Fairest

Fairest by Marissa Meyer

I absolutely loved The Lunar Chronicles, all of them. It is one of my favorite series of recent years. So, of course, Fairest has been on the list for quite a while now… but as I don’t expect to see any Iko at all, and very little Cinder if any at all… it wasn’t moved to the top at all.

Well, now it is due. And I’m really looking forward to it. There should be a good dose of royal and family drama. Almost like watching  a new season of The Crown…

…but on the moon…

… and with mind powers…

… and without Prime Ministers.

So… nothing like The Crown, I imagine.

The Shadow Hour

I still have a long flight to go. Who says there is t a bright side to transoceanic flight? You get a lot of uninterrupted reading time?? What can be better?

Just adding coffee? They do that, too.

The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey

So, let get in with it. If I remember right, turns out that the mysterious object the main character was actually searching for was herself and the self-awareness that she has the power to bring and end to the long war between two species.

So, this should be interesting.

Shades of Magic

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

A thief and a magician…

This is the second book of the series, Shades of Magic, after A Darker Shade of Magic.

If I remember right, we are talking about a one-of-a-kind magician, with a black eye that marks him as powerful… who can travel to other worlds!

And a thief who escapes her boring grey world in search of adventure and greatness.

Last thing I remember, they managed to defeat invading magicians and vanished a powerful and dangerous magic stone to a sealed world, attached to a death body.

Am I forgetting anything? Let’s back to it, then.

Sadly unsatisfying

So confusing

After the whole of my complains about the second part of this series, The Tattooed Duchess, I was super excite with all the action exploding all over the place in A Painted Goddess. Seriously! Everything seemed to simply fall into place… it was all going amazingly.

SPOILER ALERT

The Duchess was rescued from her kidnapping, but without looking like a “damsel in distress” at all. All the excursion souring the wold for more tattoos for Rina Veraiin were somewhat successful, eve when most o the participant died all over the place.

The war came and every tiny character thread got into the final mess… even the uprising within the enemy force was keeping me glue to the story.

A Painted Goddess by Victor Gischler

A Painted Goddess by Victor Gischler

The part of the defeated empress from across the sea that dies without knowing what happened to her navy? That was absolutely awesome an I loved it, as sad as it was.

How everyone from Rina‘s inner circle ends up converging at the royal palace, only to be witness to a coup! That was totally unexpected! And there i started to wonder when I would be able to read the next book… because, surely, all these new and dramatic twists will requiere at least a whole new book to unravel!

But no. this was the last book. And after the rather suden death of the king and Rina‘s refusal to being queen… everything went down from there.

All the sudden they are all together at a whole other place, with a whole other mission that makes no sense?! What the hell?! And after three books an everything, the Duke’s killer just falls dead? Just like that?

And what was up with that ending?! For goodness sake! it was terrible! Totally unsatisfying on many levels. Our favorite reluctant Captain of the Guard just walks away from  everything to go home and we never hear from him again?

Our favorite whores turned warriors just vanish into the background without any follow up?!

The pettiest of girls is the one to make it back home?

The only thing related to the title were two sentences?!

And the only guy who never had any idea as to what was going on, simply because he didn’t want to know even when he had ample opportunity to get all the details, is the one left in change?

WHAT   THE    F**K?!

Seriously! I feel like the only way to like this book is if you tore of the last couple of chapter and pretend you’re till waiting for the next one in the series.

And of course. this leaves me all confused… Did I like it? I’m not quite sure. At first I loved it… but then… Talk about mindbogglingly.

A Fire Beneath the Skin

Starting with the right foot…

A Painted Goddess by Victor Gischler

A Painted Goddess by Victor Gischler

Third book in the series.

Hopefully, all the build up from the last one will finally pay out and I’ll get more action, magic and actual moving the story forward.

If I remember correctly, the last we heard, the Duchess was a prisoner of the last remnants of a defeated invading army; her wizard friend was on a mission to a magnificent library in search of magic books; the captain of her guard is on another mission to find a wizard that might or might not have more knowledge about the magic tattoos that now cover the Duchess body; and, the priest, new friend to the Duchess, was supposed to try and rescue her.

