A - E, Allgemein, D, Reviews

Review: Darkdawn (Jay Kristoff)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 19 on My Book List 2021

”Fear was Can’t.
Fear was Won’t.
But fear wasn’t ever a choice.”

In honour of this buddy read being with the Yoongi to my V, the one and only Paper Plane Nomad, a fellow BTS ARMY and the one who accepted me as the V to her Yoongi, I shall only be using Tae (aka V of BTS) gifs in this review! Let’s hope I can pull this off and won’t get bias wrecked every 3 seconds. *lol*

This said: Let’s start with the actual review!

As third books in a series go this was actually a good conclusion. Well, mostly at least. There were a lot of things I really enjoyed and a couple of new characters that got introduced which I immediately took to, but there were also some things I didn’t like and that made this final book a less enjoyable read than its predecessors. So what exactly were my issues? Well, for instance I missed a central theme throughout the entire book. In comparison to the other two (assassin academy & gladiatii) this one just seemed to be all over the place. Yes, there was finally the darkin story we’ve all been waiting for since “Nevernight”, but aside from that we just had too many other threads that played into the main plot.

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Plus the ending was certainly not what I expected and it sort of fell flat for me. I don’t even know what I expected but it was something totally different than what I got. *lol* It kind of felt surreal? Idk how to describe it but after everything Mia went through I would have expected something more… epic? Okay, maybe it’s just me being weird?! XD

Or maybe it was me getting “eye-rollitis” whenever a certain character entered the page. *lol* I didn’t like that character and I sort of got angry every single time she opened her mouth, so I think that sort of animosity might have been another reason why I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I should have. ;-P And speaking of characters: I think it’s about time to head to my character’s section because as you can tell I have THOUGHTS and FEELINGS and I really need to get them off my chest! Are you ready?

2

Welcome to my spoilery spoiler section, gentlefriends! This is going to be juicy so if you’re not ready to face the bitter truth you better don’t continue to read this. ;-P Take your lemonade glass and make yourself comfortable, this is going to take a while. *lol*

Mia:

”I am a daughter of the dark between the stars,” she replied. “I am the thought that wakes the bastards of this world sweating in the nevernight. I am the vengeance of every orphaned daughter, every murdered mother, every bastard son.” Mia leaned forward and looked the man in the eye. “I am the war you cannot win.”

Mia sitting on that damn throne of the pirate king and later on telling Tric that to wear a shirt would ruin her “Murderous Bitch aesthetic” is my new aesthetic! *LOL* This girl!!! I never saw that one coming and I swear Mia is the embodiment of a badass heroine. I read about a lot of badass heroines over the years but none of them ever came close to Mia Corvere. XD Even more importantly: With Mia Jay Kristoff created a really unique character that has no equal. At least I never saw someone as compassionate, ruthless, stubborn, vulnerable and fierce as her. Mia doesn’t try to be a man, she makes use of her female assets and works with everything she got. So she’s a character that doesn’t try to be cool, she just is and that with such an effortless grace that you can’t help but admire her for it. I want to marry her so bugger off Ash! *lol* ;-P

”Two pices of the whole. One is just … darkness. Rage. She hates the world and everything in it. All she wants is to tear it down and laugh as it burns. And then there’s the me who thinks there might actually be something worth fighting for in all this. And maybe something to live for after.”

Ash:

”See there you go.” She gifted the boy a wink. “A little bit of spit and fire, that’s what I like to see. But I’m fierier than you, Tricky. I’m quicker and I’m prettier and the girl we both adore ended up in my bed, not yours.” She drummed her fingers on her sword hilt. “I won. You lost. So stay away from her, aye?”

I really can’t with Ash! I just can’t! I mean look at this gif! This is literally me whenever Ash said something in this book!

I don’t like this woman and I just can’t forgive her for killing Tric. I know Jay Kristoff wanted us to dig her and Mia together because they both have some ruthlessness to them and a soft side, but quite honestly I never saw that soft side of Ash. Where Mia had some compassion, Ash was just mean and had a downright cruel streak. The things she said to Tric in here… I could have punched her in the face and I wouldn’t have regretted it even though I’m a pacifist. *LOL* Jay, how was I supposed to like this girl? She’s a witch and I think Mia deserved better than her! Someone that rubs things in the way she did with Tric is not someone I’d like to ship. #SorryNotSorry

And that half-assed attempt at a redemption arc also didn’t do it for me. Once again #SorryNotSorry To say it with my Yoongi’s words: I’m done with this! So done! XD

Cloud Corleone:

”Well,” Cloud Corleone sighed. “As my dear old tutor Dona Elyse said the year I turned sixteen, “Fuck me very gently, then fuck me very hard.”

Now there’s a character I loved! Cloud Corleone and BigJon were two amazing new additions to the cast and Cloud’s four-bastard smile really grew on me. *lol* I think after Sturmhond he’s my second favourite privateer. XD I just loved how he and BigJon flirted so shamelessly with Mia and Cloud’s serious backstory was quite something to take in. >_< I’m glad Jay invented him in this book and I would have loved to read even more about Cloud and his crew. Maybe one day Jay will indulge us with a novel or short story? You never know. 😉

Corleone tilted his head. “You mean to tell me you know who crews aboard my ship better than I, Hangman? When was the last time you set foot on my decks?”
“When I was ploughing your mother,” the captain growled.
“O, aye, she sends her regards, by the by,” Corleone replied without skipping a beat. “She told me to tell you she hopes you’re not still embarrassed. It happens even to the best of men, apparently.”

Mr. Kindly:

”… if you wish a dog who simply rolls over when you growl, bring eclipse with you. but i’ll speak my mind, if it please you …”
“And if it doesn’t please me?”
“… i’ll speak it anyway…”

This is actual footage of me when I read the scene in which Mia tells Mr. Kindly to go away. Like OMG!!! I couldn’t believe she told him to get lost and even though I understood why she was angry I really didn’t get why she blamed it all on Mr. Kindly. He was right to tell the gladiatii the truth and he was also right to let them decide themselves. The rift between Mr. Kindly and Mia hurt so much and if there’s one thing I didn’t like about Mia in this book then it was the fact that she turned on him. Despite everything Mr. Kindly was still loyal to her though and worked in the background so she could face Cleo and I really hope Mia appreciated what he did for her!!! Mr. Kindly is the best! ❤

”… i am a part of you, mia. before i met you, i was a formless nothing looking for a meaning. the shape i wear is born of you, the thing i became is because of you. and if i must do what you will not, so be it. at least you will be alive to hate me …”

3

Mia & Ash:

”If you wanted a snog in the hallway you could’ve asked.”
“Not asking,” Ash shook her head. “Taking.”

And here we go with another actual footage of me. *LOL* I can’t believe Jay went for a HEA like that! Like WHAT??!!! Jay will probably never admit it but deep down he might be a romantic after all. XD I already said it in “Godsgrave” and I’ll say it again: I don’t ship the Mash ship! Urgh! Ash is just a selfish witch and she doesn’t deserve Mia! Period! Alone that quote above. Yep, that’s my problem with Ash she just takes without ever asking and she’s ruthless and doesn’t seem to have any sort of conscience… at all! How am I supposed to dig a character like that? Plus she’s petty and super jealous as well. Not the kind of woman I’d want to have by my side. I still think we need more sapphic romances in books but I can’t seem to be able to like this one because it’s actually sort of toxic. If Mia likes a girl that will kill everyone who just looks at her: Okay. I personally hate jealousy in relationships so Ash is a no for me. Also and someone has to say it – you’re allowed to take out your pitchforks now – I think a HEA in which Mia would have spent the rest of her days with Jonnen and Mercurio would have been more realistic. Yes, I would have even been okay if Ash would have been with them. But she basically fights the entire book for Mercurio and Jonnen’s freedom just to end up on that Threelakes shore with Ash? Of all people! Why? It beats me! *shakes head*

”And while the press of Ash’s lips left Mia feeling almost dizzy, the thought of her touch even now, laying senseless and sated, sending warm and delighted pulses up her thighs, a part of Mia – the part Mister Kindly would have filled, most likely – was still suspicious of the girl in her arms.”

Mia & Tric:

”She was losing herself in it. The feel of him, the taste, the familiar shapes, carved anew by the Mother of Night. Falling down into the need of him, aching from the touch of him, wanting to forget and remember and for a tiny moment, simply enjoy being lost inside it, with him inside her.”

Haha! This gotta be the first time I’d have preferred a straight pairing over a sapphic one. *lol* But seriously, there was way more chemistry between those two than there ever was between Ash and Mia. I mean Tric basically told her that he had to rip his way back through the walls of the abyss to get back to her and that he gave up his place by the hearth just to be with Mia. Tric is too good for their world and it made me really sad to see that he came back for nothing. Also: Why throw a possible love triangle at us, Jay, if you don’t follow through with it?! I always thought love triangles were one of my pet peeves, tell you what, my new pet peeve are love triangles that are brought into existence and never play out. *lol* #TricDeservedBetterThanThat

He took Mia’s hand, pressed it to his chest, and she was astonished to feel a heartbeat, strong and thudding beneath her palm. “BUT I WOULD STRIKE A THOUSAND BARGAINS WITH THE NIGHT FOR ONE MORE MOMENT WITH YOU. I’D DIE A THOUSAND DEATHS AND DEFY THEM ALL, JUST TO HOLD YOU IN MY ARMS ONE MORE TIME.”

Ash & Tric:

”I’m sorry you had to go, but that’s just how it is! And I stabbed you friendways, in case you’ve forgot. In the front, not the damned back. I can’t undo it, so what the fuck do you want from me?”
“A HINT OF REGRET? SOME SHRED OF REMORSE? FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND SOME SMALL PART OF WHAT YOU TOOK FROM ME?”
“Remorse is for the weak, Tricky,” Ash said. “And regret is for cowards.”

I loved that dinner scene in which Tric finally called out Ash! *lol* She deserved it and her excuse of “I killed you because it needed to be done” is so weak that it would need two crutches to stand on its own feet! She needed to? Hogwash!! She just couldn’t stand that Tric won Mia’s heart fairly and because of that he had to go. Every time she rubbed in that Tric was dead and she was the girl at Mia’s side I got so damn angry! She kicked at someone who was already lying on the ground and that is behaviour I just can’t accept. That half-assed redemption arc totally didn’t work for me because of course she knew that he was a way better person than she’d ever be! Am I supposed to feel sorry for her now? She killed Tric and yes, she might feel remorse over it but the knowledge she’d feel remorse over it still didn’t stop her from stabbing him in the first place! She knew exactly what she was doing! So: #SorryNotSorry. Tric was a way better person than Ash will ever be!

”In truth, she’d always known it.
She knew what shed taken from this boy. She knew why. Extinguishing all he was and could have ever been. She knew how hard it must be for him, returning to a world so changed. To see the girl he loved in the arms of the girl who murdered him. And though he had every reason under heaven to hate them, to lash out in his rage and break everything around him, he remained true. Loyal to his love. Loyal to the last. That was the kind of boy he was.
That was the kind of boy she’d killed.“

Mia & Mercurio:

”Once he’d been fire. Breathed it. Bled it. Spat it. But now, the only ember that remained was the one he kept burning for her – that snot-nosed, stuck-up little lordling’s bitch who’d wandered into his shop all those years ago, a silver brooch shaped like a crow in her hand.”

I’m not ashamed to admit it: Mia’s and Mercurio’s relationship caused me to tear up multiple times. The love those two felt for each other was so true and ahhh when they parted ways… Mia is truly Mercurio’s daughter and Scaeva can jump in a lake! *lol* I really wish they would have gotten a happy ending and that Mercurio would know she’s still alive. I guess he’ll just have to live with the memory of her though because Mia is busy with Ash in that house at the Threelake shore. Me being bitter? Nope, no way! *lol*

”When everything else had been taken away. He gave me a home and he kept me safe when he had no reason under the suns to do it.” Mia looked up at the girl, eyes shining. “He’s familia. More familia to me than almost anyone in this world.”

Mercurio scowled, his ice-blue eyes welling with tears.
“Never took a wife,” the old man said. “Never had a familia. Didn’t seem fair in my line of work. But … if I ever had a daughter –“
“You had a daughter,” Mia said. The girl threw her arms around the old man and squeezed hard as she could. “And she loves you,” she whispered.

Mia & the gladiatii:

”And then Sid was running, catching the girl up in his embrace, lifting her off the ground as she squealed. Bladesinger collided with the pair of them, wrapping them up in her arms, Butcher staggered over, Wavewaker arrived like an earthquake, grabbing all four of them and roaring as he lifted them off the ground and jumped in circles.
“You magnificent little bitch!” Sid cried.
“Let me go, you great fucking lumps!” Mia grinned.

