Winterspell – Review

Our stories say that when the human world was first made, not all of it fit. 

These are the opening lines of Winterspell by Claire Legrand, and the story starts of sounding like magic. I pre-ordered Winterspell and I actually received it about two weeks in advance – it’s not set to release until September 30I’m so glad I got it early because now I can tell everyone to mark their calendars for this book.

Winterspell was not perfect, though, and we definitely got off to a rough start.

Continue reading Winterspell – Review

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September Wrap Up + October Tie in

It’s been a lovely and terrible September.

Here in the true North strong and free (Canada) we’d have some really nice weather and some shockingly cold weather (0 degrees Celsius, I kid you not. Clearly I’m only here for the healthcare).

However, what makes it all better is having a whole lotta books where I can completely forget about the weather!

Here’s a look at the books and samplers I bought, won, and read this September!

Continue reading September Wrap Up + October Tie in

Waiting on Wednesday – The Only Thing to Fear

I only just recently heard about this book on Twitter. I love a lot of historical fiction, especially WWII historical fiction. Prisoner of Night and Fog, that I read a few months ago for example, was an amazing YA historical fiction set in Nazi Germany. What makes me really excited for The Only Thing to Fear is that it’s not really a historical fiction novel, but a story that flips a significant historical event on its head: the fall of Hitler.
Continue reading Waiting on Wednesday – The Only Thing to Fear

Crown of Midnight – Review

To escape death, she’d become death…

Wow.

Wow, wow, wow.

Seriously. That’s all I can say about Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas.

“A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.


It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend.”

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie…and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

Okay Sarah J. Maas is perfection. Seriously. When I finished Throne of Glass a few days ago, I liked it, but I didn’t get the crazy love everyone has for the series.

I get it know, wholeheartedly.

Crown of Midnight was just spectacular. Where we left off in Throne of Glass, we had more questions than answers. Crown of Midnight answers some of those questions, but those answers only lead to OH MY GOSH, WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NOW!? moments.

In this book, Celaena’s dark side truly comes out. She is fierce and wicked and beautiful and entirely unforgiving in a terrifying way. She’s like a dark seductress that Chaol can’t resist. And Chaol. Oh, poor man, I really sympathized with his highs and his lows this entire book. He gets in some really sticky places, and his situation only slightly improves by the end of this book. Dorian, I’m still on the fence about. Half the time, when he’s struck by the darkness in Celaena, I’m like: HELLO, SHE’S AN ASSASSIN, MIND YOU. The other times, I’m crying for him because he’s just so confused about who and what he is. There’s a lot of interesting history about our main characters and their antagonists revealed, but again, like in Throne of Glass, I’m left feeling like there’s so much I don’t know. Sarah J. Maas does this amazing onion effect where every time you peel away one layer, you’re left with a million more. It’s beautiful. 

The plot was seamless. Unlike in the first book, where I felt like the middle got a bit bogged down, this one was always moving, always progressing towards the next Big Event/Revelation; and really, the book felt it was only made up of Big Events/Revelations. This really gives it an amazing momentum. Another thing I really love about Sarah J. Maas’ writing style is that each book doesn’t act like its own (if that makes sense). Everything is moving towards this one BIG EVENT and I feel like if the sheer size wouldn’t overwhelm and intimidate people, Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight could just be one huge, mammoth book. What’s working spectacularly here is that there’s a sense of continuation that isn’t being broken up despite the separate books. There’s no shift in focus or conflict, but rather, we’re only just seeing what’s happening under all these layers.

For me, the characters won this book, and I feel personally invested in what’s going to happen next. I promised myself I wouldn’t buy anymore books this month, with four already on the way, but how can I resist?

Waiting on Wednesday – Mortal Heart

Because love is stronger than death…

This is probably my biggest WoW (or waiting on ANY day, really) of the year.

*Drumroll….!*

Mortal Heart! by Robin LaFevers


Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own.

She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind doesn’t mean she has…


I finished Dark Triumph this year, and absolutely loved it, more so than the first book, Grave Mercy. I finished off Dark Triumph feeling a little like the story had been left up in the air, and it upset me a little until I realized that this was Annith’s cue to enter the stage.

In Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph, Ismae and Sybella are both fierce, Death-wielding assassins, but Annith seems different. She’s never even left the convent with an assignment and she’s never been groomed with the intention of going out as the other sisters do. So, I’m wondering just how Mortal Heart is going to play out. The small scrap of a description only makes me more excited and more clueless about just what lies waiting for Annith outside the convent.

Mortal Heart release November 4thand the wait just might kill my own mortal heart.

 

Throne of Glass – Review

There are people who need you to save them as much as you yourself need to be saved…

I finally got around to reading Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, and I have to admit, I can see where the love comes from. This book didn’t blow me out of the water, but it definitely set up what I think is going to be a spectacular sequel.

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. 

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another.

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

Throne of Glass has a badass main character, and she doesn’t disappoint the whole way through. Celaena is a young girl and I believe the brutality. She wasn’t the fiercest assassin I’ve ever seen, but she has a gritty determination to survive, and I love that. She’s also tempered with hope and softness – countless killings haven’t completed hardened her. Being notorious as an assassin doesn’t mean she’s not afraid to die, and we see it at the start of the book. Right away, Sarah J. Maas promises us a character who’s an oxymoron of compassionate and fierce, and makes the combination work beautifully.

Dorian is the Crown Prince and completely besotted with Celaena. They engage in a lot of witty banter, and they had a sharp, mature level of humour that I don’t often see in YA. Dorian was charming, but he didn’t capture me like Chaol did. Chaol just had this aura that I really liked, and seeing him melt for Celaena was just adorable. More than this, though, he saw all of Celaena. Dorian saw her as this beautiful, smart, entertaining girl and chooses to ignore the assassin, but Chaol sees everything. As much is evidenced when Sarah J. Maas gives descriptions of Celaena from both men looking upon the same scene of Celaena sleeping:

Dorian: He remained in the doorway, fearful that she’d wake up if he took another step. Some assassin. She hadn’t even bothered to stir. But there was nothing of the assassin in her face. Not a trace of aggression or bloodlust lay across her features. 

Chaol: She was still in her clothes, and while she looked beautiful, that did nothing to mask the killing potential that lay beneath. It was present in her strong jaw, in the slope of her eyebrows, in the perfect stillness of her form.

I’m not sure about everyone else, but I’m shipping Celaena and Chaol hard. 

The story gets right to the point – the Competition in which Celaena will have to fight more than twenty opponents to become the king’s Champion, and eventually win her freedom. I always appreciate a book that doesn’t dawdle in getting to the heart of the story. However, I found that the middle of the story lagged a bit. Around the training and the first few tests I grew a little disinterested. I turned to three other books before I found my way back to Throne of Glass. Even though I had to push through the middle part, the book started and finished strongly. The ending of this book is such that I didn’t feel like the next book was going to simply be a continuation of Throne of Glass; I was struck when I was presented with the fact that I didn’t know anything about these players, let alone the game they were engaged in. I realize that this book is only the beginning of an epic journey.

We each survive in our own way.