Ok. I think that’s it. Lets dive in.

 

The Build-Up

3/5
The Tattooed Duchess by Victor Gischler

This was the second part of the series, A Fire Beneath the Skin, after Ink Mage… and while the story does move forward a little, it felt much like prep work.

There was a lot of setting the stage happening, from meeting the Empress who cannot back up from the already-laid invasion plans, to the cith and soldiers preparing for the expected siege. It all felt like a big long prologue.

The Tattooed Duchess by Victor Gischler

The Tattooed Duchess by Victor Gischler

There was even a considerable part of the book where the fate of the Duchess was unknown!

And don’t get me started on Alam and his thoughtless fleeing. It gave the story a sense of going backwards. The Duchess is again on the road, looking for the tools she will need to fight her enemies, whoever they may be; Alam and the gypsy girl are again getting involved behind Rina’s back; the the girls from the whorehouse and their madam seem to be the only ones truly involved in saving the city from within; and, the enemy army prepares for a full-on invasion. It all feels too much like what was happening in the first book, just slightly bigger. And throwing some battling Gods into the mix…

I want to think that all off this anticipation and build-up will be worth it for the last part of the series, A Paintes Goddess, because if it isn’t I’ll be terribly disappointed.

Sooner rather than later

ttd

The Tattooed Duchess by Victor Gischler

 

I got lucky, and was able to find part two of A Fire Beneath the Skin series: The Tattooed Duchess. I’m really looking forward to know more about Rina Veraiin and how she manages her newly acquire powers. Maybe she’ll get more tattoos and rub her power on the face of the King who refused her help.

Or maybe she’ll just squash her enemies and go back to her everyday life as the new Duchess.

Let’s find our, shall we?

 

Recap: Last we knew, Rina had taken back her castle with the help of the Gypsies and almost died in the process. With a couple of debts owed for the tattooed she got, she is now and Ink Mage.

Pleasantly surprised

4/5

Ink Mage by Victor Gischler

I’m not sure what I expected when I started this book, but this was a great story.

There was magic and tattoos, yes… But there was also political maneuvering, gypsies, murdering whores and tragic love stories. There were powerful enemies and allies, and there was a good dose of fighting and gore.

Ink Mage by Victor Gischler

Ink Mage by Victor Gischler

It honestly has everything it needed to be an amazing mindblowingly fantastic book, but it isn’t. I’m not sure I can tell you what’s missing, but I know there’s something lacking.

I think it might have something to do with the details. The strange thing is that there’s so much going on, and so many different points of view… And still I felt like I missed more than one thing and that the important things were being left unsaid.

SPOILER ALERT

For example… We met the commanding officer in charge of pursuing the young Duchess, Rina Veraiin, and while I always appreciate the point of view of the enemy… We never know what he thought of his supposedly hapless quarry after the slaughter at the temple. That would have been an awesome insight.

And then, there was the mysterious third Mage to arri pave from the enemy’s land. We get a small glimpse, meant to build him up as the ultimate opponent. Powerful, knowledgeable and greedy. And then, it took one chapter to see him in action and get rid of him all together. That was a bit anticlimactic.

Like they say… It is all in the little things. There are little things that make this story awesome, like the magic tattoos that can be collected, the loyal friends/subjects that follow and support our main character, the different perspectives from the same conflict that help you see the bigger picture… But it was also the little things that keep this story form being all it could have been.

All this is not to say that I won’t be reading the rest of the trilogy. As most books nowadays, this one is part of a series… A Fire Beneath the Skin. It might take me sometime to get the other two books, but I definitely want to know how this story will end. Maybe our cool Duchess will end up with a full-body tattoo!!

Fey and technology

2/5

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

I’d like to believe that most women of my generation and younger, like me, enjoy and prefer the stronger take-charge can-save-myself heroines. But I just have very little patience for whining.

