’s life at Omega Point and her constant struggle to become a part of the community. Knowing our young heroine it’s not all too hard to guess that she’s doing a rather awful job at adapting to her new circumstances and even though Adam tries his best to keep her grounded things unfortunately aren’t as easy as they seem to be. If I would have to sum it up I’d say that plot-wise there actually doesn’t happen a lot. Mostly because the rebels are just hiding at Omega Point and try to prepare for war. Considering the love story, there happens so much that you barely get a chance to breathe though. So yeah if you’re a sucker for love stories this book will tear you apart and scatter your remains in all four cardinal directions. If you’re not into YA love stories, teen angst and heart palpitations I’d not only advise you to give this book a wide berth but also would suggest to read another book of your – no doubt long – “to be read” list! ;-P

2

WARNING will contain spoilers and many quotes! XD

Juliette:

I loved how much she has grown in this book. At the beginning of “Shatter me” she was so insecure and frail, already scratching her sentences before she even got a proper chance to think them to an end. Now she has so many different thoughts that she can barely contain them, constantly thinking about everything that’s happening, second-guessing her own decisions, second-guessing other people’s decisions, second-guessing her relationships with Adam and Warner. It was refreshing to see that she’s finally beginning to think about the things she wants and that she actually realised that not everything is black and white. Especially not Warner! *lol* 😉

“I took what I wanted. I knew better and I took it anyway. Adam couldn’t have known, he could never have known what it would be like to really suffer at my hands. He was innocent of the depth of it, of the cruel reality of it. He’d only felt bursts of my power, according to Castle. He’d only felt small stabs of it and was able and aware enough to let go without feeling the full effects.
But I knew better.
I knew what I was capable of.”

“I think about glasses half full and glasses to see the world clearly. I think about sacrifice. And compromise. I think about what will happen if no one fights back. I think about a world where no one stands up to injustice.
And I wonder if maybe everyone here is right.
If maybe it’s time to fight.”

“Maybe it’s because he’s broken and I’m foolish enough to think I can fix him. Maybe it’s because I see myself, I see 3, 4, 5, 6, 17-year-old Juliette abandoned, neglected, mistreated, abused for something out-side of her control and I think of Warner as someone who’s just like me, someone who was never given a chance in life.”

“All I know is that it’ll never be safe for me to rely on someone else again, to need constant reassurance of who I am and who I might someday be. I can love him, but I can’t depend on him to be my backbone. I can’t be my own person if I constantly require someone else to hold me together.”

Adam:

Meh, I don’t know! While I really liked him in the first book and even kind of shipped him with Juliette, my sympathy for him now seems to have vanished. I understand that he hates Warner and that he desperately wants to be with Juliette. His actions and the way he deals with things definitely don’t get my approval though. I mean he could have easily saved them a lot of heartbreak if he just would have been honest to his girl and he’s so blinded by his love for Juliette and his hatred for Warner that he doesn’t even try to understand their point of view. I’m not saying that he should be all like “we’re one big happy family” but I really would have wished that he would have paused for a moment and would have used his brain! *lol* There are damn good reasons why Juliette decided to steer clear of him and I’m sure that if he would have given her some space and time, she probably might have even reconsidered her decision. I mean it’s obvious she loves him but with his actions he’s just pushing her away.

“How is it possible,” he says, “that I’m this close to you and it’s killing me that you’re still so far away?”

“Because it takes a lot more than blood to be family,” he says. “And I want nothing to do with him. I’d like to be able to watch him die and feel no sympathy, no remorse. He’s the textbook definition of a monster,” Adam says to me. “Just like my dad. And I’ll drop dead before I recognize him as my brother.”

Warner:

“He’s a vision of emerald and onyx, silhouetted in the sunlight in the most deceiving way. He could be glowing. That could be a halo around his head. This could be the world’s way of making an example out of irony. Because Warner is beautiful in ways even Adam isn’t.”

All good things come in threes, right? XD I already said it and I say it again: Warner is just amazing! I still love this boy and he’s easily become one of my all-time favourite book boyfriends!!! I probably could gush forever and still wouldn’t be able to put everything into words so I’ll just try my best to form coherent sentences that might be interrupted by high-pitched girl squees! *LOL* Just to let you know and warn you in advance! ;-P
Okay, here we go! Warner is probably one of the most complex characters I ever had the pleasure to encounter and believe me I read so many YA books that this actually means something!!! XD Over the course of the book he’s actually a prisoner at Omega Point, but since Juliette and Warner seem to have a “special connection” Castle just decided to assign her to interrogate him. There were so many scenes I loved and even though I can’t seem to be able to choose, Chapter 45 and Chapter 62 literally, I mean LITERALLY caused me to whimper!!! I had to read those two chapters twice because I was so overwhelmed I couldn’t even… Jeez I still can’t process it!!!