It was really great to see that found family together again but unfortunately that moment of peace and happiness was gone pretty fast! I can’t believe almost all of the gladiatii except of Sid and Bladesinger died. =(( Sid and Singer hooking up was a little random but I guess after everything they went through it was kind of logical as well. *lol* Still, Jay is a devil for killing them off. The way they all died? OMG! Bryn and Wavewaker quite literally died while having sex and Butcher was betrayed by the person he wanted to protect. Ouch! You did quite a number on them Jay! >_<

”Mia, you risked your life for us,” Sidonius said. “Everything you’d worked for danced on the edge of a knife. And still you gambled it all to see us to freedom. And now you’d stand there and tell us what we can and can’t do with it?”
“Damn right I do,” she snarled. “You owe me your lives? Go fucking live them. You want to give me thanks? Do it when you tell your grandchildren about me.”

Mia, Jonnen & Scaeva:

”Our familia had a saying,” Mia said. “Before your father destroyed it. Neh diis lus’a, lus diis’a. Do you know what that means?”
“I do not speak Liisan,” the boy growled.
“When all is blood, blood is all.”

Well, that was quite the familia. *lol* Jonnen was a really spoiled brat before he came to Mia so it was good to see that he changed for the better while being around her. Also that moment when she put him into his place when he was hostile towards Cloud and BigJon? It was such a typical thing an older sister would do. As for Scaeva? I hate that man! He actually had the gall to think he made Mia the person she is now??!! Also how he treated Jonnen! I mean he quite literally said “Obey me!” and killed Eclipse because she protected Jonnen. The fact Jonnen let it happen was a real betrayal but then again he was only a nine year old boy that was scared and Scaeva was his father after all… This said the ending was kind of … idk. It was supposed to be this epic battle but it kind of fell flat for me. It was just too much, you know? They were both too powerful and strong and that took away from the enjoyment. Like usually in a battle one side is always weaker and overcomes that weakness which makes for the suspense. In this case both of them were equal and so it got a little… boring? *lol* I dunno how to describe it but I hope you get what I mean. I’m glad Scaeva isn’t around anymore though. XD

”She had every reason in the world to be nothing but rage and hatred and misery. But he knew, as much as she tried to hide it, she hadn’t let life turn her cold. She loved with a heart as fierce as lions. Gave in a way that left her bleeding, but never broken. Because even with all she’d lost, all she’d sacrificed, all the hurt heaped upon her shoulders, she’d still come back.
She still came back for me.”

Scaeva gave a soft, bitter chuckle as he looked her in the eye.
“All you are? All you have become? I gave you. Mine is the seed that planted you. Mine are the hands that forged you. Mine is the blood that flows, cold as ice and black as pitch, in those veins of yours.”
He leaned back on the divan, black eyes burning into her own.
“In every possible sense, you are my daughter.”

”He’d been a hard man, no doubt. Never cruel, no. But heavy as iron. Merciless as the sea. Slow with praise, swift with rebuke, fashioning his boy into a man who might one turn rule an empire. Because always, his father had made it plain – despite his parentage, the throne would be something Jonnen must earn.”

4

“Darkdawn” was a good conclusion to “The Nevernight Chronicle” but unfortunately it wasn’t as good as the other two books. It had a couple of issues that kept me from giving it that fifth paw but I guess it might be just another case of the “it’s me, not the book” syndrome. *lol* Either way it was a very enjoyable read and I’m glad I buddy read this with my Yoongi! ❤

I hope you enjoyed my rather untypical gif review and I’m already looking forward to read the next book Jay Kristoff will throw our way. 😉

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, S

Review: Scarlet (Marissa Meyer)

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Rating:4 Pfoten

Book 15 on My Book List 2021

”Your mom never made you eat your vegetables, did she?”
Their gazes clashed and the awkwardness was immediate.

Well, nope?! He’s the big bad wolf after all and I found it kind of hilarious that he loved tomatoes. *lol* This said, “Scarlet” was another great addition to “The Lunar Chronicles” and even though the Star Wars vibes weren’t as strong in this one as in the first book I still enjoyed it a lot and was very intrigued by Scarlet’s and Wolf’s story.

Interestingly this book picked up where the first one left off. So we didn’t only get Scarlet’s story that played in France, but also continued our journey with Cinder that still (mostly) took place in New Beijing. For me both plot lines were very interesting and the fast pacing of Scarlet’s chapters was a nice counterweight to the rather slow chapters of Cinder and Emperor Kai. Still, the fact they had a slow pace definitely didn’t mean that they weren’t super intriguing and suspenseful as well, because they definitely were. 😉

I guess we can all agree that Queen Levana is quite a formidable antagonist so the Kai chapters had me clasping my fingers and hoping that she wouldn’t do something unforgivable to him. He’s too precious and I don’t want to see him hurt. And speaking of precious characters: The new addition of Thorne and the return of Iko made this even more fun. *lol* We finally got some answers in “Scarlet” and I can’t wait to read the next book! I’m sure there’s even more to come and I’m looking forward to see where Marissa Meyer will take this series. =) For now we’ll talk about “Scarlet” though and as always I have thoughts. (I always do, don’t I? ;-P)

2

Bonjour, my fellow readers! You are now entering the spoilery territory of my review and if you haven’t read “Scarlet” already I’d recommend leaving this review. If you’re too curious… Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you. We all know: Curiosity kills the cat! ;-P

Scarlet:

”I just think we shouldn’t judge her, or anyone, without trying to understand them first. That maybe we should get the full story before jumping to conclusions. Crazy notion, I know.”

Ahh Scarlet and her shotgun! I really liked that girl! *lol* She’s super independent, can stand her ground and is very down-to-earth, which are all good traits. And she’s very compassionate and always thinks of others first. I loved how much she cared about her grandmother and how determined she was to find her and to get her back to safety. When Scarlet finally reached her grandma it broke my heart though. They only had a couple of pages together and when she died I was so sad. You could feel their strong bond and their love for each other and if Scarlet now feels like eliminating Queen Levana’s soldiers with her shotgun for what they did to her grandma… well go ahead girl! XD The poor old lady deserved so much better than to be tortured by those Lunars. T_T I really hope Scarlet will get over the loss of her grandmother and that she’ll come out of it even stronger than before. Give my girl a shotgun in “Cress” and let’s see what will happen next! ;-P

”I suspect you would shoot me all over again if you thought it would help your grandmother.”
She blinked up at him, almost surprised to discover how close they were standing. “I would,” she said, “But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be sorry about it afterward.”

”Mademoiselle Benoit retrieved,” she said, planting her heel on the back of the dazed, blank-faced soldier and shoving him off the ramp. “And don’t worry, we’ll take Alpha Kesley off your hands.”

Wolf:

”The only way to prevent becoming an omega is to fight. And to win. That’s why I do it. That’s why I’m good at it.”

Wolf was such an enigma! From the very first moment he appeared on page I wondered about his motives and why he helped Scarlet. His heightened senses, the predatory actions and his appearance, it all had me wondering if he would turn on Scarlet and in the end he actually did. Despite all that I’m pretty certain that we got to see the real Wolf. Beneath the animal there’s still a person and it’s struggling for control. I always wondered why he was so scared around Scarlet and I finally realized that he was afraid of her because she made him feel like a human being, like a person and not an animal. So that kind of made me wonder about how he was raised and how he became one of Levana’s soldiers. He’s certainly no normal Lunar and it was hinted that Levana sort of “breeds” them, whatever that means. The last scene showed her soldiers in some sort of boot camp so I guess she trains them? I really hope we’ll find out more about this in the next books or that “The Queen’s Army” will be able to answer some of my questions. XD For now I’ll give Wolf the benefit of the doubt.

His hands hastily brushed the curls from her face, gripped her shoulders, rubbed her bruised wrist, every ounce of his frenetic energy devoted to checking that she was there. That she was all right. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I lost focus, I slipped – I’m sorry. Scarlet. Are you all right?”

”His jaw worked as if to take in a bigger gulp of hair.
She could see his fight. His struggle. As clearly as she could see the animal – the wolf – in him. As clearly as she could still see the man.

”I appreciated everything you gave me.” He picked up the can of olives and sniffed at them, wary of being tricked again. “Although I didn’t deserve any of it.”

Cinder:

”What are they doing?”
“Obeying,” she said heavily, hating herself for making the command. Hating the hums that filled her ears. Hating this gift that was too unnatural, too powerful, too unfair.

Cinder had quite a lot to digest in this book and it’s no wonder she’s kind of insecure about what to do and how to proceed. I guess to find out that you’re a long lost princess that was almost killed by your own evil aunt would be tough for everyone. XD She’s still trying to make sense of everything that happened and with Levana’s henchmen and every citizen of earth looking for her she didn’t even get a break to come to terms with her new status as a princess and fugitive. Not to mention that she still has feelings for Kai and must feel pretty betrayed by his actions. Considering what Levana did to her I’m kind of glad she has no conscious memory of what happened when she was a little kid though. >_< I wonder if Cinder will accept her powers in “Cress” or if she’ll still feel conflicted about them. Let’s hope she’ll make peace with them. I mean it’s not like the entire world depends on that, right? *lol*

”Levana had tried to kill her when she was only three years old.
Her operation had been completed when she was eleven.
Eight years. In a tank, sleeping and dreaming and growing.
Not dead, but not alive either.”

Kai:

”What he didn’t know was how many times she’d glamoured him before that. How many times she’d tricked him. How many times she’d made him out to be a complete fool.”

POOR KAI!!! To read his POV was pure torture! I felt so sorry for him because he doesn’t know about Cinder’s connection to Levana and has no idea what’s actually at stake. Not that he would need any more pressure. He’s basically holding his country together by sheer force of will. To say he’s between a rock and a hard place would be putting it more than just mildly. If you ask me it’s admirable that he even tries to defy Queen Levana! A lot of people would have cowered before her if she’d taken away their voice, but Kai? He still uses every single one of his breaths to annoy the hell out of her. It’s the only way he can defy her and boy does he give her a run for her money. *lol* Still, the pressure was too much and I hated to see him crumble. ARGH! I hated every single moment he had to wait for Levana to stop her attack. The price was too high and Kai basically gave his life for his people by agreeing to marry her. T_T Kai deserves so much better than that… so, so much better.

”Sensation returned to his tongue and Kai threw a thankless smile at Aimery. He then proceeded to do the most disrespectful thing he could think of – he pulled his chair back from his desk and sat down. Tripping back, he folded his hands over his stomach.”

”With the click of the latch, Kai let himself crumble into his chair. His entire body was shaking. It was suddenly so clear that he wasn’t ready for this. He wasn’t strong enough or smart enough to fill his father’s shoes. He couldn’t even keep Levana out of his own office – how was he going to protect an entire country from her – an entire planet?”

Thorne:

Then, “You’re … rather handsome, Captain Thorne.”
Cinder groaned.
“And you, my fine lady, are the most gorgeous ship in these skies, and don’t let anyone ever tell you different.”

Don’t you love a guy that calls himself Captain and is afraid of cockroaches? *lol* I’m not gonna lie, my first impression of Thorne wasn’t really a favourable one. XD To be honest my exact words were: He’s not the brightest candle on the cake. *lol* Which still holds true but the more I got to know him the more I realized that he’s like an adorable puppy. He has no idea what he’s doing but his heart is in the right place and sometimes he’s even downright reasonable. Haha! I think that makes him a great addition to the cast and I’m definitely looking forward to more of his dumb genius moments. In short: He’s super goofy and his rakish attitude makes him very entertaining. XD Considering the next book is “Cress” I’m pretty sure we didn’t see the last of him and that my wish to see more of him will come true soon. ;-P

”I get that you feel like it was your fault, but let’s try to put some of the blame where it belongs here.”

Queen Levana:

”Your Majesty,” Kai said, addressing the queen with, he thought, an admirable lack of contempt. “What a pleasant surprise.”
“One more patronizing comment and I will have you slice off and nail your own tongue to the palace gate.”

Isn’t Levana a sunshine? *lol* No, honestly, I hate that witch! With a fierce passion and the power of a thousand suns. This woman is horrible and I refuse to call her Queen. From now on I’ll only call her Levana because she certainly doesn’t deserve the title. Every once in a while you stumble upon a villain you can’t like because it’s such a horrible person and well, that would be Levana in my case. Guess there’s nothing that could redeem her in my eyes. I hate what she did to Wolf and all her other subjects and I hate her even more for using her power in order to bully Kai into a marriage with her. That cold and calculating, conniving, cruel WITCH! ARGH! I swear if she really marries Kai I’m going to throw that book against a wall. >_<

3

Scarlet & Wolf:

Scarlet’s brow was ceased as she inched toward him. “Do that again.”
He took half a step back, eyes glinting with sudden nerves. “Do what?”
“Smile.”

