REVIEW| The Raven King

The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4)
Maggie Stiefvater


⭐⭐⭐

Synopsis:

Nothing living is safe. Nothing dead is to be trusted.

For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into this quest: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer a lie; and Blue, who loves Gansey… and is certain she is destined to kill him.

Now the endgame has begun. Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.

Review:

By far this has got to be the prettiest book cover of the series. The gradient shades and tones of blue to grey are something that you just have to admire by the artist- Christopher Stengel. It's just so suiting to the colours that I have always assumed with our protagonist-- Blue Sargent. As well as being the main colour that is representative of my overall reading emotion throughout this book. I mean come on! It is the last one- and the whole Gansy situation.

Maggie- maggie, maggie... Can you write more books in this style of prose? Please? 

*slides over a crumpled fiver across the internet*

Honestly, these books are definitely an improvement from Stiefvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy? Series? Anyway, it's not just the improvement on her writing style on something that is much more experimental in terms of traditional storytelling that left me craving more of this legend-like tale. Not only this, Stiefvater's characters seemed to be continuing to hit their mark, practically breathing off the page with the one-liners so often thought off teenagers, captured so effortlessly by Stiefvater-- and leaving me in a fit off giggles long into the night.


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Wrap-Up| May 2016

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3)
Maggie Stiefvater

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Synopsis:


There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.



Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.




The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.




Friends can betray.

Mothers can disappear.

Visions can mislead.

Certainties can unravel.
Thoughts:

I may actually kidnap Maggie and make her write all my novel ideas-- of course I won't because, that would be illegal. Although, I do love how each book is slowly turning the notch up just that little more. I feel tense just thinking that this could be it for Gansey come The Raven King.

Crap!

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A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)
Sarah J. Maas

⭐⭐⭐

Synopsis:

Feyre is a huntress.


She thinks nothing of slaughtering a wolf to capture its prey. But, like all mortals, she fears what lingers mercilessly beyond the forest. And she will learn that taking the life of a magical creature comes at a high price...



Imprisoned in an enchanted court in her enemy's kingdom, Feyre is free to roam but forbidden to escape. Her captor's body bears the scars of fighting, and his face is always masked - but his piercing stare draws her ever closer. As Feyre's feeling for Tamlin begin to burn through every warning she's been told about his kind, an ancient, wicked shadow grows.




Feyre must find a way to break a spell, or lose her heart forever.



Thoughts:


In all honestly I just have never like Tamlin. Felt kind of alone for the past year in my own little hatred bubble. I think it's just Tamlin has ruined this whole novel for me, hense the drop from 4.5 stars to just a 3 star rating. Sorry Maas!
Plus, the romance started to make me feel too tacky; I prefer my romance sub-plotted please!


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A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)
Sarah J. Maas

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Synopsis: 


Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.



Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.


REVIEW

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Assassin's Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy #1)
Robin Hobb

⭐⭐⭐

Synopsis:


Young Fitz is the bastard son of the noble Prince Chivalry, raised in the shadow of the royal court by his father's gruff stableman. He is treated like an outcast by all the royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him secretly tutored in the arts of the assassin. For in Fitz's blood runs the magic Skill--and the darker knowledge of a child raised with the stable hounds and rejected by his family. As barbarous raiders ravage the coasts, Fitz is growing to manhood. Soon he will face his first dangerous, soul-shattering mission. And though some regard him as a threat to the throne, he may just be the key to the survival of the kingdom.

REVIEW


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The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4)
Maggie Stiefvater


⭐⭐⭐

Synopsis:

Nothing living is safe. Nothing dead is to be trusted.

For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into this quest: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer a lie; and Blue, who loves Gansey… and is certain she is destined to kill him.

Now the endgame has begun. Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.

REVIEW

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Oh dear! Not as a great reading month as I had anticipated although, I have had a lot going on with my education part of life. 
The books I had read were pretty great so I guess that makes up for it.

Book Haul| May 2016

I NEED TO STOP BUYING BOOKS!!!

