book review

What a Perfect Time for a TOG Reread

Hey all!

Since I got home from my trip, my life has been turned upside down with job hunting, dating dramas, and a whole bunch of other changes in my social life that now has me reevaluating things and I am sort of stuck in this creative rut. So bear with me while I slowly make my way out of it and back into the real world. And continue on with my travel posts.

On the other hand, though, the final book by my favorite author (Sarah J. Maas) is coming out in October (maybe you noticed the KOA countdown on the side here) so I am joining in with the publishers and all of the other fans in a massive reread of all of the books in the series. And of course now I need to catch up since they started in July––meaning I am already 4 books behind schedule!!! Yikes!

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Currently working on reading Throne of Glass. And my goal of reading the whole thing in one sitting has already expanded to a few days. Hopefully not much longer than this.

So just a general note about this series is that it is so good and everyone should seriously give it a read. And I don’t want to spoil things (even though I hate people who say stuff like this and don’t share any of the juicy details) but the whole series is set up like a mystery where you literally do not know anything that is going on if you hear people talking about characters from later books when you are still in the beginning. And this is a hilarious fandom joke. So I am going to be very vague in my descriptions. It will be a lot of fun.

Favorite cover: Queen of Shadows. Without a doubt or hesitation. I love the colors. I love the armor. I love that she looks so badass and ready to take on the world. Which is good because that is actually what she has to do in this book.

Favorite title: The Assassin’s Blade

Favorite character: Sam or Aedion or Aelin with Fenrys as a close second (it literally depends on what scene I am reading at the moment)

Character I am most like: Aelin Ashyver Galathynius. Seriously just ask my sisters. They are the ones who told me this!

Most important chant: Aedion deserves his blood oath 2k18!

Favorite scene: In Rolf’s office when there are two of Aelin and they are complimenting each other and she is flirting with Rowan pretending she doesn’t know him and Rolf has no idea what is going on and everyone knows her by a different name/ personality/ identity and they are just all watching each other’s reactions. I promise you once you know all of the drama and characters it is so funny.

Favorite quote released from Kingdom of Ash:

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This is really a life changing series and I am so happy each time I get someone else to start reading it.

The main character has been through the ringer and back since she was young and we still don’t know if she will get her happily ever after in the end after she saves the rest of the world. Each book adds more to our beloved heroine while expanding the world of Erilea and the impending end of the world.

Add in all of the enemies that our girl makes and how she still gets them to ally with her and how some of her old enemies become her greatest and most trusted friends and that everyone always seems to come together in the biggest/ most epic battle scenes and you can’t even come close to all this series has to offer.

There are foreshadowing clues everywhere, minor characters from book 1 taking on major roles later in the series. Easter eggs galore. Even drama with the gods messing with fate and creating this giant mess in the first place––and making it worse by helping characters come to the beginning of the end.

I have never felt as excited and dreadful of an end of the series book as I do this one. Maas’s other series ACOTAR is such a lighthearted read in comparison to TOG––the main characters that die don’t actually stay dead in ACOTAR whereas everyone is fair game except Fleetfoot. The dog.

Everyone’s theories have me freaking out. And I am reading with a notebook beside me, taking notes so I can try my hand at my own detective work and guess about what is going to happen in the end.

My current reading intentions are that I just absorb all of the names and details that I can so that I will be completely prepared for anything that comes our way in Kingdom of Ash. Which means a lot of me writing down names of characters, gods, their swords, dates, rhymes, quotes and lots and lots of page numbers. I don’t want to have to go back through all 3,840 other pages to remind myself of a fuzzy detail. I will be totally prepared for the final 992 pages of this epic series.

Fantasy, romance, drama, arrogance, swagger, thrones, kingdoms, sacrifice, and a save-the-world plot…what more could you ever need in a good book?

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book review

1st Book Review: The Wrath & The Dawn

So originally my plan was to post my Olympics and Paralympics geared blog post, but I just finished my book today and have many thoughts on it, so plans have changed. Plus, now I have more time to try and catch up on my Olympics DVRed episodes.

What I am Reading:

img_4346-2_editedI am currently reading The Wrath & The Dawn by Renée Ahdieh, which is a YA fantasy/ romance (very similar to Throne of Glass AKA why I picked this book up––the heroine has to deal with an “evil” king to essentially save the world). This book is based in Persia, which I love, because it is exposing me to another culture and words in a different language, too.

Side note: I learned the hard way that there is a glossary in the back of the book. You do not have to spend the same amount of hours I did trying to look up arabic words on google.

[So my favorite reviewers usually break up their reviews into different parts, and I am going to try and mimic them. Bear with me while I figure out my own style]

General Thoughts:

So I sort of have mixed feelings on The Wrath & The Dawn. I like the book, but I don’t love it.

If you know me, you will understand the massive book hangover that I am still trying to recover from after reading A Court of Thorns and Roses (which was exactly 1 year ago in March), so anything that I read will need to be that much more impressive. There is sort of a love triangle going on in The Wrath & the Dawn and Shahrzad is leaning towards the wrong guy, which is making me dread the ending. Update: Now that I have read the ending, now that I have read the ending, and have seen that the love triangle will continue into the second book, I am even more frustrated about the whole thing. I think the writing is amazing, but I still find myself yelling at the characters for making stupid decisions, which was making me dread actually getting into and finishing the book.

So the story is about this evil “boy-king” who kills his new wives at every dawn. And Shahrzad volunteers to be his next wife after her best friend was the next to get the silk cord around her neck.

Honestly was iffy about the book until the end. Now I NEED TO READ THE NEXT BOOK. If for nothing else then I can live in agony. Again. Special shout out to the girl who saw me carrying this book when we were in an elevator together and told me it was your favorite. I only finished this book because of you!