This was insta-love par excellence, but I still kind of shipped them? I guess we can cut them some slack because they got to know under really dire circumstances and if you take Wolf’s nature into consideration it’s kind of logical that he’d fall for someone hard and fast. Love seems to be connected to his instincts and since he’s such an instinct driven boy it’s no wonder he loves Scarlet. As for Scarlet… I have no explanation for her insta-love other than that she obviously digs broody handsome boys… don’t we all somehow? *lol* I don’t know how I feel about his betrayal though. From a logical perspective he’s as free as Kai is, so not free at all because his free will has been manipulated for years, but still. If I’d be Scarlet I would feel bitter about my grandmother’s death. I guess it works in his favour that he wasn’t around when they captured and tortured her. =( Ahh what a complicated mess… let’s hope that now he’s out of their reach he’ll be his own master and make his own decisions.

”Don’t come near me. I don’t want to see you. I don’t want to listen to you. I would rather die than ever be touched by you again.”
She saw a gulp straining against his throat. Hurt flashed across his face but it only served to make her angrier.

”I know you don’t want to hurt me, Wolf.”
His nose bumped against her jaw. His breath caressed her collarbone.
“You helped me. You rescued me.”

”I know we met less than a week ago and in that time I’ve done nothing but lie and cheat and betray you. I know. But if you give me a chance … all I want is to protect you. To be near you. For as long as I’m able.”

Cinder & Kai:

”But Kai wasn’t his father. He wasn’t that selfless.
Knowing it was wrong, he couldn’t help but wish that wherever Cinder had gone, they would never find her.”

So we basically didn’t get any “Cinder & Kai” moments in “Scarlet” but that doesn’t mean that they didn’t think about each other because they did. Kai still cares about her and this even though he doesn’t even know the entire truth. And Cinder basically went ballistic when she heard of his engagement with Levana, which most definitely had nothing to do with him being foolish but everything with him agreeing to marry that despicable person. *lol* Ahh I really want those two to meet and to talk things out. Can’t Cinder idk… kidnap Kai before he marries Levana? XD Throw me a bone here Marissa! ;-P

Cinder & Thorne:

”You opened my control panel?” she said, her words a little clearer with anger behind them.
He scowled. “I didn’t want to.”

Hahaha!!! What an accusation! It almost sounded like they were intimate which I suppose they actually were? Control panels are tricky things like that. *lol* Anyway, I really appreciated the blooming friendship between Thorne and Cinder and I was so there for their moments. I think without Thorne Cinder wouldn’t even have come as far as she did because in his own way he supported her and helped her to continue. I was really glad she had him at her side and wasn’t all alone with her problems. Even though Thorne only found out about her real identity at the ending of the book. *lol* Their friendship is still precious and I hope we’ll have more Cinder/Thorne moments in “Cress”.

”Yeah, because we’re famous.” He sang the word with a certain measure of pride. When Cinder rolled her eyes, he nudged her in the arm. “Oh, come on, it could be worse.”
She quirked an eyebrow at him and his grin broadened.
“At least we have each other.” He held out his arms, like he would have given her a huge hug if they hadn’t been strapped into their seats.

4

I think in a lot of ways “Scarlet” is such a typical second book. The world expands; new characters are introduced and old ones continue on their journey. Some questions are answered, new ones appear and the stage is set. 😉 All things considered this was a worthy sequel and I’m excited to read book 3. Apparently it’s even better than the first two and I’m ready to be blown away! XD

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: Tower of Dawn (Sarah J. Maas)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

”There are choices in my past,” he said tightly, “that I have come to regret. But I can only move on – and attempt to fix them. Fight to make sure they do not occur again.”

Where do I even start with this review?
It was different. Different than all the books that came before because the pacing wasn’t as fast as in the former books and Sarah actually took her time to support the development of her characters and the plot. I know some people might think that an entire book about Chaol would be boring or that such a slow pacing would be detrimental for the overall storyline of the series but for me it wasn’t! Quite the contrary!

I think this book was necessary and needed and if you didn’t read “Tower of Dawn” because you don’t like Chaol and think you can ignore his story, it’s your choice, but I think you’re missing out on a lot of fun and important information that is vital to understand the events in “Kingdom of Ash”. 😉

Yes, this is a book about healing and recovering from injuries, it’s a book about guilt and redemption, it’s a story about a broken man who fights his way back into life, it’s about acknowledging the darkness that lives within all of us and about embracing it in order to learn how to move on. It’s about acceptance! Acceptance of the past, the present, the future, about recognizing your fears and faults, about making amends, but most of all it’s a story about a man who fights his inner demons and learns to love himself.

It’s one of the most beautiful stories I’ve read so far and even though the slow burns and pacing killed me I can still say that it fit the atmosphere of the book perfectly. This was a harmonious masterpiece and I can only speak for myself but from me Sarah gets all the stars and even more!!! <333

I loved this and thoroughly enjoyed it and I hope many other people will read and love it too! =))

2

You are now entering my “Spoilery Spoiler Section” and if you want to be spoiled take a seat, grab something to eat and drink and enjoy another one of my endless ToG essays. *lol* If you haven’t read this book yet and plan to dive into it soon you better leg it though. XD Consider yourself warned! ;-P

Chaol:

”Lord Chaol Westfall, Hand of the King.
He hated it. More than the sound of wheels. More than the body he now could not feel beneath his hips, the body whose stillness still surprised him, even after all these weeks later.
He was Lord of Nothing, Lord of Oath-Breakers. Lord of Liars.”

Oh Chaol!!! How much I suffered with him throughout the course of this entire book!!! He was so broken and loathed himself so much. To read his POV was more than just painful and to see how all his actions gnawed on him made me infinitely sad. He was practically flagellating himself and his self-hatred knew no boundaries. >_< This poor, poor man!!! Trapped in a broken body and left with a shattered soul. There were so many things he never worked through and if you ask me, it was about time he confronted his inner demons. (Quite literally I may add) And boy how he did it! I AM SO DAMN PROUD OF MY BOY!!! I CAN’T EVEN PUT IT INTO WORDS!!! Chaol’s journey was worth every second of my time! I finally saw the boy I liked so much in those first two books and it was so good to have him back again! To see his journey, to see how he grew in this book, how he accepted his mistakes and learned from them, how he became a stronger person! Gosh, this was everything I ever wanted and more! ❤ Hands down one of the best character arcs I ever had the pleasure to read about! =)) Thank you Queen Maas!!! *bows*

”A man used to being obeyed, yes, but a man also inclined to care for others. Look after them. Driven to do it by a compulsion he couldn’t leash, couldn’t train out of him. Couldn’t have broken out of him.”

”He’d been sinking and drowning since. Long before his spine.
He wasn’t certain if he’d even tried to swim. Not since that sword had gone into the river. Not since he’d left Dorian in that room with his father and told his friend – his brother – that he loved him, and knew it was good-bye. He’d … left. In every sense of the word.”

”A body on a bed. A dagger poised above his heart. A head rolling on stone. A collar around a neck. A sword sinking to the bottom of the Avery.”

”Life. He had life to savor, to fight for.
And the breaking that had started and ended here … Yes, it belonged to him. He was allowed to break, so that this forging might begin.
So that he might begin again.”

Yrene:

”The day I reached these shores, I cast aside that girl. And I will be damned if I let her reemerge. Or let someone tell me what to do with my life, my choices again.”

Haha! Boy, was I angry at Yrene!!! That horrible behaviour!! *lol* Seriously, the way she treated Chaol at the beginning of the book was so appalling! I mean I understand why she did it and why she hated him so much, but she didn’t even know him and never even gave him the benefit of the doubt. So I was basically bristling with indignation when she treated him that bad. XD Once she started to heal him she realized how wrong she was though and to see how she started to care for Chaol, how she realized that he was a good man. Well, let’s just say it was worth all the trouble they had at the beginning. ;-P Plus I loved that Yrene was so stubborn and headstrong and that she never backed down! That woman had guts! *lol* Especially when she threw Hasar into the water because she insulted Chaol. It takes quite some courage to go to such lengths and if there is one thing Yrene has in abundance then it’s certainly bravery. XD

Nesryn:

”So she’d figured it was better to remain, to be passed over, not for mere pay, but for the fact that there were so few other guards like her, helping those who needed it most. It was for them she stayed on, kept her head down while lesser men were appointed.”

And here I go with another woman that received my anger at the beginning of the book. *lol* Once again I understand why Nesryn acted the way she did and decided to leave with Sartaq, but damn did it bother me that she didn’t even tell Chaol in person. Yes, they had to leave quickly and were pressed for time, but still. She basically left him to deal with this huge pile of crap and that poor boy was already unable to cope with anything that happened. She should have known better than that and shouldn’t have left him to his own devices. Promises or not this was a shitty move and she knew it. 😉 Despite all that I still like her though. I mean Nesryn is a woman who’s self-confident and knows her weaknesses and strengths. She’s comfortable in her own skin and goes her own way. I have to admire that even though it made me angry at the beginning. *lol*

Sartaq:

”There is beauty in my father’s lands,” the prince went on while Kadara ripped into that monstrous carcass, “but there is much lurking beneath the surface, too.”

I LOVE SARTAQ!!! Of all the new characters that were introduced in this book this man definitely was the best!!! GAH! I don’t even know where to start! I loved everything about him! I mean he’s the khagan’s son and he’s a ruk rider and he’s charming, funny, sweet, eloquent, down-to-earth and never hesitates to voice his opinion. He is so honest, honourable, compassionate, caring, courageous and attentive it’s impossible not to love him. <333 Of all the khagan’s children I liked him the most and this right from the very first page he was introduced. XD I really hope we’ll see more of him in “Kingdom of Ash” and I can’t wait to see how all the other characters are going to react to him! =))

”I am sorry – for your loss. As long ago as it was. I … As a warrior, I grew up walking hand-in-hand with Death. And yet this one … It has been harder to endure than others. And my mother’s grief perhaps even harder to face than my own.”

Hasar:

”Hasar was many things, but she was loyal. To her core. To the few, few people whom she favoured. It had always warmed something in Yrene. To have someone who actually meant what they said. Hasar would behead the killer if they were unfortunate to encounter her. She would ask no questions, either.”

I still don’t know if I should like her or if I should dislike her. *lol* On the one hand I admired her brutal honesty and ruthlessness but on the other hand I didn’t like her attitude towards Chaol and Nesryn. Well, truth be told, even towards Yrene. I mean Yrene is her best friend, yet she didn’t even hesitate to use her in order to get some information from Chaol. She didn’t care if her best friend felt threatened by her and she didn’t give a damn about Yrene’s feelings when she basically forced her on Chaol. Right after the motto: The end justifies the means. She seems to be an intriguing character but I didn’t see all too much of her so I’m still undecided. Mhmm… maybe KoA will help me to get to know her better? =)

3

Yrene & Chaol:

”So you may look at me with resentment Yrene Towers, and I will not blame you for it. But believe me when I say that there is no one in Erilea who loathes me more than I do myself.”

To say those two had a bad start would be putting it more than just mildly! *LOL* They were at each other’s throat right from the moment Yrene walked into Chaol’s room, but they both had to go a long way and it was so nice to see them grow. Not just character-wise but also in the sense of growing together. I think that describes it really well. Over time their initial distrust turned into hesitant acceptance, a solid friendship and then into something more. And I LIVE for relationships like that! <333 Those two were so amazing together and there were so many moments that caused me to gasp. For instance the intense scene at the dinner party of the khagan’s children! I swear the air was burning between them! And the moment when Yrene coaxed him into walking towards her? Gosh, such a beautiful chapter and so typical for Chaol. He only started to walk because he wanted to apologize to her. *shakes head* Sweet boy! I have to admit that the ending kind of threw me though. I mean he went all this way, Yrene healed him fully and then he gave his life for her and once again was almost killed in the process. It’s just not fair that he had to suffer again, that he’ll suffer for the rest of his life now that Yrene made that deal with the goddess, but it still … idk it fits?! Their lives are connected now, not just by their love but also by the bond that was forged when Yrene saved him. And considering how deep their love is, this is kind of perfect and suitable? I mean, they probably couldn’t imagine a life without each other anyway so I guess it’s good they are tethered to each other? *lol* I’m making no sense, but I hope everyone who read this book knows what I mean! XD And I really, really, really hope they’ll both survive KoA! >_<

”Everything I thought, everything I had planned and wanted … It’s gone. All I have left is my king, and this ridiculous, slim scrap of hope that we survive this war and I can find a way to make something of it.”
“Of what?”
“Of everything that crumbled in my hands. Everything.”