Not as many books as I have had in previous months but, I did say that I were not to buy anymore just because I really don't have the space for them-- I really wish I felt okay with reading ebooks, truly.

Anyway there is one exciting piece of news that has me jumping off the figurative walls; that can be held off til the end.

First the books I bought right at the beginning of May:

Uprooted
Naomi Novik

Find on Goodreads

Yes, yes and yes. When I went into Waterstones that day I wasn't sure what book I had intended on buying. Then I say this laying in all it's glory on the many fantasy tables that were lain out.

I grabbed it and ran.


CURRENTLY READING!
Passenger (Passenger #1)
Alexandra Bracken


This is a book I know better as one of the many duo tours that the marvelous Susan Dennard was on at the beginning of 2016. I read the synopsis and instantly wanted in.

Haven't read Bracken's The Darkest Minds series but, if I love this as much as I hope I do then they'll be next on my T(o)B(e)B(ought) list- mark my words.








After this little spender I decided to save my money-- that ended up on my prepayment for my accommodation next year at university. Theeeeeeeeen I got more than I was expected for my next college bursary (I got money for next half-term!) Which meant I went out again to Waterstones to treat myself with more books.



Illuminae (The Illuminae Files 0_1)
Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff


I've been craving some sort of Sci-fi novel for a little while and thought that this looked interesting in the format of the whole novel.

Through transcripts and emails it feels like a hackers journal-- something I am very excited to find out what this is really about.







An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes #1)
Sabaa Tahir


A book that I have heard nothing but good things about. In fact this book was even on the shelves at the writing retreat at Arvon at the beginning of the year.

I will definitely have to try and catch up seeing as there will be a sequel release at the end of this year?





Okay! Now the exciting bit I promised earlier. I plucked up the courage to finally email some publishers about some of my most anticpated reads on the Summer/Autumn 2016. The wonderful people at HaperVoyagerUK (one of my favourite fantasy publishers that we have in the UK) agreed to send me over an ARC of Nevernight by Jay Kristoff. 

I have featured this novel recently on the blog (check out my Waiting on Wednesday post: HERE) the synopsis for this book has me drawling at the mouth-- so expect a review coming up here very shortly. 

This book will be devoured. 

OMFG!!!! My excitement levels are through the roof!!

Waiting On Wednesday| Nevernight

Waiting On Wednesday is a book meme set up Breaking the Spine where all those who participate share weekly those book releases we are dying to get our hand on as soon as they are released.

This weeks WoW post is:


Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicles #1)
Jay Kristoff


Mia has many names: The Pale Daughter, The Crow, or Kingmaker; she is the killer of killers and destroyer of empires; but her story begins when she is only ten years old and forced to watch her father hang as a traitor.
At the time of his death, her shadow deepens and a darkness joins Mia. A darkness that takes the shape of a cat and helps her to escape the men tasked with her disposal.
She calls him Mister Kindly, and he drinks her fear.

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REVIEW| Assassin's Apprentice

Assassin's Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy #1)
Robin Hobb

⭐⭐⭐

Synopsis:
In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.

Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals - the old art known as the Wit - gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility.

So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.

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Review:


This has to be one of my (many) favourite fantasy covers of all time. It screams that allusive age of "medival" that accompanies many books throughout the fantasy genre. What I like about this new cover that HarperVoyagerUK commisioned was that once you've read the novel, you begin to understand the small details that the cover artist (Jackie Morris and Stephen Raw) have added to this 2014 edition. The feel of the book is like that of calligraphy paper, course and rough, meaning that my sweaty palm don't peel back the plastic coating that I often find on British paperbacks-- fantastic!

Robin Hobb is a author that I have always tried to avoid when it comes to fantasy but, lets be honest here it would've of been just plain rude to ignore one of the most influential female authors on the fantasy market. So I started from the very first book that Hobb had published-- Assassin's Apprentice. 