And the first two-thirds of this story we got nothing but whining. And this main character, Megan Chase, starts out our story just like that. And when she’s not martyring herself, she’s making half-ass decisions without considering the consequences in the slightest.  Like giving away a memory. I thought that was a terrible idea even before we got to glimpse what the oracle took.

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

By the time we get to see Megan get into the frey as an equal, there’s only a couple of chapter left in the book.

She’s supposed to be the daughter of a Fey King! She lacked a little… something… oomph, maybe.

Another thing that bothered me was how things develop between Robin Goodfellow, Megan and Ash. The girl falls in-love with the handsome an dark prince while ignoring and allowing him to override his trust for his life-friend? Doesn’t that sound like the beginning of  potentially abusive or destructive relationship to you? That is without considering that she’s all in-love with this guy, who she doesn’t even really know. That has always been a pet peeve of mine when it comes to love story plots.

Of course, she doesn’t really know her long-time friend either, but that’s a whole other thing… isn’t it?

To make a long story short, i didn’t really enjoy this book much. i think reading Empire of Storms at the same times didn’t help much. So, there’s that too. No fae prince can really measure up when compared to Rowan Whitethorn… what else can I say!

I do have the whole series, The Iron Fey. I got it in a bundle before I even started the first one. So, maybe… and let me remark on that, MAYBE… I’ll end up reading the rest of them. I understand that in the third one, Megan Chase actually becomes The Iron Queen, so that might be worth reading about. I’m not in any hurry, though.

 

Nameless is my price

5/5

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

OH MY GOD!

This book was amazing!! I have no words for how much I’m absolutely in-love. I was at the edge of my sit during the whole thing, there was no good moment to stop or even breathe!

Queen Aelin Ashryver Galathynious spent the whole 700 pages going for one betrayal to a disaster to an ambush, to another betrayal and ambush. It was insane! I LOVED IT!!

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Empire of Storms is the fifth installment in the Throne of Glass series, so there is a lot happening that relates and/or recounts what has been happening since the beginning. And this one has way more explanations about how all those things merge together. So there were many times I felt like I should be re-reading all the previous books to freshen up my memory about the details.

I also think I waited to long to read Asassin’s Blade. There were a few new character that I felt I should know already, and many more that I think we’re mentioned lightly before hand.

But all of that, didn’t matter. The story was awesome! Simply mind-blowing.

Land not just because of all the magic and battles, but also for all the scheming and surprising turns of events. Then, of course, there was a couple of sexy times and a lot of built-up.

The next book -that still has no name- better be as good. I think better is impossible, but I wouldn’t discourage Sarah J. Maas for trying,

The downside? The wait for the conclusion of the story is going to be a year.

A WHOLE year!

Catching me unaware

A couple of days ago, I saw someone online quoting Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas… and that’s when I realized I had missed the release!

I remember learning the book was available for pre-purchase, and it being a bit over the leftover book budget I had at the moment. I have proved myself that I have a terrible memory about all things and need to either make my handy smartphone remind me of even the smallest thing, of stop putting off the things I want.

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

The second choice doesn’t seem very doable when most of my ideas come to me at crazy hour of the night where doing the slightest thing about it is difficult.

I was already two-thirds into The Last Four Things, so I decided to finish that and then devote my weekend to this one.

I’m not sure how excited am I. Definitely less than last time, but still quite eager to read more about Rowan Whitethorn and Aelin Galathynious… She’s supposed to be back to her homeland now, ready to reclaim the throne. I can’t wait to see how that goes.

This is the 5th in The Throne of Glass series, but his time I’m quite sure this is not meant to be that last. I understand there are two more expected to be published before the story is actually over.

Fae folk

cover-julie-kagawa-iron-fey-1-the-iron-king

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Not so long ago, I came across The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa And I loved those book cover! The are so beautiful! I couldn’t contain myself.

Of course… then there was Rowan Whitethorn, and Falin Andrews… and, somewhat, Tamlin. My recent -and not so recent- experience with the fae folk had been a really good one, so why not delve head first in a whole new fae universe.