”I don’t share a bed with patients. And you’re with Captain Faliq,” she added quickly. “And you’re –“
“Not in fit form to pleasure a woman?”
He was shocked he said it. But again more than a tad smug to see her eyes flare.
“No,” Yrene said, somehow going redder. “Certainly not that. But you’re… you.”
“I’m trying not to be insulted.”

Yet Yrene wrapped her arms around herself and said, “I feel safer here.”
Chaol tried not to blink at her. At the words.
With him. She felt safer here with him.

”He didn’t understand – how she could be so delicate, so small, when she had overturned his life entirely. Worked miracles with those hands and that soul, this woman who had crossed mountains and seas.”

Nesryn & Sartaq:

”After last night’s party, I had thought you would be … preoccupied.”
With Chaol. Her brows rose. “All day?”
The prince gave her a roguish smile, finishing off his long braid and picking up his spear once more. “I certainly would take all day.”

BLESS SARTAQ and his unapologetic flirting!!! *lol* I loved him so much and it was so funny to see self-confident Nesryn blush! Those two killed me! Throughout the entire book I may add! GAH! I swear I rarely came across such a slow burn (the only other example that instantly comes to mind is “The Raven Cycle”) and up until almost the last page I was like: “KISS GODDAMIT!! KISS!!! WHY WON’T YOU FINALLY KISS??!!! ADKASDLFSJAJKLMNÖ!” I swear, I was constantly complaining to Gem about them not even holding hands (Thank you for enduring my rants btw! *lol*) and I couldn’t believe that Sarah actually went for such a slow burn! XD I mean when I think about EoS… well you get the idea. Haha! Anyway, those two were so cute together, especially Sartaq, that I just wanted this ship to sail. Badly! And OMG was it a relief when they FINALLY kissed in the end! I hope they’ll have a few tender moments in KoA as well and that this isn’t all we get because ARGH I might actually die if a chaste kiss is everything they are going for. Look at me complaining about all those sexy scenes in EoS and now begging for some with Sartaq and Nesryn. *lmao* Sarah, you clearly messed me up big time… *shakes head*

”It took her another minute to stop trembling. Sartaq patiently waited, stroking her hair, fingers rippling over the ridges of Borte’s braid. She let him, leaned into the touch while she studied the gap they’d now have to jump, the stairs still beyond.”

”But even as the night moved on, as Nesryn sang in that beautiful mountain-hall, she felt Sartaq’s stare. Different from any he’d given before. And though she told herself she should, Nesryn did not look away.”

Sartaq smiled at her – gently. Sweetly. In a way she had not yet seen.
“I loved you before I even set eyes on you,” he said.
“Please,” Nesryn wept.
Sartaq’s hand tightened on hers. “I wish we’d had time.”

Nesryn left her body. Could only manage to breathe.
And when she tried to bow, Sartaq gripped her shoulders tightly. Stopped her before her head could even lower. “Never from you,” he said quietly.

Dorian & Chaol:

”Even as boys, I knew he was not his father’s son. I knew a better future lay with him, if I could make sure Dorian lived long enough. If he not only lived, but also survived – emotionally. If he had an ally, a true friend, in that court of vipers. Neither of us was old enough, strong enough to challenge his father. We saw what happened to those who whispered of rebellion. I knew that if I, if he set one foot out of line, his father would kill him, heir or no. So I craved the stability, the safety of the status quo.”

Those moments when Chaol thought about Dorian were the death of me. So much pain on both sides and Dorian never even blamed Chaol for leaving him in the castle. I can’t wait until those two are reunited again and I’m sure I’ll cry like a baby when they face each other after everything that happened. I just want them to hug and to be happy! <333 This friendship survived so much, I hope it will survive that final war too! They deserve it! *sobs* T_T

”I don’t know. He is free – he is alive. But is he fine? He suffered. Greatly. In ways I can’t begin to…” His throat tightened to the point of pain. “It should have been me. I had always planned for it to be me instead.”

Aelin & Chaol:

”Chaol?”
For wherever you need to go – and then some. The world needs more healers.
There, in her handwriting…
Chaol looked up at last, blinking away tears as he scanned his wife’s face. Every beautiful line, those golden eyes.
A gift.
A gift from a queen who had seen another woman in hell and thought to reach back a hand. With no thought of it ever being returned. A moment of kindness, a tug on a thread…

THIS MOMENT!!! I cried so freaking much when Chaol discovered that Aelin was the woman who helped Yrene all those years ago. This scene was so moving I’m having tears in my eyes just thinking about it. Precious Chaol crying. T_T Ahh, I swear there are so many different feels when I think about this revelation and they make me a crying mess, so I better stop talking about them now. XD

4

All told, I enjoyed this book even more than I expected and to say I loved every single second of it would probably be the understatement of the century. There was never a dull or boring moment and after reading five books (6 if you count “The Assassin’s Blade”) I was actually surprised that I’m still able to fall for newly introduced characters. Thank you, Sarah! ❤

And of course special thanks also go to my precious Gem! I wouldn’t have survived this book (and the slow burns) without you and I’m so glad we’re already reading the last book together! =) I can’t believe we actually buddy read this entire series!!! *lol* What’s going to come next?! We need another long series like that! XD

A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

Review: And I Darken (Kiersten White)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten
 
Book 17 on My Book List 2020
 

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

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

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

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

2

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

Lada:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Radu:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mehmed:

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

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

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

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

3

Radu & Lada:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lada & Mehmed:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Radu & Mehmed:

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

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

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

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

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

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

4

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

 
 

A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

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

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 11 on My Book List 2020


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

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

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

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

2

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

Harper:

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

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

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

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

Rhen:

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

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

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

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

Grey:

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

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

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

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

3

Harper & Rhen:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Harper & Grey:

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

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

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

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

Harper & Jake:

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

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

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

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

Lilith & Rhen:

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

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

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

Rhen & Grey:

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

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

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

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

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

4

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

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Wicked King (Holly Black)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

Book 9 on My Book List 2020

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

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

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

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

2

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

Jude:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cardan:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vivi:

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

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

3

Jude & Cardan:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Taryn & Locke:

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

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

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

Nicasia & Cardan:

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

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

Jude & Madoc:

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

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

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

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

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

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

4

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

A - E, Allgemein, E, Reviews

Review: Empire of Storms (Sarah J. Maas)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

”The world,” Aelin said, “will be saved and remade by the dreamers, Rolfe.”

So, it took me ages to start writing this review and truth be told I’m still not sure if I’m ready to do it. This book was the equivalent of a wild roller coaster, just with the minor and rather distinctive difference that there actually was no brake in the end. It felt like an amazing ride up until the moment the brakes failed and the entire waggon tumbled into nothingness!
And if you already think that my description is messed up: YOU HAVE NO IDEA!!! *lol* Because to read this book and especially the ending is even worse than any allegory I could come up with!! XD

I mean it! I’m still SO DAMN SHOOK and it will take me ages to recover from that book! Still, I really loved “Empire of Storms” and even though the ending killed me and left my mind reeling and my heart bleeding I probably enjoyed this way too much. Sarah can write and she proved it once again with an amazing book that left me gasping and wanting for more.

This time around not everything was sunny and nice though. There were some things I didn’t like because they were idk… just weird. *lol* I mean I get why love played a huge role in EoS and believe me when I say that I loved all the ships that developed throughout the series, in this fifth book some of the relationships seemed to be kind of dissonant though. Or should I rather say the timing for those relationships to develop was sort of improper?!

Or to put it even more bluntly: It’s abnormal how much time they spent with making love when the entire world around them is in chaos and war! *lol* Especially Aelin and Rowan. XD Just saying! Haha! You’d think they’d have more important matters on their mind but nope. Apparently horny fae males can do it everywhere. *lol* Ooops, did I just say that?! Young kids under 13 you forget that you ever read this, okay?! *smiles innocently*

So where were we? Oh yes, inappropriate timing and love. You all know me and know that I’m a sucker for things like that but this time around it all felt kind of forced. Like Sarah realized that this is the last book she can use to form proper ships and decided to do them all in one go! Don’t get me wrong, I loved those ships and I drooled over rooted for them with every fibre of my heart. Sometimes I just thought that it was happening way too fast and didn’t fit into the overall plot. That’s just my opinion though so don’t let this keep you from enjoying the book. =) It’s definitely worth reading!!! <333

1

”Morath is unleashing its horrors,” Lysandra said. “Maeve stirs across the sea. Two goddesses walk hand in hand with Aelin. More than that, Mala and Deanna have watched over her the entirety of her life. But perhaps it wasn’t watching. Perhaps it was … shaping. So they might one day unleash her, too. And I wonder if the gods have weighed the costs of that storm. And deemed the casualties worth it.”

2

I didn’t do one of my spoilery spoiler sections for quite a while so to all of you who just started to read my reviews: This is the part where I spoil the hell out of the book, everything I write about the characters is uncensored and pretty direct. So if you didn’t read the book and plan to do it: Don’t continue to read my review! This is a fair warning, you better don’t ignore it. I assume no liability. ;-P

Aelin:

”She looked over her shoulder. “To call in old debts and promises. To raise an army of assassins and thieves and exiles and commoners. To finish what was started long, long ago.”

OH GOSH!!! AELIN!!! That wonderful, stupid, brilliant and fire breathing bitch!!! I can’t even!! I don’t know where to start! I mean ARGH!!! I hated her so much for some of her actions!! I was angry because she didn’t tell anyone about her plans, because she was so egoistic and ordered them all around! I hated the way she treated Aedion and what she asked Lysandra to do and throughout the entire book I didn’t know whether I wanted to strangle or kiss her! Talk about A LOT of mixed feelings! *lol* But that ending?!! Oh gods! That ending was so heart-breaking! It all made perfect sense, all her scheming, plotting, lying and hiding things. Boy, did it hurt to read those last 50 pages… I don’t even want to know what is going to happen in the last book, it definitely won’t be pleasant for Aeling though. Poor girl, poor, poor, poor girl! *sobs* T_T

”I’m sorry,” Aelin said, shoulders curving inward, head dropping low as the tears slid down her flushed cheeks. “I’m so sorry.” How many years had those words been locked up?

Rowan:

”Even if Maeve had kept me enslaved, I would have fought her. Every day, every hour, every breath.”

I definitely liked Rowan in this one! After my slight disappointment of his portrayal in “Queen of Shadows” it seems like he found his way back to being an individual. I guess it might have helped that him and Aelin weren’t always together in Eos and this kind of gave him the opportunity to shine as the fierce fae warrior that he is. XD I’d have hated him to become just an accessory for Aelin because he’s actually a pretty cool character and I know that he can stand his ground. Yes, they love each other but that doesn’t mean he has to lose himself and everything that makes him him. So, yes, I admit it, I’m glad Sarah managed to get her act together. *lol*

”Sometimes I wish I knew every thought in that head, each scheme and plot. Then I remember how much it delights me when you reveal it – usually when it’s most likely to make my heart stop dead in my chest.”

Aedion:

”The fear of loss … it can destroy you as much as the loss itself.”

Mhmm… Aedion my precious bisexual Cupcake! *lol* I still love him so much and I still think he deserves the world and this even though he did a lot of stupid things I didn’t agree with! For instance treating Dorian like shit! I mean WTH?! Then again with a person like Aelin whose actions were always like some sort of punch it’s actually no wonder that he was always so grumpy! (Not to mention the thing with his father!!!) He would have deserved her trust and he didn’t get it, so I can’t blame him for being pissed. XD Especially after finding out about Aelin’s plans with Lysandra. Urgh! Still, given some time and a verbal slap from Lysandra he always realized his faults and tried to correct them as good as possible! He has the ability to listen to people and I think this is worth a lot! XD (Especially if you know Aelin… *lol*)

”He couldn’t explain why, but he wanted her there. She got under his skin so damn easily, but … Lysandra steadied him. Perhaps because she was something new. Something he had not encountered, had not filled with hope and pain and wishes. Not too many of them, at least.”

Lysandra:

”He was enslaved; he was tortured for months. Not just by his father, but by that thing inside of him. He was violated, and even if you cannot draw up forgiveness for stabbing Aelin against his own will, then try to have some compassion for that.”

