The Emerald Lily

by Juliette Cross

3/5Fairy tale princesses and vampires.

I’m a total sucker for the re-telling of old classics, especially when it involves supernatural or magical creatures. This is actually the fourth and last book in a series, but I didn’t know that when I got it. It was only until I finished it that I saw the list of “other books in this series“. I totally agree with the author when she says that this story can be read as a stand-alone.

The Emerald Lily tells the sleeping beauty story, but they are all vampires. hat’s the easiest and most encompassing blurb I can give you, trust me. There’s a sleeping princess, who gets waken by a kiss. There is a power-hungry evil queen. And there is a strong handsome soldier/assassin who is totally my type. Not because of his physical description or his job, but because it is not common to find such a strong and unbothered second to a strong woman.

“You bring me to my knees with the strenght that is inside you. A woman whose external beauty s nothing compared to the powerful godess who resides witin. Ascend your throne? Oh, Mina. You are already a queen”

Usually, the man who saves the princes is the center of the story. I don’t even remember how many time I’ve read a story where the only purpose of a princess is to make the male character into a king. this is not that kind of story. In his one, both main character share in the suffering and in the glory. Both victor and heroes in their own right. That was one of my favorite parts about the whole thing.

Did I enjoy it? Definitely. Who doesn’t love a good epic battle? It was original, action-packed, sexy and I love a good queen coronation. And that ending was totally a surprise. A very GOOD book.

I was so happy with it, that I don’t really feel any urgency to read the previous three stories in this series. Maybe it is because I already know how it ends… Perhaps I will read all of them at some point, but definitely not any time soon.

 

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The Pledge Trilogy

PledgeSummer is here and the work hours have dropped to the floor. I hadn’t had this much free time all year. The sad part is that as soon as the crazy days t work stopped, I could think about were all the little things at home that need to be done.

Those things that have been needing doing for months, but I hadn’t had the time. What can be better for keeping me company while I wash, scrub, dust, mop, and purge than a good audiobook?

I even took a moment to carefully choose which book to start into… and then I hear:

“Men will fall at hr feet. And she will crush them”

Oh, how I enjoy an evil queen and/or magic powers! Of course, I chose The Pledge.

 

Shades of Magic (2)

4/5A Conjuring of Light.

I really really liked this book. This whole series, actually. Even when it took me waaaaaay to long to actually finish it. I blame it all on this the most inefficient year I had when it comes to my reading. Only to my reading, though, because work has been crazy busy.

But, even when there were quite a few of forced pauses in between my chapters, this book was amazingly grabbing. I loved getting to know Holland, who until now seemed only as a secondary character, especially that last chapter from his point of view. His whole story, though, it was all heartbreaking and enlightening as to why he does as he does and is as he is.

And I loved, even more, getting to know Rhy and the complexities of his relationship with Alucard.

And Alucard, and his messed up family!

And the Queen and her inability to express herself to Kell

And that is all before we even get to the Shadow King and the growing relationship between Kell and Lila., it was honestly a great book. I will totally recommend this series to anyone who may listen.

So, why only a 4/5? You might be asking… Well. It was the ending.

No. I’m not trying to say that the conclusion/solution to their problem was anything but great, but I do think that the last chapter… The emotional wrap-up… Felt a bit brushed over. Too fast, too superficial.

After everything the brothers now share, there was no conversation, no reunion, no normal goodbye. And with Lila! When did they agree to leave to follow HER dream of being a pirate? Wasn’t she toying with the idea of settling down? And what happened to Kell’s promise to be by his brother’s side when he became king?! And to Holland’s world? And what I’d the letter to King George say?

Again, too rushed. I wasn’t satisfied.

But really that was my only qualm. Besides that, the book was real. The whole series was awesome.

A Gathering of Shadows

5/5
It took me moths to finally finish A Gathering of Shadows, but it wasn’t for a lack of interest… i assure you.

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

Instead, the only reason I put it down was the crazy insane project that suddenly landed on my hands around the same time I was getting ready to finish this book.

When I finally found an opportunity to focus my mind on this story again, I had to go back a few chapters to get on the same excited mood I was when I was forced to leave it. It wasn’t difficult.

This is a amazingly exciting story. I can honestly say I liked this one better that the previous one. It is simply packed with more wonderful displays of magic than the first one in the series. Not only about this girl that’s supposed to have no magic discovering all the thing she hadn’t thought were possible, but also the more in-depth view we get to Rhy and that’s before we get to the whole magical battle cage contest!

And that ending!! Oh. My. God!

(And I don’t say that lightly)

I was still holding my breath when I immediately switched to A Conjuring of Light. Bless my crazy ideas of purchasing books by sets!

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

 

And, of course, I blew through the first chapters like crazy trying to keep up with my own excitement. It has been a while since I had that feeling. It was awesome. If the ending of book two and the beginning of book three are any indication, I’m going to absolutely love this one.

I’m trying to tamp down my expectations, so I don’t build it up too much before really getting into it, but I make no promises. This is, after all, the end of the story… As far as I know.  So, it is completely understandable that I would expect something way more amazing from this one book than from the previous tow put together. Don’t you think so? Isn’t that the standard?

What do you think?

Isn’t that the point of sequels?

The Lunar Chronicles

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.

A Painted Goddess

So confusing

Sadly unsatisfying.

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.

Will

P: “Isn’t in your power to refuse? How can anyone force you to do anything?”

K: “He is the King. And you’re a fool, too, if you think I have a choice in the matter”. 

P: “But you do have a choice. He’s not the one who makes you savage. You make yourself savage, when you bend yourself to his will”. 


Graceling by Kristin Cashore