“ I told you I hated you.”
“Yes,” he says. He nods. “Well You’d be surprised how many people say that to me.”
“I don’t think I would.”
His lips twitch. “You tried to kill me.”
“That amuses you.”
“Oh, yes,” he says, his grin growing. “I find it fascinating.” A pause. “Would you like to know why?”
I stare at him.
“Because all you ever said to me,” he explains, “ was that you didn’t want to hurt anyone. You didn’t want to murder people.”
“I don’t.”
“Except for me?”
I’m all out of letters. Fresh out of words. Someone has robbed me of my entire vocabulary.
“That decision was so easy for you to make,” he says. “So simple. You had a gun. You wanted to run away. You pulled the trigger. That was it.”

In case you wondered why this is a spoiler! Because for me it’s exactly the moment in which everything changes! 😉

I love everything about Warner, his honesty, his sweet words, his gentleness when he’s with Juliette, his anger and defiance when he’s around all the others, his broken heart, his fear, his insecurity, his self-confidence, his insolence, his intensity, his cheekiness, how he was able to quote Juliette’s journal, his protectiveness, his bravery his tattoos!!! (OH MY GOD HIS TATTOOS), his thoughts, his mind, his cleverness, his laughter…. See what I’m talking about?! XD

“Finding this,” he says, his voice soft as he pats the cover of my notebook, “was so” – his eyebrows pull together – “it was so extraordinarily painful.”

Let’s just say it and be done with it: I am Aaron Warner trash through and through and if Juliette doesn’t take him I’ll have absolutely no qualms to snatch him away from her! *LOL*

“He stands there, bearing the pain, blinking fast, jaw so tight, staring at his father with absolutely no emotion on his face; there’s no indication he’s just been slapped but the bright red mark across his cheek, his temple, and part of his forehead. But his arm sling is more blood than cotton now, and he looks far too ill to be on his feet.
Still he says nothing.”

“Do you know,” he says, closing the cover of the journal only to lay his hand on top of it. Protecting it. Staring at it. “I couldn’t sleep for days after I read that entry. I kept wanting to know which people were chasing you down the street, who it was you were running from. I wanted to find them,” he says, so softly, “and I wanted to rip their limbs off, one by one. I wanted to murder them in ways that would horrify you to hear.”

“I want to be the friend you fall hopelessly in love with. The one you take into your arms and into your bed and into the private world you keep trapped in your head. I want to be that kind of friend,” he says. “The one who will memorize the things you say as well as the shape of your lips when you say them. I want to know every curve, every freckle, every shiver of your body, Juliette – “

“Please.”
He says “Please don’t shoot me for this.”
And he kisses me.

“ The truth,” he says, “is a painful reminder of why I prefer to live among the lies.”

Kenji:

I really like that he’s kind of become Juliette’s best friend and as a side character that boy really never fails to lighten up the mood. He’s funny and hilarious but at least after chapter 10 we realise that he can be more than just intense as well. XD That boy knows exactly what he’s doing and his mind definitely is at least as sharp as Warner’s. ;-P

“I shake my head, try to bite back my amusement. Kenji is a walking paradox of Unflinchingly Serious Person and 12-Year-Old Boy Going Through Puberty all rolled into one.”

I turn to face him. “Listen, I’m grateful you’re going to help me train now – really I am. Thank you for that. But you can’t go around proclaiming your fake love for me – especially not in front of Adam – and you have to let me cross this room before the breakfast hour is over, okay? I hardly ever get to see him.”
Kenji nods very slowly, looks a little solemn. “You’re right. I’m sorry. I get it.”
“Thank you.”
“Adam is jealous of our love.”

“Yeah, bro.” Kenji puts his utensils down. “You are moody. It’s always ‘Shut up, Kenji.’ ‘Go to sleep, Kenji.’ No one wants to see you naked, Kenji.” When I know for a fact that there are thousands of people who would love to see me naked – “

Anderson:

I hate him!!! I loathe him and I really wish that someone would finally put a stop to his cruel games! That man is just despicable and neither Adam, nor Warner nor James deserve a father like that!!!! I really hope the Reestablishment and Anderson fall together and that said I just can’t wait to read the next book! ;-P

“But then,” he says, laughing a little, “just as I began drafting my plans, my son came to me and begged me not to kill you. Just you.” He stops. Looks up. “He actually begged me not to kill you.” Laughs again. “It was just as pathetic as it was surprising.”

“Anderson’s gun is no longer pointed at me. He forgets me long enough to press the barrel of his gun into Warner’s forehead, twisting it, jabbing it against his skin as he speaks.”

Oh well, as it seems my review finally has come to an end! *lol*

For everyone that actually managed to read until now:
Thank you! I really hope you enjoyed my review and I’d be glad if you’d stay tuned for my thoughts about “Ignite me”. ;-P

And before I forget: This was a buddy read with Megha!!!
We’re going to rock „Ignite me“ as well! 😉

Allgemein, Reviews, U - Z, W

Review: Wicked Lovely (Melissa Marr)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 30 on My Book List 2020

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

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

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

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

2

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

Aislinn:

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

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

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

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

Seth:

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

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

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

Keenan:

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

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

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

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

Donia:

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

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

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

Beira:

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

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

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

3

Ash & Seth:

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

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

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

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

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

Ash & Keenan:

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

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

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

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

Donia & Keenan:

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

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

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

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

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

4

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

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