Lysandra, the voice of reason! <333 I swear sometimes it felt like she was the only level-headed person in Aelin’s entire court! I loved that she talked back to the guys and didn’t even bother to be nice about it. I just love her! She’s one hell of a woman and I swear if she doesn’t accept Aedion at her side I’ll try my luck with her! *lol* (and with Manon but that’s another matter. XD) Lysandra was just amazing in this book and the way she fought? Boy, that woman is brave and fierce! Some of the best fighting scenes were with Lysandra and that’s just awesome! Finally a woman that truly knows how to kick people’s asses! Physically and verbally of course! *lol* <333 Gosh, what a woman! *shakes head and sighs deeply*

”I never had friends – not as I do now. And today on that beach, when I saw that fleet and thought it belonged to our enemy … For a moment, I wished I’d never met any of you. Because the thought of any of you …” She sucked in a breath. “How do you do it? How have you learned to enter a battlefield with your Bane and not fall apart with the terror that not all of you might walk off it?” Lysandra

Manon:

”Her grandmother’s creature – that’s what Manon was. It had never seemed like a hateful thing.”

I am so proud of Manon!!! I can’t even! She finally decided to follow her heart and even though it cost her dearly I’m still so damn happy that she chose HER path! I always suspected that there was more to her and when I found out that she is the last Crochan Queen my jaw kind of dropped to the floor! OMG! What a mean twist of fate. Poor girl, she was so confused, wounded and alone but she still didn’t give into her despair and I loved her for it! This woman is MADE (figuratively and literally speaking) of iron and I just can’t get enough of her. I LOVE. HER. SO. MUCH!!! <333 #WatchManonAndMeAsWeRideIntoTheSunset, #P.SWe’reTakingDorianWithUsToo ;-P

”And Manon understood in that moment that there were forces greater than obedience, and discipline, and brutality. Understood that she had not been born soulless; she had not been born without a heart. For there were both, begging her not to swing that blade.”

Dorian:

”The man fighting inside his father had kept the blow from being fatal. Dorian had possessed no such control, no such strength, when he watched the demon use his own body – when the demon had tortured and killed and taken what it wanted. Maybe his father had been the stronger man in the end. The better man.”

DORIAN!!! I’ll never get tired of loving this man!! Of all the guys that are part of this series he’s still my favourite and number one! Dorian is my precious cinnamon roll and nothing will change that! With every book I just love him more and more and I can’t wait to read “Kingdom of Ashes” because I know he’ll be great! There’s a dangerous and sexy edge to him now and boy, I’m living for it!!! <333 The only thing that worries me is that according to Elena it’s either Aelin or Dorian who has the strength to kill the Valg, because if that means one of them has to die in the end I’m going to be so pissed. Especially if it’s Dorian which is pretty likely since he has the keys now and is trying to finish what Aelin couldn’t. I mean damn! I swear if Dorian dies I’m going to cry for days. T_T He doesn’t deserve to die but Sarah always has her whipping boys (I’m still waiting for a happy end for Lucien!!! Dammit!!!) and I’m so afraid that Dorian will have to die in the end. =((( Please Sarah, don’t do it!!! Please!!! *sobs* #TeamDorian forever and for always

”I have seen death, and worse,” he said, those sapphire eyes frozen as he surveyed her from head to armored boot-tip and back again. “The death you’d offer is kind compared to that.”

Elide:

”Why?” And with all of Lorcan’s considerable focus honed in on her, with the way he’d glanced at her red-painted mouth, Elide wanted to tell him. About the tower, and Vernon, and her parents. About why, if she were to ever feel desire, it’d be a result of trusting someone so much that those horrors faded away, a result of knowing they would fight tooth and claw to keep her free and never lock her up or hurt her or leave her.

I finally got more of Elide and I have to say that I enjoyed every second of her POV. She’s such a clever, calculating and cunning woman! (The three C’s I love the most! *lol*) And I loved the moment she acted like Manon and actually managed to get rid of the Ilken! I mean how cool was that? This girl knows how to survive and I couldn’t help but love her for her strength. Still, I’m sorry for everything she had to go through and I really hope that she’ll find peace once the war is over. Deep down inside her she’s really broken and even though she and Lorcan are on bad terms right now I’m still pretty sure that he can give her what she craves the most. *sigh* Poor girl. =(

”Storms mean looking for shelter,” she murmured. “Shelter means being stuck inside with nothing to do but gossip. Gossip means news from merchants and sailors about the rest of the land.” Those eyes cut to him, dry humor dancing there. “That is what thunder means.”

Erawan & Maeve:

Those golden eyes simmered like hot coals. “Because destroying a symbol can break the spirits of men as much as bloodshed.”

I HATE THAT EVIL WITCH!!! If I’d have my way, I’d let her rot in hell! Next to Erawan of course! Gosh, I hate those two so much! They are horrible people and despicable and urgh I just want them to vanish! Someone has to stop them and they need to do it fast!! >_<

3

Manon & Dorian:

She’d forgotten how much taller he was. Face-to-face, Dorian panted as he stared down at her and breathed, “Hello, witchling.”
Some ancient, predatory part of her awoke at the half smile. It sat up, cocking its ears toward him. Not a whiff of fear. Interesting. Manon purred back, “Hello, princeling.”

THIS SHIP IS MY OTP!!! Forget Aelin and Rowan! Dorian and Manon are the real deal! I love them soo much and I couldn’t get enough of them. Their conversations were so awesome and I loved the fact that they were equal. They treated each other like equals and there were no discussions or arguments! They know what they are capable of and they are so honest it hurts! *lol* Also can we appreciate the tension between those two! GOSH! It almost killed me! They are such a power couple and even though their relationship seems to be more rough than those of the other couples they are still gentle with each other. <333 There is respect, there is love, there is a mutual understanding about who they are! WHAT MORE CAN YOU ASK FOR!? I LOVE THIS SHIP AND I’LL GO DOWN WITH IT! Period! ❤

”Not spared him. Rescued him.
He wasn’t a fool. He knew she’d done it for whatever reasons were useful to her. She was so alien to him as the warrior sitting at the other end of the boat – more so. And yet, that darkness, that violence and stark, honest way of looking at the world… There would be no secrets with her. No lies.”

”You could have made her suffer – you went for a clean blow instead. Why?”
“Because even with our enemies, there’s a line.”
“Then you have your answer.”
“I didn’t ask a question.”
Manon snorted. “You’ve had that look in your eyes all night – if you’re becoming a monster like the rest of us. The next time you kill, remind yourself of that line.”

Rowan & Dorian:

Rowan considered for a moment, and then said,” I have known many kings in my life, Dorian Havilliard. And it was a rare man indeed who asked for help when he needed it, who would put aside pride.”

This is legit the best bromance of this entire series! I adore their friendship so much! They understand each other and Rowan knows exactly how Dorian feels! Plus I love that he doesn’t underestimate him and that he trusts him to make the right decisions! And they seem to have similar powers, which is great because Rowan was able to help my precious boy to learn how to control his abilities! ❤ I really hope that friendship will last! =)

”Rowan knew most underestimated the sharp intelligence under that disarming smile. Knew that Dorian’s value wasn’t his godlike magic, but his mind.”

Lysandra & Aedion:

Aedion grinned. “Good to know I’m finally getting under your skin. Or is it skins?”
That staggeringly beautiful face turned positively wicked. “Careful, Aedion. I bite.”

They are definitely my second OTP! *lol* I still love their easy banter and I was so glad that this ship started to sail somehow! XD And let’s face it: Aedion telling Lysandra that he’s going to marry her was really one hell of an awesome scene! <333 I loved it! Those two can be so peaceful together, it warms my heart. They are both so fierce and loyal but they can be really tender and sweet as well. They are just perfect for each other… *sighs* And they are a slow burning ship which was a really nice change! Still, I want a kiss in “Kingdom of Ash” or even a hot sex scene. *lol* Yes, you read right, I have no doubt that with those two it will be as much fun as with Dorian and Manon! Haha! ;-P

”He hated Aelin for asking this of Lysandra, both to defend them and to secure the Mycenians to fight for Terrasen. Hated the people who had left such scars on the shifter that Lysandra was so willing to throw her life away.”

”The ghost leopard sat beside him, tail twitching, and met his eyes for a moment before she laid her enormous head on his thigh. In silence they watched the stars flicker over the calm waves, Lysandra nuzzling her head against his hip.”

Aelin & Rowan:

”This was what drove her out of her mind – this fire between them. They could burn the entire world to ashes with it. He was hers and she was his, and they had found each other across centuries of bloodshed and loss, across oceans and kingdoms and war.”

Is it just me or were they actually too much in this book? Their relationship became so corny and perfect that it was more than just a little unrealistic. I noticed this in ACOTAR and I’m seeing it here too, it’s just too perfect. They are so perfect together, that they lose their ability to shine as individuals and call me crazy but I really dislike that in books. The love of Aelin and Rowan is just so all-consuming it leaves no room for other things. And it’s come to a point where it’s so kitschy that I almost puked because of the constant sweetness overload. I know many people love them and they are their OTP but seriously, for me they lacked zest. Rowan loves Aelin no matter what she does and that just feels wrong. In a real relationship you argue, you scream and this even though or especially BECAUSE you love each other. 😉 Those two? Nothing. It’s just my opinion though so if you feel differently that’s okay as well. =))

”I love you. There is no limit to what I can give you, no time I need. Even when this world is a forgotten whisper of dust between the stars, I will love you.”

Elide & Lorcan:

”I made a promise to protect you. I will not break it, Elide.”
She made to pull away, but he gripped her a little harder, keeping her eyes on him.
“I will always find you,” he swore to her. Her throat bobbed. Lorcan whispered, “I promise.”

What can I say? I always knew they’d become a couple. *lol* But I really don’t like how things came to an end between them. I mean he almost died for her but she is ignoring him now? Come on, give that boy a break! I know Elide feels bound to Aelin’s court but if she truly loves Lorcan they should find a way, right? Poor Lorcan, I only feel sorry for him right now and I think he deserves to be loved as much as Elide does. So please can you just get together again and give each other the love you deserve? *looks hopeful*

”Lorcan’s onyx eyes were unreadable as he scanned her face. And then he said quietly, “ I wanted to go to Perranth with you.”

4
Considering it all I really enjoyed “Empire of Storms” and thanks to my precious Gem this was another wonderful buddy read! =) The only reason I’m giving this four stars is the simple fact that some things felt kind of forced and therefore left me wondering. *lol* It’s just my personal opinion though. Either way, EoS was still an amazing ride and I can’t wait to dive into “Tower of Dawn”. =)) Gem, are you ready for book 6?
Allgemein, F - J, G, Reviews

Review: Godsgrave (Jay Kristoff)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten,5

”Conquer your fear, and you can conquer the world.”

I’m the first one to admit that this book was not what I expected it to be. I mean after the “school for assassins setting” in the first book I thought this series might continue in that vein. Little did I know Jay Kristoff had completely different plans that would exceed all of my expectations. And what kind of glorious plans they actually turned out to be. Glorious, indeed. Sanguis et gloria to be exact! Yes, my gentlefriends this is latin and if you’re familiar with the language you can already tell that this story is quite literally about blood and glory. (Well, I suppose in some way all of Jay Kristoff’s stories are. *lol*)

Anyway! Let’s not get distracted. 😉 “Godsgrave” was not what I expected, knowing Jay I probably should have expected this though. He always throws me for a loop and by now I’m convinced he lives and breathes to give his fans multiple heart attacks. I swear, all those plot twists will kill me one day and if I ever meet Jay I’ll pinch him in his ear. Well, and then I’ll hug the hell out of him. But first I’ll pinch him! You can bet on it! *lol* You deserve it, Jay! You know you do! (I might be two heads shorter than you but I’m fierce. ;-P)

This said: I absolutely loved “Godsgrave”! This book had me at the edge of my seat and I was more than eager to read on! And some days I wasn’t eager at all because I dreaded what was going to happen next. Thankfully my awesome friend Sabrina buddy read this book with me and I enjoyed her company immensely! XD Our WhatsApp chats were amazing and the amount of emojis and BTS gifs we used will probably go down in reading history. *lol* I’m very glad I didn’t have to read this alone and I’m already looking forward to our buddy read of “Darkdawn”. And before I continue to ramble I’ll just go to my character section! Jeez I have so many thoughts!

2

Welcome on the sands of the arena! Pick up your weapon of choice and face your enemy! We can’t promise you that you’ll survive this, but what we can promise, is that all of those spoilers will hurt! A lot! *lol* So if you don’t want to be spoiled you better drop your weapon and leave this arena as fast as possible. Yes, spoilers are a tough enemy, indeed! ;-P

Mia Corvere:

”And you know why I’m here. My father was executed as a traitor to entertain the mob. My mother died in a prison, and my baby brother beside her. And the men responsible need a fucking killing. That’s how I feel about it.”