What I liked about Hobb's writing was the realism and honesty that covers the entirety of the novel that can often be taken away in fantasy novels. It was the first three sentence that hooked me into the novel:


"My pen falters, then falls from my knuckly grip, leaving a worm's trail of ink across Fedwren's paper. I have spoiled another leaf of the fine stuff, in what I suspect is a futile endeavour. I wonder if I can write history, or on every page there will be some sneaking show of bitterness I thought long dead."

I mean, who doesn't want to know, why he is writing about history, who is Fedwren, why is Fitz so bitter?  Hobb's strength is presenting a realistic image of what it means to be a Bastard at court and the brutal reality of death. It's not fantastic and poetic prose that Hobb uses but rather the bluntness of Fitz's own narrative that really sets this brutality to life on the very page Hobb has intended for us to read.

My only concern that I had was that the pacing felt off. It was undeniably slow and I felt that I ended up drifting to other action based plots throughout the months that I went on and off reading this book-- my reason for three stars. I think if I had stuck with it this book would have been a higher rating. I found it hard to remember what event had occured and what particular things meant, adding to confusion.

Where this book lacks in major actional plot it makes up for in the ways that Hobb's characters are comprimised by their political surroundings of the Duchies court. The dense political intrigue being just enough to keep me hanging on til the end to finish this book. Her books are subtle in the worlds and languages of fantasy and brings a sense of fresh air to the dense poetic prose that is so very common.

I will definitely be continuing on with this trilogy and other pieces of Hobb's writing for the hope of her writing improving over the last twenty years. 

REVIEW| A Court of Mist and Fury

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)
Sarah J. Maas

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Synopsis:
Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.
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Review:
 
**CRIES**

Alright, I'm trying to hold myself together but-- COME ON! Why did I have to finish reading this so quickly?

Okay, so--

A Court of Mist and Fury starts off just three months after the events of the first book (I'm being vague to avoid spoilers here) and things are a little off in the world of Tamlin and Feyre. Tamlin is not the Knight in shining armour that was once thought by many of you out there; don't lie, you all loved Tamlin one way or another.**

In comparison to A Court of Thorns and Roses, Maas has thought much more about the development of Prythian, more than I thought that we were going to- we discover the Night Court and the secrets, veiled within the undercover of 'mist and fury'. As well as, the multiple locations that were left unmarked on the original map of the faerie lands and of the various High Lords of Day, Dawn, Winter, Summer and Autumn courts left unnamed in the first book.

The focus and major plot of A Court of Mist and Fury has done a one-eighty degree turn, which if I remember correctly was what had happened with Crown of Midnight. BUT, I am not complaining about it, in fact this is the reason that I loved this book so much more than ACOTAR. It felt a lot more serious-- Feyre goes through rediscovery of who she is in comparison to the Feyre who we knew during A Court of Thorns and Roses as well as, the threat of war with Hybern. Don't get me wrong- there is still quite a bit of steamy romance that happens; this has just become a sub-plot.
Maas brings in the introduction to new characters that is sure to come with a new court and territory- Rhysand's inner circle. I absolutly love more and the the forwardness that she brings to many of the situations, bringing that friendship that Feyre has never had before. I absolutely ship Cassian with Feyre's eldest sister Nesta, which if you have read the book already may understand why.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEK!

Feyre has gone through the events of A Court of Thorns and Roses which was bound to alter her perception on the world and what she knows- knew. This growth of Maas' protagonist, this changing and growing-up a character is something that is the reason why I love to read Maas' work. I feel highly proud that Maas has highlighted this in a book that has been published in the UK Young Adult market because it something that at this age they are bound to come across. Staying in a relationship because at a point in their youth they loved them although they have outgrown that person- to know this is normal. But not just in love and relationships but perhaps in all aspects in life too-- trust me. I've been there and all I got was a really crappy t-shirt at the end of it.

**DISCLAIMER: Now before I get on any further with this I want to just say that I was never really a fan of Tamlin whilst reading A Court of Thorns and Roses. I picked up on some things that made me grit my teeth and head butt the wall.
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