First up, The Iron King.

Wish me luck!

To the sky and back

5/5

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

It’s been a while since I read a book like this one. One that I simply couldn’t put down.

Work get me from going past the first page for most of the week, but by Thursday I was finally able really get into int. And after that, I just couldn’t stop. I even managed to squeeze in some pages while at work, between appointments…

It was a great story, with a fast pace plot that doesn’t feel rushed or tiring. There’s lost of magic, some comedy and some heart break. There’s even dragons!! DRAGONS!! I mean… If someone had told me there would be dragons, I would have gotten to this book a long time ago.

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

People that turn into dragons, to be specific, but they were great. The idea that this being can have two hearts that beat together in their chests (one for their dragon instincts and thirst fro violence, and one for their human natures and their ability to feel things like love or mercy) was one of my favorites. I think it added an extra layer of complexity to this characters that was delightful. I DO wish we could have gotten to know the people of Eldr better, the Draconi, but I understand the story was about Lorelai Diererich.

SPOILER ALERT

I did find the death of Lorelai‘s brother, Leo, to be terribly sad, and the sudden disappearance of the Eldr King‘s uber-loyal friends/guards and then their equally sudden re-appearance felt slightly weird and empty. I think a couple of chapter from their point of view would’ve been good, but again, I understand this was not a story about the Eldrians. Maybe it should have been.

At the beginning we are introduced to all this characters… the Draconi princess, the Master military trainer and royal adviser… and the problems the Eldrian crown faces. But by the time we get to the last page, everything over there has been solved and we got no clear answer as to how, what really happened or how did all these character fared. That, I didn’t like.

But, if you ignore that, everything else was amazing. The strong princess that can climb trees and crumble mountains. How cool is that!! My favorite thing however was the falcon pet. She has a mental link with the magic wielding princess and her thoughts are simply the best part of the whole book in my opinion.  What better thing that a pet that can talk to you in your mind to offers you eating advise?

“Mouse? Rabbit?”

In short, I loved it, will add it to my list of favorite books and would absolutely love to know more about this. Maybe C.J. Redwine should consider writing a book all about the Eldrians.

Bereavement 

4/5

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

This is a sequel to Seraphina, and follows a couple of months after the end of the previous book. It was more complex and offered more details about the world in which our main character lives. Not just to her native Goredd, but also the neighboring countries… Their religion, politics and social structures. Even the inner workings of the Tanamoot, or dragon society, that seems to be crumbling in itself.

In that regard, it was a wonderful book. I felt it constructed a whole universe where these characters dwell and where interacting with dragons and Ityasaari (half.-dragons, half-humans) is entirely possible. So many things were explained, from the actions and reactions of people to their believes and motivations.

Shadow Sale by Rachel Hartman

Shadow Sale by Rachel Hartman

We got to know Abdo‘s family, and his gods, Chance and Necessity. Of all the religions I’ve ever read about, this is one that makes the much sense to me. This world, in all its complexity, completely bowled me over. It was wonderful.

On the other had, though, there were many thing that Seraphina did or didn’t that I found frustratingly near-sighted, and while the ultimate fate of Jannoula felt right and appropriate, the actual end of the book felt way too sad.

SPOILER ALERT

Jannoula‘s goal was achieved at the end, she took everything of sentimental value away from Seraphina. She tainted her life goals and chased away her brethren, she killed her friend and took her beloved Uncle Orma from her.

And even when, thanks to her need to fight Jannoula back, she managed to unleash her powers and come to a better and deeper understanding of the world, she never gets to keep the love of her life. Prince Lucian Kiggs ends up marrying Queen Glisselda, even when even the Queen herself seems to be in-love with Seraphina. How messed up is that?!

I think it was all just too sad.

And even worst, she didn’t seem all that heartbroken about it! That is what I found the most perplexing. I can understand about duty and putting the needs of the nation before her own heart’s desires, but she ends up all alone and… I don’t know. It just felt depressing.

Still, it was a great book…  magnificently written.