I’m besotted and in love with Mia Corvere. There I said it and I stand by it! This girl is amazing! I already knew that she’s cunning and kick-ass but she reached an entirely new level of slyness in this one. Plus her character arc was beautiful to behold. The conflict in her only got even stronger as the plot proceeded and even though Mia was always one to question her actions and decisions she never felt as torn as she did in “Godsgrave”. I can’t believe she became a slave in order to kill Scaeva and Duomo at the magni. Her iron will is stunning! To go through with getting a slave mark and to live and fight alongside the gladiatii… Wow. I’m still in awe of the great lengths she’ll go to just to get her revenge. >_< The reality of it all touches her though and you could see it in her every action. I think Mia found her humanity and compassion in this book and it made for a really great character arc. Considering it all I can’t wait to see what will happen in “Darkdawn”! I mean that freaking ending!!! Her brother??! Some part of me already suspected he was still alive, but boy, this plot twist was kind of unexpected. XD

”But the wrongness of it was creeping on her like a cancer. Every turn she spent with this brand on her cheek made it harder and harder for her to ignore the folk who couldn’t just skip away from their chains through the shadows like she could. Not just gladiatii. The whole Republic was oiled by the machine of human misery. Now that her eyes were opened to it, she couldn’t unsee it. Didn’t want to.”

”She didn’t feel fear in the face of it all, no, the thing in her shadow wouldn’t allow that. But she did feel sorrow. Regret, for all that was and might have been.”

”The choice between looking plain and pretty isn’t really a choice at all. But any fool knows looking dangerous is preferable to both.”

“You can keep the glory. I’m just here for the blood.”

Dona Leona:

”But not this time,” she spat. “Never again. I want him on his knees. I want him to look up into my eyes and know it was me who put him there. I want to drink his suffering like the finest wine.”

Now here’s a character I really appreciated. Not for who she is but for what she represented. I loved that Jay Kristoff introduced us to Dona Leona because she was the mirror reflection of Mia. She was the person Mia would have become if her parents wouldn’t have died and if she would have been raised normally. (or as normal as you can be raised in a world like theirs) In a lot of ways Leona was a privileged woman, but no matter how independent she was, she still wasted her resources and couldn’t handle her money, which ultimately got her in a lot of dangerous traps. I believe there is something good in her and I’m pretty sure Mia saw it too because otherwise she would have let her die with the others. She spared her life and gifted her “all the kindness she could muster” so I hope Leona learned her lesson and will live a humble life with Arkades at her side. Also I kind of doubt we’ll see her in “Darkdawn”. 😉

Leona took Mia’s hand. Bladesinger’s also.
“I …”
She shook her head, trying to speak. Tears welling in her eyes.
“Be careful out there,” she finally whispered.

”He beat her to death with a bottle of goldwine, Arkades,” Leona said, her voice beginning to tremble. “Because she knocked over his glass at dinner. Who exactly does deserve that?”

Furian:

”If I’d allowed you to win at Messala’s palazzo with your devilry, you’d have set a taint at the heart of this place. I’d starve before I ate food bought with dishonest coin, and die before I claimed a laurel I’d not earned.”

I think Furian is the perfect name for this numpty because he made me so damn furious, I can’t even. *lol* I hated that guy with a fierce passion and I’m not sorry that he died. XD I mean, how stupid can you possibly be? All that talk about honour and the will of the gods drove me crazy and his stubbornness made me super angry. Especially after I found out why he became a gladiatii. Like seriously? Are you kidding me? He was a vile scoundrel and wanted to atone for his deeds by killing even more people? (innocent, enslaved people for that matter!!!) REALLY??!!  O_o WTH??!! I had such high hopes when he was introduced as another darkin but he only turned out to be one hell of a disappointment.  >_< And just for the record I knew he was sleeping with Leona right from the beginning. *shakes head* Well, I hope the next darkin Mia encounters will have more common sense. *wipes away Furian’s blood stains* Good riddance!

”I do not expect you to understand. But magni is a holy rite. Judged by the Hand of God himself. And if Rapha taught me anything, it was that the things we do are more important than the things we’ve done.”

”I look in your eyes and I see intent. I see design. Ever since you set foot in our collegium, I’ve felt your hand at work. Like some shadow puppeteer ever pulling the strings, and we, the marionettes.”
Mia snatched her arm free with a snarl. “Don’t touch me.”

Sidonius:

”Bollocks,” Sid said. “I watch you, Crow. I watch you watching us. Arkades. Leona. Furian. Me. Those little wheels behind those shady eyes always aturn. And though I don’t think you’re quite the coldest fish in this pond, you can’t honestly say you give a damn whether any of us lives or dies. Especially when we’re all likely to perish in the venatus anyways. So what’s your game?”

Haha! I remember Sabrina and me saying that he’s going to die… and that pretty soon! *lol* Well, I guess we were both wrong. Sid turned out to be quite the surprise and I got really attached to that big oaf! XD His principles and morals weren’t misguided like Furian’s and the longer I read the more I began to appreciate his character. That he knew Mia’s father was a twist I didn’t see coming and everything he said about Dona Corvere? After that ending I can only assume that he was right about her character. I wonder if we’ll ever see him again? With Jay you never know. I, for my part, hope we will! 😉

”There’s no softer pillow than a clear conscience.”

3

Mia & Ash:

”No, if Mia was afraid, it wasn’t of wanting a girl.
It was wanting this girl.
Ashlinn Järnheim.
Thief.
Liar.
Killer.
Traitor.“

A lot of people are probably going to hate me for this but: Am I the only one who doesn’t feel this relationship. At all?! Go ahead! You’re allowed to pull out your pitchforks and axes. I won’t hold it against you. I’ll just say my part and be done with it, okay? 😉 Here goes nothing! You all know I’m the first one who’d love to ship an f/f couple! I think they are still underrepresented in YA literature and I definitely want more f/f ships in my books. So believe me when I say that I’m ALL for the sapphic romances! This one however just doesn’t seem to work for me. As much as I appreciated the Mia & Ash vs. Leona & Furian scene, I still can’t help but feel like something is missing. Maybe it’s the fact that Ash killed Tric (in cold blood I might add) and never apologized for it because “he had to die” in order for her plan to work. Or maybe it’s because this came out of nowhere. Yes, they kissed in “Nevernight” but they basically went from “I hate you” right to “I love you”. I mean, hell’s bells, she killed Tric and there was nothing that would have redeemed her actions. So why the hell would Mia fall for her? My only explanation is that she became blinded by all the violence around her and wanted something sweet. *lol* I dunno. *shrugs* It just didn’t work for me. I know that’s a super unpopular opinion but I stand by it. #SorryNotSorry

”This kiss was an invitation; a gently, desperate plea for a beginning, not an ending. A question without words, Mia’s mouth open and melting against Ashlinn’s own. And as she felt Ashlinn shiver, the feather-light brush of her tongue in kind, Mia had her answer.”

Mia & Mr. Kindly & Eclipse:

”You’re not helping,” she whispered back.
“… i am offering moral support …”
“You’re being an annoying little shit.”
“… that too …”

The dynamic between those three is quite something! It’s interesting to see them interact with each other and even though Mr. Kindly and Eclipse seem to hate each other they are both reluctant to part ways with Mia. Sometimes I couldn’t help but wonder if they represent different parts of Mia’s character because Eclipse is rather the improvident and reckless character while Mr. Kindly is all compassion and caution. When Mr. Kindly remarked that they might change her by eating her fear I began to wonder too. Mia being darkin is still so mysterious and the fact that she killed Furian… well, is he going to be a shadow creature too? Where do they come from? Why are darkin so drawn toward each other? I have so many questions and just like Mia I hope they’ll be answered soon!

”… you send me away …?”
“… O, MY HEART BLEEDS …”
“… we have no hearts, you idiotic mutt …”
“… BE SURE TO REMIND ME OF THAT, WHEN I AM EATING YOURS …”

”… i am sorry, mia …”
“You?” she whispered. “Why?”
“ … he was your friend … “
“They’re not my familia, remember?” she replied. “They’re not my friends.”
She looked down at her hands. Blurred almost shapeless by her tears. “All of them are only a means to an end.”

”… i wonder sometimes, what we are making of her …”
“… WE ARE MAKING HER STRONG. STEEL. RUTHLESS AS THE STORM AND THE SEA…”
“… the thing we take from her … i wonder if she does not need it…”
“… YOU SPEAK OF FEAR …?”

Mia & The gladiatii:

”In every breath, hope abides.”

This was one of the best found families I ever saw. Mia fought her compassion tooth and nail but in the end it didn’t help. She still got attached to that bunch of gladiatii and I can’t blame her for it. They were all such interesting characters and they grew on me as well. I loved Byern, Bryn, Sidionius, Bladesinger, Wavewaker and Maggot. Those 6 were amazing and I grew super fond of them. I can’t believe little Maggot had to die though! My heart broke so much when Mia called her baby! T_T Poor little Maggot! She deserved so much better than that. And all just because of Magistrae! That witch! Urgh! I really hope the survivors will do fine after they got their slave mark removed! ❤

Mia felt hot tears in her eyes, a crushing weight on her shoulders. A scream was building in her belly, but her voice was only a whisper.
“Please, baby.”

Mia & Mercurio:

”This is important to her,” Mercurio replied.
“Be that as it may, this whole plan is fucking lunacy.”
Mercurio sighed. “I’m not sure if you’ve noticed yet, girl, but Mia Corvere and lunacy go together like cigarillos and smoke.”
Ashlinn smiled. “O, aye, I noticed.”

I love Mercurio! He’s not only a great teacher but also a great man and underneath all that grumpiness he’s a real softie. *lol* He’s Mia’s family and her father figure. Also he obviously feels strongly about Mia because otherwise he would have never dared to defy the Red Church as long as he did. He loves her and she loves him and I’m really worried about that old bastard now. XD The Church has him and knowing them they won’t go soft on my old man. I just hope he survives until Mia is able to find him. >_<

”I’m not in the business of taking in every stray that walks in off the street, Mia,” he growled. “I’m a bishop of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, not a fucking charity worker.”
Mia folded her arms, fixed Mercurio with her dark stare.
“I recall a stray who walked into the parlour of Mercurio’s Curios not so long ago,” she said. “A girl without a friend in the world, and a whole Republic arrayed against her. You took her in. You gave her a place to belong. You gave her love in a world where she’d thought there was nothing left but shit. And thinking of it now, I don’t ever think she said, thank you.”

Mia & the Red Church:

”Problem with being a librarian is there’s some lessons you just can’t learn from books. And the problem with being an assassin is there’s some mysteries you just can’t solve by stabbing fuck out of them.”

Ha! Chronicler Aelius is probably one of my all-time fave characters ever! I wonder how he feels towards Mia now though. I mean he always liked her and he knew that she would be part of a great story so I kind of hope he is still on her side. I’m sure Adonai is still on Team Mia too. He owes her after all. As for Aalea, maybe she would help her? She obviously seems to have the hots for Mia. *lol* I loved her direct offer to warm Mia’s cold nights. ;-P I guess we’ll have to see if the Red Church is truly Mia’s enemy now. >_<

”This life we live … there is room in it for love, Mia. But a love like autumn leaves. Beautiful one turn. A bonfire the next. Only ashes the remainder.”

4

“Godsgrave” was one hell of a surprise and I loved every second of it. This is how character arcs are done and even though this book plays in a Roman setting I couldn’t help but compare it to a Greek tragedy. It had all the makings and plot twists to be one and after THAT kind of ending I’m more than just ready for “Darkdawn”!

Allgemein, K - O, M, Reviews

Review: Muse of Nightmares (Laini Taylor)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 6 on My Book List 2019

”Many a choice is made this way: by pretending it makes itself. And many a fate is decided by those who cannot decide.”

If I’d have to describe “Muse of Nightmares” with just one word, it either would be “stressful” or “gruelling”. *lol* Because quite honestly from the moment I opened this book and started to read it, it gave me nothing but anxiety. >_< The super tense situation between Lazlo, Sarai and Minya at the beginning of the book already had me gnawing at my nails and with every sentence I read it only seemed to get even worse.