For those considering reading this book, here is what you need to know:

  1. There is a love triangle
  2. I like the wrong guy (as per usual)
  3. There are lovable side characters on all sides of this impending war
  4. Those same side characters are very easily forgotten by the main characters, even though I am yelling things at them like “FIND DESPINA!”
  5. Plot twists that I did not see coming
  6. Some things happen/comments are made that make me feel like I missed a chapter or even just a paragraph in the book. No joke––I went back to check the page numbers to make sure nothing was ripped out.

Hopefully, you will kind of see from my very general list, how mixed my feelings are. I think that Renée Ahdieh is such a great writer and I want to continue reading her stories. There was a few things with her writing though, that there was like gaps in the story. I know it is one way to build suspense, but I think is room for improvement. For example, there were elements of magic in the story, that were way to subtle, and only really brought up in the second half of the book. And then there is an explanation that the things that happened in the beginning were magic, and not normal at all.  So it is confusing that there is already a suspension of belief, because it is based on 1001 Nights but this almost takes place in a realistic world. I am wondering if I will feel differently after actually reading 1001 Nights, and maybe my thoughts will change.

There is this moment when Shahrzad is saying goodbye to her father and he shows her a rose before they part:

“Jahandar nodded, his misery nowhere close to mollified. He held out the rose in his hand. ‘The last from my garden; it has not yet bloomed fully, but I wanted to give you one remembrance of home.’

She smiled as she reached for it, the love between them far past mere gratitude, but he stopped her. When she realized the reason, she began to protest.

‘No. At least in this, I might do something for you,’

The rose started to unfurl. Its petals twisted open, prodded to life by an invisible hand. As it expanded, a delicious perfume filled the space between them, sweet and perfect for an instant…but soon, it became overpowering. Cloying. The edges of the flower changed from a brilliant, deep pink to a shadowy rust in the blink of an eye.

And then the flower began to wither and die.

Dismayed, Jahandar watched its dried petals wilt to the white marble at their feet.

‘I––I’m sorry, Shahrzad,” he cried.

‘It doesn’t matter. I will never forget how beautiful it was for that moment, Baba’”  (Ahdieh 8).

As you can see, it is incredibly dramatic and romantic and descriptive, however, it isn’t until much later that you realize these descriptions have a purpose, because it shows how the father used magic to make the flower bloom and how exactly the magic affects the flower.

If you hate spoilers, you should probably stop reading here. That is, if you actually plan on reading it.

[Also be warned, it is unedited from here down. I thought it was better to stick to a schedule instead of procrastinate…but don’t judge for bad grammar & content.]

My Character Analysis:

Tariq:

Looking back at my Goodreads comments, though, I still have mixed feelings for the character that I love. He says something so wonderful, like, “I love you Shahrzad al-Khayzuran. There is nothing I would not do for you. Nothing I would not consider if it meant keeping you safe. The world itself should fear me if it stands between us,” and he just reminds me so much of Rhysand from ACOTAR that I swoon. But then he says something so dumb, “All of my most cherished memories are of her. I’ve suffered alongside her. And…we’ve laughed at nothing together,” as the explanation as to why he loves her that I feel like just isn’t true to his character.

I am pretty sure that he is going to ruin my opinion of him very soon, but for now he is my hero. Literally willing to go to war for the woman he loves. Not a practical political move, probably, but what a grand romantic gesture anyway. And he sneaks into her bedroom in the palace just to see her and support her in her plan instead of dictating one to her. And apparently Shahrzad isn’t into the whole sneaking around thing, but I think it is great. He professes his love for her in stolen moments and stolen kisses.

Shahrzad:

And the same with Shahrzad. She is supposed to be such a headstrong character, and yet her feelings are getting in the way of her plan. So suddenly too. And she is catching feelings for her best friends murderer, before she even knows what is going on. And I can’t exactly put into words why it bothers me so much because the whole “enemies to lovers” trope is usually my favorite and I am all for leading with your emotions, but maybe it is just the fact that she is so fickle about these things? I’m not sure yet. All I know is that is has taken me months to get through this book. And characters I want to yell at. Shazi- I am looking at you especially!!!

There are a lot of amazing parts of the book though. First, Shahrzad is such a badass headstrong female character who isn’t afraid to take matters into her own hands, even when she knows there is a very good chance that she will be killed next. She is (mostly) loyal, reckless, and can do anything she sets her mind to. I love that she isn’t exactly following the court protocol and sneaks over to see the training. And I was thrilled when she was showing off her mad archer skills to Jalal and the rest of the men, making sure they knew she wasn’t someone to mess with.

Despina:

Then her handmaiden Despina, is an amazing character. I am still a little hesitant to trust her completely, but she still might be my favorite character. She reminds me so much of Lysandra (in TOG) who is gorgeous, knows the game, and still has a few tricks up her sleeve. I feel like she is going to play a bigger role, but she is very mousey at the moment. And I am still suspicious as to her behavior when Shazi was poisoned that one day. Shahrzad doesn’t have a problem with this thing but I do. Also. Pregnancy. To. Her. Star. Crossed. Lover. Yay!

⭐⭐⭐☆☆

So overall, I am still not 100% a fan of this book, but actually writing my review has helped me remember the good parts too. That means I’ll give it 3 out of 5 stars! Yay. It takes a lot to live up to my favorite shelf, so I am looking forward to finding books that make the cut. Unfortunately The Wrath & The Dawn didn’t make it. Maybe the sequel will be better?

 

If you guys have any questions for me

or want to actually discuss the book

leave a comment below

Also, hit me up with book recs

I am always looking for something new to read!!!