Review: Tower of Dawn

September 27, 2017 in Book Reviews, Fantasy, YA Fantasy

Review: Tower of DawnTower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #6
Published by Bloomsbury on 5th September 2017
Genres: Fantasy
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica—the stronghold of the southern continent's mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.

But what they discover in Antica will change them both—and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.

In case you aren’t aware, Tower of Dawn is the Chaol novella that Maas was working out that turned into a full-length novel – 660 pages! The timing of this book coincides with the happenings of Empire of Storms, so although they are separate books they are really following the one timeline. Make sense?

I was pretty excited to hear that Chaol would get his own novella, so I was delighted when I heard it had developed into an entire novel! I completely loved Chaol in the first two books of this series but felt he got a raw deal in the latter books. I really hoped that without Aelin as the focus we’d get Chaol back, and I think we did!

Aside from the prospect of a whole book about Chaol, I was very interested as to how Maas would handle his injury and wheelchair use. Many of you know that I have mobility issues and frequently require the use of my wheelchair as a result of illness. So I was equally intrigued (and rather nervous) as to how it and Chaol’s adjustment to his new life would be handled.

On the whole, I was very happy with the way Maas dealt with Chaol’s injury. She really captured many of the issues that  I myself have struggled with since needing help and the use of my chair to get about. In fact, there were passages where I cried, such was the impact, relevance, and portrayal of Chaol’s battles. At times I felt like Sarah was writing about me, particularly in that first half of the book. I’m very grateful to Maas for bringing these issues into her hugely popular books. While Chaol’s struggles won’t reflect everyone, they certainly reflect mine and I’m grateful that, through Chaol, some awareness may be raised.

I appreciated that while Chaol was being treated with magic, he still had to fight. It was a process, a battle. View Spoiler »

As for the story itself, I’ve seen people say that it didn’t need to be as long as it was. Perhaps that’s the case, but I would’ve read it at twice the length.

Yes, it was kind of predictable in places but I really didn’t care, as there was much that wasn’t predictable. In fact there were a couple of bombshells! We find out a lot more about Antica, Erilea and the Valg. If you think this is a secondary novel and you aren’t sure about reading then let me say that you must; there is important information in this book!

I also really loved how Maas continues to reintroduce her novella characters in this series. If you haven’t read The Assassin’s Blade collection of prequel novellas then I urge you to do so to get the most from this novel and the series as a whole.

All in all, I really enjoyed this novel and getting to spend more time with Chaol. I loved meeting the new characters, learning more about the world and I just can’t wait for book seven!

four-half-stars

Book Bites: Sarah J. Maas

September 12, 2015 in Book Reviews, Fantasy, YA Fantasy

Book Bites: Sarah J. MaasA Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Published by Bloomsbury on 5th May 2015
Genres: Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
five-stars

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it... or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

- from Goodreads

I had intended to write a full review of ACOTAR, but to be honest there are plenty of reviews online. So I thought I’d briefly share my thoughts.

I was a bit worried before I started ACOTAR as the ARC reviews I’d seen had been somewhat mixed. I ended up putting off reading this as I didn’t want to be disappointed. I should have had more faith though. I loved this! I loved the Beauty and the Beast air about the book, the action, the characters and the dynamics between them. I must admit that I enjoyed the romance too.

To give you an idea of how much I enjoyed it – I just bought a second, signed copy. I can’t wait for book two – it’s going to be interesting to see where this series goes.

 

Book Bites: Sarah J. MaasQueen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #4
Published by Bloomsbury on 1st September 2015
Genres: YA Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.

- from Goodreads

I can’t stand spoilers, in fact I stayed off Goodreads the whole time I read this as I didn’t want anything to spoil it for me. So with that in mind, this is just going to be short. Like, REALLY short. I loved it! I wasn’t sure how I felt about it for the first quarter of the book, but I ended up really loving it.  End of thoughts.

 

five-stars

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

August 5, 2013 in Book Reviews, Fantasy, Fiction, YA, YA Fantasy

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. MaasThrone of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Published by Bloomsbury Genres: Fantasy, YA
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
five-stars

When magic has gone from the world, and a vicious king rules from his throne of glass, an assassin comes to the castle. She does not come to kill, but to win her freedom. If she can defeat twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition to find the greatest assassin in the land, she will become the King’s Champion and be released from prison. 

Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her.

And a princess from a foreign land will become the one thing Celaena never thought she’d have again: a friend.

But something evil dwells in the castle–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying, horribly, one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival–and a desperate quest to root out the source of evil before it destroys her world.

 

That moment when you finish a book you’ve really enjoyed and you realise that whatever book comes next is going to have a lot to live up to. You know what I mean? I often feel like nothing will match the book I’ve just read, so picking that next book is a challenge.

After careful consideration I selected Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas. I’d seen a lot of talk about it online and wanted to know what the fuss was about. Plus it was only 99p on the Kindle so it was too good a chance to pass by!

Calaena Sardothien is a prisoner. She is serving a life sentence in the dark salt mines of Endovier. She might be only 18 but she is a top assassin….a top assassin that got caught.

She has spent a year in the mines, the fact that she is still alive is tantamount to her character. Then one day she is offered a deal, a deal that could, some day, see her regain her freedom… or could send her back to the mines. The Crown Prince, Dorian, and his friend, the Captain of the King’s Guard, Chaol arrive at Endovier to find Calaena. Prince Dorian wants her to represent him in a competition, she will take on other criminals, assassins and soldiers in a bid to win the title of the King’s Champion. Despite her hatred of the King, Calaena realises this is her only chance of freedom and so the competition begins.

Calaena is a tough character. She is the best assassin in the game and takes no nonsense! She is to be trained by Chaol. A year in the mines has left her out of condition so she is taken to the palace and put through her paces.

Things get rather interesting when Prince Dorian shows a keen interest in the assassin. Visiting her rooms and stealing time with her it’s clear he is fascinated by this beautiful girl. Yet her attention is divided between the handsome Prince and the Captain of the Guard Chaol. With her icy exterior melting who, if anyone, will win her affection?

The competition was always going to be tough, it put them through months of training and combat. However when evil inhabits the castle things begin to take a turn for the worse. Competitors are found dead, savagely killed. They are being picked off one by one…can Calaena find the source and survive to reach that final dual?

I loved this book. It’s a Young Adult fantasy and therefore easy to read, but no less absorbing.  Calaena is a likeable character, a strong woman in a world of men. Her character resonates with me as I’ve been that female in a man’s world….mind you it wasn’t exactly life or death for me!

I really liked the way this book is written. There is a clear timeline – the duration of the competition. I enjoyed the darkness of the evil in the castle and the light of the relationships with Dorian and Chaol. I won’t tell you which one I was rooting for…you have to make up your own mind about that.

This is the first book in a series. The next book, Crown of Midnight, is out in the UK on 15th August 2013. I can’t wait to find out what Calaena does next, where her journey takes her and who from the first book is still in her life. This series really could go anywhere and I look forward to joining the journey along the way.

I just really enjoyed this book and wanted to share it with you.
five-stars