And if that plot line wouldn’t have killed me already there needed to come another story line into play. It was an interesting one, I can admit as much, but boy it certainly wasn’t any less stressful than the main storyline with our blue children. *lol* So yes, throughout this entire book I was a bundle of nerves and even after finishing it I’m still kind of well… nervous?! This definitely should have come with a stress warning or something. XD

Anyway! I guess it’s safe to say that “Muse of Nightmares” threw me for a loop and even though it wasn’t what I expected it was still damn good! Laini Taylor created such a vivid world with plenty of wonderful characters and I just love them all! From Lazlo to Sarai, from Feral to Ruby, to Sparrow, Eril-Fane and Azareen, right to Calixte, Tzara, Ruza and Thyon. Gosh, they are all my children and everything I want is just one more book in which I can follow them on their journey! <333 (Any chance there’s going to be a third book, Laini?! ;-P)

This said let’s head to the part of my reviews I always love the most! My characters section! 😉

2

Welcome to Weep! The city whose true name changed when the gods and their wrath came down on it! Be careful when you enter the streets, there will be lots of spoilers and gods that might catch you unawares. ;-P Don’t go in there if you haven’t read the book already!

Sarai:

”She wanted to move, delirious, forgetting what was real and what was looming, and find some way to hook herself to this world, this moment, and never leave. She wanted to taste and feel and ache, and she wanted to weep, too, for all she’d lost and would yet lose.”

I was so heartbroken by the ending of the first book and I think I still am. I mean even though Sarai is a ghost now and Minya is tethering her to earth she’s still not truly alive. What was done to her in this book was so cruel and her despair and fear was so tangible it gave me anxiety. This poor girl that only wanted peace, tormented by a person that raised her and should have loved and cared for her. It was just too much! So much misery and hate. It really killed me to see Sarai struggle like that and I just wanted to help her somehow. I’m kind of glad things changed so drastically towards the ending because urgh… I couldn’t have taken to see Sarai hurt even more. >_<

Lazlo:

”He had, in his hearts, declared war on the dark child, but Lazlo was no warrior, and his hearts had no talent for hate.”

My poor and brave boy got a brief taste of hatred and it almost destroyed him. T_T Lazlo is too innocent and pure to hold on to an emotion like that and it became more than just apparent when he had to face Minya. I swear, to live with Lazlo and Sarai, to see their love and to be unable to help them was pure torture! And through it all he still held on to his beliefs. He didn’t give up and he didn’t give into Minya’s demands even though it almost killed him to do so. Gosh, I love Lazlo so much! <333 He’s still the purest soul I ever read about and I just wanted him to be happy, but nope after Minya’s torture the goddess Nova had to enter the scene and I think I died about a thousand deaths with Lazlo when she forcefully took him away from Sarai. T_T Seriously, my stress level was so high when I read this book. No kidding. XD I’m just glad Lazlo somehow managed to get through it all and that he was able to keep his innocent flame alive. <33 The world really needs more Lazlo Strange’s!

”I belong here,” he said, feeling the truth of it all through him. With Sarai, whom he loved, and with others like himself, and with the metal, too. It had awakened a dimension of him that he had never known existed, a whole new sense, as real as sight or touch. It was part of him now. He was part of this. To leave would mean losing not only Sarai but a piece of himself as well.”

”Listen to me,” he said, savage. He wouldn’t have known his own voice. “There’s something you’ve failed to consider. Sarai is the only thing keeping you safe. Gods help you, if you let her soul go. There will be nothing to stop me from ending you.”

”Impossible?” Lazlo gave a soft laugh and shake of his head. “There must be things that are impossible. But I don’t believe we’ve gotten there yet. Look at us. We’ve barely begun. Sarai, we’re magic.”

„Just because the power is mine, it doesn’t follow that al the choices are.”

Minya:

”This was what Minya knew: Have an enemy, be an enemy. Hate those who hate you. Hate them better. Hate them worse. Be the monster they fear the most. And whenever you can, and however you can, make them suffer.”

I still hate Minya and at the beginning of the book I wanted to strangle her!! The things she did, how she hurt Sarai and Lazlo! It wasn’t right and she should have been stopped! It was so frustrating to see her hatred and to watch how she made Lazlo and Sarai suffer! The worst thing was not to be able to do anything against it! It made me feel really helpless and I started to loathe her even more than I already did. I understand why Minya is the way she is, but even a saint would have been tempted to kill her if given the chance. This girl only knew wrath and she didn’t even listen to the voices of reason. She just blocked them out and ignored everyone who had a different opinion. I really thought she’d never change her mind and if Nova wouldn’t have shown up she probably would have continued on her dark path. I guess Nova’s presence finally put things into perspective and this only just because she was even worse. >_< Urgh! Let’s hope Minya continues on the right path and that getting rid of all those negative emotions that came along with the souls she trapped will make her a better person in the long run. Optimism! See, I’ve taken a page out of Lazlo’s book. *lol*

”She believed it was rage, only and always rage, but that was the costume it wore, because fear was weakness, and she had vowed to never again be weak.”

”This was different. Sarai and Lazlo were pieces on the game board, and there was everything at stake. If they wanted their pleasure, their honey heat and little sounds, they could earn it with obedience.”

”The mind is good at hiding things, but there’s something it cannot do: It can’t erase. It can only conceal, and concealed things are not gone. They rot. They fester, they leak poisons. They ache and stink. They hiss like serpents in tall grass.”

Thyon:

”Thyon knew this smell. For all that he was a duke’s son, born in a castle, with a palace of his own gifted him by the queen, he was a scholar, too and he lived this smell. It was unmistakable. Universal. It was books.”

Now that’s how you write a believable redemption arc!!! Of course Thyon didn’t become a better person overnight but by making new friends and finally opening up to them he started to show his true colours. I wouldn’t say the person beneath all that cold exterior was a completely different person but there were good parts of Thyon he never dared to show and in “Muse of Nightmares” they eventually got a chance to shine. =) There’s some soft part of him that only wanted to be loved and to be a part of things and his friendship with Calixte, Tzara and Ruza kind of helped him to understand himself better. Sometimes it needs the reflection of others to see who you truly are. 😉 So I definitely liked this Thyon better than the one in the first book and I’d have loved to see even more of him. (Hence my wish for a third book. *lol*)

”Thyon gritted his teeth, knowing exactly who and still telling himself that wasn’t why he’d put it aside. What did he care what the dreamer would love, or who got to give it to him?”

”If the kingdom of knowledge was a city, then a swath of Thyon’s had been shaken to the ground, and he was standing knee-deep in rubble both in his thoughts and in reality.”

“Thyon, earthbound, felt every choice he’d made, every action he’d taken, as a weight he carried with him. He wondered: Was it weight he could shed or throw off, or was it forever a part of him, as much as his bones and his hearts?”

”Will this help?” he asked, breathless. “Is it… is it enough?”

3

Sarai & Lazlo:

”He reached for her, and she gave up all resistance.
The others watched, transfixed, as she melted against him, sweetly heavy and his to hold. Their eyes closed, and they rested their foreheads together as they breathed soft words from each other’s lips.”

First of all: Minya interrupting their kiss in the way she did was unforgivable! Like seriously!! Who does things like that? URGH! I suffered so, so, so, so much with Sarai and Lazlo it’s not even normal anymore! I just wanted those lovebirds to be together but first Minya had to get between them and then Nova had to jump right into the fun too! ARGH! I swear this book killed me and gave me an entirely new level of stress I didn’t even know a book was capable of giving. *lol* Despite it all they still found ways to be together and to spend a few sweet and very precious moments in each other’s company. I loved them so much and how I raged against Nova with Lazlo when she took him away from Sarai. Poor Lazlo! The amount of despair I went through while I followed this pair through this book is tremendous. *lol* I’m all anxiety and bitten nails. *takes a deep breath* I’m so glad things worked out in the end and that Lazlo and Sarai could be together but I’m still kind of bummed by the fact that Sarai is still a ghost who’s bound to Minya. I just hope that they found a world in which they could give her soul a real body gain. Lazlo and her would deserve it! <333

”They could be wrenched apart by Minya, though, at literally any moment, and their hearts felt ragged, frayed by desperation and the thoughtless drub of time.”

”He was careful with her. This wasn’t a time for wildfires. She wanted his dreams and he wanted to draw her into such safety and splendor as only he could make for her, not in the world, but out of it, in their world.”

”She gave words back to him, murmuring, and kept them, too. You could do that: Give them back and keep them. ‘I love you’ is generous that way.”

”Her mind, he meant, knowing in a way that few people do that a mind is a place – a landscape, a wilderness, a city, a world.”

Sarai & Minya & Lazlo:

Sarai shook her head. “I’m not defending him. This isn’t about him. It’s about us, and who we chose to be.”
“You don’t get to choose,” snapped Minya. “You’re dead. And I choose monster!”

To say the relationship between those three was complicated would be an understatement. Sarai still appealed to the good in Minya because she knew it was there buried deep, Lazlo tried to persuade Minya to do the right thing because he was too pure to comprehend such cruelty and Minya. Well, she loved Sarai but she wanted to get her revenge so badly that she would have sacrificed her in a heartbeat. >_< And after all Minya put them through, after all the cruelty and pain this precious snowflake of a boy still shielded her with his own body when they were attacked by Nova. I can’t! I just can’t! Lazlo is an angel, a saint, a unicorn! I think Minya only realized how much Sarai meant to her when she almost died because of Nova. Up to that point it was some sort of game for her, because she was always in control of it, but once she lost that control she finally realized she’d lose Sarai too. They all broke my heart. T_T

”Lazlo didn’t think. He just moved. He grabbed her from behind and turned away, holding her like a doll against him. His linen shirt stretched taut across his shoulders as he curled over her to shield her with his body. To shield her with his own body.”

”We have to get to the citadel!” she insisted. “I just have to touch it. We just have to get alongside it and touch it.”
Sarai knelt in front of her. “It means so much that you still want to save me,” she said, her eyes filling up with tears. Minya’s eyes filled, too.

Ruza & Thyon:

”He looks like somebody made him, and delivered him in a velvet-lined box. He probably plucks his eyebrows. I don’t know how you could possibly find that attractive.”

AWWWWWW!!! Those two! I never saw this ship coming but I’m so on board with it! <333 I mean Ruza literally compared Thyon to “a new linen napkin that you’re afraid to wipe your mouth on”. *LOL* Like seriously!!! It’s so obvious! And Thyon saying he should keep his mouth away from him. Ahhhh!!! Also let’s not forget that Ruza bandaged his hands! So sweet! I never thought I’d ship Thyon with anyone, but Ruza and he were just too cute! ❤ There were so many little moments between them and the fact they always blushed was just adorable. I think I need a third “Strange the Dreamer” book just to see where this might go! XD I’d be totally down for a book about their relationship and I really hope Laini is thinking about it right now. *lol*

”He did one more thing before heading on to the stable. He hit up the first aid boy for a packet of bandages. He hadn’t known a grown man could have hands soft enough to blister and rip after a few hours hauling rope. The alchemist hadn’t complained, though, and he hadn’t quit. That was something, anyway. No reason he should keep getting blood all over the rope.”

”It’s your holy book,” he’d pointed out. “Do you want to get greasy fingerprints all over it?”
“I’ll get greasy fingerprints all over you,” the warrior had muttered, going to do as he was told. Thyon flushing, had pretended not to hear.

”The more fool him, to think he was part of this group. He pushed back from the table to stand, but before he could, Ruza’s hand closed on his. He still wasn’t looking at him, but he had caught his hand so he couldn’t walk away. Thyon stared at his fingers enclosed in Ruza’s as though they belonged to some stranger. He hardly even registered the feeling. It was too alien. No one had ever held his hand.”

”He looked at him and saw the child he’d been, and he saw the man he was – warrior, prankster, friend – and he felt a warmth that he had never felt before for any other person. It was affection, and something that frightened him, too, that he could feel in his knees and fingertips and face.

He said, “I’m sure there are real dragons out there somewhere. You can hatch one from an egg and raise it to be your loyal steed.”
Ruza’s whole face lit up. “Do you really think so?”
“Out of hundreds of worlds?” said Thyon. “It would be stranger if there weren’t dragons.”

Azareen & Eril-Fane:

”After that her days were a fog, and real life was lived at night in a secret cavern with a sword in her hand, blade dancing with a boy who burned with beautiful fire.”

It was really nice to find out about how Azareen and Eril-Fane fell in love, but it was also painful to get a closer look at how the gods destroyed them. They were good and decent people and then Isagol and Skathis came for them and changed the course of their lives forever. Poor Eril-Fane and poor Azareen. They both would have deserved a happy life together but the gods had come to torture them and there was nothing they could have done. It’s no wonder Eril-Fane killed them all. He just didn’t see any other way and only realized what he had done when it was already too late. They made him a monster and he could never escape his past. I grieved so much with them and I’m so glad that they found to each other in the end. ❤ They deserve a bright future and after all their suffering they finally got a chance at happiness.

”Every time he looked at Azareen, he had to face the knowledge that his inability to… get over… what had been done to him – and what he had done – had robbed her of the life she deserved. To hear the word sorry from her lips… it made him want to die.”

”It didn’t matter if the feelings were his, or if she put them in him. Either way, they were real, and they would rule over him for the next three years, and all the years that came after.”

4

“Muse of Nightmares” went in an entirely different direction than I anticipated and I never saw any of those events coming. I certainly didn’t expect this book to be so dark and to fill me with so much despair but that’s exactly what happened. I was a nervous wreck throughout the entire story and to read this was really stressful. Still, it might have been different than the first book but Laini Taylor’s writing style is impeccable and I just love this world and its characters! ❤

Allgemein, P, P - T, Reviews

Review: Prodigy (Marie Lu)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten


“All it takes is one generation to brainwash a population and convince them that reality doesn’t exist.”

First of all I have to say: This was amazing!!!
I mean boy! I really thought I knew in which kind of direction this was heading but then Marie Lu apparently decided to throw me for a loop and after finishing “Prodigy” I don’t even know how to feel about … well, anything and everything! Seriously, I’m totally blown away by this ending because I DIDN’T SEE THAT ONE COMING!!!! O_o

But then again there were a lot of things in this book I didn’t see coming and there were some chapters that had me put down the book in order to process what just happened. I mean I kind of felt like a hound: Certain I’d catch my prey but then thrown off the trail because aforementioned prey was clever and decided to walk into the river to cover its tracks. *lol*

So yes, there were a lot of things I never saw coming and there were some things I saw from miles away. XD It was the mixture of both that kept me engaged throughout the entire book and I really can’t wait to read the third and last book. Because I don’t know if I mentioned it already but I’M NOT OKAY WITH THAT FREAKING ENDING!!!! AHHHHHHHHHH!!! I need Marie Lu to rewrite that ending in the next book or to idk work miracles?! *lol* Just, do something Marie!!! Please!! Don’t let that ending stand! And no, you’re not witnessing a mental breakdown, just a person who’s having words with its sanity. ;-P

Anyway… I have thoughts! PLENTY of them so let’s get them all out of my system!

2

Welcome to the Colonies where we treat strangers with kindness until we stab them with spoilers in their backs! ;-P So if you want to enjoy our marvellous land you better prepare yourself for the painful pleasure of being spoiled. XD

June Iparis:

”They act like I’m some sort of untamed weapon – and in a way, I guess that’s true. The irony of it all makes me want to laugh. Day is a Republic soldier on board the RS Dynasty, and I am the Republic’s most valuable captive. We’ve switched places.”

I think the most interesting thing about “Prodigy” was that June is totally out of her depth. XD  There’s only so much you can learn at a military academy and even though they taught her everything about weapons and war strategy they certainly missed out on teaching her about love and human interactions. *lol* This said, I had a lot of fun watching her squirm while she tried to navigate those dangerous waters she suddenly found herself in. ;-P Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a June fan: I mean she’s one of those cool tough people that know exactly with which kind of weapon they are threatened and she’s definitely one of those really rare kick-ass heroines! It was nice to see more of her human side though and I really enjoyed those moments. I think she grew a lot during this book and the hard decisions she had to make only shaped her even more as a person. So yeah, I’m really curious about the June in “Champion”.  =)

”The soldiers point their guns at me (Model XM-2500, 700m range, smart rounds, can shoot through two layers of cement), then haul me to my feet. During the train ride, I’d watched these two soldiers with such intensity that their nerves must be completely shot by now.”

”Love is illogical, love has consequences – I did this to myself, and I should be able to take it. So take it, June.”

”How could I possibly think that we’d never suffer the consequences of what I’d done to him? How could I be so arrogant to assume it would all work out for us in the end, that my doing a couple of good deeds could make up for all the pain I caused him?”

Daniel “Day” Altan Wing:

”He holds me with his gaze. It’s hard to describe Day to those who have never seen him before – exotic, unique, overwhelming.“

And this is the moment when I go all NOOOOOOOOOO!!! NO, NO, NO, NOOO!!! Like just NOOOO!!! How could you do this to my precious baby Marie??!!! I won’t accept that ending, I won’t, I won’t, I won’t!!! ADKFASDFJASKDFAJS! *takes a deep breath* Okay, I’m fine now. *lol* So now that I got that out of my system I can finally concentrate on the important things like for instance why Marie Lu thought it a good idea to give MY Day a terminal disease!!! *holds in another scream* I’m so not okay with that ending and I really hope Marie will undo that in the next book, because I really can’t with this. I just can’t. Day already suffered enough! He lost his mother, his brother, his father, he can’t lose Tess, June and his life now too. >_< This broke my heart so much because he just deserves better. He’s the light and hope of so many people, yet he never gets some of that light and hope for himself. The irony is just too much. Also his self-doubts and fear of not being enough for June just about killed me. He’s the most precious, pure and beautiful soul and no one can compete with him! All I want is to see my precious snowflake happy. *sniff* T_T

”I suddenly feel so stupid for telling her that I love her, as if I’d be able to make her love me in return like some common girl from the streets. She didn’t say it back, anyway.
Why do I even care? It shouldn’t hurt this much. Should it? Don’t I have more important stuff to worry about?”

”I want to run. To do what I always do, have always done, for the last five years of my life. Escape, flee into the shadows. But this time, I stand my ground. I’m tired of running.”

”I’ve been starved, beaten, and humiliated. I’ve been tortured, insulted, and suppressed. I’ve lived in the slums with you. I’ve risked my life for you. And you’ve risked your lives for me. We have risked our lives for our country – not the country we live in now, but the country we hope to have. You are all, every single one of you, a hero.“

”I can’t describe the emotions on his face – something lost, something ripped from his gaze and strewn across the floor. A deep, quiet sadness that tears me apart. What’s going through Day’s mind?”

Anden – The Elector:

”You and Day are the most celebrated people in the Republic. If I can form an alliance with you both, I can win the people. Then instead of quelling rebellions and trying to keep things from falling apart, I can concentrate on implementing the changes this country needs.”

Mhmm I still don’t know how to feel about Anden. He’s obviously either a really good guy or a remarkable actor. *lol* I have no doubt that his moves were all calculated, the question is if they were truly based on his beliefs or if he only did what he had to because he knew he couldn’t hold the country all by himself. For me his character is still a question mark and I hope to find out more about his real motivations in “Champion”. Considering that June will work so closely with him I’m pretty sure we’ll get to see a lot of Anden in the next book though. Let’s just hope it will be something good. XD

”Well, do you think your father’s policies worked?” I ask quietly.
Anden lowers his head. He searches for the right words. “How can I answer that? His policies did work. The Trials did make our armies stronger. Does that make what he did right, though? I think about it all the time.“

3

June & Day:

”We’re in this together, right?” he whispers. “You and me? You want to be here, yeah?”
There’s guilt in his questions. “Yes,” I reply. “I chose this.”
Day pulls me close enough for our noses to touch. “I love you.”

I can’t believe June never said it to him too!!! WHY JUNE!!?? I guess I should be happy for her being responsible and not acting on a whim but urgh, if a boy like Day confesses his love to you and you feel the same way then you should tell him! >_<  No wonder he thought she fancied Anden, especially after the thoughtless remark she made about Day’s ring. How is that poor boy to know how she feels if she doesn’t open her mouth and tells him? I could understand Day’s fears and frustrations… And I really didn’t like the kind of direction this book took, because Anden as a possible love interest for June made everything so much worse. Poor Day! My first thought when they parted ways was: No, don’t separate! It won’t be good for your love and I guess I was right. T_T Well, and there was still that huge “Sword of Damocles” – aka June being responsible for Day’s mum and brother dying – hanging over their heads. I’m glad they talked it out though and that it was addressed as an issue! It would have been unrealistic if it would have never become a problem between them so I have to give Marie kudos for that. There were so many things that killed me but one of the most memorable moments was June being so tender to sleeping and injured Day at the beginning of the book. I remember writing an update and thinking that it’s so sad he doesn’t know she’s so tender with him and then near the ending when June was ill he did the same for her because he actually noticed. I’m still not over it and my heart aches!!!! <333 Plus THAT ENDING!!! T_T *goes into a corner and cries*

Engagements? My heart flutters in my chest. I can’t help smiling. “With paper clip rings?”
Oh no. I’d meant it as an honest question of curiosity, but don’t realize I sound sarcastic until the words are already out of my mouth.
Day blushes a little; I’m immediately angry at myself for slipping up again. “With something handmade,” he corrects me after a beat.

”I’d almost forgotten how his touch makes me feel. I want to fall into the purity that is Day, soaking in his simple honesty, his heart that sits open and beating on his sleeve.”

”That’s not fair, Day. I didn’t choose to be born into this. I never wanted to hurt your family –“
“Well, you did.” I feel myself tremble and fall apart under his glare. “You led the soldiers right to my family’s door. You’re the reason they’re dead.“

”Don’t go, I plead wordlessly. But I can taste the good-bye on his lips and now I can no longer hold back my tears. He’s trembling. His face is wet. I hang on to him like he’ll disappear if I let go, like I’ll be left alone in this dark room, standing in the empty air. Day, the boy form the streets with nothing except of the clothes on his back and the earnestness in his eyes, owns my heart.”

June & Anden:

”My initial distaste wavers – this new thought intrigues me. Anden must be very aware of his poor public reputation. Perhaps he’s hoping for the people’s support. If that’s the case, then he’s taking pains to do something that our last Elector cared little about.”

I don’t ship it. Not at all. Just look how June described kissing Day vs. Anden. I’d take Day over Anden any day! (pun totally not intended *lol*) Their relationship has something so sterile about it and I don’t want June to be with Anden. He’s too polished, too posh, too artificial and too composed. There’s no passion! So a definite nope from me! If they end up together it’s only because they both will gain political influence through their relationship and that’s the wrong reason to be with someone. >_< Enough said!

”With Day, there’s a fire and a hunger between us, even anger, some deep desperation and need. With Anden, though, the kiss is all delicacy and refined grace, aristocratic manners, power, and elegance. Pleasure and shame wash through me.”

Tess & Day:

”Trust me, Day. I’m saying this for your sake. June will break your heart. I can see it already. She’ll shatter you into a million pieces.”

And here’s another relationship development I hated. Not that I didn’t see that one coming, I actually did, I still wasn’t happy with it though. I suppose it’s just natural Tess fell in love with Day or developed some crush on him. He saved her life and helped her to survive so he’s automatically a hero in her eyes. Also let’s not forget that she’s 13 and he’s 15. The age difference isn’t as prominent as some people might think it to be. Still, Tess is like Day’s little sister and he can’t see her as anything else. I really hated Tess’s jealousy and I was so sad when they argued and parted ways. I just hope Tess will come around and realise her mistakes. >_< Day needs his little sister now! Badly!! T_T

”June can do anything she wants to the Republic, and they’ll take her back too.” Tess raises her voice. “Whenever June needs something, she gets results, but my needs aren’t worth a bucket of pig’s blood. Maybe if I were the Republic’s darling, you’d care about me too.”

Metias & Thomas:

”I’m a soldier of the Republic. When I joined the military I took an oath to obey my superiors’ orders at all costs. Metias took the same oath, and he broke it.”

Remember when I wondered about Thomas’s true motives in my review of “Legend”? Oh well, I can say that I’m shocked now. O_O He actually killed Metias because he was being a good soldier. I can’t believe he murdered him. Especially after the revelation that Metias was in love with him. I have no idea if Thomas reciprocated his feelings but OMG!!! I never saw that one coming and believe me when I say that Metias deserved so much better than THAT! To be killed by the person you love. IT. BREAKS. MY. HEART! T_T I think that makes Thomas the worst friend ever and I hope his vacation to hell is already booked! Poor precious Metias. *sniff*

”I did care for him, you know,” he says through my silence. He pretends bravado, some false professionalism. Still, I hear a tinge of sadness. “But I am also a soldier of the Republic. I did what I had to do.”

”I remember how patient and gentle Metias was when explaining things to Thomas. The way his hand would touch Thomas’s shoulder. The night when I’d eaten edame at that cafe with Thomas and Metias, when Metias first stopped shadowing Chian. The way Metias’s hand would sometimes rest on Thomas’s arm for a beat longer than it had to.”

4

“Prodigy” went in an entirely different direction than I expected, but it was still awesome! I guess I probably should have expected Marie Lu to pull such a stunt because she always manages to surprise me and loves to shake things up. XD Still, I’m not okay with that ending and I sincerely hope that it will be altered in the next book. Marie, please! Work your magic and throw me for another loop!